The community we live in has a large number of kids, but you rarely see them outside playing. Many of these kids, when you watch them waiting at the school bus stops - often with their parents sitting in cars after the long eighth mile drive - are obviously out of shape. One has to wonder if parents, worried about protecting their kids from very rare events that get a lot of publicity on TV are forcing their kids into inactivity that is almost guaranteed to harm their health - sort of a protective house arrest with consequences they haven't considered...
Earlier I posted a link to a series of articles that appeared in The Lancet noting that lack of exercise is responsible for an enormous number of medical problems. Here is a popular audience summary for those who may not want to read the papers (I've only read three of them myself)
Increasing physical activity may be one of the most cost effective ways to improve costs associated with the healthcare system and there are many other benefits too. But changing behavior - especially if effort is required - is non-trivial and perhaps the foot's errand.
Denmark and the Netherlands have moved rather dramatically to active transportation and both countries partly fund projects by pointing to savings in healthcare. Recently I posted a bit on a new "bicycle super highway" in Copenhagen. Jörgen from Amsterdam wrote to point out that this is old hat in his country and that the Netherlands is "far ahead of Denmark" when it comes to making active transportation work. He notes that announcements of Danish successes are often circulated in his country as reasons to improve their own system. You have to love this sort of competition.
Their goal seems to be to focus on getting people who commute less than 15 kilometers (about 9 miles) each way to give up their cars and public transit as much as possible and shift to bikes or, for very short trips, walking.
One wonders if such routes existed in the US how many would use them?
It is really bizarre seeing members of the right squaring their belief in having and using personal weapons with the teachings of the New Testament. But they deeply believe these things and I'm sure the shootings will be a terrific spur to gun and ammunition sales. Every time this sort of thing happens they worry about potential gun control and start ammoing up.
Shootings tend to take place in red states so it is likely that the majority of those killed by guns are members of the right wing or their families, so perhaps a slow form of selection is taking place.
And a Kickstarter project - the Faraday made some waves last year in a bike design contest and now you can get one by ponying up $3,500 in a Kickstarter project - or a very high end model for $10k...
I can't imagine paying that much for a bike without testing it first... Also ebikes are such that you really need to consider warranties and how replaceable the electricals are. They aren't quite yet mainstream in the US although there are a few niches where they make a lot of sense to get even at this stage of development.
A Kickerstarter project that puts a small cube sat into orbit. It doesn't do much, but might be a lot of fun for people who want to sponsor something cool - it has a transponder to relay your tweets and has a camera that lets you take a photo. At the end of the mission a ten foot balloon is inflated to (a) make the craft visible from the ground just before dawn and after dusk and to increase the atmospheric drag to the point where it quickly de-orbits to keep space tiddy.
This might really excite a kid. Also fun for the developers.