Archives for category: cool shit

This is a really good post on Christchurch’s future cycling infrastructure. I don’t have a huge amount to add to it, but would suggest you read it, if you prefer your cycling analysis to be backed up by research rather than based on wild speculation and grudges against bikes:

Even if the costs have blown out to ~$160 million, a quick calculation shows that the Benefit/Cost Ratio of the total cycleway programme in Christchurch is conservatively at 7:1 – a pretty good business case in most people’s eyes … Just for comparison, the much-vaunted Southern Motorway extension ended up costing $140 million for a projected Benefit/Cost Ratio of about 2.4:1

Summer_Catalog_Page_9This was doing the rounds on Twitter last night, and was pointed out by someone on Facebook apparently – so I can’t claim credit. But it’s worth re-posting for those who might not have seen it. The map above is from a catalogue used in the show Parks and Recreation, and is quite clearly based on a map of pre-quake Christchurch. The episode in question (Summer Catalogue; Season 2, episode 20) aired in March 2010, almost a year before the February quake. Who knows why they chose Christchurch? Maybe cos we are “the Garden City”, and they needed somewhere with a bunch of green? Maybe they thought we were so small and far away that no-one would ever notice?

Now that we’ve found out, the council should be capitalizing on our vicarious fame. Lianne Dalziel could start dressing as Lesley Knope. Since we’re still paying Tony Marryatt $10k a week, the least he could do is pretend to be Ron Swanson for us. Who will be our April Ludgate? Maybe we could make the fictional town of Pawnee an honorary sister city, and see if we can get them to come and film an episode here?

UPDATE: Just went through the episode, and it does actually appear during the show (though you would have to have an HD tv and a magnifying glass to pick it out.) It’s the page at the bottom middle, above the data projector. The image at the top is from the Parks and Recs wiki,  which the show’s creators use to put quite a bit of extra info from the show onto the net for super-fan type people.

Parks Chch Map

So, I don’t really want to do this, but here I am, doing this. I blog here because I care about stuff, because I want to try and raise some awareness of issues that I don’t think the media cover, or give my take on them. I don’t expect anything in return. By day, I’m working on my PhD. It’s been a really hard time for me post-quakes. I lost my flat and my work place. We were out of our building for 23 months, and while the university gave me a 6 month funding extension, that still means I’ve been expected to complete my thesis in 42 months (despite everything that has happened). Long story short, my funding ran out in October last year, and since then I’ve been surviving on the occasional DJ gig, TV appearance, stint in a vineyard, column in the paper. But even that has dried up for the moment. 

I also make / made music. I haven’t done any for a while, though I’d like to do some more once I’ve finished this piece of shit thesis. I’m guess what I’m trying to say is that if you appreciate what I do here, and would like to contribute, you can go over my bandcamp page and drop me some coin there. You’ll get some music, of dubious merit, in exchange. Thanks to the wonders of bandcamp, you can pay as much or as little as you’d like.

Or if you want to pay me to DJ / play a gig / write you a column / appear on your show, I’m open to that too.

Right, now that’s over I can go back to being cynical. 

Cheers,

James

On Thursday, I’m participating in a panel discussion about Christchurch and things. It is for a program called “From The Streets”, which is being made by Gerard Smyth, director of “When A City Falls”. He described it to me as a Christchurch Backbenchers, except without politicians. A panel of three of us will be talking about issues in front of a live audience of whoever happens to be at Pomeroy’s pub on Thursday, from about 5:30. Spanky, formerly of RDU Breakfast fame, will be asking all the questions. I think we’ll be covering a range of topics, and it will go out on CTV, and maybe elsewhere. I don’t have all the answers, but it seems like a great idea and I’m keen to be a part of it. 

The panel for Thursday’s shoot is me, Leanne Curtis from CanCern, and Mark Quigley, celebrity seismologist. We’re going to be down at Pomeroy’s, on the corner of Kilmore and Fitzgerald. Pretty sure the pub is just operating as usual, and that if you’re interested you can come along and see what’s going on. I might even wear a nice shirt for it.

 

Speaking of Sydenham, I spotted this dairy, set up in a shipping container, when I went through yesterday. Love the fact that they have brought all their Coke signs and junk across – maybe we should put dairies on every vacant lot? They certainly add a lot of colour. Anyway, if you live or drive by the shipping container dairy, then maybe drop in and get an ice-cream. I’m not sure if there is a huge amount of foot-traffic down that way anymore – I’d like to think these guys will survive and then have a chance to rebuild.

 

I presented at the Pecha Kucha held on Saturday night, a slightly less than serious look at some ideas for the rebuild of Chch. The audio and the slides will probably go up soon – and I will reblog them here. In the next few days I will try and post the various ideas that were discussed.

It was a really fun event, and I wish I had been better prepared, so that I hadn’t missed the first half. Thanks to Vanessa and crew for putting the whole thing together.

So before yesterday, I thought bunting was what you did in baseball when you were too uncordinated to clear the catcher on second base. Well, it turns out that bunting is also used to describe a series of flags that you hang from a rope. Gap Filler have a lot of bunting. Gap Filler started after the first quake as a community and arts response to the destruction of buildings, by using them in new, social ways. The first one was on Colombo St, and featured bands, films, solo musicians, petanque, socialising and general good times. They then did an exhibition of photographs on a wall beside the art gallery. The next Gap Filler is happening from today, again on Colombo St – though this time, down the Sydenham end. The site is where “Threw the Keyhole” used to be, just by the corner of Milton Street and Colombo. There will be a full programme of cultural events, more movies from the archives, musicians from all corners and genres, and yes, lots of bunting.

Get down and check it out, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then again next week, from Wednesday to Sunday. It gets pretty cold in the evenings these days, so wrap up warm, and it will be cancelled for the night if it’s raining. Mad props to Coralie, Andrew, Ryan and their team of helpers for putting it all together – it’s one of those things that makes you feel good about living in Christchurch, so I applaud them for doing it.