Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety’s Sake

Anthony Rowe, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, wants bikes to feed information to nearby cars to avoid collisions. His bike is fitted with an array of precise instruments and a battery hidden in the water bottle.
NPR
All Things Considered
July 24, 2017

Proponents of self-driving cars say they’ll make the world safer, but autonomous vehicles need to predict what bicyclists are going to do. Now researchers say part of the answer is to have bikes feed information to cars.

Traces of Controversial Herbicide Are Found in Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Ten of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice creams contained traces of glyphosate — although at levels far below the ceiling set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
New York Times
July 25, 2017

A growing number of foods commonly found in kitchens across America have tested positive for glyphosate, the herbicide that is the main ingredient in the popular consumer pesticide Roundup, which is widely used in agriculture. But few brands on that list are as startling as the latest: Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont ice cream company known for its family-friendly image and environmental advocacy.

A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players — and 110 were found to have C.T.E., the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.

110 N.F.L. Brains
New York Times
July 25, 2017

A broad survey of her findings was published on Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Of the 202 players, 111 of them played in the N.F.L. — and 110 of those were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

The EPA’s Inspector General Is Probing Whether An Agency Staffer Colluded With Monsanto

The investigation comes in response to documents released in a court case over whether the herbicide glyphosate causes cancer.
Huffington Post
June 6, 2017

The inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a probe into possible collusion between a former high-ranking EPA official and Monsanto, the maker of the herbicide glyphosate, according to a letter the IG sent to a lawmaker last Friday that HuffPost has obtained. […] “As you are aware, there is considerable public interest regarding allegations of such collusion,” wrote Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. in his response to Lieu, dated May 31. “As a result, I have asked the EPA OIG Office of Investigations to conduct an inquiry into several agency review-related matters.”

How to Choose the right Bike for you

How to Choose a Bike, According to Science – 10 Factors to Consider

You might want a bike for training, touring, commuting, or for day rides around town. Some people require more rugged bikes to handle difficult terrain and the bumps, dirt, roots, and grass that comes with it.

Choosing the right bike and getting it set up is often more work than expected. This is a handy guide that lays out a lot of variations of what is available in bikes so that when you are thinking it is time to get a new bike, you can view a huge array of choices side by side….brakes? You may not have considered brakes as something you would have to think about but you may want to. Electric assisted bike? If you live in a hilly area e-bikes can be pretty awesome to help get you going on longer rides especially if say your commute to work is downhill which means your return home is all uphill.

In California, at least around San Diego, you probably have a pretty good option of going with a used bike verses a new bike. Do be careful as older bikes may have been through a serious crash and could have a bent frame, etc.

Then there is the question what size frame do you need? What if you are pretty comfortable but you really don’t like the handle bars or the neck stem?

Fixie bikes are certainly cool but are you up for the challenge or capable of changing the gears you are running per your ride and your training?

This handy guide lays it all out, more than first probably comes to mind about your options. It will get you a good head start before you visit your local friendly bike shop, you’ll have a little bit of an idea of what you want to see and try or hear their opinions on.

Of course if you are able, you might want to start out with bike share, a great option and you don’t have to maintain your own wheels.

Or if you are interested in some form of bike racing of some sort, there are plenty of great folks in San Diego and S. California who can help you out. Connecting with folks in the type of riding you are interested can also open up possibilities of finding excellent quality and condition used bicycles or components.

Out of Long Beach, this is a world class pro cyclist “bike fit” to make sure your bike is fitted correctly for you.

8 Ways Technology Is Improving Your Health

8 Ways Technology Is Improving Your Health
February 22, 2017
Positive Health Wellness

It’s true, we hear of the negatives, but there are many positives in technology improving our health and our lives.

There are treatments for small and major ailments. Even cancer patients have better life expectancies than they would have done in earlier years. There is the technology for earlier diagnosis and treatments to eradicate the cancerous cells.

Learn More

Use of Taxotere has been shown to cause permanent hair loss.

Why isn’t more known about it?

If two drugs had relatively similar outcomes, but one caused permanent hair loss, which would you choose?

The answer is clear. But most patients weren’t given that option.

Learn More

S.A. Ledlie is a great writer, and survivor. Her book and her support group are helping many.

This was nine years ago and A Head of Our Time now has “a thriving community of monk lookalikes around the world. We even have two members who discovered they were patients from the same clinic with the same oncologist – who told them both he had never seen it happen before!”

Truck Underride Crashes Cause Death & Injury Every Year – Preventable #VisionZero

Truck and trailer underride or side-under-ride crashes are extremely dangerous to car occupants, pedestrians, and cyclists. The NTSB actually called for this as well as pointed out the inadequate crash data reporting on truck crashes. Every year people are killed on our roads from these types of crashes which are preventable using side guards or rear guards which are strong enough to take the force of vehicles at highway speeds.

This NBC article from February 2017 states, “Side Underride Crashes Kill 200 People a Year. Will Congress Act?

The federal agency in charge of highway safety requires guards on the back of trucks, but not along the sides. And key lawmakers who have together received millions of dollars in campaign donations from the transportation industry haven’t pushed for it, despite a recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board.

But we do not really know the number of incidents of crashes and hence deaths as no state actually tracks this data in our National Reporting System. Worse, the USA rear guards are not actually strong enough to prevent cars at even lower city speeds from going under trailers. Our crash reporting system data does not track these types of crashes well. To confuse things even more, Canada has stronger requirements for the rear guards on trailers and without tracking model numbers, we don’t have any idea what is actually happening and why.

Yet, cities like New York, Boston, Portland, and Seattle are taking steps with city fleets to put side guards on trucks because they know that these can help reduce preventable pedestrian and cyclists death and injuries. February 2017: SDOT installs truck safety sideguards + What would it take to get them on every truck?

Seattle’s Department of Transportation is retrofitting all department trucks to include sideguards designed to reduce harm to people walking and biking in the case of a collision.

Sideguards to be made mandatory for all trucks doing business in Boston

2015: New York City made side guards on trucks mandatory

In New York City, Trucks make up just 3.6 percent of vehicles on New York City streets, according to U.S. DOT, but are involved in 12.3 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 32 percent of bicyclist deaths.

Side guards on trucks and trailers in cities just make sense. Another cyclist Gets The Right Hook: It’s Time For Sideguards On Trucks In North America

Every time an accident like this happens, cyclists have the same question: Why aren’t side guards legally required on trucks in the City? Europe has them. The UK has them. As of January 1, 2011, even Brazil has them!

A right hook is a common cyclist crash type.

And the DOT has been working on testing and improved side guards and rear guards, just not many trucks are actually getting them. Protecting Pedestrians and Bicyclists, One Safer Truck at a Time

In the coming years, the simultaneous rapid growth of urban freight and walking and bicycling in the U.S. threatens to increase truck-involved casualties, which are already overrepresented relative to trucks’ share of vehicles on the road today.

Volpe’s research into both proven and new crash avoidance and mitigation technologies for trucks is shaping a new pillar of cities’ Vision Zero programs, as well as advancing U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s bicycle-pedestrian safety priority. One specific safety technology—side underride guards—further extends to the tantalizing potential co-benefit of fuel efficiency, implying attractive payback and a pathway to accelerated adoption.

2014: NTSB Issues Recommendations to Correct Safety Vulnerabilities Involving Tractor-Trailers

Collisions with the sides of tractor-trailers resulted in about 500 deaths each year and that many of these deaths involved side underride. Researchers also found that current trailer rear underride guard standards are outdated.

The NTSB in the same press release discusses the known blind spots in single unit trucks as well as tractor trailers which cause death and injury every year to pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and vehicle occupants.

#VisionZero these are preventable deaths and injuries caused by bad design that we know about and know how to improve. We know that data collection inadequate which is fixable. We have some technology which can improve things quickly. We still aren’t trying to implement recommendations from the NTSB in 2014 which seems like willful ignorance.

Finally, the NTSB asked NHTSA to address the issue of data collection on trailers. When a tractor-trailer gets into an accident, police officers routinely record basic information about the truck-tractor component of the tractor-trailer, including the model year and vehicle identification number. However, information about the trailer component is usually missing from federal and state databases. Having this information could help with evaluation of safety standards and determine whether certain trailer designs and equipment should be altered to reduce injury risks to passenger vehicle occupants.