Saturday, September 29, 2012

Improperly Worn Bike Helmet On Bike Share Ad

Mandatory helmet laws are terrible for bike share programs*, and it's easy to see why. What are you going to do, buy a $40 helmet and carry it around in case you want to rent a bike?

Thankfully Ottawa has a great bike share program and no helmet laws (for adults). However the city wants to give the impression that they think you should wear a helmet, so how do they advertise bike shares with photographs? Most I've seen find the clever but still kind of silly solution of showing the person standing next to the bicycle without a helmet-- shopping at an outdoor market, for instance.

I guess they finally decided they needed an ad with someone actually riding the bike. Here is what we get.

Yup. A helmet. So silly. I love the bike share, partially because it gets people on bikes again, and when they see how fun it is they end up buying one. But with all the bike share riders I've seen over the past few years, only one was wearing a helmet. This is great-- helmets increase head injury because of risk compensation.

But here's the kicker-- she's not even wearing her helmet correctly. Look closely...

The helmet should be tightly buckled around your chin. Why? To keep it from coming off of your head when you go flying through the air. Did I need to say that? Apparently I did, because I see people riding around all the time with their helmets either loosely buckled or not buckled at all.


* I can't find any empirical evidence for or against this. There is only reason and anecdotes, unfortunately.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hey DJ. I'm Trying To Talk Here.

Disclaimer: I adore DJed music. I listen to them on soundcloud. At a concert or a club, I vastly prefer DJs to live bands. I own several CDs that are mixes made by hip hop and EDM DJs. Anyway, on with the rant...

Once I was at a birthday party with a DJ. We were trying to talk to each other, but had to shout over the volume of the music the DJ was spinning. One of the people I was talking to was also a DJ. I asked him if he thought it was too loud.

"If I was the DJ I wouldn't think so," he said.

Loud music is fun when music is the focus of the event. The problem is that no matter what the event, the DJ tends to act like their music is what everybody's there for.

I was at an event recently that was clearly for networking with other people. The music was so loud that my voice was hurting after about an hour. I was probably the only non-Canadian in the room, so I figured nobody else was going to say anything...

"Hi. I really like the music."

The DJ smiled. "Thanks!"

"But it's too loud. Would you turn it down? We're trying to talk here."

He wasn't smiling so much after that. Sorry, dude. But

Your music is not more important that my conversation.

The event this was a part of lasted several days. There was an after-party at a restaurant. Guess what they had there to make it special? A DJ! And guess who was playing the music too loudly? I just walked out.

"You're leaving?" the organizer said as I passed her.

"Yes, it's way too loud in there. We can't talk."

"I'll ask him to turn it down."

And he did. But then the volume crept back up again. I figured that DJs have some number of decibels that they like, and every time they love the song they're playing, they inch the volume up toward that sweet spot. This is even more of a problem because the DJs, unlike you and me, sometimes have musician-quality noise-reduction earplugs. To protect their hearing, of course.

This time I complained to the DJ. Turns out the sound engineer at the restaurant kept turning it up on them. Sigh.

I left. Angry at DJs. Again.

The final party of the event had a DJ. This time the music wasn't  too loud! I figured I'd be fair and pay them a compliment for it. Turns out it was the DJ from the first night. He pretty clearly was not happy to see me, and my compliment didn't go over well. I guess a DJ could take that compliment as "I like what you're doing because it's easier to ignore."

But I'm trying to network here.


Pictured: A DJ, probably disturbing people's reading at a library.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reselling Bad Product After Returns: Chumleigh's

I love the store Chumleighs, which sells used games and movies for great prices. A few months ago I was thrilled to find a Playstation 2 game I'd been looking for for a long time: Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, which had been very well reviewed.

Unfortunately, the game did not work. I cleaned it and tried several times, to no avail. I planned to bring it back. And even though I had no reason to suspect Chumleighs of any foul play, just to make sure I never bought that particular disc again I put a tiny dot of ink on the case insert in a place I would remember later.  They gave me my money back.

Just today I was browsing, and there was the Hulk game. With the same dot. I told the clerk that I'd returned this game and was disappointed that it was back on the shelf. She said that it might be a different copy, and I told her about the dot. She took the game to the back, and discussed something with somebody, and then put it back on the shelf, right in front of me.

For shame!

Pictured: Graffiti. From Wikimedia Commons