Signs of the Times

In my recent travels I came across scenes and signs that are indicative of developing culture while pertaining to the biking and solar realms that provided key impetus behind the code’s initial development.

Perhaps you are familiar with the trend in paved recreation paths intended for walkers, joggers, and bikers amid urban green spaces. For the most part, I have observed civility between and among these users. I personally don’t care for the rare encounter I have with skaters who come at you like snakes ready to strike. However, a more frequent and disturbing encounter involves a subset of fellow bikers who seem to regard these paths as their own race tracks.

Tucson Recreation Path Warning

The near miss collisions of these wannabes around blind curves and user congestions, together with claims from elders who are frightened out of getting the benefits they need from these paths, and the above sign I came across along a dry river path in the Tucson, Arizona area tell me the problem is a growing one. This adds to the danger of ready rattlers during certain temperature ranges.

In a different locale, on a path snaking over the sand of a broad southern California beach, I came across a biker more like myself. His bike, parked just out of the picture below, was heavily loaded down, even without his solar array and sun shield. A number of questions came to my mind, but after asking permission to take the photo, I sensed he did not want to be taken further from his work, and so after sharing my opinion that more homeowners should follow his example, I left him to mouse away with his laptop in the shade.

SoCal Beach Solar

Although he was obviously homeless, I felt respect for how he was making the best of it and not demanding sympathy waiting for someone to give him something with or without a sign as many do. I don’t know why he needed that much area for his flexible panels or why he plopped them atop sparse vegetation. Although an eyesore, his set-up was not that much worse than many rooftop set-ups one sees these days. Finally, note how he compensates (intentionally or not, I don’t know) for the albedo degradation and global warming increase that the blackness of his panels causes with the white covering over his canopy.

Such concerns are lacking in the Paris Climate Agreement which President Trump announced he was pulling out of, and which will actually cause the  planet to heat up faster owing to its obsession with carbon while ignoring the kinetic aspect of it contribution, and the contributions of other energy sources.

Feynman Lecture Auditorium Entrance

If only the debate could receive input from Richard Feynman with his ability to get back to basic physics and the essence of the problem. The debate would be cover. Alas he is gone and his classroom empty* and the debate rages on with politics and big money driving it, instead of truth.

Feynman Lecture Auditorium

*thanks to the very gracious Cal Tech staff lady for offering me a peek at the room


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