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Monday, January 24, 2005

The Better Way?

Riding the TTC bus on the way home from work today, I noticed an advertisement encouraging people to take public transporation. Specifically, it claimed that doing so would save you time, money, hassle, and the environment. Being a regular rider, I thought I'd examine whether that claim is true. Time- In most cases, this is not true. Taking the TTC will not save people time. It takes me anywhere from 50 - 75 minutes to get to work while that same trip would take 20 - 30 mintues by car. This is because I have to walk to/from the bus stops (at both ends), take two bus lines thus waiting for two buses to arrive at a bus stop (and quite often, they are late), and be subjected to stopping at every stop which one doesn't get in a car. The only time the TTC would be faster would be in cases where someone has fairly direct access to the subway line and was going downtown during rush hour. Money- For the most part this is true. Last year, the TTC published a free pamphlet that tried to explain exactly how much one would save each month over taking the car. However, how that pamphlet made its case was very off the mark. For example, at one point, it tried to factor in how much the average car insurance would cost per month. That makes no sense since if a person owned a car and took the bus instead they would still have to pay insurance. It only would make sense if one compared costs of actually driving the car, e.g. gas and maintenance. It also makes the assumption, as does every other point here, that a person owns a car in the first place. One cannot save money on the expense of something one does not own in the first place. Thus, in my case, where I don't own a car, I don't save any money at all. Of course, that would render every point moot. Hassle - I don't understand why anyone would think that taking more than twice the time to get to where one is going, waiting in the freezing cold for a bus that is late, shoehorned into a crowded bus with a bunch of noisy teens on there way to school is considered less hassle than your own private vehicle. Where you get to sit down. On a padded seat. And listen to your own radio station. And go when and where you want. Environment - I suppose that this is true. Giving up the use of many cars and instead using a single bus would translate into less polution, despite the fact that a single bus is a bigger pollutant and a single car. It also assumes on average how many people on the bus are there as a matter of neccessity (like me) or are there because they are taking it as an alternative to driving their car.

Monday, January 10, 2005

It's a Girl

My wife gave birth to our fouth child, a baby girl on Sunday, January 9th at 9:12 p.m. EST. The baby weighed 8 pounds 5 onces.

Thursday, January 6, 2005

No Stone Unturned

At the movie premiere for the movie 'Alexander' in London, director Oliver Stone blamed the moral fundamentalism in the US as the reason why no one saw his movie. Stone blames 'moral fundamentalism' for US box office flop Really? So how does one explain the box office success of Fahrenheit 911 (presuming that what Stone would call "moral fundamentalists" are politically conservative)? How does one explain the box office success of many other movies that came out this year, all of them arguably with themes and content that was "less moral" than his own movie? How does one explain why his movie was widely panned by the critics, especially when very few critics are "moral fundamentalists"? Maybe, just maybe the reason it flopped was because it was a bad movie?