Our online guide to what you may have missed this week.
The new transpo bill may be disappointing for cyclists, but that doesn’t stop more and more people from getting interested in biking. And increasingly, that means universities and think tanks, says Pacific Standard. Ideas like bikeability and how cycling figures into class distinctions are gaining a big following on campuses throughout the country. North Carolina’s Lees-McGrae College even offers a cycling minor.
And Congress also looks pretty powerless to stop a new push for national bike routes led by nonprofits like the Adventure Cycling Association. Currently, six national routes are in the works across the lower 48, including—get this—Route 66, all the way from Chicago to LA, says Grist. The Great American Bike Trip, as its known, is still very much in the planning stage, but a nod last year from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials—comprised mostly of state DOT big wigs—was a big step forward. If all goes according to plan, the road trip of the 21st century could look very different.
The Baffler’s Thomas Frank asks, how vibrant is your city? And, more to the point, who cares?
Redlining and blockbusting may be long gone, but segregation isn’t going anywhere, says the Pew Research Center. A new study finds that segregation based on income level has increased dramatically since 1980, especially in the Sunbelt and the Northeast.
Adrien Brody does a mean Salvador Dali in Woody Allen’s recent Midnight in Paris, but Dali himself is no stranger to the big screen. In the late 1960s, the surrealist master appeared on not one, but three French TV commercials for chocolate, wine, and yes, even Alka-Seltzer. Open Culture posted this video medley, along with some fascinating background.
Oh, and here’s an equally bizarre Dali appearance on What’s My Line in 1957.
A little good news on climate from Treehugger: despite the heat wave, US energy production is generating its lowest carbon emission levels since 1992. Reportedly, this year’s first quarter saw an 8 percent drop from 2011.
Finally, how much do you spend on entertainment? Sociological Images reposted an interesting graphic comparing household budgets between classes. Among the biggest differences between rich and poor are how much goes to health insurance, food, and especially retirement. More surprising were the constants: most people tend to put about the same share of their income toward things like clothes, going out to eat, and even education, regardless of how much they make. And as a general rule, working class families tend to spend a much bigger pie slice on immediate necessities like utilities and groceries.
And those differences are growing. A new interactive feature from Demos charts the demographics of poverty in America, and how they’ve changed since 1970. Nearly 50 million Americans today are below the poverty line, and people of color, women, and young people disproportionately affected.