Biking Route 66: Crockpot 08.03.12

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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.

Image by Prayitno,
licensed under Creative
Commons

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