“And now no-one does not believe that Armstrong will not win this year’s Tour de France” – Thomas’ tribute to professional cycling and Phil Liggett

I am really looking forward to the professional cycling season kick off Continue reading “And now no-one does not believe that Armstrong will not win this year’s Tour de France” – Thomas’ tribute to professional cycling and Phil Liggett

The magic of Japan Rail

I was in Japan in February.  I caught the Shinkansen, various branch lines and a few subways.  It was so incredibly functional that I would have stopped and drooled all over the station floors, had there been time between our perfectly synchronised connections.

But I want to share one tiny anecdote that happened far from the centre of Tokyo, on a tiny little single -track branch line that gets as many as 8 services a day.

Continue reading The magic of Japan Rail

Does this man hate cyclists? The inaugural Thomasthethinkengine interview.

The debate regarding cyclists’ rights and responsibilities continues. On the one hand the ‘vehicularists’ believe cyclists should behave (and be treated) like cars – on the other hand – (the inexplicably named) ‘facilitators’ believe cyclists should take advantage of their unique attributes and since ultimately it is their own safety at stake, they should feel free to bend the rules at their discretion. You can read more about these various views here.

Today this debate will take a new direction, by considering the input of another road user. In order to protect his identity, we will call him Gerald. Continue reading Does this man hate cyclists? The inaugural Thomasthethinkengine interview.

A better, faster coffee shop

I can imagine a coffee shop that works better. I want to cross a Ford factory with a sushi train and a horde of lemmings…

I buy a cup of coffee in two situations. One is where I am ‘having coffee’ and I want to linger.  In this case, the 3 dollars is a low low price to pay to rent a chair in a nice public space and shoot the breeze with somebody.

The other situation is take-away, when I’m on my way to work, or somewhere, and I need to wake up.

In the second case, the 3 dollars is an negligible cost for getting my day going.

BUT.

Continue reading A better, faster coffee shop

Charter Cities – An Idea

Paul Romer has an idea people are calling crazy.  He was a Stanford Economics Professor, but now he’s quit to pursue full time the idea of charter cities.  Eh?

Paul Romer

Charter cities are based on the idea of charter schools.  These are schools in America outside the education system.  They are generally in poor black areas and have a ‘charter’ – a set of radically different rules.  For example they might do ten hour school days, six day weeks, compulsory uniforms.  They are like free private schools, and they have been extremely popular (59 percent have waiting lists for entry) and often successful (one meta-analysis found most studies of charter schools showed improved student outcomes).

Continue reading Charter Cities – An Idea