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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Infrastructure Weekend: Pittsburgh Edition

The weather has been really crappy in Pittsburgh this spring. If you can call it spring. The temp got up to 39° today. It’s starting to feel stupid. And we’ve also had snow and rain and freezing and snain and a wintry mix non-stop. For what it’s worth, I think it only reinforces the climate change hypothesis because the arctic air is being pushed by warm Pacific water and screwing up the jet stream. We’ve had some tough winters in the last few years but this one just refuses to let go.

Anyway, Pittsburgh has as many canyons and arroyos as California. But around here we call the terrain hilly with hollows. Monongahela is a Native American word that means something like sliding cliffs. So landslides are common around here. We had one about a month ago where part of a hillside slid onto a highway.

Last Friday night, it was the highway itself that slid. A huge chunk of Route 30 that’s about 6 miles from yours truly cracked and slid down the hill right into some apartment buildings. No one was hurt. The hill gave some obvious warning signs a day or two in advance. But even I’m amazed at the size of the chunk that’s missing. Route 30 is going to be closed for a loooooong time. Take a look:

This is the situation before the slide. Note that the retaining wall they refer to was built in 1930. 1930.

This is post slide. It’s 300 ft of highway just gone.

I used to take that road to visit my aunts and uncles. Now I’ll be forced to use the parkway more often- a completely different infrastucture conundrum. 🙄 Did I mention this is the City of Bridges?

Things I struggle with.

This is apropos of nothing. It’s just that there’s too much news, much of it bad, and occasionally I need a break.

So, this is a post about things that wonder me. (H/T Amish people)

First up: what’s the deal with bras? I hate them. They’re stupid and uncomfortable. But our modern culture has such a cognitive dissonant attitude towards them.

For example, it’s not uncommon to see women wearing them in commercials. Yep, underwear all exposed on the National TV. (Say that with a soft mountain drawl). But you wouldn’t dare leave your house to get your mail in nothing but your bra and panties. You might run into your neighbor, the guy with the house painting business. Step outside in your nude colored 36C T-shirt bra sans T-shirt and the neighbor’s wife will never speak to you again.

BUT if you wear a string bikini and sunbathe on your patio and then go get the mail only to run into Mr. B., everything is cool. The church Lady to the left might be incensed but most people won’t care. Ok, they might say it looks stupid on someone your age but other than that? Nada.

I do not understand this.

I still hate bras.

Which made me wonder why ancient Minoans had no problem with the open shirt/no bra look for women. This is a look I can get behind. It channels my inner hippy chick.

I could see something like that being sold at Anthropologie. It looks so comfortable. You wouldn’t want to wear it to work in an air conditioned office but you know, around the house? To the grocery store? To brunch?

It’s all moot here in Pittsburgh where we are still struggling to get out of the 30’s and won’t have a warm day since about February until late next week.

Minoans also seem to have invented bikinis and girls playing ball in a gym. In fact, if you go by the frescos, women had a pretty good life in ancient Crete. They were ahead of their time. Too bad about that whole Thera eruption, tsunamis and cannibalism era. Oh well. Can’t have everything.