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April 13, 2004

Electra Made Me Blind*

Speaking of bikes (see the last post) check out the cool new Electra Townie. It's an upright (traditional) bike that's supposed to put you in a sort of recumbent position so you can put your feet flat on the ground when you stop, while still maintaining the proper distance from pedal to seat when you're pedaling.

Although it seems many people aren't aware of it, you generally should not be able to touch the ground when sitting on the seat of a traditional bike. If you can touch the ground w/more than a tiptoe while sitting on the seat, your seat is probably too low and you're not getting maximum efficiency out of your pedal stroke. Worse, you could damage your knees riding with the seat too low. Trust me on this. When I started riding 70-120 miles/day, I found out the hard way how much difference proper seat adjustment can make. After the first week, I could barely walk because my knee was so sore, and I couldn't figure out why. But I raised the seat a few centimeters and suddenly, all was well. The knee pain magically disappeared. All was right with the world. So, long story short, if you're riding a traditional bike, stop/go traffic can be kind of a pain because if your seat is at the right height, you have to keep coming off your seat every time you stop.

That's why the Townie makes so much sense -- it's the perfect commuter bike. Not only would it be good for stop/go traffic, but also the upright riding position would give you a great view of the road and traffic. The 8-speed Nexus hub and the fenders on the Townie 8 also help make it the ultimate commuter. Suddenly my Bianchi Milano -- with it's loose bottom bracket and off-true wheels from a hard winter of commuting — appears out-classed and out-cooled. Good thing I can't possibly pay for or store another bike right now, or else I might be in trouble.

Oh, and congrats to SuperD, who just got a neato new bike of her own.

* Kudos to anyone who can name the source of the title to this post, but since that's so random, I'll give you more: It's a song title. Who's it by? Of course you can do a search, but that's cheating.

Random related: The Macintosh was briefly and unofficially codenamed "bicycle,"— it was like a "bicycle for the mind" because it allowed your mind to move faster and more efficiently, just as a bike allows your body to move faster and more efficiently. The name didn't stick, but how cool is that?

Posted 10:18 AM | Comments (5) | life generally

Welcome Scoplaw!

Venturpreneur's first poll* for his "Law Student Blog Honor Roll" seems to have spurred (or been a pivotal part of) a mini-boom of interest in law student blogs and pre-law blogs. Adding to this mini-boom, Venturpreneur's first poll has been followed by a second, and accompanied by Legal Underground's comments about those polls, including a little list of new pre-law blogs and a kind word about ai. (Thanks, Evan! No need to feel bad; I'm just that very rare beast: an anti-competitive law student. More on that later, perhaps.)

All of which is to say: If you're looking for a great new pre-law blog, say hello to Scoplaw. What could be more interesting than a poet going to law school? A poet who bikes to law school! Ok, I don't know if he's going to bike to law school, but he rides bikes, he has a garage full of bikes and bike parts, he refurbishes old bikes -- how can you not love this guy?

But yes, Scoplaw is also going to law school, and he's going to blog about it, which promises to be fascinating. How will a poet w/an MFA react to law school's demand that you replace creativity with regimented banality? Will he find a creative way to adapt, or will he feel like he's landed on an alien planet where nobody cares about the thoughts in your head except insofar as they mirror a blackletter law outline? ;-)

Ok, it's not that bad. But still, I can't wait to hear how things go for Scoplaw, because in some ways he and I may be a lot alike. Granted, a poet w/an MFA could be very different from a former candidate for a PhD in English, especially when that English PhD program was more cultural studies/critical theory than literature. For example, the English department I was in had a sort of invisible wall between the MFA program and the MA/PhD program, an oil and water type thing based on politics and petty power struggles, mostly, but also on what seemed to be a mutual disdain. The creative writers seemed to scoff at the seriousness with which the "Lit" people took their theory and cultural studies, while the "Lit" people scoffed at what they assumed was the creative writers' free-floating superficiality and lack of critical consciousness. The two groups did different things, and therefore had different goals, but that's exactly why Scoplaw's experience of law school should be so interesting. I imagine it's a lot easier to go from lawyer to poet/creative writer than the other way around, but I'd be very happy if Scoplaw proved me wrong.

At any rate, check him out, and wish him luck. We all need that.

* Note: Speaking of that Venterpreneur poll, if ai is going to lose any contest, it would be hard to think of a better blog/blogger to lose to than Mixtape Marathon. I'm not familiar with Sapere Aude, but I'll be checking out out in the future since it's so well loved.

Posted 05:43 AM | Comments (7) | law school

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