The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on June 17, 2012

  • Wake up call.
    The history of oil prices since 2007 suggests that a permanent doubling of oil prices, while possible in theory, are not possible in reality. We have been bumping against the pain barrier since the first oil price spike in 2008. As we substitute more and more unconventional oil for depleting conventional oil, the consequence will not be sustained oil prices at double current levels, but the shrinking of the global economy, or, as I have called it previously, the Great Contraction. Oil prices could actually drift lower, not higher, as we fall into the deflationary vortex.

    So enjoy the relative stability of the next two years, and take advantage of the narrow ledge concept to trade oil profitably as it bounces between the price floor and ceiling. Just be aware that a large waterfall awaits at the end of that quiet stretch of river, and be ready to head for shore before you get there.

    tags: peak_oil oil_sands futurismo economy smartplanet

  • Fascinating. I had never made this connection before:
    The Schullers, and their contemporary entrepreneurs of religiosity, had happened into an idea that made particular cultural sense at its particular cultural moment: In the mid-1950s, Americans found themselves in the honeymoon stages of their romances with both the automobile and the television. And they found themselves seeking forms of fellowship that mirrored the community and individuality that those technologies encouraged. As one former congregant put it: “Smoke and be in church at the same time, at a drive-in during the daytime. What a trip!”

    Drive-in theaters, the historian Erica Robles-Anderson says, were a kind of stop-gap technology: a fusion of the privacy and publicness that cars and TVs engendered. (And they’d long had unique by-day identities — as makeshift amusement parks, as venues for traveling flea markets, as theaters for traveling Vaudeville acts and the acts that advertised them.) We tend to think of suburbs, Robles-Anderson told me, as symbols of the collapse of civic life; drive-ins, however, represented a certain reclaiming of it. And a drive-in church service was an extension of that reclamation. It was, with its peculiar yet practical combination of openness and enclosure, an improvised idea that happened to fit its time. The Schullers’ motto? “Come as you are in the family car.”

    tags: religion cars drive_in movie_theaters evangelicals atlantic_monthly megan_garber

  • Memo to self: (re)watch these.
    Here are 11 new and new-ish documentaries now streaming that offer interesting, frustrating and downright sad stories about cities.

    tags: atlantic_cities netflix films video reference cities bill_cunningham pruitt_igoe

  • Love this article, very thought-provoking, especially in presenting the pluses and minuses:
    Although de la Rosa also points to the financial factor as a big reason for her switch—”Spending $70 to fill up my gas tank every other week compared to the $20 TAP card I need to replenish is a no-brainer,” she says—it’s also about slowing down and restructuring her day. “You have to take a different approach to planning your activities,” she says. “When you rely on transit-bike-walk lifestyle your everyday activities like going to work, grocery shopping, and visiting friends takes a little more effort and planning.”

    But all that extra effort can also be a burden, says Edie Kahlua Pereira, a Santa Monica-based creative and curator who just surrendered her 14-year-old vehicle last week. Although Pereira has walked and biked extensively even with a car, she’s apprehensive. “This coming week, I will be unable to attend two events I want to do because of the time it would take me to get there via public transportation,” she says. “I see this type of situation being an ongoing issue as many events happen east. Missing events that contribute positively to my life does not make me happy.”
    When it all works, the feeling of plotting your bike route on Google Maps, answering emails on your phone while soaring on the 720 bus across town, and walking 20 minutes to the grocery store instead of spending 20 minutes in a Trader Joe’s parking lot can produce a true sense of feeling untethered in Los Angeles—maybe something like what those freeway designers originally had in mind. But there’s something different about this car-free freedom. It’s not convenience, it’s community.
    It probably makes sense just to take a cab to some things.

    tags: cycling los_angeles alissa_walker cities bicycles cars

  • Incredibly effective vimeo/ demonstration of the effect of rising CO2 levels on songbirds.
    In a new exhibition from architect and educator Liam Young at the Mediamatic Fabriek in Amsterdam, canaries are used to show how rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are likely to affect birdsong. In “Singing Sentinels: Canaries in a Post-Carbon Coal Mine,” a roomful of canaries is subjected (safely, it’s claimed) to gradually increasing concentrations of CO2 in the air – from today’s 390 parts per million to the 1,000 ppm expected by 2100. As this video, “Silent Spring: A Climate Change Acceleration,” shows, the change in their song is incredible.

    tags: vimeo climate_change environment environmental_art birds songbirds co2

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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