Monday, March 31, 2008

Did you come on car today?

Did you come to office on your car today?
Did you come alone?

If you have answered YES for the above you might also answer YES for my next question.

Did you curse the traffic?

If YES, then curse yourself for causing that.

Naah.. you won't agree with me. Won't you?
They say pictures speak louder than words.. So, I will explain it to you through pictures.
These are from an advertising campaign in the city of Munster, Germany which has a very high percentage of bicycle commuters.
The campaign compared road space required to transport 72 people.

1) What happens when all these people use bicycles to commute?

Road space = 90 sq.m

2) Now what if they take a bus instead?

Road space = 30 sq.m.
Plus, no parking space required. The bus will go back to the bus depot.

Pretty neat haan...

3) Now let all of them have the luxury of a car as you have.

With 1.2 person per car on an avg, 72 people in 60 cars.
Space required = 1000 sq.m.

So, you know whom to curse in tomorrows traffic jam.
Have a safe drive.
[Now don't run your SUV on my bicycle ;) ]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Watch out...

Was about to leave office... and I just stumbled on this.

A very good video to create awareness about cyclists on road. This was produced as a part of Cycle Safety Campaign by Transport For London [TFL].
Watch it...

Original video site :

The clip tries to educate the motorists and cyclists about "Inattentional blindness" - a word coined by Arien Mack and Irvin Rock in 1992. It is based on the experiments of renowned psychologist Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabri to demonstrate Inattentional blindness.

[Watch the video before reading further]
Inattentional Blindness is defined as - failure to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object because attention was engaged on another task, event, or object.
In the experiments carried out by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabri nearly 50% of the subjects did not report seeing the Gorilla [In some cases a women carrying an umbrella]. This demonstrates that there is a difference between what is there in our visual field and what we perceive. What we perceive depends on our attention on the objects in the scene.
I too failed to recognize the Gorilla. The initial condition [to count only passes by white team] programmed my brain to reject everything in black. I suppose I would have noticed the random object [i.e, the gorilla] if I was counting passes made by the black team :) .
Magicians [or rather Illusionists] call this misdirection. They use this to trick the audience by turning their focus on a distractive element while the he/she manipulates some other element on the stage without catching audience's attention.
This reminds of a small trick my friend Kissan showed me long ago. He held a paper in his left hand and a pen in the right. With his left side facing me he started striking the paper with the pen and instructed me to concentrate on the paper. While striking he swung the pen cutting a arc joining his right ear and the paper in left hand [ I hope you can visualize that :) ]. After 4-5 strikes he hid the pen behind the right ear but I didn't take notice for 2 more strikes!!
Now what does all this have to do with cyclist safety? I would simply say expect the unexpected on road... If you are not expecting a cyclist then you might fail to see him.

Hmm.. I started to write this blog entry to share the video clip but I ended up doing a small research on Inattentional blindness!! It is surprising how internet has changed the way of acquiring knowledge :)

For further details on Inattentional Blindness you can check:

- The Wikipedia article on Inattentional Blindness >>here
- The Scholarpedia article on Inattentional Blindness >>here
- The book Inattentional Blindness - By Arien Mack, Irvin Rock

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Women's Day

As a loving mother,
As a caring sister,
As a teacher,
As a friend for lifetime,

You were always there for me in every step of my life.

Woman - I salute you today.
Happy women's day.

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Woman- by
frNZi is licensed under a
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