Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
A project of the PRT NewsCenter

Monday, July 31, 2006

Maybe one of them wears glasses

I haven't seen the new "Superman Returns" movie yet, but that doesn't mean I haven't been watching a mild-mannered nerdy guy masquerading as a crusader.

I refer of course to the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist, who has recently revived his blog Minneapolis Confidential. Ken Avidor is listed as Mpls Con's author, but for some reason his posts are signed by a "Ned Luddington."

Which is very interesting, because for a long time Ken Avidor & Co. have carried on as though he and Luddington are different people:

1. Eva Young of Lloydletta Nooz:

"Ned Luddington disagrees... I appreciate Ned's kind words though." *
It may not have been evident at the time to Young that
Avidor was "Luddington," but when she brought him aboard
LLN as a contributor, one would think she had to know then.

2. Avidor thanking himself in the third person:
"Thanks to Ned Luddington for much of this information."
3. "Ned" referring to Avidor:

a. "Ken Avidor's got it on his new blog"

b. "Ned Luddington said... This message from Avidor"

There are also examples of forums where "Ned" refers people to Road Kill Bill-related pages as if he's an interested third party. There's also one forum where I, Mr_Grant, debated Luddington--and he refers to his own online material as though he didn't write it:
"Ned Luddington[:] A Google search turned up these skeptical links: http://www.roadkillbill.com/PRTisaJoke.html..."
Oh! says the creator of PRT is a Joke, I would never have known PRT is a Joke existed if not for Google!  Online "callsigns" are one thing; using them to pose as another person are something else entirely.

So why the need for Ken Avidor to immerse himself in a super-secret identity? It couldn't be to inflate the number of PRT "critics" posting online, now would it? Advice for Ken: Careful how you slide down the Batsh*t-Pole to the Batsh*t-Cave; don't want to start a super-suit fire due to Lycra Spandex friction. 

UPDATE (Aug. 11, 2006)
Ken Avidor has changed how he is listed in Minneapolis Confidential's Contributors list (top of the sidebar). He's "Ned Luddington" again.

UPDATE (Feb. 7, 2007): Complete hypocrisy. He attacks a blogger for posting under two identities (and he doesn't really deny it when called on it by A.T.E.)

Some of the ideas embodied in Ken Avidor go back even to the last century

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Danger! Danger, Will Rovidorson!

Of all the automated thingies about Personal Rapid Transit that the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist is afraid of, why does he single out robots for special mention?

"By far the silliest thing on the Skytran [PRT] website is the guideway-extruding robot." Source
Turns out, it's a case of self-loathing, because it turns out he IS a robot. It's on Google, so it must be true.

According to this page (scroll to bottom), he's a "small track" agricultural robot that has been displayed at the European Wine Industry Show, as well as other expositions. Among his many features are "WeedSeeker" sensors on his front-mounted boom--which should make the lady robots happy. What a robo-stud!

Update: the Return of the Robot Talking Point (8/9/2007)

Domo arigato, Mr. Ken Avidor

Friday, July 28, 2006

I think he forgot something

The Minnehaha anti-PRT propagandist (who gets annoyed when his name isn't mentioned; so I don't) is back.

Today he divulges someone's private e-mail message, makes some off-base generalizations, tries to throw a snark grenade at PRT supporters, and then asks his readers a couple of questions. But how are they going to answer? HELLO!? Has he already forgotten that he blocked reader comments?

Oh right: Kennehaha is talking to himself.

P.S. for readers: Mr. K. Ovispore scorns Morrie Anderson's assertion that PRT and light rail are complementary. He writes, "Morrie Anderson isn't going to score any points with the hardline PRTistas unless he says LRT is a "19th Century technology" or the tool of Satan or something like that.[*]" Well, if Ovispore doesn't know Anderson's view is the mainstream of PRT thinking, he's once again revealing his poor research abilities. The planned Pleasanton, CA PRT network will interface with BART; SoundPRT promotes three PRT scenarios, including rail station feeder service; the Swedish railway administration is planning PRT specifically for getting people to and from train stations; a fully-developed Heathrow PRT will interface with rail service there; the Korean Railroad Research Institute's PRT program is literally called "Alongside Rail."

* Actually, it's 18th century technology, but what's a hundred years. Anything after the good ship Mayflower is High Tech to The Luddington.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Untruth in labeling

If a blog is called Dump Mark Olson, one would expect it would be about dumping Rep. Mark Olson (R-Big Lake). But have you noticed that the Dump Mark Olson blog spends more time smearing Personal Rapid Transit and its supporters than it smears Olson?

In recent weeks, Olson has been the main subject in only a small handful of posts. Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist Ken Avidor has been spending the bulk of his time bashing proposed PRT advanced transit technology instead. Most of the PRT supporters being smeared don't even live in Minnesota, let alone in Olson's District 16-B.

"PRT Is a Joke" is a Joke! supports replacing Olson with a liberal, of course; we support Democratic victories everywhere, even those who don't support PRT (this country has too many bigger fish to fry to focus on one narrow issue, like !!!!!! does)! But the Dump Mark Olson smear-blog isn't really part of the effort to help make sure the Dumping happens. Mr. !!!!!! only cares about his imaginary "PRT scam," he has dropped substantive discussion of any important issues that 16-B voters care about.

If I were 16-B candidate Jim Huhtala (DFL-Clear Lake), I would send !!! a strongly-worded letter.

Nattering Ken Avidor of negativism

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

He's hiding from his readers

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has explained his recent move to block comments at the Dump Mark Olson smear-blog this way:

"Due to constant posting of nonsense by full-time PRTista A.T.E., comments will no longer be permitted on this blog.

When A.T.E's parents pull the plug on his computer and encourage him to find a new hobby, I'll allow comments again." Source

It's just so disingenuous! Think about it: How will he know when A Transportation Enthusiast's parents pull the plug? Does he expect A.T.E. (or Mr. & Mrs. E.) is going to send him a friendly message?

No, neither do I.

What's really happening is that Avidor is using this as an excuse so that he never again has to read what others think about his little propaganda war. He can't bear other viewpoints; he can't stand being challenged; he can't even cope with satire's "heat."

Therefore the "cook" has gotten out of the "kitchen," and he's blaming the "diners."


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Talking Point Compost

Ken the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has turned his composting barrel of steamy, decaying disinformation, stuck in his shovel, and scooped out yet another retread. This time it's a return to the "Citizens For PRT violated IRS nonprofit regulations by campaigning for political candidates" talking point.

This time he's posting at Lloydletta, sibling cyber-fishwrap to the Dump Mark Olson blog. What's the PRT reflex hammer that's tapped him on the knee today? It seems CPRT has posted a disclaimer about what it is allowed and not allowed to do as a nonprofit organization. It reads in part:

CPRT is absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to all campaigns or fund raising activities including campaigns at the federal, state and local level. More
Now what does the appearance of this message mean? Before you answer, try Googling "The prohibition applies to all campaigns or fundraising activities." Then let me know whether you think CPRT's statement is anything other than standard nonprofit-boilerplate language. You can let me know, because (unlike Dump Mark Olson) this here blog allows visitors to post comments! Then, after you've thought "what a deceptive, slimy thing of Kerl Rovidor to do, making you think it's some kind of admission of guilt", why not step into the "PRT Is a Joke" is a Joke! wayback machine and read our original post on this topic (H&R Blockhead, 9/6/05):
While IRS regs are strict, CPRT has not violated them. Ken's claim—that CPRT asked supporters to work for or help Zimmerman, Neumann and Bicking—is a fabrication. CPRT also did not contribute funds to the candidates, nor urge funds be donated to them, nor state CPRT's position toward their candidacies... More
Finally, ask yourself: "hey, with all the people such as HHS Sec. Mike Leavitt taking millions of dollars in tax breaks based on only token charitable donations, who would take the time to pester the IRS into looking at a tiny organization that hardly raises any money at all?"

Yeah. Who would do such a thing?

Related article: "See How He Ignores Context" (7/12/05)

Spread a layer of Ken Avidor over your garden each spring for champion tomatoes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Codename: FANBOY

So who is this essay-writer "hause011," doing all he can [1, 2, 3] to promote the false "Denver automated baggage system is PRT" talking point (Rubber Glove Time, 7/22)?

A transit specialist? An unbiased researcher? A neutral observer? Nope! He's a fan of Avidor's "artwork," and they go way back: here.

And here.
And here.
And even here ("gets runned over"! Dialect humor! HA!).

And he's long been featured on !!!'s "critics page," first smearing PRT proponents as "transit haters," then veering way, way far off on a tangent about a failed fare-zone system for buses, as though it had something to do with PRT. Just bizarre--but par for the course, coming from !!! and his small platoon of anti-PRT yes-persons.


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Rubber Glove Time

Oh look: Kiln Ovendoor, the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist, has his hand up some new puppet's ass. (And now he thinks he can bloviate and link unchallenged by factcheckers such as "PRT Is a Joke is a Joke," since he has disabled external comments. Only the unhinged anti-PRT party line is allowed at the Dump Mark Olson blog!)

The new marionette in question offers up an expansion on the "the Denver airport baggage system is PRT" talking point, as well as the usual baseless accusations of an anti-transit conspiracy. A new wrinkle: adopting the Neocon mislabeling strategy (e.g., "Democrat Party," "socialized medicine," Swiftboating, etc.), the baggage system is repeatedly called "Denver PRT" or "Denver Airport PRT."

Of course, the failed Denver baggage system is not PRT: the technology is not the same; the implementation is not the same; the companies involved are not the same.* Mislabeling PRT as a baggage system and repeating the lie over and over (shades of George W. Bush's "catapult the propaganda") doesn't make it true.

PRT and the Denver baggage system are only the same in the minds of the anti-PRT luddites. Far from being anti-transit, the T in PRT stands for transit.

They are right about one thing. PRT is a distraction--but in the sense that it gives the light rail crowd a convenient target to scream at, rather than giving up the pretense that LRT can 'do it all.' They're not interested in finding new strategies, such as complementary transit modes like PRT, that can help make urban transit systems more effective.


Friday, July 21, 2006

It had to be done

Plus, he's practically been begging for it!

ken avidor

Look at those little (fill in blank). "Downright dorky."


Thursday, July 20, 2006

See him snap!

The Minnesota anti-PRT activist has snapped (!) and deleted the tests I performed for today's experiment at Dump Mark Olson! I'm banned!

Good thing I saved the results for lovers of the scientific method to enjoy.

My hypothesis, which I'll share with you now, was that Ken Avidor (aka Kenwood, aka Kiln Ovendoor, aka Kon Aviplot, etc.) has no sense of humor. We also see that he cannot even look at anything that challenges the narrow, anti-technology world view he has constructed for himself.

All in all, a successful day. I shall look forward to presenting my findings to the "PRT Is a Joke is a Joke" Satire Science Committee on Friday.

We'll also be discussing fluid dynamics of tequila-based mixtures.

Future experiments on
Avidor will have to be indirect. Alas...

Psych! We're still going to have a great time! There's plenty of Funny in the future, because Kiln Ovendoor is a neverending supply of material!

More Funny from recent experiments posted here!

See How They Distort
Ken Avidor requires dense penetration of neighborhoods and commercial areas

See Him Bash Comedy Gold

Here is today's comment thread from Ken Avidor's Dump Mark Olson post about Taxi 2000's landlord. I have reconstructed the Comedy Gold posts that he deleted.

A Transportation Enthusiast said...

Not only that, I heard that JE Anderson's neice's [sic] best friend has a half brother who patronizes a certain accountant -- and that accountant just happens to have a client who donated $50 to Bachmann!

Coincidence? I think not!

Mr_Grant said...

Why are you supporting Bachmann?

When you, Kenwood Ovendoor, put money in your bank, do you think it just sits there? It does not! The bank loans it out. Thousands of loans. Some of them donate to Bachmann! You're supporting people who support Bachmann!!!

Hope this helps!

Mr_Grant said...

Oh, and Kent? A gentle reminder: spellcheck! Nothing kills a headline faster than a typo.

Hope this helps!

Mr_Grant said...

Pure Polymers LLC is located in a Steiner-managed property at 7966 Century Blvd in Chanhassen, MN. What's their connection?

Hope this helps!

Mr_Grant said...

The Dance Warehouse Dance Studio is located in the same complex as Pure Polymers! How are they connected to the PRT scam? How do Michele Bachmann, Mark Olson, Ed Anderson and Jeral Poskey plan to use various forms of dance to promote PRT?

Hope this helps!

Mr_Grant said...

Imagewerks is a computer-visualization firm located at 1600 Gervais Avenue in Maplewood, MN, a Steiner Development property. What's their connection to the PRT scam? Is Imagewerks creating simulations of Taxi 2000's test facility? Are they computer-generating Michele Bachmann's quasi-Mary Tyler Moore hairstyle??? Are they computer-generating Bachmann herself???

Hope this helps!

Avidor said...

Mr. Gow, Please don't put the names of businesses that have nothing to do with the post in this comment section.

I will remove your posts if you do that again.

Mr_Grant said...

Kiln, the point of my comedic premise was that those businesses have as much to do with Taxi 2000 as Steiner has to do with Taxi 2000. Using your logic, you should remove your own post!

Hope this helps!

Avidor said...

i appreciate you wanting to "help", Mr. Gow.

Can you tell me what happened with this PRT project?

A Transportation Enthusiast said...
Ken, why are you deleting comments? Don't you have a sense of humor?

Mr_Grant said...

Yes, I can. But that's for me to know and you to obsess over. Do your own research!

Hope this didn't help!

Avidor said...

Haven't heard much from Ed Anderson lately.

Who muzzled the wacky professor?

Mr_Grant said...

Hey A.T.E., Kenwood is desperately trying to change the subject! Guess that about wraps things up for this talking point!

Mr_Grant said...

Yay! You fixed the typo in the headline!

Glad I could help!

Avidor said...

Comments from A.T.E and David Gow will be removed from now on.

A Transportation Enthusiast said...

Ha! Well,
Ken, let me tell you something: you just made my week! Please, please, delete this one so I can enjoy this weekend too! This is just too much fun! :-D

Just another example of you being able to dish it out, over and over again - calling what you do "satire" when it's little more than juvenile attack politics - but you can't take it! Here, someone turns the tables on you, giving you and your blog the satirical treatment, and you come along and censor the whole thread! Hilarious!

It's just so refreshing to see someone reveal their hypocrisy so blatantly. Thank you,
Ken. :-D

A Transportation Enthusiast said...

So I guess the delete button is out in full force, eh? I must say, I'm not surprised at all -- just more evidence that
Ken Avidor does not tolerate dissenting opinion. You're either with him or against him! It's his way or the highway - literally, since anyone who doesn't agree with him is labelled a shill for the highway industry.

And he obviously does not enjoy his opinions being lampooned. It's much easier for him to delete than refute -- especially when there's no basis on which to refute. Next thing you know,
Ken will be holding a Fahrenheit 451-style PRT book-burning party... easier to destroy than refute.

Now let's see how long it takes for him to delete this comment. :-D

By deleting these comments, not only is he censoring, he is also bashing comedy! Why does he hate comedy? Why does he hate America? Comedy-basher!

Update: More Funny here!

And Miss Universe 2006 is... Ken Avidor!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

BUTT of course!

Hey people, I think I figured it out! The problem with Ken Avidor, the Minnesota anti-PRT activist.

I didn't see it before, because I've never SEEN him before. But recently someone sent me a URL to a good photo of Avidor, and there it was. "No wonder," I thought, "that he doesn't understand PRT, can't figure out a diagram of a linear induction motor, or design an attractive web page."

It's so obvious, now that I've seen him. He's been going through life with only one eye open:


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Perfect, except for...

MorePerfect.org (as in "a more perfect union") is a new, Wiki-based venue for getting people involved in thinking and writing about civic affairs, whether in their community, city, region, state, or at the national level.

A new article has popped up on MP. It's titled "Personal Rapid Transit," but the sub header is "Personal Rapid Transit is still a techno dream." Now who do you suppose wrote that? And not for the first time.

Now why would he do that, take the provocative step of going to a new citizenship-promoting website and post his retread propaganda? Do you suppose it might have anything to do with the fact that some of the people who have posted on MorePerfect happen to also be supporters of PRT? And what have they been writing about, if not PRT? The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Hold on a sec! The Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, is what allows the free discussion of PRT in the first place! Guess that means the Bill of Rights is part of the Minnesota anti-PRT activist's shadowy anti-transit cabal: the auto industry, the highway lobby, Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater, MN)--and the Bill of Rights.

I can't wait to read Avidor's new blog, "Dump The Bill of Rights".

MP has seen fit to delete Ken's offending "article."


Crikey! (Reach out and touch someone)

"European researchers have conducted extensive analysis of PRT and see substantial benefits, calling urgently for a pilot project.

Ken Avidor, closed to such views, told me on the phone "Fuck you" and hung up." Source

Here is Larry Fabian's account of his Crocodile Hunter-like encounter with the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist:
"My attempt to email the recent EU report on PRT to Avidor failed. I rechecked his website and saw that I had entered it as listed. So I googled him and found a phone number and called. I don't recall what time it was. To some people dinner time is 5pm. To others, it's 8. His website and the style of his cartoons don't give one the impression that he runs a 9-5 shop.

I simply asked for Ken Avidor (although somewhere I saw that he has used Ken Weiner as well...). He answered, "Speaking." I explained very politely that I'd tried to email him a European report on PRT. His initial reaction was something like "Don't bother." He asked who I was and I gave my name. He immediately associated me with ATRA and started about how "you guys" had tried to derail the Minn. LRT. I recalled that ATRA had never a position on that, but he went on that Mark Olson had read something by ATRA to the state legislature -- a sign of rather unclear thinking, I believe.

When I again brought up the EU report, he remarked that you guys "buy" these reports -- oh! if only "us guys" had such deep pockets, half as deep as the LRT crowd would be appreciated! Pointing out that planning and research stand on higher ground in Europe -- had he heard of that place? -- he blurted out "Fuck you!" and hung up."

Previously: Black & white and red-in-the-face all over (9/7/05)
Update: he wonders why SkyTran won't talk to him: 1, 2 !

Ken Avidor is steel box frames... kind of resistant to bending

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Coming Soon to: The History Channel--

"Graffiti Murals of Ancient Rome"!

Voice Over:

Think tagging is a modern urban phenomenon? Well think again!

Smart Person:

It turns out that even in ancient Rome, there were artists and political rabblerousers writing their thoughts on walls, usually in the dead of night.


A time when new ideas brought strange reactions!

Smart Person:

Look at this reconstructed pillar. The Latin graffiti is signed "Exclamatorum Asteriskus Maximus, the Aqueduct Skeptic." It reads: "Aqueducts are a joke! They are rivers in the air--impossible! It is naught but Pie In The Sky!"

And this: "The people of Rome want to get their water in ditches in the ground! Ditches are PROVEN technology from before the Etruscans! Support ditchdiggers and say no to aqueducts!"

Or this: "It will leak! Don't get dripped on by the rivers in the air!"

And finally this beautiful mural from a public bath newly unearthed in southern France: the motto reads "Stop Julius Caesar and the Bogus Aqueduct Scam," and it's next to a drawing of Caesar's wife's head on an aqueduct.


Don't miss: "Graffiti Murals of Ancient Rome." Friday at 8, 7 Central, an exclusive presentation of--the History Channel!

Veni, vidi, Ken Avidor

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mock Journalist

Regular readers of "PRT Is a Joke Is a Joke" and gPRT's See How They Distort Library are well acquainted with Avidor's record, in terms of his accuracy. He hits his target about as well as Dick Cheney on a quail hunt.

Some readers may be aware that for the last few months Ken has been on the masthead of a certain Minnesota news-site that focuses on local affairs. Mr. Avidor the anti-PRT activist is listed as Transportation Editor.

(We will continue this post as soon as everyone in cyberspace stops laughing.)

In May he posted a story about Personal Rapid Transit, tagged "Special." Which gives one pause: how can an article be a "Special" if it recapitulates inaccurate, disproven, irrelevant and moot things he's been repeating for the last 3 years?

Maybe he means "special" as in "well isn't that special," or "a very special episode of".

And if, as he asserts, PRT has had repeated setbacks over the years, why is THIS year the end of the era? Why not years ago? Why not last year? Oh wait, it was.

Anywho— turning to his latest thrust- er, stab at non-PRT journalism (another "Special"), "Shortage of parking at the Midtown Exchange disappoints bicyclists" (7/5)—what the heck kind of reportage is that supposed to be? It reads like a letter TO an editor, not a story BY an "editor." Content-wise it fails to do what journalists do—ask basic questions:

  • "On new projects, such as the new downtown library, only a bare minimum of racks are being installed." How many is that, under the building code? Which other projects?

  • [photo]"Bicyclist struggles to find a place to park her bike." What's her name? Where is she from? Is she "disappointed"? (Did she sign a release? Where's her helmet?)

  • "We expected to be able to park our bikes on the Greenway and walk easily to the Midtown Exchange." What led them to expect this?

  • "We were shocked to find that there was only a single bike hitch. There were dozens of bicycles locked to trees, railings and to one another." Why is the use of railings and trees unacceptable? Those have been longstanding resources for cyclists. Who were the people with bikes locked together? Were they traveling together? So what did it matter?

  • "We asked a representative of the developer why there was such a disregard for the needs of bicyclists and he said it was the city's responsibility to provide bicycle parking" Confrontational! Excellent interviewing technique. Did he ID himself as an official news "editor"? What was the name of the representative? Is it really the city's responsibility? What does the municipal code say?

  • "Many bicyclists have complained about the lack of parking" How many? To whom did they complain? What were some of their names and stories?

  • "Midtown Greenway Coalition is doing its best to encourage the city to install adequate bike parking on the Greenway." Who at the Coalition said this? What form of encouragement? Why then the confrontational tone with the developer's rep? Why not confront the city? Did he call the city for comment? Why not confront the Coalition—has it been encouraging ENOUGH?

  • Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Still good questions to ask, by anyone aspiring to do good reporting. Like this, for example.

    Also today: "Moron Mail"
    Don't Miss: his Four-Letter Reply (see third comment, 4:44 pm)
    Plus: And do not disturb at feeding time (4th comment, 8:10 am)

    No Ken Avidor can be built or operated without subsidy

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Have Video, Will Distort

    My my, Mr. Avidor (the Minnesota anti-PRT activist who doesn't like it when his name isn't mentioned, so I don't [. Exactly]) has been busy. And now he has a video camera!

    His latest best-est post (complete with blurry YouTube video) calls out Green Party senate candidate Michael Cavlan, who only wants probing questions asked about such things as the 9/11 Commission report and the death of Sen. Paul Wellstone. Oh, and he supports PRT:

    I asked him if he is wiling to help me expose the PRT hoax that Dean Zimmermann, Michele Bachmann, Ray Vandeveer and Mark Olson have used as a stalking horse to stop LRT and commuter rail in Minnesota with the assistance of a highway industry [sic]. Cavlan asked me for proof. Here it is.... [ellipses in original] E-mails from the affidavits of the Taxi 2000 lawsuit Source

    Talking Point Alert! All Cavlan needs to knock that one down is to go to "See His Answers Become Nonresponsive," at the See How They Distort Library. (BTW, by "a highway industry" he means SEH, the firm Short Elliott Hendrickson. This axis of evil also designs public buildings, houses of worship and transit facilities (among many other things), and actually gives more campaign donations to Democrats (Are you exsmearienced?, 12/1/05).)

    It looks like Kenny-Boy is satisfied with the 9/11 Commission and Wellstone findings. Well he's the only liberal who is. Of real liberals, at any rate. Of course, Ken will believe you're a liberal if you just pose with a train (I'll take three wallet-sized, 6/20).


    Update (7/10): Reader "A" from Minnesota notes via e-mail that Cavlan is—
    "...the only anti-war candidate. He also took part in the Ohio recount for the 2004 stolen election."
    If he opposes the anti-war candidate, anti-PRT activist Ken Avidor must be pro-war, right? Not to mention in favor of Resmuglican election theft. —Ed.

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Editor's Note: Apologies

    It was with great regret that I learned today that !!! !!!!!!, the Minnesota anti-PRT activist who doesn't like it when his name isn't mentioned (so I don't), also doesn't like it when asterisks are used instead of his name.

    I am deeply and sincerely sorry for this. As a progressive-thinking person who believes in the fundamental goodness of all human beings other than war criminals, Neoconservatives and advertising executives, I regret causing the gentleman in question even a moment of hurt or embarassment.

    I hereby resolve to take the following corrective action. I will no longer spell his name with asterisks. Asterisks, after all, are used for footnotes, and I can see how that could be misinterpreted as demeaning. Instead, I will start using the exclamation point. Not only is the "!" more positive, it has the added advantage of being more in keeping with his loud, insistent and repetitive nature.

    And so I say to Mr. !!!!!!—sorry man, no hard feelings, OK?

    I also regret that Mr. !!!!!! found a recent copyrighted article at gPRT (Ed Anderson's new project, 7/2) to be too difficult to understand. I quote:

    "Here comes some more techno-mumbo-jumbo"

    Again, I am so, so sorry. It is never my intention to write over the heads of my readership. My only defense is that Debunking is hard work, and Comedy-Debunking doubley so.

    Here is my offer— !!!, from now on any time you come across one of my pieces that is too hard for you to understand, send me an email about it. I will be happy to prepare for you a special easier-to-understand transcript! Wouldn't that be great? For example, here is an excerpt from the Anderson article, accompa- with an !!!!!!-friendly version:

    Anderson described his test track as a 409 x 632-foot oval with 2100 feet of elevated guideway, one large curve, two small curves, and a siding with station/maintenance building. Vehicles will test at speeds up to 35 mph in the large curve and deceleration to 20 mph in the small curves.Anderson said his test track would be a big Tic-Tac shape! It will be up on stilts, with two small bendy parts and one large bendy part. A special house will be where people can get on and off the PRT cars, and where smart people can fix things. In the big bendy part the PRT cars will be able to go a lot faster than you can run, and almost that fast in the small bendy parts!

    That's all for now— and Thanks, !!!, for the links!

    Another problem facing Ken Avidor is what might be called "system droppings"

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Reductio * absurdum

    Local Man Denounces Pedestrian Footbridges

    A self-styled walking and biking advocate spoke out today against construction of Bike/Pedestrian Bridges anywhere in the Universe.

    The man, a Minneapolis resident who said he didn't like it when media failed to publish his name, said he preferred crosswalks.

    "These overpasses are pie in the sky, whereas crosswalks are proven," he said. "Overpass proponents try to make them sound like a good thing by calling them footbridges!!! But really they are just bashing crosswalks!!! Overpasses are nothing more than gadget-crossings, people want their feet firmly on the ground with everyone else--if only because it's symbolically egalitarian!!! If lifeforms want to cross the street safely, we should wave in a friendly manner and ask motorists to yield!!! They are, after all, our friends, neighbors and fellow-citizens!!!"

    "Building overpasses would be a mistake," he continued. "Rain and snow will drip off them onto people below, and people walking across will be able to see into bedroom windows!!! It's nothing more than a stalking horse for the pro-drip, cheap-thrills industry!!!"

    Asked if he was aware that people have curtains on their windows, he fumed that footbridges are safety nightmares. "Drunks will throw up on them, and young people will use them as places to drink, or have sex!!! And are we going to call out the hook-and-ladder every time someone gets stuck up there?"

    He also raised an aesthetic and environmental concern. "Just ask people if they want the trees on their street cut down for overpasses!!!"

    The man said he would soon be releasing a definitive 'overpass report,' including illustrations showing what a footbridge would look like with the head of Sen. Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater) Photoshopped onto it.

    Like a bridge over troubled Ken Avidor