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

Friday, May 30, 2008

The CPRT also can't say where Osama is (transcript)

Transcript of video

Caption - "CPRT at the Living Green Expo; St. Paul, Minnesota 2008"

Interviewer: In the lawsuit, when Taxi 2000 sued, uh, J. Edward Anderson? Uh, J. Edward Anderson said that he didn't have any patents.

Margaret Beegle: I don't know. I don't know; I know that there were patents at one point, they might have run out.

Interviewer: Do you know why Taxi 2000 sued J. Edward Anderson?

Margaret Beegle: Not really, no.

Interviewer: Did that concern you at the time? That Taxi 2000 sued J. Edward Anderson?

Margaret Beegle: Yeah. Of course.

Interviewer: Is that why he started a new company?

Margaret Beegle: [pauses] Well, I think he started that before all of that.

Interviewer: Oh, and then-

Margaret Beegle: [inaudible]

Interviewer: -and then they sued him.

Margaret Beegle: I think so.

Interviewer: Are you a patent attorney or intellectual property lawyer?

Margaret Beegle: No.

Interviewer: You're not?

Margaret Beegle: No.

Interviewer: No corporate law experience of any kind?

Margaret Beegle: Nope. Sorry.

Interviewer: [pauses] Neither do I. One last question: Where is Osama Bin Laden?

Margaret Beegle: I don't know.

Interviewer: You don't know? Or you won't say?

Margaret Beegle: I don't know; I know that he was in Pakistan at one point, he might have gone somewhere else.

Interviewer: OK. Thank you, that's all I wanted to know.

Margaret Beegle: Wait -- is that a weasel with a camera on its head?

Interviewer: I said, that's all I wanted to know.

Margaret Beegle: What's its name?

Interviewer: Cut.

Transcription: gPRT

We can't wait for the proof that could come in the form of the mushroom-shaped head of Ken Avidor

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dave Pelton gets Greenhouse Gas on my Chocolate

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist apparently thinks a scientifically-validated concept becomes invalid if a Resmuglican seems to support it.

Yes, even though Personal Rapid Transit has been vetted by the likes of the European Union, Foster+Partners, the World Wildlife Fund, and engineering firms involved in the zero-carbon Masdar City project, one cartoonist thinks that the indirect involvement of one little Resmuglican, Dave Pelton (who?), proves PRT is "a flim-flam."

"Flim-flam," even though a PRT is being built at Heathrow, even though another one is likely about to be safety-certified by Sweden, and even though a successful demonstration of PRT principles has been safely operating at West Virginia University for over 30 years.

Of course, Kiln Ovendoor's argument about PRT and Pelton (again -- who?) seems so liberal, so progressive, all dressed up in Daily Kos's orange livery and with a photo of Pelton with Sleepy Thompson.

It's the same old cooties fallacy -- we hate X. X favors Y. Therefore we must hate Y. Such an argument is a false construction; to return to a previous analogy, it's like saying environmentalism is fascist because Hitler liked animals.

Let's turn it around. Ahem: oh, Kenwood? I've been seeing print and TV ads of strange political bedfellows actually agreeing something must be done about climate change. Someone has appealed to certain Resmuglicans to get their cooties on the anti-global warming movement.

This person has induced Al Sharpton to sit down with Pat Robertson; Nancy Pelosi to associate with Newt Gingrich.

Who has perpetrated these acts of environmental bipartisanship? Al Gore.

Come on, Labridor! Where is your attack on Gore? You know, I heard Gore has a big inefficient house! And he flies places -- in an airplane. Yeah, Kenmore -- when are you going to give the real 43rd President the Dave Pelton Treatment?

* * *

By the way -- congratulations to Daily Kos, the new home base for the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's hilarious anti-innovation smear campaign.

Ken Avidor is an inconvenient falsehood

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The brightly colored non-fine print

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist is hard at work on Daily Kos again, spewing out another long-winded chain of suspicion ("carbon credit flim-flam"!), old talking points (robots!), Resmuglican cooties (Dave Pelton -- who?), and guilt by association (Sleepy Thompson!).

The smoking gun for him is a Resmuglican enviromintylist's project web page (Pelton's -- again, who?) that displays SkyTran PRT. It's "one of Carbon Angel's projects," Ovendoor says in his opening paragraph.

But you can stop reading his post at that point, because the rest of it is undercut by one, simple basic mistake he's made: at the top of that Carbon Angel page is displayed -- in large, friendly letters -- the words "Projects Under Review." It would appear, therefore, that SkyTran is not a Carbon Angel project; it is a CANDIDATE to become a project.

Maybe Kenmore can use Google Maps to prove the selection was/has/will be made already/in the future.

Ken Avidor is sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch

Monday, May 19, 2008

What does it really want?

For years now this thing, this Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist, has been spreading its clumsy, obviously false claims, rumors and smears about advanced transit technology and the people who support it.

The image portrayed is anti-car -- and by association the crusade is progressive and environmental. Personal Rapid Transit is, it repeats with great conviction but zero evidence, is a pro-car stalking horse.

But the crusade contains some contradictions pointing to some interesting clues about how thin that anti-car image really is. Go back a few years and you'll find a cartoon chiding NPR's Car Talk -- even though one of the hosts doesn't even own a car.

Every instance where it huffs its way around an auto exhibition like an imam at a fashion show is canceled out by something else -- support for pro-highway, pro-gun, anti-choice, anti-marriage-equality 'Democrat' Elwyn Tinklenberg, for example.

It trumpets the Northstar Sierra Club resolution against PRT funding, but calls the World Wildlife Fund-advised Masdar City with its planned PRT network "just a lot of hype."

Which raises another contradiction. The plan is to ban cars inside Masdar City, with buildings separated by 10 foot wide pedestrian streets. There will only be intercity light rail, internal PRT, and encouragement of bicycles and walking.

In other words, Masdar effectively makes all motorized passenger transportation PUBLIC. You would think the propagandist would be all for it. Ask yourself why it's not.

Ken Avidor puts the dor in dork

Monday, May 12, 2008

Context Patrol: How much is "trillions"?

Today we return to a subject raised last week. To wit, the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist's claim:

At the time we pointed out Ken Avidor's claim is rendered absurd by the fact that the entire American economy alone has a value of $10 to 11 trillion. But what degree of absurd? Super absurd? Or mega-über-duper absurd? PRT Is a Joke is a Joke has to nail it down, because that's just how we roll.

Last weekend Public Radio International's This American Life ran a report on the current credit crisis, making much of the fact that the entire pool of money in all the world has a value of $70 trillion. So when Avidor says a Twin Cities PRT network would cost "trillions," how much is that in context?

"Trillions" is plural, so it means more than 1 trillion. At least 2 trillion then. Two trillion dollars is 2.8% of the entire $70 trillion global money supply; 2.8% of all the rice sold in China, everything bought by Bill Gates, all the cars sold by GM, all the songs downloaded at the iTunes Store, all the Slurpees sold by 7-11 -- everything.

Two trillion dollars, out of everything sold in the world. $2 trillion is roughly the GNP of Germany; about the cost of the Iraq war/occupation; the value of the bad mortgages lenders are writing off; the amount Americans spent on health care in 2005. Mr. Avidor expects you to believe a PRT system for one American city would cost that much. Why? The same reason as always -- because he pulls it out of his butt. That's how much he hates PRT.

Also today: Specific World Wildlife Fund support for PRT ("Skycab" thumbnail below orange ball)

Ken Avidor has a mortgaged credibility crisis

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Minneapolis man hopes for Technical Oscar

The 2009 Academy Awards are nine months away, but a Minneapolis auteur is hoping Hollywood will get on board his new cinematic innovation in a big way.

Kiln Ovendoor says his invention, the Weasel-Cam, will lend an even more heightened sense of realism to movies, an order of magnitude beyond cinema verite and today's handheld camera work, and even digital effects.

The Weasel-Cam is a professional Arriflex 435 movie camera riveted to a harness, which is then strapped to the head of a weasel. The system has been tested with long-tailed, short-tailed, and least weasels, all species native to Minnesota.

"The only extra cost is the steroids we have to give the weasel so it can hold up its little head under the weight of 20 pounds of camera, film magazine and rig," said Ovendoor.

Ovendoor, 70, says he first got the idea when a fan commented that his 2007 short subject, Censored!!! MN Historical Society Exhibit on PRT & LRT, "looked like the camera was hidden in a coat bundled up under your arm."

Says Ovendoor: "It wasn't entirely the effect I was hoping for. A bundled coat, especially in summer, looks out of place. People notice that, and I don't want my performers acting to the camera. I realized a weasel wearing a camera would be less noticeable. The rest is history."

But is the Weasel-Cam Oscar-worthy? Ovendoor is optimistic.

"I think I have a case for a nomination in a technical category. What I've done is utilized a small furry mammal in a way never before seen in moviemaking," he said, adding -- "Mammals are box office gold -- look at The Deer Hunter and Caddyshack."

Lotusland may already be noticing, based on response to Ovendoor's new feature, the science fiction fantasy Personal Rapid Transit (CPRT) Director - Zimmermann Was Framed.

Movie critic Rex Reed called the Weasel-Cam sequences in ...Framed, "like hiding a camcorder in a coat bundled up under your arm, only without anyone noticing."

And famed cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) described ...Framed as "what living in a HabiTrail must be like."

More from the Weasel-Cam (5/29):

Ken Avidor -- the Weasel Whisperer®

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

World Wide Webding a ling

The Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist has had a busy few days.

1. Head over to his Minneapolis Confidential blog (Motto: “Comments on this blog are restricted to team members”) and enjoy a new video bearing all the Labridor hallmarks:

  • Statements framed in the form of a question
  • High pitched jittery voice
  • Low-angle jittery camerawork
I think he's trying to say that the FBI would never, ever, ever, EVER frame anyone.

2. Repeating some of his same old propaganda points on Daily Kos (he's still using the air conditioning lie), and pretending the entire transit world revolves around the Twin Cities.
Notable quotables in the Comments. First up:

"...to extend [PRT] to the entire Twin Cities metro area, the cost would be in the trillions of dollars. "

“Trillions”! The U.S. Gross National Product is ‘only’ about $10-11 trillion. Maybe he meant ‘bazillions.’ Next:

"The so-called carbon-neutral city "Masdar" you've been reading about is just a lot of hype." [Don't tell World Wildlife Fund! -Ed.]

Gosh, remember the time he said "there is no PRT project at London's Heathrow airport"?

Photo: JohnPP (Flickr)
PRT guideway under the car ramps at Heathrow. Photo: JohnPP (Flickr)
Heathrow ULTra pod on guideway. Photo: Artofthestate (Flickr)

Also: One supposes Cartoonboy must be smarter than all the stupid engineers involved in Masdar -- NPR, May 5 and May 6.
Prediction: he'll call this a "puff piece"

Will he cancel his National Geographic subscription?

Pandas must be gadgetbahners!
Ken Avidor's motto: I Am Curious Yellow Journalist