The Sighted, The Evil, A Good Film, And Traffic Signals

Yesterday, it became clear to me that the people who wait for the bus at the stop outside the Canadian National Institute for the Blind are developmentally challenged individuals. No, I am not cruelly referring to blind people waiting for the bus. These are sighted university students, and it is generally this same group waiting at this stop most mornings. There is a blind man who takes this bus every day, and he works at the CNIB. Every morning he descends the steps of the bus with his red and white cane held out in front of him, and every morning these same people just stand around directly in front of him looking uncomfortable, as though they don’t know what to do with themselves. I know what they should do – step aside. Let the man, who cannot see you, pass. It’s like they can’t tell where he’s going, but it’s obvious that he is going to the CNIB and will need to get to the path directly behind them that has the handy railing to lead him to the building. I think I’m going to create a tidy, little pamphlet entitled “How to Step Aside Out of a Blind Person’s Path,” and I’m going to go down to that bus stop early one of these mornings and hand it out. It will have instructions on how to identify a path tailored to the unique needs of the blind, and it will outline the protocol to follow when you find yourself standing dumbly in the middle of this path and a blind person is approaching you. Do not stand there, silently staring at his sunglasses, with that frozen look of an animal in headlights. Do not be that last silly girl who can never decide which way to go, right or left, and so is yet again left stuck in the middle of this man’s path, wondering what she’s gonna do now. For god’s sake, MOVE ASIDE.

Okay, now that that ranting is over with, on to how evil the Fiery One is (aka “The Palinode”). I was happily starting up my own little blog, figuring out HTML, all pleased with myself, and really enjoying that no one I knew was aware of this thing. I kind of liked the secretness of it all, because I would never have to worry about a thing I wrote. It felt like mischief. But the Fiery One thought he was all smart, linking to me on his site, and now I’ve been outted. I will live, I suppose, but his evil deeds will not soon be forgotten.

And speaking of the Fiery One, he has excellent taste in movies. Our local library has a good collection of DVDs, and he came home with a humdinger the other night - “Sunset Boulevard" – from 1950. I do recommend this film as a must-see. It is a fabulous mix of comedy and film noir. Also, because I always seem to notice the inconsequential background stuff, I loved it for the semaphore traffic signals at intersections. You only get to see them a couple of times, but they were delicious. As a result, I ended up googling traffic signals and lights, and there is whole webring devoted to them.

I'm not sure if this serves as footage for the development of a video game, or if it is considered a dramatic performance, but it's a good watch.

Take a look at this very strange monument in a strangely named town.

Traffic Signal Facts and Links:
* This is for those deeply moved by traffic cone preservation.
* I had not realized the aesthetic appeal of gas stations before, but some of these are truly magnificent.
* Even polypeptides need directions.
* Electrically powered incandescent traffic lights can cost $4, 450 US a year to operate because of the amount of energy they consume. LED traffic signals are proving more practical with energy savings of approximately 89%.
*A new traffic signal can cost anywhere from $70,000 to over $100,000 US, depending on the intersection. The components in the cabinet alone can cost from $8,000 to $10,000.
* There are more than 160, 000 traffic signals in the U.S. This number actually seems small to me, but we’ll go with it.
* Garret Augustus Morgan was the first to patent the traffic signal in the 1920s.
* The world's first electric traffic light signal was installed 75 years ago in Cleveland, Ohio at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street.