In 2006 the mayor of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, passed the “Clean City Law” with the intention of curbing pollution — visual pollution included. This required the removal and ban of all (most) outdoor advertising such as that on billboards, store fronts, and transit.
Today the law is still in effect and according to a recent survey 70% of the population has found the ban beneficial to the city. According to a newdream.org article,
Unexpectedly, the removal of logos and slogans exposed previously overlooked architecture, revealing a rich urban beauty that had been long hidden.
While many great aspects of the city were revealed by this movement, some of the shantytowns that may have preferred to hide behind such large signs were exposed. The same article sited that, having these inequalities suddenly
… [brought] to light incited residents to improve conditions and begin discussing solutions. No longer could actual problems be masked by artificial solutions.
The documentary below discusses the ban and its effects. Apparently several years ago there was talk of a reversal of the ad law, but as of today it appears to still be in effect. As one of (or the only?) democratic countries with this type of legislature, hopefully the success of São Paulo’s visual pollution curb can inspire other like-minded cities to follow.
“you can’t evict an idea who’s time has come”
the bill passed today. monumental.
read about it here, in the new york times
It is now by far the largest state to grant legal recognition to same-sex weddings, and one that is home to a large, visible and politically influential gay community. Supporters of the measure described the victory in New York as especially symbolic — and poignant — because of its rich place in the history of gay rights: the movement’s foundational moment, in June 1969, was a riot against police at the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the West Village.
and for more information on gay rights & the stonewall inn with views/news/interviews/&propoganda from the 1960/70s, check out the pbs documentary Stonewall Uprising:
WGBH American Experience . Stonewall Uprising | PBS.
because amazing teachers and awesome kids are under rated.
because bureaucracy and test scores can hold people back.
because grown-ups can’t figure out how to fix the world.
a warm welcome to Mr. John Hunter, everyone
the united states of america currently operates elections with something called ‘first past the post voting’. aka Winner Takes All.
the Alternative Vote, on the other hand, is a mathematically superior process that significantly reduces the chance of ending up with a two party system. by ranking candidates, election results more closely reflect the choice of the voters, which in turn helps guard against minority rule and means no spoiler effect.
the spoiler effect is how a third party influences an election, where that party is know as the ‘spoiler’ because it can take votes away from one of the major candidates (presumably the one with somewhat similar views) often leading to a victory for the major candidate with the most dissimilar platform.
for an explanation on First Past the Post Voting, and how it evolves check out this video
so i just saw the first glimpse of the obama re-election campaign for 2012. it has seemed for a while that people feel that he has been a bit of a presidential let down, and not done what he said he would. in fact, many ask what did obama actually do? good question. well, as a resource with some straight forward responses to that question, i like this site:
for example, here are some of the things you might find:
i don’t know who else is running, but these all seem like really good things, don’t they?
i mean, really, what have you done in the last 2.5 years?