Today, I had an unexpected and interesting experience. I borrowed a library book while it was still in quarantine. Yes, it was still in quarantine, not me, for protection from potential COVID spread. Apparently, the Halifax Public Library , and I’m sure many other libraries, disinfect books after they are returned, and leave them for 24 hours, at which time any possible COVID on it will have died off and not be transmittable. I just didn’t know that in how I came about it.
With a lot of population and geographic population distribution data out there today, Outrider has created a nuclear blast simulator where you can nuke any place you like, with one of four nuclear weapon types! The idea is not to be morbid, or take out any aggression here. Just to be aware of what nuclear war could entail.
Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) did an innovative and democratic thing this year to have an interactive online Budget Allocator to let people try their hands at creating a municipality budget for the area, and submit it for City Council’s consideration. How much consideration each, or all the submissions might get, is another story, but I won’t be cynical here. I want to share my example of a cohesive budget that’s more than just the numbers, with rationale behind the choices, although the numbers are critical to make things work, of course. We’ll see when HRM presents its final budget, if it will do something similar to explain its choices in a way understandable to the general public.
Free public transit is an ideal dreamed of by many cities for its potential impact on everything from everyday life, to the economy, environment, traffic, social equity, innovative and inspirational population mindset, among other benefits. However, it is an ideal not financially feasible in most cities. By chance and circumstance from analysis to be shown, the current budgets of HRM and Halifax Transit can be feasibly adjusted for HRM to offer free public transit, some or all of the time, in many ways to cater to a range of political wills and progressive thinking to pay for it. It is mostly a matter of priorities, with some shifting and/or addition of tax dollars, pending which of many scenarios chosen. HRM’s citizens and City Council only have to commit to becoming a global example in providing free public transit, demonstrating to other municipalities in similar financial scenarios what can be done to revolutionize their public transit systems! Free public transit in HRM, and the progressive mindset of its citizens to help make it happen, would immediately become trademarks of the city’s identity, associating it with qualities like progressiveness, innovation, equitability, and make it the talk of North America and beyond!
HRM can provide all of its current public transit for free on weekends and holidays via any one of the following options:
I just finished recreating a Tableau “viz” that is a series of online, interactive dashboards with weather information for eight places in Nova Scotia from the past 100 years (1917-2016):
- Halifax Airport
They are on the Tableau Public site under my profile listing all my vizzes so far. Not many but the start of something good!
I also have dedicated weather vizzes for:
from reasonably good data sets that existed so I didn’t have to kill myself getting all the data from nearby weather stations and cobbling them all together! I had over 1600 files for those 8 places! Well, Halifax didn’t have a great data set but since so many Nova Scotians live in the area, including me, I didn’t want to leave them out.