• Geez, we can't even argue about the exceptionality of Clinton's gracefulness without the TRs flying.

  • helmets protect your head and that my reasoning is stupid and dangerous for the third time.  OK, I get it.  You're still seething and are out of arguments.  You can stop posting now.

    I know anectdotal evidence is useless, I explicitly said so.  Now go reread your first post.  What was your trajic story if not anecdotal?  Try to be consistant next time.

  • The styrofoam was one of my personal observations.  I know it's unfounded.

    Did you feel you had to insert yourself into a thread just to insult me?  Learn some class.  Calling someone an idiot and FoS because they are defending a counterintuitive viewpoint is what I would call trollish.

  • with

    The problem is that the helmet is useful for EVERY SITUATION on the bicycle.  Not wearing a helmet during traffic riding makes you much, much less safe; the cars might feel free to come a little closer to you, but automobiles only represent a small percentage of the possible problems a bicycle ride faces, even in traffic.  Bad potholes; rainy conditions; ninja-pedestrians who walk out in front of you.  All these things can cause accidents and have nothing to do with traffic at all; the study you cited talked about auto accidents but completely ignored the very real danger presented by non-vehicular collision accidents while riding a bicycle.

    So I may as well inject my anecdotal evidence.

    Times I've fallen off my bike while riding on streets: 10+

    Times it has NOT involved a collision with a moving car: 2 (one curb incident and once I hit a parked car)

    Times a driver was being a jackass and cutting things too fine: at least 5.

    Times I've fallen on my head: 0

    So, at least 80% of my accidents did involve moving cars.  Which means nothing statistically, but neither do your blithe assertions.

    Could I have been in more, graver accidents if I HAD been wearing a helmet?  Who knows.  One wouldn't think so, but the actual research says I might have.

    If you look upthread, other posters disagreed with me and expressed skepticism as to the study's conclusions.  You've ignored all my qualifiers, called the reasoning stupid and dangerous several times, and repeated the same points which weren't in contention.  You seem awfully disturbed by this evidence that challenges conventional wisdom.

  • my point is that OTHER DEMOCRATS in her position would have behaved the same, maybe even better.  Yeah she came close, but there was nothing exceptional in the grace she showed bowing out.

    And you don't get to decide what "conventional wisdom" was after the fact.  What would have been the point of taking it to the convention?  Obama had a majority of delegates, who showed no inclination to switch.  Do you remember how "conventional wisdom" reacted to her end-of-primaries non-concession speech?  The word "graceful" didn't come up very often.

  • Yes, I'd say Clinton has been more gracious than Kennedy, although Carter's unpopularity might have made it MORE justifiable for him to take it to the convention.

    I know none of the '04 or '08 candidates came as close.  I'm simply thinking that as good Democrats, they probably would have done the same (or even conceded right after the final primaries, instead of bunkering down with the "no decisions tonight" speech).  Clinton did the right thing; I just don't believe her show of grace was exceptional.

  • not just the NYT article.  It made a correlation between clearances and the frequency of accidents.

    Please stop making stupid assertions like "it does not".  You don't know what you're talking about.  It seems like you haven't understood the argument at all if you keep blabbing that helmets protect your head.  I know they do.  There is nothing "false" in my information; you can interpret it as you may.  And by your blinkered logic, every pedestrian should wear a helmet too.

    People, especially enlightened Democrats who post here, can make their own decisions on their biking habits.  Quit accusing me of endangering people.

  • It was accidents per hour travelled, or something.  The main factor was apparently that helmet-wearing cyclists were perceived as more experienced, and thus could be given less of a safety margin.

    Of course, proper education of motorists could temper that bad habit.

    I do admit that I dislike the very idea of a cyclist having to wear a helmet in traffic when it's the drivers who are doing something that inherently much more dangerous.  I'd suspect that dedicated lanes for cyclists would make the fatality and head injury rate plunge a lot more than enforcing a bike helmet law.

  • It's a mistake to wrap your ideals into one candidate, no matter how much you feel they embody them.

    Feminists no more need to support Clinton than black liberation theologists need to support Obama.  I will believe we have achieved true equality when the identity politics have disappeared completely.

  • once the clock's run out and they've come up short, no matter how close it was.  I could see all of the '04 or 08 candidates (except for Joementum) behaving at least as graciously in her place.  Still, credit where due.  She didn't vow to "take it to Denver" or heap insencere praise on Obama.  Saying that supporting her ideals involves voting for him was the right way to put it.

    Also, in a literal sense, I hope we are all feminists.  Feminism by definition is simply a belief in the equality of the sexes.  But yeah, maybe fewer cynics will tell the next top-tier woman candidate that we're not ready for the next woman president.

  • on the effectiveness of the armor (what if he just claws your eyes out and rips of the armor at his leasure) and how good a shot I am.

    Absent that, yeah, I'd go with the armor.  I'd probably ask a zookeeper what he does first though.

  • could argue better.

    My post mentioned that it's better to wear a helmet when traffic psychology is not a factor (e.g. mountain biking), did you not read that far?

    And what the hell do you know?  Cite your own studies if you want to argue this line of reasoning is "incorrect".  Since you made a pretty crass appeal to emotion, allow me to make one to authority.  I'm a safety engineer (nuclear).  I compare and quantify risks for a living.  In many accident scenarios, operators following procedures designed to ensure safety actually made the situation worse, such as avoiding taking the system "solid" at Three Mile Island.  Safety culture has moved beyond simply inserting layers of protection between people and danger (such as helmets).  You have to take other factors into account.

    You probably missed the irony in my "whatever you do, don't wear a helmet" line.  I wear one bike-camping and mountain-biking, just not when riding in traffic.

  • Neither the seatbelt nor the motorcycle comparison is particularly apt.  In both cases, your riding in heavy vehicles which are going much faster, making the potential damage from any kind of accident that much greater (E=1/2mv^2).  With seatbelts, it's unlikely you other motorists will take bigger risks because you see each other wearing one (ditto for airbags).  Motorcycles are in car traffic and the chance of banging your head somewhere with great force is much greater than with a bicycle.

    Oh, and I have a counter-anectdote for you Sounds silly, but my friend swears it's true.  He was biking a long a path all alone, standing up and pumping hard on his pedals.  His chain slipped, his leg got stuck somwhere in the frame, he pitched over his handlebars and scraped the entire side of his face down to the bone on the pavement.  He claims that if he'd been wearing a helmet, the brim would have caught the pavement, twisted and broken his neck.  So, helmets don't always save you :)  

    Oh yeah, and why to they have to make them look so goofy?  I'd be more tempted to wear one if they were a bit sleeker.

  • I know it sounds couterintuitive.  But you cannot protect yourself from every danger, and psychological factors cannot be ignored.

    We read stories at the beginning of every snow season about SUVs that go off the road because the driver thought he was safer in a 4x4.  I know bike helmets actually do reduce the risk of head injury while driving an SUV doesn't help on ice, but the simple fact of feeling more secure makes ourselves (and others) take bigger risks.

    As for your anecdotal evidence, I understand why it makes you want to play it safer.  But think of how many people you know, and how many have brothers/sisters/other family members who bike.  How many of them bike regularly without a helmet?  How many of them had close calls with cars who may have avoided them just enough out of prudence because their heads weren't covered?  It's impossible to know.

    I knew three people personally who were killed in car crashes.  The woman who'se boyfriend was killed in the car with her can't stand to ride in the front seat anymore.  But that doesn't mean it's not reasonably safe to do so.

    You "play dice with God" every day simply by going outside.  What makes you feel safe walking to Starbucks on a weekday but not in an alley in a bad part of town at 3a.m.?  You could get mugged in either situation.  Obviously the frequency of such muggings in the first is much lower; you make your decision based on perceived likelyhood without even realizing it.  What the professor in the link I provided did was show evidence that hidden psychological factors are also important in making rational safety decisions.

    Which doesn't necessarily mean it's bad to wear a helmet in traffic.  It just means the issue isn't as cut and dried as you think.

  • I've had many bike dumps, including several ice slips (I bike through the winter in Montreal, quite a challenge).

    I've never once fallen on my head, not even close.  Maybe I'm lucky or I ride differently.  What I'm most afraid of is the all-too-common crossing an intersection going straight on a green light, and some jackass motoris who'se just passed you tries to cut you off doing a right turn.

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