The geography of happiness

How much is your happiness dependent on what country you live in?

That’s tough to say, but by and large, Americans are pretty happy; in fact, we’re ranked 16th in the world. From Science Daily:

Denmark tops the list of surveyed nations, along with Puerto Rico and Colombia. A dozen other countries, including Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada and Sweden also rank above the United States, which maintains about the same relative position as it did in WVS’s 2000 survey.

“Though by no means the happiest country in the world, from a global perspective the U.S. looks pretty good,” says Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the university, who directs the study. “The country is not only prosperous; it ranks relatively high in gender equality, tolerance of ethnic and social diversity and has high levels of political freedom.”

And Richard Florida correctly points out the money quote, by Inglehart: “Ultimately, the most important determinant of happiness is the extent to which people have free choice in how to live their lives.”

Read the article here. HT: Richard Florida

July 28, 2008 at 4:42 pm 1 comment

Follow the Crumb Trail to local produce

Wondering when all those farmers markets around the area are open and what they might have? And realizing that they’re not listed in the phone book?

The author of a new blog, The Crumb Trail, has as its stated purpose:

Sources for locally grown produce, meat, and dairy in Allen and surrounding counties in IN.

Find out about new and favorite farm markets by keeping to the Crumb Trail.

— Photo from The Crumb Trail

July 26, 2008 at 9:17 am 2 comments

The Good City awakens

I keep finding links and stories that I want to share, and then I think to myself, “Oh, that’s right. I’m on hiatus.”

So, TGC is back! But what have I been doing?

I’ve been working on my own personal Web site,, for quite a while now. Coming soon there: Some video of a concert of mine in Angola, Ind., back in April.

Plus, I’ve been adding features such as easy-to-print and -email posts, and a groovy-cool Gig Calendar for when I actually get back to performing concerts again.

As you may or may not know, I own the domain name, but that URL just transfers you to this blog. 

But when I change Web hosting providers in a month or two, I will be able to afford hosting under the URL itself. That looks a step more professional and allows me more technical flexibility in how to set up this blog.

After the switch, your old links likely won’t work and your RSS feed and auto-email thingy will need to be reset.

Stay tuned for more changes!

July 26, 2008 at 8:59 am

On hiatus

I must take a break from the day-to-day effort of posting here every day. Other projects — such as by own family — must take precedence.

Please check out these other blogs for other city-related Fort Wayne information:


July 5, 2008 at 8:06 am

AroundFortWayne Blog finds bike lanes to nowhere

Bike Lanes to nowhere… | The AroundFortWayne Blog

Photo taken of the bridge just south of the zoo by Franke Park. The bike lanes will eventually connect with more paths, but right now, they’re orphans. Read the post here.

June 26, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Second Amendment: Still in force

Concerning this:

The Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia’s ban on handgun possession yesterday, deciding for the first time in the nation’s history that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to own a gun for self-defense.

a commenter here made a point I hadn’t considered:

A lot of us are in the militia, whether we know it or not. From the US Code, Chapter 13:
§ 311. Militia: composition and classes
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

So a better question is: Does the Constitution guarantee your right to not own a gun?

It’s no surprise that McCain applauded the decision, but even Barack Obama couldn’t fault the ruling entirely. He “issued a statement saying that ‘I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through common-sense, effective safety measures.'”

If he wants to win blue states that go red in presidential votes — such as my semi-home state of West Virginia — then it’s no surprise he wouldn’t lambaste the ruling.

In other non-news, Paul Helmke is displeased.

June 26, 2008 at 9:34 pm 1 comment

Slow down, you move too fast

A policy that encourages cars to keep moving privileges cars at the expense of pedestrians and bicyclists. Since drivers, for the most part, already believe that they have priority on the road, in places where there are many more walkers and bicyclists, drivers able to drive more quickly because of fewer impediments would likely feel more empowered to move more quickly and to drive faster, likely endangering non-drivers.

As long as roads are engineered to allow very high speeds, and cars are engineered to drive very fast (in the 1940s, the speed limit on residential streets in DC was 15 mph), reducing impediments on drivers is likely to be deleterious to pedestrians and bicyclists.

— From Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

June 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm

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But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7

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