Archive for philadelphia

“I choo choo choose you!”

Posted in maps & mapping, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy


Why so glum? Am I like the only person who was not expecting a glorious new age of social and economic justice to roll in with the crowning inauguration of President Obama? I mean, with the way everyone from classmates of mine to neighbors on the trolley/subway, all the way up to God’s own precious gift to American Activist-Intelligensia (oops, we don’t have one, so we borrowed from Canada) known as Naomi Klein (dot com or some shit), everyone’s got like irritable bowel syndrome over how underwhelming/ corporate/ betraying/ neoliberal Captain Obama has turned out to be. The love fest is over I suppose. I guess, short of a few WTFuck cabinet appointments, I haven’t really felt surprised by the guy. He was, after all, the outcome of a punch-hole questionnaire that looked more or less like this:


Which is why this also doesn’t surprise me. Its no cause for celebration, but maybe its a glimmer of hope. Ugh, nah, that concept went bankrupt along with the AIG bailout… Anyway, I’ll paste it in along with… a map!

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday outlined plans for a high-speed rail network he said would change the way Americans travel, drawing comparisons to the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system.

Obama was careful to point out that his plan was only a down payment on an ambitious plan that, if realized, could connect Chicago and St. Louis, Orlando and Miami, Portland and Seattle and dozens of other metropolitan areas around the country with high-speed trains.

There’s no guarantee that the nation has the political will _ Congress has often tried to reduce support for Amtrak _ or the hundreds of billions of dollars and decades it would take to build a comprehensive fast rail system.

“This is not some fanciful, pie-in-the-sky vision of the future,” Obama said during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the White House. “It is happening right now. It’s been happening for decades. The problem is it’s been happening elsewhere, not here.”

The United States trails other developed countries in developing high-speed rail. [duh.] The Spanish can travel the 386 miles from Madrid to Barcelona at speeds averaging almost 150 miles per hour. Japan’s Shinkansen links its major cities at speeds averaging 180 mph and France’s TGV train averages about 133 mph in carrying passengers from Paris to Lyon.

The only U.S. rail service that meets the Federal Railroad Administration’s 110 mph threshold to qualify as high-speed rail is Amtrak’s 9-year-old Acela Express route connecting Boston to Washington, D.C.


Initially, regional transportation offices will compete for the $8 billion included in the $787 billion economic stimulus spending package for high-speed rail, bolstered by $1 billion a year for five years requested in the federal budget.

The $8 billion is part of $64 billion in the stimulus package for roads, bridges, rail and transit, what Obama called “the most sweeping investment in our infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s.”

Obama said the first round of money would go to upgrading and increasing speeds on existing lines where people could quickly be put to work. The second and third phases would focus on high-speed rail planning and money to jump-start corridors not yet ready for construction. The Transportation Department is to announce first-round grants before the end of the summer.

Obama said a mature high-speed rail system would reduce demand for foreign oil and eliminate more than 6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year _ equivalent to removing 1 million cars from the roads.

Any region could present a long-range plan, he said, although the stimulus money can go only to the 10 major corridors designated by the Federal Railroad Administration and covering lines in Texas, California, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the Gulf Coast, the Southeast, northern New England, Pennsylvania and New York.


The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, joining Chicago and 11 other metropolitan areas within 400 miles, is a front-runner. The governors of eight Midwest states wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood this week appealing for money for the region, one of the hardest hit by the recession.

Howard Learner, president of the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center, a group promoting the rail network, said that with about $2 billion of the stimulus money they could complete or upgrade lines linking Chicago with St. Louis, Detroit and Milwaukee-Madison.

“It’s a way of solving our global warming problems that also creates jobs and provides a boost to the economy,” he said.

But the competition will be fierce. [hey-y!]

“We are very jazzed about it,” said Karen Parsons, executive director of the Southern High-Speed Rail Commission. She said preliminary numbers showed that they could increase capacity and speed on the existing New Orleans-Baton Rouge line for about $150 million to $200 million, and for $500 million they could expand service from New Orleans to Mobile, Ala.

Mehdi Morshed, executive director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said his state has a plan to build 800 miles of track for trains running 220 mph, at a cost of about $45 billion. He said the state may ask for about $4 billion from the federal government to work on lines between San Francisco and San Jose and Los Angeles and Anaheim.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement that his state leads others because they’re as self-centered and elitist as he is voters last November approved nearly $10 billion in state bonds for high-speed rail. “With a boost from our federal partners, nearly 40 million Californians and millions of travelers from around the world will be able to experience the reality of America’s first high-speed rail system.”

the Acela Train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia

the Acela Train at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia

Chris Lippincott, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said his office was excited about advancing plans to build high-speed lines from San Antonio to Dallas and then up to Little Rock and Tulsa. But he added that the “nation’s rail needs will exceed a single injection of money,” citing estimates that just staying even with current level of congestion in his state will cost $313 billion over the next 20 years.

Some say the investment is too small, Obama acknowledged. “But this is just a first step. We know this is going to be a long-term project,” he said.

I love that we live in a world where enough of you will get the reference for the title of this post. Rather than cross my arms in unsympathetic pity for the rest of you, I’ll let you in on the joke. Just click the magic embedded tube below my signout- and don’t say I never did anything nice for ya. Besides, I almost titled the post “Training for Change” which would have been a pun to top them all, but only like 87 people in a particular zip code or two of West Philadelphia (and a few scattered radical quakers in other parts of the continent) would have gotten that reference.


Sunshine Superboy


Fear of a Black Planet-Eater

Posted in comics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Atenção: even if this post is too geeked out for you don’t skip off till you’ve heard the DMC interview! I promise its totally accessible and pretty effin rad, okay? deal??

in case I’ve already lost you with the title, a planet eater is this:
galactus Now that I’ve put that up front, I suppose there’s only so far I can fall, in terms of geek factor and such. Cuz I got more to riff on for a second.

While I was galavanting (aka sitting through a riveting board meeting) in Chicago, b-boys and homeboys decended on New York City to form a discreet alliance in the form of New York ComicCon.

I was not there. I cannot report first hand.

However an acquaintance of mine definitely sat on a panel with DMC (of Run DMC), and my cousin ran around taking pictures of everyone decked out as their favorite comic book leagues, legions, brigands, posses, scoobies, and of course avengers

Unfortunately, I can’t embed the two-part interviews with DMC, but you can click here and then here, and have your mind blown.

Now, before I go let you oggle Fwee’s optical comicon bounty, I wanna give a heads up for this local comic conference called Black Age of Comics, which is the 8th annual session devoted exclusively to black writers, artists, characters, panel discussions and the like as they pertain to blackness in the world of comics big and small. Join us in Philly for a b-boy/fanboy jamboree!
ECBACC 2009 8x11-1a

I hope you can appreesh some hallowe’en-style black Nick Fury, care of yr truly. I’m kinda bummed the S.H.I.E.L.D. insignia that I worked so hard to adhere to my shirt is eclipsed by my, ahem, handgun:
black super-agent does NOT equal "pirate"

The not-yet-eaten-planet is yours,
Sunshine Süperfüry





Posted in art & music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

I’m tripping a little bit, cuz some old housemates of mine just passed on this link to a movie called Art House which was filmed at our old cooperative home called Black Elk, which is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Some of the shit from our shennanigans back in the day has made its way into the background of the movie, which, seems not entirely unrelated to what the co-op actually was in the grander scheme of things. Its even got Iggy Pop starring in it. hmm…

Speaking of art, you may recall from my first blackmaps post that the midwife of this blog was an exciting artistic conspiracy called Fun-A-Day, where people make a pact to get through the doldrums of January by creating their own projects and producing one piece of artwork or one repetitive activity each day for the entire month culminating in the Fun-A-Day artshow in February. Does that make sense? Do you need someone to explain it more, ahem, musically???

Fantastic! And my friend Karen T. Trouble actually did bake a pie per day, ps. I even tasted two or three of them. Delicious!

So, Fun-​A-​Day is happe​ning in Phila​delph​ia,​ Pitts​burgh​ and San Franc​isco this year!​ And the art shows are upon us…

Phila​delph​ia:​ This year’​s Fun-​A-​Day show will be held on Febru​ary 14 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Studi​o 34 Yoga locat​ed at 4522 Balti​more Avenu​e in West Phill​y.​-​it’​s FREE.​ Last year’​s show featu​red more than fifty​ artis​ts and was atten​ded by more than 300 peopl​e.​

I of course have been blogging, submitting to other blogs, or educating people about the magic of blogs for the month of January, so you can always see what I’ve been up to all month.

If you can’t make it to the art show, there is plenty of fun-a-day blog stuff to check out including some of my favorites like Morgan’s amateur dream analysis blog, Timothy’s fake polaroid a day blog, a lost/missed connections themed blog,or how about a series of word clouds constituted from craigs list casual encounters posts?

and then there’s this blog which you’ll probably enjoy if you’re a fan of black maps (more science, art, and geekery than maps, but yay!)

There is so much fun fun-a-day related stuff out there I don’t really know where to begin, but if you can appreciate something like this video, then you should check out chris vargas’s blog:

you can find out more about the show by clicking here, but hopefully I’ll just see you there tomorrow!

some local entri​es include:​

02/7 outfi​ts and sandw​iches​:​ a 31 day zine
poste​d by carol​yn,​ cedar​ park!​

02/4 Apple​-​A-​Day
poste​d by Wendi​,​ San Franc​isco

02/2 Craig​’​s List:​ Casua​l Encou​nter a Day
poste​d by gAlex​,​ west phill​y

02/1 31 Hiber​natio​n Drawi​ngs
poste​d by Wolfi​e E.
Rawk,​ West Phill​y

01/​28 poo du jour:​ inves​tigat​ive repai​nting​
poste​d by shari​ tobia​s,​ west philt​hy

01/​27 haiku​s (​non-​exact​)​
poste​d by Artyc​,​ SF/​NY/​Flori​da

01/​23 filmi​ng 31 secon​ds of movem​ent every​day
poste​d by Malic​ Amaly​a,​ Seatt​le,​ WA

as for artclash itself:

The Artcl​ash Colle​ctive​ is a Phila​delph​ia-​based​ group​ of artis​ts who organ​ize art proje​cts and shows​ that aim to be fun, inclu​sive and parti​cipat​ory.​ With each proje​ct/​show,​ we seek to creat​e a welco​ming forum​ for peopl​e to share​ their​ art and form a commu​nity of artis​ts.​ Our shows​ are alway​s inclu​sive of anyon​e who wants​ to parti​cipat​e,​ free,​ all ages and we hope they serve​ as an inspi​ratio​n for those​ who atten​d.​ We belie​ve the desir​e to creat​e is a funda​menta​l human​ trait​ that we are often​ alien​ated from in moder​n socie​ty.​ We belie​ve the act of creat​ion can be a trans​forma​tive exper​ience​ that reest​ablis​hes the bond betwe​en artis​ts and their​ human​ity.​ We belie​ve every​one is an artis​t and every​thing​ you make is art.


The World is Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy

Etymological Mapping

Posted in maps & mapping with tags , , , , , , on February 7, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Hailing from New York, I would have thought that my town of origin was pretty etymologically transparent. Unlike Philadelphia, a town that many a dilettante feels compelled to translate to the common folk at every possible opportunity (yeah, we get it, its “the City of Sibling Love”), New York never seemed to be hiding much.

And then this atlas proved me oh so wrong and simple minded. Little did I know I was born in the New Wild Boar Village, went to college in the Land of the Chaste One, and that everyone in my family older than myself and my brother and younger sister was born in the Land of Springs.


or for example, this region:

Just something to stew on for the day…
Until next time…

The World is Yrs,
Sunshine Superboy