Monday, February 09, 2009

The Disability Show 0003

spc_wspc_TheDisabilityShow 0003

media files:

m4a ->

YouTube -> ..


Disclaimer! Disclaimer! Disclaimer!

This show is "not" any kind of a medical show /podcast.

It is by and for the disabled, and if we can help reach across the chasm of questions and indifference to the other side of the rainbow of ability ... well and good.

Its purpose is to keep us entertained, to explain our symptoms, to remark on our discoveries, and to raise the general consciousness about our disabilities.

The path to disability is shadowy, murky and rough strewn.

The path to wellness is lit by the lamp of knowledge.

---- "Walking On Broken Glass" by: "Annie Lennox"

We got PSAs:


Campus Safety urges students, faculty and staff to sign up for text alerts, online @

This will be used to inform students, faculty and staff in an emergency.

This was useful last year in the bomb scare.

To sign up, students must know their Spirit ID # (Bring their Saint Peter's College ID.)


Here's a proper, honest to goodness, real promo. :-)



We've also got some cross promotion going with the web version of St. Peter College's own "Pauw Wow".

The perpetually available and comment capturing web version is "growing on" as opposed to the occasional "Dead Tree" edition which can only capture "a moment in time" for a minority of the news competing for a scarce resource, space with anything else on a fixed number of pages.

As Liebnitz famously once said: "The 'Power of the Press' belongs to those who own one."

But as anyone who can read will attest, the limitations of "that" business model are slowly bleeding to death all of the owners of the "dead tree" press.

The future of the press lies on-line with the internet mixing media according to their appropriateness to whatever is being reported.

From "Twitter" to IM, to e-mail, to FaceBook to Podcasts, to web-radio, to streaming content, to PDFs, to vodcasts, to YouTube, to MP3s, to app mash-ups, to whatever's next, the internet is emerging as the clear winner of the media wars.

So log on to and grow with the media.



I have noticed, when I can look up from the ground when getting around this campus, that there are several other disabled students and that they are negotiating the campus with varying degrees of difficulty.

They aren't much helped by the architecture of the place, which is a mish-mash of donated buildings built in an age when the disabled were at best ignored and at shut out of public view.

---- "Walking The Dog" by "George and Ira Gershwin"


This show concerns one delightful young woman I met while we were both a bit winded from making our way up the stairs to the third floor in "McDermott Hall" (and we were a bit winded from the exertion, not because we're fat, though that is another kind of disability, [the young lady in question is "Runway Model Thin" and would be the envy of any of the geeks I have known over the years to drape over their arms {They would pass out at the thought of her actually being "in" their arms. ("In your dreams 'Pipe Stem' ... In your friggin' wet, little dreams.")}])

I can't help but wonder at how magnanimous she feels towards the architects of this place, the dudes who simply ignored the mobility needs of five percent of the population, not out of malevolence, (or at least, I "hope" not out of malevolence,) but out of sheer "never look up from their drawing board" ignorance.

(Can you smell the theme of next weeks' show by now?)

---- "Walking My Baby Back Home" by: "Nat King Cole"


I find that the biggest problems in architecture can always be pointed to by ignorance.

Nobody knew about frequency of oscillation so the "Tacoma Narrows Bridge" swayed in the wind and went down like a "ribbon on a stick" held by a rhythmic dancer, who'd just taken a bullet for the team.

And this was in nineteen forty folks.

We're not talking about our stupid old ancestors building cathedrals in the Middle Ages here; back when the height of construction technology was the flying butress.

We're talking about unintended consequences of structural members in motion. The kind of stuff architects are paid to damn well know about. But they didn't and several million bucks of bridge ended up in the drink.

How about we try to focus the architects' attention way closer to home and get them to stop putting things like elevators in out of the way places, that's when they even realize that nobody, hale or disabled, wants to walk up five stories.

---- "Walking Down China Town" by: "Keenan Baxter"

I used to be a student of architecture way back when.

My heroes were people like Le Corbusier (who'se gigantic architecture was so unappealing a place to live that Brasilia was populated against the will of the people living there. They actually preferred living in the shanty towns of the workers who built Brasilia.)

They were people like Mies van Der Rohe, whose Teutonic twist to architecture led to sterile and unlivable places.

I was also quite fond of Robert Venturi and his post-modern style, I. M. Pei, Walter Gropius, Oscar Neimeyer, Eero Saarinen Frank Lloyd Wright, R. Buckminster Fuller, Gio Ponti, Paul Wedlinger, Paul Rudolph, and Mario Ciampi.

Now I'd like to take a sledge hammer to their knees and see how the experience of making their own way through their own monstrosities would affect their ideas of architecture and how it affects pedestrian traffic flow through it.

I bet it would result in a lot of changes.

No more sweeping grand staircases with elevators tacked on as an after though and tucked away like they were ashamed of how shoddy and ill conceived their construction really was.

We can only hope that the experience of crap refits as lip service to the ADA won't be repeated, that is when they're even attempted, like the ridiculous wheel chair lift in the McDermott hall up to the admissions desk and first floor and nowhere else; unlike Hannaberry Hall which is in violation of even the most liberal interpretion of the ADA.

---- "Walking Contradiction" By: "Green Day"


Like Monty Python once said, "That's the kind of blinkered Philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."

Yes, architects have a lot to answer for. I have rarely met one that even looked up from the guidelines books to see it those guidelines are even applicable or if they are sufficient.

Most of these books deal with floor loads and structural stress limits and only rarely cover things like usability.

I'm going to try to talk her into making an appearance next week.

---- "Design for Living" by: "Flanders and Swann"


The show notes, incuding the complete text of this episode, and any and all links to the artists featured, are on a server ... somewhere.

And this show is also being podcast in m4a format, which means that it you use a compatible player, like iTunes, you get the content divided up into chapters with images and "hot links" to the the web, on the topic of the chapter or to accompany the music.

You can send me feed back. suggestions, or just some sign that there's anybody actually outside the studio.

Address email to charles at

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