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Technical and Medical Update

For some reason last night we suddenly received a number of complaints about the Teen Skepchick teasers. I thought it would be easy for uninterested readers to skip over, but apparently they were an affront to the eyes, or something. So, I’ve turned that off for the time being and will soon install a new method of promoting T.S. posts here on Skepchick.

I also turned off the DiggIt plug-in, since it made the site load too slowly for some people and crashed some browsers. I have no idea why and wasn’t able to fix it, so away it goes again.

My BikeFinally, thanks to everyone who sent well-wishes following my Twitter update that I was hit by a car. The short story is that I was on my bike waiting at a crosswalk when a car pulled up to the stop sign and stopped. I thought he saw me and started to cross, and when I was in front of him he gunned it. Luckily he slammed on the brakes in time to not run me over. He and his wife were very nice and gave me a ride home, which was good because my beloved bike was busted, as was my beloved forearm, which was beginning to bulge in an unsightly way. Happily, ice packs and drugs have had their effect and this morning the unsightly bulge is hardly noticeable. I’m going to need a new wheel, and maybe a new bike, which sucks more than anything since it’s my main mode of transportation and I love my pink Bianchi. Actually, what will suck more than anything is the crappy feeling I’m going to get when biking next, knowing that I can’t even legally cross a street in the crosswalk without getting hit by a car, but I guess that’s life.

In any event, this incident should not distract attention from the fact that I was totally mentioned in Wired this month.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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67 Comments

  1. To counter the claim about Teen Skepchick, I started reading it because of the teasers, and have been nothing but pleased with what I’ve seen.

    It hardly takes up any screen space, why not just scroll past it?

  2. You’re right Rebecca; the Teen Skepchick blurbs launch me into a rabid, frothing rage. My resulting bloodlust is only sated after drinking the fresh-squeezed blood of innocent puppies from the pound.

    In other news, I feel for you. I barely ever use my POS car – instead I’ve been riding my bike everywhere as well. I would be really pissed if someone had just rammed me.

  3. I second Yoo’s (yoo who?) sentiment. Thank the beard of Randi you were not hurt badly and hope you heal quickly. Recently something was causing your site to cause problems on my computer (verrrry slow and crashes) and I thought you had installed a JOHNEA13 blocker to keep me out. Have some sex on the beach, it will make you feel better. The drink ,the drink !Not the physical activity. Get your mind out of the gutter.

  4. @JOHNEA13 – Why not the physical activity?

    @Rebecca – I don’t see why you don’t get them to pay. They hit you with a car. Had the police or insurance been involved, they would have been punished severely. I think the least they could do is throw some money at you.

  5. As soon as I heard of your accident, I collected some roadkill and boiled it down to a broth which I diluted 300 times to concentrate the powers of not-hit-by-a-car. I then digitally scanned the water memory and encoded it into this comment. You should begin feeling better as soon as you are healed.

    I am also working to imbue a crystal with the essence of Bigfoot so that you can cross streets with his incredible ability to dodge racing vehicles. Look for the crystal to be delivered to you in a dream!

  6. wow, I mean there were NICE, but they owe you a bike!

    Crosswalks are very important. Even though my husband did almost kill Rep.Tom Harkin while he was in a crosswalk in Keene NH…he at least is into woo medicine and it would have been no big deal.

    YOU need to get to work. Ye of little carbon imprint need transportation.

    Seriously, you are so NICE too.

    Pink bike all gone? this is very sad….

    I hope they at least CALLED to ask how you are!

  7. “Or if you are on a bike path.”

    The bike path can be confusing. I know that some of the road crossings have stop signs on the bike path but not on the road but do have a crosswalk.

    Quite confusing for everyone.

    Better bike damage than Rebecca damage.

  8. Glad you’re OK, Rebecca!
    The scenario of the accident wasn’t what I had imagined at all… I had been thinking that an unwieldy stack of Wired magazines had thrown your bike of balance and led you into traffic — glad that wasn’t the case!

  9. Bike accidents are teh suck. I’m glad you’re ok, and hope your bike will be too. I’ll scuff an SUV on my ride home in an effort to take vengeance on gas-powered vehicles on your behalf.

  10. Personally, I figured Rebecca had to swerve into traffic to avoid hitting Bigfoot while he was out walking his pet Chupacabra. I’m a little underwhelmed by the “real” story.

    But yes, glad you’re OK, and as for the Pink Phink: We can rebuild her. We have the technology.

  11. Glad to hear he was nice about it. When I was 12 I was hit by a car in the cross walk on my bike. The woman jumped out her car and yelled at me for being in her way. “Lady I’m in a cross walk.” “If you scratched my car..” At that point I had enough picked up my slightly bent bike, kicked the grill on her car in, and limped away.

  12. Glad your healing. Good that they are funding the repairs. My silver Bianchi feels the pain of your pink Bianchi.

    I would like to nominate durnett comment #9 of COTW.

    And if we’re sharing hit-by-a-car stories, I got knocked out of the crosswalk by a car driven by a nun of all things. I picked my stuff up, checked that I was OK, flipped her a middle finger, and went on my way.

  13. Also very glad to hear you’re OK Rebecca.
    In my local berg we’ve been having a lot of public discussion about bike safety; not only because of a very high number of bike riders but also due to the increasing number of new riders as a result of rising gas prices. In Washington state a bike is considered a pedestrian if on the side walk and in a side walk at a crossing when they are off their bike. When on a bike the rider is subject to all the rules and laws of a moving vehicle and can not choose to suddenly become a pedestrian unless they dismount. Also all path/road crossings are pedestrian at the point of intersection. As a driver and bike rider I like this delineation as one can (generally) know what to expect. As a bicyclist is usually much faster than a pedestrian it seems foolish to me to assume that a car will be able to see a bike rider and have enough time to stop at a crossing. I usually never trust that a car is going to stop unless I make eye contact, get a hand wave or actually see the car stopping for me. (god, every bike, street crossing lecture I gave to my children just rushed through the active memory banks…, sorry for sounding parental!)

  14. James Fox, I agree and I’m exactly the same about not trusting that a car will stop. That’s what makes this so upsetting — I did everything right, waited for the driver to stop and see me, and then made my way across the intersection . . . and still got nailed. Ah well. Like I said, that’s life.

  15. Wow, your guardian angel was watching over you that day! (That sarcasm makes me wonder: Does the FSM have “angels”? Perhaps it was Rebecca’s guardian meatball who was actually looking out for her?)

    As a motorcycle rider, I’ve learned to drive as if everyone was actually trying to kill me. It makes me a very defensive driver.

    And I agree with sporefrog way back at comment#1. The TS teasers are perfectly unobtrusive and lead to more traffic there. I don’t understand the complaints.

  16. It’s possible that people wanted you to pull the TS alerts because they thought it was a little creepy to post them here. ‘Cause, you know, this is a place where grown men openly drool over brainy women, and teen skepchicks are not, by definition, grown women. I sort of felt that way myself, but I didn’t feel motivated enough to complain about it.

  17. Would it be offensive if I admit not noticing any of the authors being female or teens, or would it be offensive if I admit being interested because they’re female and teens?

    :P

  18. Well at least they are being nice about the whole running you over thing. I had a jackass in a Ford Plaent Raper almost hit me in the cross walk when he was running the stop sign and he flipped me off. Like it was my fault that he was running the stop sign and I had the right of way.

  19. Would it be offensive if I admit not noticing any of the authors being female or teens

    ————–

    I don’t know. It would be pretty weird, though, since the name of the site is Teen Skepchick!

    It isn’t offensive… it just seems a little intrusive for grownups to be getting “Teen Skepchick” updates on the Skepchick blog. I’m not sure why. But it does feel invasive, not like they are invading our space but like we’re invading theirs.

  20. splurge wrote:

    “Crosswalks are very important.”

    Only if you are walking your bike.

    Even then, a crosswalk is no guarantee of safety. When I was 9 or 10, I was walking my bike through a crosswalk when a car crushed my foot. Oddly enough, the driver actually was slowly backing up, at the direction of the crossing guard, to get out of the crosswalk after stopping in it and partially blocking it; I was walking around the car, and the front wheels were turned in such a way that my foot was caught underneath one before I even knew it was moving.

    I had some minor broken bones and had to wear a cast on that foot for about 2 months. The crossing guard was devastated that one of his charges was hurt, and he even came to visit me at home to see how I was, but I assured him that it was not his fault at all; I should have waited.

    ~David D.G.

  21. Gabriel, in the winter I either suck it up or take the T everywhere. I used to only ride my bike about 5 miles to cut out half my subway commute, but recently I discovered I could bike the whole 13 or 14 miles to work, the very idea of which horrified my coworkers. I assured them all that it was a fairly easy route with lots of bike paths that kept me safe. Uh, yeah.

    Marcus, good idea on the Simmons line. I’ll set an appointment to get a haircut & perm this weekend.

  22. Joshua: You can’t end a comment like that without *rimshot*.

    Rebecca (To borrow a phrase) High Hats for getting hit by a car, Monkeys for being not severely injured by a driver willing to take responsibility. Every crosswalk is not now a hastily painted slalom of vehicular death. It just feels that way. Promise.

  23. Yeow, it sucks to hear about your accident, though I’m glad you’re alright. I’ve actually been there myself, though in my case it was a speeding car who I didn’t think would be anywhere near the intersection when I crossed and couldn’t evade in time, and the driver panicked and drove off instead of staying behind to help. Fortunately some people there helped me, and I wasn’t too injured to get off the street in time. The police were able to track the driver down somehow, and last I heard her father was furious at her over it. Not sure whether the police charged her with anything or left it to the father.

    But after that, I felt exactly as you did about riding my bike. I was always worried about that particular intersection afterward. The fear faded in time, though. In the meantime, you may feel more comfortable walking your bike across any intersections you’re worried about, and being extra-careful to make sure drivers see you. A little extra time spent is worth your peace of mind.

  24. When creating a blog post that links to Teen Skepchick posts, why not just put TS: at the front of the subject? That way we’d know that it was a TS link. At least it would help us folks who get to your posts through an RSS reader…

    Is that what this is all about? Or is there something else people are complaining about?

  25. It’s possible that people wanted you to pull the TS alerts because they thought it was a little creepy to post them here. ‘Cause, you know, this is a place where grown men openly drool over brainy women, and teen skepchicks are not, by definition, grown women. I sort of felt that way myself, but I didn’t feel motivated enough to complain about it.

    Reminds me of E3.

    When I first started going, the models were eye-candy…then at some point they became attactive, yet subtly disturbing…then finally I caught myself wondering does her mother know she’s dressed like that

  26. The simple fact is: Bike Paths, which are more often Multi-Use Trails, are not that much safer for cyclists. I have a 7.5 mile commute to the store and almost 3/4 of that is on a MUT. I have more incidents with cars there than anywhere else. Mostly its with people trying to cross the MUT without any concern if anyone is on it or not.

    There is one intersection that is going to be the death of me. Honest.

  27. I’m so sorry that you were injured; however, I’m so very glad that it was relatively minor. Though biking is not my main mode of transportation, I am an avid biker, riding several times a week for exercise. In fact, it’s when I listen to the SGU. Most of my trails up here in Southern Maine are off road, none are in Portland, the city, but some are on roads that I share with cars. Makes me wonder if I’ve been foolish … or just lucky. I wish you a quick and speedy recovery. And remember … ice is cheap … use it by the bushel.

  28. I have a similar bike experience, myself. I was riding along a back street, crossing a street that t’d into it. I thought nothing of the car pulling up, until it didn’t stop. It was a small car and I had a tall bike, so, it didn’t hit me. It just knocked my bike out from under me. I hit the ground pretty hard, though. The guy did stop. He helped me up, asked if I was OK, and ,while I was going to get my bike, drove off. I never saw him again, and my bike was never the same.

    It just goes to show how little attention people pay to us cyclists. I am a 6 foot tall man on a tall mountain bike. You have to be blind to miss me as I sit above most vehicles. Yet, I am constantly getting into close calls on my bike. I think a lot of it has to do with the general attitude of motorists that they own the road and bicyclists should be off of it. Of course, being in California, land of the motor vehicle, just makes it worse. Some parts of this state are so bike unfriendly it can be scary.

    At least it wasn’t your hand or mouth that was hurt. We still get to read and listen to your works. Get well soon, and don’t let it get you too down on riding.

  29. kook: Personally, I know it won’t be an intersection that will be the death of me. No, girl-watching will be the death of me. I’m so gonna be checking someone out and end up slamming into a parked car or something at full speed. I just know it.

  30. I think a lot of it has to do with the general attitude of motorists that they own the road and bicyclists should be off of it.

    —————-

    I’ve gotten into arguments with people who complain about bicyclists in bike lanes, much less in the road.

  31. Bikers bear some responsibility for people hating them.

    I see them run red lights all the time and I have come close to being run over by bikers in crosswalks because they rarely slow down let alone stop.

  32. The eternal war between bikers and motorists is a lot like Israel vs. Palestine. Nobody really cares who started it, they just know that it’s the other guy’s fault, and they’re in so far that sin doth pluck on sin.

    But, for the record, this is totally the drivers’ fault. Bikes were in the roads first, so there.

  33. The war is a three way between Cars, bikes,and pedestrians.

    Pedestrians were around even before roads.

    I do all three so I am screwed anyway.

    I don’t know where public transport fits in?

  34. And Spurge demonstrates how that in any thread where cyclist is hurt, no matter how much they themselves followed the rules, someone is going to come in and blab about cyclists who run red lights, etc. Its like a rule of the internet or something.

  35. “I’ve gotten into arguments with people who complain about bicyclists in bike lanes, much less in the road.”

    That’s pretty bad. The worst I’ve gotten is people who think that I am never, ever allowed *out* of the bike lane, even to turn or go around the cars inevitably parked in them.

  36. Very sorry to hear about the accident, Rebecca. The fact that you use a bike for transportation was about the 29th thing that made me think, “Wow, she really IS cool.”

    I ride to work and everywhere else I can. Way too often I see police cars, ambulances, or other results of a car vs. bike accident.

    Everyone is right, of course, about assuming that every driver is half-blind, intoxicated, talking on their cell phone, checking their hair in the mirror, and also intentionally trying to hit you. Even if you make those assumptions, accidents still happen.

    I haven’t been hit yet, but I get a little worried when I realize that I’ve been listening so intently to the SGU that I haven’t been concentrating on the traffic for the last five minutes or so.

    I’m glad you and the bike are going to be okay, and place my vote FOR the Teen Skepchick teasers. I think it’s sort of inherent in being a skeptic that we should be interested in what younger people are being taught. In that context, the articles are just as interesting to me as the “grown-up” articles.

  37. @ kook

    I do everything I can to make sure that I do not endanger the many bikers that I encounter every day.

    The fact that a fair number of them act like assholes and seem to think the rules do not apply to them pisses me off.

    Would you be one of those?

  38. Spurge: A lot of Pedestrians and a lot of drivers act like assholes who think the rules to not apply to them. Yet somehow their antics never seem to apply to pedestrians or drivers as a whole.

    Yet, by some perverse twist of logic, the asshole cyclist who blows stop signs somehow excuses the near-psychotic driver behavior towards a law-abiding cyclist like myself.

    Now how does that happen. Hmmm?

  39. Pedestrians and bikers have a much more difficult time killing motorists when they screw up. I have yet to hear of a driver getting seriously injured (or injured at all) when a bike runs into them or someone walks into their car. If you can give me examples I would gladly retract my statement.

  40. “A lot of Pedestrians and a lot of drivers act like assholes who think the rules to not apply to them.”

    and so do bikers who have almost hit me on numerous occasions.

    “Yet, by some perverse twist of logic, the asshole cyclist who blows stop signs somehow excuses the near-psychotic driver behavior towards a law-abiding cyclist like myself.”

    I never made any such claim.

  41. “I never made any such claim.”

    So what *do* you mean when you say:

    “Bikers bear some responsibility for people hating them.

    I see them run red lights all the time and I have come close to being run over by bikers in crosswalks because they rarely slow down let alone stop.”

    What does it mean, ‘bikers bear some responsibility for people hating them’? Sure as heck sounds like you are making that claim.

    In fact, in the same post you whine again about bikers as if I bear responsibility for them.

    Don’t be two-faced.

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