Guest 1: Mikael Colville-Andersen
Guest 2: Jasmin Glaesser
Music: Die Roten Punkte
Mikael Colville-Andersen is an Urban Mobility Specialist. If that sounds confusing, you are not alone. He himself often wonders what exactly it is that he does for a living. A lot of his job has to do with green transportation and sustainable living. As such, he has been called Denmark‘s bicycle ambassador. Originally from Calgary and trained as filmmaker and photographer, Mikael came into this field rather accidentally. After taking a picture during his morning commute, of a woman cycling in a dress, many North Americans wondered how she could bike like this. This being the standard for Copenhagen – and many other European cities – Mikael started investigating and found stark differences between cycling cultures in North America and Europe. He believes that in mainly centres around the culture of fear.
Along that same principle, Mikael’s profile was raised when he gave Ted Talk about the overuse of bicycle helmets. While he does not like to think of himself as the anti-helmet guy, he states he is merely against the hype and over-promotion of the helmet, stating that the science is only 50/50 on its safety and adding that if it was a medical pill it would never go to market. In most cities in European cities, utility cyclist do not wear helmets. While many might think this would lead to an increase in accidents, this has not been the case.
A final idea of Mikael’s is the term livable cities. He states that out of the top 20 most livable cities in the world, 14 of them have a strong citizen cyclist population. He maintains that cycling and bikes are an important part of keeping a city livable; cycling is a sustainable method of transportation, it adds to a healthy lifestyle (the benefits outweigh any risks by 20%) and it is relatively cheap.
Jasmin Glaesser is a second-year computer science major at Simon Fraser University. She is also an olympic bronze medalist in track cycling, having won it as part of the team pursuit in London. But she almost didn’t get here. Born in Germany, Jasmin moved to Coquitlam – just outside of Vancouver – when she was eight. Having studied ballet and dance when she was younger, she turned to sports in elementary school – specifically track. She did even see her first track cycling event until she was 15. She quickly fell in love with the sport and made the switch from the track to the velodrome.
She worked her way up the ladder on her cycling and had a fair shot of qualifying for the olympics. There was just one problem: she was not yet a citizen. She did not turn 18 until 2011 and there was some concern that she would not get her papers in time for the games. Luckily, she received them in September and immediately shot to the top of her team’s list of potential qualifiers. She ended making the Olympic team.
Being the child of a professor, it was difficult at first to convince her parents and take a break from her academic studies. I guess when she started winning her folks came around. The next training season starts soon and she still plans to bike while taking some long-distance courses.
Die Roten Punkte (The Red Dots) are a “rock band” from Berlin consisting of siblings Astrid and Otto Rot, also known as Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias. After their previous album “Kunst Rock” did well on the art-rock charts and in Albania, the siblings have put together a more traditional rock album with “EuroSmash”, which contains several mini pop-operas about their history as a band. Many of their fans have accused them of selling out. Astrid claims they need to pay the rent.
Die Roten Punkte are often grouped together with Spinal Tap. Otto is amused by this saying that Spinal is “a joke band” while they are a real band. Astrid believes that this is due to the fact that Otto put some stupid songs on their last album – such as Automatic Doors – and thus she has now taken full creative control of the band and recording process. While they can never on who is in charge creatively, they can also never come to a consensus on how their parents died. Astrid knows they got by a train, while Otto thinks the train was a lion. Whatever their disagreements may be and whoever they really are, they are two wickedly funny and and musically talented people. Look for Eurosmash in the new year.
Listen to the whole show here: http://www.cjsf.ca/pguide/rss.php?ID=250
You can see his TedTalk here: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07o-TASvIxY
The Olympic profile of Jasmin Glaesser – http://olympic.ca/team-canada/jasmin-glaesser… @jasminglaesser
To see what Astrid and Otto are up to – http://www.dierotenpunkte.com/… @dierotenpunkte
Next week’s show – Author Stephen Miller, filmmakers Matthew J. Van DeVenter & Rafferty Baker. Music: No Sinner