Need a Laugh?

and Benign Violations 

Everything changed when the screen eye brought the horror of the world to you. To get over it, begin your day with a critical listen to Bill Hicks’ “Sane Man” on absurdities of American culture via Netflix and as you realize much of it shouldn’t be funny anymore, or go to YouTube for little of Samantha Bee’s political satire and then to the radar brilliance of W. Kamau Bell for a rush of the ridiculous truth on CNN.  Finish the mental easing exercise with the “release” offered by John Oliver and then go see Hasan Minhaj if you can find him.

If you are encouraged to add humor to your interest in social change take a look at the benign violation theory presented by Peter McGraw on TED


When you ask architects for a joke, they say, “Sorry, I’m still working on it.” Urban planners, on the other hand, like acronyms. Here are a few examples:

  • AICP: any idiot can plan,
  • SLAP: space leftover after planning:
  • SLAB: structure leftover after building
  • MCIP: my career is painful (Member, Canadian Institute of Planners)
  • BANANA: build absolutely nothing anytime near anything and to more favorites,
  • DUDE: developer under delusions of entitlement and
  • BOHICA – bend over here it comes again.

As far as urban design is concerned, I remember being told not to hurry around an old plotter because they can smell fear.


The online project to demystify jargon in planning, urban design, architecture and engineering for a laugh.

I seek irreverent definitions jargon for the above professions. The irreverence that gets at the truth that hurts so much, it makes you laugh. Limit is 10-20 words. Choose from a working list see: Glossary to add a piece, or below to puruse and comment. Suggest Entry for the Glossary (Here)

Example: Stakeholders (n), 1. label, defines persons who are affected materially by a physical change but also most likely to be without the equity sufficient to alter or manage the process affecting them.  See: Loosers

Suggest additional jargon, blog tags and categories: (Here)

Please define any of the following irreverently yet truthfully (Here)

  • Accessibility: You need it if you can’t get there from here.
  • Anthropological vs. Sociological: Your body vs. you mind in space.
  • Architectural vs. Artistic:
  • Area (geography)
  • Bibliographic:
  • Cause vs. Effect:
  • Centrality (urban): The really big buildings are there.
  • Citizens: people born and from someplace legal
  • City vs. Town:
  • Climate Change:
  • Climate Proof: (Netherlands)
  • Climate Resilience (NYC)
  • Coherent vs Useful:
  • Complex vs Complicated:
  • Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science
    • (is if fair to debunk Bucky?)
  • Consensus Building vs Participation:
  • Design (urban interventions):
  • Design (policy making):
  • Districts:
  • Economics:
  • Empirical Research:
  • Evolution:
  • Form/shape vs Structure (urban):
  • Goal:
  • Growth:
  • Infrastructure:
  • Integration vs Interaction (processes):
  • Interview (qualitative vs quantitative?):
  • Land-use:
  • Loosers:
  • Macro-sociological vs Micro-sociological:
  • Management (within professions):
  • Mathematical vs Rational(e):
  • Metabolism (urban):
  • Method: A mindlessly repeatable process
  • Methodology: A repatable process with puishment capabilities
  • Metropolitan:
  • Metropolitan region:
  • Mobility (urban):
  • Model (projecting):
  • Model (socio-economic analysis):
  • Mono-centric (provide examples):
  • Multi-centric (provide examples):
  • Paradigm:
  • Planner (urban):
  • Plan/Planning (spatial):
  • Policy vs Politics:
  • Policy making:
  • Poly-centric (provide examples):
  • Predict vs other forecasts (like weather forecast)
  • Pro-active vs Re-active:
  • Process (planning)( please provide detailed examples):
  • Programs (within urban planning):
  • Projecting:
  • Qualitative (provide an example):
  • Quantitative (provide an example):
  • Questionnaires (types):
  • Regeneration (urban):
  • Rehabilitation (urban):
  • Resilience:
  • Revitalization (urban):
  • Sample (statistic):
  • Science/scientific/scientist:
  • Scouting:
  • Space vs Time:
  • Spatial:
  • Stakeholders: People affected by physical change and without equity
  • Stockholders: People that hold equity with accetance of risk
  • Strategy: Process used to take advantage while others remain unaware
  • Sustainable vs. Affordable:
  • System:
  • Technique/technical/technician:
  • Territory:
  • Tools:
  • Transit:
  • Type:
  • Typology:
  • Zoning:


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The Trouble

Is Somewhere Between the Pole and Babylon

Day 9.   To read it all, hit the link above.

The following is very funny on neighborhood internet services

“Rage has caffeine enough. I dial 866.995.5632 from bed and demand to speak to a supervisor. There is resistance. I beg. I get an all-American male voice. He says, The trouble is between the pole and Babylon. I say, “That is a great title for something.” He continues: The whole shelf is out. It’s a flooded station. It has been that way for over a week but will not be repaired until 24 other people complain. “What?” It takes 25 people to fix a station. “That’s another fine title,” I say. Don’t ask me why, but your neighbors have not complained in sufficient numbers yet. The flooded station is on the same street as your house. I suggest you mobilize your neighbors.”

“Mobilize my neighbors. I have not heard that phrase since the Vietnam War protest days. The memory triggers a minor acid flashback. Grace Slick is licking my ear. Thank God for medical marijuana. It helps me find the golden lining inside silver sheep, or some such aphorism. Should I opt for Optimum? My Verizon has been down for so long that once it is up and running, I figure the odds are mighty sweet that I will have service for a long, long time, or at least until the next super storm or Nor’easter. A white rabbit runs across the lawn. I chase it.”

Excerpt from Day 10

At my front door is a man in a shirt with the red Verizon logo. My atria fibrillates. He asks me if my internet is running. I ask him if this is a joke. He says no. I ask him why he is going door-to-door in 2014 and asking people about their internet service when he can simply look on the Verizon grid. He says he is trying to mobilize the neighbors in order to push his bosses into some positive action. My flashback has a flashback.

“The East End of Long Island is a loser. Verizon employs too many people and has too few customers and too many disasters. You can’t get FiOS, can you?”
“They want you to quit so they can dump the business.”
“Verizon wants me to quit Verizon?”
“You didn’t hear this from me.”
“I didn’t?”
“Verizon wants you to sign up with Optimum.”
“They do?”
“I have to go. Good luck.”’

To the person who wrote this: Bruce Buschel on Nov 18, 2014 and updated January 2015, thanks it was a great read. It was found the by searching “verizon + trouble” We thank you.  So. Optimum or Verizon?

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