Friday, August 19, 2011

Ride a chicken to work

Did you know that the maximum speed of a car in traffic is actually less than that of a chicken on the run? The Sao Paulo-based group Caronigentes, which basically translates as SmartRides, came to the conclusion that it might actually make more sense for people to get to work riding a hen. If you've ever been in the Sao Paulo traffic jam (I actually have, though not in as many as my coworkers that live there), you'll know why this makes sense.

They've put together a site called Va de Galinha, which basically means "Take a chicken to work," that is absolutely hysterical. It's worth looking at even if you don't understand the Portuguese, it's pretty obvious what's being said. I particularly like the soundtrack, replete with remixed chicken squawks, as well as the animated dancing chicken at the end.

This sort of initiative is so important for cities like Sao Paulo that have horrid problems with transportation and a huge traffic mess. It's a 20th century city built for cars, and like most cities built for cars, it's really hard on people. That of course doesn't change overnight, because public transportation projects are always a set of collective nightmares that run over budget and past deadlines. Turns out culture can change a lot faster -- especially if people create a culture of carpooling. And even better if you can get people to laugh in the process.

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