Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for July 2022

Pizza for Ukraine

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A guest post

Thanks again for your support for   Someday, they’re going to tell stories about all this.  

Feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested; it helps enormously.  Feel free to share with your local pizza proprietors, too; perhaps we can strike up a partnership! 

We’ve passed 2150 pizzas.

In Kharkiv, pizza delivery has become even more worrisome and nerve-wracking than ever, as Russian missiles continue to arrive. They appear at unpredictable places and intervals, although the 4AM wake-up call from Belgorod is a persistent — and deeply disturbing — feature of daily life in Kharkiv.  The pizza crew wears body armor all the time and takes every precaution, and the kitchen folk are spending more time than they’d like in the basement when shells fall nearby.

The  streets and roads are a mess, and the Apocalypse Van is frequently needed for urgent, long-distance transport. But the pizza crew has managed to stage some really big deliveries using regular cars.  Here’s a weekend event staged in cooperation with the Kharkiv Judo Club.

Driving  around Kharkiv has some special challenges!

Here’s a really big delivery to a town at the edge of the Kharkiv region that’s hosting some 5000 people whose homes have been destroyed. Quite a big effort for a town of 500!  The local school, used as a shelter, is full, so now villagers are taking families into their homes.

We’ve also been sending some pizzas to Kharkiv hospitals (where everyone is too busy), emergency crews, and checkpoints.  Right now, the pizza crew is planning a big trip to one of the burned out housing blocks in Kharkiv where people still live, despite all the damage and debris.

Individually, we perhaps cannot bring peace or victory, or even warm and dry homes for half a million people. But we can send pizza. It’s not nothing.  Thanks.

Mark Bernstein 

Eastgate Systems, Inc

Written by Stephen Rees

July 28, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Ukraine

Book Review: “Elizabeth Finch” by Julian Barnes

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To be published by Random House on August 16

I was lucky enough to see the email from NetGalley when it came in and immediately requested the book since there were only to be 200 readers.

Julian Barnes has written twenty four previous books and I have read most of them, so as soon as I could open it I started reading it – and read it straight through in a couple of hours. It is written as a memoir by a man at the end of his life recalling being enraptured by a woman at an adult education course, whose method of teaching both challenges and fascinates him. He goes to all her lectures, fails to deliver the one required essay at the end, but then he is the king of unfinished projects – but they continue to meet, for lunch on a regular basis. Later he tries to memorialize her, and thus himself, but to do that he has to deal with the history she was teaching. I must admit that I had never heard of Julian the Apostate – but I suppose for Julian Barnes he must have had good reason to learn all about him. So in reading this book there is quite a lot of both real and imagined history. It turns out that there really was a Venetian painter called Carpaccio – so that wasn’t what I initially thought. It makes me wonder if there really was an Elizabeth Finch. No, but there are already many reviews on line.

I have to admit that I do have quite a few books that I have started but failed to get involved enough to care about. It is not often when I start and finish a book at one sitting. It is 192 pages. It is also quite difficult to not reveal too much by writing about it. What I do think is that this will be another winner for Barnes. And since it is now probably too late for you to get in on the “first 200” list you will have to wait for August. But it will be worth it.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 15, 2022 at 5:03 pm

Posted in Fiction

Computer Recycling for a Good Cause

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The following press release arrived this morning from CNW.
I have not heard of this organisation before and have not used their services. In Vancouver you can take your unwanted computers to the Free Geek Community Technology Centre at 1820 Pandora Street

The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is calling out to all businesses and individuals to donate their unwanted computers and laptops to help them fill requests from charitable organizations and individuals in need. Recycling computers? Recycling laptops? Most recycling companies and associations simply want to destroy and melt down your old technology. actually fixes, reuses and helps the communities Canada wide access low cost technology.

CALGARY, AB, July 2, 2022 /CNW/ – The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 to address the growing problem of e-waste and the increasing ‘digital divide’. ERA has offers simple solutions to help individuals and organizations prevent operational equipment from premature destruction. With a focus on recovery, refurbishment and reuse, ERA continuously supplies charitable groups with donated IT equipment while securely managing the retiring IT assets of organizations and individuals across Canada.

“We are proud to provide charities, non-profits, schools and care facilities all across Canada with the computers they require for their programs. This gives them access to reliable technology while allowing them to apply their resources to what they’re good at, developing programs to help Canadians struggling with poverty, health concerns or are otherwise experiencing misfortune,” said Bojan Paduh Founder and CEO of ERA.

AB: Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters needs 100 laptops & 40 desktop computers
BC: More Than A Roof Housing Society needs 30 laptops & 15 printers
ON: Goodwill Industries needs 95 laptops
QC: Sarker Hope Foundation needs 50 laptops & 10 desktop computers
SK: Blaine Lake Composite School needs 50 laptops
MB: Altered Minds Inc needs 50 laptops & 65 desktop computers

Help ERA by booking a pickup of your unwanted devices through our online form on

Have only a few items and want us to get them next day? ERA offers shipping labels for free pickup from anywhere in Canada. Goto to donate now

SOURCE Electronic Recycling Association

Written by Stephen Rees

July 2, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Posted in Transportation