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The day's sights... - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
The day's sights...
Space Needle emerges from the Fog
Space Needle emerges from the Fog
The day started off normal enough. I had to make a run up to the University District for some office supplies, and on the way back saw this great image of the Space Needle peeking through heavy fog. It was pretty enough that I tried to get a photo of it ,but unfortunately I shot through glass and didn't aim too well.

Paleobrutalist Architecture
Paleobrutalist Architecture
On the way home, I walked past this thing. I'd forgotten that there were examples of the 1960's "brutalist" architectural movement in downtown Seattle. This building is actually abandoned, with a huge "for lease!" sign on top, chain link fencing all around, and covered with graffiti on the bottom floor.

Giant Stuffed Puppets, Again
Giant Stuffed Puppets, Again
Also on the way home: Leftist protestors with their giant puppet. This is obviously a George Bush puppet that has been repurposed into a giant healthcare-sucking vampire of some sort. Also very Seattle: Recycling.

Yeah, giant street theater puppetry. It's just so compelling, isn't it? So convincing. I mean, who do they think they're doing this for? The right doesn't do this kind of crap; they just bring guns.

Police steeds
Police steeds
On the walk to the train station, I passed by the Seattle horse cop just casually watching people walking by. I have to wonder what value add a horse is in the city, compared to a bicycle. On the last leg home, after picking up the car once again from the Park & Ride, I snapped this photo of an officer waiting at a stoplight. He was driving one of the brand new motorcycles the city of Issaquah bought last year. The contrast between the two fascinated me.

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Comments
whipartist From: whipartist Date: September 4th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Horses add height. This gives the officers a better view of the area, and also commands more respect from pedestrians.
en_ki From: en_ki Date: September 4th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Yep, Boston recently proposed getting rid of police horses, and the main argument was riot/crowd control.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: September 4th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Unlike bicycles or motorcycles, horses can be trained. The sheer bulk of a police horse is especially useful in crowd control - the horse has been trained to move gently sideways at a certain command, and the effect is rather like a moving wall. It doesn't harm anyone, but it inexorably keeps them from getting too close to the parade/politician/celebrity.

solarbird From: solarbird Date: September 4th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, they stay up when you let go of them, even quickly, whereas a bike or motorcycle doesn't. So you can stop immediately, and so on.
ben_raccoon From: ben_raccoon Date: September 4th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Plus you can't give an apple to a bicycle or pet its nose. Horses are better public relations, as well as being more dignified.
en_ki From: en_ki Date: September 4th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Your bicycle must be sadly neglected.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: September 4th, 2009 07:32 am (UTC) (Link)
NYPD horses are magnificent, beautiful creatures - highly trained, gentle, even-tempered and calm, and extremely well treated. In some ways, they're as much members of the force as the human (and/or K-9) cops are. But motor vehicle traffic is a danger to them, and they need special shoeing techniques to keep their hooves from being harmed by constantly walking on pavement.

From: respice Date: September 4th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

About horses...

So when I was an undergrad (20+ years ago), I was in a military history course. The professor told us a story that's directly on point.

It was 1968, and he was in London working on his PhD in history. He was in some square - I forget which one - and there was a student protest going on that started getting out of hand. As the noise and activity ramped up, police started filtering in to one end of the square one by one. Slowly, they lined up across the end of the square, not knee to knee, but with space between the riders. They didn't take out truncheons, they didn't take out clubs, they just stood as the crowd worked itself into a fervor.

Then they started moving. Not a gallop, not a trot, just a slow walk in parallel. A walk, then a trot. As they got about 2/3ds of the way through the square, they began to canter. And finally, at the end of the square, they briefly galloped.

And the square was emptying, the protest done, the riot stopped before it started. And the police filtered out on their horses. No heads were broken, no one needed to be arrested, nothing.

And that's why police have horses. Because a well-trained thousand pound horse, guided by an experienced rider, is an inexorable force in a city. The horse gives the rider height, speed, force, and the possibility of intimidation, all while looking cuddly and adorable.
acelightning From: acelightning Date: September 4th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: About horses...

That's pretty much the point I was trying to make. Horses are far more effective at getting people to move in a desired direction, while being far less provoking and destructive than squads of cops with riot shields. And police horses are selected for uniform appearance as well as for intelligence and temperament... anyone who sees them automatically thinks, "Oh, what beautiful horses!" (rather than "Uh-oh, riot control!").

en_ki From: en_ki Date: September 4th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC) (Link)
(Should have said "the main argument in favor of keeping them".)
mundens From: mundens Date: September 4th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)
The first one totally made me think of spaceships hovering over the city, a la District 9.
jeriendhal From: jeriendhal Date: September 4th, 2009 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I was think of a Martian Tripod coming out of their poison gas clouds.
From: technoshaman Date: September 4th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Woo! ST1300 Police! What I don't get, though, is these cats who ride'em... if I was the fuzz, being paid to put my ass on the line for the good of the many, I wouldn't just want the big-ass helmet, but a full-body Aerostich suit with CE soft armor and some boots that also had armor in'em. This shirt sleeves and boots with no extra ankle protection just don't get it for me. And besides, 'Stich would gladly make a run of custom uniforms in force colors, for the right price. And as a taxpayer I'd be willing to pay a grand for a pair of suits to avoid having to eventually pony up a hundred grand in hospital bills when the guy gets tapped by some idiot and ends up sliding down I-5 on bare arms... ow. That's gonna leave a MARK.
solarbird From: solarbird Date: September 4th, 2009 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd forgotten that there were examples of the 1960's "brutalist" architectural movement in downtown Seattle.
Hi, monorail columns.
gromm From: gromm Date: September 4th, 2009 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
... Leftist protestors protesting health care reform? Eh? Or are they saying that the proposed bill doesn't go far enough, and they want an entirely socialized system? (although the vampire theme doesn't support that)
memegarden From: memegarden Date: September 5th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't forget the Seattle cops on Segways. I'd like to think they're cool, but they really look dorkish and pathetic.
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