When is suicide selfish? Yesterday in Los Angeles a suicidal local man stabbed himself in the chest, slit his wrists, and drove his car up onto train tracks, lost his nerve and hopped out at the last minute, to watch in anguish as not one but two trains collided with his car and with each other, killing 11 people (so far) and injuring almost 200 others. [more inside]
Ping Pong Pang Pong ... (MIDI file). Archives of public transport departure chimes and announcements. From Japan, MIDI files [+] [+] (via Boingboing) and live recordings [+] [+] of various elaborate tunes (no I don't speak Japanese, just keep clicking the blue links until you hit an MP3!). European recordings [+]. The very excellent Shonen Knife used a sample of the Osaka subway chimes in their rockin' cover version of the Carpenter's 'Top of the World.' (WFMU archive here, click "Hear the show", song starts with Osaka chimes at approximately 15:23)
Kazumi Namiki uses a slit camera to capture panoramic pictures onto a whole roll of film. He uses his slit camera to take photographs of Japanese railway trains; lots and lots of trains. [via boingboing]
Maglev begins testing at 4 miles per hour. Once testing is completed next month this could be the future of transportation. (if this 3 station maglev system is a success) A top speed of 40 mph now, on longer distances the speed can be over 200 mph.
AMTRAK still off-track (NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is stillheading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?
Man who stopped train with his bare hands "was a longtime railroad man from an era when such boardings were routine.... Today, it is strictly against the rules -- sometimes a firing offense -- to step aboard moving locomotives or cars."