I know a man who once went to Sioux City, not one of the world’s leading destinations, precisely because he had never been there before. More than a decade later he still talks about the experience, from the Sergeant Floyd obelisk to the dog track of North Sioux and the meat packing plant converted to a shopping mall. The same impulse explains a non-specialist’s reading a history of Byzantine iconography or a survey of Australian wildlife. Both offer a break in daily life and an enlargement of our sense of wonder and possibility. That awareness can provide a sense of transcendence, and connection, or even the spark of divine discontent that leads people to change their lives.Reading as Vacation
, an essay by J. D. Smith and Subway Reader
, pictures of people who read while using public transportation.
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 6, 2008 -
- a network of online data libraries on topics including census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, vital statistics data
posted by Gyan
on Dec 26, 2007 -
In the U.S., motorists do not pay their way.
The US government spends more on highways and other auto-related expenses than it receives from auto-related taxes, unlike almost every country in Europe. In a recent report [pdf], Mark Delucchi
calculates automobile-related costs and revenues in three different ways and concludes the subsidy is around 20-70 cents per gallon or $24-105 billion in 2002. But what are automobile-related costs, you ask? [more inside]
posted by salvia
on Oct 2, 2007 -
“We work, we do not steal”
is what the Rickshaw Wallahs
have to say about it, whose means of livelihood the Kolkata assembly plans to ban soon, but hasn’t figured out an alternate source of income for yet
. Meanwhile, the good old rickshaw has been finding a new home abroad
, albeit one of a more novel nature. (More on the state of Transportaion
in India, and a World Bank perspective
on the facilities provided by the subcontinent. Plus, some more images
of the Rickshaw.)
posted by hadjiboy
on Jan 22, 2007 -
Livestock's Long Shadow
, a new UN FAO report (full report
) says livestock (cows, pig, sheep, etc.) generate more CO2 than all forms of transportation (cars, planes, etc) combined, with the worlds live stock expected to double by 2050.
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 11, 2006 -
The Air Car.
A car that runs on compressed air.
While not a new idea,
the MDI car can reach a speed of 68 mph and has a claimed range of roughly 124 miles. To recharge the tank, the car reportedly needs to be plugged into the grid for 3 to 4 hours or attached to an air pump in a gas station for only 2 minutes.
Is the wind of the future
about to break? Will this technology
pass gas as our urban fuel of choice?
posted by Floydd
on Jul 19, 2005 -
You thought the US had all the frivolous lawsuits? You thought that Russian astrologer
had the "stupidest lawsuit ever" award all sewn up? Think again
. French bus service Transports Schiocchet Excursions is suing a group of ten women who carpool to work every day, alleging unfair competition with their bus line. Among TSE's demands: confiscation of the defendants' cars. Groklaw has more
, including excerpts from an interview in French which tosses around the delicious term "covoiturage".
posted by ubernostrum
on Jul 12, 2005 -
After an American car company recreates
its legendary 1960's Ferrari-beating race car
, the first $150,000 2005 production car sells at a charity event for $400,000 over sticker price
, (to a Microsoft-enriched individual
, of course) and many months later, dealers are still asking up to $200,000 over sticker
, or at least $150,000 over sticker
. The "experts" at Edmunds say the car is selling for about $100,000 over sticker
(seeing their "True Market Value" requires a few clicks from this page), and the widespread belief is that these admittedly amazing cars
are virtually impossible to find and all selling for at least $100,000 over sticker.
But using publicly available data, including completed eBay auctions and public documents
, this non-commercial site
shows the truth to be very different than the hype.
posted by escorter
on May 13, 2005 -
No bicycling in NYC without a license?
That's right, a new law -- apparently the first of its kind in the nation -- proposed this week by bike-bashing Bronx Councilwoman Madeline Provenzano, will carry serious fines and even jail sentences for violators who ride unregistered bicycles on city streets. And yes, there will be a $25 per bike registration fee. Way to encourage alternative transport in this crowded, congested, polluted town. What next? Licenses for rollerblades, skateboards, wheelchairs? How about my running shoes
-- during peak traffic they're faster and more hazardous to fellow city dwellers than my beat up old Trek, any day.
posted by jellybuzz
on Nov 19, 2004 -
NYC Critical Mass ride dampened by heavy police presence
Critical Mass, A peaceful demonstration that takes place on the last friday of the month at hundreds of cities around the world. The gathering of hundreds to thousands of cyclists to stress the importance of nonpolluting transportation alternatives and promote the cycling community.
Last night's critical mass
was faced with a very heavy police presence (including 3 helicopters that followed the cyclists on the route). I was there and the police were peaceful, but perhaps necessary and the helicopters were just intimidating. The whole aura assumed there was going to be some type of crime. There type of people that take part in Critical Mass are generally the opposite of violent. It felt violating to be followed around, by not one, but three helicopters and hundreds of officers on scooters. The Critical Mass was being treated as if we just shot up a building or robbed a bank. The whole thing was stupid, and people got arrested for stupid reasons. Thanks NYPD the Judge said we could be there.
33, 47, whatever, it was too many.
posted by Glibaudio
on Oct 30, 2004 -
Cat Stevens on NatSec watchlist.
"A London-to-Washington flight was diverted to Maine on Tuesday when it was discovered passenger Yusuf Islam
- formerly known as singer Cat Stevens
- was on a government watch list and barred from entering the country, federal officials said... Homeland Security Department spokesman Dennis Murphy identified the passenger as Islam. 'He was interviewed and denied admission to the United States on national security grounds,' Murphy said, and would be put on the first available flight out of the country Wednesday."
posted by mwhybark
on Sep 21, 2004 -
Jesus Boots perfected!
NYT: In the last 150 years, Americans have patented about 100 water-walking inventions. The first, in 1858, was by H. R. Rowlands, who lived in Boston, not far from where Mr. Rosen resides, in Newton, Mass. Most of the subsequent patents, Mr. Rosen said, are iterations of that same idea. "Unfortunately," Mr. Rosen observed, "none of them actually work."
posted by skallas
on Aug 3, 2004 -
Having just returned to Paradise
for a little visit, I am reminded just how cool this little place is (not that I needed much reminding *whimper*), and am looking for touristy things to do here without a car. While I was on my way up on the Pacific Surfliner
train, a fellow rider told me about Santa Barbara Car Free
. Awesome! Also props to CalTrans' alliance with Amtrak in California. The trains and service and overall quality of the passenger rail system is quite a bit different from what I've experienced thus far of the stuff handled by Amtrak alone.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Aug 2, 2004 -
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)
posted by carter
on Mar 3, 2004 -
Neato Next Generation Truck Stops
IANAT (I am not a trucker), so I had no idea trucks could just plug into truck stops complete with air conditioning, power, internet, satellite TV, etc. And the bonus is that these facilities are environmentally friendly since the truck doesn't have to be left running all night.
posted by mhh5
on Jan 11, 2004 -
1.26 million people killed every year
on the road or from subsequent injuries...
..Four Qld road deaths in 5 hours
. 42,815 people died in 2002 in automobile crashes in the United States. Shouldn't these facts give us the resolve to explore a better solution to our transportation needs? I do not see the national debate that these deaths would evoke if the cause was different. Why are we numb to this?
posted by JohnR
on Nov 24, 2003 -
R.I.P. Bay Area Transit Information Page,
1994-2003. The site, started by two Berkeley
students, provided quick access to transit information in the San Francisco Bay Area, who later received funding for their efforts in 1996. Instead, it gets replaced by this abomination
of web design. On the other hand, it is very unusual
for a web site to keep the same user interface
over the span of almost a decade. Already, there have been user interface rants
, complaints about not finding information
, sarcastic commentary
, and a brief eulogy
delivered from one of the original creators, and it hasn't even been the first day. Is content over style dead or are information sites like this (flash)
the wave of the future?
posted by calwatch
on Nov 4, 2003 -
One of my joys of going on vacation is to get off the interstate and
collect a bit of an old historic road. In California over the weekend
we managed to grab a bit of Hwy. 1 aka the Pacific Coast Highway past
, resorts and neighborhoods. Another goal is to do all of U.S. 50
, the initial stages of which were reportedly surveyed by George Washington during his tour in the British Army. Wired
has a nice
about how a journalist and a photographer ignored the advice
of a Federal Highway Administration spokesperson to take a trip down
Route 1 from Maine to Florida.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Oct 27, 2003 -
This Guy in Minnesota just got laid-off
and he's spending his time following around Bush's economic team on their tour of the upper midwest as they share their "upbeat outlook
" on our nation's economy. He's following their tourmobile
with his own tourmobile
and has been chasing them around in parkinglots and at fast food places. He finally cornered the Treasury Secretary whose advice to the job-seeker was to "just wait." What's your economic reality? Is it closer to the sunny optimism of the big shiny tourbus, or the laid-off reality of the homemade minivan? (Check out the particularly funny bit about how he stumbled on the entire press corps only when he was looking for a dumpster.)
posted by amoeba
on Jul 30, 2003 -