The funicular railway
is a kind of cable-based railway
that gives me great joy because of its peculiar shape and its uselessness for doing anything other than what it does. A funicular carriage is generally stairstepped
, so you can't repurpose these cars for other uses. They generally work in a particular way, too, as pairs: one goes up the mountain, one comes down the mountain! Maybe this kind of glee is why they seem to be especially popular in Japan today, where they can be taken to many popular sightseeing areas--but a fair number of funicular railway riders are probably there for the journey, not the destination. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet
on Aug 25, 2009 -
The Present Sound of London
-- "I’ve been lured to London by money at the hottest, stickiest time of year. Every time I visit, I’m struck by the noises—not necessarily their volume, but their strangeness and variety in comparison to the quiet humdrum of the provincial town where I live. So this time I’m equipped with an audio recorder."
By Giles Turnbull.
posted by nthdegx
on Jul 21, 2009 -
"I filled my water bottles , fuel bottle and ate some snacks. I reset my altimeter to 1300ft and started shortly past 2pm. The first sign stated 'Eagle Plains 363, Inuvik 735'. The distances were measured in kilometers with green km posts every 2km along the road. A few kilometers down the road, I crossed an old fire burn area with dead trees still standing. The sun was shining and I was eager to get started on the road. The gravel was occasionally soft as the road slowly climbed along the valley."
An enterprising man relates his journey up the Dempster Highway on bicycle
. [more inside]
posted by Avenger
on Jun 19, 2009 -
Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, has created a superb online collection of resources
, all about India and South Asia
, its art, history, literature, architecture and culture. Her Indian Routes
section (the Index page
) is a particularly rich resource. Her vast, colorful and informative site also has many great images. Check out her "scrapbook pages" on the Princes
l the Ghaznavids
l British Rule
l Women's Spaces
l Perspectives on Hinduism
. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Jun 9, 2009 -
Triptrop NYC: Subway Time Maps
— Plug in an address in New York City, and Triptrop generates a super slick looking map of how long it takes to get anywhere on the subway. And maybe you're moving? Then plug not one but two addresses into the comparison version and see which one gets you where you want to go. [via mefi projects
posted by netbros
on May 19, 2009 -
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has put 675 reels of archival 16 mm film online
via the Internet Archive. Most of the film is unedited, and stems either from Museum research, or was donated by interested amateurs. Much of it is silent, reflecting the technology of the day. One highlight are the four surviving reels
of the long-running TV show 'What in the World" (look for the episode starring Vincent Price), but the archive is full of other hidden gems, such as the 1950s archaeological expedition to Tikal
, a 1940 film "A 1000 Mile Road Trip Across America
", and Glimpses of Life Among the Catawba and Cherokee Indians of the Carolinas (1927).
The films are downloadable in various formats, including MPEG2, Ogg Video, and 512Kb MPEG4. Happy browsing! via.
posted by Rumple
on May 3, 2009 -
"Loot the Baedeker
I did, all the details of a time and place I had never been to, right down to the names of the diplomatic corps." - Thomas Pynchon from Slow Learner
Baedeker's were the de facto travel guide for international men of leisure
: "Baedeker’s publications, which covered most of Europe, became so popular that Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was quoted as saying that he stationed himself at a particular palace window each noon because “It’s written in Baedeker that I watch the changing of the guard from that window, and the people have come to expect it.” Baedeker maps
online. Baedeker books
Are the old ones the best ones?
posted by vacapinta
on Mar 11, 2009 -
Think you've been places? Retired scientist Galen Frysinger
has visted 172 countries and 91 dependencies. His photos have been linked in quite a few comments on MeFi, but near as I can tell... never the subject of a post.
posted by ecorrocio
on Feb 13, 2009 -
The Motel in America.
In a different America, where the novelty of driving cross-country and the charm of the highway strip drew droves of tourists--and their automobiles--from coast to coast in the name of exploration and recreation, motels provided a home away from home for weary travelers. While many of the great motels of the mid-twentieth century have disappeared from the national landscape, the linen postcards left behind in the Motel Morgue
can give us a glimpse into what this era of American tourism and leisure looked like.
posted by sarabeth
on Feb 7, 2009 -
Hints to Travellers
served as the Royal Geographical Societies
unofficial bible, used by late 19th and early 20th century British explorers such as Shackleton, Scott, Richard Burton, Col. Perry Fawcett and other legends who carried it into the field as a practical state of the art manual of gentlemanly exploration. Indiana Jones no doubt has his own copy too. Don't leave home without it! [more inside]
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 3, 2009 -
Today Boeing completed the first test flight
of a commercial jet-liner using a mix of conventional jet-fuel and a fuel created from algae and the african weed jatropha
. Boeing hopes that biofueled flights will be common in just three years
posted by Artw
on Jan 8, 2009 -
Wartime wandering through the Eastern states by bicycle, truck, and riverboat. 1944.
In 1944, a dear friend, Doris Roy, and I undertook an adventurous journey that we dreamed of during countless hikes together over our college holidays. We had been Camp Fire Girls together, loving the out-of-doors, camping and hiking the open road. Our dreams finally developed into a plan to ride bicycles from our home in Buffalo, New York, to Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River met the Mississippi. We admired Mark Twain’s adventures, had read his Life on the Mississippi, and sought to follow his path to the Midwest.
We were 21 years old...
posted by Fuzzy Skinner
on Dec 28, 2008 -
[masala is the Hindi word for spice mix] is a documentary which poignantly depicts the lives of a handful of old hippies from different countries, who not only remained in India but also remained in the caricature roles of a small few in those days. These are, in some ways, lost souls stuck in the amber of the 1960's and 70's and this movie offers glimpses into their lives now. SnagFilms
also has 510 other excellent documentaries to watch for free online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Dec 27, 2008 -
My New York
: artists, writers, professionals, and New Yorkers of all stripes talk about what they look forward to seeing in the city this fall.
posted by shivohum
on Oct 11, 2008 -
This is a long-awaited update to the previous Palin thread
. A LOT has happened since then, which I think deserves additional discussion. The last time Palin's Travels
was linked to was 2004 and his most recent book that you could view on the site was Sahara
. But now you can read the full texts of two more books in Michael Palin's wonderful travel/adventure series: Himalaya
and New Europe
. There are also loads of pictures, video (Quicktime req.) and audio clips.
posted by ND¢
on Sep 4, 2008 -