Brent may not remember this, but we once wondered how many stories the escalator at the Porter Square T station, Boston’s deepest subway station, covers. It’s a really long escalator – one of the longest I’ve ridden.

porter_escalatorThe Wikipedia entry on the Porter station and this article on a scary escalator accident that occurred there both claim that the long escalator out of Porter station is 143 feet long.

I did a few calculations using numbers from the Wikipedia entry on escalators (a surprisingly and wonderfully interesting read), and found that a typical angle of incline for an elevator might be around 27º. This means that the Porter escalator covers about 65 feet in vertical distance, which, depending on how tall you think a “story” is, is somewhere between four stories and 5.5 stories.

(Incidentally, the Porter Square T station has a really cool art piece spread throughout, worth looking out for if you find yourself there.)

Some highlights from the Wikipedia entry on escalators:

Here’s a picture Hansie took last December, of me looking at escalator innards at the Harvard Square T stop:


How Escalators Work

March 31, 2007. Boston/Cambridge, how things work. 1 Comment.

Flaming Lips and Beck in 2002

Tonight in iTunes, I noticed someone sharing an iTunes library by the name of “Lame Crap”, which of course made me click on it. And I found possibly the biggest Flaming Lips fan I’ve ever seen (in iTunes shared libraries). This person had an album called “Live Bass Concert Hall Austin, 11-12-02” by “Beck/Flaming Lips”, and I was like “WTF, what IS this?!” And in the next 30 seconds I learned that Beck asked the Flaming Lips to tour with him as his backup band/opening act for his “Sea Change” record in 2002. The fact that I had no idea this happened really shows how out-of-touch I’ve gotten with music in the last several years :(

As I should have expected, the internet session quickly deteriorated into an all-out Flaming Lips solo fanfest, only the very highest points of which I’ll include here.

Beck, Flaming Lips heat up Texas — “If you haven’t seen Coyne live in concert, then it’s something you need to put on the short list of to-dos. The man, undeniably a genius, looks something like the coolest professor you have ever had, but acts like a five-year-old on stage.”

Beck and the Flaming Lips on how Beck decided to do the 2002 tour:
Beck’s Plan For Keeping Everyone Awake: The Flaming Lips

wayne coyneThis article is notable for its choice of photo for the band (left), and for backing up Beck’s decision to hire “a psychotic carnival like the Flaming Lips”.

The same year, BUDDYHEAD said of the Flaming Lips’ new album:
“These weirdos are tripping balls so hard, they’re singing about pink robots and karate shit.”

A good NPR interview with a warbly Wayne Coyne talking about covering Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and then the whole band performing a Sonic Youth/Led Zeppelin cover, and even a nice, super-slow “Yeah Yeah Yeah Song”:
“The Flaming Lips, a Slow-Growing Phenomenon”

March 31, 2007. music. No Comments.

How Sleep Works


Today I caught up on my How Stuff Works “Daily Stuff” feed. Tucked in there, with How Subways Work and How Spontaneous Human Combustion Works, was How Sleep Works.

We hear stuff about sleep all the time… but there’s always something new.

All straight from the above article (with the exception of the bracketed text):

March 29, 2007. how things work. 1 Comment.

Scott and Susie SWOOP!

Scott and Susie are on their honeymoon in New Zealand, and today they SWOOPed!

ss_swoop_fall ss_swoop_glee

March 29, 2007. family, travel. 1 Comment.

Nicer sandwiches

I want to make nicer food. Even for the normal stuff, like sandwiches. I decided I’ll start with this recipe I found today for Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil Panini.

One of the ingredients I’ll need is balsamic vinegar, which, strangely, I don’t have already. So I bought some at the store today. And I found myself in that familiar position of recently having read an article rating The BEST “X”! (in this case, “balsamic vinegar”)… I inevitably will remember the best and worst product, but not which one is which. I lucked out today and bought a balsamic that comes “Recommended” by Cook’s Illustrated: Monari Federzoni Balsamic Vinegar of Modena!

March 29, 2007. food. No Comments.

New anime


I watched the first three episodes of Fruits Basket ((not to be confused with “fruit basket”. THANKS to the little bird who pointed out this connection to me.)) today. It’s an anime about a family with a curse that if they embrace someone of the opposite sex, they’ll turn into characters of the Chinese Zodiac. Of course!

My favorite part of the Wikipedia entry:

“She realizes that an onigiri can never belong in a Fruits Basket.”

So sad!


March 27, 2007. comics, tv. 1 Comment.

What I use on my computer

Last night I had to set up a new laptop to use for the week, since my laptop was going in to the shop for repairs (which, it turns out, was not necessary since the handy Genius Bar in my local Apple Store replaced my drive on the spot! *swoon*). And it’s really amazing how setting up a new computer will make you realize how much you rely on so many pieces of software and little shortcuts, that you feel like your hands are tied when faced with a different computer.

Here are the things that I realized I heavily depend on (that is, I use almost every time I touch my computer):

omg! I mean, seriously, wtf. And that’s not even the fun stuff!

March 27, 2007. computers/programming. 1 Comment.

Best view of Boston

Two-and-a-half of my friends have the coolest view of Boston I’ve seen, from the skydeck in their apartment building (next to me in Cambridge). I was lucky enough to see it earlier today, for the first time. Boston is really a pretty city, and when the light shines on the brown buildings downtown, they look all warm and glowy.

Here are K and Turtle and a wonderful view:

view from cambridge

March 26, 2007. Boston/Cambridge, friends. No Comments.

Ginger snap molasses RUL35!!

I decided, for the second time, that Toscanini’s “ginger snap molasses” is one of the best flavors of ice cream I’ve ever had. The key to awesome ice cream is that it have HUGE chunks of cookies in it. Behold, my scoop last night!

ice cream COOKIE

March 26, 2007. Boston/Cambridge, food. 1 Comment.


Two great games are coming to the Wii:
Katamari Damacy and Guitar Hero

I’m curious to see if the Guitar Hero one is interesting, or if it will just be the same as all the other Guitar Heroes (sounds like it doesn’t use the Wii controller at all). And I’m really excited to see how Katamari uses the new controller; it would be tons of fun working up a sweat for my katamari!

I learned of both from Digg:
Katamari for Wii Confirmed!
Guitar Hero Confirmed for Wii


March 25, 2007. games. No Comments.

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