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.
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:
- “passengers who stand customarily stay on one particular side of the escalator, leaving the other side free for walkers. The proper side for walking does not necessarily correspond with the passing lane in road traffic: passengers stand on the right and walk on the left on the London Underground as well as the Washington, Boston, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Moscow subway systems; but in Singapore and Australia, they stand on the left. In Japan, riders stand on the left in Tokyo but on the right in Osaka.”
- “For fun, people sometimes use an escalator running in the opposite direction, climbing up or down the stairs faster than it moves. This is forbidden in some places, notably the Paris Métro, where running in the opposite direction can lead to being fined.”
Here’s a picture Hansie took last December, of me looking at escalator innards at the Harvard Square T stop:
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
This 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”.
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”
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):
- Cows can sleep while standing up, but they only dream if they lie down.
Whales and dolphins are “conscious breathers,” and they need to keep breathing while they sleep, so only one half of the brain sleeps at a time. (Click here for details.)
- Many medicines, including most sleeping medicines, change the quality of sleep and the REM component of it.
- After three days [without sleep], a person will start to hallucinate and clear thinking is impossible. With continued wakefulness a person can lose grasp of reality. Rats forced to stay awake continuously will eventually die, proving that sleep is essential.
[[ And what happens to people? Here's one depressing story. Interestingly, resentment is one of the five listed "common causes of sleep loss" in this article. ]]
Scott and Susie are on their honeymoon in New Zealand, and today they SWOOPed!
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!
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.”
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):
- Quicksilver — oh magical you! hubba.
- Safari and Firefox, with:
- Sogudi — for Safari shortcuts
- ForgetMeNot — remembers Safari windows after quitting/crashing
- Quicksearches — Firefox shortcuts
- Google Browser Sync — remembers Firefox windows I have opened across multiple computers/sessions
- Apple Mail
- Address Book
- .Mac for syncing everything:
- Safari bookmarks
- iCal items and to-do lists
- Mail Rules (filters)
- Address Book contacts
- NetNewsWire Lite — RSS feed aggregator
- NewsGator Online — for syncing all my feeds (and read items) across multiple computers
- Backup — scheduled backups to .Mac and my external drive
- Fetch — FTP/SFTP Client
- BBEdit — text editor
- scrolly trackpad thing
omg! I mean, seriously, wtf. And that’s not even the fun stuff!
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:
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!
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!