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.

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.

Saturday shopping trip

Things I learned while shopping, mostly to do with hosiery:

March 12, 2007. Boston/Cambridge. No Comments.

Frida Hyvonen can be very entertaining.

Tonight I went to see a show at the MFA. (The MFA!! I had a little Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler moment…)

The first band was not good. Not horrible, but not good either. Working strongly against them was the fact that not one of the four performers broke a smile during the set, and I’m pretty sure that the bassist was going to go kill himself immediately following the performance. I need some glee, people. ¡F minus, El Perro del Mar!

Then, Frida Hyvönen took the stage, complete with red shawl, paper Starbucks coffee cup, spiral notebook. Very funny, poetic lyrics, beautiful music, perfect timing. I believe she, at one point, rhymed “Cricket cricket cricket” with “It’s sick it’s sick it’s sick.” One of the most entertaining performances I’ve seen in a long time.
+10 for looking like Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner.

The last band: Under Byen. You get a B-:

+5  someone played a saw
+4  cello spiccato rock-out
+2  having a girl bassist
+12 someone played a xylophone
-80 extensive use of strobe light
B-   *total*


March 3, 2007. Boston/Cambridge, music. No Comments.

Guitar Hero too much

(for Saturday (2/24/07)… it’s just late.)

We have Guitar Hero 2 set up in our lab area (because Alex Rigopulos, of Harmonix, graduated from my group some years ago), and it gets played a LOT. Since there are other groups around us who want to work, we have the game hooked up to two pairs of headphones, so all you can hear when someone is playing is the click-click-clicking of the strumming. Adam says that he plays Guitar Hero so much that he can recognize a piece by the click-click-clicking alone. Amazing, Adam!

This morning, I woke up with a Guitar Hero song stuck in my head. “What song IS that??” I did a search on the web for Guitar Hero, and found a group of guys wrote some software to grab the “tabs” off of Guitar Hero 2. Just by looking at each set of tabs in turn, I was able to find the song (“Less Talk More Rokk”!!), notable for its regular ascending patterns and totally infectious off-beats:

I went on a walk today, across the Mass Ave bridge, up Beacon St, and through the Common to Downtown Crossing. Things I noticed during the walk:

February 25, 2007. Boston/Cambridge, games, sound. No Comments.

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