Watch a Jumbo Jet Spin a Tiny Jet In a JFK Runway Collision

Gizmodo: Watch a Jumbo Jet Spin a Tiny Jet In a JFK Runway Collision: “”

“We do, however, have video of the incident available to us, for those who like their jumbo jet accident porn:”

“As well as the audio of the communication between the tower and the Comair flight after the accident, for those who like their chagrined pilot porn:”

“It’s always so much nicer when no one gets hurt during incidents like these, isn’t it? Both for their sake, and so that we can enjoy our large-scale calamities guilt-free. “

Zipcar Profits (none)

Shareable: Should Products Be Designed for Sharing?:

On the eve of Zipcar’s IPO, with profitability riding on driving down the cost of their fleet of designed to be owned cars, it’s time to ask whether products should be designed to be shared. 

Zipcar has shown that running a car-sharing business with traditional cars isn’t cheap. They’re the market leader with roughly 500,000 car sharing members, most of whom express zealous enthusiasm toward the Zipcar brand and experience. They’ve made car sharing aspirational and fun. With $186 million in revenue last year and membership booming, it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t also be profitable.

But, in fact, they’ve never turned a profit. And they’re over $65 million in debt. When you look closer at the cost of providing the Zipcar experience, their debt makes more sense. The better part of its 8,000-car fleet is leased, and their high cost of operation is due mainly to the cost of the cars. Further, these expensive and high-maintenance vehicles are being turned over every two to three years.

Sometime this week, Zipcar is expected to go public in a $75 million initial offering. According to its regulatory filing, Zipcar will use the funding to help with general expenses and pay off debt. However, the company cautioned that they expect a loss in 2011 and couldn’t predict when they would begin to turn a profit.

(Via Beyond the Beyond.)

Review of In Motion: The Experience of Travel, by Tony Hiss: Places: Design Observer

Places: Design Observer has a

Review of In Motion: The Experience of Travel, by Tony Hiss. I haven’t read the book yet, though I read his earlier The Experience of Place many years ago … Experience is one of the key evaluative criteria we identify in Planning for Place and Plexus (Chapter 10), along with Efficiency, Equity, and Environment, and it is the one given least attention in planning circles, in part because it is the hardest to pin down.

“In his latest book, In Motion: The Experience of Travel, Tony Hiss poses a provocative challenge: Can we rethink the value we put on all the accumulated years of our lives we spend in transit, all the “wasted” time spent in-between the places we live and work and visit? As he did in his ground-breaking The Experience of Place, published two decades ago, Hiss weaves a strong web of personal narrative, literary reference and human-awareness research, all in the service of the modest goal of changing the world. To get us going, he wants us look afresh at the hours we spend in motion, whether on a daily car commute, transcontinental flight, or adrift, wet and supine, on the “lazy river” behind the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He posits that in these experiences there is, or could be, a special type of awareness — neither concentration nor daydreaming, fight nor flight — that is richly human, indeed at the core of our evolutionary identity as walking, watchful beings.

Hiss calls such experience “deep travel,” and he prods us to recollect memorable travel experiences — the kind of train rides, for instance, when to our surprise we find ourselves open to the wonder of the racing suburban landscape, a sensation especially intense during, say, the first 48 hours in a new country, when every sight and sound is distinct information, impressed onto a mind alert for risk and opportunity. It’s an evocative premise, hard to read without thinking, as with his earlier book: Of course, why hasn’t this been written about before? Hiss is a great synthesizer, and he’s not shy of poetry, whether quoting the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, or describing his own deep travel as resembling “sunlight after rain — details stand out,” and moonlight, too, because it “changes your sense of what has become possible and of what might happen next.” ”

A Numeric Topology of the United States Eisenhower Interstate Highway System


Hedberg Maps makes “A Numeric Topology of the United States Eisenhower Interstate Highway System “ which looks quite cool, though is not quite free. A full discussion is here

The interstate system has another quality besides the creation of corridors, boundaries and districts: it orders and grids the country. In creating the basic numbering plan for the highways, its creators followed a tradition that includes not only previous highway systems (including the 1920’s U.S. Highway System), but street layouts dating back to William Penn’s Philadelphia, the initial “nine squares” of New Haven, and the very definition of United States territory, the 1785 Land Ordnance with its grid of 6 x 6 mile townships. It has become so common for American cities to lay out streets in a square grid with numerical names that it can be surprising to go to countries where this practice is unknown. Learning to navigate even older American cities like Boston, where what grids there are are haphazard and streets change names seemingly at whim, can be daunting to those raised in orderly Omaha or Chicago.


Some ground-rules quickly emerged:

  • I would try to keep the “5-roads” as my guideposts and conform everything else to them (but what do you do when 1-80 and 1-90 become one road in Ohio and Indiana?)
  • One roadway = one line.
  • Two-digit routes would be drawn with a heavier line weight than three-digit routes. Where they share a pathway, the heavier line takes priority.
  • State boundaries would be topologically correct: every road intersection and state boundary road crossing would be shown in the correct order.
  • Odd-prefix three-digit routes (i.e spurs like I-394) would be shown as straight lines, and even ones (i.e. loop roads like I-494/694) would be made of circular arcs.
  • As much as graphically feasible, routes would be encouraged to lie along their numbered place in the grid for as much of their length as was graphically feasible.
  • A minimum of 1⁄4 inch would fall between each major intersection. Mostly.
  • I would use only straight line segments and arcs. No other curvy bits.

How Smartphones Can Improve Public Transit

Wired’s Autopia:

How Smartphones Can Improve Public Transit :

An interesting study of commuters in Boston and San Francisco found people are more willing to ride the bus or train when they have tools to manage their commutes effectively. The study asked 18 people to surrender their cars for one week. The participants found that any autonomy lost by handing over their keys could be regained through apps providing real-time information about transit schedules, delays and shops and services along the routes.
Though the sample size is small, the researchers dug deep into participants’ reactions. The results could have a dramatic effect on public transportation planning, and certainly will catch the attention of planners and programmers alike. By encouraging the development of apps that make commuting easier, transit agencies can drastically, and at little cost, improve the ridership experience and make riding mass transit more attractive.