The Explosions of Every Nuclear Bomb to 1998

The Explosions of Every Nuclear Bomb to 1998

The Explosions of Every Nuclear Bomb to 1998
This video, by artist Isao Hashimoto, charts every nuclear detonation from the US’s tests in 1945 to the modern era. Even if you’re versed in history, it still offers a perspective that’s tough to entirely grasp in numbers alone.

The pacing, mixed with an Atari-esque soundtrack is both distancing and hypnotic. As more and more countries gain nuclear technologies, the map becomes a terrifying game of Simon. By the end, it feels remarkable that we never encountered a game over…as of yet.

(Via Gizmodo .)

Are downtown two-way streets better?

From the Strib: Are downtown two-way streets better?

“On Tuesday, the brass at Minneapolis City Hall declared last fall’s conversion of Hennepin and 1st Avenues back to two-way traffic a success.
Crashes are down for both motor vehicles and bikes, despite a slight increase in volume, and the number of traffic-clogged intersections is down. But out on the avenues, opinion is decidedly more mixed.”

It seems people feel less safe. What they don’t recognize is that feeling less safe may make them more safe if they are then more cautious. Bike traffic is down on Hennepin, but up overall on parallel routes.
Net Density was not happy with the design, and I don’t think this is fully resolved despite installation of seemingly temporary and not attractive bollards/delineators .
I think the problem is they are doing this on the cheap. I am all for inexpensive, but a bit more investment in paint/pavement coloring would help. A slightly more serious attempt could much more clearly delineate which people/vehicles are supposed to be where, with somewhat less confusion. The signs don’t help, probably because the regulations are too complex about lane usage.

Cities tackle traffic head-on with commuter options

USA Today profiles Minneapolis Cities tackle traffic head-on with commuter options finally published. I get quoted briefly at the bottom. Also misquoted, I was talking about mode share on all trips, the article says work trips.
For the record, Brookings estimates Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington Transit mode share at 4.8% in 2008, nationally transit commuters are about 5.0% of all commuters.
Non-work transit mode share is much lower. Overall,
Transit Person Miles Traveled nationally is about 1% of Annual Private Vehicle Person Miles Traveled (source: Polzin and Chu: A Closer Look at Public Transportation Mode Share Trends. Journal of Transportation and Statistics 8(3)) Trip shares are a bit higher for transit since trip length for most bus trips is lower than private car.
The Twin Cities TBI (2000) estimated for all purposes transit mode share of 2.5%.
I think this could be fixed by deleting “work” from “work trips” in the ante-penultimate paragraph.

3-D Pavement Art:

And now for something different: 3-D Pavement Art: Edgar Mueller – Ice Age/The Crevasse

“Edgar Müller – a Master of 3d Pavement Art – needed 5 days to the completion of this huge picture. Together with up to five assistant he painted all day long from sun rise to set. The enormous illusion is reached by applying the anamorphic technique to a huge pavement painting. Around 250 square meter large this picture is part of Edgar’s newest project. He paints over urban areas to give them a different look and thereby challenge the audience’s perception.”

Semi-Quinquennial

The International Symposium on Transportation Network Reliability is now on a semi-quinquennial cycle: the next (5th) will be in December 2012 in Hong Kong. This will be followed by the 6th meeting in Summer of 2015 in Japan. INSTR is thus the first conference series (to our knowledge) to meet on a cycle of four meetings per decade.
As host of the 4th INSTR, I want to extend my thanks to the following for making it work smoothly:
(1) The Center for Transportation Studies for donating the time and effort of Stephanie Malinoff through the long preparation period and Stephanie and Liz Erickson on the conference days. Also to Arlene Mathison for coordinating the website.
(2) College of Continuing Education for coordinating the logistics, in particular Catherine Flannery, Kristi Fischer, Nicole Freese, Tonya Walsh, and Sara Van Essendelft
(3) Brian Kary of MnDOT for giving the opening plenary talk
(4) Taylor and Francis for sponsorship
(5) Bill Hyman for helping distribute the announcement and encouraging attendance among those in the SHRP program
(6) Peer reviewers for taking the time to review the papers
(7) My colleague Henry Liu for co-hosting and helping with organization, and with ground transportation, with his student Sean He and post-doc Xiaolei Guo
(8) Restaurant facilities (Tea House and Campus Club) and the caterers for handling everything smoothly, as well as the Hotels (Days and Ramada), as well as the facilities at Coffman.
(9) Authors and participants for attending.
I hope to see everyone in Hong Kong.

Tolling Scofflaws – 1859

From Grush Hour Tolling Scofflaws – 1859

Canadians have a venerable history of disdain for road tolls, so that the spoiled and entitled commenters that whine and threaten at the end of every Toronto newspaper article about tolling are hardly equipped with novel thoughts. Here are a couple of Krieghoffs from 150 years ago. According to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Cornelius Krieghoff apparently came down on the side of the scofflaws and perhaps admired them.

On The Path To Pike’s Peak: New Video of Stanford’s Robot Car

On The Path To Pike’s Peak: New Video of Stanford’s Robot Car

It will be one of the more daring feats of robotic driving ever attempted: Stanford’s autonomous car, an Audi named Shelley, will race up Pike’s Peak at breakneck speeds. T

The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) is also working with Volkswagen to produce a self-parking car.