Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Those Crazy Norwegians

I was checking out rocketboom.com yesterday and they did a story on percentages of people from which countries commute from point A to point B by means of "the bicycle." It turns out there's a hilly college town in Norway where more than half the people ride their bike when they need to get themselves someplace. The report went on to say that one of the main reasons people are out pedaling the streets of town is the "trampe lift," which is a moving foot holder that pushes you up the biggest hill in town.

Below is a link to a video that has some great shots of the Trampe in action. It also has some fantastic background music. You MUST check this out.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

The BTO!

What is the BTO you ask? Why it's the Boston Typewriter Orchestra of course! It's a bunch of guys who sit around in a room and pound away on typewriters to crank out some sweet beats. They have a little video demonstration of what they do and how they do it at their website. I'm not one to predict the future, but I think we're going to see a lot more of this typewriter stuff incorporated into today's music. I hear Justin Timberlake is already working on a song called "Bringin Type keys back."


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pimp my T stop!

I've often wondered where the "emergency exit" staircase would empty evacuees from the Arlington Street stop on the greenline in Downtown Boston.

Today I found out. I decided to go out of my way to see the new construction of this subway stop that had been hidden for years. As I exited the trolley I was amazed to see the antique tile walls with a mosaic reading "ARLINGTON". I can't believe they ever covered up such beautiful artwork with genereic white tiles, and a generic metal sign set in generic helvetica. BORING!

I seriously doubt that the city of Boston will resurrect this old backdrop that was once the Arlington Street Station. It makes me sad.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The big pants...

In my search for the best halloween costume ever, I came across the world's largest pair of underpants. These are available at mcphee.com under their "weirdest products" link. These things are awesome and I might have to consider getting a pair for next year. This is the gift that keeps on giving all year long. For instance, you could hang them out on a clothes line to see how your neighbors react. Or if you decide that you're finished with them, you can leave them in a dryer at your local laundry facility.

I wonder if they make big socks?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Attack Kitten

I was walking to the train on Monday morning behind this woman and her daughter. Suddenly, out of nowhere this cute little kitten pops out of the bushes and approaches the woman and her daughter. They reacted as if they had just crossed paths with a spitting cobra. The woman defensively guided her daughter to the other side of the street and naturally, the kitten followed. At this point the woman started to become a tiny bit frantic and was shaking her keys at the menacing kitty and yelling "SHOO!"

This is where I stepped in as the neighborhood hero. I squatted down and made kissing noises at the kitten. No longer interested in the scared woman and child, the kitty came purring over toward me. The woman looked at me and said "OH, THANK YOU! We HATE cats." At the same time "Subject A" came out of his house and informed me that "Harriet" is a very playful kitten and likes to greet people as they walk down the street.

As "Subject A" and I were discussing the cat, a large black lab jumped up and started barking at the woman and her daughter. I think they have since picked a different route to the train station.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Commuting Experiment 1

Friday afternoon I was heading home on the 4:45 and was pondering how I would execute my new experiment. As the train neared the station I walked to the very rear of the train, where only a handful of commuters exit the train.

On this particular day the conductor wasn't there to open the door for us. The train began to slow down and the gentleman standing in front of me tried to open the door. As the train came to a halt, he looks over his shoulder and says "It's Locked!" So, we turn around and start running down the aisle as if we were being chased by a wild boar. Luckily, there wasn't a wild boar and we managed to exit the train before it began rolling again. Once we reached the platform I turned to my new friend and said: "We're gonna have to try that again on Monday". He concurred and we walked our separate ways.

Until I find out this guy's name I will refer to him as subject "A".

Friday, September 08, 2006

Commuting Experiment

Every day I pick up the train at 7:10 am. I see most of the same people every day getting on the train and getting off the train. There are a select few that form litte "clicks" and they talk amongst themselves while waiting for the train. They laugh about stupid things that their cats do and talk about weekend plans. As an outsider I feel left out and not worthy of joining their conversations. There are lots of unknowns with these groups of people. How long have they been a click? Are they all somehow related? Do they all live on the same street?

I'm considering conducting an experiment, where I somehow infiltrate these clicks and find out more about my neighbors each day. This will give me some good material for this blog I'm sure.

My strategy will be to ask the group if they "have the time" (even though it's clearly posted on an LED sign that gives updates about the train schedule). The next day I'll say good morning to them to see if they remember me. I'm sure they'll call me "Kid who asks for the time" and eventually want to know my real name.

The only danger with this experiment is that I might get sucked into the group. I often have days where I enjoy the ability to talk to nobody and sit quietly on the train. Getting into the habit of talking to people might ruin this luxury. Perhaps I'll come up with a "code word" that I say when I see the group. Maybe I'll simply smile, nod, and say "READING DAY" and keep walking.

Stay tuned.