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On The Homeland Generation

@fjp Stalin and Hitler will eventually pass into oblivion (or, ugh, legend). Remember Napoleon? People joke about him now but he was deemed the first "anti-Christ". So give it some time and we'll have another round of brutal dictators somewhere in the Western nations.

Posted on October 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm 0

On Do You Remember the 90s? And Which Parts?

That is a lot of words about pointless television.

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 12:38 pm 0

On A Walking Tour Through the Living Wreckage of Penn Station

@6069012@twitter This is an artifact of the Ostbahnhof outgrowing itself and in a piecemeal fashion. Most non-terminal stations in Germany are through tracks connected by an underground tunnel running perpendicular. Main terminals (like the Munich Hauptbanhof) typically have trains that pull in and pull out with a common track-level walkway along the front end of the tracks.

Ostbahnhof was/is a secondary station in Munich. As the city grew, it became a large part of long-haul service for DB to take some load off of the Hbf. They also added U- and S-bahn service at separate times, which is why it lacks the unity of unity of typical terminals in Germany.

What's maddening about Penn is that they purposefully split it into four separate non-standard stations when they built it; probably because of that turf war mentioned in the article. "If we can't have it all, then everyone will get an equal share of awful."

I've thought about Penn station with "Count of Monte Cristo"-levels of distaste and loathing for a long while.

Posted on October 7, 2014 at 11:02 am 0

On A Walking Tour Through the Living Wreckage of Penn Station

Penn Station is horrifically confusing for those new to it and even for those who only go through it a few of times a year. Nothing is where it should logically be; there's almost no line-of-site so you can't find things without walking in circles.

This is the only major train station in the world I've visited where you can't actually see the trains and platforms. And trains never stop on regular platforms, so every single passenger is forced to stand in a giant crowd in a heavily trafficked thoroughfare and gape at an arrivals sign. And once the train is announced, typically 5 minutes before it leaves, an entire train's worth of people are forced to squeeze through doors and down stairwells 1.5-people wide. That's insanity.

An efficient train station is one where
1. even people who have never used it before can figure out where they're going (through standardization of signage and a regular, predictable layout);
2. they can actually see where they need to go;
3. passengers can arrive and board a train more than five minutes before the departure time.

Penn Station may shift 750,000 people each day, but that feat's not done through any kind of efficient design. It's done through the sheer will and desperation of the poor bastards unfortunate enough to have to travel through it.

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm 2

On There Was New York

@My Number Is My Address No, no, no, New York sucks now because we're all not trying hard enough!

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm 1

On Death Name Difficult

AirBombnBomb?

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm 0

On "Calm Down," the Movie, Part II

*A nurse asked about the travel as part of a triage checklist and was told about it. "Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated throughout the full teams. As a result, the full import of that information wasn't factored into the full decision making," Texas hospital official Mark Lester said.*

Repeat after me: "It could never happen here."

Posted on October 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm 0

On "Calm Down," the Movie

Ugh, I hate the argument that we don't have to worry about Ebola because only poor people are getting it. As you intimate above, the more people it infects, the greater the possibility of mutation.

And fuck this high-horse thinking that, "Oh, only dumb, uneducated people like West Africans panic during an epidemic." Even Americans, the Saviours of the World, are capable of irrational fear in the face of mass danger.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm 0

On Uber Optics

All of the teachers I know spend dozens of hours outside of class preparing lesson plans, correcting assignments, and weeping at the state of our educational system. I doubt they want to spend their precious free time carting around assholes who are too cheap to call a professional driving service.

Posted on September 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm 0

On Publishing's Best Worst Friends

"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded with people who want to track you down and force useless crap down your throat at the expense of your private life and freedom."

(With apologies to Yogi Berra.)

Posted on September 29, 2014 at 4:23 pm 0