Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Traffic Science: Eat a wave

Having procured a new job on the other side of the cities, I often find myself in traffic jams during the rush hours. Consequently, I have noticed a few patterns in the traffic congestion routines. The traffic jammage happens in waves, that is why they call it stop and go. Annoying! I always wondered, "Why can't we all just go at the same steady pace, rather than all this stop start nonsense!"

Finally, I realized that the best thing to do was to just go at a slow and steady pace, and average out the speed of the cars in front of me. I called it the "No brakes" method, where it was kind of like a game where you had to adjust your speed such that you never had to hit the brakes in a stop and go traffic jam.

It makes huge gaps in front of you, which for some odd reason irritates the other drivers, but the fact is, you are not going any slower than anyone else.

Some inside information which was recently delivered to me also talks about this same phenomenon, with the same "cure". A brilliant fellow in Seattle has a webpage where he talks about traffic wave experiements:Traffic Waves. He has illustrations, explanations, experiments in great detail regarding the wves that are created in traffic jams. I encourage you to read it and implement also in your own driving the cure: average speed, eat a wave.

A snippet from his page:
Sometimes the traffic waves have have no real cause at all. They appear because tiny random motions can trigger large results. They are like sand ripples and sand dunes, and they just build up for no clear reason. They are like ocean waves caused by the steady breeze, or like the waves which move along a flapping flag. They just "emerge" spontaneously from the writheing lines of traffic. In the science of Nonlinear Dynamics this is called an EMERGENT PHENOMENON."

ANTITRAFFIC DESTROYS TRAFFIC. Empty spaces can eat a traffic jam.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Science:How To Build a Giant Air Cannon

You might want to make one.

Instructions here.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Craving New Beginnings

Sometimes I crave new beginnings: A new day, a new week, a new month, a new season, a new year, a new job, a new place of residence, etc. It's good to start over. I think everyone quite possibly has that inside of them; a craving to start over, reboot, refresh.

Recently I got a new job and I will be starting in a week, so I am in new-beginning-crave mode. The anticipation of starting over with a new job, new environment, new people, new place is exciting me. I am excited and somewhat nervous.

I think our earth is nicely set up to incorporate new beginnings all the time. There is something so fresh about waking up on a new day and having the morning greet you. It's like you're given another chance to start over and become a new person.

(Insert mushy paragraph about how every new beginning gives us a new opportunity to redefine ourselves, and who we eventually become is based upon the little choices we made throughout our lives)

I fail to reject the above sentiment.

P.S. I feel like making stalactites and stalagmites out of concrete.

Friday, April 01, 2005


F--Picture: Edga, Jr.

Edga Jr. The Long Email Killa Filta. Do you know this guy?

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