Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

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What am I noting today?

August 23, 2016

Today, in 1977, the Gossamer Condor won the Kremer Prize for controlled, sustained, human-powered flight. The prize was established in 1959, but proved difficult to win . . .

“In order to win the prize, a person had to pilot a human-powered aircraft around a figure-eight course where the turning points are a half-mile apart. The aircraft had to clear a 10-foot hurdle at the beginning of the course and again at the end.”

The craft, with its  96-foot  wing span, is now at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

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What do I find amazing?

November 19, 2015

from WordlessTech

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Why am I saying, “road trip!”?

April 20, 2015

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London to New York City by car?

It could happen if the head of Russian Railways has his way.

According to a March 23 report in The Siberian Times, Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin has proposed a plan for a massive trans-Siberian highway that would link his country’s eastern border with the U.S. state of Alaska, crossing a narrow stretch of the Bering Sea that separates Asia and North America.

The scheme was unveiled at a meeting of the Moscow-based Russian Academy of Science.

Dubbed the Trans-Eurasian Belt Development (TEPR), the project calls for a major roadway to be constructed alongside the existing Trans-Siberian Railway, along with a new train network and oil and gas pipelines.

“This is an inter-state, inter-civilization, project,” the Siberian Times quoted Yakunin. “The project should be turned into a world ‘future zone,’ and it must be based on leading, not catching, technologies.”

“Are we there yet?”

The road would run across the entirety of Russia, linking with existing road systems in Western Europe and Asia.

The distance between Russia’s western and eastern borders is roughly 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles).

Yakunin said the road would connect Russia with North America via Russia’s far eastern Chukotka region, across the Bering Strait and into Alaska’s Seward Peninsula.

The road would likely enter Alaska some distance north of the town of Nome, where the famed Iditarod sled dog race ends.

How would drivers span the ocean gap between Siberia and Alaska? Ferry? Tunnel? Bridges?

The report didn’t offer specifics on the route across the sea.

The shortest distance between mainland Russia and mainland Alaska is approximately 88 kilometers (55 miles), according to the Alaska Public Lands Information Centers.

The main route of the Trans-Siberian railway runs from Moscow to Vladivostok and covers 9,258 kilometers.

A theoretical drive (as fancifully calculated by CNN) from London to Alaska via Moscow might cover about 12,978 kilometers (8,064 miles).

Relatively isolated even by Alaska standards, no road connects Nome with the rest of the state’s road system.

About 836 road-less kilometers (520 miles) across desolate terrain separates Nome from the closest major city and road network in Fairbanks, the unofficial northern terminus of the Alaska Highway.

From Fairbanks, Canada and the 48 contiguous U.S. states can be reached by road.

Assuming a road to Nome were ever built (the idea has been studied by the state of Alaska), a fantasy road trip from London to New York might cover a grueling but presumably photo-op-laden 20,777 kilometers (12,910 miles).

Facebook posts from forlorn Siberian rest stops might alone make the trip worthwhile, though the journey would also easily establish irritating new records for “Are we there yet?” gripes from the kids.

Who’s gonna pay for this thing?

Yakunin has been described as a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some sources have speculated that he could be Putin’s likely successor as president.

TEPR would reportedly cost “trillions of dollars.”

According to Yakunin, however, massive economic returns would more than make up for the massive cash outlay — about which the report also included no details.

Story, map and photos from CNN

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What am I noting on tattoo Tuesday?

March 31, 2015

 eiffel4The Eiffel Tower opened 126 years ago today.

Have I mentioned that the Tower is one of my Favorite buildings?

DSC01715This photo is from my recent trip to Las Vegas.  We stayed at Paris Las Vegas.  The tower in this photo is half the size of the original.

Here is a nice story about Eiffel Tower history in the Christian Science Monitor.

It was also featured today on the Google search banner.126th-anniversary-of-the-public-opening-of-the-eiffel-tower-4812727050567680-hp

It is not a surprise that this beautiful, iconic image is also popular as a tattoo design:

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 Paris is always a good idea.

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What am I being buzzed by?

August 30, 2014

Wasp-or-hornet

Hornets – it’s time for the Air Show.

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Last year the show was canceled because of government sequestration.  This clip is from 2012.

This event began in Cleveland in 1929 as the National Air Races. Holding the races in Cleveland gave a big push to industry in this city.

The event circulated to different cities for nine years and was finally brought to Cleveland in 1929 by a group of local businessmen headed by Louis W. Greve and Frederick C. Crawford. Greve was president of the Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Company, which made the hydraulic undercarriages that held the wheels on airplanes. Crawford was general manager and later president of Thompson Products Inc., now a part of TRW Inc. Thompson Products developed the experimental sodium-cooled cylinders, which enabled Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis to reach France.

The inaugural event in 1929 attracted an estimated 300,000 spectators, and took place over 20 days.

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Read more about it here.

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Where was I traveling?

August 26, 2014

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Here for a meeting and for some vacation . . .

Gvggenhein Hall of Hovsehold Arts Colorado State U

The Gvggenheim Hall of Hovsehold Arts

on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins

new belgium barels

and BACON

bottle chandelier

Also in Fort Collins we toured the New Belgium Brewery and saw the production facilities, a bacon statement tee shirt on one of our tour group and a marvelous chandelier of hand blown glass bottle shapes.

chairlift2 Breckenridge

On to Breckenridge and Keystone

This is the chair lift at Breckenridge – I was white knuckled.  Said my companion, “when the last time you were on a ski lift?” My response, “NEVER!”  Needless to say, I did not take this picture.

wildflowers 4 Breckenridge

wildflowers Breckenridge

Some wild flowers at 11,000 feet.

Bison Burger Idaho Springs

Bison burger at The Buffalo in Idaho Springs

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Idaho Springs

Brown Palace Clock

The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.  I love this place.

AF Tree

AF wildflowers

AFAcademy dramatic sky

Scenes at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.

It was a good trip!

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Who discovered what today?

June 9, 2014

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Cartier discovers St. Lawrence River

Four hundred-eighty years ago, on June 9, 1534, Jacques Cartier’s party sailed into the St. Lawrence River.  This excursion began in France in April of 1534.  Cartier’s mission was to find gold and spices, and passage by water from Europe to Asia.  While he failed in his mission to find a water route to China, Cartier had discovered an important water route into what would become Canada and the United States.  In fact Canada was named by Cartier.  He met with Iroquois people who gave him directions upriver to a town or settlement.  “Kanata” signifies a village in the Huron-Iroquois tongue.  The word has come to be the name for an entire nation.

 cartier's shipCartier’s ship Grand Hermine

 

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While Cartier recognized the North American continent for what it was – a separate land mass from Europe and Asia, he hoped that the St. Lawrence would furnish passage to China.  That is why the rapids near Montreal are named the Lachine Rapids.

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The Lachine Rapids are a series of rapids on the Saint Lawrence River, between the Island of Montreal and the south shore. They are located near the former city of Lachine. The Lachine Rapids contain large standing waves because the water volume and current do not change with respect to the permanent features in the riverbed, namely its shelf-like drops. Seasonal variation in the water flow does not change the position of the waves, although it does change their size and shape. The rapids are about 3 miles (4.8 km) in length. In the past these represented a considerable barrier to maritime traffic. Until the construction of the Lachine Canal through Montreal, the rapids had to be portaged.

Refs.  America’s Library, Wikipedia.