14.6.07

So, apparently a Boston Blog-News aggregator thingy called Universal Hub has been picking up my blog lately. Not as cool as my buddy's best Minneapolis blog of the year in 2005, but still enough to amuse me. I shall be adding a link.

Boston, Massachusetts

I've been taking a Transportation History class this semester (actually, it probably should be called Tangents Relating to Transportation History) and have come up with several amusing anecdotes for your enjoyment:

- You know how the Green Line takes a really tight turn between Boylston and Arlington? That's because there is a cemetery above the tunnel. They wanted to disturb as few bodies as possible when they were building it. Of course, this really freaked people out, so they used to have priest come down a bless the tunnel every now and then and they even used to whitewash the walls so that ghosts wouldn't have anywhere to hide.

- America didn't start having timezones until November 18, 1883. Before that, noon was whenever the sun was directly overhead (so Noon in Manhattan was 12:01 in Brooklyn and 11:59 in Jersey City). They railroads needed a way to regulate the train schedules so they pushed it through. Of course the Christian Fundamentalists of the time had a problem (surprise, surprise) with us not using "God's Time" so it wasn't made official until 1918 (way to go guys!)

- The first year that gas prices averaged around $1 per gallon was 1973. The last year that they did was in 1999. During the same time, the cost of a new car when from about $2000 to about $18,000 and the average cost of a house went from about $40,000 to about $250,000. So if anything, gas prices are way below inflation. Let's stop whining, huh?

- During the height of the construction of the Interstate, there was a plan in California to vaporise up a mountain with 22 atomic bombs so that they wouldn't have to tunnel through. The Kennedy Administration was on board because they wanted to demonstrate the peaceful uses of atomic weapons. Of course, they still didn't really understand radiation at the time, and if they had done it, Phoenix would probably still be uninhabitable.

2 comments:

Ryan 2:25 PM  

Hehe awesome.

When you say Phoenix would still be uninhabitable do you mean that the radiation would still be affecting the area or that even a nuclear bomb wouldn't make Phoenix inhabitable? ; )

Jason S. 10:17 AM  

ah, the innocence of times when "fundamentalists" and big business were actually fighting each other.

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