Meet the Hyperloop, the possible future of transportation
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk isn’t exactly one to dream small: Just look at his plan for a so-called Hyperloop transportation system, which would reach speeds of more than 700 mph, has just been officially unveiled.
While a network of tube transports that would make a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco as short as 30 minutes seems ridiculous, remember that Musk is also leading SpaceX, which aims to commercialize space travel.
Said Musk in his unveiling of the Hyperloop:
When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?
As for how the whole thing works:
Hyperloop consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube. The capsules are supported on a cushion of air, featuring pressurized air and aerodynamic lift.
The capsules are accelerated via a magnetic linear accelerator affixed at various stations on the low pressure tube with rotors contained in each capsule. Passengers may enter and exit Hyperloop at stations located either at the ends of the tube, or branches along the tube length
All of that said, there are no immediate plans to construct the loop, and that the project is currently “extremely speculative.”
Photo: Tesla Motors
The man behind the Polaroid Kidd
Photographer Mike Brodie documented a lengthy series of travels across the country starting in 2004, taking on the moniker of the “Polaroid Kidd.” Though his work has been met with acclaim, and is currently on display at the M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, he’s since stepped away from the world of photography.
So what inspired Brodie to explore the country in such a rough way? From photographer Barbara Davidson’s interview with him:
"The punk scene, like radical anarchists and all these feminist girls, at the time, their ideas and way of life were really interesting and inspiring to me and really gave me the push to think for myself and, well, hit the road. I saw 46 states via freight train; the journey was 10 years, the book was culled from four years’ worth of photographs."
Photos: Mike Brodie / M+B Gallery
Above is a testament to Los Angeles’ Pacific Electric Red Cars, taken out of service in 1961. The cars once crisscrossed four counties on more than 1,000 miles of track, but now only exist in memories and photographs.
Photos: Art Rogers, Grant MacDonald, Ray Graham, R.L. Oliver / Los Angeles Times
Happy 150th birthday to the Tube!
And a happy 80th birthday to its iconographic map. It may seem like just a map to some, but to many, the display of the 249-mile underground network is “a marvel of graphic design.”
From Times reporter Henry Chu:
Its rainbow palette, clean angles and pleasing if slightly old-fashioned font (Johnston, for typography buffs) have endured since hurried passengers first stuffed pocket versions of the map into their raincoats in 1933.
It’s certainly more exciting than the Los Angeles subway map, that’s for sure.
The Faces Of New York’s Subway Commute
What did 2012 look like on New York City’s subways? From video journalist Rebecca Davis’s perspective, it was a mix of loneliness, intimacy, exhaustion, and, of course, smart phone-gazing. Davis’s video Commuters 2012 is a voyeuristic glimpse of life in New York’s connective tissue, the subway—hundreds of snapshots of regular people living their lives underground, selected from more than 3,000 photos she took last year.
“So often on the train we bury ourselves in something we’re reading or music we’re listening to and forget to look around and take in some great human drama that is constantly being played out in New York,” Davis says. The best moments in her video are of children and of couples—kissing, laughing, or just sitting there. “I hope it makes people stop and look more deeply into all the different faces and human moments we encounter each day in a city like New York where privacy is hard to come by.”
test reblogged from fastcompany
Biking in L.A. - it’s possible! Even for a transplanted Midwesterner like our own Ben Poston, who writes about his experiences learning to maneuver around the city aided by neither car nor public transportation.
It’s not just the lack of traffic that’s enboldened Poston’s faith the viability of biking in L.A.
Riding at a pace between 15 and 20 mph, the city is a slide show instead of a blur.
I mentally catalog the names of the food trucks, carwashes, coffee shops and thrift stores tucked into strip malls that line Sunset. I watch people congregating around the bus stop at the Echo Park Avenue intersection and can even hear snippets of conversations from sidewalk cafes. (“I finally got a TV credit. Everything else is gravy, right?”)
Read Poston’s full perspective here, and maybe begin thinking about dusting off your own bike and helmet.
The return of the downtown L.A. streetcar?
Voters in downtown Los Angeles this week approved key financing for a $125-million streetcar project that might finally put this theory to the test. The streetcar would run mainly along Broadway, and Hill and Figueroa streets, three of downtown’s main arteries, connecting various neighbors, including the old banking district, South Park, Civic Center and the fashion district.
The next steps for the project include securing federal grant money to help finance it and conducting an environmental impact review.
Photo: A streetcar heading south on Broadway in 1963. Credit: Electrial Railway Historical Assn. of Southern California
Los Angeles to try out ‘parklets’ at four locations: Los Angeles will create four pocket parks by temporarily blocking off parallel parking spaces. It’s an effort to increase the city’s pedestrian friendliness. If they’re a success, more may be added.
Have any of you been to the Sunset Triangle Plaza parklet in Silver Lake? What do you think?
Photo: An illustration of a parklet proposed for Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: City of Los Angeles
L.A. — transit’s promised land: Which major U.S. city is at the cutting edge of forward-thinking transportation planning? Surprise: It’s Los Angeles.
L.A. transit has a long way to go, but Taras Grescoe’s op-ed is worth a read. What do you think?
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times
Two Wilshire-405 ramps to close: Starting Friday night at 10 p.m., one on-ramp and one off-ramp will shut down for three months. All eight ramps at the interchange are scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt over the next year. One county official has dubbed the project “Ramp Jam.”
Detour maps and other information at www.metro.net/405.
$1 bus trip up California’s spine: One traveler finds the ghost of Jack Kerouac and more on a bus trip up California’s spine. At $1 each way, it has to be the best bargain in all of travel.
Photo: Greyhound recently started offering these Express tours in California aboard sleekly painted dark-blue buses with leather seats and big windows that you can see out of. Credit: Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times
Safety expert calls for more upgrades on Expo Line: A USC professor asserts that three crossings on the 7.9-mile route are “woefully inadequate.” The MTA and the state say the route has been thoroughly tested.
Photo: The concerns of USC professor Najmedin Meshkati are part of a long debate about the safety of the $930-million Expo Line. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times
"Did you know that road rage is the leading cause of death among enormous douchebags?" Thanks, GOOD!
I always wondered why it was so difficult for drivers to just pay attention and not be assholes. Then I moved to Los Angeles and got a car. Here, we do not operate our vehicles so much as we hang out in them. Hunkered in my sedan, I’m now comfortable juggling an iced coffee and the radio dial while “courtesy” honking the car in front of me. Only when I jump back on my bicycle do I become a little bit scared about the person that I become when I’m behind the wheel.
test reblogged from good
Tour de theft targets high-end racing bikes: The Sheriff’s Department arrests three men accused of using Craigslist and Facebook to steal custom cycles worth up to $15,000 from victims across Southern California.
Detectives said the thieves scanned Craigslist and Facebook to identify targets, making away with designer racing bikes worth $2,000 to $15,000 each.
They allegedly preyed on the growing online community of Los Angeles bike enthusiasts who share photos about rides and their latest bike acquisitions on various websites and look for parts on Craigslist.
The victims, detectives say, include teenagers like Millie, bike club members, long-distance road racers and triathletes spanning six Southern California counties.
Photo: Sheriff’s investigators display some of the recovered racing bicycles that were stolen from victims found through Facebook and Craigslist. The Major Crimes Bureau has arrested three men accused of being at the center of the bike-stealing ring. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Expo Line’s opening launches rail service push to Westside: Trains begin running Saturday on the first segment. USC, with three nearby stops, is seen as a big beneficiary. The line is expected to carry riders to Culver City this summer and to Santa Monica in a few years.
Photo: An Expo Line train is reflected on a glass wall at the La Cienega station. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times