Time: The High Cost of Commuting

Classes are over, final projects are coming in, and I've just wrapped up another year of my high-flying, jet-setting lifestyle. Which is just a sexier way of saying I commute. Which is just shorthand for: every Tuesday I wake up at 5am, drive 30 miles to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, fly at dawn to Washington… Continue reading Time: The High Cost of Commuting

My carbon footprint has got to be ridiculous

In a recent conversation between Thom Yorke and David Byrne in Wired, Yorke describes how Radiohead conducted a study to assess its carbon footprint, in the hopes of then being able to reduce it. But their biggest impact upon the environment turned out to be something out of their control: all their fans driving to… Continue reading My carbon footprint has got to be ridiculous

Art and Terror in the Arctic

It's a good thing that August had record temperatures---seemingly endless days over 100 degrees---because I spent a better part of the month reading Dan Simmons' leviathan of a novel The Terror, a semi-historical account of a failed bid in the 1840s to chart the legendary "northwest passage" through the frozen arctic. Simmons accomplishes much in… Continue reading Art and Terror in the Arctic

Between here and Philadelphia

The train. Unapologetically steel. Irresistible momentum. And the joy of discovering the red brake handle, knowing I can pull, and the train becomes my limb, my extension, which I control. Overriding engineers, coffee splashed on laptops throughout, the sudden stop. A hundred people stalled on tracks, the train a bullet bludgeoned to a blunt standstill,… Continue reading Between here and Philadelphia

Fly the Fiendly Skies

This is the scariest freaking business I've read in a long time: Christopher Soghoian, a computer science student who had created an online generator for fake boarding passes--solely to point out how ludicrously ineffective airport security is--has been visited several times by the FBI, most recently, with a 2am warrant that allowed the Bureau to… Continue reading Fly the Fiendly Skies

Fast Food, Homeland Security Style

Here's a placard (larger image) on a parking shuttle bus at Dulles International Airport, outside of Washington, D.C. I'm very appreciative that they let me know, well before I enter the terminal, what I can eat, and whether it's "pre-security" or "post-security" dining. So I can plan in advance such critical traveling strategery as, do… Continue reading Fast Food, Homeland Security Style

Puzzling over the flight home

How many passengers on a transatlantic flight play Sudoku? Apparently all of them. Another observation from the flight...One of the in-flight movies was The Dukes of Hazzard. I assume this movie was supposed to appeal somehow to the retro-seeking, nostalgia-desperate Gen Xers like myself, who spent many Friday nights in the eighties watching The Dukes… Continue reading Puzzling over the flight home