One day I happened across a blog written by Myra Miller and I stopped in for a visit. Ms. Miller and her family were compiling stories from WWII to be published soon. I was invited to submit one of Smitty’s letters – and I most certainly took her up on her offer!
Smitty’s Letter X, Jungle Juice was accepted and now, appears on pages 286-288. I received my copy right before Christmas! The timing could not have been better.
The volume: Soldiers stories: A Collection of WWII Memoirs is out on the stands! This 317 page historical collection honors our Greatest Generation veterans, both male and female soldiers, from theaters of operations around the world. They will grab and transport you into the past and once you are there – you witness the tears, the laughs, the success and the failures which created…
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(2017). Computing brains: learning algorithms and neurocomputation in the smart city. Information, Communication & Society: Vol. 20, The Social Power of Algorithms, pp. 81-99. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2016.1181194
Plans were all set for you and your friends to meet up at the local amusement park. The weathercasters had predicted good weather and they were right, warm and sunny. You and your friends were excited about going to the park because there was a new attraction. Walking into the kitchen to get something to eat for breakfast you heard your mother talking on the phone. The conversation was just ending and after your mother hung up the phone she said your aunt, uncle and cousins were coming over in the afternoon. You explained your plans but your mother told you it would not be polite to leave when your cousins were looking forward to playing with you. If your cousins were coming over in the morning you were sure they would want to go with you to the amusement park; but coming later in the afternoon, you knew your…
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Transit projects from Detroit to Nashville are running up against a new argument from opponents. The latest line from anti-transit types is that ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft are going to make fixed-route bus or rail service obsolete.
It doesn’t hold up if you’ve given some thought to the huge amount of space cars consume compared to buses or trains. But many people don’t spend their days thinking about the spatial efficiency of transit.
1. Uber and Lyft hog too much space
Let’s say, hypothetically, that a city gives up on transit service because officials think Uber and Lyft can take care of things from now on. Imagine what happens next: Everyone who rides the LA Metro Bus system suddenly crowds onto the 405 in an Uber, every passenger on New York’s L train has to hail a ride over the Williamsburg Bridge. The result would be total gridlock.
Uber and Lyft have some advantages in certain contexts. But car services can’t overcome urban geometry.
2. Even lightly-used transit beats heavily-used ride-hailing services
Not every bus is packed, but even a mostly-empty bus can use streets more efficiently than Ubercars. A bus carrying about 10 passengers per service hour is generally considered to be “low-performing,” TransitCenter points out. But that still beats the pants off ride-hail services.
“For an Uber or Lyft driver to serve ten people per hour,” writes TransitCenter, “it would mean the driver is picking up a new passenger every six minutes, physically impossible in American cities.”
3. Demand for transit peaks at different times than demand for taxis
If you look at when Uber and Lyft are most popular, it’s during the night, when transit runs less often. Meanwhile, transit is at its fullest during the a.m. and p.m. rush. Not many people use Uber and Lyft for regular commuting.
Transit and ride-hailing services can complement each other — especially at times or in places where transit is weaker. But don’t be taken in by anyone predicting the end of transit — buses and trains aren’t going anywhere.
She was standing still near the window. Her eyes were constantly gazing at the little droplets of rain water falling onto the window glass. And the droplets rolled down the glass in the same gesture as the tears used to roll down her cheeks. The only difference was that someone was witnessing the droplets while her tears always went unnoticed.
“What are you doing there?”, a voice behind her broke the silence of the house.
“Looking at my past”, she murmured. Even the loud voice of her husband couldn’t distract her.
“Looking at the past? Is there an old DVD playing out there, outside the window?”, he laughed.
She turned around and saw him packing his luggage.
“You are leaving again?”, She asked with distress.
“It’s my job. You know that.”
She went inside. And saw those droplets still rolling down. It was a mirror this time.