The Optometrist and the Dragon #writephoto

Myths of the Mirror

photo compliments of Sue Vincent

A man of science, Irvus the optometrist didn’t believe in enchantment. But a dare was a dare, and he wasn’t about to cede his convictions to a bunch of old-timers at the Pickled Sow. It was the 5th century, for Heaven’s Sake. The last known dragon had gone extinct a hundred years ago.

The climb up the scree to the cave was steeper than it appeared from a distance. His borrowed twin-bladed battle-ax weighed a ton, and if the rusted iron weren’t strapped to his back, he would have abandoned it on the dirt track below. Sweat dripped into his eyes and plastered his hair to his scalp. He renewed his determination to begin exercising, again… maybe.

Then he saw the old skull.

His boot crunched on a human spine twisted like a skeletal snake. Farther up, a rubble of sun-bleached bones littered the loose…

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This week in science history: The “Wizard of Schenectady” is born

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

Einstein’s pal Charles Proteus Steinmetz transformed the electric power industry. Jeff Glorfeld reports.

He was called the Wizard of Schenectady, and counted as friends Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. He stood little more than 120 centimetres tall, his body contorted by a hump caused by a congenital deformity known as abnormal kyphosis, an extreme curvature of the upper spine. He was one of the greatest mathematicians and electrical engineers of his time, whose discoveries continue to resonate today.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz was born Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz on April 9, 1865. He Americanised his name when he emigrated to the United States in 1889. He chose Proteus as his middle name, derived from a nickname bestowed him in Germany.

Steinmetz went to work for a small electrical firm in New York, and his experiments on power losses in the magnetic materials used in machinery led to his first…

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FL9’s in Storage

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

I read on the Trains magazine web site that Amtrak is considering running Empire Service trains into Grand Central again this summer as work continues at Penn Station. the article stated that Amtrak is considering bringing FL 9s out of storage and refurbishing them for the purpose.

The six FL9 m’s belonging to Conn. Dot have been stored in New Haven since 2009, when they were replaced by newer locomotives. They are painted in the original NH color scheme and were rebuilt extensively in the 90’s. Conn Dot owns them and I believe they will be leased to Amtrak.

The numbers are Conn Dot 2011 ex NH 2038
2014             2041
2016             2044
2024             2058
2026             2007
2027             2015
Hope this answers your question. A lot…

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Current News – Iwo Jima Remembrance

Pacific Paratrooper

Hershel “Woody” Williams, Medal of Honor, Iwo Jima

HONOLULU — Seventy-three years ago on the island of Iwo Jima, Hershel “Woody” Williams randomly chose several fellow Marines to give him rifle cover as he made a one-man charge with his flamethrower against a network of Japanese pillboxes.

He spent four hours unleashing flames into the pillboxes that had stymied advance for days, racing back to the Marine Corps lines to refuel the flamethrower, and then running again into battle — all while covered by only four riflemen.

Hershel Williams

Williams was ultimately awarded the Medal of Honor on Feb. 23, 1945, for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty,” as the official citation describes it. He “daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine-gun fire” coming out of reinforced concrete pillboxes, on which bazooka and mortar rounds…

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New Transit Boss Might Have The Toughest Job In New York City

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads

It’s peak morning rush hour at the 23rd Street station on the 1 line, and Andy Byford can’t help himself. He’s so detail-obsessed that he is in danger of being trampled by fast-moving straphangers as they rush for their train.

The recently installed president of the New York City Transit Authority bends down to pick up scattered copies of Metro newspapers and place them neatly back on their rack. He points to the floorboards at the 23rd Street station that are fading.

“We could paint those black and at least show customers that we are on top of the details,” he says while pointing out a dingy stairwell. “It’s grubby, just not acceptable.”

When he stops dead in his tracks to stare at a jumble of crisscrossed yellow safety tape precariously holding together a broken barrier (“That looks so hokey. We need to change it!” he says), one commuter angrily…

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New York officials pledge less sweltering subway cars this summer

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads


The program will pay for a surge of workers to repair the air conditioning in time for summer on the fleet of roughly 6,000 subway cars rolling through New York City, said Joseph Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Master controllers, used by motormen to drive New York City subway trains, are seen atop a desk inside the 207th Street Overhaul Shop where subway cars are refurbished, in Manhattan, New York, U.S.,

The plan is for systemwide repairs of signals and tracks, as well as the cars themselves at two huge repair shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which will operate around the clock. The MTA will increase the number of unionized workers at the shops to 1,400 from 900, Lhota said.

Last year’s “summer of hell,” as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dubbed it, was caused by track repairs on commuter rail lines at New York’s Pennsylvania…

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