Archive for July, 2007

Yoda on the MBTA

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

The next time you’re in Park Street station, check out the new electronic signs. The one near the (former) tollbooth is bright, shiny, and correct, despite the weird font. But this morning around 10am, the one further down the inbound Green Line platform was out of sorts. In fact, it was channelling Yoda:





It went on in that vein, two lines at a time. I have to wonder, does the software have a Yoda mode, and if not, how did it manage to do this?

In other Green Line news, I made the mistake of trying to take the D Line this weekend. If you just casually read the MBTA’s Disaster on the D Line Advisory, you might not suspect that the D Line has been closed every weekend since construction began, with shuttle bus replacement service. If you live near the D Line and see the buses going by and no trains going by every weekend, then you know.

So I should have known better, but somehow I ended up at the Brookline Village stop on Sunday afternoon, waiting for a train that was never going to come. Fortunately there was a T worker standing around telling people where to go to get the shuttle bus. I asked her if the bus stopped at Beaconsfield. She said yes. I told her I heard the bus didn’t stop at Beaconsfield, and the sign over there announcing next week’s Disaster on the D Line service changes also said the bus wasn’t going to stop at Beaconsfield for the next month.

But no, she insisted, somehow this Sunday was different and the bus was going to stop at Beaconsfield. So I waited (and waited, and waited some more) for the shuttle bus. Eventually two came at once (simulating a two-car train, one supposes, if one is feeling especially charitable). The first stop was somewhere around Cypress and Boylston, which the driver dubbed “Brookline Hills.” “Beaconsfield” being next up, I watched as we passed the many likely turns we could have taken to get us to Beaconsfield Road, if the driver had had any intention of stopping there. Then we passed the Brookline Reservoir and turned onto Chestnut Hill Avenue, and all hope was lost.

Yet the driver did have the gall to stop at Chestnut Hill Ave and Dean Road and call that “Beaconsfield.” Fortunately, I know the area so I was able to find my way home without chewing off any limbs to survive or being attacked by stray moose. But for the 90% of Bostonians who would be utterly lost if a bus dropped them off at Chestnut Hill Ave and Dean Road, here’s a google map of the half-mile walk out of the suburban depths of Brookline back to Beaconsfield Road. The most important thing to remember is to go east on Dean Road towards Boston. If you go west, you won’t see another human being until you stumble into The Mall at Chestnut Hill three days later begging for Perrier.

The best course of action, of course, is to ignore any T employee who claims the shuttle bus is going to stop at Beaconsfield, because the E Line is going to stop at Arborway before the shuttle bus stops at Beaconsfield. (For those of you from out of town, the Arborway stop has been “temporarily” closed since 1987 1985.) Instead, take the advice offered on those D Line Disaster Preparedness signs that popped up at the aboveground stops this weekend: kiss the Beaconsfield stop goodbye and take the C Line instead.

The Anti-Sociopath

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

The New York Times has an interesting article on Williams Syndrome, which concludes by contrasting sociability without intelligence to intelligence without sociability.

LOLCat of the Day

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Here’s a timely lolcat from MacroCats.