Remembering A Lost Opportunity

February 13, 2019

It is with immense sadness that we contemplate the death of the Mars rover Opportunity.

Sent to the red planet in January 2004 with an anticipated lifetime of just 90 days, Opportunity found ways to survive, to keep moving, and to keep sending us vital scientific information until last summer.  In the course of its life, it traversed more than 28 miles of the planet’s surface.

In June 2018, the rover was covered by a massive dust storm, clogging her solar panels, and cutting her off from communication with earth. NASA engineers have tried to contact the rover but, finally, have had to give up the attempt.

Opportunity has given us more than a decade of extraordinary learning; she will be missed.

Image: River at Sundown

February 13, 2019

Better Tech For Less Money = Better Transit

February 13, 2019

Any regular reader here knows my opinion of the proposed Broadway subway line. I am against it for so many reasons.  Not the least of which is that an underground subway is far and away the most expensive method of construction, especially with the outdated SkyTrain system.

My concerns are magnified when I see stories such as this one about transit development in China:


A related story in the Metro from 2017 notes the Chinese engineers suggesting that this system will cost just 20% of the cost of traditional trams — let alone the inflated cost of an underground SkyTrain.

Clearly there are alternatives — different technologies, significant alteration of traffic patterns on Broadway, flextime for scholars, housing on the UEL, etc etc etc — and I am convinced that with the rush to juddgment on the SkyTrain subway we are heading towards making a decision that will negatively affect transit across the City, business on Broadway, and housing affordability for many years into the future.