Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'transportation'

Teksi Driver

March 5th, 2013 · No Comments

Apologies for the late jump on the week, but I’m swamped with prepping an excerpt from The Skies Belong to Us. Back tomorrow with thoughts on the brouhaha in Tasmania’s poppy industry; in the meantime, take a moment to learn about the hardships of driving a taxi in Port Moresby.

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Be Thankful for What You’ve Got

January 18th, 2013 · No Comments

A bundle of statistics to chew over the next time you set foot in an automated elevator. Yes, the steel boxes of today lack a certain charm compared to the ornate, manually-controlled brass contraptions of yore. But at least they’re not death traps. (Current accident statistics here.) Humans are great at many things, but reliable […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Squished

May 11th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I’ve been breaking out all my old kiddie books to read to Microkhan Jr., an experience that has taught me a lot about the formative images that shaped my worldview—sometimes to horrifying effect. One that jumped out at me the other day was from Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World. It purports to depict the demoralizing […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·····

Road Hazards

October 28th, 2011 · No Comments

So easy to forget what a high degree of transportation safety we’ve reached here in the United States. I’m not talking purely in terms of vehicle safety—we also are fortunate to have law and order in areas surrounding roads. The lack of that sort of security is what enables folks to blockade entire Indian states, […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

Requiem for the Slug Kings

April 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment

A surprising number of tears were shed when the world’s last manual-typewriter factory announced its shuttering a few days back. Once again, generations of technological know-how are set to evaporate as a once state-of-the-art invention tumbles into museum mode. The manual typewriter industry’s long-anticipated demise got me thinking about engineering wizards whose skills have been […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:······

The Rickshas Tell All

January 20th, 2011 · No Comments

I’m a big fan of the theory that the key to understanding societal shifts is to pay close attention to the art of the everyday. A Chinese politician who may or may not have been Deng Xiaoping is credited with summarizing this logic during the sunset of Mao Zedong’s reign, when he was asked to […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:··

The Importance of Good Design

January 13th, 2011 · No Comments

A salient reminder that engineering details really matter, from the august (and 141-year-old) pages of The Field Quarterly Magazine and Review: The Hindustani howdah often requires six men to place it on the elephant’s padded back. The Siamese “shing kha” can be easily lifted by two persons, and this while the elephant is standing—a great […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:·········

The Kevin Durant of Bus Driving

October 18th, 2010 · No Comments

Thanks for Microkhan Jr.’s increasing obsession with all things mechanical, I recently found myself trolling through the hundreds of transit-related videos on this YouTube channel. It is quite an amazing collection, the handiwork of a New York City metrophile who apparently spends the bulk of his leisure time filming buses and subways. And among his […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Subways and the Smart Grid

March 26th, 2009 · No Comments

As promised yesterday, Microkhan’s gonna continue with its week-long series of “extras” taken from the cutting-room floor of my Wired smart-grid essay. Today’s treat? How subways can become part of distributed-generation networks, along with rooftop solar panels and backyard wind turbines. Beginning in the early 1970s, the Metropolitan Transit Authority began experimenting with flywheels that […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···

“Sleek Greyhound of the Seas”

March 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Over the weekend, the fam and I paid a visit to the Museum of the City of New York, primarily to check out the exhibit on our fair city’s stab at going green. But the exhibit that really drew me in was “Trade”, an overview of New York’s heyday as a bustling port. As noted […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:····

Light Rail in Lagos

March 18th, 2009 · No Comments

After a lengthy bidding process, the two-line Lagos Rail Mass Transit project is set to break ground in September. This comes on the heels of the successful revamp of the city’s bus service, which now carries 180,000 passengers per day. Can the rail project ever come to fruition in a city as chaotic (and chronically […]

Share

[Read more →]

Tags:···