Chloe Schama at the New Republic cites a litany of ways we’re willing to pay a premium for good ol’ peace and quiet. We text instead of call, we stake out the quiet car on Amtrak (and then rage at the people who don’t abide by the rules), we pay more for fancy automobiles that don’t make noise, we live on quiet blocks, and we soundproof conference rooms. My personal favorite: “You can buy John Cage’s 4’33’’ on iTunes.” (omg)
Like tens of thousands of other travelers this winter, Reuter’s Lauren Young had to deal with attempting to fix her travel plans after her flight was canceled due to bad weather. Young runs through the various things she should have done when she started to receive travel advisories, namely, she should had rebooked her flight.
The idea of the road trip was hatched in the dark corner of a bar in Cambridge, sparked by the restlessness that accompanies all college graduates, ready to start the rest of their lives without a solid road map. I was moving to California, because it seemed better than spending a year sitting on my dad’s couch in upstate New York, and Wendy and Kyle, friends from college, were coming with me. We’d sleep under the stars, drink a lot of regional cheap beer, and spend a lot of time gazing pensively at corn fields out a dirty car window, writing in our journals. It was the perfect plan, the best way to delay adulthood, and an efficient and somewhat cheap vacation.
As the Taipei Times reports, The Taiwan Railways Administration is celebrating Valentine’s Day this year with a commemorative 2/14 train trip “from Dalin (大林, pronounced similarly to “darling” in English) station in Chiayi County to Gueilai (歸來, literally: “come back”) station in Pingtung County.” The 3500 tickets, which read “DARLING, COME BACK” sold out in about an hour.
Gary Leff writes for an addiction and recovery site called the Fix about his obsession with earning free airline miles.
Oh man, Politico published a long confessional essay from a guy named Jason Harrington, a former TSA agent who’s now headed to grad school to study creative writing. It is, uh, definitely worth a read!
There was an unusually well-attended transportation board meeting at San Francisco City Hall yesterday, as the topic of debate for the evening was the new pilot program for Silicon Valley commuter buses. The San Francisco MTA board of directors approved the proposal unanimously, which means that companies can buy passes to use city buses at cost, which come to about $1/stop per day, or about $100,000 per year.
If you don’t have any plans for 2023 yet, and aren’t really feeling tied to this whole “life on planet Earth” thing, well, it’s too late! The first round of application reviews to go start a colony on Mars is already over.
200,000 people over 18 were way ahead of you and sent a video to the Netherlands-based nonprofit Mars One, which is raising six billion dollars to send 40 people to Mars by 2023. The application pool has now been whittled down to 1,058 people who really, really want a new start (in nine years):
Of those who made the first cut, 297 are from the United States. Canada is the second best represented country with 75 candidates, followed by India with 62 and Russia with 52. All told, Mars One is looking at applicants from 107 different countries, according to figures released by the group.
Nearly 77 percent of the people who made the first cut are employed, while about 15 percent are still in school. About 55 percent of the applicants are male and most are quite young: 357 are under 25 and 415 are under 35, while just 26 are over 56. The oldest person to make it to the next round is 81.
If you’re kicking yourself for missing yet another application deadline, you can always participate by donating to the Mars One Indiegogo campaign (LOL), which has raised a total of $129,708 as of this writing.
Photo: NASA Goddard Space Center