March 5th, 2008

homer scared

trains and automobiles, oh my!

A couple days ago, squished_frog (Eric G from VPXI) posted about school bus behavior at railroad crossings. Eric wondered if the stat given (4000 train/vehicle collisions/year at railroad crossings) could actually be true.

I got my auto insurance newsletter the other day. One of the articles was:

"Are you safe around railroad crossings?

The weight ratio between a 100-car freight train and your auto is similar to your auto and a soda can. You know what happens when your auto runs over a soda can.

Still, the Federal Railroad Administration reports therewere 3,010 highway/rail grade crossing collisionsin the United States in 2005, killing 355 people and seriously injuring 970 others."

It then follows with common sense safety tips, like "don't drive around lowered gates", "look both ways", "stop at least 15 feet away from tracks when waiting for train", "if stall on tracks, get everyone out of the car and run away".

So, there's another piece of data to support the statement that 8-10 collisions occur Every Single Day. Crazy.

Bonus points for the "car and soda can" comparison. Yikes.
robot green glasses

a robot picture

Here's some robots I saw at WIRED NextFest last year. I don't remember what the name was, but they were a project of one individual to create small robots with personality and semi-realistic motion. They were pretty cool.