20100831

China traffic jam: 100 km long, 13 days old


Believe it or not: A traffic jam that's entered 13th day! Stretches 100km; may take as long as mid-Sept to clear

Beijing: Baffled by the world's longest traffic jam, the Chinese government has mobilised hundreds of policemen to clear the 100-km long stretch of the Beijing-Tibet highway, riddled with vehicles for 13 days, with the pile-up almost reaching the outskirts of the capital. There have been no reports of road rage, and the main complaint has been about villagers on bicycles selling food and water at 10 times the normal price.
 The snarl up on the highway, on a section that links the capital to the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia was triggered by road construction and repair. While all sorts of vehicles appeared to have been caught up in the jam, it was mostly caused by lengthy coal carrying trucks, which brings fuel for the industries around the capital.
  
The traffic jam was currently noticed about 60 km outside Beijing and officials hope to clear it in the next few days with the deployment of large traffic police at various places. The government has mobilised hundreds of policemen to clear the massive pile-up that has caused embarrassment here.
  
In the worst-hit stretches of the road in northern China, drivers pass the time sitting in the shade of their immobilized trucks, playing cards, sleeping on the asphalt or bargaining with price-gouging food vendors. Many of the trucks that carry fruit and vegetables are unrefrigerated, and the cargoes are assumed to be rotting.
   
 On Sunday, the eighth day of the near-standstill, trucks moved just over a kilometer (less than a mile) on the worst section, said Zhang Minghai, a traffic director in Zhangjiakou, a city about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Beijing. China Central Television reported Tuesday that some vehicles had been stuck for five days.
  
No portable toilets were set up along the highway, leaving only two apparent options -- hike to a service area or into the fields. At several places, drivers, sick and tired of the snarl up, were bitter and angry as temperatures soared during the day and dipped in the nights. Many complained that local vendors were fleecing them for food and water, charging heavy rates, by selling water for 10 yuan as against 1 yuan.
  
The jam which some in Beijing say was not new in that particular section has also brought the spotlight back on China's soaring auto sales. The congestion is set to peak in five years, when the total number of cars is expected to nearly double, the Beijing Transportation Research Centre said in its new report.
 
 If people continue to purchase vehicles at the current rate of 1,900 new cars a day, the total will reach seven million in 2015 in Beijing alone, reducing average speeds in the city to below 15 km an hour, the report said.
  
 
Traffic arrangements built up over generations in the U.S. are lacking in much of China, said Bob Honea, director of the University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, who has visited China. "We'll see this problem more and more often. It's true of every developing country," he said.  
  
 

20100826

Panoramic photography







Two-shot vertical panorama of Trump International Hotel Tower Chicago





96607.jpg96609.jpg96612.jpg96893.jpg

20100822

Company Logos and their Meanings


Ever wondered what company logos mean and whats the significance behind them? Wonder no more!

Amazon

You might think the arrow does nothing here. But it says that amazon.com has everything from a to z and it also represents the smile brought to   
the customer's face. Wow, that is quite deep.

 FedEx
Am not sure how many of you have noticed a hidden symbol in the Federal Express logo. 
Yeah, I am talking about the 'arrow' that you can see between the E and the x in this logo. The arrow was introduced to underscore speed and precision, which are part of the positioning of the company.

Baskin Robins
 The old logo of Baskin Robbins had the number 31 with an arc above it. The new logo took this idea to the next level. The pink parts of the BR still form the number 31, a reference to the 31 flavours.

Carrefour 
 Carrefour is one of the biggest European retailers, and its also French for crossroads. The logo symbolizes this word via two opposite arrows. They also added the first letter of the name, because if you look closely youll see the letter C in the negative space between the two arrows.

 Formula 1
 At first, this logo might not make much sense. But if you look closely, youll see the number 1 in the negative space between the F and the red stripes. I also love how this logo communicates a feeling of speed.

NBC
 The NBC (National Broadcasting Company) is one of the biggest American television networks. I think most of you have already seen the peacock in this logo. The peacock has 6 different tail feathers, referring to the six divisions at the time that this logo was created. The peacocks head is flipped to the right to suggest it was looking forward, not back.

Sony Vaio 
Sony Vaio is a well known brand of laptops. But did you know that the name Vaio logo also had a hidden meaning? Well, the first two letters represent the basic analogue signal. The last two letters look like a 1 and 0, representing the digital signal.

Toblerone 
Toblerone is a chocolate-company from Bern , Switzerland . Bern is sometimes called The City Of Bears. They have incorporated this idea in the Toblerone logo, because if you look closely, youll see the silhouette of a bear.

Unilever
 
Unilever is one of the biggest producers of food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. They produce a huge amount of different products and they wanted to reflect this in their logo. Each part of the logo has a meaning. For example: the heart represents love, care and health - feeling good, a bird is a symbol of freedom. Relief from daily chores “ getting more out of life.
IBM
Paul Rand (who designed the iconic IBM logo in 1972) designed this 'eye bee M' logo in 1981. I like that they are quite relaxed about the logo, unlike certain other companies who do not like the logo to be tampered with in any way even for internal promotions

SUN
The SUN Microsystems logo is a wonderful example of symmetry and order. It was a brilliant observation that the letters u and n while arranged adjacent to each other look a lot like the letter S in a perpendicular direction. Spectacular.
 Families Marriage
The above are two magazines from the Readers Digest stable. Again, the attempt to communicate what it is about quite figuratively through the logo catches my attention.

Cluenatic
This was a logo created for a puzzle game called Cluenatic. This game involves unravelling four clues. The logo has the letters C, L, U and E arranged as a maze. and from a distance, the logo looks like a key

Eighty20
Eighty-20 is a small consulting company which does sophisticated financial modeling, as well as some solid database work. All their work is highly quantitative and relies on some serious computational power, and the logo is meant to convey it. People first guess that 20% of the squares are darkened, but that turns out to be false after counting them. The trick is to view the dark squares as 1's and the light squares as 0's. Then the top line reads 1010000 and the bottom line reads 0010100, which represent 80 and 20 in binary. Kinda like the surreal green screen of The Matrix, they want us to read stuff in binary

  

Facts That Were Already Proven False By Science

MYTH: The sun is yellow. 1 You'd be forgiven for thinking the afternoon sun looks yellow — but the light it gives off is techn...