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Jason

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[Dec. 13th, 2009|05:13 pm]
Jason
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In the Milwaukee airport, reaching usual high levels of christmas travel misanthropy. At least there's free internet. Thanks, google. Thgoogle.

---

Boarded the plane, and was immediately told that our flight is delayed four hours. FFFUUU. It's looking like I'm getting home to my apartment after 1am tonight, after leaving the my dad's house at about noon. Ugh I fucking hate air travel.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: gustavolacerda
2009-12-13 11:37 pm (UTC)
is Thgoogle an instance of a snowclone?

This is hard to search, because the template is "ThX".
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-14 12:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, IIRC it's from Look Around You, the "Water" episode
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCWA7uevo_Q
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[User Picture]From: gustavolacerda
2009-12-14 12:20 am (UTC)
ThX! Thjcreed!

I like the electronic music played in the first minute! and wtf H-20?
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-14 12:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, "Look Around You" is a great parody of early-80s educational science videos... emphasis on "parody", don't take anything they say seriously :)
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[User Picture]From: stepleton
2009-12-14 12:50 am (UTC)
"Man has been using iron since the Stone Age."
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[User Picture]From: gustavolacerda
2009-12-14 07:53 am (UTC)
yes, it is pretty awesome!

I'm submitting it to the Snowclone Database.
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[User Picture]From: gustavolacerda
2009-12-14 08:03 am (UTC)
did Akiva invent Look Around You, or did Look Around You invent Akiva?
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From: aleffert
2009-12-14 03:54 pm (UTC)
What? We are independent entities? I am so confused.
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[User Picture]From: stepleton
2009-12-14 12:49 am (UTC)
Dood, it's all over Season 2. He thanks the ghost of Tchaikovsky with "Thankovsky". In the last episode, he thanks three guys named Hank.
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[User Picture]From: bhudson
2009-12-14 05:39 am (UTC)
Air travel is the worst. If only trains weren't communist, we could have some.
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From: rdore
2009-12-14 10:42 am (UTC)
Trains don't make much sense here. Fastest scheduled train services in the world are about 180 mph. Madison to Philly is about 900 miles. That's 5 hours. Now add in stops, transfers, getting to and from the station, etc. You're talking at least 7 hours door to door under absolutely optimal conditions arrangements. Something more like 9 or 10 is more likely, even before you factor in delays.

Now for flying, one can get a viable connection MSN->PHL that's around 4 hours. Now we add in half an hour to the airport, arrive an hour before the flight, and take an hour to get home. That's 6.5 hours. So you have to assume that the average plane delay versus average train delay is something like 3 hours for this to be better.

This ignores the insane financials for any HSR line through Madison. Such a route would have to go to between the twin cities and chicago. Using the cost for the most recent LGV track in France ($15M/km), you're talking about $8.5B cost. Assuming optimistically 5 million in annual ridership and a 3% interest rate, just paying the debt obligation is $50 per passenger (each way). That doesn't include operating costs, plus all the costs you get from connecting people onward.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of HSR a lot of places in the US. But for less densely populated areas or longer routes, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Edited at 2009-12-14 10:45 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-14 03:01 pm (UTC)
You have some decent points.

My ranked list of places I enjoy being goes something like the following, though:

On a train
In a decently big train station
In an airport
In a crummy small train station
On a bus
On a plane

At some point I am actually willing to trade off a good two or three hours if they mean not having to go through long holiday security/ticketing lines, extra leg room, the ability to walk around whenever I feel like it, to not stress out over roller-coaster turbulence, etc.

I mean, I think you're right that the PHL->MSN distance makes it awfully hard to imagine a rail solution that can actually win. Nonetheless I don't relish the fact that even the apparent best solution available makes me cranky.
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From: rdore
2009-12-14 08:44 pm (UTC)
Of course, most of those hassles exist because people pick the lowest possible fare over any comfort decisions. (Not saying there's anything wrong with that.) So airlines cram as many people as they possibly can onto a plane, offer as few services as they can, etc., to save costs.

Are you willing to switch to a train if it's a lot more expensive?
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-14 09:06 pm (UTC)
Are you willing to switch to a train if it's a lot more expensive?

Very probably not.

As it happens, PIT-PHL is marginally cheaper on the train.
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[User Picture]From: _tove
2009-12-15 04:17 am (UTC)
Also, the PIT-PHL train-travel price is constant despite when you buy the ticket, which plane-travel prices so very aren't.
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[User Picture]From: bhudson
2009-12-14 04:36 pm (UTC)
Twin-Cities to Chicago via Madison is, indeed, in the relatively late planning stages, albeit with a stop, risibly, at Madison Airport rather than anywhere actually near downtown.

Another route of interest is Pittsburgh-Philly.

There are a whole set of proposals for Chicago eastwards to Ohio (which is an indication that they aren't in the late planning stages).

So, in 20 years or so, it might actually be an option.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-14 04:40 pm (UTC)
Pittsburgh-Philly I already prefer to take the train. It's about seven hours.
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[User Picture]From: bhudson
2009-12-14 07:57 pm (UTC)
Pittsburgh-Philly in 7h is roughly comparable to Eastern Europe train speeds, and those are the laughingstock of Europe. A normal intercity train would probably take about 5h. An ICE or TGV would do that distance in 2h easily.
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From: rdore
2009-12-14 08:47 pm (UTC)
Pittsburgh to Philly is the sort of route that really ought to be viable on a train. Especially because it offers so many through routing possibilities.
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[User Picture]From: bhudson
2009-12-15 12:32 am (UTC)
The Quebec-Windsor (and on to Chicago) route has been talked about for decades. It's as dense as much of Europe. And yet, it hasn't happened yet.
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From: rdore
2009-12-14 08:39 pm (UTC)
That sounds awesome, but the cynic in me isn't ready to believe it will actually happen. Or that it will be a lousy excuse for HSR like Acela.
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[User Picture]From: bhudson
2009-12-14 08:45 pm (UTC)
There's discussion on the twin cities - chicago line about whether there should be a dedicated track, or whether it should share with cargo.

So, yeah, it will probably be crappified high-speed rail.

I find it shocking that there are grade crossings on the Acela line.
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From: rdore
2009-12-14 08:51 pm (UTC)
Acela isn't really very fast. The top speed is like 110mph, and it only gets that around eastern Connecticut IIRC. Philly -> NYC, Acela is only about 15-20% faster than regular Amtrak service.
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[User Picture]From: cdinwood
2009-12-14 02:00 pm (UTC)
Air travel is only bad when it doesn't work. Everything is bad when it doesn't work.

Just think, you could be going by Greyhound instead!
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-14 02:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know, truth be told, what I am saying is "I am presently cranky because things are not going my way, and the thing I am currently at is an airport so I will blame it"

I have had good experiences with (the rebranded Greyhound-managed) Bolt Bus, though, going up to New York.
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[User Picture]From: cdinwood
2009-12-15 12:17 am (UTC)
From Wisconsin?
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2009-12-15 12:19 am (UTC)
nonono, from Philly. About 2 and a half hours, seemed to mostly fill up with people who were not crazy and loud, and there is free internet on the bus.
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[User Picture]From: bhudson
2009-12-15 12:33 am (UTC)
I find air travel only rises to the level of mediocrity when it works. I aspire to greater things.
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