29 April 2005

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Had to edit this post to make the links actually work....

An interesting story that has been bouncing around the news recently. They found an Ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct, in the swamps of Arkansas last year, and kept it secret until now.
I'm just posting one link here:
but there are other things about this on NPR's website.
Check out:
which talks about many different birds, and has pictures/recordings of sounds, and is generally pretty neat.
On another, less happy note, I also heard a piece about smoking and how its deleterious effects on your health take years to go away.

24 April 2005

Back and forth to Long Island

Driving home takes such a long time. I have, though, discovered construction zones which cause traffic jams, and side roads that I can take to avoid them. I'm always hesitant as to whether to take these roads, because there's always a chance that there will not be a traffic jam. However, ever since I got caught in an hour long traffic jam on I-78 approaching I-81, I have often taken these alternate roads. It involves taking US 22 between I-81 and I-78, and then taking exit 40 on I-78 down to a small state road that parallels I-78, and I then take that east all the way into Allentown.
The other thing that Pennsylvania does is ask that you use both lanes to the merge point. In other states, they tell you well in advance which lane is closed so that you have time to move over. They do not do this in Pennsylvania. In fact, often, to make sure that you use both lanes to the merge point, they keep which lane is closed a surprise until you actually get to the merge point. On the one hand I think this is good, since it maximizes use of the road to the merge point. However, I still wonder if it does anything, because if you have cars merging in gradually as you approach the lane closure, as opposed to one exact point, wouldn't it work better, since the effect of the lane closure would not be as concentrated?
Of course, if they did not have one of those signs instructing people to use both lanes, and someone tried to merge in at the merge point, I probably would not let them in, because they would be cutting the line. I imagine if this idea of using both lanes was so good, other states would use it, and I have not seen this outside of Pennsylvania, so maybe it is not such a good idea.

12 April 2005

The Semester Winds Down

The Semester is winding down here, and oddly I am not that concerned about finals. I am looking forward to Passover this year, it's the one time of the year where I get to see my extended family.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) there is this karaoke thing at Market Cross, which I'm thinking of going to. You may have a rare opportunity (although I use opportunity loosely) to see me sing! I make no promises however.
So, Carlisle, in yet another one of its brilliant moves, decided to drain the fire hydrant near my apartment. This stirred up sediment in the pipes, turning my water a nice appetizing brown color. Gotta love the Borough of Carlisle. That and its snow removal policy, which I call "Wait For The Snow To Melt". This as opposed to a normal town where they actually -- get this Carlisle -- plow the snow!