1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

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Toronto
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Toronto » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:11 pm UTC

ludarp wrote:I've often thought: why not have little caged platforms that people can step into, where the entire platform then accelerates - basically like a gondola car running at ground level. There could be multiple entry points, where the platforms could "zip together" to increase capacity of the high-speed line. Too complex/uneconomic/space-consuming I guess... but would be super cool.


How about a small train that catches up to the big train? Moderm Mechanix had an item from a 1932 magazine about this. Google "train picks up passengers without stopping."

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:39 pm UTC

How well do the listed speeds compensate for relativity?
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Reltzik » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

Alt Text:"I think I could spend hours just stepping on and of conveyor belts moving at various speeds."


Be honest with us and yourself, Mr. Munroe. You'd be lucky to last two minutes before picking the highest speed you can find and having your fun cut short by a misstep, a trip to the hospital, and a couple of months of your leg in a cast.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Draco18s » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:09 pm UTC

Someone read The Roads Must Roll recently.

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The Owl
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby The Owl » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:30 pm UTC

Is it me, or would this be an example of simple harmonic motion? (Or rather, would it be simple harmonic if the conveyor belt were to reverse direction as the person reached the end?) At the moment, maths preoccupies me to the extent that this was the first thing I wondered when I read the comic...

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San Fran Sam
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby San Fran Sam » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:58 pm UTC

trakof wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:I've heard that a person walks at an average of 2.5 miles per hour. Let's knock that down to 2 because of the concentration it would take to negotiate the speed changes. That means that at the High Five point both people will be travelling at 6x2=12 miles per hour, meaning that even if they keep their hands stationary they'll slap palms at 24 mph.

Hmm. If I was driving my motorcycle at 24 mph, would I want to slap a tree? I don't think I would.


That's a myth, the hit would still only be 12mph.


Well, you know what they say... a myth is as good as a mile.

Or in this case twelve of them...

per hour....

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Eutychus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:13 pm UTC

This was much better the original, uncorrected way round.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby aerion111 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:02 pm UTC

Eutychus wrote:This was much better the original, uncorrected way round.

Agreed.
That way, the high-five comes with that slowly-approaching look that movies like, and it'd be the equivalent of high-fiving just as you both get to the top of a down-escalator.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby 3rdtry » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:08 pm UTC

Philbert wrote:
HagarTopeka1 wrote:This one reminds me of Asimov's The Caves of Steel, where moving walkways are a primary form of high-speed public transportation.

I came to the forum to say just that. I read it a long time ago and I'm pretty vague on the story of the book in general, but those walkways always stuck in my head.

I think they would be a great means of transportation, though they seem difficult and expensive to engineer.

How "high-speed" can a moving walkway be? Wouldn't the people get propelled away when they turn around a corner?

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby milN » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:28 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:How well do the listed speeds compensate for relativity?


Hm, depends on the reference frame of the captions, I guess.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Max™ » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:15 pm UTC

Someguy945 wrote:Check the header in the comic now:

Oops! I originally put up a version with backward sidewalk arrows.
I should know better than to edit and post comics while sleep-deprived. Sorry!

I thought that was the case, I looked at it in here and was confused, though it made more sense.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby 852derek852 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:33 pm UTC

The problem with this is that the faster they go, the less reaction time they have to step onto the next section of conveyer belt. Eventually you can't keep up with the exponentially increasing acceleration, fall of the conveyer belt, and die.

You could fix this by having the length of the conveyer belt be proportional to its speed

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby luvrhino » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

They do have various solutions to making high-speed and variable-speed walkways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_sid ... d_walkways

The most practical is probably this one from Toronto's Pearson airport. "The walkway moves at roughly 2 km/h when riders step onto it, speeds up to approximately 7 km/h for the bulk of the length, and slows to 2 km/h again at the end." My normal walking rate is about 7 km/h, so that's not exactly high speed, but it could scale to higher speeds. With this design there may be a practical limit to the ratio of the starting speed vs. cruising speed.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Moose Anus » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:14 pm UTC

It would be cool if they had one foot on each direction (Left foot backwards right foot forwards, or vice versa).
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Zindaras » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:23 pm UTC

I once spent a rather pleasant hour doing all kinds of things on a couple of those moving sidewalks (nobody used them), from moonwalking to walking backwards against it. That was a lot of fun.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby omni314 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:18 pm UTC

I swear I did this in pokemon.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby free-bee » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:25 am UTC

luvrhino wrote:The arrows were correct the way it was for the United States. People walk on the right side in hallways and sidewalks.

Actually, in the United States, people are supposed to walk on the left side of the street to face oncoming traffic because it is easier to see what's coming from the front than the rear.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby cacomyxl » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:34 am UTC

I've had this thought myself - but I imagined something more like a multilane freeway with the lanes getting faster toward the center, so you could step on anywhere along the edge.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby TimXCampbell » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:45 am UTC

Morinfen wrote:Why do you assume that the first conveyor belt moves at the average human walking speed?

My assumption was that the graphic had shrunk the conveyor belts to demonstrate the principle and that the notion was based upon those moving sidewalks at airports. Note that the first segment is labelled "Moving Sidewalk" and it doesn't give a speed factor. From this I guessed that it would run at the most convenient speed for somebody stepping onto it, which would be walking speed. That would be the (unmarked) 1X speed. The next sidewalk would be the 2X speed, and so on.

I can't read Randall's mind, of course, but at least you now know why I assumed as I did.

trakof wrote:That's a myth, the hit would still only be 12mph.

Huh? If two people are travelling toward one another at 12 miles per hour and their hands meet, would the force of impact not be comparable to hitting an immovable object at the sum of their speeds?

omni314 wrote:I swear I did this in pokemon.

Oh, great, now I'm gonna have that catchy tune stuck in my head for the next 24 hours or so!

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby luvrhino » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:58 am UTC

free-bee wrote:
luvrhino wrote:The arrows were correct the way it was for the United States. People walk on the right side in hallways and sidewalks.

Actually, in the United States, people are supposed to walk on the left side of the street to face oncoming traffic because it is easier to see what's coming from the front than the rear.


Correct for streets (not that it's followed that frequently), but on sidewalks, hallways, and stairs Americans walk on the right by convention, which makes high-fives more difficult for most. You will find that moving walkways and escalators in the US also follow right-sided traffic.

I've found that American pedestrians quite often even follow the "slower traffic to the right" lesson (also "walk left, stand right" on a moving walkway)...though they also quite often follow the "slowest pedestrians walk side-by-side taking up the entire width of the hallway/sidewalk" rule.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby ysth » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:23 am UTC

Alt Text:"I think I could spend hours just stepping on and of conveyor belts moving at various speeds."
should have been followed by "Oh, wait, I just did."
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby mishka » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:05 am UTC

Won't they be going fast enough to break an arm?

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby leathernoodle » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:10 am UTC

Philbert wrote:
HagarTopeka1 wrote:This one reminds me of Asimov's The Caves of Steel, where moving walkways are a primary form of high-speed public transportation.

I came to the forum to say just that. I read it a long time ago and I'm pretty vague on the story of the book in general, but those walkways always stuck in my head.

I think they would be a great means of transportation, though they seem difficult and expensive to engineer.


I have an actual quote from the book right here: "He stepped from strip to strip with the ease of a lifetime's practice. Children learned to "hop the strips" as soon as they learned to walk. Baley scarcely felt the jerk of acceleration as his velocity increased with each step. He was not even aware that he leaned forward against the force. In thirty seconds he had reached the final sixty-mile- an-hour strip and could step aboard the railed and glassed-in moving platform that was the expressway."

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby ijuin » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:17 am UTC

mishka wrote:Won't they be going fast enough to break an arm?


Probably not. The average healthy adult can pitch a baseball at a speed of at least 50 miles per hour, which is twice the relative speed of the two people in this example. Thus, their hands would strike each other with about half of the maximum speed that you could swing your arm while stationary.that would probably come out to somewhere between 1/2 and 1/4 of the kinetic energy of a full-strength punch.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby flicky1991 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:26 am UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:
omni314 wrote:I swear I did this in pokemon.

Oh, great, now I'm gonna have that catchy tune stuck in my head for the next 24 hours or so!

I thought "what tune", then realised it was already going through my head!
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:09 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:
omni314 wrote:I swear I did this in pokemon.

Oh, great, now I'm gonna have that catchy tune stuck in my head for the next 24 hours or so!

I thought "what tune", then realised it was already going through my head!

I've got the Final Fantasy Chocobo theme instead.

You're welcome :P

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby peewee_RotA » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:47 am UTC

Conveyor? I hardly even know her.


Come on. It had to be said.
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Philbert
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Philbert » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:50 pm UTC

leathernoodle wrote:
Philbert wrote:
HagarTopeka1 wrote:This one reminds me of Asimov's The Caves of Steel, where moving walkways are a primary form of high-speed public transportation.

I came to the forum to say just that. I read it a long time ago and I'm pretty vague on the story of the book in general, but those walkways always stuck in my head.

I think they would be a great means of transportation, though they seem difficult and expensive to engineer.


I have an actual quote from the book right here: "He stepped from strip to strip with the ease of a lifetime's practice. Children learned to "hop the strips" as soon as they learned to walk. Baley scarcely felt the jerk of acceleration as his velocity increased with each step. He was not even aware that he leaned forward against the force. In thirty seconds he had reached the final sixty-mile- an-hour strip and could step aboard the railed and glassed-in moving platform that was the expressway."


Hmm, I didn't remember the last bit. I always imagined all the belts together going round in a giant oval so that nowhere would you encounter a surface with more speed difference than between two neighboring belts. Otherwise the belts need to end somewhere, in which case someone not paying attention (typically me) would crash in a spectacular fashion.

That is why I was thinking that the expense in material and space would be enormous.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Rotherian » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:33 pm UTC

NiteClerk wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:I've heard that a person walks at an average of 2.5 miles per hour. Let's knock that down to 2 because of the concentration it would take to negotiate the speed changes. That means that at the High Five point both people will be travelling at 6x2=12 miles per hour, meaning that even if they keep their hands stationary they'll slap palms at 24 mph. Hmm. If I was driving my motorcycle at 24 mph, would I want to slap a tree? I don't think I would.


I took the speed increase as a relative increase. So assuming the first one is 2 mpg, the second is 4, third is 12, fourth is 48, fifth is 240, so at the high five impact the individual speed is 1,440 mpg.

Looking at the numbers written down I see that this is silly and would only be built by a government agency such as the Ministry of Silly Walks.


Since when is speed expressed in terms of fuel efficiency?
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby bmonk » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:12 pm UTC

Sandor wrote:
HagarTopeka1 wrote:This one reminds me of Asimov's The Caves of Steel, where moving walkways are a primary form of high-speed public transportation.

For me, Heinlein's The Roads Must Roll immediately sprung to mind. That had 100 mph rolling roads, although glass partitions prevented high-fives (and wind shear).

Me too. It was far earlier, but not as exciting as Asimov's version--it didn't have, for example, the youth who made a game of running from strip to strip.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby CharlieBing » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:49 pm UTC

Philbert » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:10 pm UTC

HagarTopeka1 wrote re: This one reminds me of Asimov's The Caves of Steel, where moving walkways are a primary form of high-speed public transportation.

I came to the forum to say just that. I read it a long time ago and I'm pretty vague on the story of the book in general, but those walkways always stuck in my head. I think they would be a great means of transportation, though they seem difficult and expensive to engineer.


Me too! I think the walkways had several lanes, so that you stepped onto the first one at - say - 5 mph, and and you could move across several progressively faster lanes to the centre one, where you were going like a bat out of hell. All kinds of issues with wind, getting ready to exit the system, falling over, etc. etc., but a compelling idea nonetheless.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby orthogon » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:21 pm UTC

luvrhino wrote:They do have various solutions to making high-speed and variable-speed walkways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_sid ... d_walkways

The most practical is probably this one from Toronto's Pearson airport. "The walkway moves at roughly 2 km/h when riders step onto it, speeds up to approximately 7 km/h for the bulk of the length, and slows to 2 km/h again at the end." My normal walking rate is about 7 km/h, so that's not exactly high speed, but it could scale to higher speeds. With this design there may be a practical limit to the ratio of the starting speed vs. cruising speed.

This lends more weight to my theory that the air travel industry actually puts most its effort into improving ground transportation. These days you generally taxi for so long you get the impression the plane has turned onto the motorway/freeway and is planning to make most of the distance by road. If they really sort out the moving walkway maybe they can dispense with the whole tricky flying thing altogether.
BTW I was gutted that Paris walkway was switched off the time I nearly got to try it. :(
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Eutychus » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:58 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:BTW I was gutted that Paris walkway was switched off the time I nearly got to try it. :(
As someone who uses Montparnasse station regularly, I can report (if it's any consolation) that the high-speed walkway seemed to spend more time broken down than it ever did in service. It's still there, but only operates at a single, slow speed. The station would also be a great place to install Improv'everywhere's tourist lanes as featured above.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby bigjoec » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:19 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the high-speed walkways at the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station:
...


Heh, that's exactly why I came to the forums for this one the good old trottoir roulant rapide, down that long-ass hallway. Wife and I lived outside Paris in 2004-2005, and took the walkway once (or maybe twice). There were a lot warning/explanation signs, plus it was a popular TV news story (completing with video of people eating it, hilarious).

Using it was odd; it was unclear exactly how the acceleration/deceleration areas worked. The instructions were basically "step on, hold the rail and don't think about it too hard". It felt a bit weird but we had no trouble with it. I think it involved lots of little spinning rollers that would collapse as you stepped on them, with more at the front as less as you go on. So I think you were slipping relative to the moving service, but less and less as you got up to speed. But like I said, I couldn't tell what was going on so this is speculation 8 years removed.

I always wondered why they didn't just use proven technology, the way Randall has it sketched. I.e. sections of belt moving at independent, increasing (then decreasing) speeds. Make each belt a different color and give them all some striping so the eye can easily pick up relative speed and boom, problem solved. Little kids and first-timers would have a problem with it, but everyone who's solved the "walking on a normal moving walkway" problem could use this with no training.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:53 am UTC

bigjoec wrote:(completing with video of people eating it, hilarious)

...I hope that's a typo.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:12 am UTC

flicky1991 wrote:
bigjoec wrote:(completing with video of people eating it, hilarious)

...I hope that's a typo.

American idiom. "eating it", "eating dirt", "biting it" == falling down in a hilariously painful manner.

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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:13 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:
bigjoec wrote:(completing with video of people eating it, hilarious)

...I hope that's a typo.

American idiom. "eating it", "eating dirt", "biting it" == falling down in a hilariously painful manner.

Oh :lol:
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby zaphodbeebledoc » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

In a Doctor Who book, there is an example of a futuristic moving sidewalk. It's in a Doctor Who New Adventures novel called Original Sin. Set in the 30th century and features floating Overcities above the ruins of the cities below. Some of action takes place in Spaceport Overcity Five where it is described by the Doctor as "a single crystal exhibiting a high degree of thixotropic behaviour in a unilateral direction under the influence of an electromagnetic current".

There is also another example in Doctor Who, in the Douglas Adams penned story, The Pirate Planet. The Doctor initially describes it as a linear induction corridor, and while inside the corridor exclaims "I'll never be cruel to an electron in a particle accelerator again!" After the experience he changes his mind and says it works by neutralising inertia.
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Re: 1175:"Moving Sidewalks"

Postby addams » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:08 pm UTC

http://www.xkcd.com/252/
It is meaningful, to me.
Spoiler:
Once upon a time, a long time ago and not so very far away;
I was an adult from the Country Side I was in a City.

I had some people with me. Friends?
They were my Hostages.

I Loved them. They were fun, most of the time.
But; I was The Boss. I discussed things with The Hostages.

I blame The Hostages. It was the girl!
It was a girl. She said in a snotty, know it all way.
"Your wrong. They are Not, Just Like Stairs. We can not use them, Just Like Stairs. We can't go down This One.

I looked at it and said, "Yes, we can."

I had to carry The Littlest Hostage. It was so fun.
We ran Down the Up escalator.

I was having a Grand Ole' time. We were fairly agle people.
We we used to an active life style. It was all in good fun.

At The Bottom of the Escalator Security in the form of some Horrible Woman, yelled at Me.

No! That is Not What I expected!
I thought we would be congratulated!
Congratulated! in getting to The Bottom with all participants still walking, except the one I was was carrying. She walked as soon as I put her down. Her legs were too short to take the stairs, fast. She could go Up the Up escalaor. She could not go Down the Up.

Down the Up is not dangerous, when no one is coming Up.
It's no worse than running on stairs. Shoot! It's not as bad.
The escalotor was short.

But; No. When we got to the Bottom, A mean girl was there. And; She told me off.
She had one good point after the other.

"You Are An Adult! What are you teaching These People!"

"What if everyone did that?!"
I said, "Not everyone wants to do that. And, It would not take long to separate the Men from The Boys."

Then, she Really went OFF.
I can not remember all the nasty things she had to say. I do remember looking down at my Feet.
She noticed, I was not wearing shoes that matched the activity.

Not one more word. I said not one more word.
The Hostages were damn quiet and compliant, too.

Yes. It was like The Escalator to Hell.
Maybe, that is why we don't go Down the Up escalator.

How would you test?

https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... 8&oe=UTF-8
http://improveverywhere.com/2008/01/31/ ... d-central/

Two thousand people moving backwards?
Two hundred people frozen in place?

To what End?
There is Joy in being part of Something Larger Than oneself.

Stupid Moving Sidewalks.
That is a different story. I did not get yelled at, one time.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
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