Boing Boing 

Ride this surreal subway line to wonderful places

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Most of us use public transportation for very goal-oriented purposes: we have somewhere we need to go, and we take the shortest path possible to get there. When you're always rushing from one place to the next, it's easy to forget about about everything that lies in between—that every point on a map is tiny world unto itself, a place you could visit. What would it be like if you picked a random station or stop, went there, and walked around?

In Subway Adventure, a new game by Increpare, that's exactly what you do. It starts by assigning you a task: "Pick somewhere that you might like to go, and go there." The station where you begin offers a helpful map of the Dream World of Sadness Metro to help you plan your journey. Each of the individual subway lines—which have names like "Birth," "False Consciousness" and "Abstraction"—also have maps of their own:

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This is a game where you might find yourself saying, "wait, I think I need to transfer to the green line in order to get to the moon."

The places you find when you ride the subway are often as strange an dwonderful as their names suggest: a station nestled inside the mouth of a whale, another another overrun covered in colorful bits of plastic that transform it into a climbing wall, another a space station.

Your fellow passengers will sometimes get in your way, even occasionally blocking you from getting on or off a train, though no one is quite rude enough to hold the door. At one stop, Time Zone, everyone you meet is a clock with legs, while at other locales the people you meet are skeletons and forklifts, or blocky figures pushing beds up and down the platform, or they are on fire.

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There's something wonderful about wandering in games, though sometimes I find it hard to fully give myself permission. Even when simply meandering about is clearly intended to be part of the experience—as the beautiful, bucolic Everyone's Gone to the Rapture—I still feel a pressure to do, to accomplish something. Even in games that I'm presumably playing for entertainment, strolling around can feel like I'm wasting time, instead than focusing on what I'm "supposed" to be doing.

In Subway Adventure, there's something freeing to me about the idea that the only thing you're supposed to do is explore, absorb what you find, and then get on the next train to another destination, with no idea what awaits you. Those are the kind of trips I'd like to take more, I think. Like Subway Adventure, I think they'd be trips worth taking.

Windows, Mac and Linux users can download the game for free here.

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Subway's "Jared's Pants" kids' game is still live on their site and incredibly creepy now

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Jared Fogle reportedly will admit to possessing child porn and paying to have sex with children. Subway has fired its spokesman of 15 years and scrubbed its website of mentions—but it has not yet deleted this incredible online game promo, where SUBWAY KIDSTM catch candy using Jared's discarded pants.

Spotted by Ben Berkowitz, one assumes that the Jared's Pants Dance Game promo site will not be available much longer.

UPDATE: The promo page for the Jared's Pants game has been removed.

Prosecutors accuse fired Subway spokesman Jared Fogle of paying to have sex with minors

444821-67886 It's not just about child pornography found on his computer, possession of which he reportedly will admit to in court.

From the AP wire:

Federal prosecutors have released documents accusing longtime Subway pitchman Jared Fogle of engaging in sex acts with minors and receiving child pornography. Documents released Wednesday by the U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis say the 37-year-old Fogle faces one count of travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography.… Among the allegations in the document are that Fogle traveled to New York City to pay for sex acts with minors while he stayed in upscale hotels…

Fogle's computers and other gear were snatched by prosecutors on a recent raid at his home in Zionsville, Indiana. The raid followed the arrest of Russell Taylor, the director of The Jared Foundation, Fogle's childhood obesity charity, on child pornography charges. Fogle fired Taylor and said he was shocked by the allegations.

Subway, for whom Fogle became a spokesman after losing 200 pounds eating their sandwiches, confirmed Tuesday that he is no longer employed by them. No mention of the 15-year relationship can be found on their website.

Business Insider obtained an affidavit detailing the charges. Hayley Peterson:

According to the affidavit obtained by Business Insider, Fogle asked the former Subway franchisee in May 2008 to set up a meeting for him with her cousin. The cousin was underage at the time, according to the woman's lawyer. … Earlier, in April, according to the affidavit, Fogle asked the woman, "How young would you like?... Would you want to have an adventure like that?" …

Florida ABC affiliate WWSB reported: "According to the woman, Jared would often visit schools in Sarasota County, and allegedly told her numerous times that, 'Middle school girls are hot.'"

Subway may have ignored private reports of his interest in underage sexual partners:

The woman also contacted Subway's corporate office regarding the issue, and she requested that Subway allow her to remove all marketing related to Fogle from her store, according to the lawyer.

She met with two levels of management, shared the messages with them, "and specifically requested not to have his imagery and merchandising related to him in her stores," the lawyer said. "She also specifically warned them that he should not be interacting with young people."

Subway continued to use Fogle in national advertising campaigns until the FBI raid on his home earlier this month.When reached for comment, Subway said, "We have no record of this allegation."

400 "illegal" videos were reportedly found in his possession; his attorney, Ron Elberger, said that the child sex allegations are "a fabrication that lacks credibility."

Universal subway map design rules

Designer Jug Cerovic proposes a standardized approach to subway mapping, encompassed by 7 simple rules:

1. The city center sits at the center (because, duh).
2. The center is a basic shape, like a circle or square (for visual simplicity).
3. The center is zoomed in (because that area is always congested with lines).
4. All lines must run vertical, horizontal, or at 45-degree angles (again, for visual simplicity).
5. Their angles should be smooth (to feel more familiar, city to city).
6. Their colors and connection iconography are standardized (duh again).
7. All text must be listed in local and Latin lettering (for the tourists, aka all of us).

The subtext to subway remapping projects is often "London basically got this right 80 years ago, deal with it."— so his version of The Underground, above, is interesting food for thought.

Previously.

Carving an artificial cavern under NYC

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New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is digging an artificial cavern for a future Second Avenue Subway stop below 86th street. Patrick Cashin is photographing the massive operation. Fortunately, the tunnel has been blessed by a Catholic priest. Check out more of Cashin's photos on Flickr and a brief riff on the project by Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG.

Dude breaks up fight on NYC subway with bag of chips

[Video Link] SNACKMAN! (thanks, Sean Bonner)

Global No Pants Subway Ride 2012: gallery of photos larger than you might actually wish to view

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

A young boy looks up at a woman with no pants on while riding in the subway system during the annual No Pants Subway Ride in New York on January 8. The event is organized by Improv Everywhere, and involves participants who strip down to their underwear as they go about their normal routine. WTF and why?

The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year. The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.

There are reports from participants on the Improv Everywhere website. More photos follow, below. NSFW-ish.

No Trousers Day participants on a flashmob ride in London. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

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