Buried in Uber's IPO, an aggressive plan to destroy all public transit

Uber is a wildly unprofitable company with no conceivable path to profitability in any universe, under any circumstances, but the company's founders and early investors (having already taken massive write-downs on their investments) are hoping to get at least some of their money back through the time-honored "greater fool" methodology. Specifically, they're floating the company on the stock market and hoping that naive investors hoping to wring above-inflation gains out of their 401(k)s and avoid being made into dog-food in their old age (we're waaaaay past the era in which impoverished old people get to eat dog-food) take their shares off their hands. Read the rest

Public transit seating covers reviewed

Feargu O'Sullivan rounds up the good, the bad and the ugly of public transit seating options.

Seat cover designs, we believe, need to consider four things:

Memorability. They need to be striking enough to create an instant impression. • Freshness. Moquette needs to be bright enough in color to appear new(ish) after years of wear, but not so pale as to make stains or fade evident. • Intricacy. Large empty monochrome spaces show wear more quickly, and provide too tempting a canvas for vandals. • Anti-Dazzle. Moquette shouldn’t be so bright and busy that it turns stomachs.

Above, behold Pittsburgh's "cosmic spaghetti" seating, as photographed by @CatsBlanchard. Read the rest

Watch subway cars align as train goes around a bend

This Inception-like moment as all the doorways form a straight line is both satisfying and mesmerizing. Read the rest

Four sets of identical twins pull an epic NYC subway car time-machine prank

Improv Everywhere (previously) keeps on bringing the hits, but seriously, this one takes the cake. Read the rest

3D maps of London Underground stations

The axonometric, not-to-scale diagrams are pretty sweet -- like the castings made of underground ant-colonies, cross with the insane arcology furutism of Paolo Soleri. Read the rest

SpaceX launches Hyperloop pod design competition geared for students and indie engineering teams

The high-speed ground transport system was first described by Elon Musk in a 2013 white paper, and its first route would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco with an expected journey time of 35 minutes.

Impromptu sax battle on the MTA

When a sax player stepped onto this MTA car and started playing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," he inspired one of the passengers to whip out his own sax and join in. What followed was a jam session/sax battle that is a delight to watch.

SAX BATTLE IN NYC SUBWAY (original duh...)

(via Reddit) Read the rest

Rat trapped on an escalator

This poor rat got stuck on the escalator at the Civic Center BART Station, and there's something infinitely poignant about its treadmill race. Maybe it's the busker playing "And I Love Her" on a Erhu (or maybe a Kokyū?) in the background.

Rat Descending an Endless Staircase

(via JWZ) Read the rest

Vibrating train window to play ads through the skulls of tired commuters

A nightmarish vision straight out of The Space Merchants: a gadget that purportedly vibrates train windows at the right frequency to beam advertisements straight into your head by means of bone-conduction, should you tire and rest your head against them.

All the references to this point to one video posted by someone with no other videos in her or his account, and there's not much other detail (Adweek attributes it to BBDO Dusseldorf). I'm betting hoax and/or grad project-cum-design fiction, but in this topsy-turvy world, anything is possible. The comments on the YouTube video are even more internetrage than usual, and may be the most interesting thing about it.

The talking window Read the rest