Two two-lane bridges (Canoe Pass Bridge and Deception Pass Bridge) on Washington State Route 20, connect Whidbey Island in Island County, to Fidalgo Island in Skagit County in Washington State.
The bridges opened on July 31, 1935.
These pictures of the Canoe Pass Bridge were all taken from Pass Island, looking south. The pictures were taken around 4.15 pm. The Salish Sea is to the west, and with high tide at about 6.48 pm today, the tide from the Pacific Ocean was still coming in.
I ran out to Best Buy today to pick up one more Google Chromecast*, for the TV in my guest room.
*A device that plugs into the HDMI port of a TV and then creates an on-screen user interface with a range of TV services, for watching shows or movies (such as Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube TV), listening to music (like Spotify or YouTube Music), and more.
I am at Haneda airport— ready for the flight back to Vanouver (9 hours), and then on to Seattle (45 mins). I had a wonderful time, but I am looking forward to the cooler weather that seems to persist this summer in the Pacific Northwest.
Here’s a view from the little driverless train on the Yurikamome Line (it opened in 1995) that runs across Odeiba, an artificial island close to the shoreline in Tokyo Bay. The 6-car train runs on a double track and 600 V 50 Hz 3-phase alternating current.
Look for the little Statue of Liberty in the second picture (on Odeiba). In the background is the Rainbow Bridge that opened in August 1993, so just about 30 years old.
We did a quickie return trip today on the shinkansen from Shinagawa Station to Shin-Yokohama Station, and back.
It took all of 11 minutes to get there.
It would easily take twice that amount of time with the regular train— or by car.
This is the Nozomi N700— the ‘New 700’ series that had gradually replaced the 300, 500 and 700 series sets.
(The N700S entered service in 2020 with plans to eventually replace all N700-series trains).
This train is operated with 8 cars per train set, and it has a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). The N700 also accelerates more quickly than the older 700 series trains, with a maximum acceleration rate of 2.6 km/h/s.
That means it could attain its top speed of 300 km/h in just under two minutes.
I checked in at the Yodobashi Camera store in Akihabara today.
(No, I have not bought a new camera yet).
The store is a giant department store for all things technology, office, home appliances, home decor, toys & games, entertainment, and even more.
The craft submerged Sunday morning, and its support vessel lost contact with it about an hour and 45 minutes later, according to the Coast Guard. The vessel was reported overdue about 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St. John’s, Newfoundland, according to Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Titan was launched from an icebreaker that was hired by OceanGate and formerly operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The ship has ferried dozens of people and the submersible craft to the North Atlantic wreck site, where the Titan has made multiple dives. The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon that the submersible had about 40 hours of oxygen remaining, meaning the supply could run out Thursday morning.
– Reported by AP News
There are five people on the vessel: OceanGate Inc. founder Stockton Rush, British businessman Hamish Harding, father-and-son Shahzada Dawood & Suleman Dawood from Pakistan, and former French navy officer Paul-Henry Nargeolet.
Update Thu 6/22:
Headlines from the New York Times—
After days of searching, no hope of finding survivors remains.
Debris suggests 5 aboard submersible were lost in ‘catastrophic implosion’.
These pictures are all from inside the National Neon Sign Museum in the former Elks Building in the heart of The Dalles downtown historic district.
The museum narrates the evolution of the electric sign, from pre-electric and gold leaf signage to the invention and widespread use of neon signs.
It houses one of the largest collections of neon storefront signs in the world.
Yes, neon signage has been in decline the last few decades, but many cities are now concerned with preserving and restoring their antique neon signs.
Fun fact— Argon is much more versatile than neon for creating colors, and some 75% of ‘neon’ signs actually has argon in the tubes and not neon. ‘Neon’ is the name that stuck for all signs that use either neon or argon.
That’s David Benko himself in one of the pictures, telling us about the history of neon signs. He established the museum in 2018, and is the curator— with a lifelong passion for collecting neon signs.
The museum has displays that show inventors and their experimentation with electricity in the 1700s and 1800s, the discovery of the noble gases argon (1894) and neon (1898) and a model of the patent for the first neon sign tubes that were created in 1910 by French engineer and inventor Georges Claude (the third picture).
By the end of the Roaring ’20s, most American cities were electrified. Illuminated streets and storefronts lured people into the streets at night time. The commercialization of neon signs took off in the 1930s after the Great Depression.
Here’s a Kia EV6— all the way from Texas— on the streets of Capitol Hill today.
According to the registration data from Experian (via Automotive News), the total number of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) registrations during the first three months of 2023 amounted to 257,507, which is 63 % more than a year ago and about 7 % of the total market (up from 4.6 % in Q1 ’22).
I spotted this Rivian R1T in the Amazon Fresh parking garage in Central District.
Only about 21,000 of these electric trucks have been delivered, so it’s still very rare to see one out and about. Rivian’s sole production factory is in Normal, Illinois.
Starting price: US$74,800.
Car and Driver’s verdict: ‘The R1T is the electric pickup truck of the moment, and its engineering is as impressive as its performance’.
Here it is, an AI*-generated poem about a fossil :
*ChatGPT Mar 23 Version, at https://chat.openai.com/
There was a ‘Regenerate’ button on the side, on which I clicked.
Instantly, a second poem was generated, line by line.
‘Was this better, worse or the same as the first one?’ inquired the AI chatbot.
‘Better’, I said.
Happy Earth Day.
There is a series of articles on electric grids in a recent Economist news magazine.
The cover says ‘Hug Pylons Not Trees’, recognizing that while it’s good to protect Earth’s resources, it’s not enough. There needs to be a wholesale change in the way we produce energy.
From the magazine: At present, 62% of the energy delivered as electricity comes from fossil fuels. That has to come down to more or less zero. A lot of its replacement will be in the form of cheap wind and solar, and that presents a serious challenge to grid operators. It means a lot of new connections, which are troublesome. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that renewable installations typically generate less power than steam turbines do. That means more connections per unit of capacity. As well as adding a great many new connections, grids will also have to change shape. The places best suited to the generation of renewable energy in very large amounts are often not the places where today’s generation is concentrated. So new transmission lines will be needed. And because grids are complicated things, some of these expansions will require compensating changes elsewhere as bits of the grid become congested.
“My top hope is please, may fate smile upon us, and we clear the launchpad before anything goes wrong. That’s all I’m asking.”
– Elon Musk
Thirty-three Raptors are installed on Super Heavy on the SpaceX Starship that is set for launch tomorrow morning. (Raptors are the engines, and Super Heavy is the booster for the super-sized rocket).
A major concern is that a problem with one engine could cascade and destroy other engines, part of the vehicle— or even the launchpad. Rebuilding the pad, depending on what happened, could take several months.
[Information obtained from reporting in the Wall Street Journal].
We landed at 12.00 pm— 20 minutes early, so we had to wait for our space at the gate to open up.
Then at baggage claim it took a while for the luggage to come out— but after that it was smooth sailing to clear customs.
I just had to stop at the Global Entry* kiosk for a face picture, and stand for a minute in a short line to show my passport to the customs official.
*A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.