Showing posts from 2014

Bungee Jump From 233m Macau Tower... Backwards

On every trip to Hong Kong I try to spare a day to take the ferry to Macau for the main purpose of jumping off the 233m Macau Tower.  This was my 3rd jump so the staff asked if I wanted to try doing it backwards, adding that it's a lot scarier.  After flip-flopping twice I finally committed to doing it.

As you can image it's completely different from jumping forward.  Unlike facing forward, the sense of impending death is barely noticeable since you're not staring down at the ground far below.  The first few seconds feels a like the "trust" game where you fall backwards trusting that someone will catch you.  After about 1 meter of freefall your subconscious survival instinct kicks in as it realizes you should have hit the ground by now.  I won't lie, I let out a short scream at that exact moment before my conscious mind returned and realized I was secured to the bungee.  That split second when your subconscious instinct takes full control is the ultimate rus…

Railway Museum (鉄道博物館, Tetsudō Hakubutsukan)

If you're like me, you may have an image of trains being a legacy of the industrial revolution chugging freight across country but that utilitarian image is naive or at least incomplete.  Modern train and subway technology rivals aeronautics and the history of these marvels of engineering is almost romantic.

The Railway Museum (鉄道博物館, Tetsudō Hakubutsukan) has done an incredible job of showcasing the progress from the first steam locomotives in the late Edo period to the recent E6 shinkansen since it's opening in 2007.

The museum is located in Omiya, Saitama the city North of Tokyo about an hour away from central Tokyo.

From Omiya station there's a "new shuttle" line which takes you directly to the Museum station.

British-built locomotive #1 from 1871. I wonder how hard it must have been to save all these trains from being turned into ships and planes for the war.

In front of most exhibits are explanations in Japanese but also QR codes in which is embedded the En…

Podcast recommendations

It's always a pleasant surprise to find that your friends are also avid podcast listeners and even more exciting to discuss topics from podcasts you've both heard.  As a followup to a request on such an occasion I'm sharing my list of podcasts to which I'm currently subscribed along with my subjective ratings.

Here's the OPML export including all the shows below.

If you have other recommendations or want to share your own OPML, feel free to add them to the comments section below.

Radiolab From WNYCRadiolab, with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is a radio show and podcast weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.
Production quality: 10 Informational value: 10 Entertainment value: 6 Freakonomics RadioFrom the popular book series by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner comes the audio podcast where they explore "the hidden side of everything".
Production quality: 9������…