Meeting Details: Cancelled (Next meeting Mar 20th Online)
No Meeting Next Week Due to Spring Break
Wheels on Steel:
In the Tube:
Up in the Air:
What Would ChatGPT Say about High Speed Rail:
With the popularity of ChatGHT (by OpenAI), we figured we would have it write an article for us. The prompt we choose... "What do Americans think of bullet trains and Japanese toilets?"
And here is ChatGPT's response:
Opinions among Americans regarding bullet trains and Japanese toilets vary widely, as with any topic. However, here are some general observations:
Bullet Trains: Many Americans who have experienced bullet trains during travel to Japan or other countries are impressed by their speed, efficiency, and comfort. They often compare them to the slower, less reliable trains in the United States and express a desire for a similar system in their own country. However, there are also those who are skeptical of the high cost of building and maintaining a bullet train system and question whether it would be practical in the U.S. given its vast size and dispersed population.
Japanese Toilets: Many Americans who have encountered Japanese toilets, particularly the high-tech ones that are common in Japan, are impressed by their advanced features such as heated seats, bidet functions, and built-in deodorizers. Some even see them as a sign of Japan's advanced technological capabilities. However, others may find them intimidating or confusing to use, particularly if they are not familiar with the various buttons and functions.
Overall, opinions on both bullet trains and Japanese toilets are diverse among Americans and depend largely on individual experiences and perspectives.
More ChatGPT on technology Mashups in the future!
Did you know that Walt Disney was into high speed trains? Well, not trains but monorails? Actually as part of the original Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (EPCOT), the Monorail was envisioned by Walt Disney to be the future of high speed passenger transportation. Of course, EPCOT was never to become an actual city that Walt envisioned, but the monorail was launched in 1959 as part of both Disneyland's Futureworld and was an actual guest transportation system. Then in 1971 the Monorail went on to become also an icon of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center when the Florida parks opened.
In fact, the monorail has become such an icon that the monorail's Spanish boarding announcement:
Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas...Please stand clear of the doors"
has become the phrase that every cult Disney fan will quote as part of their initiation.
Vintage Tech: Coming: Super Bullet Trains for America (1982)
Yep. It is the early 80s. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is at the top of the charts, Steve Jobs and Wozniak are working on the first version of the Mac, the cassette player is replacing the groovy 8 track player, and on television every pre teen kid is crazy about about autonomous Knight Rider Pontiac Firebird named KITT that talks (and gives more attitude than Siri or Alexa every will).
On the cover of Popular Mechanics in 1982 was the feature of the superfast high speed California train called the Highball. For drinkers, the name "Highball" may have lifted an eyebrow, but the name itself was based on the white sphere mounted on a pole that signals permission for a train to proceed at full speed, not the drink (maybe). Either way, this train was supposed to be the fastest in the world and speed through California from San Diego to San Francisco.
Nearly 40 years later, KITT is now long retired, and the majority of us are reading this on a MacBook Pro. The cassette player is history, but that bullet train featured... hmm, maybe someday?
The Faster Badger is produced by students at the University of Wiscosin-Madison to help break through the misconceptions of high speed rail and high speed transportation. This blog is for educational purposes only and all opinions presented are of the students.