Mini Metro is a fun browser game that simulates a transit network.
Stations representing different types of destinations pop up, and you have to connect them with metro lines that take passengers where they want to go.
Screencap of the game, with components labeled.
The game starts off easy. You get one square station icon, one triangle, and one circle. Connect them with a single transit line and you’re all set.
But after a few moments more stations start to pop up. You have a limited number of metro lines to work with, and each line only gets one train. So the more stations appear, the longer it takes for a train to traverse the line, and the more passengers build up.
Ideally you want each transit line to cross at least one of every station type, to minimize transfers, but that soon becomes impossible when different types of stations begin to appear, like crosses and gemstones.
The game ends when too many waiting passengers build up at a station. The highest score I’ve gotten is about 500, but most of my games end in the 300s or 400s.
I’ve noticed certain types of stations seem to represent certain types of land uses.
Squares are employment centers, like downtowns. You start off with only one square, and you have to get quite deep into the game before a 2nd appears.
Circles are the most common station type, so they probably represent residential areas.
Triangles are the 2nd most common. I think of them as shopping areas, but they could be schools or parks.
Other symbols are rare, usually only appear once, and represent specialty land uses. I think of them as hospitals, airports, or universities.
A hub and spoke layout works great in the early game, but once your score reaches about 350 you need to start moving to more of a grid.
6 stations is about the maximum any one line can accommodate before it gets overcrowded.
You can pause the game by clicking on the clock.
At key points in the game, pause the game to delete-and-redraw entire lines, along more efficient routes. Key points are typically when you add your 5th line, 3rd tunnel, and when the 2nd square appears.
The order in which I usually use bonuses:
Light blue line
3rd tunnel (sometimes sooner if the river is unfavorable)
Light rail (I’ve not seen this, but rumor says it appears next)
Vancouver’s most joyful bike trail makes commuting fun
There’s a common misconception in some circles that bicycling is merely for recreation, as opposed to a legitimate transportation mode. Of course that’s wrong, cycling is often the most convenient way to get from point A to point B in a city. But why can’t transportation facilities be fun too?
According to Vancouver, they can.
Vancouver “Whoopdeedoo.” Photo by Paul Krueger on flickr.
When the sun rose over DC’s east horizon on Sunday morning, it was in the midst of a partial solar eclipse. The moon was passing directly between Earth and the sun, obscuring the sun as seen from Earth.
To see the event, I woke up early and set up my camera at the best easterly-facing view I could think of – the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Alexandria. Here’s what I saw:
Eclipse over Alexandria. Full set of 25 pictures is on flickr.
Apparently in the universe of Star Trek, city streets will look pretty much the same 246 years in the future as they do today. Cars, a cable car, and a fancy articulated bus, all on a road with basically 20th Century lane markings. The pedestrian crossing and traffic signals are different, but it’s a wholly recognizable scene.
From Star Trek Into Darkness.
On the other hand, by the year 2372 things change quite a bit. These next 2 images are from the Star Trek: Voyager episode Non Sequitur, and show a street in San Francisco’s Mission District.
It’s a fully pedestrianized space, complete with a subway entrance to the fancy future Trans Francisco subway system. Very progressive overall.
Get creeped out with Street View pictures of Midway Atoll
I absolutely love exploring the world with Google Street View. Oh sure, real life is infinitely better, but I can’t afford plane tickets to all the places I can get lost in with Street View.
Yesterday I discovered Street View covers Midway Atoll, of Battle of Midway fame. The island was used for decades by the US military but is now depopulated except for a few visits per year by researchers. But all the buildings are still there, not to mention about 440,000 albatross birds.
It’s fascinating, and a little creepy. Take a look.
Every black smudge you see in this picture is a 3-foot bird. And yes, that’s a bike path.