Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Massachusetts Turnpike Jam, Thanksgiving Traffic, and a Space Alien Solution

"Mass Pike traffic jammed out west"
Boston Herald (November 24, 2010)

"The feared Thanksgiving crawl has begun on the Mass Pike where westbound traffic is backed up for miles all the way out to Charlton, state police report.

"State police say it's only going to get worse.

"The backup begins on the Pike in Framingham and continues well into western Massachusetts. The Web site is labeling the mess a 'jamfactor' of eight out of 10.

"Earlier today the crash that snarled Thanksgiving traffic early on a ramp connecting Route 295 and Interstate 95 in Attleboro is over after crews spent nearly three hours cleaning up spilled fuel and debris from a dump truck rollover.

" 'There was going to be a lot of traffic today anyway,' said state police Sgt. Matthew Murray. 'That didn't make the start of the holiday commute very easy.'

"State police said it appeared no one was injured in the accident.

"But there's more traffic headaches...."

Hey, how bad can it be?

"30-Mile Backup Causing Holiday Headaches"
WCVB Boston (November 25, 2010)

"Delays Reported On Massachusetts Turnpike

"A 30-mile backup on the Massachusetts Turnpike is causing holiday headaches for thousands of travelers.

"By mid-afternoon, the lengthy backup was reported between Framingham and Charlton on the turnpike. Motorists said there were some heavy pockets of congestion...."

This is part of why the Lemming recommended that folks consider webconferencing as an alternative to dealing with traffic jams - and dealing with traffic jams as an alternative to run-ins with the TSA and it's - interesting - new rules. And fines.

Now, the Lemming doesn't recommend this, but someone in the United Kingdom came with a breezy method of minimizing hassle at airport security. It's part of a discussion of an old science fiction magazine cover:

Image courtesy Fabio Feminò, via, used w/o permission"...The Mizarans live far above their world; never going to earth and always able to enjoy the spectacular views of their world and the great fleets of airships that are their sole means of transportation.

This idyllic form of habitation is so original, so picturesque that it is universally regarded as the stupidest idea ever hit upon. Yes, the view is very pretty, but the price is a major pain in the arse, as popping next door means a three-hour wait at airport security both ways. The average Mizaran has had his person searched so many times that they now travel stark naked and without baggage to save time and aggravation....
("Mizar," Tales of Future Past,, also quoted in this blog (November 15, 2010) and Another War-on-Terror Blog (November 14, 2010))

There's snow on the ground, here where the Lemming lives, in central Minnesota. Clothing-optional air travel really isn't a viable option around here during the colder months.

Our air terminals are heated: but there's always that little gap between the airliner and the loading bridge. And quite a few outstate terminals offer passengers a brisk, invigorating walk in the fresh outside air for the few dozen yards between the terminal and the plane. When its below water's freezing point, that walk is really brisk and invigorating.

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