Wednesday, February 16, 2005

coffee and bullet trains

A story ran today about a Japanese study that suggests that coffee drinkers suffer less liver cancer than those who don't regularly drink coffee--headline: COFFEE MAY HELP PROTECT AGAINST LIVER CANCER. In Japan coffee is spelled koohii. Since my regular morning activity includes reading the Daily News with my coffee, this study is good news--unless it's also necessary to be in Japan. Another story--also a Japan angle--talks about the peninsula commuter rail line Caltrain and their newish version the 'Baby Bullet' train--headline: BABY BULLETS BOOST CALTRAIN'S RIDERSHIP. The term 'bullet train' came about when Japan developed a highspeed railroad named the Shinkansen (below) and whose aerodynamic engines resemble a bullet. The concept stuck and now several countries have high speed railroads which are loosely referred to as bullet trains.

Having heard about the development of Caltrain's 'Baby Bullet trains I was surprised when I read that these trains are no faster than conventional Caltrain rolling stock. What makes them 'baby bullets' is that they make fewer stops and have access to tracks with which to go around the trains that stop more frequently. Oh and they don't resemble bullets either. The Japanese have a different word for coffee--Caltrain should have followed this lead when naming their faster train. Instead of calling it the 'Baby Bullet' how about calling them BaBu trains?


Blogger Bob said...

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11:35 PM  

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