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12: THE SWEET SCIENCE

Neil Peart ECW Press ePub

THE SWEET SCIENCE

MAY 2013

THE PHRASE WAS COINED a couple of hundred years ago by an English sportswriter, referring to … boxing.

This reporter has never sensed anything “sweet” or “scientific” about a couple of guys punching each other’s lights out, but some people feel it. Among the many superb non-fiction writers to have appeared serially in the New Yorker over the years (Joseph Mitchell, Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, John McPhee, etc.), A.J. Liebling revived the theme for a series of articles about boxing in the 1930s and ’40s that were later collected in a book titled The Sweet Science (1956).

Personally, I can think of human activities that seem infinitely sweeter than pugilism (though the Greek word is fun—pygmachia—but perhaps not as fun as eros), and others that are more truly scientific. Even, dare I say, more artful. And without causing facial mutilation and irreversible brain damage.

One late April day on my motorcycle, railing through the forested mountains of North Carolina on a relentless sequence of curves in every possible geometry, I thought, “This is the sweet science.”

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Medium 9780253019066

1 Preliminaries

Simon Cordery Indiana University Press ePub

The topography of Illinois is particularly conducive to railroading. Trains move best over flat land, and the state has few hills of any size and nothing that could be mistaken for a mountain. Its 56,400 square miles vary from a low of 279 feet above sea level to the 1,235 feet of Charles Mound on the Wisconsin border near Galena. The glaciated north boasted extensive prairies dotted with stands of timber, while in the heavily wooded south, coal deposits lay concealed beneath the surface. The hilliest section of the state is in the northwest. Here the lead-mining region of Galena escaped the graze of the glaciers, as did Calhoun County in the south. The south offered numerous engineering trials, especially around Cairo, strategically placed at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers but swampy and subject to frequent flooding, while much of far-southern Illinois was viewed as “a hilly extension of the Ozark highland.”1 The state’s rivers provided obstacles to emigrants and challenges to bridge builders, while bluffs at Peoria and Alton restricted railroad development at those two important towns. Generally, however, the gentle prairies presented few insurmountable or even challenging hindrances except distance: Illinois is larger than England, birthplace of the railroad industry.

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Medium 9781574412383

“The Ford Epigram”

Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF

THE FORD EPIGRAM by Newton Gaines

A unique form of American folk-lore is the Ford epigram. It may be defined as a short saying, witticism, epithet, or slogan written on the side, fender, cowl, hood—indeed anywhere on the “Model T”

Ford.1 Although truly folk-lore, its first notable characteristic is that it is written, a characteristic which it shares, I believe, only with the disreputable writing on walls and fences. Another characteristic is that it is a by-product of a mechanical triumph. This distinction it shares with the railroad song. It happened that one Henry Ford and his engineers developed a gasoline engine that lasted longer than the body of the car it propelled. When the sad appearance of the family Ford caused Dad to buy a new machine, perhaps graduating to a Chevrolet or Buick, the son of the family fell natural heir to the old “Model T” to do with as he liked.

He could do but little with it, though, for his purse was flat. A coat of enamel or Duco was out of the question. A sufficient quantity of either would cost too much at one time. As it stood, the old

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Medium 9780253019066

15 Depression, Dieselization, and Another War

Simon Cordery Indiana University Press ePub

The Great Depression prepared the railroad industry for another world war. The twin pains of unemployment and lost revenues forced railroads to reexamine their operations. Investment in building projects enhanced capacity, which, combined with new equipment, gave many companies the ability to respond quickly and positively to American entry into the war in 1941. Unlike World War I, the railroads performed admirably in the nation’s hour of need. The coordinated, responsible actions of railroad leaders and workers staved off a repeat of the dreaded government control exerted during the earlier conflict. Railroad workers again benefited from wartime wage increases and resented the resumption of postwar “normalcy.”

The collapse of share prices on October 24, 1929, was an unprecedented economic calamity, but it did not appear to be so at the time. Railway Age called it “a mild recession in business,” and the stock market leveled off after the initial plunge. Many financiers continued as before, assuming they could weather the storm. Samuel Insull, for example, saw in the misfortunes of others an opportunity to expand his Chicago-area interurban empire. But consumer buying declined, industrial output tumbled, and the demand for railroad transportation collapsed. Auto sales plummeted from 4.6 million units in 1929 to 1.3 million only four years later, and rail equipment suppliers likewise suffered. The American Locomotive Company (ALCO), which sold an annual average of six hundred locomotives during the 1920s, sold one in 1932.1 The financial sector contributed to the crash: investors had been encouraged to purchase shares on margin—borrowing against the presumed perpetual increase in the value of their holdings—but found themselves unable to repay their loans when the value of their stock tumbled.

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Medium 9781742207407

The Trans-Manchurian Route

Lonely Planet Lonely Planet ePub

For connoisseurs of obscure rail routes, the Trans-Manchurian Railway ranks high on the wish list. It’s not on the main line to Vladivostok, nor does it take the ‘tourist route’ via Mongolia; rather, the weekly Vostok (19/20) chugs through China’s rust belt, where foreign faces are few and far between. From Chita the railway heads toward the Chinese border at Mǎnzhōulǐ, sweeps through the grasslands of Inner Mongolia and passes through Hā’ěrbīn (Harbin) before carrying on towards the megalopolis that is Běijīng. The highlight is fascinating Hā’ěrbīn, where elements of turn-of-the-century Russia still poke through the surface of a thoroughly modern Chinese city. Bullet trains speed south from Hā’ěrbīn to Běijīng, but there’s plenty to see along the way. Jumping-off points include Chángchūn, one-time capital of Japanese-occupied Manchukuo; Shěnyáng, with well-preserved relics of the Manchu era; and Shānhǎiguān, where the Great Wall meets the sea.

AJan Hā’ěrbīn hosts the dazzling Ice & Snow Festival.

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Medium 9780253220738

4 Shipping by Rail

Edited by Don L Hofsommer and H Roger Indiana University Press ePub

The bread and butter for railroads in Iowa involved freight, including carload and less-than-carload shipments. Simply put: freight paid most of the bills. It was common for the early carriers to dispatch only a single daily except Sunday freight train that conducted switching chores at the various stations. As a system of trunk carriers matured, however, long distance or through trains traveled main lines and likewise the number of local freights increased. On branch lines and shortlines, however, the freight volume generally remained light, with perhaps only a lone movement. And these poky freights might even provide space for passengers, either in an attached coach or caboose, thus becoming “mixed trains” that accommodated “hogs and humans,” as the expression went. Since some traffic moved seasonally or was tied to the vagaries of the local, regional, or national economy, extra trains accommodated these needs. This was particularly true for the annual grain rush that followed the summer and fall harvests and for such shipments as blocks of ice that were cut during the winter months and coal that increased during the heating season.

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Medium 9780253347572

8 “That Telephone Man”

RushJr. Loving Indiana University Press ePub

Stuart Saunders’s lobbying of the board was paying off, and he soon had the votes he needed to oust Alfred Perlman. Unwittingly Perlman had helped by insisting that the road’s Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, shops build more new cars, and with dollars growing increasingly scarce, this and the constant rise in costs were making the directors additionally skeptical of Perlman’s judgment. So Saunders stepped up his still highly secret search for a new president.

After several months, Saunders heard of a possible candidate through one of David Bevan’s friends. Although Bevan was not directly involved in the search, he obviously knew—probably through an ally of Mellon—what was going on. For Bevan, Saunders’s quiet quest was an opportunity to gain more power for himself and possibly unseat Saunders, too, so he slipped his own chess piece onto the board.

Saunders was about to set off on one of his periodic trips to Europe in late June 1969 when Bevan told him he was quitting and presented him with the letter of resignation. Saunders realized this could perturb Mellon and create a boardroom confrontation. He also knew the timing was awful, because he needed Bevan’s banking connections to keep Penn Central supplied with capital. He therefore tried to placate Bevan with a salary increase, urging him to hold off and telling him of his plan to get rid of Perlman. At one point Bevan said he couldn’t take the pressure anymore and had to get out, that he needed a good night’s sleep for a change, and Saunders quickly quipped back, suggesting he take sleeping pills. Saunders’s humor annoyed Bevan, but finally he did agree to hold off quitting, and to make Bevan feel involved in the overthrow of Perlman, Saunders asked him to give advice on presidential candidates. And he promised that, once Perlman was kicked upstairs, Bevan would regain his old seat on the board.

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Medium 9780253020635

9 The Biggest Railroad Story of Them All

RushJr. Loving Indiana University Press ePub

CHAPTER 9

The Biggest Railroad Story of Them All

ONE FIRST–CLASS PASSAGE

I HAD BEEN AT FORTUNE A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AND, although still fascinated by railroads, had not written a single word about the subject. My latest story was about one of the darlings of Wall Street, a young company called National Student Marketing. NSM had been one of the hot stocks of 1969, and my piece had been an exposé of one of the greatest accounting scams Wall Street had seen in recent years.

Even before beginning my research, I could smell possible fraud. The magazine’s Futures Department, which searched for potential stories, had invited NSM’s president and some of his vice presidents to lunch so that some of us could hear their spin on how their company was so successful. During their presentation they passed around copies of the company’s quarterly and annual financial statements, and while they were talking I glanced at the numbers. I saw that the figures in the quarterly statements and the annual report were not comparable. Also, in the year-end balance sheet there was a most unusual item, called “Unbilled Receivables.” Immediately I sensed a grand exposé.

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Medium 9780253356963

2 - Down That Long & Dusty Road: Stagecoach Travel in America

John H.Jr. White Indiana University Press ePub

Stagecoach Travel in America

A FEW RIDERS SPOKE WITH ENTHUSIASM ABOUT STAGECOACH travel. Dr. Samuel Johnson, the English lexicographer, said his greatest pleasure was to travel on a mail coach accompanied by a pretty woman. Mark Twain found freshness, a breeziness, in stage travel that liberated one from daily cares and responsibilities. The stage was not just a great swinging, swaying vehicle but also an imposing cradle on wheels. From the abundant travel literature available on the subject, however, it would appear that these two literary giants were very much in the minority. The nearly universal opinion about stagecoach travel was negative. It was in just about all ways the most uncomfortable and disagreeable method of human locomotion ever devised, short of the slave ship. Contemporary accounts emphasize the jolting ride, the lack of interior space, the hazards of rolling over, and the need to get out and walk or help push when a steep grade was encountered. There were numerous other complaints. Some of the grumbling might be discounted as the normal human penchant to complain about everything, but there appears to be good reason for unhappiness in stage travel. Stagecoaches were referred to as “mud clippers”; some were never cleaned and remained earth-colored for their entire working lives. A guidebook of 1851 said they were a most “incommodious means of conveyance.” A traveler claimed that his body was a perfect jelly after a trip in a Pennsylvania coach. At the end he was too tired to stand and too sore to sit. It was generally a rather miserable way to get from here to there. Why, even Mark Twain was less than enthralled with this mode of travel when he reached the end of his western stage trip in 1861. Travelers used the stage despite its drawbacks, because it was often the only way to go – there was no alternative. In 1830 if you wanted to go by public conveyance – for example, from Cincinnati to Xenia, Ohio – there was no other choice.

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Medium 9780253008329

8 Around the Horn

Don L. Hofsommer Indiana University Press ePub

WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. WELL, PRETTY close, but not quite in this case. The odyssey had begun in Iowa but would end in Minnesota – again, and by way of South Dakota. A change of jobs predictably explains new locations.

The allure of railroads and railroading had not escaped or evaporated, but the railroad landscape certainly had changed over the years. The number of Class One carriers had diminished to a handful. Gone were electric-trolley roads, steam, gas–electric cars, cabooses, most passenger trains, local station agencies, a host of branches and even secondary routes, and, of course, the wonderful employees who had been a part of them. “Off the main lines” became increasingly problematic. And favored cameras began to fail. Exposures became less frequent. But what a show it had been!

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, once had been a major hub of railroad activity offered by Milwaukee Road, Great Northern, Omaha, Illinois Central, and Rock Island. By 1987, much had changed. Rock Island left the city before its corporate demise, and IC followed. Milwaukee had been acquired by Soo Line, but its former assets at Sioux Falls were now the property of still others. Great Northern had become an integral part of Burlington Northern, but the line to Yankton was gone. Omaha had been fully absorbed into Chicago & North Western, but C&NW had become intent on disposing of branches and would soon exit. Extra 4284 East is about to cross Burlington Northern’s Willmar–Sioux City line at Manley, Minnesota. August 30, 1988.

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Medium 9781855209718

Chapter 3 - Manual Transmission (Gearbox)

PR Pub PR Pub Brooklands Books ePub
Medium 9780253337979

7. Transition: 1923–1929

Jr.Herbert H. Harwood Indiana University Press ePub

By 1923 the Lake Shore Electric was settling down from its World War I turmoil and inflation problems, although already it was facing new kinds of trauma. But those were not yet severe, and its management turned its attention to developing its newly emerging freight business and to upgrading its physical plant, most of which was some 25 years old by now.

The LSE’s first order of business in 1923 was to purchase ten new box freight trailers. And as part of its freight expansion it built or expanded freight houses in Lorain, Vermilion, Norwalk, Clyde, Fremont, Woodville, and Castalia during the year. The following year it bought some land on the east side of Toledo from the Sun Oil Company for development as a new freight house and yard for interchanging freight with its various Toledo connections. Called Glendale, the new facility eventually enabled the LSE to handle freight interchange with its connections and its local shipments in a more spacious and uncongested off-street location. On the passenger side it also began a program of lengthening its wood Niles cars to 60 feet, but gave up after only two cars were completed.

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Medium 9781855206786

Chapter 6: Brakes

Andrew Everett Brooklands Books ePub

The braking system on the E30 is pretty straightforward. 316, 316i, 318i and 320i cars without ABS use a disc front and drum rear set up, whilst all other cars use rear discs. 316, 316i and 318i cars used solid front discs with ventilated front discs for everything else. It is the usual split hydraulic system with the usual problems relating to old age but it is not hard to work on. Some cars will have ABS and that can be problematical in old age with many an owner driven to drink by the flashing orange ABS light on the dashboard.

First things first brake fluid should be changed every year. Brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it absorbs moisture. This can gather inside the fluid reservoir and once there is moisture in the fluid it will not show up until the brakes are used hard and get really hot. The water will boil and evaporate leaving air locks in the hydraulic circuit and not much of a reaction from the brake pedal. Synthetic brake fluids will go a long way to curing this, but so will renewing the fluid every year with conventional mineral based fluids.

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Medium 9781934009628

Appendix B: English/Spanish Cognates in Math

r4Educated Solutions Solution Tree Press ePub

Appendix B

English/Spanish Cognates in Math

English

Spanish

activity

actividad

algebraic

algebraico

analyze

analizar

apply

aplicar

appropriate unit

unidad apropiada

approximate

aproximado

area

área

bar graph

gráfica de barras

calendar

calendario

capacity

capacidad

circle

círculo

common

común

compare

comparar

conclusion

conclusión

concrete model

modelo concreto

cone

cono

construct (v.)

construir

cube

cubo

cylinder

cilindro

data

datos

day

día

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Medium 9781574414646

5. Boxcar Communities

Jeffrey Marcos Garcilazo University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 5

Boxcar Communities

C 

leofas Calleros, an old-timer and retired Santa Fe

depot official in El Paso, recalled the numerous Mexican track workers and section hands “whose groups of houses dot the desert from here to Los Angeles.”1 Indeed, as this chapter shows, traquero houses dotted not only the southwestern desert, but the entire line from El

Paso to Chicago. These dwellings constituted the beginnings of many

Mexican immigrant communities in the United States. Community and family formation is clearly tied to Mexican industrial employment on the railroad.

This chapter examines the origins, variety, and social conditions of

Mexican boxcar settlements and community development. It argues that while Mexicans could be found throughout most of the railroad occupational hierarchy, most worked in seasonal track work. As such they lived in a variety of company-owned housing. Boxcar communities probably represented the most common form of housing for

Mexican workers and their families. It also demonstrates the linkage between this process and the rise of scientific management regarding

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