In New York City, you can summon a limo with an app called Gett.
TechCrunch calls Gett “Uber without surge pricing.”“Gett rides are $10 in central Manhattan, anywhere between Houston and Central Park South, no matter what day of the week.”
You can tell your Gett driver to take you to Lincoln Plaza to see a screening of Gett.
Gett—it's the Hebrew word for a religious divorce—is an Israeli courtroom drama that opened in the U.S. in February. New York Timescritic Manohla Dargis called it “gripping cinema from start to finish.”
Curiously, the ride-hailing app Gett was developed in Israel, where Hebrew is, of course, one of the official languages. In most of the 32 cities in which it operates, the company is known as GetTaxi.
Confused? You could just stay home and watch getTV.
The lights, the carols, the shopping-mall Santas: verily, ’tis ’Tis the Season season once again. The ’tis-ing started early this year (mid-October!) and shows no sign of abating. In fact, this year I discovered a Tis the Season store—correction, “Christmas Shoppe”—in Millersburg, Ohio. (The apostrophe on that Tis is mysteriously missing.) And if the website design is any indication, this is a place to shoppe till you droppe in a queasy stupor.
Freeways were initially given poetic-evocative names, drawn from historic, literary, or geographical sources: the Cahuenga, the Bayshore, the Redwood, the Ramona, the Cabrillo, the James Lick, the Nimitz. In the second phase of development, freeways tended to take on the names of their destinations—the Hollywood, the Long Beach, the Santa Ana, the San Bernardino—as in August 1954 when the Arroyo Seco Parkway became the Pasadena Freeway. In the third phase of development, freeways were to become known primarily by their numbers—the 10, the 5, the 880, the 101—for they were now part of an integrated state grid, scheduled for integration into an interstate system.
In the Bay Area, many residents (and traffic reporters) still refer to the Bayshore and the Nimitz (and to the Warren Freeway, State Route 13). No one in Northern California, however, would call the Nimitz Freeway “the 880”: up here, we prefer our freeway numbers anarthrous. For more on that subject, see the second half of my 2011 post “Thinking, Doing, Engineering, Amazing.”
HOHO: Acronym for “hop-on hop-off.” (Sometimes spelled HoHo.) Describes a type of sightseeing bus that allows passengers to disembark whenever they reach a stop that interests them, then re-board when it’s convenient. Tickets are valid for a specified period of time, typically 24 hours.
Hop-on hop-off buses are used by tour operators in many cities around the world (and even in the Grand Canyon), but the use of HOHO as a semi-official acronym appears most frequently in connection with the Indian tourist industry.
Q : Can you explain me what is “Hop On Hop Off” A : Hop-On Hop-Off tour, you have the freedom to spend time at each sightseeing. Your ticket will allows you to board any bus.
There are indications that the HOHO acronym is spreading to other parts of the world; see, for example, this query on TripAdvisor about a “HoHo bus” in New York City and this post on The Rome Toolkit, which notes that there are “no less than seven hop on, hop off tour (HOHO) sightseeing buses operating daily in Rome.” The London Toolkit also refers to “two major operators of the standard HOHO buses.”
A British visitor to New York City reported in 2012 that “the HoHo bus” delivered “excellent value for money” and was “a brilliant way to see the city and get your bearings.”
HOHO buses are typically double-decker with open tops and a lowered rear platform for easy boarding and disembarking. One of the newer HOHO buses in London is officially called the New Bus for London (NB4L) and unofficially called the Boris bus, after Boris Johnson, the city’s mayor.
I originally wrote about the Adimab cable-car ads in January 2011, when the company – which is in the antibody-discovery business – was one of several advertisers using the colloquial tag “not so much.”
At the time there was a reason for a small biotech company based in Lebanon, New Hampshire, to advertise on San Francisco cable cars: there was a health-care conference in town. According to the In Vivo blog, Adimab bought every ad on the Powell Street cable cars for a week.
Two years later, though, the ads keep chugging along, halfway to the stars, and I continue to puzzle over them. Lately I’ve been seeing the ads on the Hyde Street cable cars, which tend to be used almost exclusively by tourists, few of whom appear to be in a big hurry about anything, let alone antibody discovery.
For a company that boasts that its “integrated antibody discovery and optimization platform provides unprecedented speed from antigen to purified, full-length human IgGs,” the ads are positively whimsical.
“Antibody discovery. More. Better. Faster. Pick any three.”
“Think you’re set with antibody discovery? You were set with dial-up once too.” (Oh, snap!)
“Why did the antibody cross the road? Because it didn’t die in development.” (Scientist humor!)
One of the ads is in Chinese Japanese (thanks, Erin!). Translation, anyone?
The ads must be working (as recruiting ploys, maybe?), but I have no idea why.
Also a mystery: what “Adimab” means.* I tried to find out (email, voicemail), but no one at the company responded. I did learn from the website that one of the founders, a gentleman named Tillman U. Gerngross, is “one of world’s leading yeast biotechnologists” and a professor of bioengineering at Dartmouth. Originally from Austria, he previously co-founded GlycoFi, Inc., which was acquired by Merck. I cannot tell you what the U in his name stands for.
* Commenter Alex did a Google search and learned that Adimab stands for Antibody Discovery Maturation Biomanufacturing. (Quite the mouthful.) Although I've now received a friendly email from a company spokesman, he did not confirm this name-origin story.
I don’t get the appeal of My Little Pony even on a meta-meta-ironic level, but I am not you, and you, for all I know, may be a brony. In that case, knock yourself out with Ponify, a browser extension “which uses intelligent case-adaptive technologies to replace non-pony related words with ones that are pony-related” – hand into hoof, for example.
Then there’s Nüdifier, which is a twofer name: nominalized -ify suffix andgratuitous umlaut! The app lets you select an area of a photo for pixelated fake-nudity censorship.
Rampture: The traffic congestion that’s expected to ensue after the closing of Wilshire Boulevard on- and offramps to (the) northbound I-405 on Los Angeles’s Westside. Rampture is a humorous blend of ramp and rapture; in certain Christian belief systems (the) rapture represents the “carrying away” of believers after Jesus’ return to Earth.
Some background: Over the coming year, all eight Wilshire ramps will be replaced as part of the $1 billion I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project. Last year, work on the project required the temporary shutdown of 11 miles of freeway, an event that gave rise to another religiously themed coinage, Carmageddon. (The work went smoothly, and the predicted apocalypse failed to materialize.)
The Westside and Valley are just about to prove how far they'll go for a carpool lane on the northbound 405. LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog announced today that the Rampture ramp closures will commence June 22, and they will continue to inflict pain on the Wilshire Boulevard access to the 405 over the next year.
Yaroslavsky does not use “Rampture” in his discussions of the closures. (His being Jewish may or may not be a reason.) He prefers the more secular, rock-’n’-roll-tinged “Ramp Jam.”
UCLA Today, a generally even-toned publication that covers faculty and staff news, did use “Rampture” in the headline of a May 18 story about the ramp demolition, which is taking place in the university’s neighborhood. The article quoted Bruce Taylor, a UCLA professor in urban planning and director of the Institute for Transportation Studies:
“It would be easier if we could just shut everything down,” Taylor said. “Instead, we have to do this while we’re still moving 300,000 vehicles through there a day. ... There are going to be incredible delays.”
Dave Karwaski, UCLA’s senior associate director of transportation, told UCLA Today: “It’s a good time to take a vacation.”
You can follow the progress of the Sepulveda Pass work via Los Angeles County’s dedicated Twitter feed, @I_405.
Sharrow: A road marking indicating that the road is to be shared by cars and bicycles. A portmanteau of share and arrow.
The original sharrows were sometimes called “bike in a house” because of their design:
They were included in the 1993 Denver Bicycle Master Plan but not widely implemented in that city until 2010. In 2004, the city of San Francisco, where incidents of “dooring” were increasingly common, commissioned a study of the effectiveness of sharrows. According to One Less Car: Denver:
The goal of the study was to determine which markings were most effective, and how they should be used. The really neat part of this study is how it was conducted. The group used before-and-after video footage to determine the effectiveness of the sharrow. They tested two versions of the sharrow; the 'Chevron style' … and the 'Bike-In-House' version … They looked for cyclist positions relative to the curb or a parked car, as well as passing motorist traffic positions relative to the cyclist. In short, what they determined is that ANY sharrow improves cyclist and motorist positioning. Sharrows created a buffer between cyclists and parked cars, as well as between the passing cars and cyclists. They did a good job of evaluating variables, and in the end concluded that sharrows can be an effective solution to improve cyclist safety and both cyclist and motorist behavior.
David Darlington writes about sharrows and other features of urban bicycling in “Critical Mass,” in the November issue of San Francisco magazine:
Polk [Street] is an officially designated bike route, but the part we were riding has no formal bike lanes. We were following “sharrows”—stenciled images of bikes with arrows, indicating where cyclists should ride, especially to avoid car doors. To make room for these, 11 years ago two southbound lanes on Polk were reduced to one, following the example of Valencia Street, ground zero for the bike explosion now engulfing the city.
Darlington reports that San Francisco has 2,800 sharrows.
At least 27 other US cities have introduced sharrows to their roadways, according to a Wikipedia entry.