it seems that a city is only a City® when it has a fully functioning below-surface transportation system. london has the tube. paris and tokyo have their metros. new york has the subway. there are few exceptions that immediately spring to mind save the L in chicago and perhaps the rickshaw/pedicab system in shanghai. here are massive urban centres that function as cultural, political and societal hubs of their surrounding regions. they are the largest metropolitan areas that embody all of the traits of their country or state and they represent this polity to the outside world - these are the figurehead cities, the shining examples of an area.

some of my favourite cities want to be Cities® but don't know how to be. portland has been battling Light Rail implementation for as long as i can remember. the MAX is available downtown and, to some extent, in some major attractions outside of the city centre. seattle will never get a monorail capable of anything practical because, apparently, everybody there has seen that episode of the simpsons. the latter city, however, does have a leg up on the former.

of the two major metropolitan centres of the northwest, seattle appears to be pursuing Cityship® with the growing usage of a widely unknown tube system. the system is not terribly expansive. yet. it is not terribly easy to use. yet. it is not terribly easy to find. yet. however the tracks are growing and the buses that use the tunnels travel at reliable intervals. i am reading an article in the Seattle Times, "A light-rail wonder", and it shows new tracks being laid as another passenger platform for a stop in Beacon Hill is completed.

seattle, with its so-far-successful incarnation of "the world's game" via the Sounders FC, wishes to become a City®. they are getting closer with the installation of a reliable, practical, culturally, politically, and socially friendly transportation network. the seattle underground is a secret weapon. my own experience with it is limited but it was the tool that enabled me to get from north seattle, near fremont, to the airport in just less than 30 minutes (with a change, btw) with a ski bag. there will undoubtedly be teething problems but, i guarantee you they won't be as severe as Springfield's monorail.

-e pics n' things!


finals week, round 1, &c.

today: physics final & darwin final paper.

physics went well enough. we were given two hours to complete the final but i had the 35 multiple choice exam finished in under 20 minutes. it's always nervewracking to be the first done. am i missing something? did i not get a page? am i just an idiot? but even after checking the five pages of answers all seemed in its place. talked to the professor on my way out and she guaranteed me an A if i didn't massively blow the final.

darwin was another matter. the final paper has been giving me troubles for the last two weeks. motivation has been rare and not even knowing that this is my last full course in my major seemed to provide the impetus needed for a real burst of divine inspiration. my thesis was muddled and the conclusion weak. the paper's organization was implicit, not explicit. i think this is due to the professor swearing off writing like a sociologist (i'm going to tell what i'm going to tell you, tell it to you and then tell you what i just told you - it's boring). i was more engaged in the writing language but i got lost in the structure. even working alongside my outline proved confusing because the words never exactly matched up. hoping for a B.

excited about fall quarter next year, though. after england credits have been counted i'll have 59 total credits, with 60 needed to complete my major. in the fall i will be taking a two credit directed independent study with a great WWII professor i've had in the past. he told me to pick out "five or six books, the subjects of which are my prerogative." my readings are focused around the sabotage, resistance efforts, conspiracies and spy cock-ups of WWII. shane gave me a book two summers ago, operation jedburgh, and this inspired the subversive topic for my course of study.

communications final tomorrow at 6pm. good thing i haven't studied at all for that. philosophy final wednesday at 10.30.

-e pics n' things!