A brief story of time

Every morning litany.

The London Tube is class of its own. You have to live the experience to really appreciate its sweet melody that tries to make your commuting seem shorter than it actually is. Because it is usually quite a long journey that you have to endure when traveling from home to your office, and vice-versa.

Thankfully, Transport for London (TfL) has come up with a solution: they try to hypnotise their travellers with a recurring lullaby whose lyrics sound a bit like: "Mind the gap", "Let the passenger off the train first", "minor delays", "report any unattended items", "mind the closing doors", "part closure", "touch in and touch out", "no service between...", "move right inside the carriage", "use any available space", "CCTV is in operation in the station", etc.

You got it, the tube is a nightmare. And if you add to the high temperatures, the noise and the smell (no
reference to our former president J. Chirac here), then the nightmare can rapidly become hell on earth. Well, you can argue that calling the underground hell is to a certain extend rational. But still...

Killing time.

So everyone tries to turn this pain into a positive experience. Some digest junk information from cheap newspapers, they gulp gossips and football transfers as they sip their latte ; some look at the public transportation as a photo studio and multiply the snapshots about the tube ; some write emails on their blackberry and some write songs. And sometimes some IT guys develop programs to materialise how much time they waste in public transportation.

The real London Tube in motion
Found on
Tom Carden's blog this Flash application is quite interesting: click on the desired station, and you will instantly see how far it is from the other station of the network. Interesting, clever, smooth, nice but theoretical and consequently useless since this application does not take into consideration "signal failures" or "customer incidents".

Sorry, but even if you use a keyboard to compose such a program, the cacophony from the TfL orchestra will cover you efforts. Nice attempt though...

1 comment:

  1. Yep. It seems the flash application would work fine in a world of fantasy where the tube would be on time, all the time. :-)

    I'm so glad I live close enough to work that I can cycle there every morning.

    I have been somehow lucky these last few weeks. In spite of the awful weather, I've managed to be drenched only once.

    Fingers crossed for the future :)

    And good luck with TFhell !