Friday, July 29, 2011

Everyone has their addiction...

Some people smoke, some people drink. Me? I buy books.

I already own a lot of books. They fill up two six-foot shelves, plus three feet and a milk crate in my closet, plus a set of technology encyclopedias under my bed. And that's just the ones I owned before December 2010.

...to say nothing of the magazines. I have thirteen years of Sky&Telescope, plus a couple of Sport Rocketry.

Up until last Christmas, I had my books under control. Yes, they'd started expanding into my closet, but that was organized, and it was space just waiting to be filled. But then I got about 18 linear inches of books for Christmas, and I had nowhere to put them. So, they became a pile on the floor.

I can never bear to give up my books. I have a copy-paper box full of children's books that have too many memories for me to give up; it's up in the attic with my high school papers and textbooks. So there was no way I was going to give up a lot of my books, especially since many of them are reference works that I pull up occasionally.

So they sat. In March, they were joined by some books from a former teacher of mine who was cleaning out his shelves, and in April by a William Gibson novel I bought in Maryland. More filtered in, gifts and purchases.

Then, the last straw. I bought four books at Borders on Sunday, then ten at Book Barn today. (I had a $25 gift certificate, so they cost me just ten dollars total.) No way those were goin gon the floor too; my mother would rightfully murder me.

So, while college shopping, I picked up a cheap bookshelf. It's thin fiberboard, but it works for what I need it for. Three shelves, a foot wide.

It's almost full from the last 8 months of books.

. . .

I think I'll get another one. At thirteen dollars it's worth it.

In any case, here's the books I bought today:
  • Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama
  • Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth
  • Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise
  • Arthur C. Clarke, The Sentinel

Three novels and a collection of short stories by one of the greatest science fiction writers who ever lived.

  • Orson Scott Card, Ender's Shadow

The excellent parallel novel to Ender's Game, which they did not have in stock.

  • Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Still among the funniest novels ever written.

  • Martin Gardner, Wheels, Life, and Other Mathematical Amusements

Recreational mathematics.

  • Alexander Ziwet and Louis Allen Hopkins, Analytic Geometry

Not so recreational mathematics. To teach myself higher-level geometry. This is old - a 1937 edition of a 1913 title.

  • Galileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1967 translated edition)

This is where modern science truly started. This was the title that brought heliocentrism to the masses, and the book that got Galileo tried. Given that I've parodied it (because I was being sarcastic on an English paper) it's time I got around to reading it.

  • Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine

The story of the creation of one of the first modern computers. Does for computers what Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance did for motorcycles - show the interaction between man (and, at Data General, a number of pioneering women as well) and machine as it becomes an art. It contributed to the idea of programming as an art and a philosophy as well as a science, and it's one of the finest engineering books around.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

GIMP skills

So, when I was up in Boston for orientation, I took this picture at Back Bay on the commuter rail platforms:



It's a lousy picture in several ways. The perspective is awful, there's glare from the lights, it's fuzzy, and oh yeah, there's a clueless grandma who walked into my picture. (Definitely a grandma - she later started talking about her grandkids.)

But I have GIMP, and after several attempts, I got a decent picture. I straightened it to an almost-flat view of the sign, and I managed to remove the grandma then repair the picture.

I also did some sharpening of the text. Most is still unreadable, but the date is definitely 1920 - old enough that the photographs are public domain.

It's not perfect; my patch jobs are pretty bad and the perspective is still wonky. But it's good enough to have uploaded it to Commons:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Things I Won't Work With"

I recently discovered a very interesting blog: In the Pipeline. It's a blog about chemistry, written by a professional chemist, and it's very interesting.

But the best feature, by far, is the posts tagged "Things I Won't Work With. It's about chemicals that are so dangerous even this experience chemist won't touch them with a ten-foot pole. They include chlorine azide which is so explosive it requires sheet-iron suits to work with even tiny amounts, isocyanides which just smell bad, dioxygen difluoride which detonates spontaneously at -300 Fahrenheit, and nickel carbonyl which has several different ways to poison you very quickly.

But the scariest? Chlorine trifluoride, ClF3, used in the semiconductor industry. It's among the most powerful oxidizing agents known and among the few that beats oxygen at its own game. It'll burn things that are already ashes. It will set just about anything on fire - even the sand in the sand bucket (which normally will put out any fire). Here's a description he quotes from rocket scientist John Clark:

"

It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water-with which it reacts explosively.It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals-steel, copper, aluminium, etc.-because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride.... If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.

"


Scary stuff indeed.

Lincoln Logs.

Admit it, you just got hit by the nostalgia bus.

They came up in discussion while I had my friends over today, so we spent fifteen minutes playing with them. And you know what? They're every bit as much fun as when I was a kid. You can build all sorts of neat stuff - the beauty of a modular building system.

There were a few broken ones in the box from years ago. I actually have now managed to fix them, as I can now successfully glue the breaks.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rebuilding Rama

Continuing with repairing about half my fleet this summer, I'm doing a major overhaul on the Rama. It started out as an attempt to make a finless scale model, then it was just a scale model, and then it was just ugly. I have more about it here.

Any other rocket with its record would just get retired. It's survived six launches, which is an eternity for a scratchbuilt rocket. In the first went unstable, in the second it got its fins broken off, in the third it crashed, in the fourth it crashed again, in the fifth it actually did well on a D motor (after previous failures on Cs and a B), and in the sixth it wasn't quite stable.

But, I don't want to retire it just yet. It's a fun and hardy rocket; that 3" mailing tube can take a lot of damage. It also makes a good testbed for high-thrust 18mm motors; I plan to use it to test my own someday once I'm Level 2 certified.

So instead of scrapping it, it gets a complete rebuild.

The nose 'cone' - which is actually flat - is a mailing tube end cap filled with solidified wood glue for weight. I trashed the foam board than formerly covered it; my replacement covering will be a better-fitting piece of poster board. I trimmed down the screw eye so it won't poke through any more.

The forward edge of the body tube is squished and the layers are coming apart from the multiple crashes. I'm squeezing white glue between the layers, then clamping them shut till they dry, which should render it pretty solid. The inside of the tube has gotten pretty chewed up, so I'll give it a coat of wood glue to make it smooth. Easy exit for the parachute, and easy to clean after the flight.

I realize now that part of the reason it's so survivable is the filling - I filled the space between the motor mount and body tube with cotton batting, stuffed tight. Which is not as stupid as it sounds - the stuff comes chemically treated to be flameproof.

The shock cord mount is pretty solid, but I needed to add some filets to the forward centering ring. Next I'll trim the motor mount tube to be flushed with the centering ring, which will give me more parachute space.

I ripped out the rear centering ring entirely; it'll be replaced by a higher-quality, better-centered ring made from several layers of cardboard. I'm leaving out the motor hook and moving the motor mount slightly forward to correct the stability problems with the 18mm reloadables.

The launch lug needed reglued. The fins, ugly as they are, are solidly set so they'll stay for now. Once all the internal work is complete, I will prime everything (except of course the fins) and then paint it a nice flat white - no more red mailing tube label showing through.

Migrating to the new Rocket Reviews site

I was out of the rocketry world for most of the past year; I've just been too busy with school and getting into college, to say nothing of my Wikipedia addiction. So I failed to migrate myself onto the new Rocket Reviews site, formerly known as EMRR.

But I'm finally starting to do so. It's going to take me a little while - I've got about 20 flights where I need to update the motor designation on the new system, and 20 more that I have to upload.

But for now, here's my flight logs, flight statistics, and my reviews. They've been updated in the sidebar as well.

(Dick Stafford, I know you'll read this. Care to point me towards any of your always-helpful posts?)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

42 years ago...

Men were walking on the moon for the first time.

Pluto now has 4 moons

Via Phil Plait comes the news that a fourth moon of Pluto has been discovered in new Hubble Space Telescope images.

The new object is tiny - just 8 to 21 miles across. Which isn't tiny compared to, say, Manhattan, but it is incredible when you realize that Pluto is currently three billion miles away. Which means that spotting the moon - provisionally designated S/2011 P1 - equivalent to having a marble orbiting a beach ball on top of the Empire State Building. And then spotting that marble from Chicago.

We've known about its largest moon, Charon, since 1978, but the two other moons, Nix and Hydra, were just discovered in 2005. Makes me wonder what we'll find next.

I can't wait till New Horizons shows up in 2015. We will learn a lot about Pluto and its moons very quickly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Shuttle and what it means to me

In less than three days, the orbiter Atlantis will land back on Earth. It's a bittersweet moment for me.

On one hand, the Shuttle program has been a good thing, if not a total success. We never got even close to the weekly launches originally envisioned, nor can 14 lives be brought back, but there were 133 safe launches. Science was done; satellites were launched, and the Hubble Space Telescope was brought to space.

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, which did for X-ray astronomy what Hubble has done in visible light. Magellan, which mapped Venus. Ulysses, which showed us the poles of the sun and explored cometary tails. Galileo, which explored Jupiter. All of those probes were launched by the Space Shuttle; without it, they could not have done their missions, and science would be weaker.

The Hubble Space Telescope has done more than any other telescope in history. By accurately measuring distances to Cepheid variable stars, it has provided the (then) most accurate estimate of the Hubble Constant and thus the age of the universe. It has provided crucial evidence for the acceleration of the universe's expansion. It has found black holes in the center of galaxies and proto-planetary disks in the Orion Nebula; it has watched a comet impact Jupiter in our own solar system, and taken the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field, the deepest (furthest-looking) image of the universe yet. It's discovered optical counterparts to Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs). And it was launches and repaired (5 times) by crews on the Space Shuttle.

The International Space Station has been brought up and maintained in large part by Space Shuttle missions; the Shuttle has also provided occasional orbit-boosting burns. We now have a miniature city in Space, and even without the Shuttle we might be able to keep it a while.

But it's a sad day for NASA. For the first time since October 7th, 1958, (when the Mercury program was announced), the agency has no real program for human spaceflight. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 suggests a new booster by 2016, but funding is in doubt. The Constellation project was canceled after going far over budget. There's not public nor governmental support like there was for the Apollo program.

The Shuttle, like I said, also was not perfect. 14 astronauts died aboard on two separate incidents. Preventable accidents. 14 of 359 is a one-in-25 fatality rate, a death rate comparable only to heads of state. Officials estimated the chance of a fatality at one in 100,000; Richard Feynman (when serving on the Challenger investigation panel) was closer when he said one in 100.

Costs skyrocketed, always and every time. The original estimate was $640 (adjusted to 2011 dollars) per pound to orbit; the actual figure was more like $27,000. Russian rockets can do it for $2250 per pound.

But it's just about over. NASA is left with a nearly blank slate. Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is in big danger and may never leave the ground. NASA's budget is being razed for political purposes. There are serious questions as to whether NASA will have another program like Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or the Shuttle program. There are even those who question whether NASA will ever launch another astronaut.

Unless there is another politically-based race to space - and there may yet be with China, a country that has shown interest in weaponizing space - there will not be another program like Apollo where the whole country and all the politicians throw their hopes on it. Not unless there's something extraordinary, on the level of extraterrestrial contact or the creation of a faster-than-light drive.

The future, it seems, is the private space companies. Scaled Composites made SpaceShipOne, the first private spacecraft, and now they're creating space tourism. SpaceX is making the first new heavy booster in a decade, and the first one not created directly for NASA or the military. They plan to fly humans before 2020 in a reusable spacecraft.

This fall, I will be entering college, majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace engineering. At this point in time, it's what I want to do with my life. I love rocketry, I love designing things using mathematics, and I love solving problems. I can't guarantee that in four or five years I will still want to design space boosters or turbopumps, but I can guarantee that I will have a solid background in physics, mathematics, computer modeling, and design, and a degree that gives me a lot of flexibility to do what I want.

I also can't guarantee that I'll be able to get a job in aerospace engineering come 2015. The industry is going to be reeling from the end of the Space Shuttle program, and this is an industry that goes through heavy contractions on a periodic basis anyway. It's questionable how quickly private space launches of people and goods are going to grow the market for young engineers. It's a growth market eventually - lots of people and things are going to be sent to space, and they will need a lot of engineers to design a lot of rockets - but the question is when the sudden uptick begins.

And China has shown an interest in weaponizing space, which is problematic for someone who considers himself a pacifist. I haven't entirely codified my morals yet, but I think I would be very conflicted if I was to work on something that might be used not to launch a GPS satellite or a telescope or Captain Kirk, but instead to attack the other guy's astronauts or communications satellite.

But ultimately, this chronic pessimist is pretty hopeful. Whether or not NASA survives in anything like its present form, there's going to be a lot of space launches, and I believe I may be part of that. I'm definitely going to be doing something interesting. There is so much cool stuff out there, and I'm just optimistic enough to believe that space will be occupied, space will be colonized, and if we're very very lucky that it won't get weaponized. I believe that space will be revolutionized, revolutionized within my lifetime, and this revolution WILL be televised, in full-color 1080p 3D holo-screen view. I believe that the future can be as shiny as Star Trek even while the people are as real as Firefly. I want to be the one who designs the machines that make that future.

My name is David Sindel, and I'm going to be a rocket scientist when I grow up.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hugin

So, I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of free and open-source software. I browse the internet with Chrome, use Tor to get past blocks, and waste time playing Nethack. I use OpenRocket do design my rockets. I use GIMP for heavy editing of pictures (and creating animations) and Inkscape for vector graphics.

Now, I've added a new one to my stable. Hugin is a free, open-source panorama photo stiticher.

But it's more than just a photo stitcher. You can give it a bunch of images - I've personally done 11 without it crashing, but it can support at least 127 images - and it'll do almost everything for you. It'll balance colors so they all fit together, choose points to match up, and then morph each picture so that they all match up perfectly. Then, it spits out a beautiful panorama, in your choice of .tiff, .jpg, or .png.

It's really neat for me, because I like panoramas, but I'm bad at putting them together. I cobbled one good one of a mural in Park Street station in Picasa, but it can't correct perspectives at all. I attempted a couple in GIMP, but it doesn't have the spherical perspective correction nor the automatic color matching. But Hugin solves all those problems.

Here's what my own Picasa combination looked like:













And here's the panorama created by Hugin:



No contest there. (It's the southbound station building at Westerly.)

Other panoramas I've created using Hugin today (linked because they're big files, up to 12 MB):

Saturday, July 16, 2011

L-13 work

I'm finally getting back into building and repairing rockets, after a few months of not doing much due to school.

I started with my Goddard L-13. Last time, I fixed one of the scale details and added nose weight.

I started with a swing test this time. With a C6-3 (as heavy as even the 18mm D motors) inserted, I found the balance point and swung it on string to determine stability. It's an old standby, and good for rockets like this where simulation software doesn't work as well.

Because I built the aft end so heavy, it wasn't stable even with the additional 17g of nose weight from June. I added nose weight with quick links; it took an additional ounce (28g) before it was fully stable.

I cut two 1.5" lengths of .25" steel rod, then hand-drilled two more holes into the base of the nose cone. I glued them in and put a cap of wood glue on top to keep them very secure.

I also coated all remaining balsa areas of the nose cone with wood glue to protect them from ejection charges, especially since I find that I may need to add to the stock ejection charge of Estes motors since the body tube is fairly large. Previously, I have had no luck getting the parachute to unfurl.

The other remaining problem was the launch lug. The instructions have you place a single long lug near the bottom of the rocket. Which works okay if you build light rockets, but I build heavy rockets. So I took a short piece of launch lug and glued it higher up. (Both lugs are hidden among scale details). It's painted silver and now blends in.

Next: probably The Great Punkin.

MBTA Orange Line route diagrams

My latest project on Wikipedia: Historical route diagrams on the MBTA Orange Line.

It's been pretty tricky. Having a standard set of route diagram template icons to work from helps, but they're from the German wikipedia, so their abbreviations are all in German, as is some of the documentation.

The Orange Line is also especially tricky because its route has varied a lot. The Green Line streetcars have had many different routes, but they always shared the Tremont Street Subway. The Red Line has always been centered around the connected Cambridge and Dorcester tunnels. The Blue Line, the East Boston Tunnel.

But the Orange Line strays a lot - in fact, it no longer uses any of the route that it did in 1901, when the major elevated sections were opened.

In 1901, the Charlestown Elevated carried trains from Everett to the North End. Some cars went along the Atlantic Avenue Elevated to South Station; others went into the Tremont Street Subway through center Boston. All met up in the South End and took the Washington Street Elevated to Dudley Square.

In 1908, the Washington Street Subway opened through center Boston, and the Tremont trains were diverted through it, leaving the Tremont Street Subway open to streetcars. Thus, the first modern section of the Orange Line - from Friend-Union (now Haymarket) to Boylston-Essex (now Chinatown), stopping at Milk-State (State) and Summer-Winter (Downtown Crossing) - was born.

In 1938, the Atlantic Avenue Elevated closed at South Station then completely due to lack of ridership; it was torn down for scrap during World War II.

The MBTA (formed 1963) did not like elevated lines; they are noisy and prone to derailments on sharp curves. In 1975 the stop at North Station was placed into a tunnel and a new tunnel carved under the Charles. The line was extended to Oak Grove along the commuter rail tracks, and the Charlestown Elevated was torn down.

The Washington Street El came down in 1987, as the Southwest Corridor project relocated the line to a trench alongside Amtrak and commuter rails. The service along southern Washington Street was sorely missed; the Silver Line bus service began to fill its place in 2002, but many feel that a true rail line is needed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Giant Color-Changing Squirrel

A few miles south of center Lima, there's a giant color-changing Jesus statue. It's about 100 feet tall, and lit up at night with different colored lights.

Somehow, talking about this, I promised my sister that I would make her an animated, giant color-changing squirrel.

So here it is. I had to learn quite a bit to make it. I had to figure out how to make a mask, how to work with layers, and how to animate a GIF image.



Click for a larger version.

Happy Birthday, Neptune!

According to The Bad Astronomer, it's Neptune's first birthday of discovery.

Cool!

Wait... what does that mean?

It means that it's been 164.8 years (one Neptune orbit) since it was discovered on September 23, 1846.

Mostly. There's a lot of complications. Neptune doesn't orbit the sun; like everything else in the solar system, it orbits the barycenter - the center of mass. Due to Jupiter and Saturn, the barycenter isn't exactly in the middle of the sun.

There's also other stuff. Like, we aren't sure the exact hour it was discovered. Its orbit isn't quite regular due to the gravitational tugs of Uranus and Pluto and Jupiter. And there's competing coordinate systems to choose from.

Also, Galileo. He spotted Neptune in 1612 (the greatest pre-discovery yet known) but thought it was a star because his telescope had limited resolving power.

But today, or thereabouts, is one Neptunian year since its official discovery. I'm going to celebrate by spotting it tonight.

How have I lived 18 years...

Without realizing that [shift] + mousewheel = scroll sideways?

It happens to be incredibly useful in image manipulation programs, especially when editing maps at small scale in GIMP.

It also works on web browsers (or at least Chrome, anyway) but frustratingly not in Word or Notepad.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Peru.

I got back on Tuesday from a vacation in Peru. It was quite a good time.

We flew in to Lima on Saturday night. After a harrowing ride to the hotel (Peru does not believe in traffic laws or  speed limits; he who is first wins), we got to see my sister (who is in Peru on a semester abroad) for the first time in 4 months.

We spent Sunday walking around Miraflores (a suburb just south of Lima). Miraflores is borderd by the Pacific Ocean on the west, and the 300-foot cliffs are spectacular. The Malecon - a string of small parks and walkways on the edge - is a great place to walk. We also had lunch with my sister's host mom.

Monday we flew out to Cusco, the former Inca capital city. It's at 11,000 feet and gets more UV than any other city on the planet. We were late (Peruvian Airlines is not good at flying when it's bad weather) but got there just in time for our tour of Cusco. It included the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Coricancha, and Sacsayhuamán. The Spanish colonial stuff is neat, but what truly fascinated me was the Inca architecture. No mortar (for their later works), beautifully cut stone, and it's earthquake-proof.

On Tuesday we spent the day walking around Cusco, eating Peruvian food, and buying stuff. We spent the day taking it easy to get acclimated to the altitude. We actually couldn't sleep well that night, because we closed the window. My brain actually would not let me sleep - first I got nightmares, then my mind was racing and I couldn't sleep, and then my knees hurt. I had to go outside on the patio and walk for a while to get some oxygen, and then after opening the window we all slept.

On Wednesday, we got up early to take the train to Machu Picchu. Our ride did not come, and it took several minutes of me dredging up my best Spanish to convince the hotel concierge that indeed we needed a taxi right then or we would miss our train. (Peru as a country is not big on the concept of "now"). But, we made our train with a minute to spare.

PeruRail runs very nice (if slow) service; our train served a nice breakfast, and the views out the dome car were incredible. The line runs through a steep river valley for almost the whole length. We got off at Km 104 (6 Km from the Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu stop, which is in the valley 1500 feet below the ruins) and met our hiking guide. He was an awesome guide - very funny, and extremely knowledgeable.

After waiting for the next train to meet our hiking companions - a Dutch couple. We hiked up a restored section of Inca trail to Wiñay Wayna, a huge group of ruins located at 8800 feet (2800 feet above where we started, which is a lot of climbing in thin air). It contains dozens of giant agricultural terraces (each 4 fete high, 10 wide, and hundreds long) as well as a group of buildings. It's also located on the steep side of a nearly inaccessible mountain. The Incas were awesome.

From there we joined the more famous section of the Inca Trail, which was a mostly easy climb. (except for the "gringo killer" - 50 nearly vertical steps at 9000 feet. Which I ran up, cause i'm awesome like that.) At 9100 feet we came to the Sun Gate, a narrow pass. From there, the views of Machu Picchu are spectacular. (pictures eventually)

From Intipunku we hiked down to Machu Picchu itself, then took the bus down to Aguas Calientes town, where we had dinner.

Suffice to say you don't want to know the details, but I woke up sick on Thursday morning. We didn't get up early to get tickets to hike up Wayna Pichu (which has great views of the site) but I was healthy enough later to get up and meet our guide for our tour. I can't really describe how amazing the place is; it's just incredible.

(Jim Carrey was also there, randomly. We saw the horde of photographers surrounding him.)

We took the train back to Cusco that night. We opened the windows and I slept well for the first time since Lima.

On Friday we again spent a lot of time waiting for Peruvian Airlines - I derived every possible tiling of the plane that conforms to certain chacteristics while waiting - but we got back in time to go to dinner with my sister. Pardo's makes excellent roasted chicken.

We spent Saturday walking around Miraflores. We took a tour of the Huaca Pucllana, a pre-Inca pyramid constructed with earthquake-proof design. On Sunday we took the Metropolitano (a very well-designed rapid bus system) into Lima center... and randomly ran into a parade. The Peruvian president was there. Famous people count: 2.

We also went down to Barranco - another suburb - and rode the tram at the Electric Museum. An original Breda tram - very neat.

We flew out on Monday night, got back into Newark. 757s are a wonderful aircraft, but sleeping is not a recommended activity aboard. And tray tables make for awful pillows.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tremont streets

Tremont Street is one of the major throughfares in Boston. It's got lots of history on it - and under it: The Tremont Street Subway, the oldest in America, was built in 1897. It still carries Green Line trams.

"Tremont" comes from "Trimontaine" - Trimountain - one of the original names of Boston. Beacon Hill was once triple-peaked and taller, hence the name.

The original Tremont Street runs 3.3 miles from Boston Common to Brigham Circle. But it's not alone. Inside Route 128, there are no less than seven other Tremont Streets, including in the adjoining communities of Newton, Cambridge / Somerville, Everett, Malden, and Melrose. And there's more outside 128, including two in Taunton / Dighton and two around Plymouth.

And this is a fairly unique thing. There's a handful of Tremont Streets outside eastern Massachusetts - but nowhere near this density. It's obvious that a lot of cities and town wanted to copy Boston.

But the navigation just gets worse. In the same area, there are also 2 Tremont Avenues, one Court, five Places (one in downtown Boston), and three Roads. Many are connected to the various Tremont Streets. In fact, a single Tremont Street has two different Tremont Places connecting to it - one in Peabody, one in Salem.

Here's a map I made:


View Larger Map

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm back from vacation

And, while I'm still getting organized, here's a really awesome Tool cover (on koto!) to keep you entertained: