October 16th, 2006

krazy koati

It's coming down the lines

To fill my quota of odd little events: I went to a convenience store to pick up some miscellaneous things -- toothpaste, shower gel, new brush heads for my electric toothbrush, and a C battery. My alarm clock wound down. All the non-AA batteries were stored behind the cashier's desk, though, so when I got to the clerk she took out a bag generously sized for what I had. I said I also needed a C battery. She asked if I wanted a battery, and I did, and if it was AA; no, C size. She nodded, then put away the bag she had picked out -- which would have been plenty large, honestly -- and got out one about twice as large in both dimensions. Yeah, C batteries are big, but hardly that big.

The Innovationation exhibit was held at Expo, the exhibition hall on the east side of the island. Something opened relatively recently was The Max Pavilion, which features signs saying ``This Way To Maximise Your Experience.'' With a motto like that you sound like someone afraid of life if you don't visit. Maybe I'll get to it someday. Expo is rather upstaged by its MRT station, opened in 2001 as part of the extension of the East-West Line into Changi Airport, where it made use of a conveniently captured UFO. It's a lovely design, all set to inspire a titanic silent science fiction movie. I'm sorry that I don't have more reason to visit, for its aesthetic value, but if you're not going to something at the Expo halls there isn't much reason to visit, unless you want to catch the impending crash of the starship Voyager.

Meanwhile in puzzling announcements, the train I was on stopped at City Hall station and the driver made some announcement apologizing for something, and then launched into words which just made no sense. After a minute or so of the announcements I realized he was talking with the dispatcher about some event on the track ahead of us, and apparently forgot he (but not the dispatcher) was broadcasting to the whole train. After another minute or so a woman in the MRT line's uniform ran up the platform, past the security gate, opened a panel and pressed a few buttons, following which the train went on. I'd kind of like to know what that was all about.

Trivia: New York City's first elevated railway was built in 1868 on Greenwich Street. Source: Engineering in History, Richard Shelton Kirby, Sidney Withington, Arthur Burr Darling, Frederick Gridley Kilgour.

Currently Reading: Ideas: A History from Fire to Freud. Peter Watson.