Quiz...

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:47 am

Here's one for you literary types to ponder while you're trying to come up with Gerry's answer to his question: (Gerry cordially invited to participate.)

Strangely, subway car No.86 once mysteriously disappeared loaded with more than 300 passengers. It was believed that the cause had to do with a particular manner of subway tunnel construction that opened up a portal to another dimension. Of course, we are speaking about a work of science fiction (I think :( ). This was, in fact, the premise behind a short story published December of 1950. Here's 6 questions, 20 points each (bonus=40). Answer 1 or all 6:

What subway tunnel inspired this story ?(Clue- Check the thread forum.)
What was the title of this work ?(Clue- See "Bonus Question" below.)
Who was the author ?(Clue- Name of a language.)
What was the author's full-time profession ?(Clue- I get a headache just thinking about it !)
Where did the author work ?(Clue- Mingled with Frasier.)
Bonus Question worth 40 Pts !!!!!!!!- What was the name of the object which purportedly caused the subway car to disappear, and describe it briefly ? (Clue-The name of this object, an oddity, is partially in the title.)

0 Pts = Newbury Nutbag
20 Pts = Beacon Hill Bufoon
40 Pts = North End Newbie
60 Pts = Dover Street Debutante
80 Pts = Southy Slicker
100 Pts = Roxbury Whirl
140 Pts = Egleston Egghead
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:00 am

I am shocked that nobody (other than 3rd rail) came up with the last piece of new street railway track (actually partially in the street) constructed in 1986 to tie the Arborway Line to the new Forest Hills Station. The entire area traversed by this loop was to the south of the original right of way leading to the original Arborway terminal (now the lower Arborway) and includes tail tracks leading to a new entrance to Arborway Yard. This was one of two projects given as excuses for the Arborway's shutdown on Dec. 30, 1985, and it was complete, save for overhead when the station opened in May 1987. 22 years later it is still there, having never been polished by a steel wheel.

RANT FOLLOWS

There was quite a bit of track relocation as the Forest Hills project progressed, much of it done on weekend shutdowns to keep the line running. The final relocation was timed to coincide with the rebuilding of the Opera Place (Now Spear Place) portal and was supposed to take about a year to complete, which it did. Since then, the MBTA has, with the aid of Mayor Menino provided a litany of excuses for not restoring service. One of these is "Not Enough Cars". At present the Heath Street Service warrants 17 two car trains plus two RAD trains. (38 cars, the equivalent of 51 PCCs. Back in 1985, there were 13 PCC trains required for Arborway service, 7 LRVs for Heath St., and 3 LRVs for RADs. That works out to 46 PCC cars or 5 less than those needed today! Add to that the buses needed to cover the outer end of the line, about 20 articulateds, and you have an astounding 71 vehicles, compared to the 46 back in 1985. (An articulated bus has about the same capacity as a PCC so I am not allowing any adjustment therefor)

END OF RANT
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
User avatar
Gerry6309
 
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:46 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby BigUglyCat » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:42 am

3rdrail wrote:Here's one for you literary types to ponder while you're trying to come up with Gerry's answer to his question: (Gerry cordially invited to participate.)

Strangely, subway car No.86 once mysteriously disappeared loaded with more than 300 passengers. It was believed that the cause had to do with a particular manner of subway tunnel construction that opened up a portal to another dimension. Of course, we are speaking about a work of science fiction (I think :( ). This was, in fact, the premise behind a short story published December of 1950. Here's 6 questions, 20 points each (bonus=40). Answer 1 or all 6:

What subway tunnel inspired this story ?(Clue- Check the thread forum.)
What was the title of this work ?(Clue- See "Bonus Question" below.)

Paul:

I very fondly remember A Subway Named Moebius, referencing the Moebius Strip which contrives to have only one side. I believe the story also mentioned the Klein Bottle (which is somehow inside of itself). My favorite bit of dialogue is the academic saying he thinks, "...the train hit a node." The MTA guy responds that this is a well-kept operation, "...no nodes left lying around."

Supposedly the system develops infinite connectivity with the opening of "The Boylston Shuttle."

I'll be interested to see the answers to your other questions.

Pete
BigUglyCat
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Belfast, ME

Re: Quiz...

Postby BigUglyCat » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:52 am

As an afterthought, here's an article about the Moebius strip from Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip

I had to edit the above 3 times because of my poor proofreading efforts. :(
BigUglyCat
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Belfast, ME

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:54 pm

BigUglyCat wrote:Paul:

I very fondly remember A Subway Named Moebius, referencing the Moebius Strip which contrives to have only one side. I believe the story also mentioned the Klein Bottle (which is somehow inside of itself). My favorite bit of dialogue is the academic saying he thinks, "...the train hit a node." The MTA guy responds that this is a well-kept operation, "...no nodes left lying around."

Supposedly the system develops infinite connectivity with the opening of "The Boylston Shuttle."

I'll be interested to see the answers to your other questions.

Pete


Nicely done, Pete, you Dover Street Debutante ! So far, you're in the lead, ahead of BHB Gerry ! (Questions #2 and #6 answered - who's got the rest ? I'm accepting two possible answers for #1 and correct answers don't have to be repeated to gain points.)
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:48 pm

Anybody want to challenge Pete's reigning top position in my quiz before the remaining answers come out ? We've gotten as far as being a "Dover Street Debutante". You too can be an "Egleston Egghead" ! Take a moment in between shovelling that snow and warm up with a guess. The rest of the answers really are pretty easy to figure out now. Here's a final clue: The missing subway car would have been of the 69 foot variety. Good luck ! Answers soon. :-D
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:53 pm

It looks like Pete's the Man ! Congratulations, Pete !

"A Subway Named Mobius" is a short story written by Armin J. Deutsch. It first appeared in the December, 1950 issue of the series "Astounding Science Fiction", and has been reprinted in "Where Do We Go From Here", edited by Isaac Asimov. (It is still available through Amazon.com.) Mr. Deutsch was a Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, and it has been noted that he gained inspiration for his work while riding through the Cambridge Subway en route to work. As the term "Cambridge-Dorchester train" is used on the first page, and not knowing where Mr. Deutsch originated his commute, either Cambridge or Dorchester Tunnels would have won the prize.

Briefly, the story revolves around the fact that a Cambridge-Dorchester subway car, Number 86 (0686 ?), has disappeared in the subway system, and is later believed to have entered the 4th dimension by virtue of the fact that new subway construction has caused a Mobius Strip to exist, upon which No. 86 has travelled, causing it to be heard, trip signals, but not be seen. Supposedly, the subway has been designed so that any train could travel from any one station to any other station in the entire system. It should be noted that the idea of a Mobius Strip having the physical properties of inter-dimensional travel is actually believed by many scientists and mathematicians. Many believe that it is a working model giving a clue as to how portals within Black Holes could possibly exist in outer space. (A Mobius Strip has only one side. Yet, you can cut a hole in it. Where does the hole lead ?) A Mobius Strip can be made in 5 seconds. Look it up, make one, and have some mystifying fun ! (Just don't bring it on the Red Line !)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bcm-kPIuHE
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:36 pm

Excerpted from A Subway Named Mobius by A. J. Deutsch:

"In a complex and ingenious pattern, the subway had spread out from a focus at Park Street. A shunt connected the Lechmere line with the Ashmont for trains southbound, and with the Forest Hills line for those northbound. Harvard and Brookline had been linked with a tunnel that passed through Kenmore Under, and during rush hours every other train was switched through the Kenmore Branch back to Egleston. The Kenmore Branch joined the Maverick Tunnel near Fields Corner. It climbed a hundred feet in two blocks to connect Copley Over with Scollay Square; then it dipped down again to join the Cambridge line at Boylston.The Boylston shuttle had finally tied together the seven principal lines on four different levels."

Based upon these directions, after looking at a vintage MTA map, and after two Tylenols, I drew, in straight line coordinates, what Professor Deutsch's MTA (Mobius Transit Authority) might have looked like. I see one glaring direction that seems physically highly improbable. Can you name it ? Does it make rational sense in the story ?
(Clue - Between the information in this post and my post above it, exists sufficient clues and information to answer both questions.)

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa26 ... tamap1.jpg
Last edited by 3rdrail on Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby StevieC48 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:23 am

Gerry or any elder members of STM didn't we have that map on the wall in the kitchen of the bunkhouse from the kitchen to the hallay across from the Coke Room??? I thought we did can someone refresh my memory..
Farewell old friend thanks for the memories.
#4 EBT cars Hawker Siddley 1978-2009

Instructor/Inspector SERY
Member 25 years proud
User avatar
StevieC48
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:43 pm
Location: Taunton, MA

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:11 pm

Anybody see what I see when you connect the dots ? :-D
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby StevieC48 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:56 pm

I dont get it sorry ..
Farewell old friend thanks for the memories.
#4 EBT cars Hawker Siddley 1978-2009

Instructor/Inspector SERY
Member 25 years proud
User avatar
StevieC48
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:43 pm
Location: Taunton, MA

Re: Quiz...

Postby MBTA3247 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:00 pm

3rdrail wrote:Anybody see what I see when you connect the dots ? :-D

A badly drawn hypercube?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2603
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:38 pm

Interesting observation there 3247- it does suggest parallel lines as in a "cube". As posted, I drew out Deutsch's extra "connections" quoted from his story as best I could using straight lines utilizing a MTA map of the same period as Deutsch's work. To my surprise, my finished drawing did suggest a closed shape and not jumbled lines as I would have predicted. In fact, if you look at it, you may see a Moebius Band. If you look at my drawn "connection" line from Scollay to Copley Square and visualize it continuing through the maps depiction of the Huntington Ave. Subway, you have what could be seen as a "half-twist", which is one of the physical features of a Moebius Band. This is a two-dimensional drawing, so it's ability to visually reproduce a three-dimensional object is limited. Upon first reading Deutsch's "connections", I first thought them to be the guesswork of one not familiar with the MTA system, but due to the fact that Deutsch was a mathematician and astronomer, interested in the science of topology, was local, that this drawn information does make a relatively cohesive shape, and that this shape does resemble a Moebius Band, I wondered if that was the intent when Deutsch wrote about his precise connections. Is there another explanation which would be consistant with the story ? OK- bottom line: Who's got the answers to my two questions ? :wink:
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Quiz...

Postby caduceus » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:46 pm

Warning - geek out in progress

I have to say I've never heard of a mobius strip ever being connected with interdimensional travel. It is more of a geometric oddity, but it does have real-world scientific uses. I think in some SF stories it is thrown in as part of technobabble when someone is dealing with dimensional weirdness.

Klein Bottles, which are formed from two mobius strips attached along their edge, do have 4-dimensional properties.

That said, I thought about the map a bit, but I got a headache real quick, and couldn't readily locate a decent map. I was having trouble understanding his routing descriptions. But given the nature of the story and the name, I could see how it would make sense to have the map form a mobius strip, but the necessary twist would be hard. I can more easily see how a hypercube could be created as surmised by MBTA3247, although I don't know if the description gives that.
First law of public transportation: You can never be early, but you can always be late.
User avatar
caduceus
 
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:43 pm

Re: Quiz Answered.

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:24 pm

Hi Caduceus !
Actually, our friend Moebius is under scrutiny by astronomers examining black holes and the possibility that they may have portals spanning huge distances. Very briefly, the parallel is made for the very fact that a Moebius Band is one sided, yet you can open up a hole on that side. Obviously, the hole must lead to the other side, right ? Well..no, it doesn't as the Moebius has only one side. It leads to another area on the same side which is a considerable distance from the original opening, hence the analogy. Try it yourself - visualize how long a drawn line would be through the hole. (It would be as long as the "thickness" of the paper.) Then, draw that lengthwise line that is shown in the video and see how long that line is hole to hole. Compare. Comprende' ? I myself believe that Deutsche intended this to be a drawn figure of a Moebius Band, if nothing else but for the fact that mathematically, the chances of ten random lines forming a recognizable closed object seems highly unlikely- even more so when it looks like Moebius ! The end result even has the little triangular opening, seen when you examine a Moebius Band sideways. Could you make an argument based upon the fact that the linkings were to encapsulate the system, causing the finished product to be enclosed ? Yes, but I don't think that that argument would be correct, due to Deutsch's improbable linkings.(Look at an MTA map - have a friend call out 10 random station linkings connecting the system- see if the finished product resembles anything.) Anyway, it looks like Deutsche was an interesting guy - and a guy interested in subways. Regarding the answers to the quiz; the other possibility that I was going to mention pertaining to the supposed links between stations - and the fact that some of them appear improbable, such as "The Kenmore Branch joined the Maverick Tunnel near Fields Corner", was that, as we have seen, a Moebius Band can link two spots far away relatively closely (as with the hole example). Maybe these distances weren't so far apart as we thought ?
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests