life &travel 05 Aug 2006 04:38 pm

At least I’m not allergic to peanuts

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I take the HBLR to work. If you live and work on the Jersey shore across Manhattan, it is the best commute possible. The light rail runs nearly 24 hours, quite frequent and less crowded than any other form of public transportation in New Jersey. But there’s a peculiar downside to the light rail that might be just my own imagination.

Contrary to the light rail’s simple, elegant lines and aesthetics, the doors open and close like a medieval fortress. The sliding doors of the rail are unlike any elevator doors or even the New York subway trains; they are unforgiving of tardiness. These simply won’t pull back if you put any available limb in between them to prevent them from closing. Much like Jersey Citizens’ noted surliness, they will simply stop trying to crush your arm and wait there until you give them a firm push backward. The driver, very much an extension of the light rail, will voice through the microphone in a monotone, “Please do not try to enter while the doors are closing”.

But that’s not my problem with the sliding doors. The opening starts a deep KADAK that rumbles in a deep bass tone, and then the doors slide open with a noisy whirr. And everytime there’s a KADAK, my left ear drum experience a short stabbing pain. This is not a random occurrence but happens every single day. The noise gets my left ear even if I have my mp3 player’s headphones on.

I was reading today on /. about a device that emits ultrasonic frequencies inaudible to older people but audible and annoying to teenagers. Could there be a counterpart to this frequency at the other end of the spectrum? Should I just wait for the sliding doors of the Star Trek future that open with nary a whisper?

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