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Little miss muffet
sit on her
eating her
curds and whey
along came a spider
sit down beside her
miss muffet away Very Happy


Once upon a time
The goose drank wine
The monkey chew tobacco
On the street car line
The line broke
The monkey got chocked
They all went to heaven
In a little row boat.



Millions ride vulnerable rail cars on subways
Largest transit systems rely on older cars despite investigators' concerns

Millions ride vulnerable rail cars on subways

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updated 2 hours, 54 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Millions of passengers in cities across the U.S. ride old subway cars like the ones that crumpled in the deadly crash in the nation's capital. The largest transit systems depend on such cars for more than one-third of their fleets, despite safety concerns expressed by federal investigators more than three years ago.

In the earliest stages of the investigation into Monday's subway accident in Washington, which killed nine people and injured more than 70 others, the National Transportation Safety Board focused on why the passenger compartments within the subway cars fared so poorly. The demolished train cars spent much of Tuesday frozen on the tracks, one with metal peeled apart sitting on top of another nearly fully flattened on impact.

The NTSB raised alarms in March 2006 about older model subway cars after one of the cars in Washington's system collapsed like an accordion in an accident that year. The safety agency urged the Federal Transit Administration to develop crash standards that would address the telescoping of older cars and come up with a plan to remove aging trains that couldn't be structurally reinforced.
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Washington is among the seven largest transit systems that rely on older cars in poor or marginal condition for more than a third of their fleets, according to a federal study published this spring that had been requested by a dozen senators, including then-Sen. Barack Obama. The others are in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York and suburban New Jersey. The older cars are either near or past their usefulness, the report said.

Problems remain
Old subway cars experience the worst damage — a loss of what the NTSB calls "survivable space" — in crashes because most aren't adequately reinforced for impact.

Debbie Hersman of the NTSB said Tuesday that the problem remains.

Transportation officials for decades have debated whether the federal government should have more oversight of local rail systems, but it's largely up to states to set their own standards. States often don't have the money or expertise to carry out that responsibility, government investigations have found. And a 2006 Government Accountability Office report said the FTA hadn't set goals for the safety program or come up with a way to track state performance.

A leading senator on transportation issues, Jay Rockefeller, said he was surprised to learn after Monday's crash that the NTSB can make recommendations to improve transit safety but doesn't have oversight authority, nor does the Federal Transit Administration.

"There's no authority to tell them they've got to run a safe train," said Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

In Washington, Metrorail officials blame money. The system has 296 rail cars that were built more than 30 years ago, and it hasn't had enough money to cover the estimated $888 million needed to replace them, spokeswoman Candace Smith said.

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NTSB: Train's brake depressed at time of crash

But the agency's chief, John Catoe, said the system's trains were safe.

"Any crash at that rate of speed will have severe damage to the structure," Catoe said of Monday's crash, in which one train sped into the rear of another train that had stopped on the track.

Transit officials elsewhere in the country defended their trains, with some arguing their cars meet tough Federal Railroad Administration standards for crashworthiness.

Train crash survivor describes scary scene
June 23: Train crash survivor Jamie Jiao describes the nightmarish scene.

Nightly News
Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Boston area's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said that system's preventive maintenance program keeps its rail cars "safe and reliable at a reasonable cost."

The federal government said it will take more than $50 billion to bring commuter trains into good repair that serve Washington and the nation's other metropolitan areas, according to its report earlier this year. Obama's $787 billion stimulus program provides $8.4 billion for public transportation, which states are spending to buy new rail cars, build train stations and expand bus services.

The industry is working to make subway cars safer, said Martin P. Schroeder, chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Rail Transit Vehicle Standards Committee. It has created its own crash standards for rail cars, but Schroeder noted that a subway car's crashworthiness is the passenger's last line of defense, since signals and operators are better positioned to avoid accidents.

"It's not as if we've ignored the problem," Schroeder said.


Again a new thread was in order, come on Gypsy get with the program, good articles wrong place


nursery rhymes , and your griping/accusations wasn't following a thread this is much better:)


Yeahhhhhhhhhh a train wreck would follow your line of thinking, kinda like birds of a feather..
You started the nursery rhymes


better than fussing. Laughing


What ever your silly game here all you want , seems you are more alone lately ..wonder why ?


Rosco,Ii looked up what imports fromI iran, we receive I think saffron,spices,vanilla ,pistachios, I am trying to find an article that gives an extensive list..

Common names: Saffron, Saffron Crocus

Scientific name: Crocus sativus

Explanation of scientific name:

Crocus - from the Greek name ‘krokos’ meaning saffron or yellow, probably through Corycus where saffron was first cultivated.

sativus - Latin for cultivated.

If one was to make a list of the most expensive natural products that we use for or in our food, saffron would certainly rank near the top. With a price that rivals gold in value, saffron is considered by many to be the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is usually sold by the fraction of an ounce or by the gram, and when one does a bit of multiplication, retail prices can be as high as $315 per ounce or $5,040 per pound.

Where does saffron come from? As the scientific name suggests, it comes from a crocus. Not from just any crocus and certainly not the spring flowering crocus we grow in abundance around here. The saffron crocus is the only one of more than 75 crocus species that yields this spice. The saffron crocus blooms in the fall, producing fragrant, lilac-colored flowers one to two inches long. The plant’s leaves are long and linear, growing to 18 inches after the plant blooms. Only the 3 small, burnt-orange female parts of the flower called stigmas are used for the spice. With a long history of cultivation (Egyptian physicians were using it by 1600 BC), true saffron is known only as a domesticated plant with only a few related species growing in the wild. This makes it difficult to ascertain its origins, but it is believed to have originated in Asia Minor.

Today saffron is used primarily as a flavoring and coloring agent in foods, especially paella, risotto Milanese, and bouillabaisse. Its original uses, however, were almost exclusively medicinal. Throughout history claims have been made that saffron tea was a stimulant and antispasmodic, could induce sweating, provoke menstruation or abortion, cure the plaque, stop toothaches and headaches, and act as an aphrodisiac. Pliny the Elder listed 20 remedies derived from saffron. Even today Europeans drink 12 million liters a year of Fernet-Branca, a bitter black elixir based on saffron that people claim will awaken one’s appetite, ease indigestion, or cure a hangover. Saffron’s aroma is quite pleasant, and the Greeks and Romans used it in perfumes.

While saffron is grown on dry, limestone ground around the world (including France, Italy, Greece, Iran, India, and even Pennsylvania), fully 70% of the world’s supply comes from Spain. Grown there almost exclusively on small family farms as a side crop, the cultivation of saffron has remained unchanged for thousands of years. Small bulb-like structures called corms are dug, divided, and replanted every few years. In the fall they bloom and the flowers are harvested. A labor intensive endeavor, when the saffron blooms (usually for 3 weeks) all the family’s attention goes to harvesting and processing, working up to 19 hours a day. Open flowers are picked and then carefully dissected to extract the stigmas. They are dried over heat and then sealed in packages for sale to international brokers. How much saffron can be obtained from the flowers? The numbers are staggering. With 3 stigmas per flower it takes 75,000 flowers (225,000 stigmas) to make one pound of saffron. It is easy to see why it is so expensive.

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