Iran, long a monorail enthusiast’s dream, has now taken another major step toward transit dominance: a 900km Maglev train between Tehran and Mashad. The now 14 hour train ride will only take 2-3 hours when the Maglev is completed. Currently the only in service Maglev train is the Shanghai Maglev which typically operates at 350 km/h but can go in the mid 400s. The Iranian maglev will be built by the same company that built the Shanghai train, so expect similar run times. The Japanese are currently working on technology that runs closer to 600 km/h, as fast as an airplane. Here’s an introductory video to the project.

I should note that while maglev has the most potential, the current speed record is held by the TGV.

Considering how little work French people seem to do, I’m shocked that they have the record.

Meanwhile, the American Maglev project languishes, with our best hope Vegas businessman. It truly is the City of the Century.

Word of the Morning

April 20, 2007

With Dash trapped in lectures all day Yesterday, and progress on Mr. Notwithabang…’s video game being quite slow (and apparently violent; amk_park.pngI was hoping the game would be a bit more like Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, one of the hardest video games I’ve ever played), Yesterday’s Yesterday’s Salad was not exactly the most stimulating website on the internet (a two way tie between epicurious and the Brill publishing website). So, to correct that injustice, and to get today going right, a word vapor to occupy your morning:

Ixnay, adj.

That’s right, as of 2007 “ixnay” is now an official word in the English language, and no longer merely Pig Latin’s crowning achievement. There are two different definitions: 1) No; not possibly, not at all; 2) Of little worth; of no use; out of the question. There’s also a verb form:   trans. To reject, decline, dismiss, or cancel, as attested by this quote from one of our favorite baseball books: B. MALAMUD Natural (2003) 108 Roy Hobbs, El Swatto, has been ixnayed on a pay raise. I always knew Malamud was fluent in English and Yiddish–but who knew about his abilities in Pig Latin and Spanish? The man’s abilities knew no bounds.

My only problem with including ixnay in the OED is that people believe they’re speaking another language when they use the word. It’s not simple a loan word, but an intentional slip into a foreign tongue for the purposes of hidden communication, or nonsensical speech, or a delightful evocation of childhood and childishness. Too bad the OED stole its whimsy.

Here’s the most updated version. I’m worried that it’s not really cartoony enough… I think I used too much shading when I didn’t have solid enough lines down. Thankfully, the shirt looks less tucked in.