Fight for the Right: A consequential legal fight over voting rights is brewing in this tiny, predominantly white Texas county, where students at the historically black public university Prairie View A&M have alleged that the county’s early-voting plan uniquely restricts their options. The battle over voting rights here goes way back.
Give Me Space: There’s a big black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, with the weight of several million suns. Thanks to telescope data and some animation work, we can see what material getting sucked into a black hole might look like. Also: Do you give public transit a wide berth because you’re afraid of getting sick? Or do you think riding public transit has built up your general resistance to illness? Heading into flu season, here’s some real talk.
In weighing the costs and benefits—and respective contributions to gridlock—of buses with fixed routes versus ride-shares like Uber and Lyft, Jarrett Walker comes down on the side of buses.
When you drive alone (or take Uber alone) in a gridlocked street or freeway, you are taking more than your fair share of the limited space. When stuck in traffic, you are blocking others from moving freely.
If cities want to move people faster than walking while allowing them to take up only their fair share of space, two options arise. One is to use a vehicle that’s not much bigger than the human body, such as bicycles and scooters. Those tools work well for certain people in particular circumstances, but not for everyone. The other option is to share the ride in a vehicle. If space is really scarce, that vehicle will have to carry lots of people. In most cases, riders will have to share a vehicle with strangers, people who are not traveling for the same purposes or even to the same places. That’s what public transit is.
Fixed public transit deploys large vehicles flowing along a set path, and riders gathering at stops to use them. That way, the vehicles can follow a fairly straight line, and they don’t need to stop once for every customer. That is what makes them worth walking to get to. It is one of the best ideas in the history of transportation.
3. The controversial Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., recently confirmed what scholars had long suspected: Artifacts it had been displaying as authentic fragments of the __________________ are likely forgeries.