Posts Tagged ‘human behavior’

Escalators: Walk or Stand?

March 18, 2019

JR East, the East Japan Railway Company, wants Tokyo commuters to stand on both sides of station escalators instead of reserving one side for impatient people who want to walk. A study found that most escalator accidents happen when walkers stumble over luggage or run and slip, so the all-standing policy is safer and more efficient.

Good luck with that. The policy was tried in Hong KongLondon’s underground and DC’s Metro, but it didn’t go over well. Standing to one side on escalators and walking on the other is too firmly embedded in urban behavior. In Washington, there’s even a song about it:


Playing the Lottery

August 3, 2013

Playing the Lottery

“To grasp how unlikely it was for Gloria C. MacKenzie, an 84-year-old Florida widow, to have won the $590 million Powerball lottery in May, Robert Williams, a professor of health sciences at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, offers this scenario: head down to your local convenience store, slap $2 on the counter, and fill out a six-numbered Powerball ticket. It will take you about 10 seconds. To get your chance of winning down to a coin toss, or 50 percent, you will need to spend 12 hours a day, every day, filling out tickets for the next 55 years. It’s going be expensive. You will have to plunk down your $2 at least 86 million times.“


“Why We Keep Playing the Lottery,” Adam Piore, Nautilus


Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine