China To Develop a Bus That Straddles Traffic

For anyone who's ever fantasized of shrinking down their vehicle and driving under slow-moving traffic, that could one day be a reality in some Chinese cities. At least that's true for the second half of the equation: As City Lab reports, the Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus debuted their "straddling bus" concept at the International High-Tech Expo in Beijing last weekend.

The bus design would tackle China's growing congestion problem by transporting passengers high above the road, allowing cars to pass beneath it like a giant, roaming tunnel. You can watch a small-scale model demonstration of the concept in the video above.

A special track would electrically power the bus at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. It would be capable of carrying as many as 1400 passengers at once, making it equivalent to 40 conventional buses. As travelers sit comfortably above two lanes of traffic, motorists in cars shorter than 7 feet would be able to cruise underneath as a simulation of the sky plays on panels above their heads.

Anyone who's ever been stuck behind an impossible-to-pass bus can see the benefits, but the vehicles would be good for more than just road rage. The straddling bus would consume 800 tons less fuel than the buses it would replace and emit 2500 tons less carbon. It would also be a cheaper and less invasive alternative to digging out tunnels to construct subway lines.

Two American architects proposed a similar straddling bus concept in 1969 that would have run from Boston to Washington D.C. It never made it past the design stage, but now that hyperloop pods and self-driving cars are dominating the transportation conversation nearly 50 years later, the idea seems less outrageous.

Transit Explore Bus is working on a full-sized model of the bus in the city of Changzhou with plans to test it later in the summer.

[h/t City Lab]

All images courtesy of YouTube.

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The Most Popular Netflix Show in Every Country
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most popular Netflix show in each country map
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most popular Netflix show in each country map key
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If you're bored with everything in your Netflix queue, why not look to the top shows around the world for a recommendation?

HighSpeedInternet.com recently used Google Trends data to create a map of the most popular show streaming on Netflix in every country in 2018. The best-loved show in the world is the dystopian thriller 3%, claiming the number one spot in eight nations. The show is the first Netflix original made in Portuguese, so it's no surprise that Portugal and Brazil are among the eight countries that helped put it at the top of the list.

Coming in second place is South Korea's My Love from the Star, which seven countries deemed their favorite show. The romantic drama revolves around an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with a mortal. The English-language show with the most clout is 13 Reasons Why, coming in at number three around the world—which might be proof that getting addicted to soapy teen dramas is a universal experience.

Pot comedy Disjointed is Canada's favorite show, which probably isn't all that surprising given the nation's recent ruling to legalize marijuana. Perhaps coming as even less of a shock is the phenomenon of Stranger Things taking the top spot in the U.S. Favorites like Black Mirror, Sherlock, and The Walking Dead also secured the love of at least one country.

Out of the hundreds of shows on the streaming platform, only 47 are a favorite in at least one country in 2018. So no hard feelings, Gypsy.

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Roadside Bear Statue in Wales is So Lifelike That Safety Officials Want It Removed
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Wooden bear statue.

There are no real bears in the British Isles for residents to worry about, but a statue of one in the small Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells has become a cause of concern. As The Telegraph reports, the statue is so convincing that it's scaring drivers, causing at least one motorist to crash her car. Now road safety officials are demanding it be removed.

The 10-foot wooden statue has been a fixture on the roadside for at least 15 years. It made headlines in May of 2018 when a woman driving her car saw the landmark and took it to be the real thing. She was so startled that she veered off the road and into a street sign.

After the incident, she complained about the bear to highways officials who agreed that it poses a safety threat and should be removed. But the small town isn't giving in to the Welsh government's demands so quickly.

The bear statue was originally erected on the site of a now-defunct wool mill. Even though the mill has since closed, locals still see the statue as an important landmark. Llanwrtyd Wells councilor Peter James called it an "iconic gateway of the town," according to The Telegraph.

Another town resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Telegraph that the woman who crashed her car had been a tourist from Canada where bears are common. Bear were hunted to extinction in Britain about 1000 years ago, so local drivers have no reason to look out for the real animals on the side of the road.

The statue remains in its old spot, but Welsh government officials plan to remove it themselves if the town doesn't cooperate. For now, temporary traffic lights have been set up around the site of the accident to prevent any similar incidents.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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