Category: Travel

Life & Philosophy Psychology Travel

How Japan uses blue LED light panels on station platforms to prevent suicides

Tokyo runs 13 billion passenger trips each year, making its train stations some of the busiest in the world.

Using sound design and various other psychological nudges, rail stations are able to bring some order to the chaos. One of the most effective tactics has been its use of blue LED mood lighting to prevent suicide attempts.

Photo by Allan Richarz/City Lab

Writes Tokyo resident Allan Richarz for Citylab:

According to a study by researchers at the University of Tokyo published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2013, data analyzed over a 10-year period shows an 84 percent decline in the number of suicide attempts at stations where blue lights are installed.

Operating on the theory that exposure to blue light has a calming effect on one’s mood, rail stations in Japan began installing these LED panels as a suicide-prevention measure in 2009. They are strategically located at the ends of each platform—typically the most-isolated and least-trafficked area, and accordingly, the point from which most platform jumps occur. Some stations, such as Shin-Koiwa Station in Tokyo, bolster their LED regime with colored roof panels, allowing blue-tinted sunlight to filter down on to platforms.

Whether it comes to the iPhone or infrastructure, Richarz's piece is yet another reminder of how everyday design can impact our lives.

Arts Fashion Photography Travel

Meet Bolivia’s powerful female wrestlers, Flying Cholitas

Photographer Todd Anthony took pictures of Bolivia’s indigenous female wrestlers for his new project, Flying Cholitas.

This unique group of athletes wear more than stylish dresses and beautiful petticoats — they come together to demonstrate pride in their history.

Once colonized by the Spanish and rejected as lower-class citizens, pejoratively known as “cholita,” they have since embraced the name to symbolize their persistent fight against subjugation and hierarchy.

Symbolizing the culmination of strength, power, and beauty, the cholitas will not be denied in activism nor aesthetics.

Creativity Photography Travel

Urban stimulants

Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)
Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)

There’s a compelling story everywhere you go. But some places (e.g. New York) are more content rich than others.

All you need to do is walk a few blocks and observe with the cerebration of your senses.

The graffiti scrawled on the outside of million dollar apartments, the street smoke billowing out from the sewers, the smell of hot dogs and nuts from the street vendors, the sound of delivery trucks running through potholes, and the scratch you get from someone’s suitcase as they rush by you.

Everything is attractive, a potential a souvenir of the present moment.

New York manufactures an excess of content and inspiration, much like the Internet. Such hyperactivity is overwhelming and hard to parse — some thrive on The City's ubiquitous stimulus, others feel compelled to escape to Florida to refuel.

External provocation is integral to any environment. After all, that's why we travel — to be astounded by newness.

If boredom is your enemy, seeking interesting places with variable rewards may be your calling. But that last thing you want is to get abused by the infinite. It's better to scroll with intention to coalesce out of the void of 24/7 distraction.

Books Travel

‘Time is to clock as mind is to brain’ 🕰️

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Time is to clock as mind is to brain. The clock or watch somehow contains the time. And yet time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed in a lamp. Whether it flows as sand or turns on wheels within wheels, time escapes irretrievably, while we watch. Even when the bulbs of the hourglass shatter, when darkness withholds the shadow from the sundial, when the mainspring winds down so far that the clock hands hold still as death, time itself keeps on. The most we can hope a watch to do is mark that progress. And since time sets its own tempo, like a heartbeat or an ebb tide, timepieces don’t really keep time. They just keep up with it, if they’re able.

— Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Travel

Bailong Elevator, the highest outdoor elevator in the world

Bailong Elevator, the highest elevator in the world image
Image via @nk7

The Bailong Elevator is the world's highest outdoor elevator, towering an astonishing 1,070 feet high inside the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China. Opened in 2002, the elevator allows 50 visitors at a time to skip up the mountain in two minutes versus a dangerous five-hour car ride.

As you can imagine, the outdoor lift also provides panoramic scenery to its riders of bridges and villages below. Meanwhile, the top of the mountain features the scenic Yuanjiajie natural heritage spot.

Add Zhangjiajie National Park to the list of places to visit, along with Vietnam's Golden Bridge and Coron Island in the Philippines. See more about the Bailong Elevator in the video below.