Tel Aviv deploys zombie lights for mobile-obsessed walkers

The pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv for now, but may be expanded if the zombie lights prove effective. (AFP)
Updated 14 March 2019

Tel Aviv deploys zombie lights for mobile-obsessed walkers

  • The aim is to reduce accidents caused by ‘pedestrians that are focused too much on the smartphone, and less on the traffic around them’
  • The pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv for now

TEL AVIV: Tel Aviv has taken its first steps toward assisting pedestrians distracted by their smartphones by embedding LED stoplights at crosswalks.
The municipality installed the “zombie traffic lights” Monday aiming to minimize accidents between vehicles and inattentive pedestrians at crosswalks.
Tomer Dror, head of Traffic Management Division at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, says the aim is to reduce accidents caused by “pedestrians that are focused too much on the smartphone, and less on the traffic around them.”
Dror says the idea is to “put the road into their eyes.”
Similar systems have already been used in Australia, Singapore and the Netherlands.
For now, the pilot program is limited to a single intersection in central Tel Aviv, but the municipality says it will expand the zombie lights if it proves effective.


Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

Updated 24 February 2020

Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

  • “Mad” Mike Hughes said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is round
  • His home-built rocket blasted off into the desert sky and plunged back to earth in California

BARSTOW, California: A California man who said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is round has died after his home-built rocket blasted off into the desert sky and plunged back to earth.
“Mad” Mike Hughes was killed on Saturday afternoon after his rocket crashed on private property near Barstow, California.
Waldo Stakes, a colleague who was at the rocket launch, said Hughes, 64, was killed.

"Mad" Mike Hughes. (Science Channel/via REUTERS/File photo)
 


The Science Channel said on Twitter it had been chronicling Hughes’ journey and that “thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time.”
“It was always his dream to do this launch,” the Twitter message said.
Hughes also was a limousine driver, who held the Guinness world record for “longest limousine ramp jump,” for jumping 103 feet (31 meters) in a Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, at a speedway in 2002.
A video on TMZ.com showed the rocket taking off, with what appears to be a parachute tearing off during the launch. The steam-powered rocket streaks upward, then takes around 10 seconds to fall straight back to earth. Shrieks can be heard as the rocket plows into the desert.

Freelance journalist Justin Chapman, who was at the scene, said the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have caused the mishap with the parachute.
In March 2018, Hughes propelled himself about 1,875 feet (570 meters) into the air. He deployed one parachute and then a second one but still had a hard landing in the Mojave Desert in California, and injured his back.
“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways,” Hughes said after that launch. “This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.”
He said in a video that his goal was to eventually fly to the edge of outer space to determine for himself whether the world is round.
“I don’t want to take anyone else’s word for it,” he said in the video, posted on the BBC News website. “I don’t know if the world is flat or round.”
In another video posted on his YouTube site, Hughes said he also wanted “to convince people they can do things that are extraordinary with their lives.”
“My story really is incredible,” Hughes once told The Associated Press. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also.”