Walking down a busy street always demands you mind your surroundings, especially at the crosswalks. But, people tend to get busy with their mobile phones instead — by checking emails, responding to texts, or scrolling through videos. Transportation officials in Hong Kong have come up with a potentially helpful idea to keep such distracted pedestrians safe while crossing the roads.
The Unique Idea
Hong Kong transportation officials have recently installed an experimental traffic light on four chosen busy crosswalks of the city. Those downward facing LED lights will just cast a red glow on the particular sidewalk that’s not safe to cross at the moment. The traffic lights have been installed for a trial period of six months at the busy intersections nearby restaurants, shopping malls, schools, markets, and public transit stations. Based on the result of this experiment, officials will decide whether to install the light elsewhere too.
The Extra Safety
These new traffic lights will not replace the existing traffic infrastructure system at Hong Kong crosswalks, which consists of two illuminated silhouettes. One glows bright red to indicate not to cross, and another one turns green when it’s safe to continue walking. According to the chief engineer of traffic control for the Hong Kong Transport Department Alex Au, the new lights will just provide an extra layer of road safety to pedestrians, especially when they are busy looking downwards at their phone screens.
The Mixed Feedback
The pedestrians of Hong Kong have mixed feelings so far regarding the new LED traffic lights. According to 50-years-old citizen Shirley Chan, people will gradually start to ignore the lights by getting used to them and will go back to the same habit. Another pedestrian reportedly found the bright red glow of the light more spooky and frightening than helpful. But, it’s the declining number of pedestrian accidents that is giving Hong Kong Transport officials real hope for the new crosswalks traffic lights.
While dinosaurs roamed the planet millions of years ago, they weren’t the only animals around. Scientists have recently found a 66-million-year-old egg in Antarctica that is a little different from anything else ever discovered.
Around 66 million years ago, an ancient marine reptile left a huge egg in Antarctica the size of a football. This large egg is believed to be the first soft-shell egg to be left on the continent, and scientists believe it was laid by an extinct animal. It’s thought the mosasaur, an extinct giant reptile, is responsible for laying this large egg.
The reptile egg was found almost a decade ago by Chilean scientists, but it sat around on research shelves for most of that time. It was clear to see that the egg was collapsed in on itself, leading scientists to come to the conclusion the egg was once soft. The structure of the egg is similar to that of snakes and lizards, and it wouldn’t have sat around for long before hatching. This style of egg develops inside the mother and will hatch immediately after it has been laid.
The egg scientists found was empty, meaning whatever grew inside had left it. As there is no trace of what was once inside, researchers had to get creative when figuring out what once occupied the egg. They compared this egg to that of 259 living reptiles to estimate the body size, which they concluded was around 6 feet.
The egg was found in a prehistoric cave, suggesting to scientists that it was born in some form of nursery site. The mother may have laid her eggs in the water, like a sea snake, and the young then scurried to the shore.
Scientists continue to learn more about our prehistoric world every day. This giant soft-shell egg is just another step in piecing together the Earth’s history.