Riled Rodent Shocks Shoppers

A frame taken from video shows the moment a rat leaps toward a man who was trying to walk past it on an escalator at a shopping mall in Manila, Philippines; image from DailyMail.com.

Shoppers at a mall in Manila, Philippines, were forced to face their fear recently when a manic rat aggressively charged them as they walked down a stopped escalator, the Daily Mail reports. Video posted on the newspaper’s website shows the rat lunging at people as they try to make their way past, prompting the shoppers to jump and sidestep their way to safety. After giving several of the shoppers what appears to have been the jolt of their lives, the restive rodent is seen running down and off the escalator and under a nearby rack of clothing. No reason was given for the escalator being stopped.

A Working Museum Piece

David Filippe, head operator of the manual elevator at the historic Oregon Bank Building, opens the lift’s collapsible gate earlier this month; Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small, the Herald and News.

Technology, like time itself, marches on, and this truth is no more evident than it is in the vertical-transportation industry. Over the course of recent years we’ve seen improvements that have allowed super-high-speed elevators, destination control and (soon) cars that can move without ropes, allowing them to travel in non-traditional directions. And, who’d have thought just a few years ago that it would be possible to summon an elevator with the phone in your pocket? Yet, for all the conveniences of the modern world, we can still celebrate the old know-how that enabled greater building heights back in the day. One place you can appreciate vintage elevator technology firsthand is the historic Oregon Bank Building in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Here, visitors can be taken for rides up and down the six-story office building, courtesy of a manual lift complete with uniformed operator. A recent feature article by the Herald and News notes that the elevator is nearly 87 years old but continues to operate flawlessly. The lift has, of course, undergone upgrades to meet current safety standards, but head operator David Filippe told the Herald and News that the building’s owners have done their best to retain its authenticity. Parts that had to be removed have even been put on display in a glass case in the building’s main lobby. Seems like a fitting tribute to the tech that helped get us where we are today.

Test Your Knowledge of NYC Elevators

OK – you’ve been to New York City (NYC). You’ve felt the energy of Times Square, tasted the best pizza in the world and stood awestruck at the endless landscape of towering buildings. You’ve seen the sights – seen them all, in fact. But, are you ready to test your knowledge? That’s what the editors of The New Yorker wanted to know in a recent issue of the popular magazine. NYC has so many iconic buildings, from the Chrysler to the Empire State; it only stands to reason that these landmarks would have iconic elevators. So, in a feature called “Sketchbook,” the magazine presented drawings of the elevator doors at nine of the city’s best-loved buildings, with a challenge for readers to match the doors with the building. If you think you know The Big Apple, try your hand at the online version of the quiz.