All Aboard!

Pardon me, but will this train take me to the elevators? Images from SoraNews24

Tokyo-based English-language news blog SoraNews24 prides itself on finding “fun, weird, and intriguing news” from Japan and Asia, and we have to agree that these elevators meet all of those criteria. In a recent blog post, the author recounts the adventure of “Mr. Sato” as he left a train and made his way to a newly opened Bic Camera electronics store in Tokyo. He followed directional signs to the elevators, but at first thought he was lost at the sight of these lifts brilliantly disguised as train car entrances. We’ve seen some clever ideas before, and this one is right up there with the best. So, what do you think would be a cool elevator design?

The elevator cars’ interior design keeps up the illusion.

ECNY Supplier Showcase Fun: Hand-Rolled Cigars and Some Very Happy Suppliers

Your author just got back from yet-another wonderful edition of the Elevator Conference of New York’s (ECNY) Supplier Showcase at the lovely Villa Barone Manor in the Bronx. Bobby “Bobby Dee” Defrancesco of Benfield Electric Supply conceived the showcase several decades ago and it’s been going strong, and getting stronger, ever since. There are well over 100 suppliers, thousands of attendees and a significant waiting list of suppliers — not only US-based, but from all over the world.

Silvain Mongrain of Mongrain Vertical Transport always hands out hand-rolled cigars at the showcase, but this year (as he has done on occasion) he offered something very special: cigars being rolled live in person by a professional. Everyone was in high spirits throughout the event, as evidenced by the below picture of the Peelle team.

Cat Caper in the Underground

A red circle highlights the tiny kittens after they were discovered underneath an escalator unit at London’s Moorgate station; photo from the Daily Mail.

A lost mother cat found a hideaway she thought would be a safe place to give birth but, according to the Daily Mail, workers at a London underground station who found the mom and her new litter had to act fast to get them out of harm’s way. It seems mama made her “birthing suite” underneath a new escalator unit that was only hours away from a test run.

Mother and kittens, reunited; image courtesy of RSPCA via the Daily Mail

The unit is in the Moorgate station, one of London’s busiest tube stations, which has been undergoing a renovation and expansion to service the Crossrail Elizabeth Line. The workers got in touch with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and animal welfare officer Siobhan Trinnaman responded to the scene. When she arrived, she found the four kittens in the escalator pit, but the mom was nowhere to be seen. “It’s very dangerous for cats, as it’s where the mechanism is to run the escalator,” said Trinnaman. With the escalator test scheduled for 6 p.m. that evening, Trinnaman had to act fast.

“They (the workers) were very concerned that if [the cats] remained there and the escalator was running, they would be injured or killed,” said Trinnaman. “I found the four tiny kittens and moved them to safety before setting a trap for the mum.” After a few hours, the mother was captured and reunited with her babies at the RSPCA’s local facility. The kittens, one girl and three boys, have been named after Tube stations. They are called Bow, Colin, Dale and Earl, after Bow Road, Collindale and Earl’s Court. The staff called the mom “Elizabeth,” after the Elizabeth line. They are trying to locate the owner, because the cat was wearing a collar, though she had no microchip.

Watch a video of the feline foundlings, courtesy of the Daily Mail.