[LMB] OT: missing books (was K. J. Parker)

Joel Polowin jpolowin at hotmail.com
Fri May 19 17:59:52 BST 2006


"Tracy MacShane" <billie_t at fastmail.fm> wrote:
>Oh well, one of life's physics mysteries, like why all the buses arrive
>at once. :-)

Assuming that you're talking about multiple buses on the same route
(or substantially overlapping routes), that one's pretty easy to
explain.  Picking up passengers slows a bus down, so a bus behind it
catches up a bit.  Given a shorter space than average between those
two buses, there's less chance for new passengers to show up at the
stops for the second bus to pick up.  Unless the buses are forced by
traffic conditions or by "checkpoints"/"time points" to stay more or
less at their official separations, they do tend to bunch up.

A couple of years ago, while I was walking homewards in poor weather
conditions and hoping that a bus would catch up to me, I noticed
(rather grumpily) that while I encountered several buses in the
oncoming direction, I didn't find one heading my way until I was
almost home anyways.  I attributed this to the Doppler effect as
applied to bus frequencies.

Joel




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