D.C. Metro Staff And Passengers Assist Birth Of ‘Metrobaby’

D.C. Metro staff and passengers had to come to the rescue when a woman started giving birth in L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station yesterday, the Washington Post reports.

Shavonnte Taylor, 23, was on her way to an appointment with her obstetrician when she started having contractions two weeks before her baby was due. She tried to continue her journey but the baby had different ideas.

Luckily Autumn Manka, a licensed emergency medical technician, was passing by. She lay Taylor down on the floor as more passengers, DC Metro staff, and two Metro Transit Police officers came to help. Within minutes the baby was born next to a broken escalator near the Seventh Street and Maryland Avenue exit.

Inevitably, the kid got his own hashtag, #metrobaby. Several Twitter users posted a snarky headline from today’s Express, while others suggested naming the baby L’Enfant. “L’Enfant” of course, is French for “the infant.”

His real name is Amir Mason. He weighs 8 pounds, 5 ounces and is doing fine.

Photo Of The Day: A Gorgeous Moscow Metro Station

One of the most beautiful subway systems in the world is the Moscow Metro. The system was originally built under direct orders from Stalin to create gorgeous stations that the people of Moscow would admire for its depictions of a “radiant future.” Mariusz Kluzniak took this fantastic panorama of the absolutely beautiful Novoslobodskaya Station. The station’s architect, Alexey Dushkin, spent well over a decade on the design, eventually commissioning designs for 32 stained glass panels from famed Russian artist Pavel Korin. The result is fantastic and unlike any other public transportation station in the world.

If you have a great photo, submit it to our Gadling Flickr Group and it could be chosen as one of our future Photos of the Day.

How to Navigate Washington, D.C. Without Going Nuts

I’ve been on the road for more than a month, and here’s my number one tip: Don’t drive in Washington, D.C. Nightmare would be a measure too generous.

As soon as I could park my ride, I did, content to not touch it until I pulled out of the District two days later. And considering the byzantine fare structure and bizarre routing of the Metro, it’s something I avoid, too. Here’s a better idea.

Trade four wheels for two: Rent a bike. While you can certainly walk the city-getting to your destination eventually-it’s much easier to just pedal there, particularly in the summer, when temperatures in Washington hit roughly “surface of the sun” levels. Best to limit your exposure by riding where you’re going in a hurry.

The newest option in town is the Capital Bikeshare program. Another in a growing list of bike-sharing efforts around the world modeled on Paris’ Velib, the initiative is open to visitors because it offers 24-hour and five-day “memberships.” Any riding up to 30 minutes is free after that, with longer rides racking up bigger bills. (The clock resets each time you dock your bike, so it’s possible to do the whole day for five bucks.)

But the claim that Capital Bikeshare “puts 1,100 bicycles at your fingertips” is a stretch at best: On the occasions that you actually stumble across a station, there’s no guarantee you’ll actually find one to ride. A couple of smartphone apps have been developed to help with this problem, but they’re not foolproof yet.

The easier solution is to buy some convenience with a Bike and Roll rental. You’ll pay a little bit more, but you’ll have the same ride all day-and ditch the hassle of looking for docking stations while on the clock. With your bike dialed in, you’ll actually want to ride from the Capitol all the way down to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. monument that’s scheduled to open to the public before the end of summer.

The stinking streets and subways of Seoul

Look, it’s been a long time since I got off the 4 Line at Samgachi Station – a dozen years, in fact – but I remember it being rather clean and pleasant. The train itself was, too. Well, I guess I was wrong. I now have it on good authority saw on the internet that Seoul is “well known to the world as heavily polluted.”

Yep, that’s what you’ll find in North Korean geography textbooks.

According to The Chosun Ilbo:

North Korean geography textbooks, the main source of information for students there about South Korea, distort or disparage South Korea’s economic development by way of exalting the North Korean system, an academic here says.

And it doesn’t stop there. The books accuse South Korea of producing goods at the behest of the United States and Japan. This is a big problem up north, because “[r]elying on others for raw materials and fuel is like leaving your economic fate in their hands.” This stands in stark contrast to the North Korean “Juche” philosophy, which preaches self-reliance.

So, if you head to the “den of reactionaries,” brace yourself for a real stench. But, if you’re planning to go to the place the rest of us know as Seoul, you’ll probably be fine.

[photo by Koshyk via Flickr]

Wi-fi, cell coverage coming to New York City subways

Do you ever feel the urge to live-tweet your ride on the F train? A jones to push iPhone photos to Posterous? Well, you’ll have the chance soon. Whether you just want to chronicle your subway rides for the rest of the world or feel the need to stay connected at all times, New York City is going help you out. Wi-fi access and mobile service are set to come to the subway system, according to Mashable.

This development is three years in the making, and now that some cash has been unearthed to make this project possible, New York will finally attain the standard set by Singapore, Berlin and Tokyo.

The effort, which was scheduled to take 10 years from 2007, will start with stations near Union Square in the next two years, with the remaining 271 platforms coming in the four to follow. While some of the tunnels will have access, most of the connectivity will be available on mezzanines and platforms.

This means that the bodegas at the tops of the stairs will need to add another item to their shelves, of course: ear plugs.

[photo by @mjassal]