The steepest streets in the world

To live at the top of one of these roads would be my worst nightmare, mainly due to my current lung capacity being similar to that of a baby slug with a smoking habit. plus, i don’t think i could sleep at night with my car parked outside unless it was cemented to the floor.

before i start, this is just a selection of some of the steepest streets on earth. i’m sure i’ve probably missed out a few corkers. let me know and i’ll maybe add them. also, to explain the grade percentage: as an example, a road with a 30% grade would rise 30 feet in height for every 100 feet travelled horizontally.

1. canton avenue, pittsburgh, united states – grade = 37%

officially not the steepest street in the world, canton avenue is actually steeper than the current world record holder, baldwin street in new zealand. for that very good reason alone i’m sticking it at the top.

it’s not a very long road but if you check out the cyclist’s face in the photo below you’ll see that it’s definitely long enough.

2. baldwin street, dunedin, new zealand – grade = 35%

the current world record holder of ’steepest street in the world’, baldwin street is famous for its slope. it was previously thought that the road’s gradient hit 38% near the top but that was apparently a mistake.

if handbrakes could sob there’d be a stream of tears running down the road in the photo below.

the clip below consists of a pretty annoying guy on a segway attempting to ride up the slope. unfortunately he makes it.

3. eldred street, los angeles, united states – grade = 33.3%

the guy in the photo below looks thoroughly depressed and you can’t blame him. he lives in los angeles. add to that equation the fact that he lives on the steepest street in the city and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

there’s a los angeles times article about the street here.

4. fargo street, los angeles, united states – grade = 32%

fargo street in 1930…

once a year around 90 mentalists gather at the base of fargo street in los angeles for the fargo street hill climb. they then attempt to scale the hill on a bicycle as many times as humanly possible in a day.

this year the winner was a guy called steve gilmore and he managed it 92 times, in the process climbing around 14′000ft in only 15 miles.

watch this clip and feel the pain…

sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

German Astronaut Allowed on Spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL — Two spacewalking astronauts supplied the international space station with a fresh tank of nitrogen Wednesday, one of them a German who was too sick to venture outside a few days earlier.

Looking and sounding fit, Hans Schlegel joined Rex Walheim in removing a depleted nitrogen tank from the space station and installing a full one weighing 550 pounds. The high-pressure nitrogen gas is needed to flush ammonia through the station’s cooling lines.

When the new tank was powered up, Mission Control radioed the news along with congratulations for the spacewalkers’ “great work.”

Schlegel, 56, was supposed to go out on the first spacewalk of the mission to help hook up Europe‘s space station lab, Columbus, which was ferried up by Atlantis. But he became ill after reaching orbit last week.

Court Dismisses Secret Flight Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that accused a unit of Boeing of helping to fly terrorism suspects abroad to secret prisons because “the very subject matter of the case is a state secret.” “At the core of plaintiffs’ case . . . are ‘allegations’ of covert U.S. military or CIA operations in foreign countries against foreign nationals — clearly a subject matter which is a state secret,” Judge James Ware wrote in his ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union‘s lawsuit accused Jeppesen Dataplan of providing flight and logistical support to the U.S. government on 70 “extraordinary-rendition” flights.

News Corp ‘in secret Yahoo talks’

Yahoo signs

Yahoo would be attractive to News Corp analysts suggest.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is reportedly in talks with Yahoo about a possible deal that would stave off an approach from Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal said that News Corp was eyeing a move that would see MySpace and other of Murdoch’s web interests merge with Yahoo.

Yahoo would give News Corp 20% of its shares under the alleged deal, allowing it to remain independent.

Microsoft has offered to buy Yahoo for more than $40bn (£20.5bn).

However Yahoo has dismissed the move as undervaluing its brand, audience, investments in advertising platforms and future growth prospects, free cash flow and earnings potential.

Google challenge

In a letter outlining why it had spurned the offer, Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang said that the firm was in a position to take advantage of “a huge market opportunity”.

“Today, Yahoo is a faster-moving, better-organized, more nimble company than it was just a few months ago,” Mr Yang said.

“We have redeployed our resources to drive Yahoo’s key strategic priorities taking important steps to streamline our organisation and close down or scale back businesses that don’t support these critical growth initiatives.”

Microsoft wants to merge with Yahoo to increase its online presence and enable it to better compete with industry leader Google.

It has said that Yahoo rejecting its offer, worth $31 a share, 62% above the level at which Yahoo stocks were trading when the offer was made on 1 February, was “unfortunate”.

News Corp’s media interests include Dow Jones – which publishes the Wall Street Journal – Fox News, BSkyB, The Sun and The Times as well as MySpace.