Ticket to Ride review

Ticket to Ride is a brilliant adaptation of one of the bestselling board games of the last decade. Perfectly capturing the look and feel of Days of Wonders' first and most ambitious game, Ticket to Ride plays seamlessly on the iPad, whether you want to take on the computer AI, connect with players through Game Center, or challenge your friends in a pass-and-play match.


Fast and intuitive play: Whether you've played Ticket to Ride before or not, the app is very easy to pick up and learn. A tutorial mode shows you the basics, and the variable difficulty … Read more

Star Apps: 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

From "Beowulf" to "The Hobbit," men and dragons just can't seem to get along. This is certainly the case in 2010's "How to Train Your Dragon," until a young Viking dragon hunter, Hiccup, has a change of heart and eventually brings peace to warring factions. Four years later, when this amity is threatened, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera), and their entire island of Berk must go to war to preserve the peace in "How to Train Your Dragon 2." I chatted with Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera … Read more

Lola's Alphabet Train Free review

Lola's Alphabet Train has a variety of fun letter recognition and spelling games for kids, and it adapts to their knowledge level. This app was designed for kids ranging in age from three to seven, although the free version is probably only challenging for children at the lower end of that range. The graphics are good, though, and the interface is relatively accessible, even for younger kids.

To start playing Lola's Alphabet Train, tap the arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. This brings up a screen showing Lola, explaining the story behind the game, and … Read more

Lumosity review

Lumosity is a gaming app dedicated to improving cognitive function, based on the science of neuroplasticity. According to this principle, the brain is not fixed but can change based on new studies and experiences. With 46 fun yet challenging games, Lumosity promises to increase users' cognitive speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem-solving abilities.

Log in via Facebook or create an in-app account. While filling out your profile, indicate your goals, such as increasing speed or improving memory, or opt for a complete cognitive overhaul. Once your aspirations are in sight, Lumosity will recommend a customized daily training regimen of five … Read more

Cute Tokyo Metro posters remind commuters to behave

Many commuters loathe riding on public transportation because of the rude and rowdy behavior of other passengers who treat the confined spaces as their own private living rooms. Blaring music too loudly through headphones, talking loudly on cell phones, eating smelly foods, and falling asleep on the shoulders of strangers have become common occurrences on every train, bus, and subway in the United States.

Commuter etiquette is something of an art form in Japan, however, if anything can be deduced from these delightful posters designed for the Tokyo Metro. … Read more

Oily Bits: The cylinder head and valve train

For an engine to work, a fresh mixture of air and gas has to be able to enter and exit the cylinders.

These induction and exhaust processes also need to occur at the correct moments, otherwise the engine won't run properly or even at all.

During the intake cycle the air and fuel mixture has to be drawn into the cylinder, then held there during the compression stroke. This mix then burns and expands, during the power stroke, after which the waste gas remaining needs to be pushed out of the cylinder in the exhaust stroke.

Permitting and controlling … Read more

Japan's new Series E7 bullet train: Understated, luxurious

Japan just can't get enough shiny, new trains.

While California is up to its eyeballs in legal battles over its proposed high-speed railway, Japan is adding another branch to its extensive bullet train network, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year.

Operator JR East has begun tests of its swishy new Series E7 bullet train, which starts runs from Tokyo to Nagano in the spring, then the Sea of Japan coastal area in 2015, and possibly Osaka after 2025. … Read more

Google Street View expands to airports and train stations

Travelers who get lost at airports or train stations can now call on Google Street View to help them find their way.

The ubiquitous mapping service has extended its coverage to 16 international airports, more than 50 train and subway stations, and a cable car platform in Hong Kong. A Google map displays the locations of all the new Street View transit spots.

You can take a virtual panormamic tour of the Waterloo station in London, the terminals of the Tokyo International Airport, the check-in counter at the Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain, and even the inside of a plane at Dubai International Airport.… Read more

Learning to fly: Future space tourists train like fighter pilots

Some 23 miles north of Philadelphia -- amid the RadioShacks, golfing greens, and former corn fields of the Pennsylvania suburbs -- sits a low building with glass double doors and a bright blue awning. It's barely distinguishable from rows of office parks and dental labs. But it is a key destination on what has become America's epic journey to commercial space flight.

Inside it stand classrooms, training bays, and 15 flight simulators, including a state-of-the-art centrifuge that's like a giant clock arm set horizontal and spinning fast enough to simulate the G-forces of space flight. Its flight pod contains a mock-up altimeter, nerve-tingling surround sound speakers, a motion simulator that shakes your seat with the force of a rocket blast, and an Epcot-quality video feed that shows the Earth receding like a pebble in a pond behind you.

More than 300 future space tourists and civilian researchers from around the world have traveled here, to the National Aerospace Training and Research (Nastar) Center, to test their bodies and minds on this machine. … Read more

Rail-mad Japanese marry aboard Tokyo commuter train

Do you have a dream location to exchange wedding vows with your beloved? A romantic beach, place of worship, or maybe a Las Vegas chapel?

How about one of the world's busiest commuter trains?

That's what a Japanese couple did recently when they took the plunge aboard the Yamanote Line, a loop railway that carries more than 3 million passengers around central Tokyo every day. … Read more