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What has the snout of a kingfisher and can travel more than 300 km per hour? The Shinkansen of Japan, popularly known as the bullet train, features several aerodynamic designs that enable it to reach neck-breaking speeds, among them a snout that closely resembles a kingfisher’s beak. However, the Shinkansen has not always been so aptly designed. In the initial days, whenever it exited a tunnel, it created a very loud noise (called tunnel boom) which was a major inconvenience in populated areas.
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It was 5:30 pm, and time to go home. I sat down at the dusty bus terminal. Right next to the terminal on the jagged footpath were vendors selling anything from knockoff Head and Shoulders shampoo to Indian gooseberries. As they hustled for customers with their handheld Chinese lamps, I turned towards the right to observe the incoming traffic.
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