Parts boat

Parts boat

America’s mass-transportation system hauls more people than ever before, yet faces an $80 billion maintenance backlog. For example, an electrical substation that provides power to commuter trains in Philadelphia uses equipment that was manufactured in 1926.

Sounds like the transit folks in Philly missed an opportunity to buy one of Washington’s 1927 steel-electric ferries for spare parts.

Bird bites Newt: A penguin bit Newt Gingrich on the finger during the Republican presidential candidate’s tour of a zoo in St. Louis on Friday.

The nip from the flightless bird failed to jolt the former House speaker back to reality, and he will continue to take his candidacy to the GOP convention in Tampa.

Out of touch: With its hipper, edgier approach, NBC’s talent contest show, “The Voice,” has been poaching younger viewers from Fox’s increasingly stodgy, longtime ratings champ, “American Idol.”

Younger viewers began souring on “Idol” around the time it devoted a themed performance night to Rudy VallĂ©e.

Mark Carlson, Herald staff