Why Do So Many U.S. Cities Have Gridded Streets?
Many U.S. cities were founded with a street grid. Why? This video describes the historic factors that contributed to the adoption of a grid. This includes influential city designs from Versailles, London, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Reno.
Repopulating A Japanese town
As the Japanese populace shrinks and ages, and young people leave the suburbs and rural areas for cities, more and more communities are becoming ghost towns. The municipality of Okutama, on the outskirts of Tokyo, has come up with a novel solution: Give away houses to young families for free.
How To Find New Music You’ll Actually Like
Some people can dig up great music like magic, or have friends inside the industry who keep them updated. Others are perfectly content with their weekly Spotify Discover playlist. But if you need more ways to find music, here are some ideas.
How And Why The Great Wall Of China Was Really Built
The Great Wall of China was built 2,200 years ago out of military necessity: to combat the Mongolian ancestors of Genghis Khan. Its construction was a marvel of military engineering.
Dubai’s Plan to Outlive Oil
Dubai does have oil, but today it only accounts for less than one percent of its GDP. What looks like a pure extravagance is actually pure marketing genius, attracting 14 million international visitors a year, who spend more than any other city in the world, 65% more, even, than New York or London.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
These Death-Defying Human Towers Build On Catalan Tradition
Catalonia is ruled by the Spanish government, but its people have been constructing independent kingdoms for centuries. By climbing up backs and balancing on shoulders, Catalonians of all ages stack their bodies on-top each other to build castells, or human towers.
Can Eco-Tourism Help Save The Ocean?
Indonesia’s Coral Triangle is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, but destructive fishing practices are threatening ocean life. Meet the conservation pioneers who are reviving these waters—bringing species back from the brink of extinction.
What Was Libya Like 25 Years Ago?
Gaddafi’s 25 Years in Power (1994): A historic report filmed as Libya celebrated 25 years of Gaddafi’s rule. This short documentary challenges the West’s view of Libya and looks at Gaddafi’s struggles both at home and abroad.
Small Cities, Big Challenges
From building in a crowded capital threatened by rising sea levels to creating modern housing alongside historic landmarks, this is how small cities around the world are overcoming some remarkable challenges.
How Governments Shut Down The Internet
Governments around the world are shutting down the internet, saying it’s needed to prevent protests or cheating on exams. But critics say blocking expression and access to information violates human rights. Here’s how internet shutdowns work.
How To Tell If You’re Talking To A Bot
It’s important not to be swayed by fake accounts or waste your time arguing with them, and identifying bots in a Twitter thread has become a strange version of the Turing test. Advances in machine learning hint at how bots could become more humanlike.
How To Overcome Your Fear Of Failure
Behind many fears is worry about doing something wrong, looking foolish, or not meeting expectations — in other words, fear of failure. By framing a situation you’re dreading differently before you attempt it, you may be able to avoid some stress and anxiety.
How “Old School” Commodore And Nintendo Graphics Worked
The limitations of color on older 1980’s computers and game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Commodore 64 explained.
How ‘Landscape Urbanism’ Is Making Gentrification Look Like Fun
The High Line and its imitators are examples of “landscape urbanism,” a growing design movement that places green space in collision with old infrastructure. Rehabilitation projects follow a familiar playbook, aestheticizing the labor of the past even as they support a gentrified future.
David Altrath Photographs The Spectacular Stockholm Metro
German photographer David Altrath unveils the majestic underground tunnels and their stunning architectural and artistic detail that feature in Stockholm’s underground in his latest series, simply titled Metro.
The Dollhouses Of Death That Changed Forensic Science
Frances Glessner Lee created dollhouses with dead dolls. Her miniatures significantly advanced forensics and forensic science, but they aren’t just CSI curios – they’re complex, confounding works of art that manage to be morbid and beautiful at the same time.
Minimum Wage: A Life Full Of Difficult Choices
Despite Ontario’s recent minimum wage increase, workers are still struggling to make ends meet. Even for those who have full-time jobs, earning minimum wage means they have to make a lot of difficult choices.
The Food Deserts Of Memphis: Inside America’s Hunger Capital
In the ‘food deserts’ of Memphis, Tennessee, dominated by fast food outlets and convenience stores, locals lack what seems a basic human right in the richer half of the city: a supermarket. With a big gap in life expectancy, are these Americans doomed to die younger than their neighbours – or can they fight for their right to nutrition?
Tech’s Most Controversial Startup Makes Drone-Killing Robots
Founded by Palmer Luckey and backed by Peter Thiel, Anduril is rekindling the connection between the American military and Silicon Valley. The company’s surveillance technology consists of large towers, packed with sensors, and small surveillance drones that can be set up to guard the perimeter.
Why Time Spent Near Water Is The Secret Of Happiness
The benefits of “blue space” – the sea and coastline, but also rivers, lakes, canals, waterfalls, even fountains – are less well publicised, yet the science has been consistent for at least a decade: being by water is good for body and mind.