The absence of these rules can frustrate the newly sighted, whose visual world can be both blurry and two-dimensional—paintings and people are often described as “flat, with dark patches”; a far-away house is “nearby, but requiring the taking of a lot of steps”; streetlights seen through glass are “luminous stains stuck to the window”; sunbeams through tree branches collapse into a single “tree with all the lights in it. — New Yorker
Google's satellite imaging allows us to virtually tour remote or inaccessible locales the world over, and with recently improved resolutions and initiatives from the Google Cultural Institute, our gaze can go farther and more intimately into places we may never physically visit. Google's interest...
As New York City’s burgeoning tech economy continues to grow, startups face the same challenges for office space they would anywhere else—but have the added challenge of Manhattan-level price tags, vying for space with law firms, banks, and other well-financed tenants.
An absolute lack of space is not the issue, however. New York’s low 10 percent office vacancy rate may be second only to Washington, D.C.’s 9.6 percent, but an enormous amount of inventory is going up [...]. — urbanland.uli.org
In collaboration with fifteen poets and community activists from StartUp Box South Bronx, I recently created Memories of the Future, a location-based cinema project viewed on mobile phones. The group experimented with spoken word poetry, site specific performance, and on-site spectatorship to reframe the predominant view of Hunts Point and speak about possibilities for its future from a position of power. — urbanomnibus.net
There has long been a subculture of so-called “urban explorers” who have made a game of accessing off-limits places. [...] Urban explorers take photos mainly to document that they’ve been there, while for Deas the image is the whole point. The outlaw Instagrammers have more in common with graffiti artists, another subculture of underground creatives who make their work in the cracks of the urban landscape. — nymag.com
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window.
It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface. — msutoday.msu.edu
“Anyone who has been going to Burning Man for the last five years is now seeing things on a level of expense or flash that didn't exist before,” said Brian Doherty, author of the book “This Is Burning Man.” “It does have this feeling that, ‘Oh, look, the rich people have moved into my neighborhood.’ It’s gentrifying.” — NYT
"By the way, there are over 62 million Burning Man results in the Google search but who can guarantee they all originate from Nevada desert? After all, men and women burn daily all over the world. Right?" - from Burning Man, a new religion?
In a paper published this month, the researchers describe how they very simply and very quickly seized control of an entire system of almost 100 intersections in an unnamed Michigan city from a single ingress point. The exercise was conducted on actual stoplights deployed at live intersections [...] As is typical in large urban areas, the traffic lights in the subject city are networked ... allowing them to pass information to and receive instruction from a central management point. — Ars Technica
Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. [...]
"Transit has a huge impact on urban planning. I mean, if you look at our city, it was designed around streetcars. On some level, it has to be part of their DNA." — citylab.com
A new pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project is under construction in the Rockaways. It will deliver 647,000 dekatherms of natural gas to New York City each day — enough to power 2.5 million homes. Activists ... say the project is inherently dangerous and is just the latest sign of a broken approval and monitoring process for the United States’ energy infrastructure. — Al Jazeera
Concerned activists and locals may have good reason to be worried. Prior pipeline accidents, such as the 2010 San Bruno explosion, have caused extensive damage and even deaths. The Al Jazeera article notes that "since 1986, there have been about 8,000 significant pipeline incidents in the United...
Nicholas Korody penned, Shitting Architecture: the dirty practice of waste removal. Therein drawing lessons; from Slavoj Zizek on the toilet and Timothy Morton (of Object-Oriented Ontology [OOO]) on sustainability as the preservation of the status quo, he argues that "Under the weight of the...
Fleets of self-driving lorries could be tested on UK roads as soon as next year, according to reports. [...]
The initiative would cut fuel consumption, backers said.
However, the plan has been criticised by motoring groups which said such a fleet would be "intimidating" to other road users. — bbc.com
Most American cities paved over their streetcar tracks decades ago, deeming the services slow, rickety and inconvenient. Commuters have long preferred cars and buses. But streetcars—sometimes known as trolleys or trams—are making a comeback. Services are rolling out in at least 16 American cities, with dozens more in the works [...] The relationship between streetcars and development is not clear, say researchers funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). — the Economist
As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time. — ScienceDaily
Samsung is making a big push into being the center of the smart home today with its acquisition of SmartThings, which allows people to sync up their connected gadgets onto a single smartphone app and hardware hub. — forbes.com
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