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The App You've Never Heard of That's Making Your City Better The App You've Never Heard of That's Making Your City Better

In the 80s and 90s, the 911 system in the US became overloaded with people calling to report things like wayward couches and double-parked cars—not emergencies, yet situations where city officials could help. In 1996, Baltimore successfully tested a system that diverted these requests to a separate number. In 1997,…

Meteorologists Need to Start Talking About Climate Change Meteorologists Need to Start Talking About Climate Change

Last week, after raging for two months over an area the size of Delaware, the Fort McMurray fire was finally declared “under control.” This was the costliest fire in Canadian history, forcing the relocation of 90,000 people—the largest evacuation in Alberta’s history—and over $2.9 billion in losses. Although the fire…

Riders of SF's Tech Buses Would Prefer To Keep Their Commutes as Cushy as Possible Riders of SF's Tech Buses Would Prefer To Keep Their Commutes as Cushy as Possible

San Francisco needs help. It also needs to decide where to put bus stops for the hundreds of shuttle buses that creep through its streets, gathering wizened, under-caffeinated developers for their journeys to jolly Mountain View. A survey that asked for such logistical input provided some additional—and perhaps…

Greenland Is Building the Perfect Place to Watch the World End Greenland Is Building the Perfect Place to Watch the World End

A stunning structure built 150 miles inside the Arctic Circle will serve as a crucial research center for glaciologists. But perhaps more importantly, it will be a place where humans can travel to see the real-time impact of climate change.

NYC's Elegant Storm-Proofing Proposal Will Probably End Up Being a 'Big Dumb Wall' NYC's Elegant Storm-Proofing Proposal Will Probably End Up Being a 'Big Dumb Wall'

In 2014, New York City funded a proposal called the “Big U,” a 10-mile barrier around Lower Manhattan to prevent the devastating effects of both storm surges and sea-level rise. The biggest strength of the $540 million project was that the infrastructure would do double-duty by adding parks and public space around the…

BearCam Is Back, Bitches BearCam Is Back, Bitches

Summer is here, and it’s time for some hot bear-on-fish action.

Hyperloop Connecting Helsinki and Stockholm Turns 300-Mile Trip Into 28 Minute Ride Hyperloop Connecting Helsinki and Stockholm Turns 300-Mile Trip Into 28 Minute Ride

Where will the first Hyperloop be? So far there are plans to use the tubular transportation system to move passengers in Slovakia and freight in Switzerland. But a proposed application for the Hyperloop announced today could solve a transportation conundrum that has been challenging planners for centuries: Connecting…

Where Are Fireworks Legal? Where Are Fireworks Legal?

No doubt you’re wanting to plan a fireworks display this weekend to honor the most amazing country in North America and its awesome political leaders. Here’s where you can celebrate Happy Canada Day the way it was meant to be celebrated!

Woman Arrested for Plot to Kill Stephen Hawking Woman Arrested for Plot to Kill Stephen Hawking

An American woman was arrested this week for flooding Stephen Hawking’s email with death threats, then stalking him at an astronomy festival in the Canary Islands.

Why I Don't Use a Baby Monitor Why I Don't Use a Baby Monitor

Like any person scared shitless about the prospect of keeping a fragile new human alive, as soon as I found out I was pregnant I started googling the important questions. Among them: “What is the best baby monitor?”

Fatal Tesla Crash Proves Full Autonomy Is the Only Solution for Self-Driving Cars Fatal Tesla Crash Proves Full Autonomy Is the Only Solution for Self-Driving Cars

The investigation into a death that occurred while a Tesla Model S driver was using Autopilot has filled the internet with dystopian-sounding headlines. Self-driving car driver died for the first time after crash in Florida. Self-driving Tesla was involved in fatal crash. But this was not a “self-driving car” that…

A Smart Crib Is a Stupid Idea A Smart Crib Is a Stupid Idea

Baby products have always been part of a predatory industry that feasts on the paranoia of new parents. But it’s gotten worse in the last few years with the wave of baby-tracking tech. Now Nest—which makes a camera which is one of the top-rated baby monitors—is proposing a smart crib, according to patent documents…

The Best and Worst Ideas from San Francisco's Big Homelessness Project The Best and Worst Ideas from San Francisco's Big Homelessness Project

You might have noticed an uptick of stories about the Bay Area’s homeless crisis in your social media feeds recently. Dozens of news organizations worked together to coordinate the publication of stories on homelessness today—all of which are mean to specifically focus on solutions for housing the region’s homeless…

Philly's Beautiful Plan to Fight Crime with Neon Murals Philly's Beautiful Plan to Fight Crime with Neon Murals

Just the presence of streetlights can deter criminal behavior. A South Philadelphia neighborhood is trying something a little more innovative than that—using neon-lit murals to brighten the sidewalk and turn the area into a destination.

Eighteen Million Americans Are Drinking Water That Isn’t Properly Tested for Lead Eighteen Million Americans Are Drinking Water That Isn’t Properly Tested for Lead

About six months ago, just as Flint began to acknowledge its lead crisis, a water testing expert from an EPA task force predicted that “every major city east of the Mississippi” was underestimating lead levels in their water. A big report from the NRDC now confirms that about 18 million Americans are living with lead…

Now Y Combinator Wants to Build a City Because Every Other Tech Company Is Doing It Now Y Combinator Wants to Build a City Because Every Other Tech Company Is Doing It

Cities are so trendy right now that every big tech company wants to build its own. Zappos did it in Downtown Vegas. Amazon is kind of doing it in a Seattle. Alphabet is probably doing it somewhere soon. And now Y Combinator wants in on the fun, too, with a plan to build some kind of alt-Silicon Valley... somewhere.

Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV

Saying “I don’t own a TV” is a good way to let people know that you’re a pretentious asshole. But even though more and more people are eager to tell you they don’t “have TV,” don’t be fooled! You better believe that they are still “watching TV.”

Worried About Self-Driving Cars? Guess What—There's Something You Can Do About That Worried About Self-Driving Cars? Guess What—There's Something You Can Do About That

For three years I’ve been writing at least once a week about self-driving cars and I’ve recently noticed a shift in popular opinion. The wide-eyed optimism of seeing Google’s cute-as-a-button robot bopping unassisted around a parking lot has been replaced by some ambiguous, malicious, unknowable entity, a…

George Lucas Is Taking His Museum Away from Chicago George Lucas Is Taking His Museum Away from Chicago

After a prolonged battle with San Francisco’s NIMBY empire, George Lucas announced two years ago that he would take his giant filmmaking museum project to the friendlier shores of Chicago. Now, after yet another vicious battle with Chicago’s NIMBYs, he’s abandoning his plans there, too. You’d think he was trying to…

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