City Planning at Crossroads

Are cities the best place to live? Are suburbs OK? A fight grows in urban planning, with Harvard at the center.

Are cities the best place to live? Are suburbs OK? A fight grows in urban planning, with Harvard at the center. "In their lectures and writings, Waldheim and other landscape urbanists paint the New Urbanists as nostalgically stuck in a conception of city life that ignores the changes brought by the modern service economy, the Internet, and the highway system. Americans have unequivocally demonstrated that they would prefer to live spread out, and the landscape urbanists argue it’s a delusion to believe that one can force the toothpaste back in the tube with zoning laws and design schemes."

1 in 100 water molecules started in solar nebulae

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from nebulae.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Elon Musk's SpaceX approved to launch 7,518 Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
  • Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
  • Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
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