Your New Homestead: Sea, Sand, or Sky?

Far from being a science-fiction dream, "future cities" are slowly coming within the grasp of reality. An article reviews a number of different projects from around the world.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

Architects and visionaries around the world are working on new forms of housing to accommodate the world's growing population. A recent article in The Telegraph (UK) takes a look at several projects that come under three categories: "Seasteads," manmade structures that float on the ocean; eco-cities, with functions designed for lower environmental impact; and super-skyscrapers, which will house millions of people.

What's the Big Idea?

In ideal circumstances, most of the projects described can be realized within the next 10-15 years. One, Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, already has inhabitants even though it's still under construction. However, each project has significant challenges to overcome, not the least of which is simple human acceptance. On the one hand, Hong Kong is considered a model for superskyscraper living, since many of its city residents already live in 50-story buildings. On the other hand, in Masdar City, which hopes to become the world's most technologically advanced eco-city, people complain about the energy "smart grid" that pre-shortens showers and restricts air conditioning. Patri Friedman, founder of the Seasteading Institute, admits that people who want to live in the middle of the ocean will have to "care more about a new society than [having] as much water as they want."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Keep reading Show less

Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Keep reading Show less