Bird-friendly buildings on the rise

Humans blame cats for killing birds, but our buildings are far worse.

The Jacob Javits Center in New York City, 2003. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
  • Nearly a billion birds are killed every year after flying into windows.
  • The American Bird Conservancy published an extensive guide to incorporating bird-friendly design into buildings.
  • Over twenty cities have programs to help reduce the number of avian deaths.
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Technology & Innovation

Do emoji have a place in serious 🔬 ✍️?

They're fun, so why not? Well, maybe because they're often inscrutable.

(Big Think)
  • A new paper looks at the 👍️ and 👎️ of using emojis in biomedical documentation.
  • It's the return of pictographs, millennia later.
  • Do your thumbs even know how to avoid them?
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Technology & Innovation

Sound could replace lasers in surgery

Moving from HOT to HAT, a dazzling new acoustic technology.

(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
  • Scientists announce the ability to simultaneously manipulate individual levitated objects.
  • Using high-frequency sound waves may provide a safer alternative to laser microsurgery.
  • Video of the research looks like a cartoon, but it's all real.
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Technology & Innovation

Why social design is a north star for entrepreneurs

Why this $600 million business isn't about money.

  • Problem solving doesn't have to involve numbers. Sometimes it just involves connecting dots between markets, and simple experiments based on data.
  • These tweaks can make huge differences in people's lives. And anyone can do it, as social design can life entire communities.
  • People who participate in social design learn how to apply it in the future, making social design a learnable and transferable skill.
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Videos

This amazing map of Lake Michigan was made entirely by typewriter

As this typewritten map shows, constraints can be freeing.

Major Rivers Draining into Lake Michigan, by Daniel P. Huffman
  • An old Royal Safari II typewriter was used to make this effective and attractive map.
  • Although they're relatively easy to make, typewriter maps are rare.
  • The mapmaker has received numerous commissions; will typewritten maps be the cartographic hype of 2019?
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Strange Maps