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Emergency Telegraphs: Inside America’s Historic Fire & Police Call Boxes [ARTICLE]

Before 911 (or even household telephones), roughly 500 American cities relied on specialized call boxes tied into police and fire stations for everything from officer check-ins to emergency reports.

The Finnish Experiment [EPISODE]

Around the world, there is a lot of buzz around the idea of universal basic income (also known as “unconditional basic income” or UBI).

Speculative Urbanism: Must-Read Megacities of Science Fiction & Fantasy [ARTICLE]

Urban worldbuilding is at the heart a lot of speculative fiction classics. But authors don’t develop the history, geography and ecology of their imaginary worlds in a vacuum.

Practical Effects: Physical Craft Behind Classic 3D Film & Television Logos [ARTICLE]

On and off for the past 100 years, MGM’s lions (seven different ones over the decades) have come alive on the big screen, sometimes even roaring at audiences.

Tricky Business: Appearing on Blue Highway Exit Signs is Harder than it Looks [ARTICLE]

Most official highway signs are clearly governmental, layout out speed limits, providing traffic instructions or giving directions and distances.

Plaque to the Future: Memorial Stickers Commemorate Everyday People & Places [ARTICLE]

Street artist Lily Goodspeed has taken to the streets of Philadelphia with an unusual style of commemorative plaque.

The Age of the Algorithm [EPISODE]

On April 9, 2017, United Airlines flight 3411 was preparing to take off from Chicago when flight attendants discovered the plane was overbooked.

Notes on an Imagined Plaque [EPISODE]

Monuments don’t just appear in the wake of someone’s death — they are erected for reasons specific to a time and place.

Windcatchers of Dubai: Traditional Cooling Towers Shape Desert Vernacular [ARTICLE]

For most people, Dubai conjures images of the world’s tallest skyscraper and the various other sleek modern structures that have redefined its skyline in recent decades.

Grave Guns & Coffin Torpedoes: Vintage Defenses Aimed to Foil Grave Robbers [ARTICLE]

The Victorian era is infamous for putting death in the spotlight, giving rise to a number of inventions designed around mortal remains.

99% Darkness: See How Half the World’s Population Lives on 1% of its Land [ARTICLE]

Reading stories about overpopulation, it is easy to imagine we live on a planet that is packed with people from coast to coast on every continent.

The Great Dismal Swamp [EPISODE]

On the border of Virginia and North Carolina stretches a great, dismal swamp. The Great Dismal Swamp, actually — that’s the name British colonists gave it centuries ago.

Hostile Terrain: Tank Traps, Fake Towns & Secret Tunnels of the Korean Borderlands [ARTICLE]

Strange structures start to appear all around as one drives toward the Korean Demilitarized Zone from either side of the border.

No Shadow Tower: Reflective Skyscraper Bounces Sunlight into Shaded Space [ARTICLE]

Computer modeling has helped revolutionize architectural design, enabling sophisticated and sculptural shapes rich with three-dimensional complexity.

Speed Lump Optical Illusion Designed to Reduce Need for Bumps & Humps [ARTICLE]

Launched last year and continuing into next year, a pilot program in London is testing the efficacy of a peculiar new kind of traffic calming measure — one that uses tricks of perspective to slow drivers down.

Ways of Hearing [EPISODE]

When the tape started rolling in old analog recording studios, there was a feeling that musicians were about to capture a particular moment.

Rain Chains & Musical Drains: Downspout Alternatives Put Drainage on Display [ARTICLE]

Good design is in the details, as they say, and great architectural design details are often site-specific, responding to local contexts and regional conditions.

Cracking the Case: Science Solves Ancient Mystery of Durable Roman Concrete [ARTICLE]

Steel-reinforced concrete is a wonder of the modern built world and part of the foundation of civilization as we know it.

El Gordo [EPISODE]

In the early 2000s, Costis Mitsotakis of Greece met a Spanish girl named Sandra del Pozo. They fell in love, and not long after, bought a small RV, left Greece and headed to Spain.

Decoding Cat’s Eyes: A Global Color Guide to Reflective Road Markers [ARTICLE]

Raised pavement markers come in a variety of reflective colors, some of which (like white and yellow) have guessable meanings borrowed painted road line conventions.