Jawdropping views of cozy homes built in an abandoned office tower, a lagoon, a recycling heap and more

TED Blog

[ted_talkteaser id=1846]Iwan Baan is not as interested in what architects build as he is in the beautiful ways that people appropriate the spaces once the planners are gone. In today’s talk, Baan — whose breathtaking image of lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy hangs on at least one of our walls — shows incredible images from communities thriving in ways that seem quite opposite to the uniformity of suburbs. First, Baan takes us to Chandigarh, India, where people inhabit buildings created by modernist architects Le Corbusier in very different ways than expected. Then, Baan takes us to Caracas, Venezuela, where an abandoned 45-story building has become a miniature city. From there, Baan  takes us to a Nigerian slum built on water, to a community in Cairo thriving amid recycling heaps, and to an underground village in China.

Baan’s talk will have you marveling at human ingenuity. In it, the photographer shows 154…

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Your City Might Not Be Ready for the Next Big Quake

Science & Space

At 10:17 A.M. Pacific time today, millions of Americans around the country—and more people around the world—will practice for something they hope will never happen: a major earthquake. It’s called the Great ShakeOut, and it’s almost certainly the biggest disaster preparation drill in the world, involving some 24 million people working in schools, homes, hospitals and businesses. Started in California in 2008, the ShakeOut is meant to train people in how to respond to a major quake—if you’re indoors that means dropping to the floor, taking cover beneath a desk or table and holding on as securely as possible. You should also avoid any exterior walls, windows or hanging objects. Those outdoors should move to a clear and open area if possible, and avoid buildings and power lines that might fall on you.

Taking the right steps in the midst of a quake can mean the difference between life…

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The 10 Most Polluted Cities in the World

Science & Space

A day after the World Health Organization published a report linking air pollution to lung cancer, Quartz has put together a list of the most polluted cities in the world, based on data from the same organization. While the list originally came out this Spring, it’s an important reminder given the recent health news.

At the top? The city of Ahwaz, in Western Iran. With a population of more than three million, it is also the capital of the Khuzestan Province, which produces most of Iran’s oil. Like the other cities in the WHO’s top ten, it is a center of heavy industry.

Here are the ten most polluted cities, ranked by the amount of airborne particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter per cubic meter of outdoor air:

1. Ahwaz, Iran

2. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

3. Sanandaj, Iran

4. Ludhiana, India

5. Quetta, Pakistan

6. Kermanshah, Iran

7. Peshawar, Pakistan

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“You’re a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?”

The Matt Walsh Blog

It’s happened twice in a week, and they were both women. Anyone ought to have more class than this, but women — especially women — should damn well know better.

Last week, I was at the pharmacy and a friendly lady approached me.

“Matt! How are those little ones doing?”

“Great! They’re doing very well, thanks for asking.”

“Good to hear. How ’bout your wife? Is she back at work yet?”

“Well she’s working hard at home, taking care of the kids. But she’s not going back into the workforce, if that’s what you mean.”

“Oh fun! That must be nice!”

“Fun? It’s a lot of hard work. Rewarding, yes. Fun? Not always.”

This one wasn’t in-your-face. It was only quietly presumptuous and subversively condescending.

The next incident occurred today at the coffee shop. It started in similar fashion; a friendly exchange about how things are coming along with the…

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BBC News – Bees’ foraging for flowers ‘hampered by diesel exhaust’

Honeybees’ ability to find flowers could be hampered by a chemical in diesel exhaust, say scientists.

Tests showed that exhaust degraded some floral scent chemicals the bees “home in on” when they are foraging.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, also revealed that a specific group of chemicals found in diesel exhaust, known as NOx, diminished the insects’ response to floral scents.

They say the results are evidence that air quality should be improved.

via BBC News – Bees' foraging for flowers 'hampered by diesel exhaust'.