Putting A Band-Aid on a Severed Limb

It’s not a secret that the smog in Beijing is bad. So bad, in fact, that last year the New York Times published an article titled On Scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air Quality Tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755.

“Crazy Bad” simply isn’t sustainable – the air is actually killing people. So an architecture and design firm called Orproject has decided to do something about the need to breathe in China’s capital city: they’ve created a massive, transparent bubble that will give people the feel of being outside without having to consume the awful air. The bubble is to be made out of the same material that was used in the Beijing Olympics aquatic stadium. Its bumpy-looking structure (which you can check out in this Fast Co. article) gives the space the capability of having several different climates in one big biosphere. It lets in the sun, provides an outdoorsy atmosphere and keeps the bad air out. (more…)


In the 1890s it was common for the New York Times to devote a ton of front-page newspaper real estate to the most pressing issue of the era. The scourge?  Horse dung.  Where were they going to put the millions and millions of pounds of  hooey produced by the thousands of draft horses that made NYC move every day?  There were predictions that by the 1920s Manhattan was going to be uninhabitable.  And then the 1920s came around and guess what: hardly any more horses and no messy poop problem either. (more…)


Hold the phone – One of the biggest coffeehouses in the country recently announced the coolest, smartest, most innovative plan to salvage our wounded nation. Starbucks has an idea: lend money; create jobs; save the great US of A.

With millions of customers and around 7,000 locations nationwide (that’s an average of 140 coffee shops per state!), Starbucks has behemoth influence power, and genius CEO Howard Schultz decided to use it to our country’s advantage.  I think he’s onto something. (more…)


Just about every time I tune into Minnesota Public Radio or visit NewYorkTimes.com, I’m inundated with statistics about the jobless rate rising or falling by mere fractions of percents. It’s great to have tabs on such a crucial part of the American existence, but it has recently been brought to my attention that perhaps this jobless rate isn’t necessarily measuring what it should be.