Off the Shelf: September 8

Got out to a few more sites this week. Here are my favorite articles…

Future Living Now

How a City in Spain Got Rid of Its Cars (Citiscope) Not entirely rid of, but enough so that it makes a difference. They have a unique approach to routing that they credit with their success. See also What would the perfect cycling city look like? (The Guardian) for a more fantastical approach.

Potential Carbon Capture Game Changer Nears Completion (Technology Review.com) It’s not up and running yet, but a new plant eliminates the carbon-cleaner at the end of the process.

The Solution to Our Housing Crisis Is to Let Communities Own Property (The Nation) Some are already on their way in NYC – interesting what the communities are choosing to include.

Hurricane Harvey Is Putting Texas Grid Resiliency to the Test (GreenTechMedia.com) Smart meters helping identify power outages – but can’t get the power back up.

Can an advert for tea really change India’s sexist attitudes? (The Guardian) Not just an ad – an ad with a petition.

How a Smartphone App is Helping Addicts Recover (GovTech.com) Yes, but is it really any more intrusive than MyFitnessPal or any of the others? If you truly want to overcome an addition, you may like intrusive.

Just for Fun

How To Fix a Toilet And Other Things We Couldn’t Do Without Search (Google News Lab) Amusing – ironic – and clickable (in case you need to figure out how to do one of these things). The time charts towards the bottom offer promise, too.

Finance Geeks Will Love This New Movie About the Tulip Bubble (Bloomberg) I loved Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, it so captured my feelings about the stock market: legalized gambling.

Boosting Engagement by Gamifying Government (GovTech.com) I saw a little of this at Summer Streets, when NYC closes down Park Ave for half of each weekend day in August: NYC.GOV had a lot of booths asking people to put different colored dots on city maps to indicate where they should add various services (parks, pedestrian crossings, bike lanes) or to drop different colored poker chips into milk bottles to “vote” on different solutions for fixing the subway.

Alternate Realities

Meet The Ungers (HuffPo) People emerging after long periods of incarceration are like Rip van Winkle – they don’t recognize the world that they are entering. There are some interesting and innovative groups (often formed by former prisoners) working to help them adjust to the real world.

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched (TheCut.com) Struggling with an unmanageable child, too much money, and too much privacy? This could be the solution.

Why Did It Take 9 Hours and 3 Emergency Rooms For This Woman to Get a Rape Kit? (Cosmo.com) Creepy.

How Free Eyeglasses Are Boosting Test Scores in Baltimore (Politico.com) Could raising testing scores be as simple as this? Interesting read in conjunction with this: New Study Questions Links Between Race, Disability in Students (U.S. News and World Report)

Squirrels

No more, please!

  • Alexa and Cortana talking to each other? Please! Just make Cortana GO AWAY. She may not look like a paperclip but she’s just as not-helpful AND I CAN’T TURN HER OFF. Urghk. (If you know a secret I couldn’t find on Google, please share in a Comment.)

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