They don't build cities like they used to—which is, to say, by simply backfilling and constructing on top of older architecture, leaving behind a layered time machine just ripe for adventure. The idea that some very old cities, like Rome, are three stories taller than they originally were—that the ground you walk on today is not really, precisely, the ground at all—is still completely mind-blowing to me. Even after I've been below, and seen the buildings-built-atop-buildings with my own eyes.
That's why I love stories like this one from NPR, where professional explorer Erling Kagge accompanies amateur adventurer Steve Duncan on a 25-mile journey through the sewers of New York City. It's no Golden Palace of Nero, but there are some little historical thrills. The photo above, for instance, taken by Duncan, which shows THE canal for which Canal Street was named. Bricked over in 1812—you can see the line between the different stages of brickwork—it's now a sewer. And a clogged one, at that.
The story even includes a short interview with one of the so-called Mole People—homeless people who have figured out how to live more comfortably below ground than on the street.
One of them, Brooklyn, lives in an "igloo," as she put it -- a sort of dump beneath the tracks, which were lined with mural after mural of intense, weird graffiti.
"What do you think people above ground do wrong in life?" Kagge asked her.
"It's called appreciate what you got," Brooklyn said. "And hold on to it. And don't lose it. I don't know why people are miserable -- they got everything that I don't have. And I'm happier than them."
Soon, she burst into Sister Sledge's "We Are Family."
Via Christopher Ryan
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
The Kaonashi No-Face Piggy Bank makes the most out of one of the coolest characters in Studio Ghibli’s storied history — but getting one exported to you from Japan costs an astounding $164. (via Kadrey)
I have a feeling Donald Trump (and most of the rest of the human race) would be happier if he were starring in the sitcom suggested by this photo insteading of serving the American people as a federal bureaucrat. In actuality, it’s a photo of Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s teacher of the year, who said […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]