A few recent reads

An end to parking?

A city run on shared autonomous cars would likely have a dramatically lower environmental footprint. That's partly because you'd get rid of the "circling" that plagues urban traffic. But it's also because high-tech cars would be new—and, given that they'll probably emerge en masse about 10 years from now, they'd be electric. A model of city traffic published in Nature last July by Berkeley Lab scientist Jeffrey Greenblatt deduced that emissions would be 90 percent lower if cars were all autonomous and electric. And the truth is, it's easier for a fleet of robot cars to go electric than it is for individual car owners to do so.

Colonization, Food, and the Practice of Eating

Europeans believed that food shaped the colonial body. In other words, the European constitution differed from that of Indigenous people because the Spanish diet differed from the Indigenous diet. Further, bodies could be altered by diets—thus the fear that by consuming “inferior” Indigenous foods, Spaniards would eventually become “like them.” Only proper European foods would maintain the superior nature of European bodies, and only these “right foods” would be able to protect colonizers from the challenges posed by the “new world” and its unfamiliar environments.

Why We All Dream of Being Jewel Thieves

One of the most interesting aspects of London, from both an historical and urban perspective, has always been its sponge-like porosity: the presence of tunnels, sewers, and ancient basements waiting just below the surface of the city. Indeed, London hides an unusually intense world of secret architectural connections. Whether it’s the city’s abandoned Tube stations and lost rivers or its Roman archaeological sites and medieval catacombs, the cumulative effects of these examples is that the city seems riddled with shortcuts, promising an unexpected link from one building to another behind the next basement door or a forgotten underground world lurking silently beneath the next manhole.