Huvitavaid artikleid nädalavahetuseks

Preservation Follies – Edward Glaeser arutleb osade New Yorgi piirkondade “miljööväärtuslikuks” kuulutamise üle, mis avaldab mõju kinnisvara hindadele ja uute hoonete ehitamisele. Arutlust toetavad ka konkreetsed arvutused, kuid sõnum on piisavalt universaalne, et ka Tallinnale sobida:

Replying to his critics (of whom I was one), Wolfe wrote in the Village Voice that “to take their theory to its logical conclusion would be to develop Central Park. . . . When you consider the thousands and thousands of people who could be housed in Central Park if they would only allow them to build it up, boy, the problem is on the way to being solved!” But building high-rises in dense neighborhoods means that you don’t have to build in green areas, whether they’re urban parks or undeveloped areas far from the city. In fact, a true preservationist should realize that building up in one area reduces the pressure to take down other buildings. Once the landmarks commission decides that a building can be knocked down—as was the case in the Battle of Carnegie Hill—it should logically demand that its replacement be as tall as possible.

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5 Reasons The Internet Could Die At Any Moment – huvitavalt ja lõbusalt esitatud meeldetuletus sellest, et internet ei toimi ainult heal usul ja laste unenägudel vaid infrastruktuuril ja juriidilisel raamistikul, mis pole täiuslik vaid pidevalt täienev võrgustike ja standardite rägastik, mille toimimise detailidega on kursis vähesed kasutajad:

The truth is, the Internet travels from continent to continent by way of a network of trans-oceanic cables, each thousands of miles long and only as thick around as a thumb. If enough of these high-pressure porn hoses were compromised, international Internet communication could collapse entirely.

Since these cables are the backbone of a huge portion of the global economy, they must be pretty well protected, right? Guards in armored diving suits, badass nuclear submarines inexplicably captained by Scotsmen, Kraken…

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The Beholden State – detailne, põhjalik ja kahjuks kohati õõvastav artikkel ametiühingute rollist California järjest keerulisemas eelarve olukorras. Kui esmapilgul tundub, et tegu on eelkõige ameeriklaste probleemiga, siis tahaks meelde tuletada, et Kreekas on olukord isegi hullem samas kui mitmed vanemad Euroopa Liidu liikmed pole veel õieti enda avaliku sektori ametiühingute väljapressimisele poliitiliste tagajärgede tõttu reageerima hakanud:

How public employees became members of the elite class in a declining California offers a cautionary tale to the rest of the country, where the same process is happening in slower motion. The story starts half a century ago, when California public workers won bargaining rights and quickly learned how to elect their own bosses—that is, sympathetic politicians who would grant them outsize pay and benefits in exchange for their support. Over time, the unions have turned the state’s politics completely in their favor. The result: unaffordable benefits for civil servants; fiscal chaos in Sacramento and in cities and towns across the state; and angry taxpayers finally confronting the unionized masters of California’s unsustainable government.

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The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird – ilmselt ei paku ühe piloodi lood maailma kiireima lennukiga lendamisest kõigile huvi, kuid kaasahaaravalt kirjutatud loole võiks siiski võimaluse anda. Lisaks teravatele intsidentidele, mis on juba iseenesest huvitavad, pakub maailma kiireima lennukiga liikumine ka kõige igavamatel momentidel võimalusi, millest lihtsurelikud saavad ainult unistada:

One day, high above Arizona , we were monitoring the radio traffic of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers to check his ground speed. ‘Ninety knots,’ ATC replied. A twin Bonanza soon made the same request. ‘One-twenty on the ground,’ was the reply. To our surprise, a navy F-18 came over the radio with a ground speed check. I knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley know what real speed was ‘Dusty 52, we show you at 620 on the ground,’ ATC responded. The situation was too ripe. I heard the click of Walter’s mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, ‘ Aspen 20, I show you at 1,982 knots on the ground.’ We did not hear another transmis sion on that frequency all the way to the coast.

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The Street as Platform – Daniel Hill kirjeldas ühe linnaplaneerimise organisatsiooni jaoks tuleviku tänavaid juba praegu kasutusel oleva tehnoloogia baasil. Milliseid andmeid ja kes kogub, kuidas neid andmeid kasutatakse ja kuidas mõjutavad meid ümbritsevat keskkonda on vaid üksikud küsimused paljudest:

The patterns of data in the streets, the systems that enable and carry them, the quality of those connections, their various levels of openness or privacy, will all affect the way the street feels rather more than street furniture or road signs. Holes in data, public and private, may become more relevant than the pothole in the pavement – until you trip over it, at least.

The sketch above deliberately traverses quite a few modes of activity – from private to public; individual to civic; commercial to recreational; residential to vocational. And in all instances systems are in flux, in development, or require implementing, testing and shaping.

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Realty Check: ‘Extreme Makeover’ Downsizes Its Dream Homes – isegi Eesti telekanalitel jooksnud saada kodude uuendamisest on seoses kinnisvarahindade langemisega olnud sunnitud kohanema, sest kaugeltki kõigi “õnnelike” jaoks pole saatus naeratanud vaid kohati kaasa toonud kõrgemad kulud:

After the cameras have gone, another trend has been developing: Homeowners struggle to keep up with their expensive new digs. In many cases, the bigger, more lavish homes have come with bigger, more lavish utility bills. And bigger tax assessments. Some homeowners have tapped the equity of their super-sized homes only to fall behind on the higher mortgage payments.

The show’s producers say they are aware of the problem and are making changes appropriate to current economic reality: downsizing.

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Biography of Usain Bolt, Mutant – Esquire’is ilmunud portreelugu Usain Boltist ehk maailma kiireimast mehest. Lisaks imemehe tagataustale võib artiklist saada ülevaate mehe selgroo deformatsiooni mõjust tema karjäärile ja tema igapäevastest tegemistest, millest treeningud moodustavad väikese osa. Üks täheldus tundus aga eriti huvitav:

Soon Mills noticed that some of his younger runners, realizing that they could never hope to match Bolt but not prepared to give up their world-conquering dreams, shifted their attention from the 100- and 200-meter distances to other events, to hurdles or longer distances in which they might still hope to make a mark. The 400, for example.

As it happens, a group of five 400-meter runners is rounding the oval right now, their last circuit of today’s practice, and though it’s not a real race, you can tell from across the field that they’re trying hard, shoulders stiffening, cheeks bellowing, each wanting to win. Bolt and the others stand up and cup their hands to their mouths and start shouting encouragement. Bolt rarely races the 400, hates the long practices, the lung-searing, vomit-inducing arduousness of the extra training required to run that distance at an elite level. Still, he thinks that someday he might give the 400 a serious go. And the general consensus in the world track community is that if he were ever to dedicate himself to the 400, he could dominate it as thoroughly as he has the 100 and 200. And after that? Who knows. But he’s kind of interested in the long jump, too. At this point, there’s every reason to believe that Bolt is like Alexander in his prime, a young conqueror whose future conquests will not be determined by ability but simply by desire and discipline.

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