John Metcalfe

Shutterstock

Plastic Straw Bans Are the New Plastic Bag Bans

Environmentalists have kicked off a campaign called "Straw Wars" to rid London's Soho district of drinking straws.

Centre Technique du Papier

This Armored Wallpaper Can Stop People from Stealing Your Wi-Fi

Researchers in Grenoble, France, have developed a wallpaper that blocks wireless internet signals from leaking out of your home.

Carmichael Collective

Why Does This Bench Need an Instruction Sign?

Has the city's public-works department gone rogue?

Reuters

Hockey Fans Throwing Weird Crap on the Ice: A City-by-City Breakdown

Depending on where you live, you might see hockey nuts chucking fish, octopi, beef, or sex toys.

OwnZown

A Mirrored 'Stealth Cap' for Hiding in Crowds

Who doesn't want to enjoy some alone time in a shiny polyhedron from outer space?

Reuters

This Week in Bans: Vienna Finally Removes an Anti-Semitic Street Sign

Also, Ireland puts the chill on tanning beds and trashy fashion models of the U.K., beware.

Florian Rivière

A Strange Merry-Go-Round For Shopping Carts

An artist transformed this revolving billboard in Berlin into something that's fun for kids.

MoneyBlogNewz/Flickr\

Rita Crundwell: America's New Queen of Municipal Embezzlement

According to feds, the former Dixon, Illinois, comptroller spent much of the $53 million she's accused of stealing on horses with names like "Packin' Jewels" and "Have Faith in Money."

Lace Fence/DEMAKERSVAN

Knitting Chain-Link Fencing Into a Work of Art

A design team in Rotterdam has a creative solution to scenery-marring construction fences.

Nick Ross

Sick of City Noise? Just Duck Into This Street-Corner Confessional

Modeled after Catholic confessionals, this portable furniture allows people a private place to chat away from all the hubbub.

YouTube/InsightMovingImages

In Liverpool, a Leviathan Awakens from the Briny Deep

A 50-foot tall creature in a diving suit stalks the streets of England.

J. Taylor Wallace

The Tea Party Is Not Happy With Chicago's Sarah Palin Sculpture

The artist behind the Palin-shaped public art has been informed: "You will be the next one to burn."

citycalfe

Portland: Build This Retirement Home for Chickens!

Portlanders are putting their elderly poultry out to pasture. We have a better idea.

Jo Peel

A Mural About City-Building That Actually Doesn't Stink

This time-lapse video chronicles painted cranes as they "build" a city from the ground up, with real-life objects blending into two dimensions and vice versa.

Citycalfe

This Week in Bans: Michigan Town Terrorized by 'Monster' Graffiti

Also, a girl can't wear the Confederate flag to prom in Tennessee; the British can't even support their own Olympics; Yertle the Turtle is banned in Canada.

YouTube/shamengo2

A Streetlight Powered by Algae: Is This Actually Possible?

The French biochemist behind this strange green light sees it having a "massive" palliative effect on global warming.

Vmenkov/Wikipedia

The Greening of China's Smoky Funeral Rites

Instead of burning paper money to honor their deceased relatives, many Chinese people are choosing to just write a check.

Paul Kweton

A Rocking Chair for You and Your Dog or Cat

Because pets love to be swung back and forth, that's why.

YouTube

Chinese Woman Swallowed by Sudden Hole in the Sidewalk

China's hungry infrastructure claims yet another victim.