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Courtesy of MIT CoLab

What a City's 'Soundscape' Reveals About Its Character

Researchers at MIT are asking people to record the sounds of their streets, which can reveal the social and economic dynamics of a place.

Amit Dave / REUTERS

Flushing the Toilet Has Never Been Riskier

Some of today’s sewers were built before bathrooms as we know them existed. It’s time to upgrade.

Benny Chan / The Broad

At the New Broad Museum, the Architecture Rivals the Art

A new institution with a striking design opens in the burgeoning arts district of downtown Los Angeles.

Davide D'Amico / Flickr

How San Francisco Got More Drivers to Yield to Pedestrians

The data-driven solution was part marketing, part enforcement, and part community outreach.

Patrick Rasenberg / Flickr

Why Politicians Don't Level the Playing Field

The American elite tend to trade equality for efficiency.

AP Photo/Jim Cole

The Enormous Social Cost of Cheap Coal

Air pollution from coal prematurely kills millions of people each year. And there’s an obvious fix.


A Bookshelf That Doubles in Size

This expandable bookshelf can hold all of your stuff—or just a little.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

What Utah's Flash Floods Say About the Dry Future of the West

Tuesday’s deadly torrents are reminders that western states need new models for water storage.


You're Throwing Out $1,500 in Wasted Food Each Year

It’s easy to cut back on the edibles you’re trashing.

AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

Why Chile's 8.3 Quake Wasn't as Deadly as Others

A large tremor struck central Chile on Wednesday, but the country had learned from the past.

Dmitry Kaminsky /

America's Diverging Migration Patterns

Not all of us are moving west.

U.S. Census Bureau

More Jobs Aren’t Making Americans Richer

And other key takeaways from new Census reports on the economy, poverty, and health care.

Modern Mechanix

The Marvellous History of New York's 'Hotel for Autos'

Garages from around 1930 could mechanically stack hundreds of vehicles as high as two-dozen stories.

Rebecca Cook/Reuters

How Detroit's Foreclosure Auction Fails Homeowners

A new state law designed to foil property-tax scofflaws is making it harder for low-income homeowners to keep their houses.

olakumalo /

Why More Seniors Are Forming Their Own 'Villages'

Since the founding of Beacon Hill Village in 2002, this model of aging in place has spread to 40 U.S. states.

Photo courtesy Jackson Free Press via WAPT, used by permission

The Sagging-Pants-to-Prison Pipeline

Yes, this is really a thing.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The Long, Ugly History of 'Law and Order' Candidates

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign rhetoric carries with it a deeply unsubtle context.


Mapping the Nation's Failing Voting Machines

A new report shows that thousands of U.S. voting systems are old and malfunctioning, which could spell disaster for the upcoming presidential elections.

Google Earth

Photographing the American 'Grid,' One Square Mile Per Frame

The West’s checkerboard plan, devised by Thomas Jefferson, gets the Instagram treatment with striking satellite imagery.