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This App Generates Hidden-Message Orbs Your Friends Must Physically Locate

Designed by brain scientists, "Traces" seeks to make messaging more meaningful.

The Lift

One Woman's Quest to Design Parking Lots People Don't Hate

Rachel Yoka believes parking can be more than what some might call a necessary evil.

ŠJů/Wikimedia Commons

Ornamental Hermits Still Exist—Kind Of

Having a live-in hermit was all the rage in 18th-century England. In recent years, some have chosen the quiet life for art's sake.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

A Cairo Startup Aims to Modernize the City's Street-Merchant Infrastructure

Flashy "formal" kiosks sponsored by Coca-Cola and Red Bull will replace some traditional vendors. Will they be embraced by modern Egyptians?

James West/Climate Desk

Inside the Huge Solar Farm That Powers Apple's iCloud

Apple has a wide-ranging plan to keep its ever-expanding empire green—but it has a few holes.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Toledo's Water Is Now Safe to Drink, but the Causes Behind Its Toxicity Linger

After a weekend ban, 400,00 residents can safely turn their faucets back on. But the Great Lakes as a water source are still in bad shape. 

Maureen Sill/Flickr

The Great Recession Cemented Suburban Poverty

New data rounding out the 2000s shows that poverty in U.S. suburbs is only growing.

formabilio.com

Two Chairs and a Sofa, All in One

For those tough-to-furnish small living rooms. 

Amy Sussman/Invision for JAKKS/AP Images

The Case for Packing Libraries Full of Toys and Games

Experts say access to play develops "self-directed executive function," a skill just as important as reading. 

Darin Echelberger/Shutterstock.com

Colorado Cities Fight State and Industry Reps for Resident Input on Fracking

Locals say one-size-fits-all regulation won't work across the diverse, resource-rich state.

Reuters/Eric Thayer

What Do We Do With Old Public Payphones?

Resurrecting cities' phone-booth systems with Wi-Fi hotspots, tiny art galleries, and more.

Courtesy of Placemeter

The View From Your Window Is Worth Cash to This Company

New York-based Placemeter is turning disused smartphones into big data.

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Craft Beer Drinkers: Be Wary of 'Exploding Swill'

"One piece of glass flew into someone's open mouth," reports a man attacked by beer.

Maximilian Schich

What We Can and Can't Learn From 2,000 Years of Migration Data for 'Western Intellectuals'

Researchers recently compiled birth and death data for famous North Americans and Europeans.

Reuters/Brian Snyder

Where the Great Recession Made Inequality Worse

The most dramatic increases were not in the usual places. 

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Behind the Movement to Make Antoni Gaudí a Saint: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.

AllieKF/Flickr

What We Don't Know About What's Going on With Bugs Should Worry Us

A big drop-off in invertebrate populations could spell trouble for cities, where the important roles that insects play are still poorly understood.

Nikolay Nikolov

Communism, Geometry, and the Stories Buildings Tell in Bulgaria

One photographer's "alternative photo guide" to the city of Sofia.

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Mexico City's 'Innovation Lab' Tries Tech Solutions for Urban Issues

Government-sponsored "smart city" initiatives aim to make life safer and easier in the Mexican capital. But will they reach everyone?