supersophy

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Why American Students Haven't Gotten Better at Reading in 20 Years

Schools usually focus on teaching comprehension skills instead of general knowledge—even though education researchers know better.<p>Every two years, education-policy wonks gear up for what has become a time-honored ritual: the release of the Nation’s Report Card. Officially known as the National …

Education

Assessing nature's carbon sinks

Protected areas such as rainforests occupy more than one-tenth of the Earth's landscape, and provide invaluable ecosystem services, from erosion …

Urban mobility at a tipping point

As more of the world’s cities become congested and polluted, new business models and technologies are emerging to solve the mobility challenge.<p><b>Cities</b> …

Geologists solve tectonic plate mystery with half a tonne of explosives

Geologists may have finally explained how tectonic plates shift by blowing up hundreds of kilograms of dynamite in New Zealand.<p>Half a tonne of explosive slurry was pumped into a dozen, steel-cased holes spread nearly 100km across New Zealand’s north island.<p>The seismic waves produced by the …

Earth Science

Smart cities: The future of urban infrastructure

Technology is changing everyday city life, allowing us to instantly adapt to everything from storm threats to traffic jams.<p>Infrastructure is not exactly the sexiest word in architecture. There are no “starchitects” proudly boasting about their pipe designs or subsurface drainage systems. By its …

Top 10 World Heritage Sites for Kids

Travel<p>There are nearly a thousand UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Check out this list for the best trips to please travelers both young and old.

Travel Photography

6 Intersection Designs That Actually Prioritize Pedestrians

Crosswalks and signals are supposed to make walkers safe as they step off the curb, but a tragic example from New York City last month shows that …

Cities

The Gift Of Graft: New York Artist's Tree To Grow 40 Kinds Of Fruit

It sounds like something out of Dr. Seuss, but artist Sam Van Aken is developing a tree that blooms in pink, fuchsia, purple and red in the spring — and that is capable of bearing 40 different kinds of fruit.<p>No, it's not genetic engineering. Van Aken, an associate professor in Syracuse University's …

Hidden Hydrology Redux

<i>Last week, I had the honor recently of presenting at a conference with one of my idols of landscape architecture, Anne Whiston Spirn. Aside from</i> …

Old + New

An interesting idea from some of the coverage of Memorial Day, which is a good time to remember the past. The Guardian and the Photography Then and …

How green spaces could stop cities from overheating

A 10% increase in green space in our cities could help to keep temperatures at present levels into the 2050s, despite climate change<p>Most city-dwellers are big fans of green spaces, with the benefits to health and community well-being evident in the data. There's more to it though - adding more …

DIY Nessie Loch Ness Monster | Pattern and Tutorial

I have been keeping this project a secret for far too long, and now that it is up on Buzz Feed I can finally share the reveal with you all! You may …

Cocoony is a Peaceful and Quiet Haven Where Kids Can Unwind

Whether a child has had a hours of joyful play or a stressful day at school, the Cocoony offers a space for relaxation. Created by Austrian designer …

Ecology & Landscape Architecture

A great post on the The Dirt from a couple of months back delves into a topic near and dear to my thoughts on landscape architecture and urbanism – …

Cities and their psychology: how neuroscience affects urban planning

More than 30 years ago, the pioneering urbanist William Whyte was charged by the city of New York with the task of unraveling the mysteries of public space. Why do some such spaces attract crowds of happy visitors whilst others sit barren and empty?<p>Whyte's research programme, conducted with …

City Simulation

An interesting article in the Guardian, Cities and their psychology: how neuroscience affects urban planning delves into the connection between space …

Architizer

15 Reasons Why Vinegar is the Ultimate Cleaning Solution

The secret fix to most household messes was already in your kitchen cupboard.<p><b>1. Kitchen Surfaces and Utensils</b><br>Vinegar has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that make it a good choice for cleaning in the kitchen. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water, then pour it into a spray bottle. Use …

Cleaning

Conference Describing, Inhabiting and Governing Urban Fringe Landscapes

In Europe, urban projects at this beginning of a century are irremediably marked by references to sustainable development. New ways of considering …

White Roofs Are 3 Times More Efficient Than Green Roofs

Everyone loves a garden, and when the vegetation is planted on a roof, it gets even more love. Not only do plants lend a park-like atmosphere to the tops of buildings, they are also good for the environment. Look at all these plant-covered roofs in New York City. Even buses are getting in on the …

Waving or Drowning?

<b>Morning in Chennai.</b> The pale blue sky blushes deep pink before it is pierced by a bronze sun. Amid the ever more frantic cries of the koyal, the …

The State of the Debate on Climate Change: The Worst That Could Happen

“Sea level rise is a definite,” said Richard Alley, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, at a conference by the National …

High Lines and park life: why more green isn't always greener for cities

For a lot of people in the 20th century, the future of the city was simply a better, shinier version of what ancient cities looked like after they had been abandoned. There's a link between the visions of the Roman city, overgrown by vegetation that you can find in the etchings of Piranesi, and the …

More Cities Bring Buried Streams Back To Life

New urban waterways are making a come back. Cincinnati is following the lead of Seattle, Kalamazoo, Mich., and other cities by bringing back a buried stream that has been underground for a century. Uncovering these streams have environmental and economic benefits.<p><b>Listen · 3:18</b><p><b>Toggle more</b> …

Green spaces have lasting positive effect on well-being

<b>Living in an urban area with green spaces has a long-lasting positive impact on people's mental well-being, a study has suggested.</b><p>UK researchers found moving to a green space had a sustained positive effect, unlike pay rises or promotions, which only provided a short-term boost.<p>The authors said the …

Paper Adventures by Kouichi Chiba

Kouichi Chiba, Japanese photographer from Shizuoka, presents a cute and whimsical photo series, where his main characters are tiny paper figurines. …

A Mom and Her 4-Year-Old Daughter Collaborated On Some Pretty Surreal Art

Mica Angela Hendricks, an illustrator and graphic artist, has been collaborating on drawings with her 4-year-old daughter Myla since August, and the results are pretty surreal.<p>Hendricks used to stick to Rockwellian female heads, replete with perfectly ink-shaded curls, and then pass them along to …

The 13 Best Children’s, Illustrated, and Picture Books of 2013

<i>“It is an error … to think of children as a special kind of creature, almost a different race, rather than as normal, if immature, members of a particular family, and of the human family at large,”</i> J. R. R. Tolkien wrote in his superb meditation on fantasy and why there’s no such thing as writing …