Instead of trying to fix our inbox, Google needs to invent something that's not quite email, not quite text, not quite chat, not quite Yo, for all these in-between messages that Kelsey describes. Just please do not send me another email! » 10/22/14 4:56pm Today 4:56pm

We could have had AC 50 years earlier but the ice lobby killed it

With another sweltering summer over you might have already forgotten the glory of your AC unit, the 100-year-old modern convenience which truly changed the way we live. But the U.S. might have felt the cool breeze of relief a half-century sooner, if an entire industry built on keeping things frozen hadn't stopped… » 10/22/14 4:30pm Today 4:30pm

Sending the Great Oscar de la Renta to That September Issue In the Sky

"Fashion icon" doesn't really begin to cover the influence of Oscar de la Renta, who died yesterday at 82. But you can get a sense of his outsized importance to the industry—and culture at large—from one film which managed to explain both the clothes we wear and the people who convince us to wear them. » 10/21/14 8:00pm Yesterday 8:00pm

China’s President Wants To Ban Weird Buildings—And That’s a Huge Mistake

From smog-chomping supercities to giant penis skyscrapers, China has built its reputation on wild and wacky structures of late. But in a public speech last week, China's president made a promise to his country: "No more weird architecture." No way! Here's why we need to Keep China Weird. » 10/21/14 5:17pm Yesterday 5:17pm

This Creepy Halloween Ad From Ikea Is Just Perfect, Danny

Ikea, in general, is a frightening place, a bizarre isolated world unto itself filled with sad, desperate people. Sometimes I feel like I'll never make it out of that maze alive. That's what makes this ad from Ikea Singapore, promoting its late-night shopping hours, one of the best Halloween ads I've ever seen. » 10/21/14 4:30pm Yesterday 4:30pm

How Mask Makers Turn Silicone Into Glorious Guts and Gore

If you're looking for ideas on how to transform yourself into a disease-ridden horned demon this month, you'll want to head behind-the-scenes at Immortal Masks. The Hollywood-based company designs high-end creature masks for special effects teams in film. Or anyone who wants to seriously scare the shit out of… » 10/20/14 4:00pm Monday 4:00pm

Washington DC's Very Own High Line Will Clean Its Dirty River Water

The Anacostia River that runs through Washington DC has historically been known as, well, not the cleanest river in the country. A new elevated park straddling the river plans to filter the dirty water with a waterfall feature (apparently projected with Frederick Douglass's face). It's the winning design announced… » 10/16/14 4:30pm 10/16/14 4:30pm

Zurich Installed 4,500 Street Sensors to Count Every Car in the City

Congestion pricing—the implementation of high tolls to keep cars out of congested downtown areas—is one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and emissions. Zurich's plan goes above and beyond that, using a network of sensors to track the number of cars that enter its downtown and prevent more cars from… » 10/16/14 3:41pm 10/16/14 3:41pm

A French Inventor Once Proposed a Giant Mirror to Burn a Message on Mars

When we want to leave our mark on Mars today, we simply send over a few Rovers to roll around in its red soil. But 150 years ago, scientists had very different plans for contacting the planet, including one French inventor who wanted to use the refracted light of the sun to sear a welcoming message into the Martian… » 10/16/14 12:55pm 10/16/14 12:55pm

A Voting App Thinks I'm a Libertarian. I'm Not.

This is the last week to register to vote in many parts of the country, and with several pivotal midterm elections on deck, it's a good time to make sure you're an informed citizen. Normally this would entail things like reading up on the issues, but these days apps and sites are trying to make choosing what… » 10/15/14 12:34pm 10/15/14 12:34pm

A Heartbreaking Portrait of the People Affected By California's Drought

When Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued some of the most sweeping citywide water reforms in history today, it included this haunting line: "Our major supplier of imported water expects to curtail supplies in the next 12 months." While the drought is about to change life drastically in LA, it's already crippled… » 10/14/14 8:00pm 10/14/14 8:00pm

These Two Guys Want to Turn The Entire Planet Into a Typeface

Last we checked in with Benedikt Groß and Joey Lee, the designer and geographer had just finished counting the number of pools in LA (43,123). Now the duo hope to bring their somewhat-insane methodology to a similarly perplexing challenge: How do we find all the buildings on the planet that look like letters from the… » 10/14/14 3:17pm 10/14/14 3:17pm

I love that you wrote this, Leslie, and I think it's a pretty awesome way to honor your dad. Maybe we need to revive the art of voicemail. I kind of want to steal the birthday greetings idea. The 15-minute drunk-dialed message is something I really miss that needs to be reintroduced to society immediately. Or yes,… » 10/14/14 10:47am 10/14/14 10:47am

The 10 Best American Cities for Riding Transit To Work

We've seen plenty of stories that measure how big, fast, and effective our transit systems are in the U.S. But for many people, none of that matters unless transit can do one thing: Get them to work. That's why this study by the University of Minnesota is so valuable—it shows which transit systems provide the best… » 10/13/14 8:25pm 10/13/14 8:25pm