Hydroceramic Walls Could Cool Buildings By Sweating Like Human Skin

Our reliance on air conditioning, however magical an innovation, has become a serious environmental burden. Which is why researchers in Barcelona designed a material they say can naturally cool rooms by about 5 degrees Celsius, using a moisture-absorbing polymer that "sweats" much like our own body. » 10/23/14 5:40pm Thursday 5:40pm

Vertical Tsunami Shelters Will Help People Get to Higher Ground, Fast

The threat of a tsunami is a very real thing for much of the Pacific coastline, yet many cities in the U.S. haven't taken specific infrastructural measures to ensure their residents are safe when they happen. A new building in Washington will have the first purpose-built tsunami shelter in the country, offering… » 10/23/14 1:46pm Thursday 1:46pm

All the President's Men Is What Made Me Want to Become a Journalist

Ben Bradlee was editor of the Washington Post when the newspaper did something phenomenal: It took down the Nixon administration in the Watergate scandal. I didn't know anything about Bradlee or newspapers or the Washington Post when I saw the 1976 film about the scandal—I only knew I wanted to work somewhere just… » 10/22/14 8:25pm Wednesday 8:25pm

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 Wednesday 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 Wednesday 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 Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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 Tuesday 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