Why Gordon Sondland’s public testimony was ‘extraordinary’

PBS NewsHour Nov 20, 2019

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified to the House Wednesday that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine and that he followed President Trump’s orders to work with Rudy Giuliani. Sondland also implicated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence in a pressure campaign. Nick Schifrin, Yamiche Alcindor and Lisa Desjardins join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

Sondland Testifies That ‘Yes,’ There Was A Quid Pro Quo

WGBH NewsNov 20, 2019

E.U ambassador Gordon Sondland testified in a highly-anticipated public hearing today, saying that there was indeed a quid pro quo directed from the White House to Ukraine, conditioning a much-desired White House invite for Zelensky on that country announcing investigations that could benefit Trump politically. Sondland’s account was the most direct implication of President Trump thus far in the weeks-long impeachment inquiry. To discuss, Jim Braude was joined by George Price, former senior special agent at the DOJ; and Ben Clements, chair of the group Free Speech For People and author of ‘The Constitution Demands It: The Case For The Impeachment Of Donald Trump.’

The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps.

Vox Nov 9, 2017

Biomimicry design, explained with 99% Invisible.

Japan’s Shinkansen doesn’t look like your typical train. With its long and pointed nose, it can reach top speeds up to 150–200 miles per hour. It didn’t always look like this. Earlier models were rounder and louder, often suffering from the phenomenon of “tunnel boom,” where deafening compressed air would rush out of a tunnel after a train rushed in. But a moment of inspiration from engineer and birdwatcher Eiji Nakatsu led the system to be redesigned based on the aerodynamics of three species of birds. Nakatsu’s case is a fascinating example of biomimicry, the design movement pioneered by biologist and writer Janine Benyus. She’s a co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute, a non-profit encouraging creators to discover how big challenges in design, engineering, and sustainability have often already been solved through 3.8 billion years of evolution on earth. We just have to go out and find them.

This is one of a series of videos we’re launching in partnership with 99% Invisible, an awesome podcast about design. 99% Invisible is a member of http://Radiotopia.fm
Additional imagery from the Biodiversity Heritage Library: https://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivl…

How highways wrecked American cities

Vox May 11, 2016

The Interstate Highway System was one of America’s most revolutionary infrastructure projects. It also destroyed urban neighborhoods across the nation.

The 48,000 miles of interstate highway that would be paved across the country during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s were a godsend for many rural communities. But those highways also gutted many cities, with whole neighborhoods torn down or isolated by huge interchanges and wide ribbons of asphalt. Wealthier residents fled to the suburbs, using the highways to commute back in by car. That drained the cities’ tax bases and hastened their decline. So why did cities help build the expressways that would so profoundly decimate them? The answer involves a mix of self-interested industry groups, design choices made by people far away, a lack of municipal foresight, and outright institutional racism.
Read more on Vox: https://www.vox.com/2015/5/14/8605917…
And see before-and-after maps of how highways changed cities like Cincinnati, Detroit, and Minneapolis: https://www.vox.com/2014/12/29/746055…

Meet the enormous boats that carry your stuff

Vox Jan 22, 2015

The largest container ship in the world launched earlier this month. It’s nearly the size of four football fields. Here’s how container ships got so huge and transformed the global economy.

Sources: The Box, by Marc Levinson: http://www.amazon.com/The-Box-Shippin…
Eric Burniche http://www.flickr.com/photos/12500658…
David AE Levy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6lV5…
MSC via Vimeo http://vimeo.com/114546802
Maersk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_QCh…
CaptMikeRossiter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHPEG…
MINISTRO2010 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkr_n…
Port of Antwerp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtyWg…
Natures Lullaby https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9H5k…
Academic Film Archive of North America https://archive.org/details/TheSeaport
Prelinger Archive https://archive.org/details/IndustryOnPa
ttz_shirasawa https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Kb…
tariqismrgrumpy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJx9O…
USArmyBigPicture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5lOp…
webministriestv https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcuKO…
BM SERVICE Tenerife https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Cz2…
chlordk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zuwL…
Allison Swaim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2qGh…
Humberto Florez/Sea-Land Service https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECQVo…
lyzadanger http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil…
Freddycat1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/1515751…

Thin underwater cables hold the internet. See a map of them all.

Oct 19, 2015

Vox

Your internet isn’t just underwater. It’s also covered in Vaseline.
Follow Phil Edwards and Vox Almanac on Facebook for more: https://www.facebook.com/philedwardsi…
Map by TeleGeography: http://www.submarinecablemap.com/

The internet is known to pulse through fiber optic cables and cell phone towers, but 99% of high-speed international information is transferred under the sea. How long has this been happening? Underwater cables delivering information isn’t a novel idea — the first Transatlantic cable was laid in 1858—undersea cables have been around since the telegraph.

Where Manhattan’s grid plan came from

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaIOfgz8FVY

Vox Aug 2, 2019

Manhattan is famous for its grid — so famous that people take pictures of the way the sun shines through it. But the origin of that grid wasn’t always certain — and not everybody is a fan.

Become a Video Lab member! http://bit.ly/video-lab

In this episode of Vox Almanac’s Road Trip edition, Phil Edwards explores the history of the New York City grid, with detours to Philadelphia, Savannah, and Washington, DC. Early city planning around the turn of the 19th century was a contentious and undecided discipline with lots of options and disagreement.

New York City was particularly chaotic and unplanned at the time, after years of catering to developers and, at the same time, ignoring their requests for a more sane city plan. That made the introduction of a new plan in the 1800s a more urgent matter — and a reasonable time to introduce a plan that lacked many of the artistic flourishes of contemporary city plans.

New York was all about building, and building fast — and it’s still that way today.

Want to learn more? The two most helpful papers we found were these:
“The grid as city plan: New York city and laissez‐faire planning in the nineteenth century” by Peter Marcuse and “The Greatest Grid: the New York Plan of 1811” by Edward K. Spann.

You can also find copies of a lot of early maps of New York via the Library of Congress and New York Public Library.