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Sarah Laskow's Posts


This start-up wants to track the movement of all NYC’s pedestrians

Jonathan McIntosh

Real-time pedestrian data, FastCoExist notes, is quite valuable to all sorts of people: "city planners, business owners, police interested in crowd control." Also, we would note, normal people trying to dodge pre-storm grocery lines.

So, a startup called Placemeter is working on getting access to data from cameras all over New York City to watch you while you walk, FastCoExist says. They think they need about 3,000 feeds -- right now they've only got 500.

How creepy is the creep factor here?

Read more: Cities, Living


Earth is taking its revenge on cars by eating expensive Corvettes

The National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is "hallowed ground," writes Thom Patterson, at CNN. "The room feels like a cathedral. And for many enthusiasts, it is kind of the Church of the Corvette. It is home to more than 70 unique Corvettes, including several prototypes and a unique 1983 model -- the only one in existence."

But the forces of nature don't care about that. They just do what they do, which in this case means creating a 40-foot-wide, 20-foot-deep sinkhole beneath eight Corvettes worth, altogether, millions of dollars. Watch:

Read more: Living


Here is what you would see if you were being eaten by a pig


We may never know what twist of fate caused this GoPro video camera to fall out of a plane, down towards the earth, and into a pig sty. But here, via Digg, is the result: an amazing video of what it looks like to fall from the sky and be eaten by a pig:

This could be a marketing stunt of some sort ... we're less inclined to trust the veracity of the viral internet every day. But it seems possible that Mia Munselle, who says she found the camera, is a real person. (She has a pretty active Pinterest account, at least.)

But no matter the origins of the video, a pig did try to eat the camera filming it. To be fair, the pig did not succeed at eating the camera.

Read more: Living


This boat hull was left rusting in a bay until it turned into a forest

The SS Ayrfield was built in 1911. It transported supplies to American troops in World War II, and after that it transported coal for decades, until, in 1972, it was sent to Homebush Bay, in Australia, not far from Sydney.

The bay was a dumping ground, and at this time, a "ship breaking" yard. For years the bay was polluted (although Australia cleaned it up around the time of the Sydney Olympics). The hull of the SS Ayrfield, along with a few other ships, was left there to rust. And over the years, the Ayrfield grew into a forested island:

Jason Baker
Read more: Living


We know you like pizza, but would you marry it?

pizza hut
Selbe B

Pizza Hut knows you like pizza. A lot. Maybe you even love pizza. Pizza Hut knows what we all want from those that we love: commitment. And Pizza Hut's finally ready to settle down. So, Pizza Hut joined OKCupid. It's serious: "We’re going to skip the whole dating part and go right to the proposal."

The Greatest Proposal Ever.

Here’s how we see this going down:

1. First, you’ll send @pizzahut an Instagram video or tweet@pizzahut a Vine tagged #CommitToGreatness by Feb 21st. Tell us your most creative proposal idea. Ninjas? Unicorns? Professional babies? Don’t let reality hold you back. Let your Greatness flag fly. It’ll feel good.

2.We’ll contact the three (3) most creative suitors via Twitter or Instagram, and take you on a trip to get to know you better.

3. If we decide you’re The One, we’ll surprise you with the Greatest Proposal Ever. Obviously, that means free pizza for life.

Are you ready to #CommitToGreatness?

But let's be real here. No one goes on OKCupid looking for real commitment. It's all about sleeping with the person on the first date. (Or so we hear, hi Mom.) Maybe they actually want Pizza eHarmony?

Besides, Pizza Hut’s profile is no more trustworthy than any other profile on that site -- like other online daters, Pizza Hut is willing to change its self-presentation drastically in order to give you what it thinks you want.

Read more: Food, Living


These genius (but illegal) subway signs tell you how to pull off a perfect transfer


If you are a regular rider of a subway system, there’s no better feeling than getting on the train at exactly the right place so that you can exit directly in front of the stairwell, beat everyone else to the transfer platform, and catch your next train just before it pulls out of the station. You are the master. You are the best.

The Efficient Passenger Project wants to spread that feeling to everyone using the NYC subway system. Gothamist explains:

The Efficient Passenger Project is on a mission to put up signs throughout the subway system guiding commuters to the best spot to board a train in order to make the quickest exit or transfer. The anonymous participants have been placing "Efficient Passenger Project" stickers on and around the turnstiles in select subway stations, signaling the presence of a plaque on the platform that tells you exactly where to stand to make your commute most efficient.

The MTA is less than thrilled about this -- if everyone knows which are the best cars to get on, they're going to get on those cars and crowd them.

Read more: Cities, Living


SolarCoins are cryptocurrency for the sustainability crowd


Mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is a little more complicated than creating value out of thin air: It actually takes time, energy, and electricity to create the coins. (That's what limits supply.) So, even if it's not ripping metal out of the ground directly, it's still a sort of old-fashioned, limited-resource-using idea.

If you're looking for a more sustainable cryptocurrency, we suggest you check out SolarCoins. To earn installments of this newly created currency, you actually need to produce energy through solar panels. New Scientist:

People with solar panels on their house will receive solar renewable energy certificates from their energy company in return for feeding a megawatt-hour of electricity back into the grid. These certificates are already traded for cash, but present one to SolarCoin's organizers and you'll receive one coin -- they expect to start distribution in a matter of weeks.


This tower is made out of self-growing mushroom bricks

The Living

The Hy-Fi is, FastCoExist reports, a "giant circular tower" that will go up over the summer in Queens, New York, and be built out of "bricks biologically engineered to grow themselves from plant waste and fungal cells."

We'll just say that again: bricks engineered to grow themselves.

Read more: Cities, Living


Giant rats will inherit the earth

Beth Jusino

Here's the thing about human-induced climate change and other earth-altering activities: They're not going to make the planet uninhabitable. They're just going to make it uninhabitable for us and a large number of the creatures who currently live here. But some will survive us and our mess. The question is: which ones?

One group of scientists has a guess, LiveScience reports, but you aren’t going to like it:

[University of Leicester geologist Jan] Zalasiewicz and colleagues have developed a thought experiment in which they consider which animal might be the most likely to survive and repopulate the world if this purported mass extinction were to take place — and they concluded that rats may be the best candidates.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living


People hate corporate coffee so much they’re flocking to Dumb Starbucks in droves

Over the weekend, a green-roofed coffee shop opened in Los Angeles' Los Feliz neighborhood. It looked like a Starbucks and tasted like a Starbucks, but it wasn't a Starbucks. It was a Dumb Starbucks, serving Dumb Vanilla Blonde Roast and selling Dumb Norah Jones Duets.

Apparently it's quite popular.

Read more: Cities, Living