Floods, Rats, and Dominoes: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Biblical floods swept through L.A. thanks to a water main break. Rats are overrunning Paris. And games—those dangerous diversions!—are being outlawed Seville, Spain. Hmm, does this sound like the end of days to anyone else? It's a Revelations-themed look at What's Ruining Our Cities!

Floods are ruining Los Angeles

Over 20 million gallons of drinking water spilled onto the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles earlier this week, thanks to a rupture in a century-old water main. At first it looked like fun: The break caused a 15-foot geyser and sent summer schooling co-eds dashing for their boogie boards. But as a sinkhole opened up on nearby Sunset Boulevard, crippling traffic, it was decidedly less entertaining. The cleanup is expected to take weeks. [Curbed LA]

Rats are ruining Paris

The gardens around the Louvre are an idyllic picnic spot—which is why so many rats are choosing to dine there these days. The grounds are being overrun with a population explosion of the rodents, who are becoming increasingly ballsy about plucking a baguette from a basket. The city has pledged to keep the garden neater by tending to overflowing trash bins, except—get this—some tourists really like the rats... because of a certain Disney movie. "According to a pest expert quoted in Le Parisien newspaper, there is now a "Ratatouille effect" which renders children almost friendly towards rats," says the BBC. Le sigh. [BBC]

Dominoes are ruining Seville

No, not the pizza —even though it's probably ruining the city, too—the game of dominoes is being outlawed in the Spanish city, but not for the reasons you might think. The cacophony created by people slapping dominoes on tables is causing epic noise problems for the city, reports CityLab. "Over nine million Spaniards live every day with noise levels that exceed the WHO's recommended acceptable limit of 65 decibels." Although the gamers believe they're being unfairly targeted (surely some vehicles are louder?) the city seems to be serious about the crackdown: Those who engage in public domino games could be fined up to $400![CityLab]

Photo by Matt Hamilton/AP