The Radical Plan to Cool Down LA as the World Heats Up

LOS ANGELES — It’s barely 10 a.m. on an August day in Hollywood, and the heat is already becoming oppressive. The temperature’s only in the mid-80s, but in the direct sun it feels hotter—and it’s getting worse by the minute. Part of the reason is the ground. The black asphalt of this side street off Sunset Boulevard…

Worried About Self-Driving Cars? Guess What—There's Something You Can Do About That

For three years I’ve been writing at least once a week about self-driving cars and I’ve recently noticed a shift in popular opinion. The wide-eyed optimism of seeing Google’s cute-as-a-button robot bopping unassisted around a parking lot has been replaced by some ambiguous, malicious, unknowable entity, a…

Facebook's New Gehry Building Includes the World's Least Functional Bike Bridge

In 2012, Frank Gehry and Mark Zuckerberg posed for a series of photos that sealed their intertwined fates: Gehry, arguably the world’s most famous architect, would design a new campus for Zuckerberg, arguably the world’s most powerful not-lizard person. Surely with all this money and talent coalescing like a hunk of…

This Floating Walkway Is Christo's First Truly Important Work of Art

Over the weekend, my social media feeds were draped in neon orange as the world exuberantly shared the first photos of Christo’s latest work, The Floating Piers, a 1.8-mile walkway across an Italian lake. It is easily the artist’s most ambitious piece from an engineering perspective—and one that actually adds value to…

Waze Is Fixing One of its Most Annoying Features to Make Streets Safer

Anyone who’s used Waze is familiar with the navigation app’s insistence on making left turns on busy streets where there’s no signal to stop traffic. Waze actually has a name for these types of situations: “difficult intersections.” And a new feature will become the default setting on the app to help drivers avoid…