A Creative Approach to Urban Design: No More Ugly Scaffolding

For 60 years in New York, sidewalk sheds have been pretty much the same: dark and ugly blue tunnels topped by scaffolding that hide the nicest parts of buildings.In an effort to come up with something a little prettier, a little more pleasant, and a lot more creative, the city sourced the public for alternatives. Yesterday, they announced the winner-a 28-year-old from University of Pennsylvania named Young-Hwan Choi. The "Urban Umbrellas" (pictured above, with more images below) will replace ugly scaffolding tunnels in parts of the city, making it a nicer walk for pedestrians, and obscuring less of the buildings under construction-a big plus in a city as pretty as this one.From Streetsblog:
Businesses will be encouraged but not mandated to use the "Urban Umbrella." Since Choi's sidewalk shed has lower maintenance costs than the current model and hides less of the building, the city expects that those incentives will eventually lead to widespread adoption of the design.

Images from the NYC Department of Buildings, via Streetsblog
via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

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North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

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