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Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure - Washington Post
"The maps you are about to see show the massive scope of America’s infrastructure using data from OpenStreetMap and various government sources. They provide a glimpse into where that half-trillion dollars may be invested."
maps  mapping  infrastructure  us  visualization  2016  electricgrid  electricity  energy  coal  naturalgas  hydropower  wind  windenergy  bridges  pipelines  rail  railroads  airports  ports  waterways  osm  openstreetmap 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The Long History of America's Constitutionally-Challenged 'Border Zones' | Atlas Obscura
"The extension of Customs and Border Patrol's mandate to a 100-mile zone has alarmed civil liberties' groups for years."

"Recently Maria Abi-Habib, a journalist at the Wall Street Journal, had a troubling experience. As she detailed on Facebook (picked up by Motherboard), customs agents at Los Angeles airport tried to take her phones after grilling her for an hour—something she protested as a violation of her rights. But it went further than that. "My rights as a journalist or U.S. citizen do not apply at the border," she wrote, "since legislation was passed in 2013 giving DHS very broad powers."

This is true, but the meaning of "border", a concept that one normally assumes is a hard line, has been shifting for much longer than that. In particular, a technical definition in federal regulations established in 1953 has resulted in 100-mile “border zones,” sometimes encompassing entire states, and some groups becoming increasingly alarmed by the implications of such wide-ranging border areas.

In 1952, the government authorized the United States Border Patrol (initially established in 1924) to patrol “all territory within 25 miles of a land border” and board and search vehicles for illegal aliens, according to the website of its successor agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Immigration officers—then and now—receive their authority from Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Currently, section 287 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations authorizes immigration officers to search and interrogate, without warrant, any person suspected of being in the United States illegally within a “reasonable distance” of any external boundary of the United States. In 1953, the Department of Justice amended section 287.1 of 8 CFR to define “reasonable distance” as 100 miles, a distance the American Civil Liberties Union insinuates was arbitrarily determined.

“[O]ther than their presence in these publications, there is no public history as to why the Justice Department chose 100 miles as the ‘reasonable distance’ from the border under the INA. It may simply be that 100 miles has a history of being the distance considered to be reasonable regarding the availability of witnesses for examination, responses to subpoenas, and numerous other discovery issues under other federal laws,” the ACLU notes in their fact sheet on the issue.

Given that over two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within 100 miles of an external boundary, the ACLU and others argue that the 100-mile distance—coupled with the expanded mandates afforded to immigration officers as part of the “wars” on drugs and terrorism—creates “border zones” where ordinary American citizens could be caught up in warrantless searches and interrogations with no legal recourse.

Journalist Todd Miller provided a gripping depiction of the alarming scenario in a 2013 article written for the Nation, which he opened with a dramatic recounting of U.S. citizen Shena Gutierrez’s detention by CBP agents in Arizona:
Shena Gutierrez was already cuffed and in an inspection room in Nogales, Arizona, when the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent grabbed her purse, opened it, and dumped its contents onto the floor right in front of her. There couldn’t be a sharper image of the Bill of Rights rollback we are experiencing in the US borderlands in the post-9/11 era.


While Gutierrez’s story is a gripping reminder of the protections provided by the Bill of Rights—and the brutality that could be visited upon any citizen if those protections are undermined—it’s reasonable to question whether such a blatant violation of citizens’ rights could occur to any person living in Maine, Vermont, or any of the other states entirely within the 100-mile zone without public outcry.

According to a 2013 blog post from the National Constitution Center, the ACLU and other groups are overstating the threats to constitutional rights within the border zone. Citing two 2009 analysis papers from the Congressional Research Service, the NCC argues that because border agents must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and because they can only search individuals who have recently crossed the border, most searches should not violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful search and seizure; the NCC does, however, note that searches at border stops and airports do not require reasonable suspicion.

The requirement of “reasonableness” has, in fact, been used by federal courts to uphold the legality of warrantless searches in the border zone, as Kate Huddlestone notes in a legal note published in the Yale Law Journal examining the constitutionality of Texas House Bill 2 vis-a-vis the burden it places on undocumented immigrants within border zones. Essentially, because people live and work in border zones, immigration officers must have a reasonable suspicion to conduct a search; if border zones were purely areas of transit (like an airport), officers could (and, as we all know, do) search everyone, no suspicion required.

Of course, illegal searches can and do happen, all the time. But the 100-mile border zones established over 70 years ago may not be the Constitution-free lands of unauthorized search and seizure some fear. Regardless, the border zones serve as a timely reminder that national borders aren’t as cut-and-dry as putting up a wall."
border  borders  us  mexico  2016  policy  law  legal  airports  transit  migration  canada  maine  vermont  arizona  borderpatrol 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Mapping Boston’s soundscape – News – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
"Erica Walker, SD ’17, biked around Boston to take the measure of a city’s noise and its effects on residents.

Hot coffee dripping. Steamed milk hissing. Muzak droning. Keyboards clacking. Patrons murmuring: Erica Walker’s soft voice was almost drowned out by the ambient noise in a Starbucks. It was an ironic touch, considering that Walker has spent the past five years intently tuned in to Boston’s cacophonous urban soundscape.

The 36-year-old researcher, who will receive her doctorate in environmental health next year from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has pedaled nearly every inch of the city on a purple commuter bike—hauling a bulky sound monitor, a boom microphone, and a camera in her backpack—all in the service of plotting sound levels in 400 separate locations and collecting residents’ subjective responses to the aural onslaught.

Most people have approached her with curiosity and, on learning her mission, gratitude. A few, alarmed by the paraphernalia of her sonic surveillance, have reported her to the police.

It’s all in a day’s research for Walker, a former artist who was compelled to undertake the study after suffering her own noise nightmare. The children living in the apartment above hers “ran across the floor literally 24 hours a day, and it drove me crazy,” says the Mississippi native. Plagued with headaches and sleeplessness, she sent out an impromptu Craigslist survey asking about annoying footstep sounds and was flooded with responses. She began to suspect her auditory torment was not isolated.

SIGNATURE SOUNDS

Walker has discovered that each Boston neighborhood carries a unique acoustic signature. The dominant note of Dorchester, for example, is transportation. “You have planes, you have trains, you have automobiles,” Walker says. But Dorchester’s rich cultural diversity also lends evocative countermelodies

to the main theme. “Something I hadn’t planned on is people standing outside and yelling across the street to each other, or sitting on their porches talking really loud—that human element,” Walker laughs. She wonders: “If people are part of that cultural landscape, is it ‘noise’ or just ‘sound’?”

By contrast, East Boston, which abuts Logan International Airport, is perpetually assaulted by the din of low-flying jets. In a community survey that Walker created, one resident called the commotion “a regular horror.” Another lamented, “Everybody is walking around looking wrung out, some are getting nasty, kids are crying more, kids with behavioral issues are out of control. People don’t know what to do.”

THE MISMEASURE OF NOISE

Most formal surveys of sound gauge what are known as “A- weighted decibel levels,” or dB(A)—sounds that are perceptible by the human ear. Boston’s noise ordinance defines “unreasonable or excessive noise” as that in excess of 50 dB(A) between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., or in excess of 70 dB(A) at other hours. To put this in context, normal human speech at about 3 feet apart takes place at between 55 and 65 dB(A).

Walker found that the city’s ordinance thresholds are rou- tinely flouted. Boston’s two loudest enclaves—East Boston, with the roar of jet engines, and Savin Hill, awash in jangling nightclub noise from across Marina Bay—average 80 dB(A). Passing ambulances clock in at 105 decibels. Construction site jackhammers reach 112. Even those neighborly conversations between porches can hit 85 decibels.

And these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Walker
is also measuring a type of low-frequency noise called “infrasound.” Although vibrations at this level are not picked up by the ear, our bodies still register them. “Infrasound is totally inaudible; we don’t hear it, we just feel it, such as when a bus passes by or a plane takes off,” Walker says.

In nature, low-frequency vibrations take the form of thunder, earthquakes, volcanoes, or nearby herds of wild animals. Such vibrations signal approaching danger—a clue to the toll they may take on mental and physical health in modern urban environments. “Maybe our body is processing these vibrations and we don’t know it,” Walker suggests. Making matters worse, infrasound is not only highly prevalent in cities but also persistent, hard to mitigate, and it travels long distances.

What Walker wants to know is: Are these low-frequency noises, which are rife in urban environments but not included in standard A-weighted decibel measurements, exacting a hidden public health toll?

NOISE AND HEALTH

To find out, Walker, along with her adviser, Francine Laden, MS ’93, SD ’98, professor of environmental epidemiology, will map audible and infrasound noise levels across Boston’s neighborhoods, using color gradients to denote areas of higher or lower average sound intensity. Walker will also catalog residents’ perceptions of noise levels, using the Greater Boston Neighborhood Noise Survey, an instrument she developed that is being translated into Spanish, Simple Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole. The survey, Walkers says, “will put a human face on community noise.” Eventually, Walker will correlate soundscape metrics with data from established health studies conducted in Boston to learn if any type of noise is linked to cardiovascular and mental health outcomes.

Walker’s research takes place in the midst of a heated discussion about airplane noise—much of it low-frequency—in Greater Boston. In December 2015, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who lives in South Boston, hosted a forum with Federal Aviation Administration officials, during which residents from across the region furiously recounted tales of babies constantly woken, rising asthma rates in families living beneath flight paths, and spouses sleeping in basements to escape the racket of Logan’s traffic. According to Lynch’s office, aircraft noise complaints in Greater Boston have worsened since the installation of a new GPS-based navigation system that directs planes on the most efficient route.

Francesca Dominici, professor of biostatistics at Harvard Chan, co-authored a 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal, which found that elderly individuals living on the noisiest flight paths near airports have a 3.5 percent increase in cardiovascular hospitalization for every 10-decibel increase in airport-related noise. She also found a strong association between noise exposure and cardiovascular hospitalizations in ZIP codes with noise exposures greater than 55 decibels.

For her part, Walker will be posting Boston sound maps and updates on her project’s progress at www.noiseandthecity.org. She has been biking Boston’s clamorous streets long enough to know that the most anguished complaints are about airplanes, construction, booming bass tones from car stereos, and barking dogs.

She can sympathize. “People don’t have a place to voice their noise issues,” Walker says. “They’re just kind of stuck here, suffering. And the city has no idea what’s bothering them.”"
noice  sound  boston  audio  soundscapes  2016  ericawalker  health  airports  maps  mapping  recordings  acoustics 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The things you keep On being a guest
"Yesterday I was standing in an immigration line at the tail end of a two-leg, 20 hour journey from London to Kuala Lumpur. As is to be expected under these circumstances, my patience level was critically low. As the line crept forward slowly, I noticed there were about 20 men without any carry-on baggage standing in front of me. They stood very close together, each clutching a piece of paper and a green passport, each with an expression of anxious uncertainty on their faces.

I quickly realized these little green books were the reason for the line’s glacial pace. These men were from Bangladesh, arriving in Malaysia to join the estimated 6 million migrant-laborer force that builds skyscrapers, roads, trains as well as cleans houses, bathrooms and shopping malls.

Border security guards are rarely known for their gregariousness, but those on duty yesterday at KLIA seemed downright hostile to this particular group. Each man was questioned and fingerprinted on finicky electronic machines. One guard reached over his desk and a knocked the baseball cap of a terrified Bangladeshi man to get his attention. Another unlucky fellow got chased through the arrivals hall for what I can only guess was entering the wrong way.

After the men made their way through the line, I approached a desk, said hello and handed over my UK passport. The guard didn’t even need to look at me. He stamped my little red book and waved me through in a process that took about seven seconds maximum.

Somewhat stunningly, one in seven persons in the world is a migrant. However, depending on if you’ve got the red book I had or the green one those men had, the way you experience being a migrant is wildly different. Malaysia is a perfect example of that expat versus immigrant divide. The security guards and housing staff at the complex where my cousin lives in Kuala Lumpur are one kind of migrant, who cater almost exclusively to the kind that lives within the security gates.

You’ll often hear people like those Bangladeshis referred to as “guest workers,” a preposterous euphemism if ever I heard one. As a nomad and writer—whether I’m reporting a story or crashing on a couch—I’m often a guest in people’s houses, apartments, cities, cultures, and neighborhoods. But because of the two very powerful passports I possess, I’ll never have to feel the kind of anxiety those men felt at the security gate when I arrive in these places. I will almost always be considered a guest, invited, welcomed.

There’s nothing more human than wanting to better one’s situation, to do whatever is in your power improve the life of yourself or your family. Anyone who has moved to another country can relate to that. What we can’t all relate to, is the experience we have once we get there."
guests  migration  immigration  passprorts  privilege  2015  bangladesh  malaysia  kualalumpur  london  uk  us  airports  nomads  nomadism  neo-nomads 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Ghost Town of Los Angeles: How LAX Airport Bought Out Manchester Square - The Atlantic
"Manchester Square is a small neighborhood that borders Los Angeles International Airport. Over the last 15 years, airport officials have purchased properties in the area, razing houses as part of a plan to build a rental car parking lot. "You don't like to have to condemn people," Diego Alvarez, director of modernization and development for Los Angeles World Airports, tells filmmaker Kelly Loudenberg, "but that may be the reality if people don't want to sell to us."
In this short documentary, Loudenberg also interviews the neighborhood's few remaining residents about their uncertain futures. "I still see it as my neighborhood even though it's going away," Ethan Markosian, who has lived in Manchester Square since 1977, tells her."
losangeles  lax  manchestersquare  2015  airports 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Secret Life of the American Airport Worker
"I've spent the last six months investigating the lives of America's airport workers: the wheelchair pushers, the cabin cleaners, the baggage handlers, the people who will—instead of heading back to their own family members—assist ours as we travel this week. If you ask airport workers what they're doing for the holidays, or any holiday, they'll nearly always respond that they're working. What they never say is that they're doing so for almost nothing.

At first I thought of my reporting as a means of exploring the hidden juxtapositions of the airport industry: how these workers are the foundation of a billion-dollar industry on a "tipped worker" pay rate, how they handle Louis Vuitton bags and wipe urine off wheelchairs in the same breath. But then, in the process of conducting interviews across the country, I found that these men and women are in a low level of constant danger. This is not only because of their unsafe and deregulated working conditions, but also because, in the event of crisis, low-paid airport workers are often our first-first responders."
labor  airports  2014  work  us  economics  tips  tipping 
february 2015 by robertogreco
The Avery Review | Air Nationalism: Norman Foster and Fernando Romero’s Mexico City Airport
"As air travel increasingly compresses our muscles and nerves—cue threats of thrombosis and incidents of passenger rage—airports expand their programs, taking up increasingly larger swaths of land. These programs, inflated by extensive security protocols and ambitious retail spaces, are usually arranged under sculptural canopies, like extra weight tucked under additional layers of clothing. Anthropologist Marc Augé famously described airports as “non-places,” generic spaces of transience that resist the rootedness of memory.1 However, the increase in border security has turned Augé’s description upside down. As the architecture that often constitutes a country’s first point of entry, airports are borders, and as such have become loaded with cultural and patriotic tropes. This nationalist anxiety hides the real politics of the expanded airport program.

A few weeks ago, the Mexican state unveiled the plans for a new airport to serve Mexico City, in the form of a digital video that was equal parts promotional rendering and documentary homage to the leader of the design team, Lord Norman Foster. The competition (which Alejandro Hernández has rightly criticized for its lack of transparency) paired famed international architects with local designers—the rationale, one has to assume, being that the Mexicans alone didn’t have sufficient experience in airport design. Foster’s Mexican complement is the young architect Fernando Romero—communication magnate Carlos Slim’s son-in-law. The need to include both a “local” representative and a big name from the world of architecture stardom has the further effect of directing attention away from the third but equally vital component of the team—the airport consultancy. In the winning team, this firm is Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a Dutch firm with a long history of designing and supervising airports in Saudi Arabia. They describe their role as involved in “every aspect of airport design and development.” The delightful coincidence of their acronym “NACO”—a distinctively pejorative term for “unculturedness” in Mexican Spanish—doesn’t fully explain their almost occult presence in the project. The presence of their technical expertise runs counter to the video’s portrayal of Foster’s extensive experience with the airport typology (“the most highly qualified airport architect in the world”), and it reveals Foster’s participation as something other than that of the “outside expert.” The design team instead triangulates between global stardom, increasingly specialized technical expertise, and a questionably “local” avatar of Mexican identity. These multiple readings—purposefully sought by the Mexican state and enthusiastically illustrated in Foster’s competition submission—mark the building as yet another attempt to overcome the irreconcilable binary of local and global through a kind of architectural ambivalence."



"It is easy to criticize Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, or any number of “starchitects” for their involvement or lack thereof in the processes and regimes with which they collaborate. But it’s more important, and more difficult, to take on these architects’ professed impotence. As program complexity increases, the figure of the consultant has pushed aside many of the roles that architects previously assumed. If we compare these architects’ secondary roles to that of Pani in Tlatelolco, we get a sense of how the discipline has been split between the form-making of the architect-artist and the programmatic management of the consultant. In this light, the program of the building is a conspicuous absence in Foster’s video. While the architectural membrane becomes loaded with a series of nationalist messages, its operational aspects are omitted. Architecture here is reduced to form on the outside and well-lit void on the inside. The architects are thus recast as form- and image-makers in search of the objective correlative of a globalized Mexican state. Or to say it more simply, they’re three-dimensional publicists.

In order for the global network of airports to function, their programs have become increasingly precise and standardized according to elaborate specifications. For the cosmopolitan traveler, increased security protocols seem to go hand in hand with expanded retail opportunities. This is where the real spatial politics of the airport program lie—in the entrails of corridors that sort us by immigration status, in the machines that scan our bodies and our belongings, in the long lines of human beings surrendering their dignity in exchange for the illusory promise of safety. It is telling that the bulk of airport retail is located between the two poles of security, the security check upon departure, and immigration control upon international arrival. Caught in this limbo, we are left free to wander through the world of duty-free shopping, international retail chains, and overpriced food—fear, assuaged by consumption. These spaces are absent from the architectural brief as described by Foster. The emphasis on nationalist tropes, from eagles to serpents, is a desperate populist appeal covering up the construction of a highly politicized space. This video invites us to join the architects in turning a blind eye to these realities."
anamaríaleón  airports  architecture  borders  border  mexicocity  mexicodf  mexico  design  retail  capitalism  neoliberalism  marcaugé  normanfoster  fernandoromero  arrival  departure  tlatelolco  zahahadid  df 
december 2014 by robertogreco
This Airport Wants to Use Bird-Shaped Drones to Prevent Plane Crashes | Motherboard
" The main argument against drones, at this point, is a safety one: What happens if a drone crashes into a plane? Well now, at least one airport is looking at using drones as a means of protecting planes that land and take off from its runways.

Drones, it turns out, can scare birds away from airports, where they pose a threat to planes. My colleague Becky Ferreira took a deep dive into the technology behind "raptor drones" earlier this month, and now it appears at least one US airport is considering using the technology (or other drone technology) to protect planes.

Westchester County Airport has had seven bird strikes so far this year, and 338 since 2008, according to the Journal News, and CBS is reporting that the airport is now looking into using "radio-controlled drones or fake predator birds to drive birds away from airspace."

It makes sense—the only issue, now, is what the Federal Aviation Administration will think of it. The FAA has repeatedly suggested that drones are a manned plane's worst enemy, which is part of the reason it's taken the agency so long to implement commercial drones in the public airspace.

It's also one of the reasons why the agency has cracked down on hobby use of drones. The FAA has been clear: No commercial use of drones (unless you're a major oil company) is approved by the agency, and use of raptor drones would certainly be a "commercial" use.

Whenever the FAA goes after a commercial drone operator, it does so under the guise of drones being a threat to "safety" and a threat to air traffic. Well, the airport says it can keep pilots safe from bird strikes with the limited use of raptor drones, what's the FAA going to say then?"

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/98017489

"This movie shows the Falcon model chasing birds at a waste management site. The pilot scares a group of jackdaws, and hunts a group of gulls.

After operations for half a day at a site like this, birds typically stay away for 2-3 days. Average bird numbers drop significantly with regular operations. Birds that do return due to the abundance of food, show very nervous behavior and are easily chased away."]

[See also: "Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds"
http://www.wired.com/2014/08/realistic-robo-hawks-designed-to-fly-around-and-terrorize-real-birds/ ]
drones  droneproject  birds  raptors  airports  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows — onism
"n. the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die—and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here."
onism  words  time  place  dictionaryofobscuresorrows  definitions  airports  temporality 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Thin Places, Where We Are Jolted Out of Old Ways of Seeing the World - NYTimes.com
"TRAVEL, like life, is best understood backward but must be experienced forward, to paraphrase Kierkegaard. After decades of wandering, only now does a pattern emerge. I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places.

It is, admittedly, an odd term. One could be forgiven for thinking that thin places describe skinny nations (see Chile) or perhaps cities populated by thin people (see Los Angeles). No, thin places are much deeper than that. They are locales where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, as I like to think of it, the Infinite Whatever.

Travel to thin places does not necessarily lead to anything as grandiose as a “spiritual breakthrough,” whatever that means, but it does disorient. It confuses. We lose our bearings, and find new ones. Or not. Either way, we are jolted out of old ways of seeing the world, and therein lies the transformative magic of travel.

It’s not clear who first uttered the term “thin places,” but they almost certainly spoke with an Irish brogue. The ancient pagan Celts, and later, Christians, used the term to describe mesmerizing places like the wind-swept isle of Iona (now part of Scotland) or the rocky peaks of Croagh Patrick. Heaven and earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter.

So what exactly makes a place thin? It’s easier to say what a thin place is not. A thin place is not necessarily a tranquil place, or a fun one, or even a beautiful one, though it may be all of those things too. Disney World is not a thin place. Nor is Cancún. Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves."



"Mircea Eliade, the religious scholar, would understand what I experienced in that Tokyo bar. Writing in his classic work “The Sacred and the Profane,” he observed that “some parts of space are qualitatively different from others.” An Apache proverb takes that idea a step further: “Wisdom sits in places.”

The question, of course, is which places? And how do we get there? You don’t plan a trip to a thin place; you stumble upon one. But there are steps you can take to increase the odds of an encounter with thinness. For starters, have no expectations. Nothing gets in the way of a genuine experience more than expectations, which explains why so many “spiritual journeys” disappoint. And don’t count on guidebooks — or even friends — to pinpoint your thin places. To some extent, thinness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Or, to put it another way: One person’s thin place is another’s thick one."



"Many thin places are wild, untamed, but cities can also be surprisingly thin. The world’s first urban centers, in Mesopotamia, were erected not as places of commerce or empire but, rather, so inhabitants could consort with the gods. What better place to marvel at the glory of God and his handiwork (via his subcontractors: us) than on the Bund in Shanghai, with the Jetsons-like skyscrapers towering above, or at Montmartre in Paris, with the city’s Gothic glory revealed below.

Bookstores are thin places, too, and, for me, none is thinner than Powell’s in Portland, Ore. Sure, there are grander bookstores, and older ones, but none quite possesses Powell’s mix of order and serendipity, especially in its used-book collection — Chekhov happily cohabitating with “Personal Finance for Dummies,” Balzac snuggling with Grisham.

Yet, ultimately, an inherent contradiction trips up any spiritual walkabout: The divine supposedly transcends time and space, yet we seek it in very specific places and at very specific times. If God (however defined) is everywhere and “everywhen,” as the Australian aboriginals put it so wonderfully, then why are some places thin and others not? Why isn’t the whole world thin?

Maybe it is but we’re too thick to recognize it. Maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked."

[See also (via litherland) http://jarrettfuller.tumblr.com/post/62312770603/making-thin-places-and-in-between-spaces ]
thinplaces  buddhism  spirituality  travel  2012  ericweiner  place  cathedrals  churches  nature  newdelhi  jerusalem  rumi  turkey  nepal  boudhanath  katmandu  shanghai  paris  montmartre  powell's  portland  oregon  bookstores  divine  god  nyc  istanbul  kongkong  airports  tokyo  japan 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Bat, Bean, Beam: Between worlds
"I sleep a little. Then I start writing this. Sometimes writing feels like bailing out a rowboat in the middle of a lake: ultimately futile, but it buys time."
writing  giovannitiso  2013  howwewrite  howwethink  airports  travel  flights 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Exit Interview with El Bulli's Ferran Adria: Restaurants + Bars: GQ
"My parents have always allowed me to explore and express myself. I never fought much with my parents. We had a great relationship. They gave me space to be myself. Being given space by my parents was really important for my creativity to develop, and it allowed us to have a great relationship."

"good friends, when they see something wrong, they let you know"

"It's hard for me to find the time to read a book. I'm more of a magazine person, mostly monthly magazines. I read magazines like they were books."

""I don't have a favorite cooking tool. In the kitchen, I always have my pencil and notebook in my hand. I cook more theoretically than I do practically. My job is creative, and in the kitchen, the biggest part of my creativity is theoretical.

The pencil has a symbolic meaning for me. The type of person who carries a pencil around is the type of person who's open to change. Someone who walks around with a pen isn't; he's the opposite. I always have a pencil with me, to the point where it forms a part of me. I write a lot during the day.""

"Airport waiting rooms are a place where I can be relaxed. I like spaces, spaces where I can be calm and think. I like airplanes, too, for the tranquility. If I'm on the beach, I'll read a book. I also love the movies. Sometimes I go see three movies in a row. It's one of those places where nobody bothers you."

"I'm not a materialist, I don't care for things… I live a simple life. The only luxuries I have in my life are travel and food."
elbulli  restaurants  practice  theory  airports  adaptability  change  via:litherland  chefs  cooking  howwework  magazines  reading  friendship  simplicity  cv  parenting  creativity  tools  pencils  materialism  interviews  2011  ferranadrià 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Non-places: introduction to an ... - Marc Augé - Google Books
"As an increasing proportion of our lives is spent in supermarkets, airports, hotels, on motor-ways, or in front of TV and computer screens, Auge investigates the profound alteration that has resulted from this invasion of non-places."
non-places  nonplaces  marcaugé  books  supermarkets  hotels  airports  toread  anthropology  motorways  tv  television  screens  ageofscreens  1995 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Diversity Lecture: Ta-Nehisi Coates - YouTube
"As part of our Bob and Aliecia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center Diversity Lecture Series, Grand Rapids Community College presents Ta-Nehisi Coates speaking on "A Deeper Black: The Meaning of Race in the Age of Obama.""
ta-nehisicoates  civilwar  2011  martinlutherkingjr  race  barackobama  identity  dropouts  learning  education  observation  obsession  blackhistory  us  abrahamlincoln  slavery  history  africanamerican  truth  hemingway  huckleberryfinn  marktwain  malcolmx  acceptance  understanding  safety  incarceration  society  bodyscanners  airports  convenience  inconvenience  comfort  self-esteem  justice  challenge  segregation  success  progress  policy  politics  desegregation  parenting  books  homeenvironment  reading  curiosity  exposure  youth  adolescence  teens  adults  moralauthority  wisdom  mlk 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Frank Chimero - Velocity
"It is tempting to think there are no beginnings, no rebirths. Every new day we have to live with yesterday. That doesn’t mean we can’t change. Change is slower than we think. It sneaks up on us. We can’t shed our skin like snakes, we replace our cells, one-by-one. We cross-fade into becoming new people. One day you wake up & look in the mirror and say “Who is this person?”…

But when we travel, we move more rapidly than the rest of the world. We change faster, revise who we are quicker. I think when we travel our cells replace themselves with more rapidity. We may not be able to shed our skin, but through the sheer velocity of movement, we slough off our old selves.

But that furniture is still in the same spot when we return home. Mostly, it seems that things will be as they were before. And yet, not. Things are different now. I know it. They WILL be different. And better. This time through, I’ll be better. At least that is how it feels…"
frankchimero  change  perspective  travel  newzealand  airports  human  slow  velocity  urgency  improvement  self-improvement  clarity  accidents  serendipity  time 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Transportation Nation
"Transportation Nation combines the work of public radio newsrooms and their listeners as the way we build, rebuild and get around the nation changes. Listen and stay tuned for more. Learn more about some of the reporters on the project."

[See also: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/projects/project_display.php?proj_identifier=2010/05/27/transportation-nation ]
transportation  us  urban  design  transport  publictransit  buses  trains  airplanes  airports  cargo  freight  busrapidtransit  cars  sustainability  cities  economics  highspeed  pedestrians  privatization  taxis  subways  technology  transit  tricks  trucking  planning  journalism  highspeedrail  rail 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Bridge planned to link San Diego with Tijuana airport | La Plaza | Los Angeles Times
"Development is underway for a border-crossing pedestrian bridge linking San Diego and the Tijuana airport, a plan that could potentially alter the landscape of travel options in the busy binational region.

Equity Group Investments, a major private company headed by billionaire investor Sam Zell (who took Tribune Company, the parent of the Los Angeles Times, private), recently acquired key federal approval to develop the plan. With a U.S. State Department's Presidential Permit, the company has the go-ahead to seek approvals for the project from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and from the city of San Diego."
travel  sandiego  tijuana  transportation  airports  borders  international 
august 2010 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Sunday May 16th, Helsinki and London
"The return to London had actually been via Helsinki, due to two projects there. Helsinki Vantaa is a wonderful airport, all soft sunlight, wooden floors, warm stone and steel, with free wifi and a civilized unhurried air, a near-perfect first impression of Europe...
greatrecession  london  uk  danhill  finland  helsinki  airports  cityofsound 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Joe Bageant: Live from Planet Norte [I agree with a lot of what Bageant write. In this case though, he leans too heavily on steryotype. What he says doesn't just describe Americans.]
"uniformity on Planet Norte is striking. Each person is unit, installed in life support boxes in suburbs/cities; all fed, clothed by same closed-loop corporate industrial system. Everywhere you look, inhabitants are plugged in at brainstem to screens downloading state approved daily consciousness updates. iPods, Blackberries, laptops, monitors in cubicles, & ubiquitous TV screens in lobbies, bars, waiting rooms, even in taxicabs, mentally knead public brain & condition its reactions to non-Americaness. Which may be defined as anything that does not come from of Washington, DC, Microsoft or Wal-Mart.

For such a big country, "American experience" is extremely narrow & provincial, leaving its people w/ approximately same comprehension of outside world as an oyster bed. Yet there is that relentless busyness of Nortenians...constant movement that indicates all parties are busy-busy-busy, but offers no clue as to just what...We can be sure however, that it has to do w/ consuming."
joebageant  collapse  consumerism  stereotypes  cultureshock  via:cburell  airports  homogeneity  provinciality  busyness  consumption  us  mexico 
july 2010 by robertogreco
LAX parking lot is home away from home for airline workers - Los Angeles Times
"Buffeted by their industry's turbulence, airline employees save money by living part time in a motor home colony at LAX. ... Lancaster's 2001 Tradewinds sits among 100 trailers and motor homes that form a colony of pilots, mechanics and other airline workers at LAX, the third-busiest airport in the nation. They are citizens of one of the most unusual communities in the United States.

Their turf, just east of the Proud Bird restaurant off Aviation Boulevard, is less than 3,500 feet from the south runway. It is a drab expanse of crumbling gray asphalt, approach lights, chain-link fencing and rows of beige and white RVs -- some battered, others grand. A splash of color comes from the red and white blooms of about a dozen rose bushes along the colony's northern edge.

Many of the residents are separated from spouses, children and significant others for days -- even weeks -- at a time in order to keep their jobs or move up the pyramid of the airline industry."
losangeles  lax  airports  work  neo-nomads  nomads  motorhomes  airlines  via:regine 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Locative Play
"Ian Bogost’s and his Persuasive Games operation have introduced an iPhone game called JetSet
iphone  applications  games  gaming  travel  locative  location  interactive  airports  play  ianbogost  persuasivegames  jetset  csiap  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] planes on strings
"12:53:16 PM Mike Migurski: do little wooden balls fall down a chute each time a plane lands
children  visualization  airports  planes  transportation  glvo  flights  animatronics 
december 2008 by robertogreco
The Atlantic Online | November 2008 | The Things He Carried | Jeffrey Goldberg
"Airport security in America is a sham—“security theater” designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease."
travel  us  politics  humor  bruceschneier  theatlantic  security  terrorism  tsa  airports 
october 2008 by robertogreco
In the Realm of Jet Lag - New York Times
"in 1971, a woman called Sarah Krasnoff made off with her 14-year-old grandson, who was caught up in an unseemly custody dispute, and took him into the sky...fugitive enterprise ended...collapsed and died...of terminal jet lag."
picoiyer  2004  jetlag  nytimes  airports  health  history  travel  nomads  neo-nomads 
june 2008 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Project Runway
"A recent landscape design competition sought to rethink the Vatnsmýri airport grounds in Reykjavík, Iceland, putting those old runways to use, for instance, as new urban park space."
airports  architecture  design  green  landscape  redevelopment  urban  urbanism  transit  iceland  reykjavík 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Stranded at the airport? Don’t forget Rule 240 - TODAY: Travel - MSNBC.com
"Rule 240 — which states that in the event of any flight delay or cancellation caused by anything other than weather, the airline would fly me on the next available flight — not their next available flight, which might not leave for another 24 hours."
airlines  airports  travel  weather  flying  flights  rule240 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Gabion: Rebuilding Beijing: pure geometry versus the awkward squad.
"As with the Foster airport - another city-scale grand axial plan - the closer you get, the more extraordinary it becomes. Can this thing possibly exist, right in front of your nose? In China, it can."
airports  architecture  cities  china  beijing  power  geopolitics  urbanism  olympics  urban  planning  design  via:cityofsound 
november 2007 by robertogreco
dezeen » Blog Archive » Jeddah International Airport by OMA
"OMA in the Middle East: Office for Metropolitan Architecture have designed a new international airport for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia."
architecture  design  remkoolhaas  oma  amo  airports  transportation 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Kids in Guinea study under airport lamps
"The sun has set in one of the world's poorest nations and as the floodlights come on at G'bessi International Airport, the parking lot begins filling with children."

[Related: http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/23/olpc-toting-rwandan-students-flock-to-airport-for-free-wifi/ ]

[also at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071901225.html ]
education  learning  space  airports  africa  poverty  electricity  light  students  schools 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Foxymoron: The global soul
[wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20080113210554/http://citygirl.typepad.com/foxymoron/2007/01/lessons_we_have.html ]

"The country where people look like me is the one where I can't speak the language, the country where people sound like me is a place where I look highly alien, and the country where people live like me is the most foreign space of all. And though, when I was growing up, I was nearly always the only mongrel in my classroom or neighbourhood, now, when I look around, there are more and more people in a similar state, the children of blurred boundaries and global mobility."



"For a Global Soul like me--for anyone born to several cultures--the challenge in the modern world is to find a city that speaks to as many of our homes as possible. The process of interacting with a place is a little like the rite of a cocktail party, at which, upon being introduced to a stranger, we cast about to find a name, a place, a person we might have in common: a friend is someone who can bring as many of our selves to the table as possible.

In that respect, Toronto felt entirely on my wavelength. It assembled many of the pasts that I knew, from Asia and America and Europe; yet unlike other such outposts of Empire--Adelaide, for example, or Durban--it offered the prospect of uniting all the fragments in a stained-glass whole. Canada could put all the pieces of our lives together, it told me (and others like me), without all the king's horses and all the king's men."
picoiyer  travel  global  multicultural  losangeles  lax  toronto  society  identity  writing  books  globalism  ethnicity  human  cities  airports  homes  belonging  future  work  cosmopolitanism 
march 2007 by robertogreco
The Aerotropolis - New York Times
"Traditionally, of course, airports have served cities, but in the past few years airports have started to become cities unto themselves, giving rise to a new urban form: the aerotropolis."
transportation  airplanes  airports  design  cities  architecture  society  travel  space 
december 2006 by robertogreco

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