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Inside the Push to Put Climate Change Warnings on Gas Pumps

April 1, 2015 A few years ago, Jack Fleck was reading Tropic of Chaos, an investigation into how climate change fuels political discord and violence, when he began to feel discordant. "It talked about the impunity of oil companies, that they can do anything and there are no consequences for them," says Fleck, ...

A Grimly Fascinating Map of Toxic Spills in Brooklyn

March 30, 2015 Jill Hubley's lived in Brooklyn for 14 years, so she's familiar with the Greenpoint oil spill, a decades-long seepage of 17-to-30 million gallons of petro-crap that ranks as one of America's biggest-ever land spills. But recently the 33-year-old web developer became curious about what other, lesser pollution might be fouling ...

Cyclists, Rest Your Weary Limbs on Seattle's First-Ever 'Leaning Rails'

February 27, 2015 Cyclists who want to relax while waiting at traffic lights—without performing a troublesome, potentially crotch-crushing dismount, that is—can grab a sign post or put a foot on the curb. Or, if they're in Seattle, they can slide up to these swanky, new "leaning rails" and take a load off: The ...

Mapping the Most Poop-Filled Waterways in New York

January 16, 2015 Unless they have a mental disease or are Cosmo Kramer, most people don't need to be told not to swim in New York's waterways. But for a reminder whythat's the case, have a look at this odious map showing the fecal material floating in the Rotten Apple's streams, creeks, and ...

America's Holiday Lights Can Be Seen from Space

December 18, 2014 Forget going out to view your neighborhood's Christmas lights this year: You can do it the 21st-century way, bathed in the pallid glow of a monitor. That's because NASA has just released a wonderful bunch of satellite images of American cities, gleaming like nebulae with all their candy-colored LEDs, sparkling ...

America's Holiday Lights Can Be Seen from Space

December 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Forget going out to view your neighborhood's Christmas lights this year: You can do it the 21st-century way, bathed in the pallid glow of a monitor. That's because NASA has just released a wonderful bunch of satellite images of American cities, gleaming like nebulae with all their candy-colored LEDs, sparkling ...

What Are the Odds Your City Will Have a White Christmas?

December 15, 2014 Those determined to have a White Christmas should grab crampons and a bottle of scotch and prepare for a tough slog. Many places in the lower 48 with a lock on holiday snow are located in rugged, altitudinous climes—the bony ridge of the Sierra Nevada, for instance, and the wind-burned ...

So You've Decided to Map Sidewalk Poop in San Francisco...

November 20, 2014 San Francisco is a weird magnet for poop. Travel around the city in the grimmest of Easter Egg hunts, and you'll find turds basking on sidewalks, chilling in flower gardens, gumming up subway escalators—hell, you'll even find them littering the roof of a three-story building with no roof access. I ...

New York's Rat Population Is Far Smaller Than You Might Guess

November 6, 2014 Are there really as many rats in New York as people? Answering that hoary urban legend might not win anybody a Nobel Prize of Statistics, but it's a fascinating topic for a city where rats cause an estimated quarter of all cable-line cuts and unsolved fires. Jonathan Auerbach is a ...

Google Glass Has a Blind Spot -- Literally

November 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Most times, people wear glasses to not be blind. But the opposite is allegedly happening with Google Glass: The techno-specs can create a "partial peripheral vision obstruction," according to a new study in JAMA. Google Glass has come a long way in the past four years. It's gone from looking ...