The Monday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on December 24, 2012

  • The body (and its many-splendored sensorium) isn’t dead yet. We want to touch, not just watch.
    The past decade has seen a non-stop discussion about the rise of online and virtual channels that are replacing physical storefronts. Now, it seems some e-tailers are getting into having a physical presence as well.

    tags: shopping smartplanet etail retail online_shopping storefronts economy

  • So many great points in this interview with David Hemenway, but this one really stood out. It’s in response to the question, “What are the next steps to take to reduce gun violence when we already own nearly 300 million guns?”
    It may sound hard, but it’s not like we have to throw up our hands. In Boston, how do inner-city gang members get guns? They weren’t born with them. Their parents didn’t have them. They can’t burglarize houses and find many guns. The answer is, adults bring guns into the inner city and sell them, from western Mass., from New Hampshire and Vermont, from down South, where it’s easier to get guns. We just have to figure out a way to stop the trafficking, so that rather than always pointing at the individual who did something wrong — which typically doesn’t help anything — we can figure out a way to make it hard to behave inappropriately, rather than easy. When it’s easy to behave inappropriately, people will.

    tags: harvard_gazette david_hemenway guns social_disorder health public_health violence usa

  • A fascinating must-read on the Second Amendment’s travels through 1970s and 80s America.
    Does the Second Amendment prevent Congress from passing gun-control laws? The question, which is suddenly pressing, in light of the reaction to the school massacre in Newtown, is rooted in politics as much as law.

    tags: second_amendment newyorker guns

  • Love this article, and also Tali Sharot’s talk.
    “To make progress, we need to be able to imagine alternative realities, and not just any old reality but a better one.”

    tags: brainpickings maria_popova tali_sharot optimism happiness video

  • Oh, how I wish my little downtown on the North Shore had an urban, walkable grocery store. (While I lived in Portland OR, I shopped at the 2 stores mentioned in the article. The New Seasons store isn’t downtown – it’s in a dense neighborhood – while the Safeway in the Pearl is indeed right downtown. Both stores work really well. For the New Seasons / not-quite-righ-downtown store, it’s always a question of appeasing the shoppers who drive. But it can be done: they put parking on the roof. PS I really dislike the 2 Safeways just outside of downtown here: they’re surrounded by ACRES of asphalt parking lot, and they’re too huge and incredibly sterile, really soulless. For the same reason, I dislike Shaw’s – the other supermarket on the suburban northern edge of town.)
    With a split between customers arriving on foot or by car, a key for the design of the store was to get one entrance to face the parking structure and the other to be an attractive pedestrian entrance off the street. Parking was reduced 40 percent versus a conventional suburban store, and the ratio is just 2.9 spaces per 1,000 square feet of store space. This works in a dense urban environment, not only with the 685 residential units within Cityvista itself but thousands of additional housing units providing substantial customers within walking distance. Moreover, the urban lifestyle that Safeway understands is that the urban shopper is more likely to shop once a day rather than once a week, and thus places a bigger emphasis on prepared foods and produce.

    tags: grocery_stores food parking urban_food cities

  • An intriguing local project (Salem, Greater Boston, North Shore) that deserves attention.
    Salem Public Space Project
    Past Stories, Present Narratives, Future Possibilities

    tags: salem public_space citizen_journalism

  • Intriguing visuals, via an exhibition “Grand Reductions,” by SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association), excerpted in this article:
    The exhibition’s title – Grand Reductions – suggests the simple illustration’s power to encapsulate complex ideas. And for that reason the medium has always been suited to the city, an intricate organism that has been re-imagined (with satellite towns! in rural grids! in megaregions!) by generations of architects, planners and idealists. In the urban context, diagrams can be powerful precisely because they make weighty questions of land use and design digestible in a single sweep of the eye. But as Le Corbusier’s plan illustrates, they can also seductively oversimplify the problems of cities. These 10 diagrams have been tremendously influential – not always for the good.

    tags: emily_badger atlantic_cities urbanplanning maps cities

  • Evgeny Morozov nails it with this question:
    What is “objective” about such algorithmic “truths”?

    Quaint prudishness, excessive enforcement of copyright, unneeded damage to our reputations: algorithmic gatekeeping is exacting a high toll on our public life. Instead of treating algorithms as a natural, objective reflection of reality, we must take them apart and closely examine each line of code.

    tags: nyt evgeny_morozov morality silicon_valley internet censorship

  • Every city (at least any city that has allowed developer variances in exchange for publicly accessible private space) should have a tool like San Francisco’s, which allows the public to learn about where these POPOS are. Props to San Francisco.
    As for the public, the city unveiled on Friday a new web tool that will for the first time catalog the dozens of POPOS downtown and the amenities at each one (845 Market Street’s ninth-floor rooftop space has 59 chairs and welcomes food but doesn’t sell any; 301 Mission Street’s indoor atrium features extensive artwork and service from a bar and restaurant on-premises). The city’s legislative affairs office has mapped and photographed each space and linked to the original Planning Commission motion spelling out the individual property’s requirements under the city regulation. The updated ordinance, requiring clearer signs (both outdoors and indoors for those spaces accessed past security guards and up elevators) went into effect last week.

    tags: san_francisco public_space popos maps access atlantic_cities

  • An example of over-engineering, and forcing nature to adapt to human use, vs. making human use meet nature at least half way? Please don’t let them drain the Missouri for the sake of Mississippi barge traffic (while starving those dependent on the Missouri)…
    The engineers are constantly dredging the river’s sandy bottom or building levees to keep barges moving. Those efforts to confine the river to a deep and narrow channel are believed to have made surrounding areas more vulnerable to extreme floods – as in 2011, when thousands were forced to flee their homes.

    Such measures may also not make sense in the long-term use of the river.

    Criss argues the long barge trains floating on the Mississippi are just too big for the upper reaches of the river anyway, and that the industry is unfairly subsidised compared with other transport providers such as rail.

    “The whole system around here has been entirely reconfigured to accommodate these monstrous barges,” he said.

    “This is the whole problem. We want to run boats on the river with 9ft drafts that are almost a quarter of a mile long. They are too big for the size of the river up here.”

    tags: environment rivers mississippi missouri atlantic_cities economy ecology drought climate

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

isabella mori (@moritherapy) December 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

truly interesting links. thanks, yule!

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