Characterizing the Midwest in Maps and Essays.

Last week, FiveThirtyEight published the results of a survey that asked self-identified Midwesterners what states properly constitute the region: As a Midwestern expat in the Southeast, I have strong opinions on the matter (I’m totally judging you, 10% of respondents who place WY and PA in the Midwest. To wit, Meghann Marco nails the argument against Pennsylvania’s…

The secret life of Rust Belt beekeepers

Originally posted on Grist:
Deep in the defunct industrial zones and backyards of Buffalo, N.Y., there’s a buzz developing — quite literally, in the form of secret beehives. Across the city, a small network of under-the-radar beekeepers has formed. They keep hives in backyards, vacant lots, and even on garage roofs. “Two years ago, I was just…

Israeli commercial air flight: now with lasers!

Just when you thought El Al couldn’t get any more hardcore… “Dubbed the Sky Shield—no, not that Skyshield—this Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure (MUSIC) system from Elbit first identifies incoming threats with an integrated thermal camera, then hits it with a fiber-laser based Directional InfraRed CounterMeasure (DIRCM) to deflect heat seeking anti-aircraft missiles.” Via Gismodo

Adventures in Hippopotamus Ranching

Hilarious and amazing article in Wired-Science: The Crazy, Ingenious Plan to Bring Hippopotamus Ranching to America. “In the early years of the last century, the U.S. Congress considered a bold and ingenious plan that would simultaneously solve two pressing problems — a national meat shortage and a growing ecological crisis. The plan was this: hippopotamus ranching.…

Are privileged elites appropriating feminism? Maybe so…

Absolutely fascinating read, via The Nation “In the end, what I found so worrisome about TEDWomen was that I was seeing firsthand what happens when “feminism” isn’t defined by feminists. Instead of the messy, nuanced reality, we got a carefully curated package of what powerful people think feminism should be—or, at least, which feminism would be…