How Norway designed a more humane prison

These photos look like they’re from a hotel, or a fancy college dorm room. There’s a gym, common areas, and private bedrooms. But this place, just outside Halden, Norway, is a prison. There’s no barbed wire, lots of greenery, and striking contemporary art. Inmates even have pretty great views out of their cell windows. It’s

The design tricks that keep skyscrapers from swaying

The design tricks that keep skyscrapers from swaying

This is a hole on top of the Shanghai World Financial Center. This is a 660-ton steel ball hanging inside of Taipei 101. And these are massive clockwise balconies on the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building ever made. These design choices might seem like gimmicks to give these skyscrapers their iconic looks. But behind each

The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps.

The world is poorly designed. But copying nature helps.

In 1989, Japan’s Shinkansen Bullet Train had a problem. It was fast — really fast — like, pushing 170 miles per hour fast. But every time it exited a tunnel — it was loud. The noise was coming from a variety of sources, but whenever a train sped into a tunnel, it pushed waves of

The dark history of “gasoline baths” at the border

The dark history of “gasoline baths” at the border

Everything we know about Carmelita Torres is from a few newspaper accounts in 1917. They called her an “an auburn haired Amazon.” Just 17 years old. She led angry women in anti-American rioting and shut down the US-Mexico border. But hidden within her story…is something much bigger than a single riot. It’s a story about