Tag Archives: cities

welcome to the future

welcome to the future
11 Futuristic Ways to Improve Our Cities, From Robotic Rats to Talking Trash Cans


City Hall. It’s traditionally the place where technology gets stuffed into a drawer and forgotten. But as budgets recover from the Great Recession and smartphone-toting citizens prod municipal officials, cities are now more Boston Dynamics than Boss Tweed. Soon the pols will be promising sensor-driven pots that cook the chicken for you, just the way you like it.

1. Graffiti-busting drones. The Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s railroad, is testing drones to see if they deter graffiti artists, after taggers did $9 million in damage to its railcars in 2012 alone.

2. Robotic sewer rats. RedZone Robotics makes a compact autonomous robot, Solo, that uses a 360-degree camera and lasers to inspect city sewers.

3. Pothole patrol. Teeth-rattling roads are nasty. In Boston, the Street Bump app uses your phone’s motion sensor and GPS to report rough rides—and save your shocks.

4. Smart spaces. The Parker app uses cameras and in-ground sensors to flag open spaces. It also tells you when your time is up so you don’t get a ticket.

5. Permeable pavement. New paving surfaces let rainwater through to the ground, lessening the load on drainage systems and restoring aquifers.

6. Talking trash cans. BigBelly Solar trash and recycling bins ping HQ when they need to be emptied, enabling more efficient route planning. In Philadelphia the system has successfully cut trash collection costs.

7. Cool roofs. Reflective paint bounces away the sun, cooling buildings and saving energy.

8. Air-purifying billboards. Ultra-polluted Lima, Peru, recently introduced a billboard that sucks in air, purifies it, and pumps it out again, upping air quality for a five-block radius.

9. Watchful lights. Motion-sensitive LEDs from Sensity also measure things like pollution or snowfall. At Newark Airport they even watch passengers and alert security if there’s trouble. Creepy.

10. Self-watering parks. Sensors in Barcelona’s parks monitor soil moisture and turn on the water only when it’s dry.

11. Traffic monitors. LA commute times dropped by more than 12 percent, thanks to the city’s new traffic control system. It uses pattern analysis and vehicle detectors in the road to shift signal lights for speedier flow.

homelessness around the world

homelessness around the world

25 Cities With Extremely High Homeless Populations


According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, there is an estimated 100 million homeless people worldwide. This is a startling statistic when you consider how affluent some parts of the world are. Here is but a short glimpse at this social travesty within these 25 cities with extremely high homeless populations.


Lisbon, Portugal


Most of the homeless people in Portugal are concentrated in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. Reports say that around 300 homeless people sleep on the streets of Lisbon every night. Today, members of the Comunidade Vida e Paz are persuading the homeless population of Lisbon to take part in rehabilitation programs in order to improve the quality of their lives.


Denver, Colorado


According to the 2012 Point in Time report from Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, Denver saw an increase in it’s homeless population from 411 to 964 between the years of 2011 and 2012.


Indianapolis, Indiana


There are as many as 2,200 homeless people every night in the city of Indianapolis, which is equivalent to around 15,000 over the course of a year. Thought this city is known for its faith-based shelters, there’s just not enough shelters to provide a place for the entire homeless population.


Dublin, Ireland


In a recent study shows that about seven people per day become homeless in Dublin. In 2013, there were about 2,366 people that were reported to be sleeping on the streets of Dublin every night. The government’s failure to increase the stock of social housing is said to be the root cause of this social problem.


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Rio De Janeiro is known for having a high homelessness rate with over 2,500 homeless people as of last year.


Baltimore, Maryland


According to a 2011 study, there are about 4,088 homeless individuals in Baltimore, Maryland, many of which are families with children. Today, the city government is making strides towards putting an end to this social problem by creating projects aimed at providing affordable housing and health care.


Tokyo, Japan


A 2013 study shows an estimated homeless population of 5,000 living in Tokyo. This number was a significant increase from the 3,800 homeless individuals recorded in 2008.


Chicago, Illinois


As of July 2013, analysis by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless found that 116,042 Chicagoans were homeless in the course of the 2012-13 school year. This is a 10% increase from last year’s homeless population.


Washington, D.C.


According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless people living in Washington in 2013 was around 6,865. Last year, the city government began to provide shelter to its homeless population whenever temperature levels droped below freezing point. Those who do not want to stay in temporary shelters are provided with a budget to stay in hotels.


Rome, Italy


Out of the 17,000 homeless people in Italy, 7,000 are from Rome.


Tampa, Florida


Lack of affordable housing and homeless shelters has contributed to the alarming number of 7,419 homeless people who call the streets of Tampa their home each night.


San Diego, California


The second largest city in the State of California with a population of 1,345,895, San Diego is home to 8,879 homeless people.


Athens, Greece


Homelessness statistics show that out of the 20,000 homeless people in Greece, 9,000 are from Athens. The number of homeless people in Athens has continued to grow since the economic crisis of 2009.


Seattle, Washington


According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, Seattle is home to a total homeless population of 9,106.


San Francisco, U.S.A.


Around 7,000 to 10,000 people in San Francisco, U.S.A. are homeless, 3,000 to 5,000 of which refuse to live in temporary shelters provided by the government.

24 Most Dangerous Places in the World


24 Most Dangerous Places in the World

D44NH1 Mountain road: Rakaposhi, Karakoram Highway, Hunza, Pakistan.

Traveling around the world is a great way to spend your vacation time, but not all cities are as charming as the ones in the brochures. While every large city has its problems, some are a little worse than others. Here are some of the most dangerous cities in the world.

While most of us know about the popular and safest places to live, travel or work: the cities on this list are dangerous due to uncontrolled drug trafficking, violence, and political corruption. These cities are predominantly dominated by ruthless and violent gangs.

Here’s a list of 25 of the world’s most dangerous cities, based primarily on murder rates and their danger for tourists/visitors.


Barquisimeto, Venezuela


Though Barquisimeto has just over a million residents, the city sees murders almost every day. The city is the capital of its region and features a surprisingly high number of universities and other places of higher education. Despite once being a thriving tourist destination, the area is now so dangerous that many tourists avoid it.

Guayana, Venezuela


Guayana in Venezuela reported 578 homicides for 1,050,283 inhabitants. In February 2012, the Venezuelan Observatory launched the “Campaign to Sensibilize the Value of Life in Venezuela” in the hope that this campaign would spread the message of peace. If actions such as this are continued, one can only hope that the violence and homicide will decrease dramatically.

Peshawar, Pakistan


PeshawarPakistan, is another of the most dangerous place in the world. With tribes and warlords fighting for supremacy, Peshawar is not safe, especially for foreigners. Although the city boasts amazing landmarks and breathtaking parks, targeted attack on security forces and suicide bombings, unfortunately, make Peshawar one of the world’s most dangerous cities to visit.

Large parts of Pakistan should be avoided, according to the Foreign Office. They include the “Federally Administered Tribal Areas”, the city of Peshawar and districts south of the city, northern and western Balochistan, the Karakoram Highway between Islamabad and Gilgit, the Kalesh Valley, the Bamoboret Valley and Arandu District, the city of Quetta, the city of Nawabshah, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Sana’a, Yemen


Yemen is politically unstable country with both Britain and America recently urging its citizens to leave the country due to fears of an imminent terrorist attacks on Western interests. The Foreign Office advises against all travel to the whole of Yemen.

The country’s highlights include Sana’a, one of the world’s highest capital cities (7,500 feet above sea level) and a World Heritage Site; it’s also one of the most dangerous places in the entire world. It is renowned for its quirky architecture, which includes multi-storey buildings decorated in geometric patterns. Those who do make it there enjoy visiting the Old City, a section of Sana’a full of beautifully designed buildings from a more peaceful time. Official statistics are difficult to obtain, but it seems to be a very dangerous place for foreigners.

Acapulco, Mexico


Acapulco was once a popular tourist destination. These days, however, the stunning beaches see only a handful of vacationers. A rise in murderous violence between drug lords and criminals has made tourists avoid the sunny destination. The city reported 1,170 murders for 818,853 inhabitants.

Drug cartels are a problem throughout Mexico and it has only been getting worse over the past decade. It has gotten so bad citizens are forming self-defense groups which have managed to capture at least one major drug lord. Large numbers of dead bodies are a common occurrence in this port city, making it a nerve-wracking place to hang out.

Distrito Central, Honduras

6_Distrito Central

While no large city is immune to violence, Distrito Central has surpassed the usual level of violence. It has one of the highest murder rates around the globe. The dangers can be attributed to extreme poverty, government corruption, and a heavy Mafia presence. Distrito Central is actually three cities blended into one. The high level of violence deters all but the most reckless of tourists.

Maceió, Brazil


Maceió is the capital of the Alagoas state and sees around 135 murders per 100,000 residents each year. The city is by far the most dangerous in the country, topping even Rio de Janeiro, which most people know for its “favelas”, or slums. Brazil may host a large part of the Amazon rainforest, but its most populated areas are not places you want to hang out in.

Joao Pessoa, Brazil

8_Joao Pessoa

Joao Pessoa is another dangerous city in Brazil. There was a whopping 508 homicides reported for 723,515 inhabitants. In December, President Dilma Rousseff reportedly stated that three in every 1000 Brazilian teens are murdered before turning 19: very dangerous indeed.



Radical Islamists now control northern Mali, and much of the country’s ancient sites – including Timbuktu – are considered under threat. The Foreign Office advises against travel to the entire country, due to the high risk of terrorism and kidnapping.

Mogadishu, Somalia


The city of Mogadishu has had major problems with al Shabaab militants for a while now (who at one point last year controlled most of the city), making the area unsafe for citizens and tourists alike.

The United States refused to set foot in the country for over two decades, but changed that policy in 2013 when military advisers were sent to Mogadishu to help the locals resolve the militant issue. Despite the aid, the area is still dangerous.

Nairobi, Kenya


Nairobi has suffered considerably in recent years. Although Kenya is a beautiful country with plenty to offer, it is also so dangerous that most tourists leave it off the itinerary. Nairobi is considered particularly dangerous for women, but no one should walk around the city alone at night. Al Shabaab militants have threatened the area for some time now, making it even more tense than usual.

Chihuahua, Mexico

12_Chihuahua, Mexico

Mexico’s violence problems are big enough to warrant it two spots on this list. In reality, there are many more Mexican cities on the world’s most violent cities list, but Chihuahua beats them out because of its position on the cocaine smuggling route to the United States. Drug cartels have taken over the area and it is not uncommon to see random firefights in the streets, making it a very inhospitable place to visit or to live.

Medellin, Colombia


If you’re thinking of travelling to Columbia any time soon, then take note. One of the overall most dangerous cities on the list is the city of MedellinColombia, with a reported 1,175 homicides per 2,393,011 inhabitants. It is believed that much of the violence can be blamed on criminal bands trying to gain control of certain territories. However, homicide is actually on the gradual decrease in this city, as 1991 alone reported 6,349 homicides

Cleveland, USA


Crime was up by more than 7 percent in Cleveland during the first six months of 2013. In 2012, the murder rate rose 30%. It has one of the highest murder and rape rates in the US, although it is not the highest. Flint, Michigan, actually seems to have the highest murder rate in the entire US,with 62 murders per 100,000 residents in 2013 (for reference, Detroit has approximately 54). 2013 data is not fully available yet, none of these cities are tourist friendly.

This list is not fully inclusive, and there are many dangerous places that are not listed. You should be careful wherever you are, especially in a city, and especially as an outsider. If possible, travel with someone who knows the area.

Read more: http://www.exposingtruth.com/24-dangerous-places-world/#ixzz37YRHi97e
Follow us: @Exposing4Truth on Twitter | ExposingTheTruth on Facebook


Eradicate Small Dogs Now and Save the Nation From This Urban Menace


Eradicate Small Dogs Now and Save the Nation From This Urban Menace

With record numbers of Americans keeping dogs and cats as pets, we are plagued by many unwelcome consequences. House cats are inflicting brain damage on their human hosts with a feline disease spread through the animals’ fecal matter, which people store in their homes—usually in the kitchen. When the cats are sent outdoors to defecate, they kill staggering numbers of wild birds, leaving many of our cities without any avian life beyond the feral pigeons roosting safely upon the ledges of tall buildings. Then there are the dogs, which use the entire city as one great, unflushable toilet. There are valid arguments against the existence of all dogs, but even animal lovers can agree we need to do something drastic about the “toy breeds.”

Dogs in the suburbs tend to live out their days between a fenced backyard and whatever room their humans use to eat fast food and watch cable. These lives may be tragic, but they have no immediate bad effects on society. The urban dog, like the urban person, is far more dependent on public infrastructure. Sidewalks, fire hydrants, narrow strips of dirt and broken glass, outdoor cafes where people are trying to eat, jogging paths and dog parks allow the canine to exercise, stimulate its mind, socialize, and empty its bladder and bowels—all within an environment of simmering human hostility.

A fact of human nature is that not even dog owners want other dogs crapping and urinating and digging and yapping. Never has a friendly voice called from a brownstone to a passing neighbor: “I see you’ve got a mastiff that was apparently bred to do nothing but force out Duramflame-sized fecal logs before its death from hip dysplasia. I’m a dog owner myself, so by all means let your animal use my tiny herb garden under my living room window as a squat latrine.”

This is one of many reasons I glare out from my study to the sidewalk outside. And, like playing classical music on the radio kept by the open window, it is an extremely effective way of keeping people from lingering outside your home. Nobody wants to sell pills on the street with a Viennese waltz blasting behind them. Nobody wants to be watched from a window.

Staring down an interloper is a guaranteed way to break that interloper’s confidence in whatever they were about to do. Whether from peripheral vision or the commonplace psychic ability of feeling someone’s distant stare, the dog-walking human feels those eyes gazing down and knows this is not the place to stop. They move on, sometimes with a visible shudder. Or, if it’s too late and the dog has already crouched, the human will make a big show out of actually collecting the feces in one of those brightly colored poop bags mostly carried around for show.

When society functions, it is a dance of hostile partners all keeping each other in line. And that is why the very worst pet, the small or “toy breed” dog, can only be eliminated from our culture by being policed out of existence. The real police do very little but hassle poor people, of course. It’s the upstanding citizens who do all the snitch work necessary for widespread enforcement.

The small dog is a complete menace. While you can say “it’s not the poor thing’s fault,” the fact is that a small dog has a guilty soul. It knows it was bred as a cruel joke by human kings and queens who had long grown bored of toying with people. And so the heart of a tiny dog is bursting with hate.

So freakishly shrunken that even a starving tree squirrel is a physical threat, the little dog takes its walks consumed by rage. Nothing infuriates these genetic pranks more than seeing a dog of normal size. From half a block away, through a shifting visual curtain of parcel deliveries and double strollers and yoga mats and shopping carts full of recycling, the toy dog spots a normal, happy dog taking normal-sized steps, tail wagging at an easy, normal pace. The person with the regular dog is walking at a regular pace, perhaps picking up a newspaper or a coffee or some vegetables from market, as the psychologically fit animal of normal size looks up with friendly curiosity at passing strangers and gurgling babies attached to bicycles.

Still a quarter block away, the small dog is already in an absolute, foaming frenzy. It strains at the end of its lead, a string so thin that it would be mistaken for dental floss if not for the rhinestones decorating the loop around the wrist of the person who decided this was a good idea, for a dog to be bred down to the size of a cell phone.

Finally, the tiny quivering hate machine sees the entirety of the source of its wrath: a calm old retriever mix who looks down good-naturedly, barely able to discern the yips and yaps over the slamming of the UPS truck’s roller door and the notification dings of sex-partner apps and the hip hop blasting from a million-dollar apartment above the New American bistro. And just as the bile is about to burst out of the toy breed, the caretaker of this infernal dwarf scoops it up and tucks it into a handbag. The zipper closes. Darkness envelops the creature, while its sensitive nose is overpowered with the industrial stink of perfume and sugar-free chewing gum.

The little dog doesn’t want to be alive any more than we want it to live. An aggressive program of federally mandated spaying and neutering—surely a feature already tucked into the endnotes of Obamacare legislation—will clear the streets of these menaces within two decades, when the last of the “toy breeds” will succumb to the sub-species’ most natural cause of death: constant impotent rage.

Ken Layne, the nation’s moral barometer, writes his American Almanac for Gawker every Monday.

[Image by Jim Cooke, original photo via Getty]



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