Warning: This video contains graphic images.
Seven miles northwest of San Marcos, Texas sits Texas State University’s Freeman Ranch, a body farm where researchers take fresh corpses and scatter them all over the field to decompose.
It is the 21st of October, 2015. At 4:29pm Pacific Daylight Time, to be precise, Marty McFly is landing in his DeLorean in Hill Valley, California. This time, he is not alone….
Maya Pawar is a young acrobat who has lived on government-owned property in Delhi, India for her entire life. The Kathputli Colony, where she resides, is the last of its kind: it is home to those who practice traditional art forms such as fire breathing, sword swallowing and intricate puppetry — and its days may very well be numbered.
In 2011, the Indian government sold the land where Kathputli Colony residents live to Raheja Developers, the country’s largest land development firm. The firm then made plans to demolish the colony to make room for the city’s first luxury skyscraper, effectively displacing the 10,000 residents whose families settled the colony over fifty years prior.
James Ramsey and Dan Barasch were sharing drinks in 2009 when they decided to seriously consider an idea that sounded straight out of a 1950s science fiction movie.
Ramsey, owner of the Raad Studio design firm in Manhattan, had recently been exposed to what lay under the Lower East Side’s bustling Delancey Street: an abandoned trolley terminal. The seed of an idea to grow plants inside the empty terminal using solar technology was already growing. Barasch, vice president of the social innovation network PopTech, was looking into installing underground art in the New York City subway system. Two years later, they released an outline of an underground green space concept to the public in the form of a New York Magazine feature.
Pick any new U.S. condo complex and you’ll find a meticulous collection of ramrod-straight, cookie-cutter houses with the life expectancy of cardboard. The crooked houses of Lavenham, England are the reverse: They fail to uphold basic architectural standards, yet they’ve lasted twice as long as the U.S. itself has existed. What’s the secret behind homes that look like collapsing houses of cards, but are still standing strong after half a millennium?
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