I’m moving from Seattle to Phoenix at the peak of their summer heat, and in many ways it feels like a 180 degree difference. It’s not known for being the most sustainable city in America. So, I was excited by the news of Phoenix’s efforts to transform their downtown from an asphalt wasteland to a walkable core—whether it is too little, too late remains to be seen.
For anyone who’s been following debates on the sharing economy, I encourage you to check out this deep data dive from the San Francisco Chronicle into how Airbnb may be affecting housing availability in the city. It’s not a perfect analysis, since they had to rely on online listings rather than actual data from Airbnb (which many of the big sharing companies do not disclose). But it goes part of the way towards separating myth and reality.
If this excerpt from former Seattle Times reporter and current University of Oregon professor Alex Tizon’s memoir is an indication of how good it is—and trust me, dude can write—you should just go buy a copy right now: Big Little Man, In Search of my Asian Self.
Finally, to put in perspective the backlash against a certain football team that I will not name, check out this animated map from Vox on the theft of Native American lands since 1776.
I found this Fast Company article on the decline of Facebook among teens both hilarious (for the teens’ dialogue) and revelatory (hint: no, the decline isn’t because their parents are on it):
But was [Facebook] the first thing she looked at? I asked. What was she using now? Almonte held her phone up before her like a talisman, as did every other teen exiting Hill Top Grocery that afternoon. “Oh, no, duh. I’m just texting. Sometimes I use it, though. I guess sometimes I post updates about my life, but that’s, I don’t know…”
Is it cool? I asked.
“Is it cool” she repeated.
“Yeah, do you think Facebook is cool?” I asked.
“Haha. No. No definitely not.” Then her friend grabbed her by the hand and pulled her away. “Good luck on your article!” she shouted over her shoulder.
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What are your biggest nighttime power hogs?
The veggie that will help clear your system of having breathed polluted air all day.
And, in bold urban initiatives to reduce murder rates, did Richmond, CA reduce its own by paying people not to kill?
The Seattle Weekly did a nice profile on Seattle’s own Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner—founder of MomsRising, one of the most powerful grassroots organizations in the country. She’s harnessed the power of moms and amplified the voices of her million plus members on issues that affect women and kids and families—from gun control, child care, paid family leave, and equal pay to toxics, pollution, food safety, and climate change.
Check out this Navajo teen who invented economical solar ovens for her community.
You may have noticed that I am somewhat obsessed with this: Bugs as the food of the future. I want so badly to like the idea, but I am culturally predisposed to mostly feel disgust. I think maybe I could stomach something made with cricket flour though…maybe… Could you?
Finally, photos of this amazing place totally charmed me: A village in Burkina Faso—West Africa—where every building is gorgeously decorated.