Now that the election is blissfully behind us, maybe it's safe to make grand political pronouncements without seeming to be partisan, such as: We Americans used to build big. From the Erie Canal to the transcontinental railroad, from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Hoover Dam, from the interstate highway system to putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth, we love to build big things. But what have we done on this monumental scale lately? Many point with pride to our public project penury as saving future generations a hefty bill. But it seems we also are robbing the future of not only monuments to our collective derring-do, but of necessary infrastructure advancements so the world we leave behind doesn't one day simply crumble from our niggling neglect. In this spirit, I have a suggestion for a grand public project — not a visible monument to our achievements, but an invisible one. A grand project that would make us all safer and secure, and rid our landscape of possibly the ugliest intrusion on our scenery: Cables.
Although the dramatic scenes of super storm destruction in New York and New Jersey have largely disappeared from television screens, the recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues. Now, in a move to help the victims of the disaster, Verizon is planning to waive billing for affected customers.
It's safe to say images of New York's subway system flooded with water from Hurricane Sandy's storm surge shocked everyone. With the tracks deep underwater days after the storm causing travel mayhem in the city, many have asked if this is something that could have been prevented? Hindsight is 20/20, but the truth is giant inflatable plugs actually have been in development and testing to prevent just such a flooding.
The Finnish-built Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid has quickly become the luxury ride of choice for rich folks who want to project a green-friendly image. A few of them will have to wait, however, after 16 of the cars caught fire and exploded after being flooded by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy.
Earlier this year a public space hacking project hit New York that turned payphones into mini-libraries. That project seemed to highlight the creeping obsolescence of the public phone. However, in the wake of super storm Sandy, the city has suddenly rediscovered the value of the nearly forgotten artifacts of an earlier age.
Here's another perspective on the destruction caused by superstorm Sandy this week.
Here's a great time lapse video of Hurricane Sandy from Richard Shepherd....
In the wake of Sandy, the affected area is seeing a different kind of corporate welfare. Companies that we jokingly refer to as uncaring monoliths are helping folks out in ways that go beyond good PR. It's a welcome sight...
Facebook engineer Chris Ackermann teamed with Peter Ng of Ricochet Media to build Instacane. It's a simple site that pulls in Instagram photos tagged #Sandy and #Hurricane. The ground level reporting of Instacane has a solid mix of jaw-dropping beauty, and incredible damage.
The International Space Station has observed a fair share of storms, but this video of Sandy has to be one of the most remarkable.