Some linguists argue that our experience of reality itself is shaped by language, which might explain how Japanese stoplights end up being a kind of in-between “bleen?”
It sounds like the stuff of fiction: secret markings telling fellow vagabonds where to sleep safely or find other useful resources for survival.
Various countries have evolved different color schemes and markings.
Regional architecture is shaped by all kinds of things: weather, soil conditions, available materials, building codes... and superstitions.
By whatever name, these zones can serve aesthetic functions and help improve pedestrian safety, acting as a barrier between sidewalks and traffic as well as reducing the risk of vehicular puddle spray.
Across the United States, electric scooters have been springing up overnight on city streets and sidewalks, leading to a combination of praise and condemnation from urban dwellers and local municipalities.
Coins, bones, toys and weapons are among the hundreds of thousands of artifacts recently surfaced from the canals of Amsterdam.
From the friendly smiling startup icon to the dreaded bomb icon (signalling a fatal system error), it was the graphics that brought early Macintosh computers to life and set them apart from text-based PCs.
Connecting Hurricane Gulch and Talkeetna (a remote stretch of the Alaska Railroad between Fairbanks and Anchorage), Hurricane Turn may be the only remaining true "flag stop" passenger train in the US, braking only where needed to pick up or drop off riders.
This pattern made the ball's form and motion clearer both on the field and on TV screens, a big improvement on the uniform organic colors of earlier balls.
According to British railway lore, the "slip coach" was born when a rail official was riding in a train car that came an unexpected stop.
For nearly a century, a vast system of underground pipes run by the London Hydraulic Power Company pumped water to power hotels, shops, offices, mansion blocks, hotels, docks, factories and more.
in recent years, large established companies as well as smaller startups and innovative entrepreneurs in the kosher gadget industry have begun to rethink cars, phones, alarms, microwaves, lamps, coffee machines and other everyday gadgets and technologies.
In cities with high costs of living, every inch counts — floor space can costs hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars per square foot.
In another timeline, some alternate city of San Francisco is filled with iconic structures by Frank Lloyd Wright, including his first skyscraper (designed for a prominent downtown location along Market Street) and the Butterfly Bridge, stretching across the water to Oakland.
Shopping carts revolutionized the way people shop, but they weren't an instant hit. The creator of "folding basket carriers" actually had to hire people to push them around his store to get shoppers using his novel invention.
After World War II, a group of city planners decided to build a new neighborhood, close to Amsterdam, that would be the perfect encapsulation of Modernist principles. It was called the Bijlmermeer, and it tested these ideas on a grand scale. When it was over, no one would ever try it again.
To a casual observer, the difference between a squircle and a rounded square can appear negligible and sound semantic. But "once you know how to spot it on products, you're likely to start seeing it (or more likely the lack of it) all around you."
Urban planners can learn a lot simply by observing where cars actually drive (or don’t) after a fresh snowfall.
Ever noticed how the bricks on newer British buildings are bigger, or stopped to appreciate hand-stenciled wallpaper, or enjoyed a sip from a fancy hollow-stemmed glass? If so, you may well be admiring a product of regulation and taxes as much aesthetic tastes.