Clocking the Flock

Clocking the Flock

For millennia, herds, flocks, and schools have zigzagged the planet to find food, warmth, and a cozy place to procreate. Yet the natural instincts that tell animals where to zig and when to zag remain a total mystery to humans. How do butterflies that live for just weeks know to […]

Mob Justice

Mob Justice

Guatemala, like much of Central America, has spent its last few generations besieged by violence. A civil war ripped through the country for the 36 years leading up to the 1996 Peace Accords, which did little to ease old tensions. In 2009 and 2010, it registered more civilian murders than […]

Barter in Bloom

Barter in Bloom

Standing in the park’s morning sun, Guadalupe Sanchez wears an old marine blue jumper and an energetic smile. Instead of the typical droves of runners, the park boasts a row of small stalls. Sanchez arrived with a bag full of household recyclables; she now carries a load of organic vegetables. […]

Easter’s Blowing Up

Easter’s Blowing Up

Picture a very small space containing a very large dragon-like thing, spinning and shooting flames. Then picture a lot of people in that space, and a lot of explosives – real explosives – inside that dragon. It’s a unique take on ‘Happy Easter’.

Manufactured: Abel Carranza’s Underground Beats

Manufactured: Abel Carranza’s Underground Beats

Like most vagoneros, Abel played samples of his wares through a portable speaker. Unsatisfied with the audio quality and appearance, he decided there was a better setup waiting to be invented. Through experimentation and testing, he designed audio backpacks powered by rechargeable batteries, powerful enough for a long day’s work keeping Mexico’s subways rocking.

Filling the Gaps: Street Level Response to Sandy

Filling the Gaps: Street Level Response to Sandy

“They’re evacuating the Rockaways,” says Tammy, identified by her duct-tape name tag. “The storm surge is going to be 3 to 5 feet.  I can’t send my volunteers into a dangerous situation.” “We’ve got that U-Haul truck of donated groceries,” replies Shlomo, wearing a green military-style cap.  ”The truck’s gotta […]

Hurricane Hacks: Slogging through Sandy’s Aftermath

Hurricane Hacks: Slogging through Sandy’s Aftermath

Natural disasters, like the massive storm that just tore through the northeast US, have a way of bringing out the hacker in everyone.  Faced with a disruptions ranging from slow Internet to flooded homes, people take creative measures to have some sense of normalcy and comfort – just like the […]

Scenes from 2012 World Maker Faire

Scenes from 2012 World Maker Faire

From 3D printers to bicycle-powered farm equipment, homemade helicopters to hacked graphing calculators, Maker Faire is where you proudly let your nerd flag fly.  The two-day event in New York brought makers from around the world to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, […]

Pirates of Silicon Valley

Pirates of Silicon Valley

Recently we visited the office of an old friend at a young Silicon Valley start-up. It didn’t take long to spot the first pirate flag—the skull and bones banner that has come to symbolize the renegade attitude of the Valley’s tech disruptors. It started with Steve Jobs’s maxim, delivered at […]

Technological Disobedience

Technological Disobedience

“Worker, build your machine!” So Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s proclaimed to Cuba’s industrial sector, shortly after the triumph of the  evolutionary movement he helped lead. The year was 1961, and Cuba, increasingly isolated, was experiencing an exodus of foreign companies and investment due to the unfriendly market policies of Fidel Castro’s nascent government. The start […]