In the latest installment of Butterfly Effect, we examine Google's autonomous vehicles, seemingly a vision of the future--they'll potentially make commuting a dream and maybe even help kill the Big Three. But for those same reasons, it has the potential to set us back by revitalizing suburbs and damaging the economy. Here's how.
Urban cycling is a tribal sport in New York and London, but you have to admit: The most rakish of urban bikes have a little bit of Detroit in them. Messenger bikes are typically once-high-end performance machines hardened by rust, paint, grime, and hacksaws; bikes which are shells of their former selves but seem faster and meaner for it.
What’s better than a gorgeous bike tricked-out with space-frame technology? One with a proper British pedigree, of course. This sexy ride got its start nearly 50 years ago, when the engineering mastermind Alex Moulton debuted his “bicycle of the future,” proving that small wheels could deliver speed. And now, it's been revived with one of the craziest support systems we've ever seen, this side of Norman Foster.
It's always hilarious to see the makeshift ways businessmen who bike to work stash their stuff. Take my dad. He hooks a shopping bag around his handle bars, which looks only slightly less ridiculous than what he used to do: carry a mini backpack. To give you a proper visual: My father is 6-foot-5 and could easily be mistaken for a grizzly bear.
The iconic London Tube Map is endlessly inspirational to other designers. Here's another one for the pile: Tom Carden's "Time Travel Tube Map" uses the Processing visual programming language to warp London into different shapes that display the travel time required to get to any station in the system from one central location. The clever twist is that the "central" station can be any one you choose: the map reshapes itself to focus on whatever point you happen to be at. It's like that old saw: "wherever you go, there you are"--but powered by Java.