Monthly Archives: November 2011

Lichen on Buildings

Imagine an urbanscape infused with lichen. An artist in NYC is doing just this. She’s taking environmentally-conscious urban gardening, usually reserved for rooftops, and applying it vertically. Creative examples of biomimicry are all over the fields of architecture and design. … Continue reading

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The Polish Foreign Minister’s Case for Saving the Eurozone

At a time when the world is looking at Euroland and wondering whether any courageous leaders will step up and do something about the unraveling economic situation, Radek Sikorski did not disappoint. In a speech delivered in Berlin yesterday, the … Continue reading

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Language, Politics and the European Union

The European Union has a language problem. It doesn’t have a foreign minister, it has a “High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.” The position of foreign minister would have been created had the constitutional treaty … Continue reading

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Architectural Functionalism is Not Pretty to Look at

Portable toilets don’t have to look ugly. The positive cost benefits of functionalist design often are offset by the sheer terribleness of living amongst the stuff. But it doesn’t all have to be kitschy designs and strange lines, sometimes just … Continue reading

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Merkel’s Game of Chicken

Most people know the game of chicken. Two cars accelerate toward each other trying to intimidate the other into swerving – if neither swerves, both die a fiery death. There’s been talk that German chancellor Angela Merkel and the debt-ridden … Continue reading

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Europe has Identity Issues

French academics love the concept of identity. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it might be connected to their interminable disdain for the British, who generally prefer dispassionately manipulating numbers. Regarding European identity though, the continent shares … Continue reading

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The Decline of Tourism in the US

Anyone who’s ever traveled to the US knows that entering the country can be a tedious and humiliating task. Fence or no fence, there are many obstacles to entering the country. Even as a duel jus soli and jus sanguinis … Continue reading

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