Fed-up locals are setting electric scooters on fire and burying them at sea


“They’ve been crammed into toilets, tossed off balconies and set on fire. They’ve even been adorned with dangling bags of dog droppings.

As cities like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills struggle to control a rapid proliferation of electric pay-per-minute scooters, some residents are taking matters into their own hands and waging a guerrilla war against the devices. These vandals are destroying or desecrating the vehicles in disturbingly imaginative ways, and celebrating their illegal deeds on social media — in full view of authorities and the public.

‘They throw them everywhere: in the ocean, in the sand, in the trash can,’ said Robert Johnson Bey, a Venice Beach maintenance worker who regularly comes across scooter parts on the Venice Beach boardwalk, Speedway and adjoining alleys…

‘The city is already losing so much culture due to gentrification,’ Galedary said…The scooters’ abrupt arrival in Venice last fall was viewed by some as another example of how the tech industry was encroaching on the community without asking for permission. It didn’t help that Bird founder Travis VanderZanden — a former executive at Uber and Lyft — said the company wouldn’t be happy until there are ‘more Birds than cars.’

‘It’s a very urban environment,’ said architect Kelly Boston, a longtime Venice resident. ‘We’re all close together, we need to be respectful of one another’s space, and these make it harder.'”


Bussed Out: How America Moves Its Homeless

A detailed and grave look at how the U.S. treats the homeless population, and what happens once they are “bussed out” (sometimes in exchange for being banned from shelters in the cities they’re leaving). The article is accompanied by a series of compelling maps and visualizations.

“Cities have been offering homeless people free bus tickets to relocate elsewhere for at least three decades. In recent years, homeless relocation programs have become more common, sprouting up in new cities across the country and costing the public millions of dollars.

But until now there has never been a systematic, nationwide assessment of the consequences. Where are these people being moved to? What impact are these programs having on the cities that send and the cities that receive them? And what happens to these homeless people after they reach their destination?

In an 18-month investigation, the Guardian has conducted the first detailed analysis of America’s homeless relocation programs, compiling a database of around 34,240 journeys and analyzing their effect on cities and people.

Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis 1945 – 1992

“Welcome to Mapping LGBTQ St. Louis — a project that explores how the region’s LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) communities have changed over time, from the end of World War II in 1945 through the passage of St. Louis’s first gay and lesbian-inclusive civil rights ordinance  in 1992.  This project explores community spaces of all types  — the bars, the bathhouses, and the drag balls.  It notes the emergence of other community spaces by the 1960s — shops, community centers, churches, dances and self-help groups.  It documents as many sites as possible, from protests and organizing, to where people met for friendship and for sex.

The distribution of LGBTQ space across metropolitan space wasn’t random. Instead, the geography of St. Louis’s LGBTQ spaces has always been related to the region’s history of racial segregation, socioeconomic inequality, suburbanization, and urban decline and renewal. St. Louis’s LGBTQ history isn’t somehow separate from the city’s wider history — it’s embedded in everything else.

How Wooden Fences Became A Symbol Of Gentrification Across Los Angeles


“It’s not clear where or when this wooden slat revival started exactly, but it was roughly a decade or so ago and has been creeping through Los Angeles like kudzu ever since. In decades to come, it’ll be a signifier for the exhaustive pace at which the city has changed in the past 5 to 10 years—for better or worse. And even though it can be spotted throughout the greater L.A. area or other markets entirely, architectural designer Marc Cucco finds the slat to be ‘specific to Eastside L.A. There’s a variation in other ‘hot’ markets, like Austin or Denver. But the speed at which prices surged in northeast Los Angeles, as compared to the rest of the country, means that the aesthetic look is the result of a ‘process’ designed to provide quick curb appeal to properties which have been thinly, and cosmetically, updated.’

Over the past decade we have a dominant theme in American cities: neck-snapping rates of (depending on your ideological slant) development/gentrification/transition as many parts of our cities have become desirable again. In so many ways, L.A. looks very different than it did a decade ago, and the wooden slat fence—a.k.a. the hipster fence or the flipper fence—will be the defining architectural symbol of an L.A. and the desire to own one in this period….To be fair to the slats, it’s not just fences. There’s a whole flipper design element starter set: a fresh gray paint job, san serif minimalist address numbers, or a Nightmare on Elm Street blood-red door. You can pick and choose or get the combo. Either way, if you see any of these telltale symbols, odds are the house has recently changed hands or will be soon. And there’s a high chance that if you go inside, you’ll see subway tile, exposed bulb fixtures, or a farmhouse sink in the kitchen. And in the backyard, there’s at pretty good chance you’ll find a gas fire pit.

Climate Change and the Migration of Trees


“About three-quarters of tree species common to eastern American forests—including white oaks, sugar maples, and American hollies—have shifted their population center west since 1980. More than half of the species studied also moved northward during the same period.
These results, among the first to use empirical data to look at how climate change is shaping eastern forests, were published in Science Advances on Wednesday…The results are fascinating in part because they don’t immediately make sense. But the team has a hypothesis: While climate change has elevated temperatures across the eastern United States, it has significantly altered rainfall totals. The northeast has gotten a little more rain since 1980 than it did during the proceeding century, while the southeast has gotten much less rain. The Great Plains, especially in Oklahoma and Kansas, get much more than historically normal.
‘Different species are responding to climate change differently. Most of the broad-leaf species—deciduous trees—are following moisture moving westward. The evergreen trees—the needle species—are primarily moving northward,’ said Songlin Fei, a professor of forestry at Purdue University and one of the authors of the study.
There are a patchwork of other forces which could cause tree populations to shift west, though. Changes in land use, wildfire frequency, and the arrival of pests and blights could be shifting the population. So might the success of conservation efforts. But Fei and his colleagues argue that at least 20 percent of the change in population area is driven by changes in precipitation, which are heavily influenced by human-caused climate change.
What concerns the team is that—if deciduous trees are moving westward while conifers move northward—important ecological communities of forests could start to break up in the east. Forests are defined as much by the mix of species, and the interaction between them, as by the simple presence of a lot of trees. If different species migrate in different directions, then communities could start to collapse.”

“Mapping the History of Racial Terror” Map of Over a Century of White Supremacy Mob Violence/ Documented Lynchings


The Civil War may have freed an estimated 4 million slaves, but that wasn’t nearly the end of acts of racial violence committed against African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism against black people include the thousands murdered in public lynchings. Now, an interactive map provides a detailed look at almost every documented lynching between the 1830s and 1960s.

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Hand-Drawn Infographics of African-American Life (1900)


“Created by Du Bois and his students at Atlanta, the charts, many of which focus on economic life in Georgia, managed to condense an enormous amount of data into a set of aesthetically daring and easily digestible visualisations. As Alison Meier notes in Hyperallergic, ‘they’re strikingly vibrant and modern, almost anticipating the crossing lines of Piet Mondrian or the intersecting shapes of Wassily Kandinsky.'”

National Parks Against Trump

“‘AltUSNatParkService’ is billing itself as ‘The Unofficial ‘Resistance’ team of U.S. National Park Service. Not taxpayer subsidised! Come for rugged scenery, fossil beds, 89 million acres of landscape.’ A pinned tweet on its page notes, ‘Can’t wait for President Trump to call us FAKE NEWS. You can take our official twitter, but you’ll never take our free time!’

David Harvey and Robert Brenner discuss Trump, finance and the end of capitalism

Originally posted by multipliciudades – Video of David Harvey and Robert Brenner at the CUNY Graduate Center debating “What now? The Roots of the Economic Crisis and the Way Forward.”


Here is the video of the debate between David Harvey and Robert Brenner last week at the CUNY Graduate Center, with the title ‘What now? The roots of the economic crisis and the way forward’. Don’t miss the discussion about Trump, especially in the last third of the footage.

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How the Federal Government Made the Maps That Crippled Black Neighborhoods


“Building off several previous projects, Mapping Inequality is a database of more than 150 federal ‘risk maps,’ the New Deal DNA that would dictate decades of disinvestment in cities. These maps, as Oscar Perry Abello writes for Next City, illustrate ‘how the great government-backed wealth-creation machine of the 1930s only worked for white people.’