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How Two West Coast Hikers Turned Brooklyn's Trees into a New Perfume

"Wild" fragrance firm Juniper Ridge has been running a pop-up shop this fall in Brooklyn, where it's been hosting sidewalk distillations of local plantlife—literally making cologne from the trees and bushes of Williamsburg—and running the occasional smell hunt, a short guide to the trees of the neighborhood based on…

A Fake Slum for Luxury Tourists Who Don't Want to See Real Poverty

It's estimated that one in eight people worldwide live in so-called slums, which, in some cities, makes visiting these informally maintained neighborhoods unavoidable. Although controversial, the practice of "slum tourism" has become a popular way for tourists to engage with poverty on a personal level. But why go…

Experimental Airport Acoustics Make Travelers Want to Shop More

In an interesting but somewhat obviously biased New Statesman article, the marketing team at audio-engineering firm Biamp have collected a few interesting examples of how architectural acoustics and urban-scale soundscape design affect mood. They mention, for example, the stressful effects of sustained noise on blood…

Heathrow Airport Needs Tightrope Walkers Just to Change Its Lightbulbs

Heathrow's Terminal Five was designed to be a soaring, light-filled tribute to the wonders of flight. Five years into its life, though, 60 percent of its lightbulbs are burned out—because there's been no safe or cost-effective way to change them. Now, officials say they've found a solution: Acrobats.

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The "Highway of Light" That Guided Early Planes Across America

The dusty landscape of the American West is dotted with enormous concrete arrows. They look like cryptic messages from a primitive civilization — a civilization that was obsessed with westward expansion. And that assessment wouldn't be altogether wrong. But these enormous arrows pointing west tell only part of the…