Earth Vacation

Nature Lovers Now Have 270,000 Acres of Land Open in California

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an abundance of wildlife, ancient old oak trees, fields and streams, along with so many hiking trails.  You might just discover your next excellent vacation spot without ever having to leave the country!

Tejon Ranch has donated a great deal of land so visitors can enjoy nature in the most wonderful way.  Tejon Ranch has been around since 1843 and the owner, Fitzgerald Beale, has partnered with an online travel company, Explore Ranches, to allow their members access to 270,000 acres of private land.

About Tejon Ranch:

The ranch is located 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 south of Bakersfield.  It is the largest, continual expansion in California offering 422 square miles of land. Tejon Ranch has joined other natural environments in the state, Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, and Coastal Range.  The spans of land is larger than New York City.

There are hundreds of miles of trails and roads to hike along, fields of grass, coniferous forests, ancient oak and Joshua trees, a huge diversity of wildlife, and many reservoirs and streams.

Their partnership with Explore Ranches allows visitors to choose their accommodation from 4 separate lodges that will hold 4 to 12 people at three different locations, including the Venado Cabin.

Located at the foot of the mountains, Venado Cabin offers incredible, endless views from the porch of the cabin.  You can see red-tailed hawks, an occasional condor, eagles, and deer roaming freely along the hillsides.

You can also enjoy a game of horseshoes with their private horseshoe pit.  For those who want to explore the ranch, there are miles of trails for hiking, going on driving tours, or biking.  Just below the cabin, there is an incredible fishing pond loaded with bass and bluegill and a massive meadow with huge oak trees.

If you want a really wonderful vacation away from your hectic lifestyle, visiting this property will give you access to so many activities including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and the incredible opportunity to take photos of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. What an idyllic way to totally unwind!

Many people looking to get back into nature have a hard time finding places that are pristine, open, and ever so natural to unwind and just have a great time.

Nature lovers now have a new area in California to view breathtaking mountains, an...

The Game of Thrones, HBO’s series ran for almost 10 years but had an interesting outcome from the San Diego Comic-Con panel.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who portrayed Jaime Lannister on the series was a member of the discussion panel.  He defended his character’s death in Season 8, but fans were really upset.

The SDCC Director of Programming, Eddie Ibrahim opened the panel with a few remarks while encouraging the crowd to show respect even if they had different opinions regarding the end of Game of Thrones.

In 2019, he told the SDCC attendees that we can disagree sometimes but we do love the content that has brought to them and everyone loved the shows and the movies.

Unfortunately, that was not enough to fen off some fans from literally booing when the subject of the Lannister twins arose.  Coster-Waldau tried to address the fans regarding the fates of Jaime Lannister and Cersei Lannister at the panel to no avail.

He explained that the final moments in the Red Keep, during “The Bells” episode made absolute sense for their complicated relationship.

It Made Sense for the Characters

Coster-Waldau said he believed the ending was great.  He believed it was perfect for him to end in the arms of Cersei.  He also told the audience that it made perfect sense.

Shortly after his comment, some SDCC attendees started booing him because they were upset that Coster-Waldau could not offer better remarks on the showrunners’ decision for the ill-fated pair. A showrunner is a leading producer in a series.  In the U.S., they are often referred to as the executive producer.

The criticism of Coster-Waldau’s statements was followed by HBO’s last-minute panel lineup changes.  They announced earlier on that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss would not be attending the SDCC 2019.  The Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnick and cast members Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) and Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) would also not be attending.

The Game of Thrones, HBO’s series ran for almost 10 years but had an interesting outcome from the San Diego Comic-Con panel.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who portrayed Jaime Lannister on the series was a member of the discussion panel.  He defended...

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You might not even know what an Emoji is!  These images are faces we use in our text message to display emotions such as blushing, smiling, or scowling.

Whether you want to end your message on a high note, add a smile in the middle of your text, or wishing someone a happy birthday, there’s an emoji for you.  We use them in messages on social media, in our emails to one another, or in other ways to convey an emotion or sentiment.

What you might not know, where did the original smiley come from?  This concept actually started back in the 60s when Harvey Ball created the very first smiley face drawing.  Over the years, the image began to change and develop into smiley emoji drawings that we all love and enjoy to use.

How It All Began:

Graphic artists, Harvey Ross Ball created the first smiley face without giving it much thought, let along turning it into an international icon!  Possibly, he was just doodling while coming up with ideas in his head for his next project.

He was originally hired by State Mutual Life Insurance Company as a graphic artist to produce an image that would encourage their employees to smile more often during their time at the workplace.

It took him less than 10 minutes to draw this cute smiley face and was only paid $45 for his artwork.  While the image probably did nothing to ramp up morale in the workplace, this smiley face caught on like wildfire!

It was printed on buttons, posters, shirts, etc.  Even though Ball never copyrighted the design, saying he was not a man of means or money, his smiley face continued to gain in popularity in our culture.  Before he knew it, even the company workers stood up and took notice of his simple cute drawing.

How The Smiley Face Evolved:

Through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the little yellow smiley face started to evolve and soon became an image of happiness and peace within pop art and started appearing on tee-shirts and posters.

As mentioned earlier, Ball never claimed the copyright but someone else stepped up to the plate to promote and commercialize this little yellow face.  Franklin Loufrani, a French journalist, was a driven man and he decided to attached this smiley drawing to all his positive newspaper stories and received a lot of attraction from readers.

At one point, he copyrighted the image and made a lot of money selling just about anything he could with the image printed on it.  He named the image simply “Smiley” and started the Smiley Company selling tee-shirt transfers to anyone who wanted to show off this positive image.

Even though the image was created long before the cell phone, this French journalist’s company played an enormous role in the production of the 21st-Century Emoji!

The Birth Of The Emoji:

If you’ve ever wondered how this little smiley face ended up on the internet, we’ve got you covered!  Scott E. Fahlman was a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon. He is the man who got the idea that would eventually lead to becoming known as an Emoji.

He decided it would be a great idea to have some visual way to express emotions that are funny to text messages, especially at the closing of a message with either a happy or sad face.

Then, Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese interface designer started sending out cartoons in his company messages that were emoji-like faces.  So in some ways, he is the one who created the emoji!  He used a 12 x 12 grid to produce the pixel images such as laughing faces, hearts, and of course, the original smiley face.

This new concept remained only in Japan for almost 10 years.  Meanwhile, Loufrani’s son Nicolas was working on the smiley replication of emojis.  He created an amazing 470 emojis during 1999 and licensed them out to phone companies for a price.  Finally, in 2010, emojis hit the public internationally with 722 emojis being released on iPhone and Android devices.

Now in the age of cell phones, there are approximately 3,000 emojis available for our devices. It’s almost impossible for any of us to imagine not having these emojis for our messages.  Though I must look back and say it’s a shame that Ball only received a total of $45 for a design that was formed in his head alone.

You might not even know what an Emoji is!  These images are faces we use in our text message to display emotions such as blushing, smiling, or scowling.

Whether you want to end your message on a high note, add a smile in the middle of your text...

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Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.

Colette has more:

Hawaiian activists led by native elders are protesting against the construction of a giant telescope atop the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain, which they say is sacred ground.
Colette has more:

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There are so many amazing and beautiful natural things that you will never notice or realize unless you view them from above.  JP and Mike Andrews have shared amazing sights and patterns that can only be seen from above by creating their own work as “abstract aerial art”.

They use drones called DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Pro.  They will find scenes that are literally all too perfect to be real and are, sadly, ignored.

Above Down Under

UK photographers started in 2016 when they visited Australia.  They wanted to know how much more they could view of remote areas from above.  They bought their first drone and headed to the outback. They quickly became in awe of what they discovered.

They grabbed the perspective of the drone to capture textures of the earth, swirls of patterns, symmetry and amazing colors.  The more they were drawn into what they were viewing and photographing, the more committed they became.

Each landscapes changes, exposing a truly magnificent and somewhat strange world that we live in.  The more they photographed these images, the more they were amazed at what they were actually looking at! Now, they are sharing these images to the world.

There are so many amazing and beautiful natural things that you will never notice or realize unless you view them from above.  JP and Mike Andrews have shared amazing sights and patterns that can only be seen from above by creating their own work...

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You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up in vacant lots that were created through guerrilla grafting but somehow fly under the radar of city ordinances.

Guerrilla grafting is one way of making your city more hospitable to their residents without relying on official guidelines.  All you really need,  take some cuttings from fruit-bearing plants, have a few very simple tools, and provide a little tender loving care.

Why Don’t Cities Plant Fruit Trees?

The reason many cities only plant non-fruit-bearing fruits, they are much easier to care for and no one has to spend a great deal of time cleaning up after these plants dropping their fruit on public places including sidewalks.

There does not seem to be a high-in-demand for people to harvest and distribute fruit nor does anyone have the time.  Adding to that, there are places like San Francisco (hold my tongue) that consider grafting as vandalism.

What many places don’t understand, planting and taking care of plants that produce fruit is quite critical for communities in need of fresh fruit such as low-income neighborhoods where these groceries are very hard to come by.

Many of the people in these neighborhoods do not have access to a car to make extra or special trips to the store and do not have the money to spend on healthy items like fruit.  These areas, unlike other neighborhoods, are prime for grafting.

Guerrilla Grafters founder, Tara Hui, was denied by city officials when she wanted to alleviate fruit foods shortage in the Bay Area.  She decided to take it on herself, she joined with fellow agricultural activists to transform their existing trees into fruit-bearing trees and collect data to prove this really does work.

The group only splices edible plants into areas where volunteers will monitor and maintain the trees to combat problems such as insects and other pests.

If you’d like to start something in your neighborhood, all you need are some fruit tree cuttings, a sharp knife, Ziploc bags, grafting tape, rubber bands, and other household items. Visit the Guerrilla Grafters website to get a manual that you can enlarge to read or download in English, German, or Spanish.  Happy Planting!

You might not know that you do not need a permit to make your city more attractive and abundant with food.  That said, there are gardens popping up in vacant lots that were created through guerrilla grafting but somehow fly under the radar of city...

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A new species of the pocket shark was found in the Gulf of Mexico.  It secretes a liquid that glows in the dark,  attracting its prey.

This is a very significant find because it’s the only other member of the  Mollisquama genus that has been identified, according to a study published in the  Zootaxa journal.

Named the American Pocket Shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) was identified as a new species based on an analysis performed on a single 5½-inch-long male that was caught in the Gulf in 2010.

In Louisiana, researchers from Tulane University applied several different techniques including X-ray imaging and high-resolution CT scans to examine the specimen.  It was determined it was a different species of the pocket shark  (Mollisquama parini)  that was ever reported.  In 1979, a pocket shark was captured in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Only two ever captured

Director of the Tulane Biodiversity Research Institute, Henry Bart, said in the history of science, these are the only two pocket sharks ever captured or reported.  He said that both sharks are separate species and from different oceans.

They are both extremely rare and the fact that only one pocket shark was reported from the Gulf of Mexico, this new species emphasizes how very little scientists know about the Gulf, especially in deeper waters. This has led scientists to question how many new species might be in the Gulf, yet to be discovered.

Both M. mississippiensis and M. parini have similar characteristics, they both have two rather large “pockets” near their front fins and gills. In a paper, the latest pocket shark has a fluid that glows and then attracts prey.

Even though both species have similarities, they also have notable differences, according to the Tulane scientists.  The M. mississippiensis has fewer vertebrae than the shark found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  Also, the species found in the Gulf has many light-producing organs known as photophores which have been found all over the body.

A new species of the pocket shark was found in the Gulf of Mexico.  It secretes a liquid that glows in the dark,  attracting its prey.

This is a very significant find because it’s the only other member of the  Mollisquama genus that has...

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Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility without involving a human safety driver sitting behind the wheel.

This is the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4 parking function to be totally approved for everyday use.  The thumbs-up comes 4 years after the companies started working together on the technology end.

Bosch board member, Dr. Markus Heyn said this decision by authorities only shows that innovations like automated valet parking is now possible in Germany.

He believes that driverless parking and driving are the cornerstones for tomorrow’s automated mobility.  Automated parking shows just how far we have already come and the continued development path that lies ahead.

Look Ma No Hands!

Level 4 was designated by SAE which means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in certain conditions without human interference.

Until now, there have been several Level 4 tests and trials in the works but they all involved people behind the wheel of the vehicle as a backup.

Bosch is considered one of the largest automotive tech and hardware suppliers in the world and they handle the infrastructure aspect of the automated parking function.

It works in collaboration with Daimler’s vehicle technology on its Mercedes-Benz vehicles.  Users can easily access the independent valet service using their smartphone app.

Bosch and Daimler started developing their fully automated driverless parking back in 2015. Their initial partnership including car2go, the which is the car-sharing unit of Daimler.

They debuted their automated valet parking function back in 2017 at the parking garage of the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Then in 2018, after intensive testing, museum visitors ere able to test the automated parking service with one very important warning, a human safety driver must always be behind the wheel.

Using their smartphone app, visitors could reserve vehicles from the facility.  Their vehicle would arrive independently to the designated pick up place in the garage.

When the visitor is finished with the vehicle, they could deliver it to the drop off area.  The vehicle would then drive itself back to its assigned spot, guided by the garage’s infrastructure and onboard sensors.

The pilot program was limited in scope and restricted by a safety driver, but it served a valuable purpose for Bosch and Daimler and even other companies hoping to use automated driving in Germany.

That said, Germany does not have an approval process for automated driving without a human driver.

From the beginning, Bosch and Daimler brought in authorities from Stuttgart and the state of  Baden-Württemberg’s transportation ministry as well as experts from the German certification authority TUV Rheinland.

You would think the group would assess the safety of Bosch & Daimler’s parking function but it also helped regulators come up with guidelines for testing and the approval benchmark that could be applied beyond the pilot project in a parking garage in Stuttgart.

Bosch & Daimler tested lighting ideas on the vehicle’s pilot project.  They used turquoise lighting to indicate that the vehicle was in automation mode and informed others passing by along with other road users, that the vehicle was driving itself.

This is not the only Bosch & Daimler project that is in the works.  In 2017, they partnered to bring fully automated vehicles to urban roads within the next 10 years.  Last year, they announced plans to have a pilot robotaxi service in San Jose, Calif.

They are planning on using automated Mercedes-Benz S Class vehicles during the second half of 2019. There will be a geofenced area in the San Carlos and Stevens Creek corridor which is between downtown and west San Jose.

The pilot will have an on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services.  All rides will be monitored by a safety driver.

Presently, Bosch is building a $1.1 billion facility designed to assemble semiconductors used in self-driving cars, smart homes, and smart city infrastructure.

The Dresden-based chip is expected to start manufacturing silicon, commercially, in 2021 and construction is expected to be finished in 2019.

Without a doubt, we have come a very long way getting Artificial Intelligence-based self-driving systems.

As of date, Daimler & Bosch have received approval from the German regulators to operate their automated driverless parking facility...

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The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will expand throughout the nation.

This month the TSA announced the opening of a new facility on the lower level of Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The new method being tested is under the Advancing the Checkpoint Environment program, or ACE, for short.

The Innovation Task Force

The director of the Innovation Task Force, Jose Bonilla, stated that this new facility will allow them to assess the new technology and processes being considered.

It will also make it easy for them to make a demonstration of the unique network of capabilities without having an effect on current operations.

The usual TSA checkpoints at Terminal 3 are found in the upper level of the building, while the ACE facility can be found downstairs. For the moment, only domestic passengers flying United Airlines will be able to go through ACE lanes.

However, this will soon be expanded to other domestic and international airlines. The ACE checkpoint is open for 4 hours every day, from Sunday to Thursday.

Passengers that go through the ACE lanes can leave their laptops in their bags even if they don’t have a PreCheck and they will be able to bypass traditional checkpoints. This process also provides faster security screening because fewer passengers are processed on these lanes.

The main ACE trials involve advanced imaging machines that make use of CT tech to look into the carry-on bags of passengers.

The images are more detailed than the traditional images produced by X-ray scans, which is why it will no longer be necessary for passengers to get their things out of their bags.

Similar machines are also being tested on other airports in the country, such as JKF Terminal 7. As ACE continues being used, newer technologies and procedures will be introduced to guarantee its evolution.

In fact, one of the main objectives of the ACE facility is to allow the testing of different types of tech and processes in conjunction with each other.

Passengers going through the ACE lanes will still have to remove liquids from their bags as well as their shoes, but it may not always be the case. The procedure will evolve alongside the technology, so many more upgrades to the screening process will follow.

The feedback from passengers who have used the ACE lanes and from the agents who manage them is important to evaluate these new processes and technologies, which will help the TSA roll out these new procedures and machines more broadly.

So far, the feedback is great on the introduced innovations, so we expect to hear more about this very soon as it will eventually appear on other airports in the country.

The TSA is finally testing a screening method that will allow passengers, even those without a TSA PreCheck, to keep their laptops in their bags during the process. This new screening method is being tested in Las Vegas, and if it works, it will...

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Autism has become more common than ever before. Year in and year out, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Some of the symptoms that make autism so distinguishable are sensory overloads, random outbursts, and overwhelming bouts of anxiety.

These symptoms can come out of nowhere, making family vacations quite stressful, which defeats the point of taking a vacation in the first place.

The good news is that many industry giants have taken the time to learn how to accommodate people on the autism spectrum, and Beaches Resorts is a great example of that.

In fact, the family-friendly resort is no stranger to autism, being the fist resort to complete the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) Autism Certificate (AC) training, thus becoming a Certified Autism Center (CAC) in April of 2017.

Remarkable Company

In April of 2019, Beaches Resorts continues working for more. Two years after becoming a CAC, the company has taken their commitment even further by becoming an Advanced Certified Autism Center (ACAC).

This is the very first company to obtain this designation, so it’s quite remarkable how seriously they’ve taken the issue.

However, at the end of the day, these are just credentials. What matters is what they’ve done with the knowledge they’ve acquired to ensure that families who choose their resort can receive the level of compassion and care it’s difficult to find in other places.

When you’re on vacation, you don’t want your family fun to be limited by concerns about safety or the ability of the staff to respond and interact with your children.

At Beaches Resorts, you don’t have to worry about this, which means your vacation will truly be exactly that: a vacation you can all enjoy together.

The moment you step foot in the resort, you’ll receive personalized care. This is possible because families can fill out a questionnaire with a Special Services team before traveling so they can be aware of specific preferences and requests.

If you need a private check-in or a sensory toy to keep your child busy and happy while you check-in, Beaches Resorts will provide exactly that.

Friends on Sesame Street

Beaches Resort have also partnered with Sesame Street to create an environment specifically designed for kids, which characters such as Cookie Monster, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, and more, walking around the resort.

What this means is that your family will have fun the second they arrive at the resort, which is not something you can say of every resort out there. They have even introduced a new muppet named Julia, who’s on the autism spectrum herself.

This muppet is of course exclusive to the resort and with activities such as Amazing Art with Julia, children will enjoy their time thoroughly.

Children on the autism spectrum often have trouble communicating with words, that’s why Julia encourages self-expression through art. Through this activity, your children will be able to explore themselves in an easier, better, more exciting way.

Because Julia is on the spectrum as well, some things must be noted. For example, taking pictures without her permission is a no-no. This is meant to encourage both the understanding and acceptance of autism.

Another wonderful thing about Beaches Resorts is that they’re not limited to activities for children. This year, they were allowed to include their water sports operations in their ACAC certification.

Children on the spectrum will be handled by dive team staff that has been trained on accommodating, interacting, and keeping them safe during these activities. Thus providing the opportunity for them to enjoy diving in the Caribbean, something that no other result can offer.

If you have a child on the spectrum, it’s never easy to plan a vacation. Not knowing what your options are is crippling and limiting, so knowing about the one Caribbean resort where you will absolutely have the safest, most exciting and fun experience is a joy.

Beaches Resorts will help you show your child that there’s nothing they can’t do, provided they have the support they need to explore new things and be comfortable doing what they like.

For parents, it’s a relief to know you’re child is in good hands, so your vacation will be amazing for everyone involved.

Autism has become more common than ever before. Year in and year out, more and more children are being diagnosed with it. Some of the symptoms that make autism so distinguishable are sensory overloads, random outbursts, and overwhelming bouts of...

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We all want to see Jennifer Aniston participate in a Friends reunion, but perhaps the thing we want to see most is her sharing the screen with Brad Pitt.

Despite the fact that they were married, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston never shared the silver screen together. In fact, the only screen-time they had together was on Friends and they hated their guts.

Brad Pitt’s turmoil following his separation from Angelina Jolie is not unknown to us, but Jennifer Aniston hasn’t had it easy either. However, that doesn’t keep her from having an incredibly positive attitude towards life.

Both enjoy strong careers that are still relevant, so one has to wonder what are the chances they will come together at least in film if not romantically once more.

He-Said-She-Said

Despite any issues they may have had in the past, Pitt and Aniston have remained friends for a long time. The fact that their marriage didn’t work out, in the end, did not affect their civility towards each other.

We all know what happened, and even so, there was no he-said-she-said battle in the media.

Of course, they took some time apart before they resumed any kind of relationship, but recently they’ve been seen together in a few places. This has been enough to get rumors going about the possibility of getting back together and even getting married to each other again.

Fortunately, representatives of George and Amal Clooney were quick to put these rumors to rest by stating that they weren’t trying to get Brad and Jennifer together in their visit to Rome. The media really wants them to rekindle their relationship, but it’s not likely it will happen.

Give The People What They Want?

Fans also want this to happen, but the only thing you can hope for is them working together somehow. The chemistry they used to have is undeniable, and they could potentially still have that.

There has always been a lot of mystery surrounding Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s relationship.

Rumor has it they got back together as friends when Pitt showed up to Aniston’s birthday party this year. But no one knows if they’ve seen each other before this, even if they’ve been supportive of each other through the years. Plus, Aniston invited him to her 50th birthday, so it’s not like he showed up out of the blue.

With this in mind, it’s not far-fetched to believe they could work together without any issues. The question is: should they? Or would they fall back into romance through their characters?

After all, this is what happened between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and it’s not at all uncommon in Hollywood.

The only time Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston shared the screen was in Friend’s 2001 Thanksgiving episode. Ironically enough, Brad’s character despised Rachel, which was very funny to watch at the time.

If Brad Pitt hadn’t fallen for Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith back in 2004, it’s likely that Jennifer Aniston and Pitt might have worked together. 15 years after the fact, the question remains: should they act in something together? A romantic comedy, perhaps?

We can only dream! Being aware of the fact that working on romantic movies often leads to real-life romance, the idea is attractive.

Something’s for certain, though: the more a couple knows each other, the more convincing their performance will be. All we can hope for is someone coming up with a top-tier script for them and them actually accepting it.

It would definitely be a dream come true for a great amount of people, us included!

We all want to see Jennifer Aniston participate in a Friends reunion, but perhaps the thing we want to see most is her sharing the screen with Brad Pitt.

Despite the fact that they were married, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston never shared the...

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Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to be adapted in order to grow.

Urban hacking is one of the most direct ways we have of shaping our city into what we want it to be, and these hacks often lead to permanent solutions. Urban hacks range from taking over disused public squares and installing seating for seniors to bringing humor and fun to everyday scenes.

What urban hacking does is turn public space and urban landscape into a huge playground where people can express their creativity and better their city. Here are 15 inexpensive and cool city hacks to be aware of!

  1. Shopping Cart Sports by Florian Riviére

Florian Riviére is a French artist and activist that has come up with many different city hacks. His project “Don’t Play, Play” encourages people to stay in the parking lot of shopping centers instead of going inside.

For this purpose, parking spots are modified with white tape to turn them into courts for sports such as tennis, hockey, basketball, etc., using shopping carts as nets or structural supports.

  1. Wanderest Chair for Seniors Attached to Light Poles

Light poles can easily become the backrest for seats with “Wanderest”, from designer Nichola Trudgen. This leaning stool can be easily attached to any octagonal or circular light pole and they’re installed in retirement areas where there’s no public seating available.

  1. Info Pillars

Info pillars can be found in Toronto and they often show advertisements instead of actually useful information for people who are exploring the city on foot.

They also block important sections of the sidewalk, making it difficult for pedestrians. That’s why the creative team known as cARTographyTO hacked 35 of these info pillars and replaced the ads with maps, sculptures, art, and chalkboards.

This got the public’s attention, of course, and it encouraged them to reconsider the use of these info pillars.

  1. Tram Track Skateboarding

In Bratislava, Slovakia, the width of the tram tracks match perfectly with the width of a standard European pallet.

When this pallet is modified with parts to keep it in place, it becomes a sort of skateboard that zooms across the city with minimum effort, guided by a map of the city.

This project from Slovakian artist Tomas Moravec is meant to serve as a new transport vehicle that changes spatial perspective of users and the life of the city as well.

  1. Urban Terrasse: Adaptive Furniture by Damien Gires

In France, designer Damien Gires takes octagonal cardboard boxes and places them in anti-parking posts on sidewalks, turning them into mini tables for adjacent cafes.

This project is known as Urban Terrasse, and it’s meant to make sidewalks more functional and to encourage cafe patrons to get more involved with their city environments because it shows them it’s in their best interest.

Urban planners learn a lot from the modifications citizens make on public spaces, whether that’s creating “goat trails” where there aren’t proper sidewalks or hacking infrastructure. These modifications tell urban planners how cities need to...

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