Much of the work we do for our kids, whether as parents or as siblings or as detached aficionados of the adorable, involves fiction. We tell children stories, about dragons and princes and mischievous monsters. We inform them of the doings of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. We create worlds meant to inspire them and soothe them and delight them and protect them.
Usually, we do this work on our own, individually: at bedtime, at storytime, with toys and dolls and movies. We don’t normally get residents of the real world to help us create our story worlds. The fictionalization of childhood is something that plays out, in general, at the level of the family. The parent. The teacher.
Except when it doesn’t. Except when the fiction involves a massive, verging-on-city-wide effort—to inspire a kid, and soothe him, and delight him, and protect him. Sometimes, the fiction plays out along the lines of a network.
I mention this because of Batkid. In everyday life—the life that can be all too nonfictional—the Batkid is named Miles. He is 5 years old. He lives, with his family, near San Francisco. He has been battling leukemia since he was nearly 2. He is, and hopefully will remain, in remission.
Another thing about Miles: He loves Batman. Which led his parents to write to the Make-A-Wish foundation, asking it to help them perpetrate, for and on behalf of their son, the ultimate fiction. They wanted Patricia Wilson, head of the foundation in the Bay Area, to make Miles a Batkid. They wanted him to spend a day saving San Francisco.
Beautifully shot videos showcase Loaded Boards’ innovations in longboard design, not to mention some stunning west coast landscapes.
No architectural model lasts forever, but Liz Hickok's facsimiles have less time than most: hardly a week before the mold sets in. That's because Hickok's choice material comes not from the art room but from the lunchroom.
Despite its undeniable kitsch, Hickok swears she’s not in the urban Jell-O model business for the novelty. “It’s because it’s alive and changing, just as our real cities are,” she writes in an email. “By using a medium that is perishable I can speak to the fragility and impermanence of our cities.”
See more. [Images: Liz Hickok]
In fact, we can quantify how city-like or not city-like any given neighborhood is. That is, we can ask, “how San Francisco-like is the Mission, really?” and “how much more like New York is the Financial District than it is San Francisco?”
And we can do this for every neighborhood. What do we find?
Cities have “stereotypical” neighborhoods that very strongly match the flow of their home cities, and some neighborhoods just don’t really seem to belong to their home city. They’re outliers.
Read more. [Image: Uber]
A large body of literature shows that highly creative people - artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and the like - are highly likely to be open to new experiences. An earlier study by Rentfrow and his colleague Sam Gosling of the University of Texas, titled “The New Geography of Personality,” tracked the five major personality types across states. They found open-to-experience people were more likely to “attempt to escape the ennui experienced in small-town environments by relocating to metropolitan areas where their interests in cultures and needs for social contact and stimulation are more easily met.” Read more.
[Image: Eric Broder Van Dyke/ Shutterstock.com]
Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of the opening of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Before 1937, the city’s growth was hampered by a reliance on ferry traffic. The 8,981 ft (2,737 m) suspension bridge changed that, creating a link between San Francisco to Marin County. Its construction was completed under budget, but at the cost of 11 workers’ lives. Collected here are images from the building of this iconic bridge, as well as scenes from its 75 years of service and from Sunday’s celebration.
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