Heathrow’s Problem

Featured Image: With an area of 1,214 ha (3,000 acres) and 80 million annual passengers, Heathrow Airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Europe.

Thursday, 13 June 2019, London, United Kingdom – Heathrow Airport, the primary international airport for London and major global hub airport, has a problem. Despite handling 80 million annual passengers last year, it only has two runways. For context, LAX has four runways. Rival European airports like Madrid Airport, or Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, also have four runways. Amsterdam Airport has six and Dallas-Fort Worth has seven. With just two runways at Heathrow, London’s international hub is just barely squeaking by. It continually suffers from overcrowding and delays, and a TripAdvisor poll rated it as the worst airport in the world.

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Wooden skyscrapers

Featured Image: If built, the W350 tower in Japan will become the tallest wooden skyscraper in the world.

Saturday, 1 June 2019, New York, NY – A Japanese company named Sumitomo Forestry has ambitious plans for a 70-story, 350 m (~1150 ft) tall skyscraper made almost entirely of timber. Its planned date of completion is in 2041 and its cost estimate is around $5.6 billion. In addition to becoming the tallest wooden skyscraper in the world, the building will also feature a steel skeletal frame to protect it from earthquakes, as well as numerous green balconies to connect the building’s residents to nature. According to Sumitomo Forestry, “The aim [of the building] is to create environmentally-friendly and timber-utilizing cities where [cities] become forests through increased use of wooden architecture for high-rise buildings”.

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The Blackout of 2003

Featured Image: New York City, which was most affected by the blackout.

3 October 2018, New York, NY – The top news stories have been exhausting, so let’s talk about something unrelated but still equally terrifying – the Blackout of 2003. This blackout represents one of the most widespread power outages in American history, affecting 55 million people in Ontario and the Northeastern United States. Since 2003 was not that long after the September 11 attacks, many people widely expected the outage as part of another elaborate terrorist attack. But no, not even close. This outage was actually cause by a felled tree in suburban Cleveland, Ohio.

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World Trade Centre

Featured Image: The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, as seen from a nearby street in 2000.

11 September 2018, New York, NY – This blog post went out at 8:46 AM, the same time that the first aircraft struck the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. Today marks 17 years since those jarring terrorist attacks, and its effects remain deeply ingrained into American society. Everything from the War on Terror, to the TSA, to the end of America’s skyscraper quest, has been a result of the attacks. In honour of the victims and their families, we thought it would be a good idea to briefly discuss the history of the World Trade Centre, what those towers stood for, and their impact on American popular culture and society.

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Chernobyl Disaster, 32 years on

Featured image: The abandoned city of Pripyat, with the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant visible in the distance.

Sunday, 29 April 2018, Moscow, Russia – 32 years ago, on 26 April 1986, the worst nuclear disaster in human history occurred, at Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl power plant in the Ukrainian SSR. The disaster resulted in the immediate deaths of 50 scientists, the evacuation of around 120,000 people, and the radioactive contamination of the surrounding area for at least the next 100,000 years.

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Global Metro System

Featured Image: A map of the global subway system. Click here for a magnifiable map.

Saturday, 31 March 2018, New York, NY – If you remember our last blog post, we mentioned the possibility of a global highway system that could exist by the year 2050. This potential highway system also reminded us of another massive engineering project. A man named Chris Gray, from West Yorkshire, England, created a proposal for a global metro system that is meant to make travel quick and seamless. The system connects pretty much every city of note in the world, and, when you take a look at the proposal, is actually pretty cool.

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