Reykjavik's new Harpa concert hall wins first prize in European Union's prize for contemporary architecture

Assorted links from around the traps:

  • A man built a secret apartment in a mall and lived in it undetected for four years. I expect he was caught when the postie tried to deliver his internet purchases.
  • The Portia hypothesis. Female lawyers are less likely to become judges if they have gender specific names like Hazel or Ashley but more likely to end up on the Bench if they have dual gender names like Kerry or Jody.
  • Ten rules of public transport advocacy. I’m taking all the credit for rule two: “(2) Transit’s main purpose is to move people, not solve pollution, social equity, congestion, etc. (2a) Transit is a means (mobility) to an end (the destination), not an end in itself.”
  • Ideas coming down the track. “New train technologies are less visible and spread less quickly than improvements to cars or planes. But there is still plenty of innovation going on, and ideas are steadily making their way out onto the rails.”
  • The avant garde art of stacking books in Japanese bookstores. A few starchitects must’ve stopped in on the their way to China.
  • Increasing inequality. Remarkable chart linking the rising income share of the top 1% in various countries with declining top marginal tax rates.
  • On the ‘we’re all racist’ deepity. “Locating racism in social structures rather than character flaws matters, since there are obvious consequences for what we do about in response.”
  • In defence of Australian welfare. “Railing against a soaring benefits bill and middle-class handouts is another international trend Australia should avoid importing.”
  • Report says it’s OK to text while driving provided you look up every couple of seconds. “After all, you can always steer with your knees or—if you really want to be extra careful—text with one hand and hold the wheel with the other. Better yet, just ask a passenger to give you a heads-up whenever there’s a red light or another car up ahead.”

Recent collections of links here: