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Weekly Grind: Mt. Rushmore's Secret Chamber and Greenland Aglow


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Photograph from Rapid City Chamber of Commerce/Nat'l Geographic

Mt. Rushmore's Hidden Message to a Distant Future

Mt. Rushmore's sculptor/designer worried that in the distant future, his outsized sculpture of four American presidents would be as incomprehensible as Stonehenge. So he cut a huge secret room into the back of the mountain, right behind Lincoln's head, and made elaborate plans to enclose within it a message to future generations, curious archaeologists, and space visitors. Really.

Chinese High School Excavation Unearths New Dinosaur

Workers in southern China were blasting with dynamite for the construction of a new high school. Following one of the explosions they found in the rubble a new type of dinosaur, which they poetically named "Muddy Dragon on the Road to Heaven," in tribute to what they perceived as its manner of death. 

Great Responsibility: Building Design for Developing Nations

Designing and building in a developing country means more than just a different budget structure. There is a moral component. When you are the resident expert, all eyes—and hopes—are pinned  to your efforts. 

Offutt AFB's Building D is Haunted

The Enola Gay was built there - the airplane that dropped the payload on Hiroshima. And later three airmen were killed there when their crashing test bomber came through the roof of the place. And there's more. Building D still holds training classes at night on the lower levels, where shadows shift and footless footsteps can be heard. Just try to concentrate on the lecture while down there. Maybe the ghosts just want to be near other things that fly?

Weed-Covered Flying Saucer Has Definitely Landed

Near the entrance to the Everglades, in Florida, a mock-futuristic house of uncertain provenance has long since fallen into disrepair. It may once have been occupied by a mob boss. Hence its proximity to the everglades. 

TESLA Competitor Faraday Showing Signs of Stress

Faraday Future, the brazen, billionaire-funded electric car alternative to TESLA, broke ground on a $1B plant in the Nevada Desert with much fanfare. That was in April, and it is approximately the last good thing that happened to Faraday. They owe their contractor $54M, for instance. Battery half full: they can't exactly go down from here.  Musk is surely putting his feet up.

Urban Landscape Designer Diana Balmori Reimagined City Nature

The far-seeing landscape architect saw nature as the principal actor in the urban landscape, around which the buildings and populated areas would revolve. Envisioning the built environment and the surrounding terrain as a single environment, she changed the way we look at nature in the city limits. More than parkland: the soul of a city.

Investigative Report: New Homes are Increasingly Shoddy

An investigative Report by ABC News has found what looks like a mini-epidemic of brand new, sub-par homes all over the country. And the companies putting them up are not always rushing in to make the fixes. Are razor-thin margins to blame?

NYC to Unveil Underground Park by 2021

Designer James Ramsey had a freaky idea and 60,000 square feet, and with help from the city of NY he is taking the first steps to inventing a new kind of public space. Central to his unusual project is this thorny little problem: how to deliver sunlight to the 1908 underground trolley depot he intends to turn into one of the world's first subterranean parks

Denver Airport is an Unlikely Conspiracy Vortex

Nothing says international intrigue like...Denver? The beautifully modern airport has had its share of technological controversy, sure. But who would have suspected it of being at the darkened dead center of so much weird conspiracy chit chat? The Mile-High City: Perfect Disguise!