Tag Archives: city

How does water get to my house?

Through a series of pumps and electricity, from the USGS Water Science School:

Let’s assume that you get your water from the local water department through pipes buried below the streets. In other words, you don’t have your own well in your back yard. Chances are that you get your water through gravity and pumps. Cities and towns build those big water towers on top of the highest hills and then fill them with water. So even if you live on a hill, there’s a good chance the water tower is higher than your house. Water moves from the tower, due to gravity, and goes down a large pipe from the tower to eventually reach your house.

Although gravity supplies the power to move water from the tower to homes, electricity is needed to run a pump to push water from the source.

 

In my city, those water pumps use a lot of electricity. It is the second largest city expense, using 5.4 million kWh and costing more than $500K a year. (Energy Action Plan, page 21)

 

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Inspired to find your niche – chocolatier, hotelier – Rick Steves in Bruges, Belgium

 

Chocolate Lady

It’s so clear: A fundamental part of the joy of travel is to simply be in the presence of people who’ve found their niche. We only live once on this beautiful planet, and we have the personal challenge of doing with our lives what God intended — of finding our niche. I think that when you’re blessed enough to find a livelihood that fits your spirit, it gives you energy — and you, in turn, give the world a positive radiance. In Bruges, Belgium, Madame Dumon makes and sells chocolate. Keeping her little brown world cool in a heat wave, she makes sure everyone who enters gets a rich and creamy sample of their choice.

 

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A brochure from the Olympics – the map from the London Tube

 

I’ve got two maps for you. The first is the slippy map above from London Town:

I like the…hand-drawn feel of the map. Venues are shown in indicative locations rather than being geographically correct, as the details of London between the venues are missed out. This makes it a very poor map for navigating around London between the venues, but a good graphic illustrating just how many venues in London there are, and how they relate geographically to the major London landmarks. – Mapping London

 

Second, is the one you would pick up in the London Tube if you were going to the games. Created for the Olympics, the “London Summer 2012″ map looks like a pretty cool brochure/souvenir for the games:

The maps feature key landmarks, the locations of Olympics related events (such as London Live) and shops, a selection of interesting museums and also more practical information such as public amenities, police stations and NHS walk in centres. The maps also include 6 discovery trails (round trips) to help explore different areas (such as the City; Spitalfields and Brick Lane; Regent’s Park; and the West End).

Two screenshots of it below – more at – Mapping London

 

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Twitter now has more than half a billion accounts worldwide

A milestone for Twitter today, according to the Paris-based analyst group Semiocast. The social network has now passed the half-billion account mark — specifically 517 million accounts as of July 1, 2012, with 141.8 million of those users in the U.S., still about half as many users as Facebook has but positioning it as the second-biggest social networking site.

And just as most of Twitter’s users are coming from outside the U.S., so are the tweets: the top three cities in terms of tweets, it says, are Jakarta, Tokyo and London.

 

Source: TechCrunch - Analyst: Twitter Passed 500M Users In June 2012, 140M Of Them In US; Jakarta ‘Biggest Tweeting’ City

 

 

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20% of America’s Olympic athletes come from San Diego

This has become the world’s five-ring capital, a place where the Olympic flame is more like a raging beach bonfire, a place that increasingly produces more Olympic athletes in more sports on a more regular basis per capita than anywhere else maybe on the planet. The 2012 Summer Games begin Friday in London, and San Diego — a city of 1.3 million, a county of 3.1 million — can claim 80 athletes who either grew up here or currently live and train here.

And that doesn’t include another two dozen rowers who have wintered on Lower Otay Reservoir for the past several years, which would push the number north of 100 — or roughly one in five members of the U.S. Olympic team. San Diego County has roughly one-hundredth of the U.S. population.

Jarred Rome, a discus thrower who moved here in 2003 and like Schmidt is headed to his second Olympics, put it like this: “When you’re around greatness, you become great.”

There are race walkers and kayakers, a fencer, an equestrian dressage rider, a track cyclist who cut her teeth on the oval in Balboa Park. The U.S. women’s field hockey team relocated here in 2008.

 

Keep reading: U-T San Diego - San Diego: America’s Olympic capital

 

 

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Apple Campus II – 3,600 jobs and the big push into Austin, Texas

Pushing ahead with plans to invest $304 million in Austin, Texas, Apple has secured a deal for three large patches of land adjacent to its existing campus, which — when developed — will expand its presence in the area and result in the creation of more than 3,600 jobs.

The State of Texas offered Apple an investment of $21 million over ten years via its Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), followed by an $8.6 million grant investment from the City of Austin.

As part of its City deal, Apple would need to invest $56.5 million in new facilities and equipment by the end of 2015, with an additional $226 million investment coming by the end of 2021.

 

Source: The Next Web - Apple closes deal to expand Austin campus, moves ahead with $304 million Texas investment

 

 

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Orchestra flashmob in Spain – 100 musicians in the city center

 

On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign “Som Sabadell” (We are Sabadell) . This is the flashmob that we arranged as a final culmination with the participation of 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.

En el 130º aniversario de la creación de Banco Sabadell hemos querido rendir un homenaje a nuestra ciudad con la campaña “Som Sabadell”. Esta es la flashmob que realizamos como colofón final con la participación de más de 100 personas de la Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès y los coros Lieder y Amics de l’Òpera y la Coral Belles Arts.

 

// Thx – Ricardo Blanco

11 documentaries about cities – streaming on Netflix

Here are 11 new and new-ish documentaries now streaming that offer interesting, frustrating and downright sad stories about cities.

 

Bill Cunningham New York
2010, 84 minutes
Directed by Richard Press

A film about octogenarian and New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who rides his bike around New York City taking pictures of clothes and the people – both ordinary and extraordinary – who wear them. A unique look at the changing fashions of one of the world’s centers of culture.

 

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America’s Best High Schools 2012

 

This year, our ranking highlights the best 1,000 public high schools in the nation—the ones that have proven to be the most effective in turning out college-ready grads.

The list is based on six components provided by school administrators:

  • Graduation rate (25 percent)
  • College matriculation rate (25 percent)
  • AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent)
  • Average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent)
  • Average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent)
  • AP courses offered  per student(5 percent).

 

Search for your own school or find the best in your area:

America’s Best High Schools 2012

 

The top 10 schools:

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Housing recovery hits some areas – top growth in U.S. cities

Metros with the Most Construction Permits in 2011

  1. Houston, TX – 31,271
  2. Dallas, TX – 18,686
  3. Washington, DC – 16,501
  4. New York, NY – 13,973
  5. Austin, TX – 10,239
  6. Los Angeles, CA – 9,895
  7. Phoenix, AZ – 9,081
  8. Seattle, WA – 8,664
  9. Atlanta, GA – 8,634
  10. San Antonio, TX – 7,127

More permits were issued in the Houston metro area than in any other metro, by far. Four of the top ten metros were in Texas. But this list is dominated by large metro areas, and we’d expect bigger areas to have more construction activity. Looking instead at the number of permits issued per 1,000 existing housing units…here are the top metro areas by construction activity:

Most Construction Activity (per 1,000 existing units)

  1. El Paso, TX – 15.36
  2. Austin, TX – 14.49
  3. Raleigh, NC – 13.66
  4. Houston, TX – 13.55
  5. Charleston, SC – 12.80
  6. Dallas, TX – 11.26
  7. Little Rock, AR – 10.53
  8. Baton Rouge, LA – 9.51
  9. Washington, DC – 9.44
  10. Columbia, SC – 8.74

via – The Top U.S. Cities for New Home Construction - which includes cities with least construction activity

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