Two Link Tuesday

“Concepts like beauty and happiness are subjective indeed, but, in our crowdsourcing experiment, we found that if you ask a large enough number of people to pick between two pictures [and choose] which one is more beautiful or which one makes them happier, consensus usually emerges.”

In our world of instant updates, Twitter news feeds, and increasing workweeks, slowing down probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of priorities. It seems that almost every day a new app is launched to get you somewhere faster, whether it’s via public transportation, traffic notifications, or a quick text asking, “Have you left yet?” In today’s sprint from point A to point B, there’s little time to stop and smell the roses, right? Not exactly, says one group of researchers, because what if you didn’t have to stop? Researchers in Barcelona partnered with the University of Torino explore how new GPS mapping apps can incorporate both beauty and speed. Type in your end destination and the app will generate not only the fastest route, but the most scenic one as well? It’s enough to make one reconsider taking the path less traveled. Click here to read more about the future mapping progress. 


 “It’s a great feeling to just be able to offer people something so simple and yet so vital.”

When faced with the statistic that over 3,500 homeless people live in San Francisco and only 7 public shower locations are available, a local non-profit decided to take action. However, with a scattered population and rental costs in the Bay Area at an all-time high, the group knew one factor would be the key to their success: mobility. Thus, the Lava Mae mobile shower bus was born. Funded by private donations, the refurbished public transit bus now features two full private bathrooms, hot showers, clean toilets, shampoo, soap and towels all free of charge. The bus is parked in the Mission District throughout the week, but also travels to nearby homeless shelters to pass out toiletries. By 2015, Lava Mae hopes to have four more buses on the road providing 2,000+ showers / week. Visit their Tumblr to see inside the bus and read more about Lava Mae’s efforts.

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