North America's Pacific Northwest was on the receiving end of a incredibly large amount of rain recently - and while it caused some flooding and even some tornadoes across the whole region, British Columbia really got hit very hard.
A lot of the more rural roads in BC are carefully threaded through its mountainous landscape, which suffered a large number of wildfires this summer. When mountainous landscapes meet torrential rain - especially if all the trees have been burned away - landslides and mudslides result, and roads tend not to like those.
It's so bad, in fact, that Vancouver was completely cut off from the rest of Canada, and there are several towns and villages in the interior of BC that are totally isolated too. Efforts are underway to fix the roads that "just" have tons of mud and rocks on them, but some of them are in really bad shape and will need significant earthworks to fix - not easy now winter is around.
What is actually happening when you build a brand new tower and it starts to lean? This article digs into the events surrounding the fated Millenium Tower in San Francisco - initially sold as an ultra-luxurious place for the very wealthy, but which quickly turned into lawsuits flying everywhere as it started to tilt.
It turns out that soil engineering is tricky stuff, and it's very city-dependent - building skyscrapers in London, for example, is different as you can create giant basements that "float" the buildings in the clay, whereas in somewhere like Miami you can build directly on the limestone - though in that case, you might need actual floats, as it's so porous that rising sea levels will come straight up through it.
Trains. They're cool, they're fun, and they're good for the environment - especially if they run on electricity rather than diesel. But giving trains power requires stringing up overhead wires, or building a third rail, with regular substations along the way... or does it?
Battery-powered trains have been talked about for passenger services for some time now - especially on small branch lines - but there's now talk of them taking on freight too, since adding a giant boxcar full of batteries really doesn't make a big difference to a giant freight train.
One interesting note near the bottom, too, is the ability to move these trains to areas that need emergency power after disasters and hooking them up to the power grid - something that the Canadians already have some practice with.
The US has a problem. No, not that one. Or that one. Well, it has lots, but one that's been silently getting worse is the sheer lack of public restrooms/toilets that are available.
Walk around almost any big US city and you'll notice it eventually - there's almost nowhere to go. Your best bet is to find a private business, and even then, they're closing theirs off too.
What's behind this? A whole host of reasons, though often the finger is pointed at how costly they are to maintain and keep clean, especially as the US' lack of social support and rising housing costs are causing a spiraling homelessness issue.
There's some potential solutions - including fully automated, self-cleaning options - but I just hope they get some traction, and don't run into that weird American problem where all infrastructure costs about ten times more to build than it should.