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“I think we’re about four meters under sea level right now,” says urban designer Dirk van Peijpe. We’re sitting on concrete steps in Rotterdam’s center. The country’s extensive water protection systems–including 787-foot-long floodgates that can swing open in a storm surge to hold back the North Sea–mean that we’re not underwater.

But as sea levels rise, the city is facing different problems. When it rains, (something that had happened three or four times so far that day) high groundwater means there’s nowhere for the rain to go.

“It’s basically a bathtub we’re living in,” says van Peijpe. The city could have built bigger pipes to try to deal with the heavy, frequent storms that are coming because of climate change. Instead, they worked with van Peijpe and fellow designers from his architecture firm, De Urbanisten, to build something that had never existed before: a concrete park that doubles as water storage when it rains.

When it’s dry, the concrete basin can be used as a basketball court or a soccer field. The stadium-like stairs act as seating for plays by theater students in the school next to the park, or for churchgoers from the church on the other side. If it suddenly rains, the basin fills up with water, and then slowly releases it into the ground, giving the city’s overloaded sewers a break.

The park is part of a larger district that the city is making climate-proof, tearing up asphalt and concrete and replacing it with new paving that can hold water. A nearby building, surrounded by skyscrapers, is topped with Europe’s largest rooftop farm–part of the city’s push to cover roofs in greenery that can absorb water in storms. Already, more than 200,000 square meters of roofs have been greened. The city’s network of trams winds through tracks surrounded by grass and flowers, not pavement. An underground parking garage, like the concrete park, doubles as water storage when it’s needed. Ultimately, infrastructure may be redesigned so stormwater is all stored and no longer flows into the sewer system at all.


All of these changes are the result of a sweeping resilience plan. The city, which is part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative plans to be fully climate-proof by 2025, so every neighborhood will be protected from problems like heavier rainfall, overflowing waterways, and heat waves. “Doing nothing is not an option,” Ahmed Aboutaleb, Rotterdam’s mayor, wrote in the original adaptation plan in 2012. “The proper functioning of the city is much too important to be left to chance.” With a full commitment to change, the government had the motivation–and the funding–to take on original projects like the water-storing park, projects that have started to inspire other cities like Copenhagen .

Some of Rotterdam’s most experimental projects are directly on the water itself. In 2017, a huge floating dairy farm –home to 60 cows, and greenhouses growing grains to feed them–will open in a harbor in the western part of the city, producing hyperlocal yogurt and milk. If buildings float, they can’t flood.

A low frequency of random screening (as opposed to a high level of screening equally applied to all) can deter someone who wants to evade detection. 19 This is particularly true in the case of a terrorist attack because there is a very high cost of failure in such a plot, as there is for any predator. A lioness hunting an antelope must have very little uncertainty that her attack will be successful because if she fails, she has not only wasted energy and gotten hungrier, but she has also left her pride hungrier as well. A terrorist who gets caught not only fails to achieve the goal, but also puts his entire organization at grave risk of being discovered or counter-attacked. Indeed, this aversion to uncertainty drove several delays of the 9/11 attacks and may have led senior al Qaeda leaders to abort the attacks on 9/11 had they known one of the secondary operatives had been arrested. 20

What is attractive about randomizing security procedures is that it can actually drastically reduce the amount of time we waste in security lines (by screening much less than 100 percent of people for most things) while reducing the likelihood of an attack. These multiple benefits are not just serendipitous – natural security systems create positive feedback loops. For example, increasing uncertainty for a predator reduces the need for constant vigilance by the prey organism, which can then spend more resources on eating or mating or other needed security strategies. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been experimenting with randomization and uncertainty in its 2010 Surface Transportation Security Priority Assessment, about which it testified that “random screening teams are among DHS’ most effective deterrence and detection tools for countering terrorist threats,” 21 as well as through its Screening of Passengers through Observation Techniques (SPOT) behavioral detection program which deploys trained TSA agents to search for characteristic signs of stress and deception among passengers. Behavioral recognition has the advantage of returning control of uncertainty to the population it is trying to protect because it can be conducted from hidden vantage points or video. As a head behavioral screener at Dulles Airport (one of 161 airports where behavioral screening was initially deployed by TSA) 22 remarked, “The observation of human behavior is probably the hardest thing to defeat. You just don’t know what I am going to see.” 23 Nonetheless, the scientific basis for behavioral detection has not been well established, 24 and the efficacy of layering discrete behavioral screening with other levels of verbal and non-verbal intent detection systems is currently being investigated. 25

A main reason that security walls and contraband screening don’t work against attackers is that they quickly learn what the barrier is and how to get around it. This problem has been recognized by cyber security experts who have recently acknowledged that forty years of attempts to make “perfect” systems protected by firewalls have only led to an increasingly vulnerable cyber infrastructure. 26 One simple and effective cyber attack that has been successful in deliberate simulations and actual attacks involves physically scattering virus-infected USB drives in a parking lot and letting employees with security clearance inadvertently introduce the virus behind the firewall when they insert the drives into their workstations. 27

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They won 65 games and made it to Game 7 of the Western Conference finals by living by the 3-pointer. Unfortunately for the Rockets, they died by it on Monday.
Author: Colin Ward-Henninger, CBS SPORTS
Published: 10:54 PM CDT May 28, 2018
Updated: 11:15 PM CDT May 28, 2018

There are cold spells, and then there's what happened to the Houston Rockets during Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors.

If you thought to yourself, "man, it seems like it's been a while since the Rockets made a 3-pointer," you were absolutely right. The Rockets missed an playoff record 27 consecutive 3-pointers from the second quarter to the fourth quarter. They didn't make a single 3 in the third quarter.

After missing TWENTY SEVEN consecutive threes, the Rockets have hit from deep!

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