Building to the Sky, With a Plan for Rising Waters, The New York Times
As climate change becomes impossible to ignore, real estate developers are adjusting their plans for rising storms and sea levels. A new waterfront property in New York City features generators with the ability to power tenants’ refrigerators and power outlets for a week, because “if you have your phone and your refrigerator, you can survive,” as one designer put it. After devastating hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, “resilient design” has become the buzzword in architecture.
Virtually Painless — How VR Is Making Surgery Simpler, Science Focus
Could VR headsets replace painkillers? That’s what a handful of surgeons are betting on in regions where sedatives are expensive and hard to come by. Once a high-tech luxury, virtual reality is becoming ever more mainstream and affordable, and has proven to reduce patient pain by up to 50 percent.
First Class Meal: Could the Declining U.S. Postal Service Deliver Food to the Needy? The Guardian
A creative proposal from students at Washington University in St. Louis aims to turn the stagnant U.S. Postal Service into a thriving food delivery service for underserved communities. A number of organizations are working to curb food waste in a nation where, despite its wealth, one in seven residents experiences food insecurity. But most lack a sustainable transport system to get surplus food to those in need. With vehicles, routes and workers already in place, the declining postal service could be an invaluable resource in the fight against hunger.

MORE: 5 Cities That Are Making Eco-Friendly Living a Reality