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Rural areas lag in degree attainment while urban areas feature big racial gaps

Fully 84 percent of the counties in the bottom 10 percent on degree attainment rates are mostly or completely rural, the group found. And just 16 percent of the counties in the top 10 percent are rural. Counties with low attainment rates are most heavily concentrated in the South, running from the borders of Oklahoma and Texas to the Atlantic Ocean. Proximity to a college campus is a major driver of the rural attainment gap. Rural counties are home to 14 percent of the nation's campuses, the analysis found, even though these areas cover 97 percent of land area in the U.S.

USDA ERS - Rural Education

While the overall educational attainment of people living in rural areas has increased markedly over time, the share of adults with at least a bachelor's degree is still higher in urban areas. In 1960, 60 percent of the rural population ages 25 and over had not completed high school; by 2018—58 years later—that dropped to 13 percent. Over the same period, the proportion of rural adults 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher increased from 5 percent to 20 percent; in urban areas, this proportion stood at 35 percent in 2018. The proportion of rural adults with a bachelor's degree or higher increased by 5 percentage points between 2000 and 2018, and the proportion without a high school degree or equivalent, such as a GED, declined by 11 percentage points.

The Place of College Grads in the Urban-Rural Divide - Bloomberg

While college grads make up 55 percent of the workforce in most leading urban counties (there is one urban county, Falls Church, Virginia, where the share of college grads is a staggering 80 percent), less than 10 percent of adults hold a college degree in the lowest-performing urban counties. By way of comparison, college grads make up a similar 55 percent in the leading rural counties and less than 5 percent or so in the lowest-performing rural counties.

Defining geographic regions with commuter data: Novel method could enable more nuanced understanding of metropolitan communities -- ScienceDaily

A new mathematical approach uses data on people's commutes between and within U.S. counties to identify important geographic regions. Mark He of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and colleagues present this work in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on April 29, 2020. Defining the boundaries that separate metropolitan areas has major implications for research, governance, and economic development. For instance, such boundaries can influence allocation of infrastructure funding or housing subsidies. However, traditional methods to define metropolitan regions often hamper meaningful understanding of communities' characteristics and needs.

Green money rather than green spaces?

The mechanisms underlying this association "could be related to better opportunities provided by green spaces to perform physical activity as well as a decrease in exposure to air pollution," explains Carmen de Keijzer, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study. The association observed was higher for women than for men. "Women tend to spend more time in their residential neighbourhood, which could explain this gender difference," adds the researcher. "The study found more health benefits in those areas with higher tree coverage, which provides a basis for investigating the types of vegetation that impact positively on our health," says Payam Dadvand, ISGlobal researcher and last author of the study.

Artists Become Famous through Their Friends, Not the Originality of Their Work - Artsy

While past studies have suggested that there is a link between creativity and fame, Ingram and Banerjee found, in contrast, that there was no such correlation for these artists. Rather, artists with a large and diverse network of contacts were most likely to be famous, regardless of how creative their art was. Specifically, the greatest predictor of fame for an artist was having a network of contacts from various countries. Ingram believes this indicates that the artist was cosmopolitan and had the capacity to reach different markets or develop ideas inspired by foreign cultures. The “linchpin of the network,” he added, was Kandinsky. They also found that famous artists tended to be older, likely because they were already famous as abstraction was emerging, Ingram explained.

The problem with “shop local,” explained by Jeremiah Moss - Vox

They’re curated by these developers, but there’s nothing organic. There’s nothing truly urban or diverse about them. You can’t start a business with a one-year lease. In the first year, you don’t make any profit. If we are a society, we need each other, and we need those small-business people to maintain the social network of our neighborhoods, and they’re being destroyed. Pop-ups are not going to replace that.

Living close to urban green spaces is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer: Residential proximity to agricultural areas is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, study shows -- ScienceDaily

"found a linear correlation between distance from green spaces and breast cancer risk. In other words, the risk of breast cancer in the population declines, the closer their residence is to an urban green space. These findings highlight the importance of natural spaces for our health and show why green spaces are an essential component of our urban environment, not just in the form of isolated areas but as a connective network linking the whole urban area and benefitting all its inhabitants."

American Cities Are Drowning in Car Storage – Streetsblog USA

It’s not an exaggeration to say American cities have been built for cars more than people. “After decades of requiring parking for new construction,” Scharnhorst writes, “car storage has become the primary land use in many city areas.” In Des Moines, for example, there are 18 times as many parking spaces per acre as households — 1.6 million parking spaces and about 81,000 homes. In Philadelphia, there are 3.7 times more parking spaces than households. Of the five cities, only New York has more households than parking spaces, and New York still has 1.85 million parking spaces.

Why the 'Worst' Crypto Networks Will Be The Biggest - CoinDesk

These crypto networks will have a familiar failure pattern: A well-meaning protocol designer comes in and looks at a complex reality. They don't understand how it works because it's complex and messy. Rather than trying to understand why it looks like a mess and whether that is serving some deeper purpose, they attribute it to the current design being "irrational, ugly and inelegant" They come up with an idealized protocol design which makes sense on paper After the initial marketing hype and buzz fades away, the protocols users and community don't like "living there" and slowly migrate away.

The city is a tournament

, may have to do with the sense of competition that city life can inspire: “In a dense city, people have to compete more for resources,” Mental Floss explained, “and investing in education and spending more time raising fewer kids can lead to being a more competitive member of society.” Besides, the more densely populated your home base is, the more likely you can scratch that itch for instant gratification in other ways, like delivery at weird hours of the night.

Seeking density

an early study by Linden Lab that found the vast majority of Second Life users lived in rural rather than urban areas in real life. They came to Second Life for what their physical lives lacked: the concentration, density, and connective potential of urban spaces; the sense of things happening all around them; the possibility of being part of that happening.

How Civilization Started | The New Yorker

there is a crucial, direct link between the cultivation of cereal crops and the birth of the first states. It’s not that cereal grains were humankind’s only staples; it’s just that they were the only ones that encouraged the formation of states. “History records no cassava states, no sago, yam, taro, plantain, breadfruit or sweet potato states,” he writes. What was so special about grains? The answer will make sense to anyone who has ever filled out a Form 1040: grain, unlike other crops, is easy to tax. Some crops (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava) are buried and so can be hidden from the tax collector, and, even if discovered, they must be dug up individually and laboriously. Other crops (notably, legumes) ripen at different intervals, or yield harvests throughout a growing season rather than along a fixed trajectory of unripe to ripe—in other words, the taxman can’t come once and get his proper due. Only grains are, in Scott’s words, “visible, divisible, assessable, storable, transportable, and ‘rationable.’ ”

The secrets of the world's happiest cities | Society | The Guardian

Researchers for Hewlett-Packard convinced volunteers in England to wear electrode caps during their commutes and found that whether they were driving or taking the train, peak-hour travellers suffered worse stress than fighter pilots or riot police facing mobs of angry protesters. But one group of commuters report enjoying themselves. These are people who travel under their own steam, like Robert Judge. They walk. They run. They ride bicycles.

Street walking as subversion

“There is still this element of transgression for a woman to walk in public and claim her space and claim her right to be there without being spoken to or troubled or commented on or even looked at with anything other than neutrality,” says Elkin. Women bothering or stalking men on the streets—like Calle—tend to be seen as subversive or crazy; men bothering or stalking women on the streets, by contrast, are seen perhaps as unfortunate but to be expected. The flâneuse has always had to deal with this unequal expectation. Her accomplishments, therefore, have been even harder won.

The secrets of the world's happiest cities | Society | The Guardian

Researchers for Hewlett-Packard convinced volunteers in England to wear electrode caps during their commutes and found that whether they were driving or taking the train, peak-hour travellers suffered worse stress than fighter pilots or riot police facing mobs of angry protesters. But one group of commuters report enjoying themselves. These are people who travel under their own steam, like Robert Judge. They walk. They run. They ride bicycles.

Futuristic Simulation Finds Self-Driving “Taxibots” Will Eliminate 90% Of Cars, Open Acres Of… — The Ferenstein Wire — Medium

A fascinating new simulation finds that self-driving cars will terraform cities: 90% of cars will be eliminated, acres of land will open up, and commute times will drop 10%. A team of transportation scientists at the Organization for Cooperation and Development took data on actual trips in Lisbon, Portugal and looked at how a fleet of self-driving, shared “taxibots” would change city landscape [PDF]. These “taxibots”, the researchers imagine, are a marriage of mass carpooling and UPS delivery intelligence: they constantly roam throughout cities and match carpool routes with mathematical elegance. Ultimately, they estimate, 9 out of 10 cars would be completely unnecessary — as would public transit.

Roman rubbish dump reveals secrets of ancient trading networks - Telegraph

They are calculating the huge quantities of olive oil and wine that Rome imported in order to supply its civilian population as well as its vast legions as they pushed the boundaries of the Roman Empire ever further outwards in the first and second centuries AD. Some of the amphorae were used to transport “garum”, a smelly sauce made from fermented fish blood and intestines that the Romans relished as a condiment. The inscriptions even identify the makers of the amphorae and the names of the traders who imported them to Rome.

Joe Queenan on the Joys of Los Angeles - WSJ

I have long suspected that the East Coast is basically a joke that those of us from New York, Philly, Baltimore and, of course, New Jersey don’t want to let the rest of the country in on. We are all insanely envious of people who live in L.A. and we spend our entire adult lives pretending otherwise. We wish that we could live someplace where it is 88 degrees in March, where you can knock off work early and go bodysurfing, where glorious vegetation grows all year round, where no one owns an anorak or leggings and few own a sweater, where no one walks around looking like Nosferatu. Instead, we live someplace where it might snow on Opening Day. The East Coast—and New York in particular—is hard, mean, brooding, angry, obsessive, unhealthy, self-referential, emotionally undernourished and no fun. With very poor skin tone.

life in larger communities = higher tolerance for risk?

Adami and his team tested many variables that influence risk-taking behavior and concluded that certain conditions influence our decision-making process. The decision must be a rare, once-in-a-lifetime event and also have a high payoff for the individual’s future – such as the odds of producing offspring. How risk averse we are correlates to the size of the group in which we were raised. If reared in a small group – fewer than 150 people – we tend to be much more risk averse than those who were part of a larger community.
An earlier experiment, with a single user walking around Lincoln Center, yielded a data visualization that the team is using as a prototype. Collins told me that it reflected an interesting result: when the subject was in parts of the Lincoln Center plaza that are more open to the city’s streets, he recorded more “meditative” brain waves; when he was in the more enclosed and architecturally circumscribed, ultramodernist part of the campus, his response was more attentive.
The benefits of connecting with others also turn out to be contagious. Dr. Epley and Ms. Schroeder found that when one person took the initiative to speak to another in a waiting room, both people reported having a more positive experience. Far from annoying people by violating their personal bubbles, reaching out to strangers may improve their day, too.
In 1880, the top verbs associated with jobs in metro areas include “thread,” “stretch,” “sew,” and “braid” (perhaps a tribute to clothes, shoe, and rope manufacturing). Among the least-used verbs are “teach,” “conduct,” and “rule.” In this early period, cities were centers of specialized manufacturing processes, while more dynamic jobs were often centered in rural areas. By 2000, the pattern is reversed. The most common verbs (“develop,” “determine,” “analyze”) are strongly suggestive of knowledge-driven management. The least-used verbs (“restrain,” “cut,” “power”) are strongly suggestive of work on a factory floor — which there is less and less of in most cities. Now, cities are centers for interactive economic activities, while more specialized activities have shifted to outlying areas.