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Popular Science January - February 2017

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United States
Camden Media Inc.
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
a single moment of light

THE ESCALATOR FERRIED US TOWARD THE FIRST floor of an electronics mega-bazaar in Shenzhen, China; the photographer grabbed my arm and ran. She hauled me outside into a yellow-gold glow so physical, I felt it: sunlight, an alien presence that dreary week. We exited into a crowded pedestrian square, and she backed away, firing off shots, one of which is the picture on this page. It started raining a minute later. How often do you realize you’re in a special moment or place? In that rare dry minute, the sputtering cough of a fading typhoon, I could feel the energy of the city. Shenzhen is not just an economic boomtown, but an unexpected cultural one as well. It is a force that is rewiring everything from trade to art to love.…

1 min
trekstar voyagers

BASED SOLELY ON ITS BROWN LEATHER UPPER AND RED LACES, you might dismiss the Danner Mountain 600 as a simple throwback. But this boot is designed to perform. That brown leather? The Oregonbased company’s cordwainers use as few pieces as possible—just five— minimizing sewing screwups. And that sole is an exclusive collaboration with the plastic masters over at Vibram; it blends natural rubber with ethylene-based polymers to create a contact patch that grips like crazy. So now that you’ve got these kicks: Where to? $200 SCOUTING PARTY WANT DIRECTIONS TO CHARLOTTESVILLE? ASK YOUR PHONE. Want to know the fun way to get to Charlottesville? Ask...the Internet? Or Butler Maps, invented to surface great rides for motorcyclists interested in journey over destination. Butler’s curators evaluate roads based on undulation, elevation change, and scenery.…

2 min
looking glass

1 POKEMON GO Last summer you may have bumped into the reverent heads-down multitude clogging streets. They were playing Pokemon Go, the app version of the ’90s video game. A cool 45 million players downloaded it and wandered off on a global scavenger hunt. The goal: catch the game’s 151 monsters while learning facts about local landmarks as you go. Free + In-App Purchases, iOS and Android 2 FIELD TRIP Stumped on a great place to eat or shop? Field Trip is a travel discovery app that’s better than a crumpled list from your smartypants friend. It taps into sites like Thrillist, Zagat, and Eater, and uses your current location to show you photos and reviews of nearby locations. Or you can let the app alert you to notable spots while you’re out.…

2 min
where we’ veslept

IT’S DARK AND YOU’RE FAR FROM HOME. WHERE DO YOU stay? Back in the day, you had to know somebody. Nowadays your smartphone does. When night falls, every vagabond—old or new—requires a roof over their head and a bed under their bottom. But where we stay has drastically changed over time. Now uncovering a place to crash can happen in a matter of moments. PREHISTORYPRESENT A PAL’S PLACE Staying at a friend’s house—or cave, or loft, or cave-loft—is a tradition as old as friendship itself, and that practice is new again thanks to the sharing economy. Services like Airbnb help you find a room in which to crash 1900-2000S HOTEL SYSTEMS Thousands of miles of U.S. highway constructed in the 20th century attracted travelers, fueling the peak of hotel creation in the…

4 min
right of way forrobo – cars

DRIVERLESS CARS ARE moving fast. Google and Lyft flash us their self-driving-car schemes, and Uber has already put robo-cabs to work in Pittsburgh. But if autonomous cars are going to chauffeur us, we need to regulate them. During his time as Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, who leaves his post at the end of January, penned laws to keep us safe on these changing roads. And he has some tips for the new hire. What advice would you give the new secretary? We’ve laid out a template for the future, one that you can build upon. Take our work on data sharing. It’s one thing for a company to build an autonomous vehicle and collect data on it. It’s another for a manufacturer to collect data, anonymize it, and share it with…

2 min
gear for the long haul

1/ MSR POCKETROCKET CANISTER STOVE Some places don’t allow campfires. Others simply have nothing to burn (think snowy mountains). A canister stove has your back. The PocketRocket folds to the size of a softball and will stick with you forever. $39.95 2/ FJALLRAVEN KAJKA 65-LITER PACK When camping for a few days, 65 liters of gear is plenty. The frame on this pack adjusts to men’s and women’s body types, and the lid can be used as a light bag for quick trips from camp. No, it doesn’t come in neon. $370 3/ BLACK DIAMOND ION HEADLAMP From helping you find that lost s’more to lighting the path for your 2 a.m. pee break, the camper’s headlamp is a crucial piece of your kit. They’re easy to lose though, so don’t spend…