Trump wanted border wall designs. He kind of got the exact opposite.

President Trump wants to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. It's not actually him that's going to design and build it, though. As per usual for government projects, they're taking submissions from private contractors.

Each contractor puts forth various costs, designs, and ideas, which Trump was probably figuring would be stuff like wall shapes and structures or types of concrete.


But, well, not everyone did that.

Instead of a border wall, a group of designers has proposed a different take on the idea of a border altogether.

All images from Otra Nation. Used with permission.

The MADE Collective, a group of 14 planners, architects, and engineers, want to replace the idea of a wall with something the world's never seen before — turning the border into a kind shared utopia. They're calling their project Otra Nation.

The most visually striking aspect of their idea is to replace the big concrete wall concept with a sleek, sexy hyperloop.

Hyperloops are a kind of theoretical superfast train-in-a-tube, which would make traveling along the border quicker and easier than ever. Stops would stretch west from San Diego and Tijuana east to Brownsville and Matamoros on the very southern tip of Texas. Connections would also branch off to cities such as San Francisco, Sante Fe, Dallas, and Mexico City.

If the hyperloop matched the kinds of speed Elon Musk's take on the idea proposes, a person could travel the entire border in less than three hours.

That's already an amazingly ambitious idea, but buckle your seatbelts (do hyperloops have seatbelts?), it gets bigger.

To go along with the easier travel, Otra Nation would also include a regional ID card and tweaked border control laws, which would let people easily flow between the United States and Mexico.

Nature-lovers and green techies would get some goodies too. The plan would make the border a "zero-extraction" zone (meaning no mining or oil drilling), remove the 700 miles of fencing already there, restore natural areas like wetlands and forests, and install 90,000 square kilometers of solar panel stations, which if you don't know, is a whole hell of a lot of solar power.

But it gets even better. The most ambitious idea is who'd own this strip of land. Or, more precisely, who wouldn't own it.

While both nations would work together to build up the infrastructure, the area would be given a degree of autonomy. This would effectively turn the border into a shared, self-governing territory, what the MADE Collective is calling a "co-nation."

A co-nation. A little baby nation with the U.S. and Mexico as the proud parents. It'd be something we've never seen before and could change how we see international relations altogether.

Otra Nation currently has a petition on Change.org. If they get 250,000 signatures, they say they'll get the proposal hand-delivered to the presidents of both nations.

The MADE designers acknowledge the idea has a million-to-one shot, but they're serious about it.

The idea may seem a bit far-fetched, and it'll certainly require more schematics, legislation, and paperwork than their relatively brief proposal sets out.

But, well, it's estimated that Trump’s wall is going to end up costing more than $20 billion ($5 billion more than Otra Nation is asking for) and might not even work. If we're going to drop that much money on a grand idea, why not aim for something truly revolutionary?

People often say "build bridges, not walls." This would be one hell of a bridge.

via Noti Tolum / Facebook

A group of beachgoers in Mexico proved that when people join together and stand up for justice, you can triumph in even the direst of circumstances.

Municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo got received a tip that there were men allegedly committing "immoral acts" on the beach. So the officers, armed with AR-15 rifles, picked up two Canadian men.

"The officers approached a group of young foreigners," local politician Maritza Escalante Morales recounted in her video. "After about 20 minutes passed, a patrol car arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

'Love is a battlefield' indeed. They say you have to kiss ~~at least~~ a few frogs to find your prince and it's inevitable that in seeking long-term romantic satisfaction, slip ups will happen. Whether it's a lack of compatibility, unfortunate circumstances, or straight up bad taste in the desired sex, your first shot at monogamous bliss might not succeed. And that's okay! Those experiences enrich our lives and strengthen our resolve to find love. That's what I tell myself when trying to rationalize my three-month stint with the bassist of a terrible noise rock band.


One woman's viral tweet about a tacky mug wall encouraged people to share stories about second loves. Okay, first things first: Ana Stanowick's mom has a new boyfriend who's basically perfect. All the evidence you need is in the photograph:

Keep Reading Show less
via @jharrisfour / Twitter

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida on Friday. It's three days of panels and speakers with former President Donald Trump delivering the keynote speech on Sunday night.

It's believed that during the speech Trump will declare himself the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 nomination.

So far, the event has made headlines for a speech by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who tried his hand at stand-up comedy. "I've got to say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz told the cheering crowd. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Keep Reading Show less