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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 evenbetter. 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.

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

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Courtesy of Molly Simonson Lee

Flight attendant sits on floor to comfort passenger

Not everyone enjoys flying. The level of non-enjoyment can range from mild discomfort to full blown Aerophobia, which is defined as an extreme fear of flying. While flying is the quickest way to get to far away destinations, for some people being that far off the ground is terrifying and they'd rather take their chances on the ground.

A passenger flying from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to JFK International Airport in New York confronted that fear while flying with Delta. The woman, who is currently still unidentified expressed that she was nervous to fly according to Molly Simonson Lee, a passenger seated behind the woman who witnessed the encounter. Tight spaces don't make for much privacy, but in this case, the world is better for knowing this took place.

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Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

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Gen Xer shares some timeless advice for Gen Z.

Meghan Smith is the owner of Melody Note Vintage store in the eternally hip town of Palm Springs, California, and her old-school Gen X advice has really connected with younger people on TikTok.

In a video posted in December 2022, she shares the advice she wishes that “somebody told me in my twenties” and it has received more than 13 million views. Smith says that she gave the same advice to her partner's two daughters when they reached their twenties.

The video is hashtagged #GenX advice for #GenZ and late #millennials. Sorry older millennials, you’re too old to receive these pearls of wisdom.

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Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

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Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

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