Should We Bring Back Riskier Playgrounds?  [Citylab]  When I was in grade school in the Midwest, the centerpiece of our playground was a twenty five foot tall pyramid of nailed-together tires that we used for games of King of the Hill, i.e. one of us would fight his way to the top and then everyone else would frantically try to drag him down.  In retrospect, it was actually pretty good preparation for adult life.

Is the Rayburn Office Building the Worst Building In DC?  [Slate]  It’s an office building that takes up an entire city block, and yet only 20% of its floorspace is actual office space.

Houses Made of Tree Stumps Used to Be a Thing  [The Vintage News]  Living in re-purposed junk that’s been cast aside by the relentless march of industry – these were shipping container houses before there were shipping container houses!

The Dream of the Smart Home  [The New Yorker]  The downside of smart homes is that in the future, malware will allow people to take control of your entire home, from cameras to door locks.  Even worse, this is going to be the plot of at least three crappy horror movies every year from 2020 on.

China’s Richest Village Is a Very Strange Place  [Business Insider]   It’s a gated community of rich bureaucrats who are forbidden from talking to the media.  Sounds kind of like the US government right now.

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