CLOSE
Itzel Oropeza Castillo
Itzel Oropeza Castillo

Meet Mexico City’s New Official Emojis

Itzel Oropeza Castillo
Itzel Oropeza Castillo

Residents of Mexico City will soon have a whole new set of emojis to use when talking about their city. As CityLab reports, the winners of the Emoji CDMX competition were announced on August 1, crowning new icons to describe the 21st-century metropolis.

Launched in June 2017 by the municipal government’s experimental Laboratory for the City, the competition asked designers to represent Mexico City in 20 small symbols. Almost 100 designers took part, submitting 2000 emoji designs for consideration. (Technically, the symbols are stickers, not emojis, since you’ll have to download an app to use them, but emoji is a much more recognizable term, so we’ll go with it.)

Mexico City’s Palace of Fine Arts, a witch, and a mariachi singer rendered as emoji.
A selection of some of the first-place-winning emoji.
Itzel Oropeza Castillo

The winners—Itzel Oropeza Castillo (first place); Eduardo Camacho and Pedro Rodrigo Grajeda (second place); and Ivonne Andrea Torres and Martin Robert Cook (third place)—received cash prizes from The Lift Mexico, one of the competition’s sponsors. Five honorable mentions and several mayor’s favorites selections were also recognized at the August 1 awards ceremony and will be included in the app.

A Mayan figure in a headdress, Frida Kahlo, and a Mexican walking fish drawn as emoji.
Emoji from the second-place entry
Eduardo Camacho Mayén and Pedro Rodrigo Grajeda Ortega

The emoji designs submitted often included some of the same themes and topics, including Frida Kahlo; the Mexican walking fish, ajolote; tamales; the Aztec god Tlaloc; and the landmark Latin American Tower.

A sign reading “CDMX” with people standing near it, a woman on the Metro, a boat that reads Xochimilco, and two people eating at a food stand.
Some of the third-place winners.
Ivonne Andrea Torres and Martin Robert Cook

While Finland has launched its own official national emoji, Mexico City is the first city to do so, and the first to hold an open competition for the designs. The Emoji CDMX app will be available for iOS and Android in September, with a total of 240 available designs.

[h/t CityLab]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Design
Forget Horns: Some Trains in Japan Bark Like Dogs to Scare Away Deer
iStock
iStock

In Japan, growing deer populations are causing friction on the railways. The number of deer hit by trains each year is increasing, so the Railway Technical Research Institute has come up with a novel idea for curbing the problem, according to the BBC. Researchers there are using the sound of barking dogs to scare deer away from danger zones when trains are approaching, preventing train damage, delays, and of course, deer carnage.

It’s not your standard horn. In pilot tests, Japanese researchers have attached speakers that blare out a combination of sounds designed specifically to ward off deer. First, the recording captures the animals’ attention by playing a snorting sound that deer use as an “alarm call” to warn others of danger. Then, the sound of howling dogs drives the deer away from the tracks so the train can pass.

Before this initiative, the problem of deer congregating on train tracks seemed intractable. Despite the best efforts of railways, the animals aren’t deterred by ropes, barriers, flashing lights, or even lion feces meant to repel them. Kintetsu Railway has had some success with ultrasonic waves along its Osaka line, but many rail companies are still struggling to deal with the issue. Deer flock to railroad tracks for the iron filings that pile up on the rails, using the iron as a dietary supplement. (They have also been known to lick chain link fences.)

The new deer-deterring soundtrack is particularly useful because it's relatively low-tech and would be cheap to implement. Unlike the ultrasonic plan, it doesn’t have to be set up in a particular place or require a lot of new equipment. Played through a speaker on the train, it goes wherever the train goes, and can be deployed whenever necessary. One speaker on each train could do the job for a whole railway line.

The researchers found that the recordings they designed could reduce the number of deer sightings near the train tracks by as much as 45 percent during winter nights, which typically see the highest collision rates. According to the BBC, the noises will only be used in unpopulated areas, reducing the possibility that people living near the train tracks will have to endure the sounds of dogs howling every night for the rest of their lives.

Deer aren't the only animals that Japanese railways have sought to protect against the dangers of railroad tracks. In 2015, the Suma Aqualife Park and the West Japan Railway Company teamed up to create tunnels that could serve as safer rail crossings for the turtles that kept getting hit by trains.

[h/t BBC]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
arrow
architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios