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It’s Showtime for Elon Musk’s Boring Co., With a Long Way to Go

HAWTHORNE, Calif. — Fed up with Southern California vehicle snarls, Elon Musk set out to solve the persistent urban irritant: the traffic. But rather than build atop the highway system, where his Tesla cars travel, or in the sky, home to his SpaceX rockets, he sought an answer under his feet: tunnels.“I said, ‘What if we go down instead of up?’” Mr. Musk told Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles during a recent public discussion. “I’ve lived in L.A. now since 2002. Traffic has gone from bad to horrific back to bad.”On Tuesday, Mr. Musk unveiled the first mile-long stretch of his underground vision of a transit…

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ScienceTake: The Secret to Ant Efficiency Is Idleness

Aug. 16, 2018Ants are renowned for their industriousness. Ask the grasshopper in the story by Aesop. He had to come begging the hard-working ant for food when winter came because he had frittered away his summer.But that is fable, the ultimate in what scientists call anecdotal evidence. And new research at Georgia Tech suggests that although ant colonies are very efficient, that may be because 70 percent of them are doing very little — at least when it comes to tunnel digging.Daniel I. Goldman, a physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his colleagues, found that the secret to efficient tunnel digging by fire ants was…

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Chicago Says Elon Musk’s Boring Company to Build High-Speed Link to O’Hare

City officials hope for construction to begin within a year, and to last less than three years. But much remains uncertain. Mr. Emanuel’s administration must still negotiate a contract with the company. The Chicago City Council must give its blessing. Even if the project comes at no cost to taxpayers, it is unclear how extensive the costs would be: Early estimates have reached close to $1 billion.A project like this appears never to have been completed before. Mr. Musk’s company describes the Chicago project as a taste of the transportation future, a way to reduce congestion and to get around faster by traveling in underground tunnels on…

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