This Footbridge in the Netherlands Transforms With Rising Waters

© NEXT architects
© NEXT architects

Twenty-six percent of the Netherlands lies below sea level, making the country vulnerable to floods. This is especially true of the 2000-year-old city of Nijmegen, which straddles the Waal river. The town is home to many examples of flood-resistant infrastructure, but one footbridge there works a bit differently. Instead of building it around the threat of rising waters, the designers of the Zalige bridge made a crossing that changes along with its environment, according to Co.Design.

Commissioned as part of the Netherlands’s Room for the River infrastructure program, it connects the Waal’s northern bank to a small island that’s part of a public park. NEXT architects, in collaboration with H+N+S Landscape Architects, made a bold choice when designing it: The path curves up and down, and at one point is level with the park’s floodplains. When the river resides at normal levels, pedestrians can walk the bridge in its entirety. Only when water levels rise is the reasoning behind the unusual shape revealed. The flooded path leaves behind a series of raised concrete blocks sticking out of the water, and to keep moving, people must hop from one block to the next.

The bridge opened in 2016, but it made news again this January when Nijmegen saw its highest water levels in 15 years. As the river rose, the Zalige bridge could be reached only by using the stepping stones. Residents flocked to the site for a closer look at the water, ignoring instructions from authorities to avoid the park as flooding continued. Eventually the water became so high that even the blocks were completely submerged, but not before demonstrating the bridge’s innovative approach to an old problem.

NEXT writes on the project webpage, "As a crest above the river, the bridge emphasizes the dynamic character of water by letting people see and experience the changing river landscape."

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: © NEXT architects

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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The Evolution of the Presidential State Car

FDR's Lincoln K Sunshine Special at the now-closed Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Michigan.
FDR's Lincoln K Sunshine Special at the now-closed Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Michigan.
Greg Gjerdingen, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

It wasn’t long after the 1920s automobile boom that the Secret Service started carting the president around in a souped-up vehicle of his own. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to get an official presidential state car in 1939—a Lincoln K Sunshine Special, outfitted with a two-way radio and other bells and whistles—and the tradition has continued ever since. Though each state car is different from its predecessor, certain trends have emerged over the last 80 years.

They’ve almost all been Lincolns or Cadillacs, and colors have ranged from dark blue to black. Earlier presidents favored Lincolns; Harry Truman was chauffeured in an armored Lincoln Cosmopolitan, for example, and John F. Kennedy was riding in a convertible Lincoln Continental SS-100-X when he was assassinated in 1963. But after Ronald Reagan was given a Cadillac Fleetwood in the early 1980s, presidents began shifting away from Lincolns and toward Cadillacs (though George H.W. Bush did revert to using a Lincoln during his term from 1989 to 1993).

In fact, the only official presidential state cars that haven’t been Lincolns or Cadillacs actually aren’t cars at all—they’re buses. The Secret Service used to rent buses for the presidential motorcade, but they finally decided to manufacture their own during Barack Obama’s tenure. In 2011, they debuted Ground Force One, a 45-foot vehicular behemoth that reportedly houses oxygen tanks and even bags of spare blood in case of an emergency.

The bus may be the most formidable machine in the history of presidential vehicles, but the addition of special security features isn’t a new practice. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Secret Service realized the president was especially vulnerable while in transit, and agents added bulletproof tires, weapons compartments, and other safety elements to his Lincoln. A similar upgrade was made to the presidential state car after Kennedy’s assassination—this time, it was rigged with titanium armor-plated doors, reinforced glass windows, and a bulletproof roof.

Take a look at the evolution of POTUS’s wheels in the illustrations below, courtesy of UK-based vehicle leasing company Vanarama.

1. Lincoln K Sunshine Special // Franklin D. Roosevelt

The two-way radio was a big deal at the time.Vanarama

2. Lincoln Cosmopolitan // Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy

Truman got to choose his car after he was elected in 1948.Vanarama

3. Lincoln Continental SS-100-X // John F. Kennedy

Presidential cars got safer after Kennedy's assassination in 1963.Vanarama

4. Cadillac Fleetwood // Ronald Reagan

Reagan's boxy Cadillac set a new precedent.Vanarama

5. Cadillac DeVille // George W. Bush

Bush's high-tech Cadillac even had night vision capabilities.Vanarama

6. Ground Force One // Barack Obama

This massive bus is supposed to be prepared for any kind of emergency.Vanarama

7. Cadillac “The Beast” // Donald Trump

"The Beast" is POTUS's current vehicle of choice.Vanarama

[h/t Vanarama]