Northern European Enclosure Dam

"Suddenly Elon Musk's plan for us all emigrating to Mars doesn't look so crazy"

In this week's comments update, readers are debating a suggestion that dams be built around the North Sea in a bid to protect northern Europe from rising sea levels.

A dam good idea? A scientist employed by the Dutch government has proposed building dams around the North Sea in order to defend northern Europe from the effects of rising seas levels. Commenters are struggling to take the idea seriously though.

"How well has that done for Venice, which is minuscule in comparison?"asked Guis For You.

"Suddenly Elon Musk's plan for us all emigrating to Mars doesn't look so crazy," joked Geof Bob.

"I understand the interest of the Netherlands in making a project like that," said Archiplain. "I remind you that the Netherlands has a large part of its territory below sea level. But please do not do that. This will, among other consequences, modify the ocean currents and we do not know the consequences."

"If only planting trees was feasible," continued Matt.

This reader also had an idea:

Is building a dam a silly suggestion? Join the discussion ›


Alternative Coronavirus masks by Max Siedentopf

Portrait mode: readers are disappointed in designer Max Siedentopf who created a series of provocative images showing everyday items being used as "protective" face masks in the fight against coronavirus.

"This risks spreading misinformation," said Kau Kau. "Images like these can be re-appropriated incredibly badly and used in contexts that undermine good sanitation practices and public health announcements. This project is irresponsible and done without tact. You can create a series of portraits, but you need to understand the bigger context and design accordingly."

A agreed, asking: "This is what designers and social media are doing while doctors are working 24/7 saving human lives in hospitals?"

"This is so lame and shallow, and rude to the people who are struggling. This is a shame," added V-I.

"I wonder if this designer would dare to do this if the virus had affected his relatives," continued Vgcamara. "I can only imagine what kind of person would try to take advantage of a crisis like this for PR."

This reader was also concerned:

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McDonald's latest ads by Leo Burnett sub out its brand name for ingredients lists

Identity crisis: readers are divided over the latest McDonald's campaign which mentions no brand name and merely lists ingredients.

"This is an old concept," criticised Wahoo Hoo. "A complete rip off of an existing, well executed idea."

"Imagine having such a toxic brand that the best idea is to remove it from ad campaigns," continued Felix M.

Bunker Mentality was full of praise though: "Very impressive. Even tasteful. If tasteful is the word I’m looking for. Tasty? Breaks all kinds of unwritten or written laws of corporate identity, but, hey! Three cheers for Helvetica."

"To be fair, I think it looks great," agreed Sim. "Very tasteful. Now if only they could make their vegetarian options taste better because they taste like cardboard. They used to have a pretty decent vegetarian burger in the past but they’ve changed that to a faux chicken/cardboard burger."

There was one ingredient missing from the list, according to this commenter:

Do you like the look of McDonald's poster? Join the discussion ›


Odile Guzy Architectes' social housing scheme in Chalon-sur-Saône, France

Seed of doubt: news that the French government is planning to introduce a sustainability law that will ensure all new public buildings are built from at least 50 per cent timber has sparked debate among readers.

"This is a heavy-handed and awkward way to go about the noble intentions of the law," said Jon. "Would be better handled by focusing on reduction of construction waste, fostering better practices around concrete and steel, use of local materials etc."

"I think this is an excellent initiative," replied Leo. "I hope to see it spread to other countries."

Mr. J agreed: "I like the idea of using local materials. It's something that would help the UK, where rampant house construction is turning many rural areas into visual non-entities."

"I suspect we're going the other way in the UK and will ban combustible materials almost entirely," added Chris D. "Wood is already banned on the external envelope above 18m and this height limit will come down."

One commenter was feeling humorous:

Has the French government taken the right approach? Join the discussion ›