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Posts Tagged "New York City"

Anecdotes from the Archive

Heavy traffic calls for “super-streets”

Proposed Super Street

If you’ve ever commuted through New York City during rush hour, you’ve probably experienced stress-inducing traffic, over-stuffed subway cars, or delays that don’t care if you’ve given yourself an extra half hour. In 1924 the New York metropolitan area’s population was already large enough to get the Transit Commission thinking of ways to accommodate future [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

A Right to Be Clean: Sanitation and the Rise of New York City’s Water Towers

These iconic structures are as much a part of New York City's skyline as any famed landmark. But they play a larger role in New York City's history.

During the morning rush hour in New York City, tourists stand out as being the ones looking up. It’s possible that they see more clearly what most New Yorkers take for granted: water towers. Those archaic looking wooden structures that grace the rooftops of almost every New York City building play an integral, though often [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The Story of Grand Central Station and the Taming of the Crowd

Grand Central Terminal waiting room, c. 1904. | Public domain.

“Left or right?” he asked me as we watched the commuter train approach. A group of people nearby moved into position to line up with the door, all likely thinking the same thing: How do I get a seat? “Left,” I said. “These people are going to go right.” He looked at me for a [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Making, Education, and Innovation: Inspiring Makers in Underrepresented Communities

Maker Faire invites young Makers to enter a world of innovation and imagination. If you can dream it, you can build it—particularly as experienced Makers are on-hand and willing to share what they know. How can we better encourage a broader participation in this science and technology showcase by underrepresented groups—beginning in the very neighborhood [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

World Maker Faire 2011 Highlights

World Marker Faire 2011 was held at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, New York. This year the technology and DIY festival had a heavy leaning toward robots, like this shop bot: I met Microsoft’s EDDIE for the first time: The AiP Facebook page has an EDDIE album and some additional videos. The [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

On My Shelf: Geologic City (A Review)

Ed Note: “On My Shelf” is my review series, covering notable books and events. For more notables, please see the reviews still housed at the old home of Anthropology in Practice. “New York is not composed of solid substances. It is a dynamic system of multi-layered flows of earth materials that travel through time and [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The Hidden Costs of Food: Food Prints and Healthy Eating

Ed Note: A version of this article appeared on Anthropology in Practice on Jan. 26th, 2010. How much do we really know about the food we eat? How do items like fruits and vegetables get to the supermarket? What goes into packaging and processing them so they’re safe to eat? Are local foods better? Street [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Shifting Stigmas: The Act of Crying in Public

Crying

Jimmy Dugan firmly established that there’s no crying in baseball. But what about in public? In New York City, at some point or another you’re going to encounter a crying person—in fact, you could even be the crier. A few weeks ago, I boarded the subway for a short trip uptown. It was the middle [...]

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Guest Blog

Teaching Kids to Love Science, and Falling in Love with the Kids

  Put a science writer in a classroom with two-dozen ten-year-olds and I promise you this: the writer will learn more than the kids. I’ve just had that experience, not for the first time but in an especially fulfilling way, while talking about science to a group of fourth and fifth graders at Public School [...]

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Observations

Microbes and Pathogen Genes Fill New York City Soil

GoogleMaps plot of 596 soil sample locations. Image courtesy of Kelly Ramirez.

With all the attention to the Ebola virus and other pathogens floating around in bodily fluids and the air, we may not be aware that the dirt beneath our feet is home to thousands of bacteria and other microorganisms. Even the soil in New York City, which we might think is somewhat lifeless given the [...]

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Observations

1 Hurricane Is Enough to Ruin Your Year

gowanus-canal-flood

GOWANUS—The surge of sewer water, toxic sludge and “Brooklyn whitefish” (aka condoms) stopped one short block away from my house back on the long night of October 29, 2012. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy coming ashore at high tide, my little brick rowhouse in this late industrial neighborhood of Brooklyn was only spared inundation by the [...]

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Observations

Glow Sticks Prove the Math Theorem behind the Famous Flatiron Building

The Pythagorean theorem projected onto the Flatiron building

How many math lovers live in New York City? It’s a tough count to make, but the Museum of Mathematics made progress at its first anniversary celebration on Thursday, December 5. With a mission to illuminate the math that permeates our day-to-day lives, the Museum of Mathematics, or MoMath, wasn’t about to waste its birthday [...]

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Observations

The Lesson of Hurricane Sandy: Pay Now, Not Later

Sandy, golf, mf large

One year ago, on October 29, superstorm Sandy swamped New York City and New Jersey. Although authorities did a terrific job of evacuating people, they were helpless against Sandy’s record-high storm surge. Today the city and its neighboring state are still trying to recover, and the struggles raise a stark lesson that coastal communities all [...]

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Observations

New York City Could Look Like New Orleans, Due to Flood Protection

Yesterday New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed a $19.5 billion plan to protect his home town against future sea level rise and other effects of climate change such as heat waves. The big focus, however, is preventing death and damage from another Hurricane Sandy. The report, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” prescribes 250 [...]

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Observations

NYPD Testing Airflow in Subways as a Precaution against Possible Terror Attacks

NYC subway station

This summer, New York City will witness what might be called an airborne non-toxic event, to corrupt a term coined in Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel White Noise. Over three days in July, the New York Police Department and scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., will release small amounts of a harmless, colorless gas [...]

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Observations

New York City Marathon Runs Anyway

The 2012 New York City Marathon may not be televised, but it is being organized on an unofficial basis by men and women who have banded together to run anyway. The official race was belatedly cancelled on Friday in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Teams from Canada, Germany, and Switzerland (identifiable because they carried their [...]

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Observations

Disaster Response: A New Yorker Reflects on Sandy

Evolutionary psychologists tell us it’s human nature to search for lessons from the skies. Here is what I think Hurricane Sandy is saying to the U.S.: If you don’t hang together, you will hang separately. I feel undeservedly lucky to be in a part of New York City that has power and water in Sandy’s [...]

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Observations

Update: Hurricane Sandy Hits U.S. East Coast–What You Need to Know

hurricane-sandy-10-29-12

GOWANUS, NEW YORK CITY–The winds continue to increase here, howling past windows and splattering the rain. Tiny beads of water almost feel like sand when you step outside thanks to the strong gusts. Such is Hurricane Sandy as it speeds into the New York metropolitan region and prepares to turn and slam in slow motion [...]

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Observations

How Computers Could Reduce the Spread of HIV

computer model spread hiv prevention program

Condom use, earlier treatment and increased education have gone a long way to reducing HIV spread in the U.S. Nonetheless, some 4,000 inhabitants of New York City still became infected with HIV in 2009. Injection drug users make up a small portion of the new infections (just over 4 percent in NYC, and about 9 percent [...]

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Plugged In

Is NYC poised to become an energy storage leader?

new-york-14480_640

The recently announced Demand Management Program by ConEd includes significant incentives for both thermal and electricity storage technologies. If the plan moves ahead, the NYC area could be home to more energy storage than almost any other state by summer 2016. The Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd) provides electric service in New York [...]

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Plugged In

NYC Apartment – 420 square feet, eight rooms, with solar

LifeEdited-Living-Room

A New York City apartment – 420 square feet and eight “rooms.” Also equipped with a bit of solar power with battery energy storage to charge up your cell phone and power a light or two. This is the home of treehugger.com and lifeedited.com founder Graham Hill. One of the keys to Hill’s apartment is creating [...]

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Plugged In

Video: What does NYC’s carbon footprint “look” like?

Screen Shot 2012-11-04 at 3.37.34 PM

New York City is well on its way to meeting a citywide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2017. This goal was adopted in 2007 as a part of PlaNYC 2030 to “build a greener, greater New York” and has catalyzed new parkland, housing improvement, and public transportation projects throughout the city. [...]

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Plugged In

Solar in Electricity’s Birthplace

NYCsolarmap

New York City has been called the birthplace of electricity itself. In 1882, Edison’s Pearl Street Station in lower Manhattan became the country’s first central power plant, bringing 800 incandescent light bulbs to life.  Today, New York City draws its power from a mix of far-flung fossil fuel, nuclear, and renewable (primarily hydroelectric) energy resources. [...]

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Plugged In

Hurricane Irene is a reminder that adapting to climate change is smart policy, regardless of the climate change part

Talk about eery timing. The current special issue of Scientific American is about cities, and as I type this, Hurricane Irene is making her way up the Atlantic seaboard and is expected to reach New York City by Sunday morning. I, like nearly everyone else, am refreshing news pages, blog posts, and scanning my Twitter [...]

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Symbiartic

We’re All Minorities Compared To These Manhattan Residents

13-033FEATURE

Everyone would agree that a million is a lot and a billion is even more, but these types of numbers are hard to intuitively understand. So while you may nod and say, “wow” approvingly when told that there are more than a billion ants living in Manhattan, I bet you have a slightly more visceral [...]

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