Connect with us

Living

NYC sewage plant’s strangely popular Valentine’s Day tour goes virtual

Published

on

20200208js_7798_49517651583_o

What better way to express love in the time of a pandemic than virtual sludge.

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York aren’t letting the pandemic end their wildly popular Valentine’s Day tours of a Brooklyn wastewater facility. Instead, they’re making it virtual. 

Tickets for the tours of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, composed of what are known as digester eggs, reliably sell out soon after being released. So while the virtual adaption has its obvious drawbacks, it will at least remove some of the tour’s exclusivity.

The Feb. 14 tour costs $5 and will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom. 

“Grab a date (or join solo) and take a peek inside the city’s largest sewage treatment plant, where wastewater — collected from storm drains and the toilets and sinks of more than 1 million New Yorkers — is cleaned each day in a complex system, including eight giant stainless steel digester eggs,” reads the Eventbrite ticket page description of the event. The virtual program will focus on the plant’s architecture as well as “how the digester eggs got their shape, why you should not take a shower during a rainstorm and the real problem with ‘flushable’ wipes.”

It will also include a behind-the-scenes video tour, a conversation with DEP director of public design outreach, Alicia West, and an audience Q&A. 

For those looking for COVID-safe, in-person activities this Valentine’s Day, there’s another New York specialty. At 1,131 feet in the air, Edge is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere and will be opening at 6 a.m. Feb. 14 to let lovebirds enjoy the sunrise together, 6sqft reported. The deck is located on the 100th and 101st floors of 30 Hudson Yards. Tickets go on sale Monday and cost $100 for a sunrise slot and $36 for general admission, or $34 for NYC residents. V-Day tickets also come with optional champagne, rosé champagne and “Cupid’s Cocoa” add-ons.

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

20200208js_8094_49517622763_o

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

20200208js_8111_49518143886_o

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

20200208js_7888_49518167081_o

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

20200208js_7965_49518158611_o

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

20200208js_7935_49518376792_o

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

20200208js_8046_49518151316_o

Every year, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Open House New York host a Valentine’s Day tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This year, due to the pandemic, it will be virtual.

Jean Schwarzwalder

Up Next

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7

Big swing and a miss for the Mets on Friday,…


Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Living

New poll shows 50% drop in fear of dying from COVID-19

Published

on

By

New poll shows 50% drop in fear of dying from COVID-19

Americans are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

The national Harris Poll conducted over the weekend found a significant uptick in positive sentiment about the pandemic — and a drop in fears of the virus.

“The last year has certainly been difficult for many Americans and their families, but in the face of all the hardships and social distancing efforts, many have remained optimistic and resilient when it comes to their mental health,” John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, said in a statement.

More than half, or 52 percent, of the 2,000 adults surveyed said they are not afraid of dying as a result of catching COVID-19, the highest mark since July 2020.

For most of the year, the number of people who said they were frightened of being killed by the virus outnumbered the alternative.

More than 516,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, but both deaths and cases have recently been on the decline.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20 percent of the adult population is now vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The poll found a 15 percent increase in how many Americans approve of how the COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed.

About 66 percent gave the nation’s inoculation efforts the thumbs up, compared to 51 percent just one month ago.

The findings came as President Biden on Tuesday said the US will have enough vaccines for every US adult by the end of May, two months earlier than previously anticipated.

Despite the stepped-up pace of vaccine production, the massive effort to get every American jabbed could extend well into the summer, officials said.

Biden said he hoped that the nation would be back to normal sometime before “this time next year.”

Still, when asked if they currently think there is light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic, nearly 6 in 10 respondents said yes, according to the poll.

They were also more optimistic about the effects of the pandemic, with 66 percent overall saying their mental health has been affected in a positive way.

About 30 percent of those respondents said they’ve found more things to be grateful for during the crisis; 28 percent said they’ve taken more “me time” to do things for themselves; and 25 percent said they’ve been praying more.

“While Americans remain vigilant over the pandemic,” Gerzema said, “it is an encouraging sign to see greater acceptance of the vaccine, a belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and a declining sentiment in fear of dying from the virus.”

Continue Reading

Living

Deep Nostalgia tool animates photos with creepy results

Published

on

By

Deep Nostalgia tool animates photos with creepy results

This technology was built in the name of nostalgia but is being used in the name of nonsense.

Late last month, genealogy website MyHeritage announced a new tool for animating photos called “Deep Nostalgia.” But while the tech was intended to let users “bring beloved ancestors back to life” and “experience your family history like never before,” many internet denizens have been finding other far less wholesome applications for it. 

“So I wanted to know how the recent #DeepLearning facial animations services do with busts and decided to give that botched Christiano Ronaldo statue a spin,” one Twitter user captioned a “#DeeplyDisturbed” video created with the MyHeritage software to show the bronze bust uncannily moving about. 

An animated version of the Mona Lisa is less disturbing, but still unsettling. 

“Since that #DeepNostalgia thing is gaining popularity, I found something that #InternetNeverForgets,” tweeted another user who experimented with the software to animate Beyoncé’s face mid-performance. 

“Frederick Douglass, the mighty abolitionist, was the single most photographed person in the United States during the nineteenth century. Here’s how he might’ve looked in motion. Brace yourself and press play,” tweeted a user who decided to use the tool for something closer to its intended purpose. 

MyHeritage is aware that the tool — created using tech developed by deep-learning company D-ID — could thrust photos deep into weird territory.

“Some people love the Deep Nostalgia™ feature and consider it magical, while others find it creepy and dislike it,” the company wrote in Deep Nostalgia’s FAQ section. “Indeed, the results can be controversial and it’s hard to stay indifferent to this technology.” 

With that in mind, MyHeritage invites users to “please use this feature on your own historical photos and not on photos featuring living people without their permission.” As well, the ability to include speech in the videos has purposefully not been included in order to “prevent abuse.” 

Continue Reading

Living

Benefits of microdosing LSD are purely placebo: study

Published

on

By

Benefits of microdosing LSD are purely placebo: study

The positive impacts of microdosing hallucinogens may be no more than a hallucination, researchers have found.

Microdosing — or the practice of regularly using low doses of psychedelic drugs including LSD and psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms — has become a relatively mainstream practice thanks to its trendiness in Silicon Valley, where CEOs, including Steve Jobs, have endorsed it as a productivity hack. A new study, however, has found that the purported benefits of taking a very small amount of hallucinogenics daily may in fact be more placebo than reality. 

In findings published Tuesday in the scientific journal eLife, researchers with the Imperial College London reported that their study of 191 participants — the largest placebo-controlled trial on psychedelics to date — found that “anecdotal benefits of microdosing can be explained by the placebo effect.” 

Researchers virtually guided study participants — all of whom were already regularly microdosing — through the process of preparing themselves four week’s worth of envelopes containing either a placebo gel capsule or one with a low LSD dose, each envelope bearing a QR code they logged following consumption. 

At the end of the trial period, researchers found that participants reported an improvement in psychological well being across the board, whether they were taking actual acid or placebos. 

“All psychological outcomes improved significantly from baseline to after the four weeks long dose period for the microdose group; however, the placebo group also improved and no significant between-groups differences were observed,” the scientists wrote. 

The report is full of numerous concessions regarding the the study’s weaknesses, including that it had a small participant pool and was performed by citizens, who were not in a clinical setting. 

Still, the citizen-science approach was vital as “restrictive drug policies make placebo-controlled studies on psychedelics difficult and expensive, in particular for microdosing, which involves taking psychedelics over a longer time period.” Unaffiliated scientists agree that the findings should be respected.

“This suggests that the perceived beneficial effects of microdosing psychedelics in this group are more likely to be a result of positive expectation than the capacity of the drug to induce a beneficial effect,” scientist James Rucker told the Guardian of the findings.  

Continue Reading

Trending