Stories tagged New York City

Yup, it's Friday. Time for a new Science Friday video. Today: Science Friday
Science FridayCourtesy Science Friday
"The New York Department of Environmental Protection installed a prototype "algal turf scrubber" at once of its wastewater treatment plants in Queens. The scrubber--two 350-foot metal ramps coated with algae that grows naturally--is designed to use algae to remove nutrients and boost dissolved oxygen in the water that passes through it. John McLaughlin, Director of Ecological Services for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Peter May, restoration ecologist for Biohabitats, explain how the scrubber works, and where the harvested algae goes."
Dec
28
2007

Going green: When the New Year's Ball drops on Times Square next week, the new unit will be much more energy efficient, using the same amount of power as it takes to operate 10 toasters. This blue color is one of 16 million hues that the ball will be able to transmit
Going green: When the New Year's Ball drops on Times Square next week, the new unit will be much more energy efficient, using the same amount of power as it takes to operate 10 toasters. This blue color is one of 16 million hues that the ball will be able to transmitCourtesy Times Square Alliance
What’s the first thing that pops into your head at the stroke of midnight that starts a new year? Probably not saving energy or Al Gore. But if you’re watching the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve next week, you just might more environmentally in tune than most New Years'.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the landmark ball drop and a new ball – the LED Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball – will makes its debut when descending at 1 Times Square.

The new ball uses LED light effects and will be twice as bright as the previous ball, created especially to celebrate the change of the millennium. While that’s all noticeable, what you won’t see is that a lot less electricity will be firing up that ball. It will take the same amount of juice as it takes to power ten toasters to light up the New Year’s sky over New York.

For those of you really wanting to know how this works, the ball is made of 9,576 LEDS, which replace the 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs of the old ball. And it’s capable of creating more than 16 million varieties of color and billions of patterns.

You can’t wait until New Year’s Eve to see this new, spectacular ball? Here is a link to video of the ball in all its new glory as it was unveiled earlier this fall.

Oct
21
2007

Cleaning up: A ladybug has its eyes on an aphid that it could likely snarf up and eat. A company called Planet Natural is providing ladybugs as a natural alternative to insecticides in getting rid of insect pests. (Flickr photo by teece)
Cleaning up: A ladybug has its eyes on an aphid that it could likely snarf up and eat. A company called Planet Natural is providing ladybugs as a natural alternative to insecticides in getting rid of insect pests. (Flickr photo by teece)
Just yesterday when I arrived home, there were a ton of ladybugs all over the front door. Little did I know they might be hanging around for more than the scenery.

A New York City apartment complex has turned to the little critters to tackle a big clean-up project on the 80-acre complex. It’s shipped in nearly three-quarters of a million ladybugs to eat other bugs that are destroying the ornamental landscaping features of the property.

The bugs come from Montana and have a big hunger for aphids and mites, insects that live and devour plants and flowers. The building complex owner is trying this natural solution to the problem in lieu of using chemical insecticides.

The natural method also helps to keep “the good guys,” other non-destructive bugs, around while chemical applications kill pretty much all of the insects in the area.

The apartment complex purchased the lady bugs from a business called Planet Natural. You can get a box of 2,000 ladybugs for $16.50.

On average, each ladybug can clear an area measuring about 19 inches square, eating about 50 nuisance bugs a day plus any eggs they may have also laid in the area. The commercial cleaners are also a different strain of ladybug than the Asian ladybugs that have become a common, swarming presence in urban areas.