(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘skyscraper

“Most things are never meant”*…

A coastal engineer collects a concentrated sample of algae and bacteria on Lake Erie in Toledo, Ohio

Protein-packed diets add excess nitrogen to the environment through urine, rivaling pollution from agricultural fertilizers…

In the U.S., people eat more protein than they need to. And though it might not be bad for human health, this excess does pose a problem for the country’s waterways. The nation’s wastewater is laden with the leftovers from protein digestion: nitrogen compounds that can feed toxic algal blooms and pollute the air and drinking water. This source of nitrogen pollution even rivals that from fertilizers washed off of fields growing food crops, new research suggests.

When we overconsume protein—whether it comes from lentils, supplements or steak—our body breaks the excess down into urea, a nitrogen-containing compound that exits the body via urine and ultimately ends up in sewage… the majority of nitrogen pollution present in wastewater—some 67 to 100 percent—is a by-product of what people consume…

Once it enters the environment, the nitrogen in urea can trigger a spectrum of ecological impacts known as the “nitrogen cascade.” Under certain chemical conditions, and in the presence of particular microbes, urea can break down to form gases of oxidized nitrogen. These gases reach the atmosphere, where nitrous oxide (N2O) can contribute to warming via the greenhouse effect and nitrogen oxides (NOx) can cause acid rain. Other times, algae and cyanobacteria, photosynthetic bacteria also called blue-green algae, feed on urea directly. The nitrogen helps them grow much faster than they would normally, clogging vital water supplies with blooms that can produce toxins that are harmful to humans, other animals and plants. And when the algae eventually die, the problem is not over. Microorganisms that feast on dead algae use up oxygen in the water, leading to “dead zones,” where many aquatic species simply cannot survive, in rivers, lakes and oceans. Blooms from Puget Sound to Tampa, Fla., have caused large fish die-offs…

If it’s not one thing, it’s another: “Eating Too Much Protein Makes Pee a Problem Pollutant in the U.S.,” from Sasha Warren (@space_for_sasha) in @sciam.

* Philip Larkin, “Going, Going” (in High Windows)

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As we deliberate on our diets, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that Theophilus Van Kannel received a patent for the revolving door, a design that came to characterize the entrances of (then-proliferating) skyscrapers and that earned him induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. But lest we think him “all work,” his other notable invention was the popular (at least in the early 20th century) amusement park ride “Witching Waves.”

Theophilus Van Kannel’s patent drawing for a revolving door, 1888 [source]
Theophilus Van Kannel [source]

“We have laboured long to build a heaven, only to find it populated with horrors”*…

 

The view of London’s skyline from the dome of St. Peter’s today (below) and visualized to reflect the completion of all currently-approved skyscrapers (above)

436 new skyscrapers could be popping up in London soon: 114 are at the pre-planning stage, 233 have received approval prior to construction, and 89 are actually being built. A new set of extremely-detailed renderings from Visualhouse and Dan Lowe offer an idea of how this high-rise future might actually look. More (and larger) photos and more background at “A Striking Visualization of London’s Future Skyline.”

* Alan Moore, Watchmen

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As we reach for the sky, we might recall that it was on this date in 1975 that a bill headlined by Kevin Coyne and Procol Harum played the “Closing Show” at London’s Rainbow Theater.  Built in 1930 as a cinema, it became a major concert venue in the 1960s:  The Rainbow was where Jimi Hendrix first burned a guitar, and where The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Queen, Genesis, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Little Feat, Kool & the Gang, the Ramones, and many others recorded live material for albums, television, and film.

The Rainbow was used again, sporadically, for concerts beginning in 1977.  But it was subject to a Historic Preservation Order, the maintenance standards of which the owners couldn’t meet; their plans to convert the space into a bingo parlor fell through, and the venue went dark in 1982.  It stayed vacant until the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a Brazilian Pentecostal order, converted into the church that it is today.

 source

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 16, 2016 at 1:01 am

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