Category Archives: Air pollution

A Stage in Squalor by Caroline Keegan

As a young actor, I grew up hearing “all the world’s a stage.”  The quote comes from Shakespeare, but it gets thrown around pretty casually. Recently I’ve been thinking, if the world is the stage then what does that make me? One of its players? Or just a voyeur?

As I thought about this assignment over the last week, I paid careful attention to when I was a player, and when I was a voyeur. Often I would see things happening around me and not stop to change them– either because I was in a rush or I was scared I would be stepping out of line. Below are some examples.

Camera
iPhone 7
Focal Length
3.99mm
Aperture
f/1.8
Exposure
1/12s
ISO
100

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 7

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

3.99mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/1.8

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/12s

 

 

 

ISO

 

100

 

 

 

Take Out Tragedy

Here is a take out bag I picked up on Sunday night. Not only was it filled with extraneous plastic cutlery and napkins, but it came with two, TWO sets up plastic bags.

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 5s

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

4.15mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/2.2

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/30s

 

 

 

ISO

 

40

 

 

 

Big Bus Blues

The M57 and the M31 MTA stops are right outside my apartment, but recently I’ve noticed the M31 has been idling when traffic is good to stay on schedule.

Camera
iPhone 7
Focal Length
3.99mm
Aperture
f/1.8
Exposure
1/523s
ISO
20

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 7

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

3.99mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/1.8

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/523s

 

 

 

ISO

 

20

 

 

 

Trash Tolerance

Displacement of recycled materials because there wasn’t a public recycling bin for FOUR BLOCKS. (Believe me, I looked.)

As you can see, there were a of issues I noticed in just one week, but I became frustrated with myself for not doing anything to change them, or at least educate my community about changing them. I got frustrated enough with this to work up some courage, and the payoff felt good.

This morning I was in midtown on 8th Ave between 34th and 35th streets. (Or what I like to call the armpit of Manhattan). The avenue is usually packed bumper to bumper on either side of buses, utility trucks, vans, and private cars idling. So I said something… to four cars! And they all turned off their engines!!! It was easy. Here is a picture of some of them.

 

 

 

 

Camera

 

iPhone 7

 

 

 

Focal Length

 

3.99mm

 

 

 

Aperture

 

f/1.8

 

 

 

Exposure

 

1/209s

 

 

 

ISO

 

20

 

 

 

Idle Idiots

I even recorded an audio clip of asking one of them to turn off their engine, which they did immediately without any protest.

It felt pretty empowering to use my rights as a citizen, and has encouraged me to remain as active a player as I can. We really do have the power to change things.

If the Earth is our stage, then we’ve got some major “playing” to do.

 

PM 2.5 nearly doubles the risk of dementia in older women

Breathing an atmosphere contaminated with particulate matter (PM) diameter is <2.5μm nearly doubles the risk of dementia in older women(Translational Psychiatry).   Fossil fuel combustion by-products are a major source of  PM2.5 which we recognize as “smog. ”  Automobile exhaust emissions are a major source of the air pollution city dwellers inhale and account for 25% of ambient PM2.5..

The researchers focused on the effects of breathing in the tiny particles found in air pollution. They concluded that women who are exposed to levels of particulate matter exceeding federal standards were more likely to develop dementia. Fine particulate matter comes from a range of sources, including burning of fossil fuels.

Exposure to particulate matter (PM) in the ambient air and its interactions with APOE alleles may contribute to the acceleration of brain aging and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Neurodegenerative effects of particulate air pollutants were examined in a US-wide cohort of older women from the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) and in experimental mouse models. Residing in places with fine PM exceeding EPA standards increased the risks for global cognitive decline and all-cause dementia respectively by 81 and 92%, with stronger adverse effects in APOE ε4/4 carriers. Female EFAD transgenic mice (5xFAD+/−/human APOE ε3 or ε4+/+) with 225 h exposure to urban nanosized PM (nPM) over 15 weeks showed increased cerebral β-amyloid by thioflavin S for fibrillary amyloid and by immunocytochemistry for Aβ deposits, both exacerbated by APOE ε4. Moreover, nPM exposure increased Aβ oligomers, caused selective atrophy of hippocampal CA1 neurites, and decreased the glutamate GluR1 subunit. Wildtype C57BL/6 female mice also showed nPM-induced CA1 atrophy and GluR1 decrease. In vitro nPM exposure of neuroblastoma cells (N2a-APP/swe) increased the pro-amyloidogenic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). We suggest that airborne PM exposure promotes pathological brain aging in older women, with potentially a greater impact in ε4 carriers. The underlying mechanisms may involve increased cerebral Aβ production and selective changes in hippocampal CA1 neurons and glutamate receptor subunits. Top of page Introduction Environmental influences on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD) are poorly documented.1 Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 and other loci identified by large GWAS account for less than 50% of heritable AD risk.2 Thus, attention is drawn to environmental risk factors, including common neurotoxins and their interactions with APOE and other genes.2, 3

Final project post: bio fabrics/ sustainable fashion

Carbon Footprint of a cotton t-shirt

The Reformation: fast fashion brand modeled around sustainability and fair wages

Gallatin Fashion Show collection using all up-cycled fabrics

     

Full Final Project presentation here–> Green World final project (1)