Experience Five Hundred (Virtual) Years Of New York City History In A Single Elevator Ride

Elevator rides to the observation deck at 1 World Trade Center will offer passengers an astonishing view historical

image via screen capture

In just 47 seconds, riders of 1 World Trade Center’s ultra-high-tech elevator system will be able to experience over five hundred years of New York City’s shifting landscape and skyline.

Each of the five elevators making the 102-story trip from the skyscraper’s ground floor to its observation deck are outfitted with nine, 75-inch high-definition monitors. Coordinated animation across the screens give riders the impression they are standing in the middle of a skeletal, open-air box, looking out over lower Manhattan, and into neighboring Brooklyn. As the elevator ascends, the lush pastoral greens of the 1500’s give way to houses, buildings, and eventually an immediately recognizable 21st century cityscape.

Before opening to the public next month, The New York Times was able to get a sneak peak at the advanced virtual history experience. They explain some of familiar, and perhaps not-so-familiar, landmarks whizzing past:

Just after the cab passes the 250-foot mark in the 1760s, during the British colonial era, St. Paul’s Chapel rises splendidly on the eastern horizon, occupying the same site it does today.

image via screen capture

Prominent landmarks of the 19th and early 20th centuries come and go: the behemoth of a Post Office in City Hall Park; the Astor House hotel across Broadway; the spiky New York Tribune and domed New York World buildings along Newspaper Row; the Hudson Terminal buildings that preceded the trade center.

Height records are made and broken by a succession of “tallest” towers: the Park Row Building, the Singer Building, the Woolworth Building and the original trade center.

The effect is a dizzying visual survey of the city’s multi-century history:

On its descent back to Earth, The Times described the elevator’s animation as “more fanciful.” This time the screens display a simulated areal loop of modern-day Manhattan, done in an effort to spare riders any potential September 11th-related discomfort that might arise from seeing the original World Trade Center towers–only just visible on the ascent–disappear as the years roll back.

It’s a thoughtful detail, one of thousands that have gone into creating this very deliberate, and extraordinarily detailed immersive experience. The above video alone conveys an astonishingly natural sense of fluid movement. One can only guess how much more vivid the experience must be when actually standing inside the elevator’s proto-holodeck.

Fortunately, we won’t have too long wait before being able to see (and feel) the time lapse for ourselves. 1 World Trade Center’s observatory, and its history-spanning elevators, are scheduled to open on May 29th.

via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less