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Smog-Infused Desserts Offer an Edible Taste of Global Pollution Issues

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy mixes meringues with the distinctive reek from the world’s least breathable cities.

Photo by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy.

Most cities take pride in their local culinary and cultural offerings, but one rarely hears anyone brag about the richness, variety, or flavor of their hometown smog. And yet, every urban locale has its own subtle stench and particular blend of bilious, airborne dreck. In order to raise awareness of global pollution issues, a recent project by the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, the Edible Geography blog, and the Finnish Cultural Institute distilled the distinctive taints of cities around the world, using them as the basis of a unique line of edible treats. Setting up a food cart at the New Museum’s Ideas City Festival this past Saturday, the project offered attendees a chance to try meringue cookies made with smog flavors like “London-Style Pea-Souper Smog,” “Atlanta-Style Biogenic Photochemical Smog,” and a cool, retro “Los Angeles in the 1950s Smog.”

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NY Governor Launches Emergency Task Force for Nail Salon Industry

The measures are a reaction to a NY Times series exposing the grueling working conditions in nail salons.

Photo by Flickr user bettyx1138.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to launch a multi-agency emergency task force today that will immediately implement regulations in the nail salon industry to help ensure the health and safety of nail salon laborers. The new measures come after the publication of NY Time’s exposé on the horrific working conditions of nail salon laborers. The two-part series, investigated by writer Sarah Maslin Nir, details a slew of labor violations, including wage theft and exposure to harmful materials.

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Court Decision Implies Possible Legal Personhood for Chimps (UPDATED)

The ruling could be a first step in establishing basic rights for sentient animals.

Photo by Thomas Lersch via Wikimedia Commons

Two chimpanzees named Hercules and Leo, both unwilling residents of a biomedical lab at Stony Brook University, have been given a chance at freedom—a court decision has granted a writ of habeas corpus to the primates, recognizing them, to an extent, as persons with rights. Habeas corpus is a specific legal application allowing a judge or court to free an imprisoned individual if there is no sufficient reason to keep them locked up. As the writ is only for people and not property, its use in this case implies de facto personhood for the pair. In Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday, Justice Barbara Jaffe issued a ruling that demanded a representative of Stony Brook show up for court on May 6 to defend the chimps’ detainment, reports Science magazine. If Stony Brook cannot come up with a good enough reason for keeping Hercules and Leo in captivity, they will be released to a chimpanzee sanctuary in Florida.

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New App Could Tackle Hunger, Will Help You Find a Good Deal

PareUp wants to connect food purveyors to thrifty consumers looking to score deals on unused, but still edible, items.

Try to stomach this: more than 30 percent of the U.S. food supply went uneaten in 2010. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study released earlier this year, that's 133 billion pounds—$160 billion worth of breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners—that ended up in dumpsters instead of bellies.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

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Want to Make Your City Better? Lower the Speed Limit.

The 20’s Plenty campaign is slowing down some of the world’s fastest paced places.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

This spring, Anne Hidalgo, the new mayor of Paris, announced that the whole city would gradually lower the legal speed limit to just under 20 miles per hour (30km/h). Just a few streets that operate like highways will be exempt.

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Why I Roamed Manhattan Collecting Remnants of the Blackout

I’d just moved in to the East Village when Hurricane Sandy hit. The blackout seemed to dissect the center of the universe in two. My roommate...


I’d just moved in to the East Village when Hurricane Sandy hit. The blackout seemed to dissect the center of the universe in two. My roommate and I went from being new residents of the East Village to new residents of the area South of Power, otherwise known as SoPo, before our boxes were even unpacked.

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