Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer
A view of Cobble Hill Tunnel, one of New York City's underground system sewage system. (Wikimedia Commons / Vlad Rud)
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Updated 24 March 2023

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer
  • Scream as loud as you can for rescuers to hear you, 911 dispatcher the panicked lads

NEW YORK: Five mischievous boys had to be rescued after they crawled through a storm drain tunnel in New York City and got lost, authorities said.
In audio released by the fire department, 911 dispatchers work to pinpoint the boys’ exact location and then tell them to scream once rescuers are close enough to hear.
“Now you can scream as loud as you can,” a dispatcher says. “They want you to scream and yell.”
The five boys, aged 11 and 12, crawled into a storm drain on Staten Island at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, fire department officials said at a news conference Wednesday.
The boys walked about a quarter mile and then called 911 when they couldn’t find their way back, officials said.
“We’re stuck in the sewer,” one of the boys says on the recording. “You’re stuck where?” a dispatcher responds.
A second dispatcher says he is familiar with the area and tries to determine exactly where the boys are. “Once you went down, was the sewer left, right, straight — where was it?” the dispatcher asks. “I need you to guide me.”
When sirens can be heard, the dispatcher tells the boys to scream. At first the boys fear that the rescuers aren’t stopping.
“It sounded like they went past us,” one boy says.
The dispatcher assures the boys, “They’re not going anywhere, we’re going to get you out of there.”
Soon an emergency responder can be heard saying “We might have hands on the kids right now,” and then, “We have all five children removed from the sewer.”
Firefighters said the boys were in the tunnel for about an hour. The boys and one firefighter were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but none had significant injuries, officials said.
“Amazing that the cellphone worked in the tunnel,” FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens told reporters. “That was a key component of us finding them.”


Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale

Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale
Updated 30 May 2023

Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale

Dubai to take part in June’s London Design Biennale
  • Bake bread, see an AI robot designing, weave a tapestry, get inside a space pod, visit a virtual garden

LONDON: Dubai is set to take part in this year’s London Design Biennale, which is an interactive, musical and kinetic exhibition of creative innovation from across the globe, organizers have announced.

Dubai will feature a pavilion entitled “And Beyond,” in line with the theme for the fourth edition — “The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations” — from June 1 to 25.

Over 40 international exhibitors will showcase world-leading design, confronting global challenges and inspiring audiences with thought-provoking installations, organizers said.

 

 

“Bake bread, witness an AI Robot designing, weave a tapestry, get inside a space pod, find inner peace and visit a virtual garden,” according to a statement from the organizers.

Overseeing this year’s event is Nieuwe Instituut, the Dutch national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, led by General and Artistic Director Aric Chen.

The theme of this year’s biennale aims to go “beyond borders and territories to enact new forms of international cooperation and participation through design.”

Launching this year, the Eureka exhibition will share design-led innovation from leading research centers featuring cross-disciplinary invention and creativity, involving academics, leaders and problem solvers.


Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein

Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein
Updated 30 May 2023

Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein

Venice’s Grand Canal turns bright green due to fluorescein
  • The results “have not shown the presence of toxic elements in the samples analyzed,” the statement said, without specifying the origin of the substance

ROME: The spectacular transformation of a stretch of Venice’s Grand Canal to fluorescent green was due to fluorescein, a non-toxic substance used for testing wastewater networks, local authorities said on Monday.
Residents noticed a stretch of Venice’s Grand Canal turned bright green Sunday, prompting police to investigate amid speculation it could be a stunt by environmentalists.

In this image released by the Italian firefighters, a firefighter on a boat looks at the arched Rialto Bridge along Venice's historical Grand Canal as a patch of phosphorescent green liquid spreads in it, Sunday, May 28, 2023. (AP)

But analysis showed “the presence of fluorescein in samples taken,” said the the Regional Agency for Environmental Prevention and Protection of Veneto (Arpav).
The results “have not shown the presence of toxic elements in the samples analyzed,” the statement said, without specifying the origin of the substance.
The change in color noticed by residents raised eyebrows, with police looking into whether Sunday’s development could be a protest by climate change activists, according to local daily La Nuova Venezia.
It is not the first time the Grand Canal has turned green.
In 1968, Argentine artist Nicolas Garcia Uriburu dyed the waters of Venice’s Grand Canal green with a fluorescent dye during the 34th Venice Biennale in a stunt to promote ecological awareness.
 

 


Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh

Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh
Updated 29 May 2023

Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh

Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shares image of Riyadh
  • Al-Qarni and his fellow astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi are the first Saudi nationals to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS)

LONDON: Saudi astronaut Ali Al-Qarni shared a photo of the Saudi capital Riyadh from space on his Twitter account on Sunday.

Al-Qarni and his fellow astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi are the first Saudi nationals to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS), with the latter the first Saudi and Arab woman to be given the honor.

Both have shared images of their homeland and the Middle East from their vantage point more than 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

“Riyadh is shining even in space,” Al-Qarni tweeted alongside a photo of Riyadh and a photo of the Saudi flag inside the space station.

Al-Qarni and Barnawi are conducting experiments and research including cancer prevention and prediction, microgravity, cloud seeding and cell reprograming, according to reports.


Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn

Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn
Updated 29 May 2023

Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn

Light pollution threatens to darken the night sky in 20 years, scientists warn
  • Disappearance of stars is having consequences on humans, animals
  • Singapore, Qatar and Kuwait top list of most light-polluted countries in the world

LONDON: Light pollution could darken the night sky in just two decades, making stars invisible to the human eye, scientists warned.

Martin Rees, the British astronomer royal, said in an interview with The Guardian that light pollution has worsened rapidly in recent years and could soon wipe out our ability to see the night sky.

“The night sky is part of our environment, and it would be a major deprivation if the next generation never got to see it, just as it would be if they never saw a bird’s nest,” Rees said.

“You don’t need to be an astronomer to care about this. I am not an ornithologist but if there were no songbirds in my garden, I’d feel impoverished.”

Rees noted that in 2016, astronomers reported that the Milky Way was no longer visible to a third of humanity. He attributed this to the increasing use of light-emitting diodes and other forms of lighting, which are now brightening the night sky at a dramatic rate.

The World Atlas of Night Sky Brightness, a computer-generated map that provides data on how and where our globe is lit up at night, shows that vast areas of North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia are glowing with light, while only the most remote regions on Earth (Siberia, the Sahara, and the Amazon) remain in total darkness.

The map, based on thousands of satellite photos, reveals that Singapore, Qatar, and Kuwait are among the most light-polluted countries in the world, highlighting how densely populated areas are most affected by the issue.

According to research by physicist Christopher Kyba, of the German Centre for Geosciences, light pollution is now obscuring the stars at a rate of about 10 percent per year.

Kyba explained that a child born where 250 stars are visible at night today would only be able to see about 100 by the time they reach 18.

“A couple of generations ago, people would have been confronted regularly with this glittering vision of the cosmos, but what was formerly universal is now extremely rare. Only the world’s richest people, and some of the poorest, experience that anymore. For everybody else, it’s more or less gone,” Kyba said.

Aside from astronomical and cultural repercussions, the excessive or inappropriate use of outdoor artificial light is affecting human health and wildlife behavior.

Scientists warned that the increased use of lights wreaks havoc on natural body rhythms in humans and animals, destabilizing many wild species that rely on the night sky for their migration movements.

In 2019, scientists found that the issue is contributing to an “insect apocalypse,” after discovering that light has a significant impact on how bug species move, search for food, reproduce, grow and hide from predators.

Nevertheless, introducing only a modest number of changes to lighting could considerably improve the situation and have “an enormous impact,” Kyba argued.

These moves would include ensuring outdoor lights are carefully shielded, point downwards, have limits placed on their brightness, and are not predominantly blue-white but have red and orange components.


Nepal celebrates 70 years since first Everest summit

Nepal celebrates 70 years since first Everest summit
Updated 29 May 2023

Nepal celebrates 70 years since first Everest summit

Nepal celebrates 70 years since first Everest summit
  • Top Nepali climbers, including the record holder for most Everest ascents Kami Rita Sherpa, were honoured in a ceremony

KHUMJUNG: The sons of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa led celebrations in Nepal on Monday to mark the 70th anniversary of the historic first ascent of Everest.
The scaling of the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) peak on May 29, 1953, changed mountaineering forever and made the New Zealander and his Nepalese guide household names.
"In a whole lot of ways, it was not just Ed Hilary and Tenzing Norgay that reached the summit of Mount Everest, it was all of humanity," Peter Hillary said at a school founded by his father in the remote village of Khumjung at 3,790 metres.
"Suddenly, all of us could go," he said.
And gone they have. In the past seven decades, more than 6,000 climbers have climbed the world's highest mountain, according to the Himalayan Database.
It remains dangerous, with more than 300 losing their lives in the same period, including 12 this year. Five others are missing, putting 2023 on course to be a record deadly year.
As well as supporting tourism, the rapid growth in the climbing industry has raised revenue for Nepal, which today charges foreigners an Everest permit fee of $11,000.
Family members of both the climbers joined locals and officials at the school on Monday morning to inaugurate the Sir Edmund Hillary Visitors Centre, housed in the original building that opened in 1961.
Butter lamps were lit in front of a photograph of Hillary and Tenzing, and their sons, Peter Hillary and Jamling Norgay, cut a red ribbon to open the doors to the centre.
A renovated museum is also being opened in Tenzing Norgay's name in Namche Bazaar, the largest tourist hub in the trek to the Everest base camp.
In Kathmandu, officials and hundreds from the mountaineering community joined a rally with celebratory banners.
Top Nepali climbers, including the record holder for most Everest ascents Kami Rita Sherpa, were honoured in a ceremony.
Sanu Sherpa, the only person to climb the world's 14 highest peaks twice, called on the government to support the Nepali guides, who bear huge risks to carry equipment and food, fix ropes and repair ladders.
"The government has not done much for the Sherpa. I think it would be of great help and we would be happy if the government helps educate children of those climbers who died on mountains," Sherpa told AFP.