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'AirBubble' offers respite from Warsaw pollution

07/28/21 11:15 AM

At a new playground in central Warsaw, algae feast on pollutants and carbon dioxide to provide a bubble of clean oxygen in a city ranked as one of the most polluted capitals in the EU."There is untapped value in bringing the bio-intelligence of natural systems into cities," said Marco Poletto, co-founder of the ecoLogicStudio urban design firm behind the project.He suggests "turning buildings into living machines that produce energy, store CO2 and clean the air," according to a statement.The Polish capital was selected for the inaugural edition of the AirBubble as the city is in particular need of clean air.According to data released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) last month, Warsaw ranks 269th for air quality on a list of 323 European cities.The list was created based on the average level over the past two years of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), the air pollutant with the highest impact on health.The EEA blames air pollution -- caused in large part by the burning of coal -- for an estimated 50,000 premature deaths per year in the country of 38 million people.The bubble is outfitted with dozens of glass cylinders containing algae immersed in water that feast on air being pumped in from below.The green organisms consume polluting molecules and carbon dioxide before releasing clean oxygen out the top of the bioreactors.The small circular playground is located next to the riverside Copernicus Science Centre, which stations an employee there to answer any questions and make sure no one gets hurt.On a recent warm afternoon, children of various ages monkeyed around in the bubble: shrieking, laughing, they hopped on rubber bubbles and swung from rope."This is fun," shouted eight-year-old Ania, while jumping.Her mother, Malgorzata Wrona, also applauded the eco-friendly concept."It's pretty cool. Especially in a big city right? Because you know: pollution and smog and everything," the 42-year-old English teacher told AFP."This gives the kids, at least, a chance to breathe some fresh air."She said that where they live, in the western city of Wroclaw, many people still heat their homes with coal, so the air quality is "terrible".The AirBubble will be in place until November for now, but could possibly become a permanent fixture. There are plans to install bubbles in other cities too.© 2021 AFP

'Big step toward restoring trust': North & South Korea reopen communication hotline after year of silence

07/27/21 4:23 AM

The two Koreas said they have agreed to reopen a cross-border communications channel shuttered more than a year ago, with Pyongyang hailing the move as a “big step” toward rebuilding bilateral ties. Read Full Article at RT.com

'Not a blame game': WHO urges collaboration after Beijing rejects proposed second probe into Covid-19 origins

07/23/21 12:07 PM

A World Health Organization spokesman has called on nations around the world to further their cooperation with the international body in finding the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read Full Article at RT.com

Top US News

$1,204 a month for 150 young adults: L.A. County pilot program approved

07/28/21 9:00 AM

About a third eligible for the program are homeless with no support system. Many are Black or Latino men with limited educational and career opportunities.

'Better Call Saul' star in stable condition after 'heart-related incident'

07/28/21 7:21 PM

"Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk is stable condition after collapsing while filming the sixth and final season of the AMC series, his rep said.

'Complicit': Meet the 18 Republicans Who Sold Out on Radical Democrat 'Infrastructure' Plan Without Reading Bill

07/29/21 12:30 AM

Eighteen Senate Republicans sold out to Senate Democrats, with 17 of them voting Wednesday night to advance a $1.2 trillion Democrat "infrastructure" bill and another signaling he would.

Latest Sports News

'You have to be 100%': Why Biles withdrew from the team final

07/28/21 8:35 PM

Maybe it's the start of a new era in which mental health and safety are more important than gold medals.

2021 draft kit: Rankings, cheat sheets, mock drafts, sleepers and analysis

07/28/21 5:25 PM

Get everything you need to prepare for your fantasy football drafts here, including rankings and analysis.

2021 NBA draft: How to watch, mock draft, storylines and key intel

07/28/21 4:51 PM

From projections to expert analysis, we'll get you prepared for Thursday's draft.