Philadelphia is about to go completely dark at night. Here’s why

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To save the birds, turn out the lights. On a single night in October 2020, more than 1,000 birds crashed to their deaths against the windows of tall buildings in downtown Philadelphia. Blamed on a rare convergence of the semiannual migration period and bad weather, a major contributing factor was the abundance of lights left on inside tall buildings overnight. By the next morning, the streets were littered with dead birds. Read Full Story

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Why cities should be designed for birds

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Habitats that are good for birds are good for people, too. Sometimes it seems like cities were designed to kill birds. Take for instance the single night in October when more than 1,000 birds were killed when they collided with buildings in the city of Philadelphia. Due to a combination of confusing reflections from building windows, disorienting light pollution, and the location of tall buildings in the direct flight paths and habitats of many birds, deadly collisions—sometimes in mass numbers— are depressingly common . Researchers estimate that collisions with buildings cause up to one billion bird deaths in the United States every year. Read Full Story

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COVID-19 won’t kill cities

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The death of the city is regularly predicted. But, like Mark Twain’s premature obituary, it is greatly exaggerated. For those of you who live in cities, ask yourself: What it is about your urban lifestyle that makes it worth it despite the pollution, the noise and the traffic? Perhaps it’s the hundreds of unique restaurants that you like to dine at. Or the density that fosters a vibrant night life and cosmopolitan cultural scene. Maybe it’s the parks, the museums, the tall buildings, the mass transit. Read Full Story

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1,000 birds crashed into Philadelphia buildings overnight. No one knows why

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Birds commonly fly into the sides of buildings, but design changes can help. On a single day, for reasons that can’t be fully explained, more than 1,000 birds crashed into buildings in Philadelphia and fell to their deaths. The blame falls at least partly on the buildings themselves, and the mass death event highlights a widespread problem with the way buildings are designed and built. Read Full Story

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I’m an emergency medicine doctor: Here’s how we’re using ultrasound in innovative ways to combat COVID-19

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I work at one of Philadelphia’s biggest hospitals, where we’re starting to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, and we’ve been able to adapt this common technology to more quickly diagnose coronavirus than using other techniques. Tall and thin, wearing blue jeans, the patient walked past me in the emergency department. Wearing a surgical mask, he walked behind the triage nurse following her to the patient room and got hooked up to the heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen monitor. When I entered, rolling a cart with an ultrasound machine the size of a laptop, I heard the fast beeping accompanying the rate of his heartbeat. I was wearing the uniform that’s become standard in the last two months: the awkward set of equipment and garments that people have come to know as PPE (personal protective equipment). Bouffant hat, light-blue plastic gown wrapped and tied at the waist, oversized goggles, …

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Painting wind turbine blades black can reduce bird deaths 70%

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Wind power is dangerous for birds, but there’s a new, simple, cheap solution: paint. If you’ve heard President Trump talk about wind power, you’ve heard stories about dead birds : “You want to see a bird graveyard? You just go. Take a look . . . Go under a windmill someday. You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen, ever, in your life.” Wind turbines, in fact, aren’t the biggest killer of birds—that would be house cats, which kill an estimated 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds in North America alone each year, roughly 100 times more than wind farms. Building windows and cell phone towers are also bigger culprits. But as birds struggle with the impacts of climate change, anything to help reduce unnecessary deaths is critical. On wind farms, the fix could be as simple as paint. Read Full Story

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Why every company needs to share its mission in 2021

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Ghost lights, hope, and the need for turning our meticulously manicured missions into mountain-moving movements. Last month, as I was helping my daughter Kaitlyn with an English assignment, she described to me the time-honored performing arts ritual of turning on a small, single-bulb light to illuminate the stage at night—while the theater is closed. My 15-year-old aspiring Broadway actress told me it’s called a “ghost light.” Read Full Story

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More trees! More decorations! Wounded by 2020, Americans are going big on Christmas cheer

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It’s not just you. Consumers are spending more on holiday decorations this year as the COVID-19 pandemic forces millions to stay home. René and Joe Hauser’s home is decorated with not one, not two, but three Christmas trees this year—a seven-footer in the foyer covered with their children’s ornaments and ones they’ve received as gifts, a six-footer in the living room decorated with blue lights and blue and silver ornaments, and a four-foot-tall Harry Potter-themed tree in the dining room. Elsewhere are Santa Claus pictures, Christmas dishes, two Advent calendars, two Nativity sets, and holiday potholders, towels, and shower curtains. Outside their Olean, N.Y., house to delight neighbors and motorists who stop to take pictures are Santa, reindeer, a North Pole sign, a nutcracker, lighted trees, a Joy sign, and candy canes. Read Full Story

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Why Long Tall Sally closing down is especially disastrous for tall women

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Long Tall Sally, the world’s top international tall women’s clothier, announced on Tuesday that it is closing. Long Tall Sally, the world’s top international tall women’s clothier, announced on Tuesday that it is closing, leaving tall women around the world in a lurch. The brand catered to women over a certain height and was also popular among many taller trans women. Some expressed their distress on Twitter today: Read Full Story

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