Pinball, Swords, Bad Air: What's Not Ruining Our Cities This Week

Long-suffering pinball fans can finally play free in Oakland. Swords are being returned to their rightful owners in New York City. And America is breathing better air than we have in a decade. Sometimes we like to look at the brighter side of urban life. It's our peek at What's Not Ruining Our Cities Anymore. » 6/28/14 1:00pm 6/28/14 1:00pm

Was This Plastic Helmet the 1940s' Solution to Smog?

When smog first descended on Los Angeles as a thick, grey mist in the 1940s, it caught the city unprepared. What were Angelenos—their eyes watery, their breathing labored—to do? Don plastic helmets and walk around in their own private atmospheres, like astronauts on a alien planet? » 5/30/14 5:58pm 5/30/14 5:58pm

The Worst Air Pollution in the World Is NOT in Beijing

Man, do we love talking at how much China's air quality sucks—so much that we've even been suckered into fake viral memes about it. But, as the New York Times reports, Beijing's air pollution isn't even that bad... relatively speaking. "Lately, a very bad air day in Beijing is about an average one in New Delhi," says… » 1/27/14 2:20pm 1/27/14 2:20pm

Depressing Necklace Measures How Much Air Pollution You're Breathing In

Sure, air pollution might make for particularly stunning sunsets. But have you ever thought about the toll it takes on your body? You won't have a choice after wearing RTI International's MicroPEM—or personal exposure monitor—which measures the adverse affects of breathing in all that poison. » 4/19/12 9:29am 4/19/12 9:29am

Dutch Town to Be Paved With Air Pollution-Sucking Bricks

The small Dutch town of Hengelo is about to test out a new kind of concrete paving slab that actually grabs onto the car-exhaust pollutant nitrogen oxide (a key smog and acid rain ingredient) sucking it out of the air and rendering it harmless. The special bricks contain a component based on titanium dioxide that acts… » 8/07/08 5:39am 8/07/08 5:39am