Posts tagged with "NY"

What a hoot! Tiny owl is rescued from boughs of Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in NYC

November 20, 2020

A tiny owl has become New York City’s Christmas miracle: The northern saw-whet owl—one of the smallest in North America—had stowed away in the boughs of a 75-foot Norway spruce that was trucked 170 miles from the upstate town of Oneonta to New York City to become this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, The New York Daily News reports.

He was found when the tree was unwrapped—and promptly captured the hearts of both the workers and pandemic-worn New Yorkers who were on the scene. But they immediately knew he should be brought back home. This was not a city bird.

That’s when  the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, was called into action. “Yesterday morning, I received a phone call from someone who asked if we take in owls for rehabilitation,” wrote the rehab center’s Director and Founder Ellen Kalish on Facebook Tuesday, November 16.

“I replied, ‘yes we do.’ There was silence for a moment and then she said ‘OK, I’ll call back when my husband comes home, he’s got the baby owl in a box tucked in for the long ride,’” she wrote.

The female caller’s husband worked for the company that transported the world-famous tree to Manhattan, and realized the feathered fowl had carpooled to the city from the tree’s home in Oneonta.

Kalish and the woman met up about half an hour south of the rehab facility to transfer the bird. After a few days of feast and drink at the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, the owl—now aptly named “Rockefeller,” according to the Daily News’ report—will be released to the wintery wild.

“So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through. Once he checks in with the vet and gets a clean bill of health, he’ll be released to continue on his wild and wonderful journey,” Kalish wrote.

Research contact: @NYDailyNews

Summer BBQ safety: Stay away from sausages and hot dogs, and grill at lower temperatures

May 24, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend in the United States is, first and foremost, a time when we remember those who gave up their lives while serving in the Armed Forces. But it also is traditionally the occasion when many Americans fire up their barbeques and break out the burgers and buns.

And what could be more wholesome and fun than having a delicious meal—cooked outdoors and shared with family and friends?

It turns out that there may be plenty of activities that would lead to better outcomes, now that we have been forced to examine the relationship between grilling and cancer risk, The Huffington Post reports.

Research suggests that meat— including beef, pork, poultry or fish—forms carcinogenic chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) when charred or cooked over high heat, as on a grill (it’s what you think of as “grill marks”). In laboratory experiments, these chemicals have been “found to be mutagenic—that is, to cause changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer,” according to the National Cancer Institute.

The formation of HCAs and PAHs varies by meat type, cooking method, and “doneness” level (rare, medium, or well done). Whatever the type of meat, however, meats cooked at high temperatures, especially above 300 ºF (as in grilling or pan frying), or that are cooked for a long time, tend to form more HCAs. For example, well-done, grilled, or barbecued chicken and steak all have high concentrations of HCAs. Cooking methods that expose meat to smoke contribute to PAH formation .

Theodore M. Brasky, a cancer epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, told HuffPost that there is a “wealth of data” about the effects of HCAs and PAHs on other animals, on which many of the studies have been conducted. But when it comes to humans, that data is less concrete.

“Studies in people are in some ways more complicated because it’s difficult to control all aspects,” he said. “But there is nevertheless a lot of evidence from epidemiological studies that show that healthy individuals who report eating well-done or barbecued meats tend to have higher occurrence of cancers of the GI tract (especially colon cancer) over time, after taking into account other factors.”

Kirsten Moysich, an expert in cancer prevention and public health from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, shared a similar sentiment with the online news outlet. “Some studies have shown that individuals who eat a lot of grilled meat are at higher risk of colon, prostate, and pancreatic cancer, but others have not shown these associations,” she said.

Moysich and Brasky both pointed to what might be a worse culprit at your barbecue than an open flame: processed meat like hot dogs and sausages, which contain cancer-causing additives and chemicals.

The International Agency for the Research of Cancer has designated processed meats as a ‘group one’ carcinogen, meaning that there is convincing evidence that they are carcinogenic to people,” Brasky said. “They estimate that 50 grams (approximately two ounces) of processed meat consumed daily is associated with 18% increased colorectal cancer risk.”

Even by these numbers, you’d have to be eating a hot dog every day to up your risk exponentially, says HuffPost. But if you are concerned about coming into contact with potentially harmful foods or cooking methods, there are ways to avoid and lessen the risk altogether.

Moysich recommends “removing charred areas on the meat and turning meat over frequently.” She also suggests grilling vegetables and fruits, which do not produce HCAs and “are linked to a reduced risk of cancer.”

Brasky recommends something we could all stand to do in both grilling and life―slowing down. Cooking the meat at a lower temperature for a longer time means an even grill and less opportunity for charring. “Be mindful that meats should not be charred, and that if you can allot additional time to cook outdoors, you’ll be able to lower the grill temperature to below 300̊ [Fahrenheit],” he said.

The American Institute for Cancer Research also notes that marinades are a great way to create a barrier between the meat and the flame to decrease the amount of HCAs. The organization suggests trimming the fat off the meat or even pre-cooking it a bit before it goes on the grill.

Just as is the case with many things in life, Moysich offers a reminder that the best practice of all is to be mindful about how often you’re doing something ― whether eating processed meat, grilling or otherwise.

“Bottom line? Everything in moderation,” she said. “People should not be worried to eat grilled meat, but balance this indulgence with vegetable consumption, a brisk walk, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Family dormitories are on the rise

March 20, 2019

A co-living company that has been offering dormitory-like accommodations to single 20-somethings now has a new customer base in mind: families.

New York City-based Common, which rents out fully furnished private bedrooms in shared, serviced apartments—complete with a  shared and furnished living area, kitchen, and bathroom(s), and free on-site laundry; as well as a once-a-week professional cleaning team—is teaming with global real-estate developer Tishman Speyer to launch this new product on March 19, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It’s a grown-up concept designed to meet the needs of young and expanding family units. Under the new brand Kin, buildings will feature playrooms, family-size units, and on-demand childcare through an internal mobile app that also helps connect families looking to share nannies and babysitters.

Common and Tishman Speyer are testing out those offerings at an existing luxury project, Jackson Park in Long Island City, with plans to announce new developments in other locales in the coming months, the Journal reports.

The partners see this as an opportunity to help address a shortage of family-size apartments in many major U.S. cities, where developers have overwhelmingly built studios and one-bedrooms targeted to single 20-somethings.

“People are choosing to raise families in big cities more than ever,” said Rob Speyer, president and chief executive at Tishman Speyer. “It’s very difficult to find housing that’s tailored to that.”

Common pioneered the co-living concept, but since then it has become a crowded space with a handful of well-funded competitors. All are racing to see who can most quickly overcome hurdles—such as finding developers and banks willing to gamble on the unconventional layouts, and finding a way to shrink floor plans without alienating customers.

Brad Hargreaves, founder and chief executive at Common, said the idea for the product grew out of his own experience trying to find child care in the city when his son was born in 2015.

“When [my first son] was about to be born we started looking for child-care options, and we really struggled to find anything that was affordable and high-quality,” he said.

The Kin venture also provides a hedge for Common when its clientele are aging out of their 20s and potentially out of Common’s core product.

Some analysts have warned that co-living buildings serve a niche demographic and people are much less likely to live there when they become couples or have children.

“There is a large question from a venture-capital side about what these companies are going to look like in 10 years. When the largest cohort that is using co-living, what happens when these people grow up?” Jeffrey Berman, a general partner at Camber Creek, a real-estate-focused venture-capital firm, told the Journal in an interview.

Unlike Common’s co-living product, Kin buildings won’t require families to share kitchens and bathrooms. But Mr. Hargreaves said units will be compact to help make them more affordable, with larger common spaces to compensate.

Developers traditionally build much fewer two- or three-bedroom apartments because they are more expensive and tend to lease more slowly. In fact, the share of apartments with two or more bedrooms has declined to just over 40% since 2014, from about 55% from 2000 to 2013. Nearly 60% of new units constructed in the 54 largest metros since 2014 have been studio or one-bedroom apartments, according to CoStar, up from about 45% from 2000 to 2013.

Hargreaves told the news outlet that he is confident that families aren’t leaving the city by choice, but because of limited child-care and housing options. “One of the biggest things [families] fear is being forced out of the city into the suburbs,” he said.

Research contact: @hicommon