Category Archives: NYU

The material within these videos and articles will be discussed on our first day of class.

 They came. They drilled. They left, and in their aftermath are unplugged holes in the ground — orphaned coal-bed methane wells. To date, there are 6,924 plugged and abandoned coal-bed methane wells in Campbell County, according to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Of those wells, 5,202 are on fee or state land. The rest are on federal land. There also are wells that are orphaned — wells that the operators walked away from, leaving them unreclaimed. The responsibility of plugging these wells falls on the Oil and Gas Commission if the wells are on state or private land, or to the Bureau of Land Management, if they are on federal land. Since production peaked in 2009 at 580 million thousand cubic feet, the number of orphaned holes has been rising. There are about 1,220 abandoned wells on state and fee (private) land in Wyoming, most of which are in the Powder River Basin, according to Gov. Matt Mead’s office.
Wyoming’s Orphan wells – By Alexandra Sukhomlinova
The mounds of kelp that recently washed onto local beaches point to a thriving offshore ecosystem created by restoration efforts over the past decade, experts say. Ten years ago, there was practically no kelp off Orange County’s coast. Pollution and an overabundance of predators such as sea urchins had decimated the kelp forests, killing 80 percent of what Southern California had a century ago. But over the past decade, environmentalists and others planted nearly 5 acres of kelp along coastal Southern California. They planted lab-grown kelp, transplanted healthy kelp from existing beds, released kelp spores and removed kelp predators, namely sea urchins, which can take over and obliterate a kelp forest if left unchecked. Those efforts seem to have paid off: The kelp is back. “This is just a sign of how healthy our kelp forest has become. Just 10 years ago, there was almost no kelp on the Orange County coast,” said Ray Hiemstra.
Ocean’s hidden kelp forests return — Aaron Orlowski
 This article was also fLaurie Barr is a hunter. Each year, around November, when the trees in Pennsylvania lose their foliage and the shrubs are nothing but bare sticks, offering no hiding place or cover, the hunting season begins. But Laurie Barr doesn’t carry a rifle or a crossbow; she doesn’t wear camouflage, and no faithful hounds lead the way. She doesn’t have to tread silently across the forest floor or keep her voice down because her quarry, if she is lucky enough to find it, is already dead – has been dead for decades. Armed with just a digital camera and a GPS device, Laurie Barr is hunting for what almost no one in Pennsylvania has heard of: orphaned oil and gas wells.
Dimiter Kenarov, for the Pulitzer Center
"In my opinion . . . just to get this many people talking about it (is a win)," Sheehan said. "It really is a David and Goliath story, and it's a story that will not go away no matter" which way the vote swings. Indeed, the initiative to impose a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops in Maui County has become one of the most divisive issues the county has ever seen. It's driven thousands of residents to become more politically engaged this election season by marching in rallies, offering testimony before the Maui County Council or sitting down to analyze the piece of proposed legislation. But the initiative also has brought out combative behavior and vandalism that seldom characterize Hawaii elections. Extreme advocates have been caught on video removing campaign signs from private property and stopping in the middle of a roadway to yell at sign-wavers. In Lahaina, trees and buildings were spray-painted. For a county that has drawn the lowest voter turnout in the state in the past few elections, this singular initiative has driven more residents to get involved than ever before. It's uncertain what effects the surge of one-issue voters might have on other ballot measures or candidates. The "vote yes" side hopes to stop cultivation of genetically engineered crops until studies show they are safe for the environment and public health. The "vote no" side maintains such a ban would cost residents hundreds of jobs and taxpayers millions of dollars. And, it is not clearly written, they say.
GMOs or no GMOs?
2014 Election: That is the voter initiative question
— Eileen Chow
Conventional wisdom says western Lake Erie’s toxic algae is supported by commercial farm runoff, animal manure, sewage spills, faulty septic tanks, and other major sources of nutrients responsible for putting much of the excessive phosphorus and nitrogen in the water. But that’s not the whole story. As Great Lakes scientists probe deeper into the weeds on this issue, they find such contributing factors as invasive species and climate change also foster algal growth. Invasive species and climate change don’t cause algal blooms, but they worsen them. That message often gets lost or misunderstood by a confused public that gets bombarded with information and wants to assign blame to a single issue, even though science doesn’t work that way.
Invasive species compound toxic algae risk — Tom Henry
Cape Town - Gauteng’s water was recently switched off because it was “so close to the edge” – and that’s just the beginning. The rest of the country is running on empty unless government spends 100 times more to secure our water supply. In more than half of the country, South Africans are using more water than what’s available. We are already using 98% of our available water supply, and 40% of our waste water treatment is in a “critical state”. A staggering 37% of our clean, drinkable water is being lost through inefficient ways of using water such as leaking pipes, dripping taps – and that is what’s being reported, the figure could be much higher.
South Africa’s looming water disaster — Emma Thelwell
While big companies make millions from El Salvador’s water-rich Nejapa municipality, locals have little or no access to water. Ana Luisa Najarro’s neighbours include some of the world’s largest corporations. Down the street from her house, giant drinks manufacturers have set up a series of factories and warehouses, bottling water and fizzy drinks for distribution across the country and export across central America. Coca-Cola is here, bottled by a subsidiary of SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer. A Mexican juice multinational has also moved in, as has a large bottled water company. Millions of dollars are made by major beverage businesses in Nejapa, an expanding industrial area in El Salvador near where Najarro lives. But despite living down the road, and on top of one of the country’s largest aquifers, she says she struggles every day to find enough clean water to drink. “Nejapa is a gold mine for water. It’s rich in water, and the communities have no access,” says Najarro, sitting in her garden. Her family has lived on this plot for three generations and she remembers a time when water was plentiful. “There were beautiful rivers you could go to and wash or swim. Now we can’t use the water for anything,” she says. “The water in the river is dirty; it’s dead water.” Just 20km north of the capital, San Salvador, Nejapa is an ecologically critical zone in central America’s smallest and most densely populated country. Salvadoran civil society groups say it is also a prime example of how unfettered competition over limited resources has created scenes of extreme water poverty next door to water-intensive industries
Water everywhere for profit in Nejapa, but few drops for local people to drink — Claire Provost and Matt Kennard
The more traffic pollution a pregnant woman is exposed to—especially during her third trimester—the greater chance her child will develop autism. That’s the conclusion of yet another study, this one published online in the October 2014 edition of the journal Epidemiology. It was only about a decade ago that scientists first began looking at whether air pollution impacted infant development. Today, four studies link traffic pollution exposure to autism, a developmental disorder characterized by social problems, communication difficulties, and repetitive behavior. According to lead author of the latest study, environmental epidemiologist Dr. Amy Kalkbrenner, the literature has been very consistent. “When looking at health impact in a human population, not a controlled animal experiment, getting this level of consistency is, in my assessment, notable,” she said.
Fourth Study Finds Traffic Pollution May Cause Autism — Conran Milner
Night, Peter Terezakis, Heart Beats Light, Yuha Desert 2007

Pictures at an Exhibition

“Pictures at an Exhibition,” as in I have one included in a group exhibition.
Night, a 2007 image from an installation of Heart Beats Light is included in New York University’s Photo and Emerging Media 2014-2015 Faculty and Staff Exhibition.  The exhibition opened on September 2, 2014 and closes on October 9, 2014.  The show is in two locations: the Gulf + Western Gallery (1st Floor, rear lobby) and the 8th Floor Gallery, 721 Broadway New York, NY 10003.

My piece is at the 721 Broadway location.  Admission is free and open to the public.

NYU’s Photo and Emerging Media faculty and staff of 2014-2015 include Ulrich Baer, Matthew Baum, Michael Berlin, Wafaa Bilal, Terry Boddie, Isolde Brielmaier, Kalia Brooks, Mark Bussell, Edgar Castillo, Iliana Cepero Amador, Charlotte Cotton, Yolanda Cuomo, Erika deVries, Thomas Drysdale, Brandy Dyess, Cate Fallon, Adrian Fernandez, Kara Fiedorek, Nichole Frocheur, Mark Jenkinson, Whitney Johnson, Elizabeth Kilroy, Elaine Mayes, Editha Mesina, Charles Nesbit, Lorie Novak, Paul Owen, Karl Peterson, Christopher Phillips, Shelley Rice, Fred Ritchin, Joseph Rodriguez, Bayeté Ross Smith, Abi Roucka, Peter Terezakis, Cheryl Yun-Edwards, and Deborah Willis.
Night, Peter  Terezakis,  Heart Beats Light, Yuha Desert 2007
Peter Terezakis, MPS
New York University Artist in Residence

Best construction practice or another kind of vandalism?

For the past two years I have walked past the Gallatin building on my way to 721 Broadway (where I recently graduated from ITP!).

A long-time New Yorker, I have a fondness for the historic architecture of downtown – especially those which comprise the New York University campus.

Yesterday I had a bit of a shock when I saw steel L brackets bolted to otherwise pristine faces of granite blocks framing the windows on the Gallatin building’s  south-facing 1 Washington Place side.

I understand that scaffolding must be put in place for various types of construction and why.  I simply have never seen an invasive attachment like the one on Gallatin.

Even if there isn’t secondary fracturing and the bolt holes are plugged with epoxy, those otherwise pristine faces will never be the same and their deterioration will now accelerate requiring maintenance where none would have been needed.

The cavalier treatment of this historic building is a crime against culture, history, and property.   These are the actions of someone who has decided that the preservation of historic architecture has little to no value: unless they  — or an affiliate  — will be hired to continually repair the damage which they have begun.

Low-cost HV feedthrough

Generating radiation to test sensing circuits to use in my wearable ionizing radiation detector is not without some issues. The two ways that I know to solve problems are to either throw as much money at it until arriving at a solution or  figure out other ways to solve the problem that don’t cost a lot of money.  Option one has never been much of an option.
The high voltage feedthrough is one such obstacle in the process of cobbling together a vacuum system. The  Kurt Lesker Company engineers and manufactures high-quality vacuum accessories.  Their feedthroughs rated for 13 A at 12kv and made from Molybdenum start at $590.
An $11 Champion spark plug should work for my application.Champion f121501
When researching my solution I came across the interesting image below.  One thing I have learned over the years is that I am far more likely to receive the information that I need from knowledgeable sources if it sounds like I know something about what it is that I am asking after.
Parts of a spark plug
Just as a postscript, one would think that Ford Motor Company would know about spark plugs.
This story suggests otherwise.







Thesis Bibliography

Gamma photodiode detector:  Gamma/X-Ray detector with PIN  X-ray Detector
Nuclear glossary Types of ionizing radiation  X-Ray Detector 2
Alpha particles X-Rays  Common Radionuclides
Geiger Counter History Marco Kaloften, PE  Radiation Network
Crookes Luminous Sea  Crookes Tubes  Rutherford and Alpha Particles
Marines as Test Subjects Children of the Atomic Bomb What does radiation do to living things?



I would like to address the caveats which were passed on to me regarding my thesis proposal. The first thing I would like to do is to define a caveat. Merriam Webster returned:ca·ve·at noun \ˈka-vē-ˌät, -ˌat; ˈkä-vē-ˌät; ˈkā-vē-ˌat\ : an explanation or warning that should be remembered when you are doing or thinking about something
For us to use this in daily life there has to be enough radiation to sense, and a super super sensitive sensor, and it has to be something we could wear, not a haz mat suit obviously. Or is this for specialists, not ordinary folk? Seems really hard — the science is hard, the tech is hard, and the experimental bias is baked in (i.e. the assumption that there are dangerous levels of radiation, etc.) You need to discuss more about the research you’ve done and your tech abilities and, other than working with Eric, how you will get tech help if needed.
– the first caveat

I need to break this “caveat” down to better interpret and to reply.
there has to be enough radiation to sense.” The definition of radiation is the transmission of energy from some source in the form of particles or waves.

We are bombarded by and sense radiation from the moment we are born using our skin and the Human Vision System. What we detect is within the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with a little infra-red and ultraviolet. High school science informs us that we are surrounded by every manner of radiation: AM-FM radio waves, EMF from lamp cord to subway car motors and everything in between. We are routinely exposed to nearly every portion of the electromagnetic spectrum at some point in our lives. My project addresses the sensing of ionizing radiation. Sometimes we see the color blue. Sometimes we do not. Sometimes there will be ionizing radiation to sense. Other times not.

and a super super sensitive sensor,” This contradicts the preceding thought (there has to be enough radiation to sense, and a super super sensitive sensor, “) and isn’t worth addressing. Given that the project is specifically sensing Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation, if there is detection, then there is radiation present to sense – within the project’s range. The device is not intended to replace an orbital platform or the hardware which is routinely used in screening border crossings. In other words, it will be sensitive enough and doesn’t “have” to be any more than what it is.

“and it has to be something we could wear, not a haz mat suit obviously.

For a bastion of art and technology; an educational institution which brands itself as a “Center for the Recently Possible,” there are a heck of a lot of assumptions, conditions, limitations, and prejudicial thoughts promulgated by an anonymous individual who represents ITP, Tisch, and NYU. The entire first sentence of this “caveat” is ill-thought, juvenile and without merit.

“Or is this for specialists, not ordinary folk?

As stated in my thesis description, I intend to create a piece of wearable jewelry. With that as a given, unless the writer is disabled in a truly unusual manner, even they should be able to attach it to a garment or a body part.

Seems really hard — the science is hard, the tech is hard,

This is true. I purposely chose a project which was at the periphery of my ability. That is how I have worked since the 1970s. If it is easy, it isn’t worth doing.

and the experimental bias is baked in (i.e. the assumption that there are dangerous levels of radiation, etc.)

I am perplexed by the apparent objection referencing “experimental bias” in this project.

Again, the reviewer/critic/”adviser” has created yet another in a chain of assumptive propositions. Not unlike Oscar Wilde’s discussion regarding the nature of books, the device is an indicator of the presence of ionizing radiation. It does not presume to label radiation levels as “dangerous” or acceptable. Those valuations traditionally fall within the provenance of scientific bodies and governments.

Should an individual choose to subscribe to recently revised standards for radiation exposure by Japan, Professor Allison’s AHARS (As High As Relatively Safe), those proposed by the military, nuclear power industry, or the linear no-threshold model to ionizing radiation, that final qualification of dangerous is ultimately a personal decision.

The fact that industry – and the governments which it influences – creates and promotes its own standards is beyond this discussion. However this is part of a body of questions which I intend this object to create.

“….the assumption that there are dangerous levels of radiation, etc.)

This utterly specious comment is akin to saying that seventy years of internationally peer-reviewed data is somehow equal to that of an individual with a dissenting opinion.

I will take published peer-reviewed fact over opinion any time.

There are limits for exposure to radiation to bone, eye, organs, and skinx in most countries – even if these limits were raised after a nuclear event. If exposure to ionizing radiation wasn’t an issue, there wouldn’t be limits.

How exactly did the individual who voiced this “caveat” regarding my project enter the thesis review process anyway? The project’s stated purpose is to create a wearable radiation detector and to share that information with the greater community.

The bias which is “baked in” would be that of the reviewer’s response.

Public utility spokesperson Jennifer Manfre and Forbes contributor Tim Worstall) point out that there is already radiation in our bananas. Like the critic of my thesis project, they share the same line of reasoning which maintains that are safe levels for exposure to ionizing radiation. Marines After Atomic Test







There is another concept known as the “linear no-threshold model to ionizing radiation,” which is based on the physics of what happens when ionizing radiation interacts with living tissue. This is a schema which is at odds with a heavily subsidized industry.

As with the petrochemical and mega-agriculture businesses, the energy industry has effective lobbyists as well.

Congress told NRC to stop enforcing existing regulations or we’ll cut your budget 40%,” said David Lochbaum. June 4th, 1998. “That’s the day the NRC even stopped pretending to be an aggressive regulator.”

The video link below is of Thom Hartmann and David Lochbaum. Mr. Lochbaum is a Nuclear Engineer and the Director of the Nuclear Safety Project in the Union of Concerned Scientists (ucsusa) Global Security Program.

Center for Disease Control video series on scanning for radiation on people. Axiomatically if there wasn’t an issue with exposure to ionizing radiation, these videos wouldn’t exist.

You need to discuss more about the research you’ve done

The thesis section of my blog contains much of my research and includes the rationale for the project. While incomplete, the following table contains some research:

Gamma photodiode detector: Gamma/X-Ray detector with PIN PD X-ray Detector
Nuclear glossary Types of ionizing radiation X-Ray Detector 2
Alpha particles X-Rays Common Radionuclides
Geiger Counter History Marco Kaloften, PE Radiation Network
Crookes Luminous Sea Crookes Tubes Rutherford and Alpha Particles
Marines as Test Subjects Children of the Atomic Bomb What does radiation do to living things?

and your tech abilities and, other than working with Eric, how you will get tech help if needed.

I have been constructing objects possessing a distinct technological character since 1974. These have included interactive works of varying scale from the invention of electronic jewelry, wall-sized works, an interactive building, a flame which speaks the collected names of God, and the current series of monumental site specific installations and performances begun in 1996.

For years I worked alone, then eventually hired my first employee. We worked out of my NYC apartment until I had too many people to share one bathroom. My first studio space (apart from where I lived) was at 135 Fifth Avenue (20th St). When Mykro Dot and my studio was in full gear, I was selling to twenty-seven countries and represented by Alan Spiegelman who was headquartered at New York City’s Gift Center. By that time I had eleven full-time employees and was using a number of job-shops to help with assembly. My product line was represented in showrooms in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and Dallas. During those years I did one and sometimes two trade shows every year (mostly the Fashion and Boutique shows in NY, San Francisco, and Houston). Robin Williams was my first collector of electronic jewelry. The countries I exported most to were Brazil, Iceland, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain. My designs made it into Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Mademoiselle, a number of catalogs, and a television commercial.

Beginning in 1993 I wrote and taught a series of courses at New York City’s School of Visual Arts within the MFA and BFA Computer Art programs. These courses included “History of Art and Technology of the Twentieth Century,” “Electrical Engineering for Artists,” “Digital Sculpture,” and “Advanced Computer Systems.”

Following my vision has created a career with a number of “firsts.” Psyche was the first interactive, computer-mediated sculptural volume (1994). It featured a helical electric arc which ran vertically through a three-foot long copper helix (which was constructed through electroforming over eight months in my studio). The sculpture was animated by one of the first Basic Stamps (buggy, btw) shipped by Parallax and programmed in Assembler.

I have exhibited work and had residencies in ten countries. My work is featured in Art of the Digital Age by Bruce Wands and most recently 3D Printing for Artists, Designers and Makers: Technology Crossing Art and Industry by Stephen Hoskins.

Before there was an internet, there was Thomas Register, trade shows, showrooms, manufacturing in the United States, and plenty of interesting technology for sale on Canal Street.

Within the polyglot which defines ITP, Professor Eric Rosenthal continues to be a source of information, support, and vision. I am fortunate to have access to physicists Francois Grey, Marco Kaltofen, Arnie Gundersen, and theoretical physicist and photographer, Manuel Rotenberg.

I should be able to figure the technical end of this project out.

(2) “Interesting idea. I actually am always curious how much daily radiation I am getting. It would be interesting if he could collect the readings and geo-tag the locations and allow people to add to a database of the radioactive areas around the globe. Kind of like with radiation detection.”

Listed below are a number of sites which currently map radiation. Subsequent models may be bluetooth enabled (or hard-wired), talk to an application, and plot in real-time (or after uploading). That aspect of engagement is beyond the simple scope of my project: create a simple wearable detector of ionizing radiation and to create additional discussion, interest, and investigation into an otherwise unseen world.

The EPA Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center Desert Research Institute BlackCat Systems
Earth Spiral Radiation Network Fukushima Prefecture Japan Radiation
Radioactive@Home Safecast Germany Not really a map