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Monday, December 29, 2014

Particle Falls: Two More Nights of Aeronomical Data Visualization

12.29.2014 25m
Started late in the afternoon at the Bastille in about 30F. Rode out to Sandcastle and reversed, being somewhat unmotivated to experience the Waterfront again.

Stopped at world-famous Big Dog Coffee for a cranberry-orange scone and Cafe-Au-Lait. I love Big Dog Coffee. Got back on the trail at American Eagle, and I really do miss having the legacy road-trail connection at the northwest end of the SouthSide complex. I guess this is what's being planned for:

Back into town, then rode out the Penn Ave Bike Lane. Got to see a truck with theatrical markings, shut down and parked cold, using the bike lane for convenient parking for Heinz Hall. Daily Double: parked on a Johnny Pump no less! The driver was sleeping, with their head atop a pillow on the steering wheel.

The only real problem with this is: riding outbound, when you attempt to ride around the truck you go head-on into opposite direction cars - which sucks.

Saw a probe-ey kind of techno-weather rig on the side of the street and stopped to investigate.

This is a great project, called Particle Falls and built by Andrea Polli, which is only in Pittsburgh for two more days (through 12/31).

Pittsburgh ranks in the worst 10% of US Cities for average annual particle pollution, and this project analyzes the air for particles every 15 seconds and then projects a data visualization on the wall of the Benedum Theater - which looks rather like a waterfall.

The project (wiki) focuses on tracking the smallest particle size, PM2.5, since use laser scattering to detect that small a particle is one of the most recent developments in aeronomy.

There is always such cool stuff to discover in Pittsburgh, especially if you look up and around. I'd have never seen this from a car.

Out to the end of the Penn Ave bikelane, then back inbound. Across the Ft. Duquesne bridge, passed the Science Center and used the brand-new lane routing.

Continued back to the Bastille in the dark. 25 miles.

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