That weird device in New York City’s subway system from the previous post? It’s an air quality monitor.
After a few dead-end phone calls and e-mails to the NYC DEP, I finally walked up to a police officer at the Union Square precinct, which is just a fart away from the machine (pun intended). Rough transcript of our conversation:
Me: Excuse me, what the heck is that machine out there?
Cop: It’s an air testa’, you know, to make sure there nuthin’ bad we’re breathin’ in.
Me: Do you know what it’s looking for or measuring, specifically?
Cop: Bad stuff. Stuff you don’t wanna breathe in.
Me: Like radon? Or aerosols? Or…?
Cop: Bad stuff, so we don’t get hurt down here.
Thanks for that explanation, because I had previously thought to myself, the subway is full of wonderful-smelling, healthy air particles. Such as brake dust, excrement, urine, vomit, etc.
Captain obvious aside, Cosmopolitanaut Kaylen also verified this conclusion in my previous post. She would know. She processes the data they generate.
But even Kaylen raised the point: how does it work? (more…)