News Stories to Read March 4, 2021

Brian X. Chen

By Brian X. Chen

  • March 3, 2021

Lisa Whitney, a dietitian in Reno, Nev., came across the deal of a lifetime about two years ago. A fitness studio was going out of business and selling its equipment. She scored an indoor exercise bike for $100.

Ms. Whitney soon made some additions to the bike. She propped her iPad on the handlebars. Then she experimented with online cycling classes streamed on YouTube and on the app for Peloton, a maker of internet-connected exercise devices that offers interactive fitness classes.

Ms. Whitney had no desire to upgrade to one of Peloton’s $1,900-plus luxury exercise bikes, which include a tablet to stream classes and sensors that track your speed and heart rate. So she further modified her bike to become a do-it-yourself Peloton, buying sensors and indoor cycling shoes.

The grand total: about $300, plus a $13 monthly subscription to Peloton’s app. Not cheap, but a significant discount to what she might have paid.

“I’m happy with my setup,” Ms. Whitney, 42, said. “I really don’t think upgrading would do much.”

The pandemic, which has forced many gyms to shut down, has driven hordes of people to splurge on luxury items like Peloton’s bikes and treadmills so they can work out at home. Capitalizing on this trend, Apple last year released Apple Fitness Plus, an instructional fitness app that is exclusively offered to people who own an Apple Watch, which requires an iPhone to work

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But all of that can be expensive. The minimum prices of an Apple Watch and iPhone add up to $600, and Apple Fitness Plus costs $10 a month. Then to stream classes on a big-screen TV instead of a phone while you exercise, you need a streaming device such as an Apple TV, which costs about $150. The full Peloton experience is even pricier.

With the economy in a funk, many of us are trying to tighten our spending while maintaining good health. So I experimented with how to minimize the costs of doing video-instructed workouts at home, talked to tinkerers and assessed the pros and cons.

Here’s what I learned.

Michael Paulson

By Michael Paulson

  • March 3, 2021

Plays, concerts and other performances can resume in New York starting next month — but with sharply reduced capacity limits — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday.

Mr. Cuomo, speaking at a news conference in Albany, said that arts, entertainment and events venues can reopen April 2 at 33 percent capacity, with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors, and a requirement that all attendees wear masks and be socially distanced. Those limits would be increased — to 150 people indoors or 500 people outdoors — if all attendees test negative before entering.

A handful of venues immediately said they would begin holding live performances, which, with a handful of exceptions, have not taken place in New York since Broadway shut down last March 12.

The producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal said they expected some of the earliest performances would take place with pop-up programs inside Broadway theaters, as well as with programming at nonprofit venues that have flexible spaces, including the Apollo Theater, the Park Avenue ArmorySt. Ann’s Warehousethe ShedHarlem StageLa MaMa and the National Black Theater.

Read more.

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The New York Times

Quarantine Diaries 

“The first week, I was kind of enthusiastic about it — we’re going to be a family and be a unit! But now we’re sort of trapped.”

Within this three-bedroom South Bronx apartment, a raucous soundtrack plays: children’s squabbles and TV shows and laughter and the wail of sirens that sail in from the fire station across the street.

Here Tanya Denise Fields, her six children and her partner, Mustaphai, (plus Pebbles the dog) have learned that chaos and tedium can coexist in the most extreme ways.

Since New York City shut down last month, the family members have been forced to fully intertwine their once disparate lives. Ms. Fields’ children all attend different schools but now find themselves jammed in the corners of their windowless living room or sprawled out on a bed.

Everyone is desperate for a moment of solitude. And everyone has nerves that everyone is getting on.

“Usually I only see them for a few hours a day, like, after school, but now they’re here all the time,” said Trist’ann, 15, of her family.

For Ms. Fields, 39, who runs the nonprofit Black Feminist Project and films cooking videos for social media, managing a household of eight under quarantine has been an absurd task.

Read More 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjd7wp/street-racers-are-tearing-up-empty-roads-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

By Mack Lamoureux
Apr 23 2020, 11:04
.IT’S A GREAT TIME TO HAVE A FAST-AS-HELL CAR AND NO RESPECT FOR SPEED LIMITS.

In early April, under a dark California sky, Jeremy was rolling at a leisurely 40 mph (65 km/h) when his juiced-up BMW slowly came into line with an almost identical car.

The two drivers lined up mirror-to-mirror and Jeremy rolled down his window. He caught the opposing driver’s eye and gave a thumbs up and the two ripped down the asphalt. Jeremy’s car engine is naturally aspirated, whereas the other car has a turbo—so, obviously, they had to see which one was faster.

Because of COVID-19, the public highway had turned into their own private racetrack to settle their differences. The Beamers went head to head three times over a four-mile stretch, with Jeremy winning twice, pushing speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h). They didn’t see another vehicle the entire time.

“It was quite literally empty,” Jeremy told VICE. “I couldn’t see a single light ahead of me or behind me.”

Jeremy [we’re not using his real name because he’s partaking in illegal activity] is just one of many gearheads taking to the pavement to see what their cars can do now that the coronavirus pandemic has cleared the streets and highways. Police worldwide are saying they’re seeing an inverse relationship between the amount of traffic on the road and how fast cars are going. Speeding, stunting, and street racing are on the rise.

Read More

 

 

 

 

Arun Venugopal ‘s story 

https://www.wnyc.org/story/one-mans-experience-morgue-overflow-shift

 

Finding a story that makes you smile.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/in-this-quarantine-art-challenge-creativity-begins-at-home