Plastics Are Actually Far More Toxic Than We Realized, and Other News

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New research reveals that thousands more toxic chemicals exist in plastic than we thought.

Another case against plastics: a new study finds that they may be even more toxic than imagined. A paper published in the Environmental Science & Technology reveals that researchers at ETH Zurich found 10,500 chemicals in an array of commonly used plastics analyzed over a two-and-a-half year period. Of the chemicals identified, a quarter were “substances of potential concern,” and at least 1,000 of these can be harmful even in small doses. “If something is a carcinogen, it is agreed upon in the scientific community that there is no safe level of exposure,” Helene Wiesinger, lead author of the study, told Fast Company. “Even at very low levels, these can lead to cancer, and obviously [it] gets worse with high doses. With endocrine disruptors, small doses can be problematic. With these chemicals, using any at all is a problem.”

A theme park inspired by Mesoamerican empires may soon come to California’s Coachella Valley.

The team of architects and developers at Aztlán Development has unveiled plans for a 48-acre theme park inspired by the Aztecs and Toltecs. Located between California’s Indio and Coachella, the project will include a concert plaza, beach amphitheater, 16-screen movie theater resembling a Mayan temple, and 200-foot-tall pyramid modeled after Templo Mayor, the famed lost temple in the former Mexican capital city of Tenochtitlan. “Our illustrious entertainment collaborators are following in the steps of Paramount, Disney, and Sony in creating an entertainment venue based upon popular movie themes,” said Mark Stuart, CEO of Aztlan Development.

The Roman artist Pietro Ruffo helps mastermind Dior’s luminous cruise show in Athens.

Dior’s latest cruise show feels memorable for many reasons—400 lights, 200 fireworks, and 55 musicians made the event, held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, a mesmerizing production. The Roman artist Pietro Ruffo, known for working with precise, cut-paper elements, contributed 72 large-scale flags marked by polychromatic depictions of caryatids that fluttered atop the structure’s crown. One of his prints also appeared in the sportswear ensembles of the collections, which were masterminded by Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, known for consistent silhouettes and use of embroidery and floral appliqués.

Artificial intelligence helps restore the long-damaged Rembrandt painting The Night Watch.

One of Rembrandt’s finest paintings, The Night Watch, was greatly disfigured while moving it to Amsterdam’s City Hall in 1715. City officials wanted to place it in a gallery between two doors, but the painting was too large for the space, so they cut large panels from the top, bottom, and sides that were lost after removal. Centuries later, the painting has been restored thanks to a multi-year, multimillion-dollar effort by the Rijksmuseum to restore it to its original glory using artificial intelligence. Ultimately, the AI’s reproduction was printed onto canvas, and the reproduced panels were attached to The Night Watch’s frame over the fragmented original. The reconstructed panels will be taken down in September out of respect for the Old Master, with one of the project’s lead scientists describing the effort as “quite bold.” 

Construction begins on the long-awaited, $900 million Airport Metro Connector in Los Angeles.

Angelenos have long bemoaned the lack of a direct rail connection to Los Angeles International Airport, which has only intensified in recent years as traffic congestion has worsened and new rail lines have been developed in other parts of the city. That changed earlier this week, when construction finally kicked off on a $900 million Airport Metro Connector that will link the city’s rapidly expanding rail network to the nation’s second busiest airport. Passenger growth hasn’t quite kept up with recent growth—a consequence of car culture—but officials hope that an airport connector will jumpstart growth. The connector is expected to be fully up and running by the 2028 Olympics.

Today’s attractive distractions:

Chanel’s spin on the AirPods case costs $2,700 for a fake pearl necklace.

Google buys an exquisitely timed photograph of a seagull enjoying a fry.

Youmeng Liu’s intricate “embroidered edibles” uncannily resemble real food. 

Guggenheim Bilbao seeks $120,000 to refresh Jeff Koons’s giant floral puppy.

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