Here’s How Some States Will (Slowly) Reopen Their Economies

by Kurt Stolz

In the United States, governors are preparing plans for their states to begin to return to normal.  Here’s how some states will proceed in the near future as officials try to balance a reopening of the economy with the health and safety of residents and business leaders attempt to do the same with their workers.
Even as such plans are being promulgated, many local and regional officials, including governors and mayors …

Review: Metropolitan Opera Virtual ‘At-Home Gala,’ Live from the Stars Living Rooms

by Jonathan Spira

In opera, glitches are typically along the lines of what happened in Richard Wagner’s “Lohengrin” in the early 1900s, when the boat drawn by a swan moved offstage without him, and he said, audible to the audience, “Wann fährt der nächste Schwan?” or “What time does the next swan leave?”
Back then, opera was performed in grand opera houses.  Today, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, great opera is performed from the homes …

Are Face Masks for Passengers the Future of Air Travel?

by Paul Riegler

Planning to wear a face mask on your next flight? You won’t be alone.  Across the globe, as the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc, airline personnel and travelers are donning masks, both voluntarily and due to government regulation.
Although air travel today is a pale imitation of what it was in February, experts and industry leaders expect people to return to the skies once the coronavirus pandemic is under control. …

Cleaner Air and Water Make Earth Day 2020 Bittersweet Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak

by Kurt Stolz

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day was celebrated across the globe in a rather muted fashion, as many were confined to the great indoors amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
If your blood pressure is lower, your allergies less bothersome, and stars in the night sky more visible, it isn’t your imagination. Rather, it’s Mother Nature at work, taking advantage of the dramatic change in lifestyles that has taken place over the past …

Photo Essay: A Surreal Look at New York City in the Age of the Coronavirus

by Anna Breuer

Over the past few weeks, FBT Editorial Director Jonathan Spira has been photographically documenting New York City.
Most streets are deserted and cultural landmarks have gone dark. Indeed, since mid-March, there has been a 90% decline in subway ridership, a 20% drop in the crime rate, a 60% decrease in traffic at the city’s busiest tunnels and bridges, and a 30% drop in air pollution, according to reports from the National …

Review: What’s New in Apple CarPlay in iOS 13.4

by Kurt Stolz

Since its launch in 2014, Apple CarPlay has become, at least unofficially, a universal infotainment interface for vehicles from over two dozen automakers.
Virtually every car manufacturer offers multiple models that support CarPlay. The list includes Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Skoda, Toyota, VW, and Volvo.
With the introduction of iOS 13, CarPlay received a new …

Mercedes, Volkswagen, and Volvo to Restart Production in Europe Next Week

by Paul Riegler

Automakers in Europe – which employ some 9% of factory workers in the European Union – said they would cautiously begin to reopen their plants.
Volkswagen will reopen assembly lines in Zwickau, Germany, and Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday, and Volvo will restart production at its Torslanda factory in Sweden.  Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz, said that it will resume production in Berlin, Hamburg, and Untertürkheim, with plants inSindelfingen and Bremen to follow.