Summary of “Why Is American Mass Transit So Bad? It’s a Long Story.”

Even transit advocates have internalized the idea that transit cannot be successful outside the highest-density urban centers.
In the biggest cities, the radius from downtown accessible within an hour-generally considered the limit for daily commuting-by transit was fully developed by World War II. Cars dramatically extended that radius, and made it very hard for conventional transit to compete.
Since most transit systems had never seriously expanded beyond the urban cores, this increasingly meant that most of the metropolitan population was not meaningfully served by transit.
From New York to San Francisco to Chicago to D.C., virtually every major American rapid transit system has had a service meltdown as a result of chronic deferred maintenance.
Partly driven by a nostalgic desire to revive the streetcar suburbs of the pre-car era, they are a relatively affordable way to bring rail transit to many cities and have proven to be successful at driving investment in transit-oriented development as well as improving transit ridership on their routes.
The story of American transit didn’t have to turn out this way.
When riders started to switch to the car in the early postwar years, American transit systems almost universally cut service to restore their financial viability.
RecommendedA focus on improving local service is all the more important in an era where the White House and Congress are not very favorably disposed to transit, and well-funded lobby groups like those of the Koch brothers are spending millions to fight transit infrastructure spending.

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Summary of “The Men Who Have Taken Wiffle Ball to a Crazy, Competitive Place”

By the next spring he had begun work on a documentary about the sport, called “Yard Work,” and had made himself the commissioner of the Palisades Wiffle Ball League, which he now describes, on its Web site, as “The most recognized Wiffle league on the planet.”
Not yet in uniform, wore T-shirts with printed messages such as “A backyard game taken way too far” and “The 8th Annual Greenwich Wiffle Ball Tournament.” A couple of others, I gathered, responded not to their given names but to Wiffman and Johnny Wiffs, respectively.
A sidearm relief pitcher for the Chowan University baseball team, in North Carolina, he said that he prefers Wiffle ball because it allows him to deploy a more varied repertoire.
There are forces moving both around and inside the ball simultaneously as it travels; Bevelacqua told me that, as far as he understood it, once the ball reaches highway-speed-limit velocity, the swirling air inside begins to dominate and actually provides a boost of about ten per cent over the trajectory of a solid baseball.
In general an “Uncut” Wiffle ball is thought to be too inconsistent-too vulnerable to imbalances among the forces acting on the respective hemispheres of the ball-and therefore a recipe for endless walks.
“If you don’t use the yellow bat, Wiffle Ball will have very little to do with you,” Bevelacqua said.
“I started in the Hudson Valley Wiffle Ball League,” he told me.
His real-estate work was suffering, not only from all the weekends when he couldn’t show houses but from long nights editing his popular video series “This Month in Wiffleball,” and from tweeting at David Cone, the former big-league pitcher, every time Cone mentioned Wiffle ball during his YES Network commentary.

The orginal article.

Summary of “4 Strategies for Overcoming Distraction”

So how can you gain back control? After reading hundreds of studies, interviewing dozens of experts, and running the gambit of self-experiments, I learned that countless strategies can help us mitigate distraction.
After focusing for 45 minutes, I treat myself to a 10-minute all-you-can-eat distraction buffet.
Distractions happen 64% more often in an open office, and we’re interrupted by others more often in that environment as well.
Our work tends to expand to fill the time we have available for its completion, and any excess time remaining is usually filled with distractions.
Sometimes distractions come from internal and external factors, but other times they happen because we’re not being challenged enough by our work.
If it’s high, that’s usually a sign that you have the capacity to take on more-challenging projects, and perhaps even more work in general.
We can’t help that our minds crave distraction.
What we can do is set ourselves up for success by adopting strategies to block distractions ahead of time, work with greater intention, and reclaim our attention, once and for all.

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Summary of “Terms of Service Violation”

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Summary of “NPR Choice page”

By choosing “I agree” below, you agree that NPR’s sites use cookies, similar tracking and storage technologies, and information about the device you use to access our sites to enhance your viewing, listening and user experience, personalize content, personalize messages from NPR’s sponsors, provide social media features, and analyze NPR’s traffic.
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Summary of “Terms of Service Violation”

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Summary of “Terms of Service Violation”

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Summary of “National parks want you to stop picking them clean”

The thing about national parks is that they belong to everyone – but that doesn’t mean they’re yours or mine to raid.
For some reason, people feel compelled to grab something from our nation’s parks and national monuments, whether it’s prehistoric petrified wood, arrowheads, archaeological artifacts, wild ginseng roots or, as mentioned, cacti.
It’s why national parks across the country have been devising ways to protect their unique resources.
Here’s a look at what Saguaro National Park, Petrified National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Joshua Tree National Park are doing to keep their natural and historic treasures safe for new generations – and out of car trunks.
“It’s a prized landscape item, and they’re expensive so it becomes a target for unscrupulous people,” Kevin Dahl, senior program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association, tells me over the phone when I ask why someone would steal a cactus.
Next up is a four-and-a-half-hour drive to the second stop on my tour of Parks People Steal From: Petrified Forest National Park, in northeastern Arizona.
Say you put up a trail camera – a fairly common tool for national parks – and catch someone looting an archaeological site.
Up near California’s border with Oregon, rangers at Redwood National and State Parks are trying to stop poachers from carving out the trees’ valuable burls – essentially the outgrowth of a single bud that failed to develop into a branch, which then divides and redivides until it forms a bulge.

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Summary of “Alan Rusbridger: who broke the news?”

News, the thing that helped people understand their world, that oiled the wheels of society, that pollinated communities, that kept the powerful honest – news was broken.
Some believed we had too much free news; others, that paid-for news was leaving behind it a long caravan of ignorance.
There might soon be entire communities without news, or without news they could trust.
Loads of reporters were at it: it was how the News of the World had won so many awards.
The News of the World, rattled by this new legal action, had offered to pay Taylor an enormous sum – £400,000 plus £300,000 costs – to drop the action.
The Daily Mail employed many outstanding reporters, but the relentless, bruising, sometimes brutalising editorial ethos of that paper had little in common with the BBC or the Financial Times, any more than Fox News had much in common with the New York Times or Washington Post.
We trust a public service broadcaster above all private news providers – but regularly revile it.
After two decades of disruption, it may be possible that none of the old conventional business models can still support serious news in the public interest.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Is Why Understanding Time Is So Hard”

In April, in the famous Faraday Theatre at the Royal Institution in London, Carlo Rovelli gave an hour-long lecture on the nature of time.
Unlike general relativity, quantum mechanics, and particle physics, thermodynamics embeds a direction of time.
Its second law states that the total entropy, or disorder, in an isolated system never decreases over time.
Second, since a clock, like every object, is quantum, it can be in a superposition of time readings.
“You cannot say between this event and this event is a certain amount of time, because, as always in quantum mechanics, there could be a probability distribution of time passing.” Which means that, third, in quantum gravity, you can have “a local notion of a sequence of events, which is a minimal notion of time, and that’s the only thing that remains,” Rovelli said.
Events aren’t ordered in a line “But are confused and connected” to each other without “a preferred time variable-anything can work as a variable.”
Listening to Rovelli’s description, I was reminded of a phrase from his new book, The Order of Time: Studying time “Is like holding a snowflake in your hands: gradually, as you study it, it melts between your fingers and vanishes.”
WATCH: Why the nature of time is such a central issue for theoretical physics.

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