Summary of “Archaeologists explore a rural field in Kansas, and a lost city emerges”

Using freshly translated documents written by the Spanish conquistadors more than 400 years ago and an array of high-tech equipment, Blakeslee located what he believes to be the lost city of Etzanoa, home to perhaps 20,000 people between 1450 and 1700.
Blakeslee says the site is the second-largest ancient settlement in the country after Cahokia in Illinois.
On a recent morning, Blakeslee supervised a group of Wichita State students excavating a series of rectangular pits in a local field.
Blakeslee, 75, became intrigued by Etzanoa after scholars at UC Berkeley retranslated in 2013 the often muddled Spanish accounts of their forays into what is now Kansas.
Blakeslee enlisted the help of the National Park Service, which used a magnetometer to detect variations in the earth’s magnetic field and find features around town that looked like homes, storage pits and places where fires were started.
“There was a lost city right under our noses.”
Kansas State Archaeologist Robert Hoard said that based on the Spanish accounts and the evidence of a large settlement, it’s “Plausible” that Blakeslee has found Etzanoa.
Blakeslee has found archaeological evidence in Rice and McPherson counties for other large settlements extending for miles, which he believes existed around the same time as Etzanoa.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘It can’t get much hotter … can it?’ How heat became a national US problem”

On yet another day of roasting heat in Phoenix, elderly and homeless people scurry between shards of shade in search of respite at the Marcos De Niza Senior Center.
A national plan to deal with heat remains a distant prospect, as the Trump administration attempts to demolish almost every measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Center for Disease Control states that around 650 deaths occur a year due to heat but Wellenius argues that this is too conservative, as heat isn’t always explicitly cited on death certificates; with related mortality the total swells to around 3,500.
Crucially, the death toll is afflicting US cities that haven’t previously had to spend much time fretting about heat.
The relatively cooler eastern cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore jointly have the most excess deaths due to heat in the entire US, at 37 fatalities per million people each year, the research found.
Improvements in treating heat exhaustion and heat stroke mean that spikes in hospitalisations – around 40 people were taken to hospital in Philadelphia for heat in the first week of July – don’t necessarily lead to a surge in deaths.
Clusters of these houses, largely found in poorer, minority areas in the north and east of the city, can be as much as 4C hotter than the Philadelphia average, according to city officials.
The spectre of a particularly deadly summer – perhaps a repeat of July 1993 when 118 people died in Philadelphia due to heat – feels ominously close.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Are Cities Making Animals Smarter?”

Not a lithe house cat on the prowl, nor a bony feral cat scavenging for scraps.
Ratnayaka has launched the first-ever study of urban fishing cats, identifying and tracking a small, scattered population of the animals in Colombo as they caper over roofs and wiggle through storm drains.
If Colombo is making fishing cats smarter there could be a grim twist: The animals most likely to thrive in cities may also be the first to die.
Two free-standing, fenced-in enclosures were supposed to house rescued fishing cats, but no cats were in sight.
She’s darkly pessimistic about the future of fishing cats in her unrelentingly modernizing city, whether the cats are getting smarter.
Trading notes on the cats’ behavior, the two researchers will look at how Colombo may be changing Ratnayaka’s cats, then use those insights to recommend ways to conserve the city’s wetlands and make its crowded neighborhoods more hospitable to cats and other wildlife.
Jim Sanderson, a small-cat expert and a mentor to Ratnayaka, envisions one day achieving a publicity campaign for Colombo’s fishing cats on the scale of the effort to protect the Iriomote cat in Japan.
“So far, it’s the other way: ‘Well, we need storm drains,’ then the cats take advantage of them. But we can create these idyllic landscapes for both animals and humans if we just do a little bit.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is America’s Pizza Capital Buffalo, New York?”

I’m going out on the line and putting a decade of pizza cred built by writing about and visiting hundreds of pizzerias in New York City and across America to say that Buffalo-style pizza is America’s most underappreciated regional style.
Let’s be clear: you can, to a lesser degree, get New York-style pizza in Buffalo.
Roost, chef Martin Danilowic’s restaurant in the Crescendo building on Niagara Street on the West Side, serves a tidy menu of pizzas that would cause as much of a stir in New York City as some of its trendier new places, where they plate their pizza in one of the most unique ways I’ve ever seen.
Buffalo-style pizza has been described as a hybrid of Chicago deep-dish and New York, or somewhere between Detroit’s airy, high-lipped cheesy crust and New York City’s traditionally thin-crust pies.
For the pizza-lover uninitiated in the Nickel City, Buffalo should be a pizza destination, though because of a pizza culture largely based on takeout, it’s one of the country’s great cities for pizza while eating it straight from the box in the parking lot on the hood of your car, or with the box warming your lap with the smell of hot cardboard, melted cheese, and cup-and-char pepperoni on a cold winter day.
America’s pizza culture is generally traced back to Lombardi’s in New York City in 1905.
Bocce Club is a great pie, and it’s a great Buffalo-style pizza, but Buffalo-style pizza is not Bocce Club Pizza.
There’s a slice shop in New York City’s NoLita neighborhood called Prince Street Pizza that replaced the original Ray’s Pizza.

The orginal article.

Summary of “An inversion of nature: how air conditioning created the modern city”

So they would turn up the air conditioning and light one.
The expansion of tract housing in postwar suburban America relied on affordable domestic air conditioning units.
With air conditioning goes a new kind of architecture, one in which traditional hot-climate devices such as porches, cross-ventilation or pools of water, which create both layers and permeability between inside and out, have given way to sealed boxes.
The most significant architectural effect of air conditioning is in the social spaces it creates.
The architect Rem Koolhaas called this phenomenon “Junkspace”, a “Product of the encounter between escalator and air conditioning, conceived in an incubator of sheetrock always interior, so extensive that you rarely perceive limits.” In the Gulf and China as in much of the US, the mall became the principal gathering place, being a zone where large numbers could comfortably pass their time, leaving streets to be occupied by air conditioning’s mechanical ally, the automobile.
Environmentally speaking, air conditioning is anti-social.
The night-time temperature of Phoenix, Arizona, is believed to be increased by one degree or more by the heat expelled from its air conditioning.
According to one theory, air conditioning helped to elect Ronald Reagan, by attracting conservatively inclined retirees to the southern states that swung in his favour.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Heat: the next big inequality issue”

While the well-heeled residents of Montreal hunkered down in blissfully air conditioned offices and houses, the city’s homeless population – not usually welcome in public areas such as shopping malls and restaurants – struggled to escape the blanket of heat.
Last year, Hawaiian researchers projected that the share of the world’s population exposed to deadly heat for at least 20 days a year will increase from 30% now to 74% by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are allowed to grow.
“Urban heat islands, combined with an ageing population and increased urbanisation, are projected to increase the vulnerability of urban populations, especially the poor, to heat-related health impacts in the future,” a US government assessment warned.
Even this year, 65 people have perished from nearly 44C heat in Karachi, Pakistan – a city used to extreme heat.
In Cambodia, which has seen devastating heatwaves and drought in recent years, surviving the heat is as much a question of status for prisoners as it is for civilians.
The US researchers who in 2013 uncovered the racial divide in urban heat vulnerability discovered that the more segregated a city was, the hotter it was for everyone.
Researchers recommended planting more trees and increasing light-coloured surfaces to reduce the overall heat island effect, adding that urban planning to mitigate future extreme heat “Should proactively incorporate an environmental justice perspective and address racial/ethnic disparities”.
Montreal first implemented a similar heat action plan in 2004, reducing mortality on hot days by 2.52 deaths per day, but as the heat waves intensify, it is likely that this will need to be reassessed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Global Rise in Tourism Has Prompted a Backlash”

A surge in tourism has led to a backlash in cities where residents feel overrun.
With summer travel season now in high gear, a number of the world’s cities are witnessing a backlash against tourism.
International tourism rose from fewer than 300 million trips in 1980 to some 500 million in 1995, before exploding to 1.3 billion trips in 2017-a number that’s expected to rise to 1.8 billion in 2030.
Tourism is highly concentrated in a handful of destination cities around the world.
Tourism in London has also grown by 20 percent over the past several years, while tourism in Berlin more than doubled from 2005 to 2016.
Tourism accounts for roughly 10 percent of the world’s economic output.
Cities’ current struggle over tourism is not an isolated issue, but part of a broader set of problems that accompany the increasing attractiveness of cities.
Although the tourism industry is susceptible to the same divisions that plague our cities, it can be a vehicle for change.

The orginal article.

Summary of “New York City is the perfect scooter market, but it’s also the most impossible”

On one hand, New York City is a natural fit for these scooter companies, which have been valued at as high as $2 billion in recent months.
New York is a city with a booming public transit system that millions take every day, but it’s also filled with gaps.
New York would be a “Tremendous scooter city because you’ve got a pretty good public transit infrastructure, but you still have a ton of gaps, particularly in the outer boroughs,” Kazimirov said.
For all of its faults, he said, New York City’s Department of Transportation is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the world, and New York state is perfectly clear about which electric vehicles are legal to ride in the city.
One city councilmember, Rafael Espinal, criticized the city’s approach in an op-ed in the New York Daily News: “If e-bike riders follow the same laws of the road as do nonelectric-bike riders, they should have the exact same access to our streets.”
The scooter companies see opportunities – and dollar signs – in a city as large and dense as New York.
“Are bike riders going to get upset if scooters are zipping by them in bike lanes? Are these scooters going to be able to operate in traffic in New York City streets? Are they going to hurt pedestrians if they’re on sidewalks?”.
In April, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that pedal-assist electric-bikes would be allowed to operate in the city, after previously promising to crack down on the people illegally riding them and seizing hundreds of e-bikes in the process.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mapping the Hidden Patterns of Cities”

Boeing’s tool calculates what percentage of a city’s roads run along each section of a compass, and plots it on a circular bar chart.
“These street networks organize all the human activity and circulation in the city,” said Boeing.
Visualizing city streets in a circular chart isn’t an original idea.
Where Boeing innovated is by releasing a free tool using the popular Python programming language to let anyone with just a little bit of programming skill create a similar map of any city.
“One of my main goals is to empower other people without a Ph.D. in city planning or a strong background in computer science to explore their own cities and discover their own patterns and relationships,” Boeing said.
Now you don’t even need to know basic programming to visualize your city’s street layout like this.
Anyone can use a typical web mapping interface to visit any city or other region in the world and see a polar chart of its street grid.
“It’s a wonderful way to explore how cities are built; understand their hidden patterns and influences,” said Agafonkin.

The orginal article.

Summary of “China’s Xinjiang Province: A Surveillance State Unlike Any the World Has Ever Seen”

While the authorities in Xinjiang keep close tabs on foreign reporters, their vigilance is nothing compared to their persecution of the Uighur population.
Nowhere in the world, not even in North Korea, is the population monitored as strictly as it is in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, an area that is four times the size of Germany and shares borders with eight countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
With the Uighurs protesting, Beijing has tightened its grip and turned Xinjiang into a security state that is extreme even by China’s standards, being a police state itself.
The data is then collated by an “Integrated joint operations platform” that also stores further data on the populace – from consumer habits to banking activity, health status and indeed the DNA profile of every single inhabitant of Xinjiang.
Censorship in Xinjiang is the strictest in China and its authorities the most inscrutable.
With its ultra-modern skyline, the capital of Xinjiang is home to a population of some 3.5 million, 75 percent of which are Han Chinese.
There have been fewer major attacks since, but rumors abound among the Han Chinese that serious incidents frequently occur in the south of Xinjiang but go unreported.
In a bid to see calm return to the region, Beijing brought in hardliner Chen Quanguo, party boss in Tibet, and put him in charge in Xinjiang.

The orginal article.