Summary of “Pompeii Ruins Show That the Romans Invented Recycling”

Researchers at Pompeii, the city buried under a thick carpet of volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, have found that huge mounds of refuse apparently dumped outside the city walls were in fact “Staging grounds for cycles of use and reuse”.
Professor Allison Emmerson, an American academic who is part of a large team working at Pompeii, said rubbish was piled up along almost the entire external wall on the city’s northern side, among other sites.
These mounds were previously thought to have been formed when an earthquake struck the city about 17 years before the volcano erupted, Emmerson said.
Scientific analysis has now traced some of the refuse from city sites to suburban deposits equivalent to modern landfills, and back to the city, where the material was incorporated into buildings, such as earth floors.
With fellow archaeologists Steven Ellis and Kevin Dicus, who worked on the University of Cincinnati’s excavations, Emmerson has studied how the ancient city was constructed.
Pompeii was a city of elegant villas and handsome public buildings, open squares, artisan shops, taverns, brothels and bathhouses.
“Garbage dumped in places like latrines or cesspits leaves behind a rich, organic soil. In contrast, waste that accumulated over time on the streets or in mounds outside the city results in a much sandier soil.”The difference in soil allows us to see whether the garbage had been generated in the place where it was found, or gathered from elsewhere to be reused and recycled.
“The Pompeians lived much closer to their garbage than most of us would find acceptable, not because the city lacked infrastructure and they didn’t bother to manage trash but because their systems of urban management were organised around different principles.”This point has relevance for the modern garbage crisis.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tunnel Vision”

Altogether, 109 miles of subway-size tunnel lie beneath Chicago and its suburbs, covering more miles than the L, culminating in three suburban reservoirs.
According to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, the agency that built and runs the project, the tunnels and reservoirs protect 1.5 million structures from flooding, in addition to keeping sewage out of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.
In 1972, under pressure from the state of Illinois, the Environmental Protection Agency, and residents, a group of regional stakeholders adopted the Chicago Underflow Plan-later known as the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan.
The case against the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan is that, well, Chicago still floods.
The congested network of neighborhood sewers in Chicago and its suburbs-local roads leading to the Deep Tunnel highway-also remain an unresolved issue.
In many storms, says Aaron Koch, who served as chief resilience officer for the city and now works as the Chicago director of the Trust for Public Land, the Deep Tunnel is helpless to empty undersized sewers battling against supersize storms and sprawl.
What if Chicago took a wrong turn in 1972 when, in the spirit of civic grandee Daniel Burnham, it opted to build the world’s largest sewers instead of making all possible efforts to keep rainwater out of them? Scott Bernstein, the founder of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, says that the Deep Tunnel imposed a massive opportunity cost because the city and the district did little else to adapt.
In the ’70s, Bernstein was part of a group of Chicago advocates, activists, and researchers who began to question the wisdom of the tunnel project.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why do foods get named after places”

The basic recipe: a breaded, deep-fried chicken cutlet stuffed with seasoned butter.
The chicken recipe gained popularity in early 20th-century Russia.
Now, visitors can chomp the chicken recipe as a handheld snack at the city’s Rebra & Kotlety or a version dressed up with foie gras and cauliflower foam at Vogue CafĂ© in the glitzy Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv.
Crab Rangoon was created a couple of oceans away by midcentury California restaurateur Victor J. Bergeron, whose tiki-themed Trader Vic’s restaurants appropriated South Pacific decor and misappropriated a range of Asian and Polynesian foods on its menus.
While baked Alaska sprang forth in New York City, much like chicken Kiev, it eventually wandered homeward.
Sometimes a Peking duck is just, well, a Beijing bird, cooked and eaten in the city where the recipe first took flight.
A Peking duck first appeared in print in Hu Sihui’s Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages, published in 1330.
Bianyifang, the first restaurant specializing in Peking duck, opened in 1416 in current-day Beijing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How London’s Trees Help Boost the Local Economy”

The value of urban trees can also be measured with money.
The estimates underline just how vital the role trees play is in making cities comfortable and functional in a warming world – particularly in London.
Part of the study’s purpose is to promote planting trees and maintaining green spaces, according to Hazel Trenbirth, a member of the ONS’ Natural Capital team, which looks at cost savings of greenery across the U.K. “Britain’s trees have a value that goes far beyond what you can get from chopping them down,” she said.
Still, not all trees are equal, and when it comes to cooling and carbon capture, the answer isn’t as simple as just planting more trees to replace older ones.
“Often when a heritage tree is threatened with removal, you hear, ‘We’re going to plant ten trees to replace it,'” says Phil Wilkes of University College London, author of a study mapping the carbon absorption of London’s trees.
The most obvious benefit of older trees is less measurable: natural beauty in an urban area.
London’s woodlands are storied places – some of them continually planted since the Middle Ages – while the city’s residential neighborhoods are seamed with back gardens whose trees shelter bird and insect life.
Even if these trees delivered no economic benefit at all, many city dwellers have plenty of reason to keep them alive.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happens to All Those Beads After Mardi Gras?”

More than a century later, and five decades after cheaper imported plastic entered the scene, Mardi Gras beads are the celebration’s ubiquitous symbol, particularly after the crowds disperse and costumes are put away.
Some 45 million pounds of plastics make their way to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras, more than half of which consists of beaded necklaces.
In January 2018 the city said it had pulled 93,000 pounds of beads from just five blocks of storm drains and more than 7 million pounds of debris overall, the Times-Picayune reported.
“That’s old soil that has had years and years of exposure to lead. Kids pick beads up off the ground and don’t know [the beads] have been contaminated by the parade route itself,” Mielke told the Times-Picayune.
In 2013, Naohiro Kato, a Louisiana State University associate professor of biological sciences, learned about the scale of the problem at a Mardi Gras party and began to wonder if naturally produced chemicals might allow production of biodegradable beads.
A “Gutter buddy” is intended to keep beads and plastic out of the drainage system along St. Charles Avenue in the Lower Garden District after the Morpheus parade on March 1.
Spectators call for more beads as the Bacchus parade passes along St. Charles Avenue in the Lower Garden District on March 3.
Biodegradable beads may not be available yet, and recycling efforts are still small, but several hundred Mardi Gras celebrations since the late 17th century have taught New Orleans a thing or two about cleaning up.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Poisoned Generation”

In 1987, a group of residents in the St. Thomas housing development, led by resident Virginia Mitchell, filed a lead-poisoning lawsuit against HANO that was eventually settled with a consent decree demanding HANO take action to abate lead in its units.
Hundreds of women who’d been born in the projects and poisoned with lead their whole lives passed metals in utero to their children, whose first breaths took in clouds of white leaden dust.
Their results were startling: Increases in lead aerosols were strongly associated with increased crime, and according to their research, differences in lead levels accounted for about 90 percent of the variation in crime between the six study cities.
A judge found that pieces of Mielke’s testimony actually helped established culpability for HANO, because HANO was still responsible for abating and cleaning lead in the soil.
Even though the pressure on HANO from the lawsuit spurred a limited campaign of lead abatement in the projects, kids still showed up poisoned at doctor’s visits.
The group of mothers who’d led the charge against HANO as young adults themselves began to watch a generation of their grandchildren grow up in their homes and choke on the same lead dust.
Estimates from the CDC put the average lifetime costs for even mild and initially asymptomatic cases of lead poisoning around $50,000, and many of the HANO children had tested for lead levels that indicated immediate medical emergencies.
For those in the poisoned generation and beyond, blackness is a tightrope, and lead poisoning is just one of the ways to fall.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Astounding new finds’ suggest ancient empire may be hiding in plain sight”

In portraits carved on stone monuments there, the new king, named Yax Nuun Ayiin, holds an atlatl, a spearthrower used by Teotihuacan warriors, and wears a Teotihuacan-style headdress adorned with tassels.
Now, new evidence from both Teotihuacan and the Maya region has brought the relationship between those two great cultures back into the spotlight-and hints it may have been more contentious than most researchers had thought.
Evidence from Maya writing and art suggests Teotihuacan conquered Tikal outright, adding it to what some archaeologists see as a sweeping empire that may have included several Maya cities.
Archaeologists might even be falling for ancient propaganda: Sihyaj K’ahk’ and his army may have been local Maya usurpers who appropriated the symbolism of faraway Teotihuacan.
A mix of Maya and Teotihuacan styles, the shards testify not to violence, but to celebration: After the ceramics were broken, they were ceremonially sprinkled into a pit in a type of offering commonly made at the end of a feast in ancient Mesoamerica.
Estrada-Belli found murals at the city of Holmul, 35 kilometers east of Tikal, showing Teotihuacan warriors accompanying a new king during his ascension to the throne.
Any Teotihuacan empire may have relied more on soft power than on overt colonization.
New clues about Teotihuacan’s reach might come from PACUNAM’s 2016 aerial survey of more than 2000 square kilometers in northern Guatemala, including the area around Tikal.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Russell to KG to today’s Celtics: Being a black player in Boston”

BOSTON – Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was expecting a simple drive home after a game during the 2016-17 season when he encountered a vocal Celtics fan he will never forget.
“The narrative of Boston before you get there is that it is a racist town,” said Kevin Garnett, who led the Celtics to a championship in 2008 and the team recently announced will have his No. 5 Celtics jersey retired next season.
“If you ask an average black player, an average player right now, in the NBA, what team the first black player, they’d be hard-pressed to say it was the Celtics,” said Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell, a Celtics legend who is now a radio analyst for the team.
The NBA’s first black star arrived in 1956 and also wore a Celtics uniform when Boston drafted Bill Russell second overall.
Deborah White, the widow of late Celtics great Jo Jo White, recalled her husband telling stories of racism that Russell and Sam Jones had to deal with in Boston.
“Most of our team was black at that time,” said Maxwell, who was drafted by the Celtics with the 12th overall pick in 1977 out of the University of Charlotte and initially didn’t want to go to Boston because he wanted to be in a more diverse city.
The Celtics still struggled to attract black players to Boston even in the early 2000s.
Many Celtics players interviewed for this story who played in Boston in the mid-1990s and 2000s, and lived primarily in the suburbs near the practice facility in Waltham until it moved much closer to downtown in 2018, shared mostly positive experiences with Boston fans, though they acknowledged that being a Celtic likely helped.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Great Tulsa Remote Worker Experiment”

“The citizens of Tulsa have invested substantial public funds to build the types of things that we believe make Tulsa a more appealing place for a new generation of workers,” said Bynum.
“And the Tulsa Remote program is really a great way to introduce the very kinds of workers that we’re hoping to appeal to, to the city that we’ve been building for the last decade to appeal to them.”
A year after Tulsa Remote launched, the first participants – a mix of expats from expensive coastal cities, wanderlusty young adults, and those with roots in the region – say they’ve found many of the things they were looking for: a more comfortable and affordable quality of life, new neighbors they like, enough of an economic cushion to ease the stress of buying new furniture, and a fresh start.
To find the more mobile-than-average workers, Tulsa Remote cast a wide net.
To facilitate interaction with the rest of the city, Bolzle started a Facebook group with the Tulsa Remote crowd and about a hundred local friends and acquaintances, hand-picked to offer authentic recommendations.
“If you come to Tulsa Remote and tell them you want to be a circus clown, best believe they’re going to find a way for you to be connected with the circus clowns of Tulsa,” says Ukabam.
For now, he’s pushing property ownership numbers as evidence of success: At least 25 participants from the first Tulsa Remote cohort have purchased property in the city, he says.
Instead of 100 roamers, Tulsa will officially accept at least 250; Grant Bumgarner, a Tulsa Remote staffer, told me that number could be closer to 500.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Case For Leaving City Rats Alone”

Prior to Himsworth’s work the sum total knowledge of Canada’s wild rats could be boiled down to a single study of 43 rats living in a landfill in nearby Richmond in 1984.
In terms of the bare necessities, “Rats need only a place to build a burrow, access to fresh drinking water, and around 50 grams of moderately calorie-rich food each day,” according to Matthew Combs, a doctoral student at Fordham University who is studying the genetic history of rats in New York City.
Even in the still-remote mountain habitats of New Guinea, says Aplin, “You tend to find rats living in landslides or along creek systems where natural disturbance is going on.” Walk into a lush, primary, intact forest, “And they’re pretty rare.” It’s not that rats have become parasitic to human cities; it’s more correct to say they have become parasitic to the disturbance, waste, construction, and destruction that we humans have long produced.
Rats live in tight-knit family groups that are confined to single city blocks, and which rarely interact.
Exotic rats can be more of a threat than those adapted to the region because each rat community evolves with its own suite of unique pathogens, which it shares with the other vertebrates in its ecosystem.
If the local rat population is suppressed, if you’re actively getting rid of it, then you’re also actively opening up niches for these foreign rats to enter.
Traveling Rats: International trade brings new rats with exotic diseases to port cities such as Vancouver.
In one of Himsworth’s earlier studies, she found mites on the ears of rats that live by the port and compared them to rats that take up residence around V6A. Port rats had malformed ears full of a strange breed of mite previously unknown to Canada-“an exotic species that’s found in Asia,” Himsworth says, which happens to be where Vancouver gets the majority of its imports.

The orginal article.