Summary of “Remembering NASA’s Plan to Build a Jetport on Lake Erie”

In 1925, the city became the first in the country to have a municipal airport, and 22 years later, it led the way in building the first downtown airport: Burke Lakefront along the Lake Erie shore.
In 1969, as that giant leap loomed tantalizingly close, a NASA official in Cleveland announced another idea that seemed just as far-reaching, and just as initially implausible: a new airport, capable of accommodating the largest jets being made and supersonic transports.
Not long before the Cleveland proposal, Detroit and Chicago also pursued the idea of a floating airport in Lake Michigan.
The plan found the most ardent supporters in Cleveland.
So his suggestion of a Lake Erie airport carried serious credibility.
Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, which in some respects made it the most receptive to the project; the depth of the lake where the airport was built would be about 50 feet.
The east side of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs are prone to lake effect snow, where weather systems roll over the lake’s central basin, picking up moisture and dumping it in the form of snow on land.
Had NASA’s crazy jetport been built, Krumholz is adamant that Cleveland wouldn’t have suffered the population and jobs loss that it has.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dammed to Fail”

City officials worried that if the dams on Electro Lake or Lake Urland fully collapsed, a surge of water could topple the five downstream dams in succession, like a row of dominoes.
Much less scrutiny has been brought to bear on small dams, even though an Observer investigation found that the vast majority of failures in Texas involve dams that impound less than 1,000 acre-feet.
Big dams are usually owned by government agencies such as river authorities, which have money for upgrades and are regulated by TCEQ. Small dams are typically owned by individuals, homeowners associations and cash-strapped counties that can’t afford expensive improvements.
A federal study found that of the 300 fatalities that occurred nationally as a result of dam failures between 1960 and 1998, more than 85 percent were caused by dams less than 50 feet in height.
More than 70 percent of all Texas dams that failed in the last century are in East Texas, despite the fact that the region has only 45 percent of the state’s dams.
Lake Deerwood dam was typical of the almost 1,500 dams built in Texas in the 1970s: less than 50 feet tall, earthen and built for recreational purposes.
In March 2010, internal TCEQ emails show, the agency got a call “From a concerned citizen” who complained that the dam was “Unsafe” and that the president of the property owners association “Will not repair dam due to [lack of] funds.” When TCEQ inspectors visited, they found that water jetting around the rusted-out 16-inch pipe had carved an 8-foot gully at the foot of the dam.
The state closely guards information about dams, including a dam’s hazard classification and whether it was built to withstand extreme flooding.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Stitch Fix is one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2”

A sort of Tinder for clothes, it became available on Stitch Fix’s iOS app in March and has proven to be stickily addictive: It not only trains the company’s algorithm to understand holistically a client’s personal style, but it also draws customers back to the app and interests them in Stitch Fix’s inventory.
More than 75% of Stitch Fix’s 2.9 million customers have used it, providing the company with more than a billion ratings.
“Here are all these beautiful things,” says Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake, sitting in a fishbowl conference room at her San Francisco headquarters last fall, “But the reality is only a subset of things are right for me.” By soliciting millions of customers’ feedback and precisely measuring every aspect of the clothes it sells, from more than 1,000 brands plus its own in-house labels, Stitch Fix can offer personal styling at scale, widening the market from the very rich to the average consumer, who currently pays the company an average of $55 per item to avoid the headache of shopping.
While data has developed a pernicious image in the hands of Google and Facebook, in the context of Stitch Fix, the bigger issue is that “Data” has been leeched of any meaning coming from a tech company.
“There is so much buzzword overuse in Silicon Valley that I think when a lot of people hear Stitch Fix say ‘data science’ or ‘AI’ or ‘machine learning,’ they think it’s just being said for the sake of it,” says Bill Gurley, a Stitch Fix board member and one of the venture capitalists who bet early on the company.
Stitch Fix does not disclose the percentage of its own labels that make up any given Fix, but in 2017 revealed that it was about 20%. Lake insists that Stitch Fix is not trying to become a vertically integrated fashion house, making all its own clothes.
“With Stitch Fix, there’s still interpretation as far as why somebody may like something or not, but at least you have a lot of tangible feedback to make those determinations.” Threads 4 Thought’s XXL button-down shirts were also described as too small by men who categorized themselves as “Husky.” By enlarging its dimensions, Fleet was able to improve the buy rate not only on his Stitch Fix-destined inventory but also across all his sales channels.
Lake made her first Stitch Fix shipment to 29 customers from her Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment while still a student at Harvard Business School.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Electric scooters like Bird and Lime keep getting dumped in lakes and rivers.”

Just in October, cleanup crews fished out of the lake more than 60 electric scooters, made by Bird and its competitor Lime as well as lesser-known comers like Scoot and Wind, according to James Robinson, executive director of the Lake Merritt Institute.
In Portland, Oregon, so many scooters have ended up in the Willamette River that some disgruntled Portlanders made a website, scootersintheriverpdx.com, that documents just what its URL promises: How many scooters have been thrown into the Willamette River? Portland police have responded to several reports of people throwing the scooters into the river.
In Spokane, Washington, two Lime scooters were found in the Spokane River in October, and Lime has fished its scooters out of the Trinity River in Dallas, too.
In Indianapolis, council member Zach Adamson found one in the Broad Ripple Canal and lamented, “It’s not OK to throw scooters in our waterways.” In San Francisco, it’s become routine to see a Bird or Lime scooter washed up along the rocky shores of the Bay.
“While the companies did not directly address the problem of scooters dumped in the lake, they said that they would retrieve scooters within 24 hours when notified,” read the September Lake Merritt Institute newsletter following a meeting with Oakland’s Shared Mobility Committee.
One Bay Area-based charger I interviewed, Nicholas Abouzeid-who has been collecting and charging scooters for Lime, Bird, and Scoot-says that he hasn’t seen scooters on the map “That are blatantly in the ocean because the GPS itself sucks, placing the scooter at random places and because companies clear out the ‘ghost’ scooters after the GPS goes offline.” Ghost scooters may show up on the map but aren’t actually there or aren’t retrievable-perhaps because they are already in a lake.
Lime is also planning to implement a “No parking zone” around the lake to prevent passersby from throwing the scooters in the water-meaning the scooters won’t be able to end their rental session in the lake’s immediate vicinity.
One company, Scoot, which was permitted to operate scooters in San Francisco in October, told the Wall Street Journal that within two weeks of launching, more than 200 of the 650 scooters they introduced had been stolen or irreparably destroyed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I pulled a 1,500-year-old sword out of a lake”

Every summer, my parents, my six-year-old brother and I go to stay in a cabin by a lake called Vidöstern in Tånnö in southern Sweden, not far from where we live.
The sword felt rough and hard, and I got some sticky, icky brown rust on my hands.
I was yelling, “I found a sword, I found a sword!” Daddy went to show it to our neighbours, whose family has lived in the village for more than 100 years, and they said it looked like a Viking sword.
I did tell one of my best friends, Emmy, and now I know I can trust her because she didn’t tell anybody, except her parents – but they promised not to tell anybody else, so that’s OK. This month, the archaeologists finally came to search the rest of the lake and they found a brooch that is as old as my sword, and a coin from the 18th century.
I had to give the sword to the local museum – Daddy explained that it’s part of history and important to share it with others.
I’m going to try to raise some money to make a replica sword that I can keep.
People on the internet are saying I am the queen of Sweden, because in the legend of King Arthur, he was given a sword by a lady in a lake, and that meant he would become king.
I am not a lady – I’m only eight – but it’s true I found a sword in the lake.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happens When Humans Fall In Love With An Invasive Species”

All over the world, you’ll find invasive species that are beloved by humans – even as these foreign plants and animals alter or damage the environment.
The fight against invasive species is often framed as a technological problem – how do you selectively eliminate a species once it’s made itself at home in an environment? But in reality, it’s also a question of human hearts and minds.
Smelt may not fit into the stereotype that invasive species are all bad, but the sea lamprey does.
In Lake Superior in 2017 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration counted 82 non-native species, only about a quarter of which were harmful invasive species that provided no redeeming benefits.
Globally, nobody knows exactly how many invasive species have muscled their way into spaces where nature didn’t intend them to go, or what percentage of those species are smelt-like mixed bags vs. lamprey-like forces of pure destruction.
According to a 1999 executive order that established the National Invasive Species Council, an invasive species is a non-native plant or animal “Whose introduction does or is likely to cause harm.” But what counts as “Harm”?
In other parts of the country, beekeepers and ranchers have fought bitterly over whether an invasive flower, called yellow starthistle, should be considered generally beneficial or generally harmful, said Mark Hoddle, director of the Center for Invasive Species Research at the University of California, Riverside.
The basic idea was that we should try to stop new invasive species, and when something is really damaging, we should invest in serious eradication efforts, but some non-native species just aren’t worth spending the energy and cash required to get rid of them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lakes are bubbling and hissing with a dangerous greenhouse gas, methane, as the Arctic thaws”

Katey Walter Anthony has studied some 300 lakes across the tundras of the Arctic.
The volume of gas wafting from it could deliver the climate system another blow if lakes like this turn out to be widespread. The first time Walter Anthony saw Esieh Lake, she was afraid it might explode – and she is no stranger to the danger, or the theatrics, of methane.
In 2010, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks posted a video of the media-savvy ecologist standing on the frozen surface of an Arctic lake, then lighting a methane stream on fire to create a tower of flame as tall as she is.
Arctic lakes that don’t freeze Walter Anthony, who grew up close to Lake Tahoe, was captivated by Arctic lakes at 19, when she spent a summer at Siberia’s picturesque Lake Baikal.
A week before the trip, Walter Anthony had published a major study delivering worrisome news about Arctic lakes in general.
That’s despite the fact that the lakes would cover less than 6 percent of the total Arctic land surface.
Later, after processing his data, he produced an initial estimate that the lake was producing two tons of methane gas every day – the equivalent of the methane gas emissions from about 6,000 dairy cows.
Some scientists say they’re not sure yet how bad Arctic lakes will be for the climate or whether they will indeed cause emissions from permafrost to double.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed on Mars”

Researchers have found evidence of an existing body of liquid water on Mars.
Previous research found possible signs of intermittent liquid water flowing on the martian surface, but this is the first sign of a persistent body of water on the planet in the present day.
Lake beds like those explored by Nasa’s Curiosity rover show water was present on the surface of Mars in the past.
The planet’s climate has since cooled due to its thin atmosphere, leaving most of its water locked up in ice.
Marsis wasn’t able to determine how deep the layer of water might be, but the research team estimate that it is a minimum of one metre.
The continuous white line at the top of the radar results above marks the beginning of the South Polar Layered Deposit; a filo pastry-like accumulation of water ice and dust.
So while the findings suggest water is present, they don’t confirm anything further.
In order to remain liquid in such cold conditions, the water likely has a great many salts dissolved in it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Step up: eight epic hikes of the world”

Hiking is about more than exercise, pleasant scenery or getting from A to B; putting one foot in front of the other for hours, days or even weeks on end creates a special sense of connection to a place.
Lonely Planet’s new book, Epic Hikes of the World, contains 50 of the best routes suggested by our writers.
Hikers visiting Torres del Paine often add on an expedition to the national park of Los Glaciares, which offers equally stunning scenery, not to mention a wealth of day hikes and multi-day treks.
It’s a long but rewarding day hike, with the added bonus that you get to sleep in a proper bed and get a good meal at the end of the day: the town of El Chaltén has plenty of accommodation options for hikers.
With 22 miles of ups and downs, hiking this epic trail is equivalent to scaling Mt Everest four times, and it will eventually form part of the 2700-mile England Coast Path, which will be the world’s longest coastal footpath.
The classic hike covering the length of the North Alps takes around seven days in the most spectacular alpine scenery Japan has on offer.
The clear waters of Upper Snow Lake provide solace for weary hikers on the way up, who must later summon courage for a perilous log crossing over a waterfall that spills from the sheer-faced rim of Lake Viviane.
Ready to stretch your legs? Check out Epic Hikes of the World for many more suggestions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust”

Iran’s Lake Urmia – once the largest body of water in the Middle East – has shrunk by almost 90 percent over the last 30 years; Africa’s Lake Chad is also 90 percent smaller than it was in the 1960s; and Kazakhstan’s Aral Sea, once the fourth largest salt lake in the world, has practically been wiped off the map.
For residents near the Salton Sea, the most pressing problem is the threat of toxic dust.
The receding Salton Sea will reveal at least 75 square miles of playa, the lake bed that the water once hid.
The Salton Sea is a dust bomb that has already begun going off.
Growing up in the ’70s, he and his family would make the 150-mile trek from Monrovia, California to the Salton Sea every summer weekend.
From the Salton Sea, I drove 300 miles through California’s high deserts to the edge of the Eastern Sierra mountains, home to the largest dust mitigation project in the world.
The plan only addresses the sea’s north and south ends; there are no dust suppression projects for the significantly longer eastern and western shorelines, home to the struggling seaside communities of Desert Shores, Salton City, and Bombay Beach.
Unless wide-scale dust mitigation measures are put in place soon, the cost of the Salton Sea will continue to mount, both financially and in the health of the tens of thousands who live around the Imperial Valley.

The orginal article.