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Author: TheConversation

Climate change causing Lake Michigan to experience rapid shifts between high and low water levels

By Drew Gronewold and Richard B. Rood • Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan • Professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan The North American Great Lakes contain about one-fifth of the world’s surface fresh water. In May, new high water level records were set on Lakes Erie and Superior, and there has been widespread flooding across Lake Ontario for the second time in three years. These events coincide with persistent precipitation and severe flooding across much of central North America. As recently as 2013, water levels on most of the Great...

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Airbnb continues to disrupt hotel markets in cities like Milwaukee with exponential growth

By Tarik Dogru, Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management, Florida State University Airbnb has grown exponentially since its founding in 2008 and is expected to soon go public in an initial public offering that would rank it among the world’s most valuable hotel companies. In fact, U.S. consumers spent more money on Airbnb last year than they did on Hilton and its subsidiaries, the second-biggest hotel chain in the world, which was founded a century ago. As an expert in hospitality management, I was curious to know precisely how all this growth has affected the hotel industry – and just...

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Public Health Over Profit: World War II necessities sped vaccine development and medical innovation

By Kendall Hoyt, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth College War and disease have marched arm in arm for centuries. Wars magnify the spread and severity of disease by disrupting populations. As large groups of people move across borders, they introduce and encounter disease in new places. Often, they move into crowded, resource-poor environments that allow diseases to thrive. Before World War II, soldiers died more often of disease than of battle injuries. The ratio of disease-to-battle casualties was approximately 5-to-1 in the Spanish-American War and 2-to-1 in the Civil War. Improved sanitation reduced disease casualties in World War I,...

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Big Tobacco shifts to using social media as shortcut to hook a new generation of smokers

By Robert Kozinets, University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Big Tobacco is increasingly using social media to find new ways to hook young people on smoking, circumventing decades of laws restricting the marketing of traditional cigarettes to minors. In major cities around the world, tobacco companies have been holding extravagant events that were designed to connect with young people. Often featuring alcohol, live music, and attractive hosts, these lavish events spare no expense as they seek find new buyers for their tobacco products. The problem? Those party-goers are carefully targeted young influencers, who are encouraged...

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Supreme Court decision will determine what autonomy Wisconsin has over partisan gerrymandering

By Nancy Martorano Miller, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Dayton Partisan gerrymandering is when a congressional or state legislative district map is drawn in a way the severely lessens the ability of one party, the minority party, to compete for seats in an election. The public is more aware of partisan gerrymandering than ever, and less supportive of it. Reform is happening. In 2018, five states reformed their redistricting processes to reduce partisan gerrymandering. There is the potential for redistricting reform in another seven states before the 2021 redistricting process begins. A handful of states may even...

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New study identifies how pets enforce boundaries of racial segregation in neighborhoods

By Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Boston Cities in the United States are getting less segregated and, according to a recent national survey, most Americans value the country’s racial diversity. But the demographic integration of a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean that neighbors of different races are socializing together. Diverse urban areas remain socially segregated in part because white gentrifiers and long-time residents have differing economic interests. And the racial hierarchies of the United States are simply not erased when black and white people share the same space. White residents of multicultural areas tend to overlook...

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