3/30/21 Power Five

1. Utah is a Leader in Cloud Seeding. Does it Work? – “The goal of cloud seeding is to increase the number of particles in the storm and coax snow to fall in the mountains. According to the state’s estimates, roughly 7% of the snowflakes that land on Utah’s major mountain ranges any given winter freeze around tiny particles of silver iodide that are blasted into storm systems from more than 130 cloud seeding generators, mostly stationed along the western edge of the state’s mountains.

2. Biden and the Blame Game at the Border – “There are currently some eighteen thousand unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. custody, including more than five thousand who remain in holding cells, as the government scrambles to find space to house them. Republicans who were silent when Trump was separating migrant children from their parents and eviscerating the asylum system are now denouncing “Biden’s border crisis.” The messaging appears to be effective; it’s causing all sorts of confusion. Biden is turning away forty per cent of asylum-seeking families and virtually all single adults arriving at the border, under a controversial Trump policy known as Title 42, which he has left in place. Even so, everyone from TV news anchors to the President of Mexico is blaming Biden for encouraging more migrants to travel north, because he vowed to stop Trump’s heedless cruelty. Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, tweeted that Biden has “emphasized the humane treatment of immigrants, regardless of their legal status.” He meant it as a criticism.

3. The Frick on Madison Finally Let’s You See Fragonard Up Close – “Here, Fragonard finally looks outside his lifelong palm grove of pleasure to what would eclipse and kill it. The painter had always avoided the dangerous intimacies and true vulnerabilities of love, even as he depicted romance. But his world had always been under pressure. The landscape was always closing in. Only Fragonard’s extraordinary touch, lustrous color, and frivolous version of love without shadows kept the wolf of reality at bay.”

4. How Unfair Property Taxes Keep Black Families From Gaining Wealth – “The problem is rooted in American history. One legacy of racial discrimination, including the practice of redlining (the refusal of banks to make loans in Black communities), is that Black people own a disproportionate share of lower-valued real estate. Census data show that the median home value in predominantly Black tracts is roughly half the value in majority White and Hispanic tracts. That historical disparity has been aggravated by a flawed tax system built on incomplete data and outdated methods for estimating the value of residential properties. “There isn’t anybody making explicitly racial decisions to produce these outcomes,” Berry says. “Nevertheless, they are racially disproportionate.”

5. How Corporate America Created the Chocolate Chip Cookie – “According to some versions of the story, when Wakefield ran out of the nuts she needed for her cookies one night, she decided to experiment. Swinging an ice pick, Wakefield chopped a bar of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate into pieces and added them instead.

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