Why Isn’t Lake Champlain ‘Great’?

Despite Its Geological Kinship With Superior, Erie, and Ontario, the Narrow Body of Water Between New York and Vermont Gets Mocked by Midwesterners

“The term ‘Great Lakes’ includes Lake Champlain.”

These seven words, quietly slipped into an appropriations bill by Vermont’s U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in 1998, briefly elevated the national status of a picturesque but little-known body of water that nestles between New York and Vermont. A short-lived, but surprisingly fierce, regional dispute ensued about the essential question: What makes a lake great?

Lake Champlain provides one way to answer that question.

The lake forms part of the border between Vermont and New York, and extends northward into Quebec. It stretches for over 100 miles …

Why Scientific Discovery Thrives on ‘Creative Anarchy’

By Rewarding Bold Experiments, the Ecosystem of Funding and Research Could Produce More Breakthroughs

Science is one great success of our civilizations, from the erudition of the ancient Greeks and Arabs, to the practicality of the Renaissance and the Modern era. It is one …

Crowdsourcing in the Name of Science

Citizen Scientists Are Great for Data Collection and So Much More

The earthquake near Washington, D.C., five years ago in August 2011—the one that damaged the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral but had little other noticeable impact—caught me by surprise. …

How a Refugee from the Nazis Became the Father of Video Games

Ralph Baer's Life Is a Classic Tale of Scrappiness and Perseverance

It’s perhaps fitting that the man recognized as the father of the video game, that quintessential American invention, was a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, whose personal story converged with …

Why Can’t We All Fight On Like Old USC?

California's Public Universities Could Learn Some Things From the Rise of the Trojans

The University of Southern California football team is likely to lose to archrival UCLA this Thanksgiving weekend. But away from the gridiron, USC is on a decades-long winning streak that …