by Bob Seiderer
Hello again Science fans, and welcome to another edition of the SciSchmooze.
Cleveland, Ohio. What sort of image does that conjure in your mind? A sports haven? Rock and roll? Birthplace of Bob Hope? How about an incredibly polluted body of water? The Cuyahoga River begins its journey some miles east of Cleveland, near Lake Erie. It doesn't flow directly to the lake there, rather flowing south, then west through Akron, then north through a National Park that bears its name until finally emptying into Lake Erie near downtown Cleveland. It was there in 1969, that the river famously caught fire. Randy Newman wrote a song about it.
How can a river burn? Dump enough pollutants into a river and you will find out. The Cuyahoga had quite a polluted history. It had burned before, but 1969 was to be the last time. That incident led to the Clean Water Act and th