62: The G.L.O.A.T.

In this episode, Stuart and Hope talk with the mysterious voice behind the Lake Superior Twitter account about how he got started, why Lake Superior is the Greatest Lake of All Time, and more. PLUS: Great Lakes News with an Actual News Professional!

This is an automated transcript, we apologize for any errors. If you notice any problems, please email the show at teachmeaboutthegreatlakes@gmail.com. Thank you.

Stuart Carlton 0:00
teach me about the Great Lakes teach me about the Great Lakes John, welcome back to teach me about the Great Lakes a twice monthly podcast in which I A Great Lakes novice as people are smarter and harder working than I am to teach me all about the Great Lakes. Mr. Carlton and I'm joined today. Oh my goodness. It cannot be cannot be it can be the one the only hope charters hope it's been a minute. How are you doing?

Hope Charters 0:25
It's me. I'm doing all right.

Stuart Carlton 0:29
Good. I'm so glad to be back on actually, the main reason is I want to start off with some follow up that I've been holding on to for months and months because while you're on our live episode, which everybody should go listen to, which was live from the carefully and unseeded jasm conference. But you were last on I think it was last year. And we ended up talking about Pataki, stones. You remember that conversation? Yes, I do. Because I found one. You found one. Yeah. Well, the other day, this is the important follow up, I was reading a book with my three year old daughter called Talulah. Mermaid of the Great Lakes, which is a very cool book. I mean, it you know, it's a typical kids story, that it's all about finding your own identity, it's okay to stick out or whatever, but I won't give it away because I don't want to spoil one of the very few kids books, it isn't about just getting your kid to go to sleep. But potassium has played a key role in that. And so I was thinking about you. So have you found any more potassium stones since then?

Hope Charters 1:21
I have not. But I'm about to go visit Lake Huron where Jay, our former buoy specialist lives on an island. So maybe I'll find something,

Stuart Carlton 1:30
maybe we'll find something that is putting stones to putting stones. So that's right, putting stones Petoskey stones, all kinds of stones, that it's fantastic. Well, great. Well, we're gonna get right into it. Because not only do we have a very fun interview today, but we're also going to go again, with our brand new most popular segment, the the Great Lakes news. But first, it's time for the Great Lakes news theme.

Now it's time for the Great Lakes news. Here's your host, Stuart Carlton. Thank you, Stuart, for that introduction. And actually today we have a guest co host for the Great Lakes news, ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Sandras aboda, who is the program director for Great Lakes now and an actual news professional.

Sandra Svoboda 2:19
Yes, yes.

Stuart Carlton 2:20
Sandra. How are you? Thank you.

Sandra Svoboda 2:23
I'm great, Stuart. Thanks for having me. Professionals a lefty word. I hope I can live up to this. Oh,

Stuart Carlton 2:29
Michelle, you definitely can We're in no way concerned. That's great. So real quick before we get going. So you're going to be doing a guest hosting stint on Great Lakes news for at least the next few segments. So tell us a little bit though before we get going. So we're gonna do this every time but tell us about Great Lakes. Now. What is this exactly?

Sandra Svoboda 2:47
Great Lakes now is an initiative that is housed at Detroit Public Television, but but we cover the entire Great Lakes region, US and Canada, all five lakes, the watersheds. So all the news about the Great Lakes we say news about the lakes you love. We also do drinking water stories. Because we're PBS Of course, we have a monthly television show and airs in several states around the region and a YouTube channel. COMM subscribe. And we the reason I'm here that news professional part is we have a website, Great Lakes now.org I almost said Great Lakes news, Great Lakes now.org. And we post you know sometimes several stories a day about what's going on around the region with the science and the policy and the tourism and all history and culture and all kinds of things about Great Lakes. So news about the lakes you love. Don't steal that mantra we want. That's right, we can share a steward.

Stuart Carlton 3:42
Oh, no, it's all yours. Well, we'll see. We'll see. Let's see how this goes. Fantastic. Well, and so my understanding based on the fact that we've emailed several times about it, is that you have brought three news stories from your website to us today. Is that correct? I have

Sandra Svoboda 3:56
I picked some stories I thought you and of course your listeners most importantly your listeners. But I did pick some

Stuart Carlton 4:02
that this show is not about them. No, no. It's all about exactly one person let's not kid ourselves.

Sandra Svoboda 4:08
Okay, Stuart, they're just for you just for you and maybe hope a little bit for hope. I brought you three so I hope I mean, we're recording this of course podcasts are not live. We all know that. So I urge your listeners if they want to see the stories they might have to scroll down on our site to more news additional view additional news stories by the time they get

Stuart Carlton 4:27
there. First of all do that because get more news from the website go ahead and do that. But second of all,

Sandra Svoboda 4:30
we spend more time on our website.

Stuart Carlton 4:34
Or if not, you can just look at the show notes in your podcast player and we'll link to the stories directly. Perfect

Sandra Svoboda 4:39
the beauty of digital so the first story I bring you as a little bit of a warning. Stewart how much Great Lakes fish do you eat each week?

Stuart Carlton 4:49
Me Great Lakes fish each week. On the average week I eat oh I'm Titus Are you listening? He's not gonna like this. i On the average week eat zero servings, grateful as

Sandra Svoboda 5:02
well, you know, one of the principles of journalism is to bring in several viewpoints. So the fishing industry might not like that very much. But the health advocates might be okay with it. Because the story we have up, it's actually we have a lot of content partnerships at Great Lakes. Now, we're pretty small, very mighty. And we do a lot of content, but we also share. And so this story actually came from us, came to us from the Great Lakes echo. So I want to give them a little credit to when we share from our partners and they share our work right, scratching backs. Exactly. Anyway. So this is a story about fish about warnings about how much Great Lakes fish you should eat, or warning about how much not to eat to stay healthier, because, unfortunately, we still have a lot of contaminants in the ecosystem, and they get into the fish. And then when we eat the fish, they get into Who do you think steward when we eat the fish? Who gets the contaminants?

Stuart Carlton 5:53
I think I think it's I think it's me, I think I get the content? Yes, it's

Sandra Svoboda 5:57
very good, very good. So at least I don't know what your other habits are Stuart, but at least if you're not eating too much Great Lakes fish, you've got a check in the healthy habits column. But you know, I encourage you to eat a little bit more, it's pretty good stuff.

Stuart Carlton 6:11
No, it is this is actually something we talk about a lot of secret and all honesty. Eating fish is complex because of contaminants, right? And that's not just Great Lakes, fish, that's kind of all fish. And that's even without getting into the issues of the sustainability of the catch, right? There's somebody right now who I don't think he's a listener, but he's pressing us to talk about the sustainability of different fisheries and things like that. So we may get to that at some point. But it is a trade off, right? Because fish or otherwise, they're very helpful. And another complication is what is safe is very localized a lot of times right, like, like, I mean, even within specific bays, what it'll look like is comparison. So eating fish is a very complex, complex issue, just from a health standpoint.

Sandra Svoboda 6:53
Yes. The story we have is actually reporting about a recent study from the University of Wisconsin Madison, that was published, peer reviewed scientific, you know, not just something we pulled off the random internet's out there. So the advantage, right, right, you said professional, professional journalist, professional news here. So the recommended fish intake is just two meals or 12 ounces per week, as suggested by the EPA. And so the study found that about 5 million people were exceeding that in our region, they looked at several states and, and they found that disproportionately women, younger people, non white people are the ones that are eating more of the fish, not because they're necessarily buying it at Whole Foods, but because the cut some a lot of people catch up themselves. You know, here in Detroit, where I am, you see many, many people fishing on the river front, the Detroit River Front, oh, geography lesson there, the Detroit River. And they're actually efforts here in Detroit and other great lakes cities to put the fish warnings, not just in press releases on websites, but actually out there on the riverfront where people are fishing so that they see them, and can undertake a bit of a public health education campaign around this. So thank you for letting me bring this to you to maybe get the words I mean, your audience is probably pretty smart here, Stuart. But a little more push to keep an eye on the

Stuart Carlton 8:21
gun is the end of the people who and this is something that I used to look at. Back when I was at the University of Florida, I did some some work with a subsistence fishers. And so a lot of times these people are fishing from the Dakar, subsistence fishers, and they need that food, right? So that that's really complicated. Actually, cigarettes are a bit of work on this one, because Sea Grant is interesting with fishing, like we tend to, for better or worse for promote eating sustainably caught managed and, or farmed seafood. But with that there are you know, these these caveats. And so actually, we have a fair number of resources. For example, we're updating right now there's a fish for health dotnet website. It's a little bit out of date, but we're working on updating that where people can go and look for the sort of local environment or local warnings, but no, it's it's big, and it's important, and it is challenging, but But you know, worth thinking about. Okay, Story number two,

Sandra Svoboda 9:11
Story number two? Well, you at Sea Grant, and we at a PBS affiliate are all about education. I mean, your podcast title is teach me about the Great Lakes. So I

Stuart Carlton 9:23
more than to teach but whatever.

Sandra Svoboda 9:27
Yes, that's, that's very clear. As a listener, I was ready for this. So I thought I would bring up another interesting story from one of our content partners. There is a publication online called the conversation, which many of the academics in your audience may know about. It's a publication that features writings by academics but not writing like academics. So they are writing for more of our general audience, not PhDs and peer reviewed journals, but they write op eds and observation shins and opinion pieces and kinds of editorials and report on their work in a different way than they do in journals. So it was a conversation as a site that I read a lot. It's nice to see the academics and their expertise, but writing in a way that people like me can understand it. I mean, you've got fancy letters behind your name. So you can read either you can read the journals and the news sites.

Stuart Carlton 10:22
I thought this was really interesting looking at it, because we do that's another thing we think about a lot is science, literacy and science education. And, and what what it means exactly,

Hope Charters 10:31
generally, we like to write at a sixth to eighth grade level to make sure that our entire audience can understand what we're saying.

Stuart Carlton 10:38
And yeah, so we're always thinking about that. And science education is tough, though, right? Because there's like facts versus the process of science. And so this article was a lot about sort of having people apply the process of science, right, or learn how to do that in their life.

Sandra Svoboda 10:51
Yeah, look at you doing your homework before the show, Stuart, I love it. So yes, this this is actually the I mean, the key takeaway for me from this, from this was that science is that what the educators found, they did their own little study, the end was only 2028 students. So the they looked at biology, chemistry students, and what they were learning and whether they could apply chemistry to biology lessons and biology to chemistry concepts in the same way. And so really, the takeaway from this article is that we are all better served by less memorizing, and more understanding concepts, specifically how to relate those concepts in other places, right. So I'll have to think of a good analogy of bringing math to our website, but we'll

Stuart Carlton 11:33
move on Sure. Fair enough. No, no, that Yeah, so I actually taught I taught life and Earth Science for a couple of years in seventh eighth grade, this was in Pinellas County, Florida. And I was I was extraordinarily bad at it. But but then we talked a lot about inquiry based learning was kind of the term du jour. This was back in 2006 or so. And so we talked about that a lot. And I think through through that application is when you what you're doing is training your mind as much as anything. And that's what they say about graduate school a lot is that you're you know, you're training yourself how to think it's not so much what you're doing. But if I remember that actually, there's like a long history of this, I'm working on a book chapter now, which a lot of people have heard me complain about, because that's what you do in academia is you get all these really cool opportunities. And then you just start complaining about them, because they're a lot of work. And so I've been doing that complaining about a book chapter and looking actually the history of environmental education. Going back all the way to like Wilbur Jackman, in 1891, who wrote this thing called the nature study for the common schools, which he was like using nature as a curriculum them and talking about, like the 21 things you can, you know, study sit on an earthworm and that kind of stuff. And then like, you know, we I'm tracing that history through like John Dewey, who was maybe one of the greatest, if not the most renowned education philosopher in the 20th century, and in like, environmental education started with Williams tap in 1969, and everything. And but the the idea is like, learning facts are good, right? Facts are important, but it's teaching you how to think and that's especially important, I think, on these science type of classes.

Sandra Svoboda 13:01
Yes. And in a little bit of shameless self promotion, one of the reasons we put the story up not only because science and education, but we at Great Lakes now we actually have a set of lesson plans, a collection, we build them out of each show now each month, and so they're aimed at middle schoolers. And so it's a series of hands on activities, watching our show segment and readings. And so trying to bring I've seen a classroom use them. And it was the the teaching guide that it comes with has prompt questions. And it was really interesting to see the students talk about how they had seen boats so that they could understand buoyancy. So bringing those concepts together, of course around a great look and a Great Lakes frame. I'm right with you.

Stuart Carlton 13:41
All right, Story number three.

Sandra Svoboda 13:44
Story number three, I mean, this now I'm you know, my favorite phrase is shameless self promotion. But this time when I say shameless self promotion, it is for our entire region. So Time magazine came out with 50 destinations for 2022. And they included two Great Lakes cities, Detroit, and toronto, toronto. So yes, so we put up a little article. Well, the Time magazine article, we included a map of all of the 50 destinations with links to the time articles, but then we talked a little bit more about Detroit and Toronto and what wasn't in times the reasoning for naming them with our own reasons. So that is our site as well.

Stuart Carlton 14:27
That is super so what is a great reason that people should love Detroit right now?

Sandra Svoboda 14:32
Well, my reasons are different than time time talked about restaurants and hotels and revitalization after the famous bankruptcy of almost 10 years ago, in Toronto was lauded for its museums and art and a little bit of their recreation activities. But neither of Time magazine's write ups included anything about the Great Lakes Stewart that's teaching you something about the Great Lakes we are often neglected

Stuart Carlton 14:56
Time Magazine, what are they doing? They need to host podcasts.

Sandra Svoboda 15:01
So to add to actually answer your question, which is what guests are supposed to do for the host of a podcast, I will tell you that obviously my favorite thing about both cities is their location within the Great Lakes and all of the opportunities that that brings those of us who are lucky enough to live in these regions for recreational opportunity, communities, understanding our science lessons, and we go out and look at the waterfront. And also just finding it a place where people of all walks of life come together places like Belle Isle State Park, and the Toronto islands and all the great stuff that comes along with being a great Lake City. or small town.

Stuart Carlton 15:40
There we go. Fantastic. I have nothing to add. No, it's perfect. So if you have a story that you would like to suggest for Great Lakes news, I use a hashtag Great Lakes news on Twitter. Send us an email teach me about three lakes@gmail.com and follow everybody please follow Great Lakes now on Twitter. Go to website subscribe, YouTube. That means hit the bell right? Do they need to hit the bell? They need to hit the bell.

Sandra Svoboda 16:06
They do they do we have a news weekly newsletter comes out on Wednesdays it's got oh my gosh, it's probably a competitor to your podcast news because we put new stories in our newsletter. But you know, we'll give you a shout out in that one of these days.

Stuart Carlton 16:19
It's a big world a big lake. We can all we can all take not worry about it. Oh, fantastic.

Sandra Svoboda 16:25
Well, Stuart, thanks so much for having me. I think it's okay if I share a theme song with you. So let's let's play that show.

Stuart Carlton 16:32
Let's just go out with the theme song. News from the lakes you love. Is that right? Close enough close. Maybe

Sandra Svoboda 16:37
it's about the lakes you love Great Lakes now.org. Oh, so

Stuart Carlton 17:10
that's what a professional theme song sounds like. That's the Great Lakes now. theme, which was composed by Clint carpenter. Thank you for that, Clint. So our guest today is the mysterious voice behind the Lake Superior Twitter account. We are super excited to talk to them today. Hello, Lake Superior how are you?

Lake Superior 17:30
Good afternoon doing well on the on the breezy shores of superior.

Stuart Carlton 17:35
That is wonderful. So for those of you who don't know, you can follow this Twitter account Lake Superior and we'll have a link to it in the show notes. But it's a it's really interesting. And it's like a really sort of specific and fun tone. I think, what, how did this how did this start, I guess tell us a little bit about yourself to the extent that you want to while remaining anonymous. And then why did you do this? What is the deal with starting? Why did you start tweeting?

Lake Superior 18:01
Well, my personal background is I grew up very close to the shores of superior. My childhood home was a few 100 yards from the lake I couldn't quite see superior from the house, it was just blocked by some trees. And where I stand now. I'm about 640 feet from doorstep to toes in water. So I interact and see the lake every single day. So I do have a long and deep history with superior.

Hope Charters 18:35
That's amazing. Do you want to trade houses?

Lake Superior 18:39
We can find space for you here and just all congregate here.

Stuart Carlton 18:42
Yeah, that's fine. I've seen Hope House. It's a perfectly nice house. But it is more than 640 feet from Lake Superior. So I'd recommend not to trade more like

Lake Superior 18:49
I have no interest in moving further. I'm on a mission to see if I can move any closer than 640 feet away. Yeah,

Stuart Carlton 18:59
640 is a little it's a little rough be in there sometimes, especially if there's a tree in the way or something.

Lake Superior 19:03
So the Lake Superior Twitter account was exciting to create. And I came across the account was created in March of 2009. And I acquired it from somebody else I believe in 2010. I saw that they had the Lake Superior handle and was very interested in and at the time it was a stagnant account. And I thought it would be really fun to acquire and I reached out and to my surprise they agreed they weren't doing anything with it. And it's essentially been more than a decade of building this voice of the most superior lake in the world.

Stuart Carlton 19:50
So it wasn't exactly a Dread Pirate Roberts situation but it was an almost Dread Pirate Roberts I suppose. So yeah. What about that voice? How did how did you decide this was the tack that you wanted to It's very entertaining. And you probably don't know this because you might not listen. But on the show we have an unofficial rivalry with Lake Superior, in that we call it somewhat condescending and arrogant. And but yeah, so how did you arrive at this? At this, this tone? Was that something that came out right away? Or did it sort of evolve over time,

Lake Superior 20:18
it has definitely evolved. And it has been a, a craft a practice and craft and taking on an identity that is of a nonhuman form. And what other voice can you use for a lake that's called Lake Superior? That's among the Great Lakes. And once especially once I came up with this acronym of gloat of the greatest lake of all time, and then the actual definition of gloat and gloating, it just all fits so well to just really craft this personality of a sassy, overly confident, best lake in the world voice.

Stuart Carlton 21:02
I mean, what in your background led to this? Because I mean, it's so well done. It's sort of its era, right? But but do you have like a writing or a comedy, you know, background? Or is it just something you've developed kind of on the side while you do I don't know, computer programming or actuarial tables or something? Yeah,

Lake Superior 21:19
it is a side project. That is for fun. I am not a comedian by trade, I have always, I've always taken a passion in different creative pursuits. So it has been a creative undertaking for me. But this has been a long road. I mean, it has been over a decade of crafting, crafting this voice, and a lot of different, really enjoyable moments in that time. But it's fun, and it's nice that it is anonymous, and I can lean into this without expectations other than my own.

Stuart Carlton 21:57
How is the how's your voice changed over 10 years, you know, you spent 10 years and you've been refining and everything? Is it just a case of sort of, you know, slow refinements or have you made sort of conscious shifts over time.

Lake Superior 22:09
It's definitely slow refinements. But it's hard to go back a decade and remember what I was tweeting about that long ago.

Stuart Carlton 22:16
For me, it was mostly the how I liked my coffee every morning. That was my original, I think I would tweet every day in about 2008 or 10, or whatever else. Like, I like my coffee, like I love my blank, black and I did that as like a creative thing for a while. Yeah, but that's all I remember.

Lake Superior 22:31
Yeah, it's hard. I can't remember but I do have somewhat of an informal mission now. Okay, and really is is to, I love I am not a great like scientists, I am not a scientist of any variety. And with all the various organizations along the Great Lakes, the scientists, environmentalists, limnol, just all of it. It has been fun to create a community of those folks and to elevate their voices when I can. And you know, by creating my own voice and having this sassy take, it creates a lot of enjoyment for people to create this following. And then I get to kind of relay a message of great like scientists from great like scientists to lay people who may not know about all the different studies going on, I really enjoy that approach. And the other component is is just to celebrate the great lakes and the outdoors and encouraging people to be responsible to to use humor, to remind them to not litter and pick up their trash and look after themselves. And where we are today and probably what led us to this conversation is a hot political take or two which changed the course of a 12 year old Twitter account changed the course dramatically in the matter of two weeks.

Stuart Carlton 24:01
Yeah, so about that. So I have been we have been following you for much longer obviously because of exactly what you're talking about. So it's Sea Grant there are a number of secret employees who have you know, public science kind of Twitter feeds Titus style homers, a good example. Katie O'Reilly is gonna who is Dr. cat fish is going to start working with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant in about two weeks actually. And, and then we have our two yellow buoys account and I, which is an anonymous account. I don't want to say it's modeled after like superior because that's not but it's in the same vein, right?

Lake Superior 24:31
Yes. And I will say I have great admiration for two yellow buoys and I have a little bit of Twitter envy as I wish lakes I wish I had my own two talking buoys in Superior. But nobody has taken that on yet.

Stuart Carlton 24:48
No, no, we do a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure that you to make sure that you never get them. I'll be honest,

Hope Charters 24:53
the only reason Stewart said that we do not model them after two yellow or after Lake Superior is because we wouldn't never admit that Lake Superior is the best.

Stuart Carlton 25:04
So there was a tweet, you made a funny tweet in response to Roe versus Wade. So when Roe vs. Wade was overturned, you came out in the official position of the Lake Superior Twitter account was that you support a woman's right to choose. And then somebody used that for their own political purposes. And then you made a very snarky very funny reply, which I encourage people to go Google for. I don't think it was necessarily something we need to link to in our show notes. But it was it was very funny and very on point. But so what was that like? So then all sudden, everything started blowing up, right? And you say that the course got changed? What was that like? Exactly?

Lake Superior 25:37
Well, it's, as I said, Before, I generally stay on topic with water ponds, Lake ponds, teasing other legs for being inferior, spreading Great Lakes Science and beautiful photography, I you know, it's great to see all the photography across Lake Superior. And I love the weather conditions and the inclement weather. And generally, the tweets are in that vein, once in a while, there's, there's a few tweets that that step outside of that, and a couple of political cold takes, as the lake would say. And the interesting thing is, it went viral more than anything I've ever experienced in my life. And you know, because of it, Lake Superior was actually a trending topic on Twitter, which was, I guess, a new achievement on lot. But I, I took a political stance and was happy to do so. But I was I was nervous thinking that, you know, this will upset some people, and maybe the following will go down, but it was too important to me to ignore. And it took 10 to 12 years to accumulate 40,000 followers. And in the course of two weeks, I accumulated an additional 170,000. So, that is amazing, sensually Quinn truck quintupled in in a matter of two weeks, and was extremely hard to look away, I do have other tasks and responsibilities in my life that need to be attained to. But it was hard to address those. I mean, it was really hard to look away. It was exciting and fun. There were other news interviews, and opportunities like this. And it was all out of a couple, like I said cold political takes. But I'm excited now is that I have this huge new audience that I now get to expose the Great Lakes to and Lake Superior to you and all the wonderful things about it.

Hope Charters 27:48
That is amazing. Talk about all of a sudden being in the limelight. I mean, not that you weren't before, but that's amazing. You had mentioned. Obviously, this is one of the more memorable moments, the Roe v. Wade, comment and reply. But what are some other memorable moments that you've had on the Twitter account? What are some of your favorite tweets?

Lake Superior 28:06
Well, there are other geological features on Twitter as well. And there was a pretty intense discussion several years ago, between some Twitter volcanoes, and if volcanoes or lakes are the greater geological feature, and primarily a few volcanoes from Washington and Oregon, I believe. And it was really fun banter to go back and forth with volcanoes on Twitter. And that's what I love about this platform is it allows for, you know, geological features to argue with each other.

Stuart Carlton 28:49
But the answer to that is clearly volcanoes, right. What is the what is the counter argument for volcanoes not being? I mean, volcanoes blow up and stuff. What does the lake do?

Lake Superior 28:57
Well, I the lake will make the argument that volcanoes take life, while freshwater lakes are an abundance of giving life to various mammals and creatures. Fair enough. However, I myself have learned a lot about the history about the Great Lakes, the geography, the geology, you know, and simply put, they wouldn't be here without volcanoes. So we are all tied together. Another favorite thing, a tradition of the Lake Superior Twitter account, is that not most years, I do a live tweeting of the Super Bowl. And instead of but it's all replaced with fish ponds, so the Super Bowl becomes the superior bowl. The kickoff becomes the fish off. And as we know, the New England Patriots are in it many times and they are Always became the New England perch. And I forget which team became the freighters are in the sense of Francisco 40 Niners became the San Francisco freighters. So I will live tweet watching the Super Bowl. And as somebody gets a penalty in the game, I will live tweet that that player got a penalty for littering on the beach. And that's always been a really fun way to participate in one of America's biggest traditions, the Super Bowl, and to really kind of find this voice on the fly, of crafting that is a real creative challenge. But a lot of fun.

Stuart Carlton 30:45
That's something else so I mean, it's just a creative exercise in all honesty, you strike me as someone and again, this is no joke audience, I've no idea who the person is, he has to remain anonymous. I didn't even know it was a he until he said hello. And we just interact with through direct messages on Twitter's but but in your heart, in all honesty, you remind me of somebody who would work for Sea Grant and that it's just that idea that science is cool. Here's how we can use science to promote, you know, sustainability and this wonderful resource and things like that. And so it really brings that to mind. And it it tickles my heart to hear that. Another thing that you do each year, they caught me off guard so so the gist of our show there, the conceit behind it is that I am from the Gulf South and live there for the first 30 Some years of my life and and then I moved up to Purdue in order to take this job in Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. And so I'm using this show to learn about the Great Lakes because I need to know about the Great Lakes in order to do my job better. So I might as well kill two birds with one stone. So in birds exists, which is anyway. And one thing that caught me off guard is every year still, I think you you commemorate the Edmund Fitzgerald, the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. By by totally out the names, right. What and what caught me off guard about that was I didn't realize how recent it was, you know, there are still people who are alive. Who, you know, new people probably on the visceral what what, what gave you the idea to do that, and what what goes into that every year.

Lake Superior 32:17
It's a time of year that for for this account that is very sassy, has a big support superiority complex. I think it's it's a reminder to to be humble for this really solid thing that occurred. And there are relatives of those sailors who who are still living. And one year, I just thought it would be very fitting to recognize all of those names one by one with individual tweets. And as the famous song goes, you know, the church bells time 29 times. And I just I thought it would actually be really powerful to in some instances to drop the humor and to just lay it out as it is and then these were real people whose whose lives are lost and that's something that I'm delicate towards I'm delicate towards the subjects of the account of their our lives lost on the Great Lakes related to water safety. boating accidents, kayaking accidents. And I do like to remain sensitive, you know, on uncertain subjects.

Stuart Carlton 33:45
That's what that's what caught me off guard. But I did notice that tone change all of a sudden, and I thought it was weird. And then then I went and researched it because again, I know the song but not well enough. You know, it's not as popular, I think in the Gulf South as it is here. Yes. Um, and so do people respond? I feel like most of the response to that tone changes is positive to people. Is it mainly positive to people say, you know, what's going on with this? Or,

Lake Superior 34:08
oh, no, it's absolutely positive. I think people like seeing that, you know, more down to earth personality as well, which comes out and some of the different stances, you know, there are some of the cold takes, or when I lean a little more politically, you know, it will be about the environment, climate change and different things, you know, where I try to say it straight, you know, and to, you know, remove the voice of that character, you know, to stand firm about where this lake stands on on an issue. So, so I think it's, I don't want the account to be only about being funny and punny and like sassy. You No, I want to expand beyond that as well.

Hope Charters 35:03
Well, to move on to something a little less serious, I feel like as Lake Superior. If you are truly the most superior great lake, you would know how many baseball's that your lake can hold as as the greatest American pastime if you had to guess or do you know how many baseball's can Lake Superior hold? Because I know how many Lake Michigan could hold and so you if you don't have an answer, I guess that means a Lake Michigan is the greatest

Lake Superior 35:33
click Well, we already know that. I hold more baseballs than like Michigan will ever hold. So let's let's back up we know that I Lake Superior hold roughly three quadrillion gallons of water. To my rough knowledge, I believe a gallon container can hold about maybe nine baseballs. So give or take. You know we're looking at 27 to 30 quadrillion baseball's regulation size.

Hope Charters 36:10
I love it. Like Michigan can hold 22.6 quadrillion. Okay, I guess I guess we'll give this one to you.

Lake Superior 36:18
Okay, so we're in the same ballpark? Yeah, I think I might have to round up. But

Stuart Carlton 36:26
he really are the quote. Okay, one more sticky thing. Now that I'm thinking about, I should have prepared you for this. I apologize for not, but since you're here. We like to do stupid lists, so and so let me explain how this works. Well, it never works. I always end It's always MY fault. So I apologize, but that's where we are. So what we're gonna do is I'm going to ask you for your top three facts. Speaking of how many baseball's I can hold top three facts about Lake Superior, we'll count them down from three to one. And we'll start with three and the way it's gonna work is I'm going to give a drumroll. And then you're going to say the fact and then I'm going to play a sound effect of Titus while Homer saying Whoo. And then we'll talk about that fact. Does that make sense? Yes, yes. All right. So your top three facts about Lake Superior number three.

Lake Superior 37:16
I hold three quadrillion gallons of water.

Stuart Carlton 37:20
Actually, there we're gonna keep it really three quadrillion gallons of water. And that's a lot of baseballs. And so is that that's the largest, great lake by volume, right? Is it worth it? Worldwide?

Lake Superior 37:31
Yes. In Volume. I will admit there are a couple lakes with more volume even here in the US I believe. Crater Lake is our most volumous lake in the US I believe. And there is this pesky little lake called Lake by cow in Russia which which I don't even believe exists. I think it's propaganda. So I always like to tease by cat by Carl but I believe this stat is that superior, you can empty superior and it would fill every great lake including two extra Lake theories.

Stuart Carlton 38:07
A couple bonus like Ares, like the number two fact about Lake Superior Hold on.

Lake Superior 38:20
It would take 693 years to resurface Lake Superior using a single Zamboni

Stuart Carlton 38:30
to figure that out. That's so weird.

Lake Superior 38:33
That's a rough estimate. And that does not include coffee breaks and oil changes for a single Zamboni. Right?

Stuart Carlton 38:41
Zamboni drivers gotta pee. Right?

Lake Superior 38:43
Yeah. The math has been done. And I believe it was the surface area of Lake Superior is about the equivalent of 52 million NHL ice surfaces. You know, so that puts it into a little bit of context just about how big it is.

Stuart Carlton 39:06
And the number one fact about Lake Superior is

Lake Superior 39:16
the greatest lake of all time.

Stuart Carlton 39:18
There it is.

Lake Superior 39:19
Okay, let's get no no, no, let's let's give you a real fact. All right. According to Great Lakes ice cover history, going back to the early or mid 70s Lake Superior has been 100% covered with ice on only one day. And I believe that day was mid March of 1996.

Stuart Carlton 39:50
So what happened in mid Morrison 96 Oh, in March two, that's rough. It should be warming up.

Lake Superior 39:55
Yeah, I mean, so peak lakes appear ice covers always mid March. That's always when when it's at its max. And yeah, there's there's several years where it's been 90% frozen over. But according to the I believe it's called the Great Lakes forecasting system coastal forecasting system. Only once has it been frozen over entirely?

Stuart Carlton 40:21
Well, Lake Superior, the gentleman behind Lake Superior account. This has all been really interesting learning and you know all about you and the account and all of that. But that's actually not why we invited you here on teach me about the Great Lakes this week. The reason that we invited you here on teach me about the Great Lakes is to ask two questions. The first of which is this. If you choose if you could choose to have a great donut for breakfast, or a great sandwich for lunch? Which one would you choose?

Lake Superior 40:48
Oh, that's a good question. I would have a great sandwich for lunch.

Stuart Carlton 40:52
Great sandwich for lunch. And so then, the next question, normally, I will be more broad next time. I'm in Lake Superior region. Right. I go kind of little northwest to here. Where should I go to get a really good sandwich?

Lake Superior 41:05
A really good sandwich. There's a little fish play. Downtown Duluth, a little fish market, which has a killer salmon sandwich? Really? I'll have to get the specific

Stuart Carlton 41:19
so the salmon kill you? Or is it just No, I'm just kidding. Okay. Fish Market. Salmon says so how do they how do they? How do they make I've never had a salmon sandwich. Is it? Wait, no, I know this place someone else recommended it the other day during a different episode. Hold on, I'll have to find it. It's called the Yes. What is the name of this market? Do you remember it?

Lake Superior 41:39
I believe it's called northern waters, northern waters smokehouse. I am an advocate of some occasion, an open cage and white fish sandwich.

Hope Charters 41:51
And for the final question, what is a special place in the Great Lakes that you'd like to share with our audience? And what makes it so special?

Lake Superior 42:00
Wow, that's a big question. I think any place that you can get to an elevation? You know, I do I am. I am not a scientist. But I do like these little factoids. And I believe, when humans stand at the shore of the Great Lakes, any lake is approximately something like eight miles we see to the horizon. And that's it, you know, and to consider that Lake Superior is what 130 140 miles across in 343 and 20 miles and breadth. We see such a tiny sliver of the lake and even when we go up to an elevation, like the Palisades or some places in Michigan and Ontario, we are seeing such a tiny sliver, I think it is impossible to feel that true scope of how big these lakes are, especially, you know, you consider Lake Superior as two countries and three states and you know, takes several days to drive around.

Stuart Carlton 43:13
Well, anonymous, human behind the blur the Lake Superior Twitterfeed, thank you so much for coming on, and teaching us all about the Great Lakes.

Lake Superior 43:22
Hey, it's a pleasure. I'm happy to come across your blog, or sorry, your podcast and all the best. Thanks for doing what you do.

Hope Charters 43:31
Thank you. All right. Thank you so much.

Stuart Carlton 43:55
was a fascinating interview with an interesting and strangely Influential Twitter account, wasn't it?

Hope Charters 44:01
Yeah, that was that was cool. I cannot believe that he shot up by like 180,000 followers in the course of two weeks.

Stuart Carlton 44:10
That is a wild it is and I bet I bet it changes the relationship like you'd love to hear or people love to talk about Twitter's like a toxic hell site or whatever. I'm sure he got exposed to some of that in addition to lots of thumbs up and everything, but it was surprisingly stressful actually. Yeah. Well, what do you got going on lately? anything cool? communication wise, coming on the website? What do we wish we point people to?

Hope Charters 44:31
That is a great question. If you guys are worried about drought or anything affecting your grass, go over to lambda Lake midwest.org. And you can find all of the eco friendly ways to care for your lawn. From you know, all year round. We have seasonal calendars that gives you monthly to dues.

Stuart Carlton 44:53
That sounds good. Teach me about the Great Lakes is brought to you by the fine people at Illinois. Amen a secret we encourage you check out the great work we do at IC grid.org. And at i Li and Sea Grant on Facebook, Twitter or other social media check out our Insta check along the lake check it all out. We got the Great Lakes is produced by hope charters Carolyn Foley Megan gun and reading miles Ethan Chitty is our associate producer in our fixer are super fun podcast artworks by Joel Devonport although I just found out that the little tube coming from the scuba divers neck should be black not yellow, according to one of our interview shows edited by the awesome Quinn Rose and I encourage you to check out her work at aspiring robot.com You have a question or comment about the show. Please email us to teach me about the great lakes@gmail.com or leave a message on our hotline 765496 I SG if we haven't heard from your hotline while give us a call. We'll play it on the air. You can also follow us on Twitter teach Great Lakes. Hey everybody, thank you so much for listening, and keep creating those links spirited