Archive for the ‘geography’ tag
My naive answer, as a bit of map-fan and not-completely-geographically-illiterate person was about 10. Turns out it’s more than that. I’ll say no more because I liked Jason Kottke’s reveal.
A really interesting point I’d never encountered:
How many calls to a typical U.S. fire department are actually about fires? Less than 20%. If fire departments aren’t getting calls about fires, what are they mostly getting calls about? They are getting calls about medical emergencies, traffic accidents, and, yes, cats in trees, but they are rarely being called about fires. They are, in other words, organizations that, despite their name, deal with everything but fires.
Why, then, are they called fire departments? Because of history. Cities used to be built out of pre-combustion materials—wood straight from the forest, for example—but they are now mostly built of post-combustion materials—steel, concrete, and other materials that have passed through flame. Fire departments were created when fighting fires was an urgent urban need, and now their name lives on, a reminder of their host cities’ combustible past.
The post goes on to explore how this exists for other models in the world, and is well worth reading, but I never really recognized that specifically about fire departments.
Wondering why the presenter’s of the British version of Top Gear so often express anger at “caravans” (in America they’re more typically known as Recreational Vehicles or RVs), while they’re not viewed so hostily in Australia, Dan Rutter reaches an interesting conclusion:
I think caravanning in the UK is like metal-detector-ing in Australia.
If you don’t get that, I’ll leave it to the link to explain.
I swear this article appears at least semiannually in some paper somewhere. This one chose the “epicenter of artistic talent” angle.
This thing made me go “Wow!” It’s a map of America’s Interstate highways smoothed into a series of straight lines, like a subway map.
In an excellent overview of suburbs in the United States, The Economist recently pointed to an interesting fact: while suburbs are increasingly diverse, urban areas are becoming whiter.
According to William Frey, a demographer, the white population of big-city suburbs grew by 7% between 2000 and 2006. In the same period the suburban Asian population grew by 16%, the black population by 24% and the Hispanic population by an astonishing 60%. Many immigrants to America now move directly to the suburbs without passing through established urban ghettos. Having conquered suburbia, ethnic-minority groups are now swiftly infiltrating the more distant “exurbs”.
As the suburbs become more mixed, some inner-city areas are turning less so. Los Angeles, which markets itself as the city “where the world comes together”, and New York (“the world’s second home”) both added whites and lost blacks between 2000 and 2006. So many blacks moved out of Los Angeles that, were the exodus to continue unabated, they would disappear from the city around 2050. Manhattan and San Francisco lost Hispanics as well as blacks, which is remarkable given that group’s speedy growth in the country as a whole. Meanwhile, the world came together on their fringes.
Though they’re mostly small, The Economist makes the interesting point that there are actually a relatively high number of land-locked countries with navies.
Am I the only one who thinks it’s odd that that no gnomes live in France or Italy?
Because it gives me a small measure of comfort to know that even their fellow Europeans are capable of confusing Latvia and Lithuania, I note that the Czech soccer federation did the following:
The Latvian flag was in the game program along with a photo of the Latvian national soccer team. Before the match, Czech organizers played Latvia’s national anthem. However, the Czech Republic was facing Lithuania on Tuesday night, not Latvia.