Archive for the ‘geography’ tag

#  How many US states are north of Canada? →

May 7th, 2014 at 18:10 // In Worth Knowing 

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.

#  The Parable of the Fire Station →

February 26th, 2014 at 10:44 // In Worth Reading 

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.

(via 5IT)

#  Countries and Hobbies →

September 8th, 2012 at 14:57 // In Worth Considering 

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.

#  A Defense of New Jersey →

January 26th, 2009 at 20:11 // In Worth Considering 

I swear this article appears at least semiannually in some paper somewhere. This one chose the “epicenter of artistic talent” angle.

(via Ideas)

#  A Simplified Interstate Map →

November 26th, 2008 at 10:26 // In Worth Seeing 

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.

(via Snarkmarket)

#  Abstract Earth →

July 17th, 2008 at 22:25 // In Worth Seeing 

Though I’m not quite sure what makes these satellite images “abstract,” I do think they’re pretty neat. (Seperately, some of these pictures were linked to in this post.)

(via Andrew Sullivan)

#  Reversed White Flight? →

June 9th, 2008 at 12:43 // In Worth Considering 

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.

#  Landlocked Navies →

June 4th, 2008 at 13:57 // In Worth Knowing 

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.

#  The Geography of Gnomes →

May 30th, 2008 at 11:32 // In Worth Distraction 

Am I the only one who thinks it’s odd that that no gnomes live in France or Italy?

#  One of those L Countries →

May 28th, 2008 at 13:45 // In Worth Distraction 

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.