The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Strange maps, including good beer

Via Tom Hollander comes Strange Maps, a blog I will have to read through when I get a free moment next year. The blog supports Frank Jacobs' forthcoming book, Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities. The blog starts with "Lunatic Asylum Districts in Pennsylvania," moving through "The Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map of the World" and "Heineken's 'Eurotopia'" on its random walk through maps. Very cool blog.

Example: a map showing the best beer in America, based on the number of medals won, with a handy refiguring of the results by population:

The top 10, reshuffled to reflect the number of medals per million of inhabitants, looks quite different, reflecting a dominance by states with a strong micro-brewing tradition:

  1. Colorado – 64.4
  2. Oregon – 42.5
  3. Wisconsin – 38.6
  4. Washington – 16.2
  5. Missouri – 15
  6. Pennsylvania – 13.5
  7. Massachusetts – 12.6
  8. California – 12.8
  9. Texas – 5.6
  10. New York – 5.1

Also from Hollander, a report that Samoa changed sides:

As sirens and church bells wailed across Samoa just before 6am on Monday, drivers obediently stopped their cars. Then, after instructions issued over the radio by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, they shifted to the other side of the road and ushered in history.

"After this announcement you will all be permitted to move to the other side of the road, to begin this new era in our history," Mr Tuilaepa told his people, warning: "Don't drive if you are sleepy, drunk or just had a fight with your wife."

Good advice, that.

How Americans spend their days

Via The Daily Dish, the results of the American Time Use Survey, in very cool form.

Background:

Sunday Business analyzed new data from the American Time Use Survey to compare the 2008 weekday activities of the employed and unemployed. ... The annual time use survey, which asks thousands of residents to recall every minute of a single day, is important to economists trying to value the time spent by those not bringing home a paycheck.

The chart, though, is wicked cool.

How green is your city?

Via Beth Filar-Williams, the National Resources Defence Council has ranked U.S. cities by environmental factors. The study ranks 67 large (population 250,000+), 167 medium (100-250k), and 405 small (50-100k) cities on nine factors, including standard of living, water management, transportation, and environmental participation. Seattle comes out on top for big cities; San Francisco, 2nd; Chicago, 10th.

Other leaders include Madison, Wis. (medium) and Bellingham, Wash. Bottom of the pack: Lexington, Ky., Paterson, N.J., and Pine Bluff, Ark.

Cool mash-up

I sometimes shop at the Book Depository, a British online bookseller, because I'm a nerd. (Also because they have British editions and free shipping to the U.S.)

Today, I discovered their cool Google Maps mash-up, showing who is buying what on their site.

Did I mention I'm a nerd?

Cubs in Detroit

My cousin turned a very large round number on Wednesday, so, being cruel, I took him to the Cubs game in Detroit. I'll have a rare back-dated entry about that in a little bit, with some kvetching about Amtrak; for now, just some pictures of the game.

But first, a non-sequitur: via Paul Krugman, today is the 35th anniversary of the UPC bar code.

Anyway. The game. Yeah, we didn't see this coming:

Unfortunately, that's what happens when you strand 13 baserunners and go 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Sigh.

The park, also, didn't seem to have any character, bad or good. Wikipedia puts Comerica Park in the "Retro Classic" category with AT&T Park and Camden Yards, but somehow it just didn't have the character of those two. Something about the late 1990s just didn't work with baseball parks. I mean, does the baseball park need a merry-go-round? Really?

Even the scoreboard is boring:

And one last thing: I still think my phone is extra-special-cool:

Explanation of previous post; Why you need to read Sullivan

Two unrelated topics in one post? Preposterous. Unacceptable.

And yet.

First: my previous post reflected the difficulties in typing on a tiny G1 keyboard, which magnified the annoyances in maintaining a blog in the first place. Two entries disappeared after unintentional finger sweeps, and don't even get me started on the difficulties of adding an actual hyperlink from my phone. On the other hand, I can post from my phone, which I find so cool it makes me giddy. I do feel like someone living 80 years ago complaining about air travel: yes, ocean liners are more comfortable, and yes, the thing makes a lot of noise, but wake up: you can get from New York to London in one night. At some point the coolness overcomes the annoyance, and a new technology goes critical.

Second, if you're either (a) unaware of the unfolding news from Iran, or (b) not following it on Sullivan, you need to do both. This is what Democracy looks like. I'm more and more hopeful that Iran will prevail, and its unelected dictatorship will fall. It won't look like the U.S., the U.K., or any other European-style democracy, but possibly before the end of this summer, Iran will have an elected leader, and a legitimate government, for the first time in 30 years. There will be a terrific cost, but again: the Iranian people will, ultimately, win this.

I think Thomas Jefferson put it better than I ever could:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Wear green this week if you agree.