162 - The United States of Florida
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
"It takes a big state to absorb the entire North every winter," the New York Times wrote on February 2 of this year. "Florida is pulling it off."
In wintertime, the Sunshine State takes in ‘snowbirds’ from the rest of the country (and beyond). Interestingly, these cold-weather refugees seek out each others’ company according to their place of origin, creating a patchwork of sunkissed settlement areas reflective of their places of origin.\n
• Alabamians (but also Tennesseans) prefer the Panhandle, as it is closest to their home state.
\n• Georgians prefer the Jacksonville area for the same reason.
\n• The area just south of Jacksonville has attracted increasing numbers of Southern Californians, obviously not because of proximity or lack of sunshine in SoCal, but because the real estate is so much cheaper.
\n• People from the Carolinas prefer to relax in and around Daytona.
\n• Those from Upstate New York gather around the Cape Canaveral area.
\n• Palm Beach County is a favourite haunt of New Jerseyites.
\n• The large Jewish presence in and around Fort Lauderdale is down to the migratory links with Brooklyn (notice the Bagel Dough van hurrying south).
\n• Hollywood in the Fort Lauderdale area boasts two French-language newspapers, reflecting the tide of Québécois heading there.
\n• Miami is known as the ‘Sixth Borough’, because of the large number of New Yorkers wintering there. Manhattanites flock to Miami Beach.
\n• Minnesotans camp out on Sanibel Island.
\n• Retired GM executives were the spearhead of the Detroit invasion of the Naples area.
\n• Germans cluster in and around the Fort Myers area.
\n• New Englanders head for Sarasota.
\n• Holidaymakers from Buffalo in Upstate New York congregate in Tampa.
\n• Orlando attracts a wide variety of Europeans and Latin Americans. (‘United Nations’)
\n• Kissimmee and Davenport are home to many Britons.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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