202 - United Pumpkins of America
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.
Gone are the days when just carving three holes in a hollowed-out pumpkin and having a candle project its flickering light from inside would scare the bejeezus out of all the neighbourhood kids. That must have been somewhere around 1891, when those pumpkins were the most advanced piece of entertainment technology available.
Technology has moved on since then, and several revolutions (electronic, digital and virtual) later, the still ubiquitous Halloween pumpkin now struggles to be seen and feared amidst our modern gadgetry. A few of the more extravagant attempts are: pumpkins exposing themselves and puking, or pumpkins posing as octopi, oysters, hamburgers, the Death Star from Star Wars and even Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’ (all and more to be found here).\n
I thank Ben Krall for finding among all those scary incarnations this pumpkin map of the USA. I’m not quite sure whom this is supposed to scare, though: anti-Americans? People with extreme map-phobia? Miss South Carolina?\n
Considering the convexity of pumpkins and the concomitant difficulty of carving out all those borders so neatly, a lot of work (and several pumpkins) must have gone into creating this rather good rendition of the United States.\n
Oklahoma seems to have been the top op the pumpkin, and Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire seem to have been carved out of a different pumpkin.\n
Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.
- The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
- It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
- On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
Sure we know it would be bad, but what do all of these scary numbers really mean?
- At the press time, the value was $21.7 trillion dollars.
- Lots of people know that a default would be bad, but not everybody seems to get how horrible it would be.
- While the risk is low, knowing what would happen if a default did occur is important information for all voters.
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