541 - Ten Map Shorts

Finding maps that are sufficiently strange and beautiful is only half the joy of making this blog; the other is writing up the story to go along with them. But sometimes, fascinating maps are resistant to exegesis - maybe because all they need to explain is right there, in the image itself. Or maybe I've just stared myself blind on them. Over the years, many have accumulated. Here are ten of 'em.


Welcome to USB Country

These peculiar landscape elements have since disappeared from the satellite view.

The Longest Way 'Round

I'd watch out, Miss. He's got mischief in his eyes.

NYC = 5 States

The population of New York City equals that of five entire states.

The Navy Alphabet

From an illustrated book by L. Frank Baum, of Wizard of Oz fame.

Hindustamp

A postage map of India. 

Zones of indulgence

So northern Europe drinks too much, and southern Europe eats too much?

Attendance at Elvis Concerts, per State

But why?

Apportioning America

States sized to correspond to their political weight in Congress (in 1911).

Alaska's Revenge

Who's in standing in the corner now?

Your Brain on Maps

This is what your brain looks like after looking at too much cartography.

Many thanks to all those who sent in these maps over the past few years.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

Trauma in childhood leads to empathy in adulthood

It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Mind & Brain

  • A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
  • The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
  • The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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