Pop by Lat and Pop by Long
The average human lives at 24 degrees north or south from the equator
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.
Did you know that almost 90% of the world’s population lives in the northern hemisphere? And that half of all Earthlings  reside north of 27°N? Or that the average human lives at 24 degrees from the equator - either to its north or south? Bill Rankin did. Or at least he found out, while producing this fascinating diptych of world maps, plotting population distribution on axes of longitude and latitude.
These maps have been floating around the internet for a few years now . Like barnacled ships and whales at sea, they show their age by the virtual symbionts with which they are encrusted.
Or in this case, some rather opinionated comments.
Some commenters find fault with these maps: Exactly what information do they display? It is not population density, so much as population distribution that is shown. From either of these infographics alone, the precise locations of the densely inhabited centres of the world are not readily deducable.
But I side with those who fall for the abstract beauty of these graphs. Divorced from direct geographical (let alone historical and sociological) context, and further divided by longitude and latitude , they have an intriguing quality, inviting us to decode them all over again.
Let’s take the Pop by Lat graph, which shows us the distribution of the world's population per degree of latitude (i.e. north to south).
In spite of its huge imbalance, the Pop by Lat map still presents a unified image: a giant, if unevenly sloping mountain. The Pop by Long map shows a much less more diverse set of data. Perhaps not surprising, as the constant of climate is no longer a factor, rather than the accident of continentality (if that's a word).
Strange Maps #563
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Human Earthlings. Sorry, fellow primates (or mammals, vertebrates, animals, or carbon-based life-forms, depending on your willingness to include).
 Produced in 2008, based on data from 2000. That is quite a long time ago by now - come June 30th, the first eighth of this new century will have past. That is, if you count the start of the 21st century from 1 January 2000 instead of 2001 (oh, let's not get into that again). Anyways, with a growth rate of about 80 million a year, we passed the 7-billion mark late last year (the title was granted to Danica May Camacho, born in the Philippines on 31 October 2011). Despite official UN 'approval' of Danica's title, other claimants were born in Kaliningrad, the US, and India.
 Previous commenters have rightly remarked that on my trouble keeping east and west (and left and right) apart. This particular form of orientational dyslexia extends to longitude and latitude. I try to avoid the confusion by remembering that a person can be so-or-so many feet or metres long, and that this height is usually measured when the person is standing up. Longitude thus applies to the lines that are vertical on a standard map.
 or is that megalopoles? Or does that word describe megalomaniacs from Poland?
What makes an excellent educator?
- When it comes to educating, says Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, a brave failure is preferable to timid success.
- Fostering an environment where one isn't afraid to fail is tantamount to learning.
- Human beings are complicated and flawed. Working with those complications and flaws leads to true knowledge.
Drinking home alone in your underwear just might be what you need to be as relaxed as the Finnish.
- Päntsdrunk is the latest trend to come out of Scandinavia and it involves drinking alone at home.
- Finnish writer Miska Rantanen outlines the philosophy in his newest book titled: Pantsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation.
- Kalsarikänni is a word in Finnish that literally means "drinking at home and alone in your underwear."
We all know sleeping with your ex is a bad idea, or is it?
- In the first study of its kind, researchers have found sex with an ex didn't prevent people from getting over their relationship.
- Instead of feeling worse about their breakup after a hookup, the new singles who attempted sexual contact with their ex reported feeling better afterwards.
- The findings suggest that not every piece of relationship advice is to be taken at face value.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.