from the world's big
Minnesota earned its 'blue mark' in the 1975 Morris earthquake, which had its epicenter in the western part of the state.
- Californians, want to run away from the Big One? Head for Minnesota.
- As this map shows, the Gopher State is the least likely to be hit by earthquakes.
- Choose your new home wisely, though: even Minnesota has one earthquake-sensitive spot.
Not if, but when<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjc3NTAwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Mjk4ODI3MX0.5T33e183P6FCkKaF2OeYN87pJSgKMnbuFmjS68p3TJQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="9893f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2dee8c6a6ec7c73c705d45b067c3113e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The Long Beach earthquake hit on 10 March 1933 with an estimated magnitude of 6.25 on the Richter scale." />
The Long Beach earthquake hit on 10 March 1933 with an estimated magnitude of 6.25 on the Richter scale.
Image: Nathan Callahan, CC BY 2.0<p>It's not if, but when: Californians live with the certainty that someday, <a href="https://the-big-one.scpr.org/stories/" target="_blank">the Big One will hit</a>. </p><p>The Big One is an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 7.8 on the Richter scale. Because of the plate tectonics at work under California, big quakes like that hit the area every 45 to 230 years. </p><p>The last one was more than 160 years ago. That's why paleoseismologist Kerry Sieh says the next one is likely to happen "within the lifetime of children in primary school today."</p><p>Here's how the United States Geological Survey (USGS) rates the hazard of a major earthquake in California in the next 30 years: </p><ul><li>60% chance of a 6.7-magnitude quake.</li><li>46% chance of a 7.0-magnitude quake.</li><li>31% chance of a 7.5-magnitude quake.</li></ul>It should be noted that the Richter scale is logarithmic in nature, meaning that a one-point increase in magnitude (e.g. from 6.7 to 7.7) represents a tenfold increase in amplitude. So, the Big One will be considerably stronger than the highest-magnitude quake considered by the USGS. When it hits, the Big One is likely to kill hundreds, hurt thousands and displace many more. It will cause widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure and start hundreds of fires. How do you put as much distance as possible between yourself and that apocalyptic prospect? Start with this earthquake hazard map.
Hazard everywhere<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjc3NTAxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzOTEzMzk1Nn0.ObHDJkYWtqif-bPnp0kqLqc30qZRiuDewFxCUdhCG1o/img.jpg?width=980" id="c0031" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d46c7b8f9cf4db06eba76166982b9271" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The earthquake hazard map of the United States." />
The earthquake hazard map of the United States.
Image: USGS, public domain<p>The Pacific coast is purple: the highest hazard. The entire west is shaded in colors denoting declining hazard. Only relatively small parts of the country are covered by the zone of lowest hazard:</p><ul><li>central and southern Texas;</li><li>most of Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North Dakota;</li><li>sizable chunks of Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, and South Dakota;</li><li>and tiny bits of Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia. </li></ul><p>One state seems hazard-free, but that's only until you notice the blue spot in Minnesota's western bulge. </p><p>So, what do these colors actually denote? Earthquake hazard maps show the potential shaking hazard from future earthquakes. <br></p><p>The USGS defines earthquake hazard as the probability of ground motion over 50 years. That probability is determined by a region's geology and earthquake history. </p><p>The location of fault lines alone is not enough to determine quake hazard: a large earthquake can produce tremors at a relatively large distance from the actual fault line. </p><p>The colors on this earthquake hazard map correspond to <a href="http://www.isatsb.com/Seismic-Design-Category.php" target="_blank">Seismic Design Categories</a> (SDCs), which reflect the likelihood of seismic activity leading to ground motion of various intensities. <br></p>
Seismic resistance<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjc3NTAxOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNTk4MjU5N30.52qb_X6Mu7xus-lfXgBWxAr8Ib8ogRfnjJ8H_lohMsM/img.jpg?width=980" id="5f182" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="45ec9a1e5c056a2f8e5949aba7b15355" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Damage caused by the 6.0-magnitude Napa County earthquake of 24 August 2014" />
Damage caused by the 6.0-magnitude Napa County earthquake of 24 August 2014.
Image: Matthew Keys, CC BY-SA 4.0<p>These SDCs are used to determine the level of seismic resistance required in building design and building codes. </p><ul><li>SDC level A (grey): Very small probability of experiencing damaging earthquake effects. </li><li>SDC level B (blue): Moderate-intensity shaking possible. Such shaking will be felt by all. Many will be frightened. Some furniture will be moved and some plaster will fall. Overall damage will be slight. </li><li>SDC level C (green): Strong shaking possible. Damage will be negligible in well-designed and well-constructed buildings; considerable in poorly-built structures.</li><li>SDC levels D0 (yellow), D1 (orange) and D2 (red): Very strong shaking possible. Damage will be slight in specially designed structures; considerable in ordinary substantial buildings, with partial collapse; and great in poorly built structures.</li><li>SDC level E (purple): This is near major active faults capable of producing the most intense shaking. Even in specially designed structures, the damage will be considerable. The shaking is intense enough to completely destroy buildings.</li></ul>
The Morris quake<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjc3NTAzMS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODIyNTczN30.OYlo64hJTvr6DF6aIeDdRtVIRmLRLl6n33B-a6hsKoc/img.png?width=980" id="bf33a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="77ca44f7b8150aa88574327c2f920029" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Morris quake, Stevens county, Minnesota" />
Minnesota earned its blue spot in 1975.
Image: USGS, public domain<p>This earthquake hazard map is not a snapshot of the past, but an evolving prediction of the future. The map is adapted as geological knowledge increases. But it is also partly based on past events – or more precisely the likelihood of their recurrence. </p><p>Minnesota earned its blue spot from the 1975 Morris earthquake. With its epicenter in Stevens County, it struck at around 10 am on July 9th of that year and had a magnitude of 4.6. It was the first seismic event recorded in the state since the Staples quake of 1917, and it was felt as far afield as the eastern Dakotas and northern Iowa. <br></p><p>Near the epicenter, plaster cracked and pictures fell off walls. In the town of Morris, two homes suffered damage to their foundations. Not quite California-sized, but for lack of comparison, probably Big Enough for the locals. </p>
Trump's Middle East peace plan contains the first map of a Palestinian state that 'Israel can live with'.
- Trump's Middle East plan is the first U.S. proposal to contain a map of a two-state solution.
- Considering Israel's close involvement, this map represents a Palestine 'Israel can live with'.
- But Palestinians are unlikely to agree to give up East Jerusalem—or much else.
Caught between a napkin and a conspiracy<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjYyODkxNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODYxOTM3OH0.Tjx1_ay50MGY0NsaBX0WHDt61QO4t1TJYk7Fke8wYKo/img.jpg?width=980" id="d6a9f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a263ef36a4a3f501488ac104f733a67d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Detail of the Conceptual Map for a Palestinian state, proposed by U.S. president Donald Trump." />
The Palestinians' only gain: two zones ceded by Israel in the southern desert, one for 'high-tech manufacturing', the other for 'residential and agricultural' purposes.
Image: The White House<p>"I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale," fulminated Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in a televised speech from Ramallah. "Your (…) conspiracy will not pass."</p><p><span></span>Meeting with such fury from one of the two parties it aims to reconcile, Trump's Peace Plan, proposed in Washington DC with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance, is unlikely to succeed. </p><p><span></span>But there is one major difference between this and all previous U.S. proposals to resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians: it contains a map. And even if the Trump plan will follow all its predecessors into the dustbin of history, the map remains a significant first. </p><p><span></span>Never before has a U.S. administration officially proposed borders for a Palestinian state. Considering the close political concertation between the U.S. and Israel—its main ally in the region—it is safe to assume that those borders have been seen and approved by the Israeli side. Which would also be a first. Not that no borders haven't ever been proposed, but they have never been published. </p><p>The <em>Jerusalem Post</em> <a href="https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/This-peace-plan-comes-with-a-map-why-is-this-significant-analysis-615692" target="_blank">cites</a> the example of Ehud Olmert, when he was prime minister of Israel in 2008, showing Palestinian president Abbas a map during a private meeting. It showed Israel retreating from 94% of the West Bank (i.e. almost to the 1967 border), excepting some large settlement blocks. As an equivalent of the remaining 6%, land inside Israel was offered. Israel would also withdraw from East Jerusalem; the Temple Mount and the Old City would be placed under international control. </p><p>Due to the sensitive nature of Olmert's plan—surely too generous for hardliners on the Israeli side—the Israeli PM did not want to hand over the map to Abbas, who sketched it onto a napkin after the meeting. The 'napkin map' became public in 2013.<br></p>
Conceptual map<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjYyODkzMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NTYwNzIyMn0.5vRmcttnMGjZIYKZ8bfhkmxzT5AoBHdFGJocDLmuQPQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="f3e37" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="20f94aa32c362584b4f42d3312545fd4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The conceptual map for a Palestinian state, proposed by U.S. president Donald Trump." />
Under the Trump plan, Israel cedes 70% of the West Bank to the Palestinian state.
Image: The White House<p>The 'Conceptual Map' in Trump's plan is the first one ever published officially by the American (and/or Israeli) side. It is less generous than the Olmert plan:</p><ul><li>Under the Trump plan, Israel cedes 70% of the <strong>West Bank</strong> to the Palestinian state. The PLO countered that Trump's plan gives Palestinians control over just 15% of 'historical Palestine'.</li><li>The entirety of <strong>Jerusalem</strong> and its immediate surroundings remain under Israeli control. Jerusalem remains the undivided capital of Israel. Palestinians may establish a capital in the city's east.</li><li>Israel maintains territorial control over the <strong>Jordan River valley</strong>, cutting off Palestine from direct contact with Jordan. However, two roads and border crossings would offer access to Palestine's Arab neighbor to the east.</li><li>Large blocks of <strong>Israeli settlements</strong> are annexed to Israel, cutting into (and through) Palestinian territory, which, as the map indicates, would not be a contiguous zone, but consist of several large 'islands'. Trump nevertheless said the U.S. would "work to create a contiguous territory within the future Palestinian state."</li><li>The <strong>Gaza Strip</strong> remains remote from the rest of Palestinian territory, but would be connected to the West Bank via a tunnel running under Israeli territory.</li><li>Compensation for the loss of territory in the West Bank would be provided in the form of <strong>two blocks of desert territory</strong> on the border with Egypt, linked to Gaza via a thin strip of land.</li><li>Palestinian state would be granted access to <strong>seaport facilities</strong> in two Israeli port cities, Ashdod and Haifa.</li></ul><p>President Abbas's fury is understandable. This proposal turns Israel's occupation and takeover of large parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank into a <em>fait accompli</em>. But while the overall plan may fail, keep a good eye on this map. For the first time, it shows the extent of a Palestinian state that the Israeli state may feel comfortable living with. And that's an important step. Even if this may not be a state the Palestinians may feel comfortable living <em>in</em>.<br></p><p>Map found <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1222224528065155072" target="_blank">here</a> on Donald Trump's Twitter. <br></p><p>Strange Maps #1008</p><p><em>Got a strange map? Let me know at </em><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.</p>
Isogloss cartography shows diversity, richness, and humour of the French language
- Isogloss maps show what most cartography doesn't: the diversity of language.
- This baker's dozen charts the richness and humour of French.
- France is more than French alone: There's Breton and German, too – and more.
Don't fall off the va-gong<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMDIzMS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjE2MTE5OX0.OUjM3hthDW7Dqy4OkSfU4fRkCPXVXLGuFvuWUia4BFo/img.png?width=980" id="a9d03" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="64734fc3ba6dec79afd0efebcf4d7669" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>In both English and French, a 'wagon' is a vehicle – mainly horse-drawn in English, exclusively rail-bound in French. An English wagon is used for transporting goods, and occasionally people. A French wagon never carries people; that's a 'voiture'. </p><p><span></span>Although French seems to have a clearer idea of what a 'wagon' is supposed to be, it's in two minds on how to pronounce the word. In most of the Francophone world, the common practice is to say something like '<em>va-gong'</em> (in blue). In a much smaller part of the French language area - essentially, French-speaking Belgium – the popular pronunciation approximates '<em>wa-gong'</em> (in red). There's a narrow fifty-fifty zone just across the French border (in white).</p><p>French has a habit of dealing poorly with the "w" sound at the start of words, which are often Germanic loan words. It's produced English word pairs of similar origin with different shades of meaning, such as <em>guarantee</em> (a promise to assume responsibility for something) and <em>warranty</em> (a written, formal version of a guarantee); or <em>warden</em> (a keeper) and <em>guardian</em> (a protector).</p>
Shut the door already<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMDI0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNDgyMjM2OX0.qls9-JKaMC_qV7617_-WOQwqHMkm84FwphctUqz1SvM/img.jpg?width=980" id="54bd1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="946ac4cc2e034ad1799de53c8c77b2cb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>If you're an English-speaker who wants to express their deep admiration of a French-speaker, just say "Shut the door". That's close enough to <em>Je t'adore</em> ("I adore you"). If you want that French speaker to actually shut (and lock) the door, the options are a bit more varied.</p><ul><li>In most of France, the rather matter-of-fact request would be:<em> Fermez à clef</em>:<em> </em>"Close (the door) with the key".</li><li>In the Loire Valley, plus bits of Normandy and Artois, further north (in blue), you'd have to ask: <em>Barrez (la porte)</em>: "Bar the door". Which suggests that surviving the night depends on a firm obstacle to keep the bandits outs. Which may have been true, not that many centuries ago.</li><li>In the Lorraine area in the northeast and in most of Normandy, your best bet would be to ask: <em>Clenchez (la porte)</em>. In the Belgian province of Luxembourg, the variant is: <em>Clinchez (la porte)</em>. Sounds like an anglicism, and indeed, some dictionaries refer to this as an expression used in Québec.</li><li>In the départements of Aveyron and Lozère, you may have to ask: <em>Clavez (la porte)</em>. ('Claver' is related to 'clef', key), with smaller areas insisting on <em>crouillez, ticlez </em>or <em>cottez (la porte)</em>.</li></ul>
Sharpen your pencils<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMDI1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTIzMTUwOH0.wT2L6pcULGZ-CUTflszAAWslzXXltT9U-T87-XGhSE4/img.jpg?width=980" id="903bd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bf026d6c886a4e4fe26b8aa2f3407b20" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The humble pencil has more than half a dozen appelations across the French language area. In Belgium and the Alsace, it's a simple <em>crayon</em>. But in most of northern France, it's a <em>crayon de papier</em>, while in most of southern France, it's a subtly different <em>crayon à papier</em>; although there are pockets of <em>de/à</em> dissenters in both halves. Sprinkled across the rest of France (and Switzerland) are small islands, where the locals insist a pencil is a <em>crayon de bois</em>, or a <em>crayon papier</em>, or a <em>crayon gris</em>. </p><p>How did the same variant emerge in areas so far apart? Was perhaps the whole Francosphere once <em>crayon gris</em> territory, only for it to be beaten back to the periphery by newer, more aggressive strains of crayon? The smallest, most isolated island is the <em>crayon de mine</em> zone astride the Aisne and Marne departments. Beset on all sides by three other variants, it is only a matter of time before it falls to one of its besiegers – the question is, which one?</p>
Foot-fingers and lexical poverty<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMDkyMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDE0MjAzM30.XDNAwL1fbUeh7xohwY7o8ETt0897OXyOJIpNj319xJ8/img.jpg?width=980" id="16b6b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aab8f96dbb89ff2b77d31f9631301cbb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The French language is an excellent vehicle for complexity and subtlety, be it poetic or scientific. But it doesn't <em>have</em> to be. Take this map, which collects vernacular descriptions for 'toes'. </p><p>The information was collected in the 19th century – hence the non-inclusion of Brittany and Alsace, where the majority at that time still spoke Breton and German, respectively. Also note the white spot in the middle: this is Paris and environs. Of course, these locals speak <em>proper</em> French. No need to do any research here. </p><p>In most of France, the common word for toe is <em>orteil</em>. Which is the one still used today. One area, half in southern Belgium and half in northern France, insists on calling toes <em>doilles</em>. But in some areas, in the northeast and southwest especially, people use the descriptor <em>doigts de pied</em>, which literally translates as: 'foot-fingers'. It's a shocking indicator of lexical poverty. What did these people call their nose: 'face-finger'?</p>
Sixty-ten or seventy?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMjM1MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MTIxNjY0M30.g-h87Hn8gKlMj2annE173sEXxfBQWxe8339X3a6TscI/img.jpg?width=980" id="c835b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="24c4ce7b9074b43887ab3971e6cdc5da" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>French famously doesn't have a dedicated word for 'seventy'. Instead, the French use <em>soixante-dix</em> ('sixty-ten'). But that hasn't always been true - nor is it true everywhere. </p><p>As indicated by the red triangles on the map on the left, <em>septante</em> (or <em>setante</em>) was dominant in much of the southern, eastern and northern areas where French was spoken. Fast forward to now (map on the right), and modern education and media have done their work. </p><p>Both in France, where <em>soixante-dix</em> has won the battle, and in the Francophone parts of Belgium and Switzerland, where <em>septante</em> has retained its local dominance. The Belgians and Swiss also say <em>nonante</em> for ninety, by the way, while the French seem to think <em>quatre-vingt-dix</em> ('four times twenty plus ten') sounds better.</p>
Le Wite-Out or La Wite-Out?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMjYxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mzk1OTAzMn0.qpVY3vbvLazji0PnFG50e2renA3Krd6O-D6DFkAm03o/img.jpg?width=980" id="8dca0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1af7d21c9b5a09dd75394317c2ddd24a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>When writing was still mainly a matter of ink and paper, corrector fluid was the analog version of the backspace key. Americans may know it under the brand name Wite-Out. In the UK and Europe, the corresponding corporate designation was Tipp-Ex. And that's what Parisians, Belgians, Swiss and the inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine also call it.</p><p> A swathe of eastern France corresponding roughly with Burgundy calls it, simply, <em>blanc</em> ('white') – without the final -o that gives it the product a slightly exotic flourish in the rest of France. </p><p>The graph to the left of the map indicates the preferred terms in French Canada: mostly <em>Liquid-Paper</em> (another brand name), sometimes also its French translation <em>papier liquide</em>, and <em>Wite-Out</em> or, simply, <em>correcteur</em>.</p>
Pitcher perfect<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMzE2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5ODMyMTgxNn0.r9VPGfTTNKuUhSIo5v89nSHoLpwqbVlQiqh7_SGctMw/img.jpg?width=980" id="4b673" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e1753c66e9ae821dda4a3400db75a0da" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>It's a warm day, and/or the food itself is too hot. How do you ask your French waiter for a pitcher of water? This map will tell you. </p><p>In Paris, and various areas in the center and south of France: <em>un broc, s'il vous plaît</em>. In the northeast: <em>une chruche</em>. In the north and west: <em>un pichet</em>. In various parts of the south: <em>une carafe</em>. Or <em>un pot à eau</em>, if not <em>un pot d'eau</em>. In case you don't have this map handy: there's just one word for wine: <em>vin</em>.</p>
Case of the melting mitten<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMzIzOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzMxNjU0Mn0.fqKgDYI0hsUaUUU5rQNZbMIeP8tYZ2PQkET3GgNlaSw/img.jpg?width=980" id="822fc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e3e9022955278c9cd33ab2d9de1b9f18" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>'Mitten' is such a common English word that its foreign origin comes as a surprise. It is from the 14th-century French word <em>mitain</em>, for 'hand-covering, with only the thumb separated'. </p><p>While the word has flourished in English, it has melted away in its native France. The standard French term for 'mittens' these days is <em>moufles</em>. </p><p><em>Mitaines</em> survives as a regionalism, in the Charente region, the hinterland of the port city of La Rochelle; and in parts of Francophone Switzerland.</p>
Your pelouse or mine?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMzY5Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODIyNzE4Nn0.VQ0wd9s8BP1jK-i15THpl-MEDC6irXGTT6ej-D-EXno/img.jpg?width=980" id="92cd9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b7415140bb661219524d359cca92b32e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>France – and French – used to be characterised by a deep split between north and south. The north was the land of butter and beer, the south of olive oil and wine. In the north, in the past often referred to as 'Langue d'ouïl', the common way to say 'yes' was the current standard term, <em>oui</em>. In the south, today often stlll called 'Languedoc', the local version of 'yes' was <em>oc</em>. </p><p>While the edges of France's great north-south divide have softened, there are still traces to be found, in culture and language. Take for instance the pronunciation of <em>pelouse</em> ('lawn'). Northern French will have you believe the word is <em>p'louse</em> ('plooz'), while southern French will take the time to pronounce the entire word, as <em>peulouse</em> ('puh-looz').</p><p>It is possible that name for the Palouse, the region in the northwestern US, was provided by French trappers, impressed by its rolling grasslands. A more common French loanword for grasslands is, of course, <em>prairie</em>.</p>
France is not all French<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjUzMzc3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NTk5OTgwM30.cEIZM0stcTpoaYGUnrVuMTy0zUpOZem5jX3Vy5zVa14/img.jpg?width=980" id="3fb0f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3fa37da2d5f22716f8ae84144591ad06" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The French language is essential for France's understanding of itself as a nation, yet for much of its history, the nation was not contiguous with the language. Some parts of the French language area are (and mostly always have been) outside the French borders, notably in Belgium and Switzerland. French language and culture is also significantly present in Luxembourg, northern Italy and the Channel Islands. </p><p>Conversely, while most of France now speaks French as its first language, other languages have historic significance (and lingering presences today) at the nation's extremities: Flemish in the north, German in the northeast, Breton in the west and Basque in the southwest, to name the most familiar non-Romance ones. </p><p>What survives in daily use are local expressions, like these three Breton words. <em>Louzhou</em> is used at the very tip of the Breton peninsula as a synonym for 'herb, medicine'. <em>Kenavo</em> has a wider purchase, across three and a half departments, and means 'goodbye'. <em>Bigaille</em> is understood down to Nantes and beyond as slang for 'small change'.</p><p>As a conversational vehicle for daily life, German in Alsace and elsewhere in eastern France is moribund, if not already dead. But a bit of <em>Deutsch</em> survives nonetheless, for example in <em>Ca gehts?</em>, the curious local portmanteau for "How are you?" – composed equally of the French "Ca va?" and the German "Wie geht's?" Another Germanic survivor: the term "Schnapps". In the rest of France, it's called "Eau de vie" ("Water of life").</p>
Viral 'photo' is composite image, but other map shows true and growing size of devastation
- A viral photo shows Australia smoldering like a piece of charcoal about to ignite.
- The composite image shows all fires over an entire month, which is not the same as all fires raging at the same time.
- That's not to say the devastation isn't real, and growing–as proven by another map.
Bushfires from space<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjQ4NzAxMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTU4MDU4MH0.Ram9p_MTpAtmj39bg7ih4CbVBFJKeBUuep-Y3tlM91w/img.jpg?width=980" id="74106" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="69e7b49559346456ce91900951d11b08" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="\u200bYanderra bushfire" />
Police and firefighters near the scene of a bushfire in Yanderra, New South Wales, in late December 2019.
Image: Helitak430, CC BY-SA 4.0<p>How bad are the fires in Australia? They're huge, deadly and apocalyptic. But not quite <em>this</em> bad. This three-dimensional visualization of the bushfires Down Under is going viral, in part because it was 'miscaptioned' – to the horror of its creator, Anthony Hearsey.<br></p><p>The image purports to be a view on the country's bushfires from space. It shows Australia lit up all over, like a smoldering piece of charcoal about to ignite entirely. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And nothing illustrates more eloquently the devastating emergency of Australia's bushfires than this horrific map.<br></p>
Composite image<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjQ4NzAxMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTkxNTQ2N30.dnEC5638Kdt-l9_-xk0dyn2oMiM7PKtKW0LCDQt7G7U/img.jpg?width=980" id="c773a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="90eb6b4be153cb606af1119e2efddd1f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="3D composite image of bushfires in Australia 5 December 2019 to 5 January 2020." />
3D composite image of bushfires in Australia from 5 December 2019 to 5 January 2020.
Image: anthonyhearsey.com<p>However, this is not "a photo of Australian fires taken from the Space Station', as <a href="http://archive.ph/Rl11B" target="_blank">some would have it</a>. The truth is a bit more nuanced. </p><p>Yes, Mr Hearsey—a photography and post-production specialist—based his map of Australia on actual images from NASA satellites. But it's not a <em>single</em> image of fires raging at the same time; rather, it's a <em>composite</em> image, of all fires that have raged between 5 December 2019 and 5 January 2020. "This is NOT A PHOTO," Mr Hearsey says. "Think of it as a prettier-looking graph."</p><p>As a 'collection' of all the fires that raged within the limited time frame of a single month, the image remains a shocking enough indicator of the fiery emergency that Australia is facing at the moment. All the areas lit up have been affected by bushfires over the past month—but they are <em>not</em> all still burning. <br></p><p>Fact-checking website Snopes.com <a href="https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/australia-fires-iss-image/" target="_blank">referenced the image</a> under the heading <em>fauxtography</em>, providing the context that is lacking in the many other places that the picture is showing up: "Composite images created from multiple data inputs are often mistaken for literal photographs."</p>
The size of Denmark<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjQ4NzAxNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzAyMDg2MX0.CdbV-U-BqjKmaLR1RVdUv4-MXb9WXYc2Jukxng9xEbg/img.png?width=980" id="2dc3c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="136b47db172b240bb5a2165325dd9b5a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Burned area in Australia, squared and centered over London for comparison" />
3 January: if the bushfires had centered on London and burned in a neat square, they would have engulfed Cambridge, Oxford and Southampton.
Image: The Guardian<p>Here are two other maps that help put the Australian bushfires in a proper context. They both show the combined area burned by bushfires in the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Both are centered on London. </p><p>The first one dates from 3 January, at which time the affected area comprised 4.3 million hectares. That's 43,000 km2 (16,600 sq. mi.), which corresponds to a square that includes Oxford, Cambridge and Southampton and extends to the coast of Kent. For the less London-centric, that's an area about the size of Denmark, or slightly larger than Maryland. <br></p>
8.4 million hectares<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjQ4NzAxNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzM3MzEzOH0.Q5U9JnOexrlly47Ad7q5Ixec_MFTRqrJHYTAFpDgFNc/img.png?width=980" id="bf980" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="eba7a410a37b4f4104139a2d7e081101" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Burned area in Australia, squared and centered over London for comparison" />
6 January: The square has doubled in size, now also covering the north of France.
Image: The Guardian<p>The second one dates from 6 January, when the burned lands totaled 8.4 million hectares. That corresponds to 84,000 km2 (32,400 sq. mi.). In just a few days, the area devastated by fire has virtually doubled. The square has grown significantly, now encompassing England up to the Wash and well into the Midlands and covering a much larger part of the English Channel, up to and including a strip of northern France. That corresponds to about the size of Austria, or South Carolina. <br></p><p>The size of the affected area is monitored by <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2019/dec/07/how-big-are-the-fires-burning-on-the-east-coast-of-australia-interactive-map" target="_blank">this map</a> at <em>The Guardian</em>. Sadly, there seems little doubt that the square will continue to grow, covering an ever greater area of the UK and France. The map is interactive: It allows you to zoom out and recenter the square over any part of the world you may be more familiar with, to—literally—bring home the size of Australia's trial by fire. </p>
European Word Translator: a simple idea adds a cartographic flourish to Google's online translation service
- Google lets you translate text into one language at a time.
- This translator shows you one word in all languages – on one handy map.
- It's simple, instructive, and fun (a.k.a. móka, Spaß and zábava).
Whose booze?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjIxMzAxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzYwMzQ2NX0.bmYgJmSMN5YtXIAZW5v3X-4z2jYanFL6OhVwiTIAPGs/img.png?width=980" id="ed138" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="65c530cece8c45e35a3807b4e65a69f1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The European Word Translator by James Trimble" />
Translate English into all European languages, one word at a time.
Image courtesy of James Trimble<p>The optimist expects the best, the pessimist fears the worst, the realist is prepared for all eventualities. So here's what you do when that bus full of tourists from all over Europe breaks down just outside your door, not speaking a word of English between them. </p><p>You whip out James Trimble's fantastic European Word Translator, which instantly translates English words (one or two at a time) into all major European languages – with the result conveniently placed on a map. </p><p>If you want to ask them whether they are <em>hungry</em>, in an instant you can see that translates to <em>affamato</em> in Italian, <em>głodny</em> in Polish, <em>nälkäinen</em> in Finnish, and so on. The tool is not perfect: <em>faim</em> is French for 'hunger' rather than for 'hungry'; but that's because the French express the sentiment of a grumbling, empty stomach as '(having) hunger', i.e. 'avoir faim'.</p><p>Also: no help in pronouncing the words, and it would help if you could read the Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. But other than that... <br></p>
Euro-versal words<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjIxMzAxNy9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjc5NTEyOH0.RzltU2YDIumXKRmhlBPbLG9_UJbWWdpRw11uDGYT9yU/img.png?width=980" id="e4031" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9d5ff3c0bae1bafc137c4db16bb73276" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The European Word Translator by James Trimble" />
Some words are near-universal in Europe.
Image courtesy of James Trimble<p>The word translations are the standard ones generated by Google Translate, but it's interesting to see all of them together on a map. For one, because it shows how closely related some languages are. <em>Hongerig</em> in Dutch is close enough to <em>hungrig</em> in Swedish not to need translating. Polish 'hungry' is cognate with the word in most other Slavic languages. </p><p>But the map also shows how far apart such basic words can be, especially if we consider smaller and/or isolated languages. The hard Irish word for hunger, <em>ocras,</em> sounds much harsher than the soft Basque <em>gose</em>. The long-winded Greek lament (<em>peinasmenos</em>) is opposed by <em>aç</em>, the single-syllabled call to action of Turkish. </p><p>And then there's just plain weirdness. The Romanian word for hunger, <em>flămând,</em> also is the French word for 'Flemish'. <br></p>
Hours of móka<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjIxMzAxNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MDU0Njc5MX0.I4jMmdSXJwHVJF7p6QPsHyIeLWosOfFHXw6h2Xfvbyg/img.png?width=980" id="97abe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e1ed488d61bb4b14d35b8b1e0a4ae681" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The European Word Translator by James Trimble" />
Repetition of the English word followed by an asterisk means Google Translate doesn't have that word in that particular language. Either that, or Basques and Slovenes have no word for fun.
Image courtesy of James Trimble<p>In contrast, some words have managed to inveigle themselves into almost all languages on the map, and have become almost universal, or at least Euro-versal. Go on, ask if your unexpected guests would like a <em>banana</em>. Or if you can order them a <em>taxi</em>. </p><p>While they're waiting to leave, you could see if you have any good intentions in common for the New Year. Like lay off the <em>booze</em> – sprut in Danish, <em>girtauti</em> in Lithuanian and, winningly <em>cwrw</em> in Welsh. Or take up <em>jogging</em>. That's <em>skokk</em> in Icelandic, <em>hölkkä</em> in Finnish and <em>jogging</em> in most other European languages. In Albanian, it's <em>vrapim me ecje të shuar</em> – just saying it gets one out of breath. Whichever your intentions for 2020 are, they'll probably be over <em>soon</em>: <em>aviat</em> in Catalonian, or <em>drīz</em> as the Estonians say.<br></p><p>Mr. Trimble's word translator is a simple adaptation of a widely available service, but it offers a lot of insight into the richness of Europe's linguistic variety. Not to mention hours of <em>fun</em>. (<em>móka</em> in Hungary, <em>Spaß</em> in Germany, <em>zábava</em> in Slovakia…)<br></p>