Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Cultural History of the World

This fascinating video maps the birth and death locations of 100,000 notable people throughout history. The data shows how people migrate through the centuries--how in the 18th century people were born in England and died in America but by the 19th century migration had shifted and people were being born on the east coast and dying on the west coast.

I've made it sound terribly boring, but it's really quite interesting. So many stories are represented in those dots and lines--the lives lived and the families relocated and the journeys across the ocean. Take a look!

Screenshot of the video

Friday, July 18, 2014

Make art, not war

National Geographic has announced the winners of their drone photography contest.  And man, I got a burst of adrenaline just looking at some of them and imagining how high up the drones are..

Manila people shot from drone photography competition
This photo only won second place, but I love it the most because of how it captures the reactions of the onlookers.  (And because the photographer/drone operator is in the photo!  See, at the top?)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Are you stressed?

Check out this fascinating NPR study about the factors that cause stress and the distribution of stress across age and income brackets.

The two things that stood out most to me:

--Young people have a LOT of friend drama compared to the older age brackets.  Apparently when you hit 30 you either become very mature, or you just don't have any friends anymore.

--Dissatisfaction with how one looks appears to be related to some kind of mid-life crisis--the younger and older age brackets experienced less stress related to their appearance than the middle age brackets did. Dissatisfaction with appearance as a source of stress peaked among 40-49 year olds, which I actually found pretty surprising. (I had assumed the 20-somethings--with their insecurities and their slowing metabolisms--would carry this category.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sports watch

Two highly recommended sports-related articles today that really have nothing to do with sports:

In this delightfully snooty article, the British analyze why Americans have been chanting "I believe that we will win" during the Wold Cup.  Their conclusion? "In other words--Americans are too ignorant to know any better."  (Now might be a good time to remind the British that although our FIFA run has ended, it lasted longer than theirs.)  (BBC)

Behind the scenes (or more accurately, overnight) at Wimbledon. How a Rufus the hawk keeps order at Wimbledon (and the pigeons away). (The Washington Post)