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Posts Tagged ‘Florida

“Wade tried to imagine Florida before the advent of man, but couldn’t. The landscape seemed too thoroughly colonized”*…

Island Walk, Naples, Florida

The state of Florida, in the United States, is bordered to the south, east, and west by the Atlantic Ocean, with a coastline of over two thousand kilometers in length, and is characterized by extensive areas of lakes, rivers, and ponds. Land booms during the early and mid-20th century resulted in the development of new communities and the expansion of low-density suburbia across many parts of the state, which frequently incorporated the abundant water resources, sometimes failing in their efforts.

Land-use trends throughout the state’s history have been directly influenced by the natural resources, geomorphology, and climate that exist within the state. Since 1900, Florida has seen substantial changes in land-use patterns and land cover due to significant increases in population and tourism, coincident with new development, facilitated by new railroads and highways, and inspired by an aggressive marketing campaign for new residents and visitors to come to the state…

By observing aerial images of these locations, it is possible to notice the different ways in which the urban layouts, lakes, and canals were developed and incorporated into the territorial planning of each city. Variables such as land use, the possibility of carrying out aquatic activities (such as fishing, swimming, and navigation), and the integration with other nearby navigable canals have shaped these water bodies alongside the land distribution, resulting in sinuous and winding patterns.

However, water resource management has not always been successful. Before the development of the area where the city of Cape Coral is located, in the southwest of the state, water was widely distributed on the surface and in shallow aquifers. According to Hubert Stroud, professor of geography at Arkansas State University, these resources degraded as soon as the Cape Coral developers began subdivision operations. According to Stroud, the layout, design, and construction techniques were particularly devastating for the water resources. Instead of using phased development, the area was dredged, filled, and segmented long before it was occupied. The resulting gridiron pattern of roads is interrupted by occasional sinuous canals…

Florida is a state marked by a large number of water resources, whether on the coast or inland, on the surface or underground, and many cities and communities have considered them to be key elements in urban planning, exploring their most diverse potentials. The alliance between planned cities and water resources in Florida not only reveals the curious patterns of roads and canals, seen in aerial photographs, but also the complex relationship between water and land in the context of the city, showing that water is more than just a resource for landscaping or aesthetics, it is a fundamental element in urban infrastructure…

Cape Coral, Florida

A history of Florida’s love affair with the water (with lots of mesmerizing aerial photos): “Urban Planning and Water Bodies: Florida’s Aquatic Land Cover.”

* Douglas Coupland, All Families are Psychotic

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As we try to bend nature to our will, we might recall that it was on this date in 2005 that the “I’m Going to Disney World” commercial featuring a player (usually the MVP) on the winning team, did not air at the end of the Superbowl telecast.

The commercial has aired after every Super Bowl since 1987, except for one. In 2005, the commercial did not air, though the reason for the absence is still unclear. The NFL was still reeling from Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in 2004, and may have been leery of any advertising relying on spontaneity. Disney may have also felt that the campaign was losing its effectiveness after 19 years.

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In any case, it returned the following year and (largely) runs still… it did not run in 2016, at Superbowl LX, but Peyton Manning went to Disneyland to celebrate anyway.

Written by LW

February 6, 2021 at 1:01 am

“To an artist a metaphor is as real as a dollar”*…

 

Florida attarctions

 

Before a certain mouse took over Orlando, Florida was already home to a slew of delightfully bizarre tourist attractions. You could meet menacing pirates and hoop skirt-clad Southern Belles. Or visit the circus every day. Or watch an 80-year-old man break a world record as he waterskied barefoot in a banana-yellow jumpsuit…

How did the Sunshine State use to attract tourists? Circus animals, water ski shows and a half-mile replica of the Great Wall of China: “Let’s revisit Florida’s bizarre lost theme parks from before the Disney era.”

* Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

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As we pull over to investigate, we might recall that it was on this date in 1513 that Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who had become the Governor of Puerto Rico and Hispanola, but who believed there to be land further west, first set eyes on what he first believed was another island, which he claimed for Spain and named “Florida”… the name by which we know it still.  Legend has it that Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth; while there is no contemporary evidence that that’s true, it does seem resonant with Florida’s history thereafter…

240px-Juan_Ponce_de_León source

 

“Behold, I will smite all your territory with frogs”*…

 

In South Florida, cane toads are so numerous that they seem to be dropping from the sky. They’re overtaking parking lots and backyards, can weigh almost six pounds, and pack enough poison to kill pets. Why the surge?…

Find out at “Frogpocalypse Now.”

* God, giving Moses a message for the Pharaoh (Exodus 8:2)

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As we hop out of the way, we might recall that it was on this date in 1513 that Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon came ashore and claimed “La Florida” [the “land of flowers”] for Spain.  While it has long been accepted that de Leon landed with his three caravels near St. Augustine and became the first European of record to see the peninsula, scholars have recently challenged details of that historical account, suggesting that he actually beached near Melbourne.

Juan Ponce de Leon is commemorated on a stamp in Spain, left, while St. Augustine residents in 1923 re-enact his landing, right.

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Written by LW

April 2, 2017 at 1:01 am

Not-So-Superman…

 

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 4h

Florida Man Flees After Trying To Break Into Truck; Leaves Crocs At Scene, Pisses Pants | http://buff.ly/17foFnk 

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 20h

Florida Man Broke Into Woman’s Home, Took iPad Photos Of Himself With Her Underwear On His Head | http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2013/jun/25/deputies-burglar-left-love-notes-photos-underwear/ …

Florida Man Florida Man@_FloridaMan 25 Jun

Police Find Florida Man Naked, Revving Motorbike In Front Yard | http://feedly.com/k/18dEvBR

A Twitter feed of headlines from Sunshine State newspapers recounting the exploits of “the world’s worst superhero”…

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As we whistle Sewanee, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that 18,187 spectators at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas saw Evander Holyfield jump, scream, and and move away, bleeding, from his opponent, Mike Tyson in the third round of their fight.  In a move that anticipated the coming craze for zombie stories (and in a posture that presaged vampire movies to come), Tyson had bit Holyfield in the ear…  Tyson was disqualified from the match and suspended from boxing.

 source

 

Written by LW

June 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

“Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance”*…

 

Florida is, famously, a “Stand Your Ground” state.  That ground is getting steadily dicier…

First spotted on the peninsula in 2011, Giant African Land Snails (Achatina achatina, AKA “giant Ghana snail” and “giant tiger land snail”) have taken hold in The Sunshine State, and are causing massive agricultural and social problems. Hugely destructive to crops, the creatures themselves are dangerous, in that they are able to gnaw through stucco and plastics, will eat almost any organic material, and have shells hard enough to pop tires on the freeway (and become shrapnel when run over by lawnmowers).  Believed to have migrated from Caribbean islands, over a thousand are caught each week in Miami-Dade County; and their numbers are growing as more come out of hibernation.  Oh, and they also carry a form of rat lungworm which can cause meningitis in humans, although no human cases have been reported as yet.

[TotH to Slashdot; photo sourced here]

* Lewis Carroll, “The Mock Turtle’s Song” (AKA “Lobster Quadrille”) in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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As we watch our steps, we might send send creepy crawly birthday greetings to Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth FRS; he was born on this date in 1899.  Perhaps the most exquisitely-appropriately named entomologist of all time, Wigglesworth pioneered in the study of insect physiology; indeed, his Insect Physiology (1934) is often considered the foundation for this branch of entomology.  Wigglesworth’s demonstration of the complexity of individual insects and their dynamic relationships with their environments paved the way for using insects – instead of mice or other laboratory animals – for some fundamental investigation of animal physiology and function.

 source

 

Written by LW

April 17, 2013 at 1:01 am

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