(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘place names

“The art of giving the same name to different things”*…

If we hear someone mention “Philadelphia,” how are we to know to which city of that name they refer? The Pudding has a handy, data-driven (though, as they confess, still a bit subjective) guide that covers every duplicated place name in the U.S.: “We calculated what place someone is most likely referring to, depending on where they are”…

Use their interactive tool yourself: “A Map of Places in the US with the Same Name,” from @puddingviz.

* Henri Poincare (on mathematics)


As we disambiguate, we might recall that it was on this date in 1718 that a city with no competition for its name (per The Pudding) was born: New Orleans was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, on behalf of the French Mississippi Company. Le Moyne named it for Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, the regent of the Kingdom of France at the time (and by extension for the French city of Orléans, the seat of Philippe’s title).

In fact, the land was already occupied by the Chitimacha, who had been in the the Mississippi River Delta area for thousands of years. Prior to European expeditions to North America, they had numbered roughly 20,000. Although the Chitimacha had virtually no direct contact with Europeans for two more centuries, they suffered Eurasian infectious diseases (main among them: measles, smallpox, and typhoid fever) contracted from other natives who had traded with them. Like other Native Americans, the Chitimacha had no immunity to these new diseases and suffered high fatalities in epidemics. By 1700, when the French began to colonize the Mississippi River Valley, the number of Chitimacha had been dramatically reduced– to about 700 people.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 7, 2023 at 1:00 am

“What’s in a name?”*…



The occurrence of place names that contain the word “Swamp”


The concentrations of water toponyms in the United States: see similar visualizations of place names that contain “River,” Spring, “Lake,” and “Pond” at “Lake, River, Spring, Pond, Bay and Swamp.”

* Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)


As we call ’em as we see ’em, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath was published.   The story of the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, agricultural industry changes, and bank foreclosures forcing tenant farmers out of work.  Fleeing the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out, with thousands of other “Okies,” for California, seeking jobs, land, dignity, and a future.

200px-JohnSteinbeck_TheGrapesOfWrath source


Written by (Roughly) Daily

April 14, 2019 at 1:01 am

“The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness”*…


A new Instagram account by Australian artist Damien Rudd, @sadtopographies, is collecting Google Map screenshots of the world’s grimmest-sounding places, which makes for an excellent collection of weird travel destinations.

Read more at “This Instagram account collects the saddest-sounding places on Earth“; then take the tour on Rudd’s Instagram feed.

* Carl Jung


As we pack extra tissues, we might spare a thought for Lucas Cranach the Elder; he dies on this date in 1553.  A German Renaissance painter and printmaker, he was court painter to the Electors of Saxony and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation (including his close friend, Martin Luther)…. though, as evidenced below, he treated more secular subjects as well.  The most successful German artist of his time, he operated a large workshop, which continued after his death under the guidance of his sone, son Lucas Cranach the Younger.

Cranach’s “The Ill-Matched Couple”



Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 16, 2015 at 1:01 am

A rose by any other name…


 click here for full size

From Geotastic, “Vaguely Rude Place Names of the World.”


As book our next vacations, we might recall that it was on this date in 1980 that Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” beat out Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland,” Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” and Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” to win the first– and only– “Best Disco Recording” Grammy ever awarded.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 27, 2013 at 1:01 am

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