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Posts Tagged ‘states

“In a flat country a hillock thinks itself a mountain”*…

In 2003, the Annals of Improbable Research released the results of a study that was not so much groundbreaking as it was ground-battering: Kansas, the tongue-in-cheek analysis found, was flatter than a pancake. The researchers Mark Fonstad, William Pugatch, and Brandon Vogt used polynomial equations to calculate the flatness of the famously flat state, and discovered that—as compared to the topography of an IHOP pancake—it was indeed flatter than a flapjack.

Their finding was not incorrect. Parts of Kansas are, in fact, flatter than a pancake! But the study’s focus on Kanas, it turns out, was also misleading. Because there are states—six of them, to be specific—that are even flatter than Kansas. The states flatter than a pancake, you could say, could be served in a short stack.

This latest flatness finding comes courtesy of geographers at the University of Kansas, who just published a paper, “The Flatness of U.S. States,” inGeographical Review, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Geographical Society…

The top 10 flattest states, per their results? [Results charted on the map above differ as they reflect a slightly different analysis; c.f., the link below.]

Florida

Illinois

North Dakota

Louisiana

Minnesota

Delaware

Kansas

Texas

Nevada

Indiana

Get level at “Science: Several U.S. States, Led by Florida, Are Flatter Than a Pancake.”

* Turkish proverb

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As we reach for the maple syrup, we might send lofty birthday greetings to Albert William Stevens; he was born on this date in 1886.  An career officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Stevens was a pioneering balloonist and aerial photographer who took the first photograph clearly showing the Earth’s curvature (1930) and the first photographs of the Moon’s shadow on the Earth during a solar eclipse (1932).  In 1935 Stevens and a colleague made a record balloon ascent near Rapid City, South Dakota.  20,000 watched– and millions listened to a live NBC broadcast– as their sealed gondola, Explorer II, climbed to 72,395 feet, nearly 14 miles, a record that stood until 1956.

 source

Written by LW

March 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

“Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out”*…

 

 click here for larger image

Using IMDb‘s ratings of popular films, a Reddit user, Jakubisko, made a map that identifies the most popular movies of each state in America. California thus becomes Pulp Fiction, Florida Scarface, Colorado Psycho or New-York The Godfather. Mainly all the motion pictures named in the map are American movies [in] which plot takes place in America…

Read more at Konbini… and then check out the top-rated films on IMDb set and shot in each European country.

* Martin Scorsese

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As take our truth at 24 frames per second, we might recall that it was on this date in 1887 that Harvey Wilcox officially registered Hollywood with the Los Angeles County recorder’s office.  Harvey and his wife had recently moved from Topeka, where he’d made a fortune in real estate. They bought 160 acres of land in the Cahuenga Valley, in the foothills just of the city of Los Angeles, on what had been a sleepy settlement founded in 1781 as El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Poricuncula,

The Wilcoxes, prohibitionists, dreamt of founding a community of devout– and abstemious– Christians; by 1900, the community numbered 500.  But the city of Los Angeles, fueled first by the Southern Pacific Railroad, then the Sante Fe, had grown to 10,000.  By 1910, L.A. had used the promise of water (Hollywood had precious little) to lure the smaller community into annexation… after which the fledgling motion picture business began to grow explosively… and Harvey Wilcox’s dream of a sober, conservative religious community faded.

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Written by LW

February 1, 2014 at 1:01 am

“Life is a desire, not a meaning”*…

 larger version here

Mashable created a map of what each state wants (according to Google’s Autocomplete).

The resulting map reads like a list of New Year’s resolutions made by Civil War veterans. Did you know, for example, that more than anything, Wyoming evidently wants an aircraft carrier? Are you close enough to Wisconsin that residents revealed their secret wish to be called “The Mitten State?” Who could forget existential Florida, whose only desire is simply “to know.”

Check out the map below and see what Google thinks your state wants most. If your state happens to be blank, it’s because Google says it doesn’t want anything, which has to count for something, right?

Mashable’s map was inspired by the somewhat more existential work of of Tumblr user Gaysquib, who used Google’s auto-complete to determine what each state is

 larger version here

* Charlie Chaplin

[Update:  here is Europe autocompleted; and here is the Middle East and Asia]

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As we deliberate on desire, we might recall that it was on this date in 1964 that the Beatles occupied the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, when “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached #1.  It had already ascended to the pinnacle of the British charts:  indeed, with advance orders exceeding one million copies in the U.K., “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would ordinarily have hit the top of the British record charts on its day of release (November 29, 1963), but it was blocked for two weeks by the group’s first million-seller, “She Loves You.”  The release order was reversed in the U.S.: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” held the number one spot for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You.”  It remained on the U.S. charts for a total of fifteen weeks, and became the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide.

 source

Written by LW

January 25, 2014 at 1:01 am

Re-building America…

 

A map puzzle that should be simple (for U.S. readers, at least), but may be even more chastening than last Thursday’s

 

Click here to play on Jim’s Pages.

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As we get our bearings, we might recall that it was on this day in 1845 that a majority of the citizens of the independent Republic of Texas approved a proposed constitution, that when accepted by the U.S. Congress and approved by President James Polk later that year, made Texas the 28th puzzle piece– that is, the 28th American state.

The Annexation of Texas to the Union, by Donald M. Yena, 1986. Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

source

 

Written by LW

October 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

One is what one eats…

 

Kelly Pratt loves sandwiches…

I’ve set out to make the sandwich for each of the 50 states as a fun way to work on my photography and design skills. It will be quite a delicious journey across the US. Before I make each sandwich I do research on the Internet, call local sandwich shops, ask foodies on twitter and check out a few books to be sure I do my best to properly represent a state.

The result…

For instance…

I may have grown up on the east coast but I was brought up with mid-western values. My mom was born and raised in Minnesota so it was only fitting to make the fried walleye sandwich on Mother’s Day — complete with a virtual bite!

My interest in cooking is a direct reflection of my mom. Although I was convinced everything I ate growing up was chicken, I can assure it was likely a tender leg of lamb [an Ann Hughes specialty] or perfectly grilled flank steak. And no matter what day it was, all four of us sat down and ate a candlelight dinner as a family.

Before I moved to Chicago, I was working with my parents and lucky enough to eat lunch with them every day. Now my mom and I are always quick to share our latest and greatest recipes with each other so we don’t miss out!

According to my mother, fish is meant to be fried on Fridays (I hope Minnesotans can forgive me for making their sandwich on a Sunday). When I told her I was using crushed up saltines to coat the fish she was reassured of the sandwich’s authenticity…

Gorge on geography at Stately Sandwiches.

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As we ask for extra mayo, we might– of might not– recall that it was on this date in 1987 that the Harmonic Convergence began. Foretold by José Argüelles (based on a reading of ancient Mayan texts), the Convergence was the world’s “first synchronized meditation.”

 source (and larger image)

The belief was that if 144,000 people assembled at “power centers” (like Mt. Fuji and Chaco Canyon) and meditated for peace, the arrival of the new era would be facilitated.

 source

In the event, it appears that Doonesbury may have nailed it when the strip described the event as  a “moronic convergence…sort of a national fruit loops day, lots of wind chimes…”

Written by LW

August 16, 2012 at 1:01 am

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