Wednesday, January 28, 2015

100 Years of National Geographic Maps

National Geographic's cartographic department celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year and has seen a lot of political changes and shifting borders during that century. Their cartographers have produced 438 supplement maps, ten world atlases, dozens of globes, about 3,000 maps for the magazine, and many maps in digital form.

More National Geographic Maps


Grand Birdapest Hotel

Lithuanian marketing and communications agency Clinic 212 their own handmade miniature Grand Budapest Hotel for the birds of Vilnius. The finished creation has three rooms and took a few nights of work to complete.

More: Feel Desain


Brunch City

This project by Andrea G. Portoles and Be a Crespo illustrates how yummy cities can be by placing tiny iconic architecture of a city atop a food that best represents it.




More: Foodiggity

5 Ways NOT To Handle A Nasty Facebook Breakup

Don't post your relationship drama on Facebook. It can only end badly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Man Gets Stabbed, Takes 50 Years To Die

Antonio Ciccarello, a retired porter, died in September at the age of 97. On the surface there is nothing remarkable about a man his age dying but an autopsy concluded Mr. Ciccarello's death was a homicide.  More than a half century earlier he was stabbed on the way to work.  The medical examiner connected Ciccarello's death from complications from a bowel obstruction to an earlier hernia and that hernia to the stabbing.

It's unlikely that a police investigation is forthcoming.

More: CBC Radio

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pollution In China

Rapid and uncontrolled industrial growth in China has created an environmental disaster. Air pollution in parts of the country can be 20 times worse than the recommended safe norm, algae chokes China’s lakes and waterways and chemicals turn the water blood red.

Boy Tries To Avoid Scattered Rubbish Floating On A Flooded Street
In Shantou, Guangdong Province
Image credit: Reuters

Boy Swims In Algae-filled Water, Qingdao, Shandong
Image credit: Reuters

Girl Walks Through Smog In Beijing, Where Small-Particle Pollution
Is 40 Times Higher Than International Safety Standards
Image credit: Kyodo News
I've considered a trip to China but am reluctant to visit a country that places economic growth ahead of environmental protection.

More photos: DeMilked


Pretending Spring Is On The Way

So long poinsettias. Hello tulips!

Arrowhead Teardrop Car

This darling little car looks just like the product it was designed to sell: a drop of spring water.

“In 1936, The Arrowhead Water Company of San Bernardino, California, commissioned noted car designer W. E. Miller, formerly of the Walter M. Murphy Company, to create a rolling advertisement for their spring water. Miller designed a teardrop shape, calling to mind a drop of water, that was round and wide in the front and that tapered to a point in the rear, making a very strong visual connection to Arrowhead’s product.”
More: The Old Motor


Moment in time: Jan. 26, 1885

Image: Mary Evans Picture Library/The Canadian Press

The Nile Expedition, sometimes called the Gordon Relief Expedition (1884–85), was a British mission to relieve Major-General Charles George Gordon at Khartoum, Sudan. It was the first overseas expedition by Canadians in a British imperial conflict, although the Nile Voyageurs were civilians employees and did not wear uniforms.
"The British picked hardened rivermen schooled in the art of piloting heavily laden boats through rapids. The 386 voyageurs were hired in late 1884 to ferry thousands of British troops up the River Nile to rescue Major-General Charles Gordon, who was besieged by the rebel Mahdist army in Khartoum. The river guides on the Nile Expedition - many of them First Nations - had experience steering lumber booms on the rivers of Eastern Ontario and Quebec as the fur trade faded in importance. In Africa, they piloted modified whaling boats against the current and through rapids on a mission that left 16 of them dead. But they arrived in Khartoum two days too late: Gordon was killed and his troops defeated on Jan. 26, leaving the city and the rest of Sudan to the rebels. "
-- Eric Atkins

The Great White Hurricane of 1888

A major storm is threatening to shut down New York City and forecasters say it may be the worst storm to ever hit the Big Apple. Will it be worse than the devastating blizzard that slammed into the city in March of 1888?  From March 11th to 15th the city was buried underneath a fifty-inch blanket of snow. More than 200 perished in the extreme cold during the Great White Hurricane and fires raged as helpless volunteers watched from afar, their teams trapped in the deep drifts that formed in the howling winds.

My Inwood provides some fascinating original coverage of the event.

"Thousands upon thousands of men, wrapped in the oddest of costumes that imagination can picture, turned out to dig paths through the streets. In many places the diggers had to cut through gigantic drifts in order to release people who were imprisoned in their own houses. "
"The sufferings of homeless people can hardly be told in words. All policemen were ordered to look out for these people, and also to arrest all persons who showed any signs of not being to take care of themselves. Early in the day the police lodging rooms were packed. Men who had money but could get no places to sleep in hotels applied at the station houses for shelter. The police were finally obliged to use their corridors to save men and women from perishing outside."
"In front of all the clubs, in fact everywhere throughout the city, people could be seen feeding the starving sparrows, which flew against the windows in the most pitiful way. This awful violation of the law—for it is at present a criminal offense in New York—was ignored by the police. Nay, a Herald reporter saw a policeman in cold blood criminally feeding breadcrumbs to a sparrow in Twenty-third Street near Ninth Avenue."