Aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, author of Earth from Above and related books of photography, ups the altitude somewhat with his new book, Earth from Space, in which he presents and interprets more than 150 satellite photos. Via io9’s holiday gift guide.
Speaking of gift guides, my gift guide to the map books of 2013, listing some of the noteworthy books about maps that have been published over the previous year, is now up.
In 1879, surveyor (and future USGS director) John Wesley Powell proposed that the boundaries of future western states be determined by watersheds, in order to avoid water use conflicts. John Lavey takes this proposal to its logical conclusion, imagining a U.S. in which all 50 states follow watershed boundaries. Via io9.
Previously: Fifty Equal States Redux.
I’m on record about my own entomophobia (i.e., a fear of insects and other arthropods), so it’s with considerable (if guarded) interest that I note the publication of a new book, The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects, a broad examination of the human fear of insects by Jeffrey Lockwood, an entomologist who, if you can believe it, has to deal with bouts of entomophobia. Here’s an interview with the author. It sounds fascinating and relevant to my interests; I’m just not sure I can bring myself to read it. Via Andrew Sullivan.
Today you have an opportunity to stand strong and use your power to restrain the unaccountable power of the PMO. That’s what this Senate is about, sober second thought, not taking dictation from kids in short pants down the hall.
Canada now talks more than we act, and our tone is almost adolescent —forceful, certain, enthusiastic, combative, full of sound and fury. That pattern of emphatic rhetoric at the podium, and steady withdrawal from the field, raises a basic question: What does the Harper government consider the purpose of foreign policy?
Perhaps the most telling anecdote from a police file that surfaced late last week involves Mr. Ford’s heading into the woods with his buddy Sandro Lisi, currently out on bail after being charged with extortion, and leaving the pathway strewn with bags of empty vodka bottles. His mayoralty has been an experiment in what would happen if you had a feral 16-year-old boy for mayor.
Has Canadian conservatism become an overgrown children’s crusade?
The USGS has released quad maps of the planet Mercury as a set of PDF files: “The 1:5 million-scale series of Mercury maps divides Mercury into 15 quadrangles, H-1 through H-15 (five Mercator, eight Lambert Conformal, and two Polar Stereographic quadrangles). The base mosaic was produced with orbital images by the MESSENGER Team and released by NASA’s Planetary Data System on March 8, 2013. This new global mosaic includes 100% coverage of Mercury’s surface.”
Voted in the municipal elections yesterday, though there were few positions contested. Sandra Murray, who’s been a councillor for ages, was acclaimed as Shawville’s mayor, replacing outgoing mayor Albert Armstrong. Incumbent councillors John Beimers (seat 1) and Frank Stafford (seat 4) were also acclaimed, as was new councillor Bill Hobbs (seat 5), so there were three council seats being contested in Shawville this time around.
|Seat 2||Bill McCleary
Sylvia Poisson-Hodgins (incumbent)
|Seat 3||Peggie Sheppard
|Seat 6||Patti Moffatt
Jim Hodgins (incumbent)
With two longtime councillors losing their seats, and one moving over to the mayor’s chair, a majority of Shawville’s council will be freshmen, serving their first terms, which I don’t think has happened in a while.
Elsewhere in the Pontiac there were some interesting outcomes. In Bristol, incumbent mayor Brent Orr fought off a challenge from Bill Kearnan, who Jennifer used to work with. (One of her former students ran for and lost a seat elsewhere in the Pontiac as well.) Most mayors were either acclaimed or won decisively, but two incumbent mayors were voted out last night: Alleyn-et-Cawood mayor Charlene Scharf-Lafleur was defeated by Carl Mayer, and longtime Thorne mayor Ross Vowles was defeated by Terence Murdock. Every single council seat in Thorne was contested, too: it sounds like things were lively up there this time. On the other hand, in Waltham two councillor positions went unfilled; everyone else was acclaimed.
A couple of supremely detailed rail maps to bring to your attention, both of which show every line and station of long-distance, regional and commuter rail networks. There’s one for California, which uses a Beck-like, diagrammatic design, and one for the Northeast Corridor (see above), which opts for geographic accuracy. Despite the differences there’s a lot of overlap on the two design teams. Creative Commons licensed, with printed posters available.
With the release of OS X Mavericks last week, Apple’s productivity apps — Keynote, Numbers and Pages, formerly known as iWork — also got revamped, on both platforms. On the Mac side this did not go over well, particularly with self-identified power users, who have taken to the Interwebs to catalogue the features that have gone missing, such as AppleScript support. The apps have been rewritten from the ground up in a way reminiscent of iMovie ‘08 or Final Cut X: the new versions are feature-poor compared to their predecessors, and in the short term switching to them can be seen as a significant downgrade. It’s only down the road, when lost features are added back in, that people feel better about using the new apps.
There was a fire at Bean’s Service Station this afternoon. You may recall that Bean’s closed itself down, in stages, earlier this year: first it stopped selling gas, then it stopped servicing cars (we had to go elsewhere), then it wound down the remainder of its business (selling trailers and ATVs). You may also recall that Bean’s is right across the laneway from us. When a fire truck barrelled down our street at full siren, then came back down our back lane with a fire hose dragging behind it, and when it became clear that smoke was rising from Bean’s roof … that got my attention. So I grabbed camera and iPhone and took what pictures I could from a reasonably safe distance. The photos are here.
At one point flames burst through the roof, which was quite dramatic and worrisome for those of us watching the fire — I was wondering whether we were going to be evacuated — but the Shawville-Clarendon Fire Department got it under control soon enough. Police were rerouting traffic at least on Centre Street, and for all I know they might have done so on Route 148 as well; I couldn’t tell from my vantage point.
I imagine details will be in the papers next week.
- Snakes Scare Our Primate Brains
- The Barrington Atlas Comes to the iPad
- Proxima Centauri
- A Gartersnake.info To-Do List
- Interesting Times
- A Noct-Nikkor Successor
- Gordan Ugarkovic
- Convention Notes
- Two Books on WWI Maps
- Glitter and Mayhem
- Could Conventions Be More Welcoming?
- Around the Moon
- World of Equal Districts
- Atlas of Vesta
- The Cell Tower Comes Down
- Sea Monsters and the Carta Marina
- Worldcon Attendance Trends
- The 2013 Hugo Results
- My New Article on Fantasy Maps: ‘Here Be Blank Spaces’