When I was younger—albeit not by much—I applied my interests in geography, history, and politics to create maps of fictional places. I used knowledge of things like the Hadley cell and the Koppen climate classification system to figure where on the maps I drew people would be able to live in temperate climates and where nobody could live because it would be an arid desert. I also read encyclopedias growing up, so go figure.
But I never bothered to apply my amateurish interest in geography and climatology to Earth. Rather, to an alternate Earth. But Randall Munroe over at xkcd did take a “what if” about a rotated Earth’s surface and investigated what would be the results. Of course he is also not an expert and even after thousands of years of living on this planet, humanity has yet to figure out all the variables that determine climates. But he gave it a shot. And he explained how it works (in theory). The result is called Cassini.
Blue is cold; think Siberia. Green is temperate; think rain and trees and, well, green things. Yellow is arid; think deserts. Red is hurricane zones—appropriate for summer. Think, well, hurricanes.
Turns out Philadelphia would still be a great place to live. Just saying.
Yesterday I shared an infographic looking at the demograhics behind the evolution of the Democratic Party—and by comparison the Republican Party. Today is the Washington Post’s infographic on the evolution of the Republican Party’s policy platform. Since the 1960s the party has shifted from a socially liberal agenda coupled with fiscal conservatism to an extremely conservative social agenda and an even more fiscally conservative platform. (For example, one wonders if the Tea Party remembers how the great conservative in Ronald Reagan raised taxes because it was how to generate increased revenue?)
Credit for the piece goes to Marc Fisher, Laura Stanton, and Karen Yourish.
This past weekend the Washington Post published an infographic looking at how the Democratic Party has demographically changed over time and compared those changes to those in the Republican Party. The piece is large, but shows some interesting trends particularly with the racial diversification of the political parties—or lack thereof. It is an important trend when considering the white population is growing at much slower pace than minority groups.
A rare mid-day posting. Some interesting figures published on Twitter by Public Policy Polling look at the ethnic breakdown of the—I presume self-identified—voters for both Governor Romney and President Obama. Perhaps we all already knew this, but one voter group is more diverse than the other.
To see whether these align with the national population, I included some quick stats published by the CIA World Factbook on the ethnic breakdown of the United States. The tricky part, however, is that the US Census Bureau does not regard Hispanic as a discrete ethnic group. Instead, it is considered an origin. Thus, you can be a black Hispanic of Caribbean descent or a white Hispanic from Spain. So, in full transparency, my United States figures for Hispanic are a bit suspect.
Polonius once asked Hamlet what he was reading. Hamlet replied “Words.”
I still love that scene. But, it turns out that we now have an even better idea of where our words came from. It turns out that it is more likely that our shared Indo-European languages originated not in the steppes of Russia but rather Anatolia in Turkey. The New York Times created a graphic that looked at just how the Indo-European family of languages can be broken out.
Today’s post comes via one of my co-workers. I don’t have any information on it other than it being an infographic looking at our exploration of the solar system (and in the near future beyond, thanks Voyager). My guess is that it isn’t particularly new, as I would imagine that the designer would have liked to have called out the Curiosity mission that just landed on Mars. But so far as I can tell, that mission is absent from the infographic.
I live in the Midwest but I grew up on the East Coast. I spent my summers at the Jersey shore. (No, not that one.) I know a thing or two about hurricanes. Isaac is expected to make landfall later today in the New Orleans area almost seven years to the day when Katrina made landfall. There are some notable differences between the two storm systems and the New York Times has attempted to elucidate those important distinctions in this graphic.
There was a lot of news this past weekend. So we’ll start with the important stuff first. An infographic about the big baseball trade between my Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The advantage of a story breaking over the weekend is time to get something together for Monday.
Curiosity is not the only rover on Mars, eight years after a 90-day mission, we still have Opportunity rolling around. The Los Angeles Times published this graphic detailing the exploration conducted by Opportunity. This is a map of Opportunity’s section of Mars.
Credit for the piece goes to Julie Sheer, Lorena Iñiguez, Raoul Rañoa, and Anthony Pesce.