Something Cool: Visited States Map Generator


The Visited States Maps Generator at the Defocus Blog allows you to create a map of US states (and Canadian provinces if you chose) that you’ve visited, color-coded by the amount of time and commitment you’ve given to each place. Here’s the key: Red means I’ve just passed through, maybe seen a thing or two. Amber means…

Book Review: Maphead by Ken Jennings


Author:  Ken Jennings Title: Maphead : charting the wide, weird world of geography Publication Info: New York : Scribner, c2011. ISBN: 9781439167175 Summary/Review: Ken Jennings is a person I like merely because he became a celebrity by being intelligent.  Now I know he shares a common passion for maps.  As a child I used to lay out…

Book Review: Transit Maps of the World by Mark Ovenden


“I’m going to snuggle in bed and read the geekiest book ever written, ” I proclaimed and went off to read Transit Maps of the World (2007) by Mark Ovenden. “That is a geeky book,” my wife confirmed. But it’s a book so wonderfully geeky that it goes all the way around to being cool…

Book Review: How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein


How the States Got Their Shapes (2008) by Mark Stein is exactly what the title says it is: a state-by-state description of how the borders of the fifty states were laid out (even Hawaii, which is more complicated than it looks).  Some general observations show how the US government tried to create all states of…

Book Review: The Fabric of America by Andro Linklater


The Fabric of America: how our borders and boundaries shaped the country and forged our national identity (2007) by Andro Linklater is built on a thesis that the idea of the United States being defined by the frontier and rugged individualism – with Frederick Jackson Turner as a major proponent – is not true.  Instead…

Hyperactive Hyperlinks


Here’s another post that’s nothing more than a collection of links, many of them silly, the majority introduced to me by Metafilter. Abandoned But Not Forgotten is a collection of photos of abandoned, historical, and unusual locations from around the world. Beware of the slow loading vintage web design (somewhat apropos to the topic actually)…

Great Online Tool for Walkers


Just a quick post to share the Gmaps Pedometer. Basically the creators of this tool have modified Google Maps so that one may draw a line on the map and measure distances for walks. Should be very handy for runners and bicyclists as well. Certainly a nice alternative to when I’ve tried to map a…

An Assemblage of Assorted Articles


Once again I’ve read and collected news articles and blog posts that are worth sharing but have absolutely nothing to connect them together except maybe that they teach us something interesting. Enjoy! The Boston Globe contains a story from AP about a Maine man announcing for president — as Thomas Jefferson. From the Christian Science…