Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Old school photography trumps High Definition any day of the week.




High Definition television is the next big thing?

Bullshit.

Check out this huge Library of Congress Flickr set of color transparencies from the 1930s and 1940s. It is - without a doubt - my new favorite go-to site: so many interesting images to peruse.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the "Death Map," Or How to Make an Ugly-Ass Map

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."

If you have been diligently reading online news websites, you have undoubtedly seen a story about the supposed "Death Map."

According to researchers at the University of South Carolina and something called "BioMed Central," the Death Map shows that heat (and cold) is far more likely to kill someone than, say, flooding or an earthquake. Therefore, local and State governments (especially in the East and Mid-West) should focus resources on providing some sort of aid during the summer and winter months. As for the West coast, perhaps it would be more beneficial to understand the effects of extreme weather conditions on the ground (soil erosion, landslides, etc.), than spend billions of dollars on retro-fitting every small town and unincorporated area up and down the Pacific for the possible earthquake that may never (in our lifetime) come.

The problem with the Death Map is the design, however. You'll notice that the United States is divided up into vast regions. These are Environmental Protection Agency regions, arbitrarily designed for administrative purposes, not for monitoring or measuring the work done by it. There is nothing inherently relevant about using this region map for the purposes of defining rates and reasons for death. Consequently, the mostly fertile valleys of California are conflated with the largely vast and arid Southwest.

Another problem with the map is the reasons for death. What does "Severe Weather" mean? How is a "Tornado" or "Winter Weather" not part of "Severe Weather"? And why is "Lightening" so frighteningly likely in the Greater Southeast? The definition of the "Lightening" class must be much more broad for it to appear on the map; or, lightening really is a danger there.

The worst part of the map is the noise produced by the "Other" category. Sure, you have about an 1/8th of a chance to be killed by lightening in Region IV, but beware of the "Other" (almost 50% likelihood of death): death by car, death by robbery, death by cancer, death by old-age, and a whole host of other mundane deaths. Or perhaps not so mundane deaths: death by PCP fiend, death by auto-erotic asphyxiation, death by Hello Kitty fetishist, or death by Sarah Palin-loving racist. The "Other" category minimizes the impact of the other classes, and should have been removed.

According to the news story, the researchers were two South Carolina geographers: Susan Cutter and her student, Kevin Borden. I am surprised. They should have known better.

Or maybe no one cares about my cartographic elitism...

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Plea to Sarah Palin, by Ian Gurvitz

PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP, SARAH PALIN! SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU'RE NOT QUALIFIED TO RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY, NOW, OR FOUR YEARS FROM NOW! YOU WERE A CAMPAIGN GIMMICK. A HAIL MARY PASS BY A LOSING QUARTERBACK! YOU KNOW NOTHING! YOU ARE TOO DUMB TO BE ON THE NATIONAL STAGE! YOU JUST PLAYED JOHNNY MAC'S LADY MACBETH AND IT DIDN'T WORK OUT SO SHUT THE FUCK UP, NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR OPINIONS ON ANYTHING SO SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU ARE NOT WORTHY! YOU LOST THE ELECTION! SHUT THE FUCK UP! GO BACK TO ALASKA AND STAY THERE WITH YOUR IRRITATING FAMILY AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! THIS IS YOUR 2-MINUTE WARNING ON YOUR 15 MINUTES OF FAME! YOU'RE DONE! YOU'RE OVER! YOU BLEW THE ELECTION, THANK GOD! YOU'RE IRRELEVANT! SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! NO, REALLY! NOBODY GIVES A SHIT THAT YOU OFFERED YOUR SERVICE TO THE COUNTRY! WE DON'T WANT YOUR SERVICE! WE'VE HAD 8 YEARS OF STUPID AND SMUG AND IT NEARLY RUINED US! WE'RE LOSING ONE GRINNING MEGALOMANIAC, WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER! OBAMA WON! YOU LOST! BECAUSE HE'S MORE QUALIFIED! YOU CANNOT BLUFF YOUR WAY INTO NATIONAL OFFICE, SO TAKE THAT FAKE SMALL-TOWN HUMILITY BULLSHIT AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU CANNOT OUTSMART CITY FOLK BECAUSE WE'RE SMARTER THAN YOU SO SHUT THE FUCK UP! GO KILL A MOOSE! FIRE A RELATIVE! HUMP A SNOWPLOW! NOBODY CARES! JUST STAY AWAY FROM THE LOWER 48! YOU LOST! JUST BOW OUT GRACEFULLY AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! GOD DOESN'T WANT YOU TO RUN! HE SHUT THE DOOR IN YOUR FACE! TAKE THE FUCKING HINT AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU DON'T DESERVE TO BE GOVERNOR! IF MOOSE COULD VOTE IN ALASKA YOU'D BE GIVING HAND JOBS TO JOE SIXPACKS BEHIND THE LOCAL DINER! STAY HOME! PAL AROUND WITH TODD AND HIS SECESSIONST PALS! CALL PASTOR MUTHEE AND GET AN EXORCISM! JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! GET OFF THE NATIONAL STAGE! TAKE THAT NASALLY FUCKING VOICE AND THAT SELF-SATISFIED SMIRK AND YOUR IDIOTIC REACTIONARY BULLSHIT OPINIONS ABOUT THE REAL AMERICA AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! WE'RE THE REAL AMERICA AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO SERVE US YOU NEED TO DO NOTHING MORE THAN TO PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

- Ian Gurvitz

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My New Favorite Website

Vicuña, Chile

The Boston Globe's "The Big Picture": high resolution photojournalistic essays.

President Obama!

Future

Let's build a Green New Deal...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In the New Economy, you MUST be able to speak JAVA.

video

Comrade Bush

My friend, Walt, forwarded this news item to me.

Quick! Someone tell McCain that Bush is more of a socialist than Obama!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Palin as President

Someone has too much time on her hands.

Thank goodness for that...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is "Renewed Mind" a code word for "Re-education"



The logical fallacies in this video makes my brain implode.

Maybe I need a "renewed mind."

Or better yet: some black coffee.