Map fact of the day

Chaotic day in the lab today, so thank goodness that my first Brilliant Maps newsletter of 2018 dropped into my inbox this morning, filled with potential blog fodder.

And yes, in there amongst 14 other gems, was this fact:

Greenland is farther east, west, north, and south than Iceland.

Wait. You what? But… how?

Well, like this:

Wow. I’d have used thinner lines. But still: wow.

Pub quiz nerds [it me!] will automatically be thinking of the American states question now:

Which American states are furthest North, South, East and West?

Hawaii is clearly the furthest south, but I can never remember which the other ones are.
My wife has a great memory though, so maybe Alaska.

(And if you didn’t get that, go here.)

Of course, if you leave out the non-contiguous states, that question suddenly becomes a whole lot less interesting
(Minnesota, Florida, Maine, Washington).

A Monday catch-up

I haven’t found one specific thing worthy of a blog post of its own yet today, so I thought I’d share several of the thing which were almost worthy of a blog post of their own. Collectively, these things are worth far more than a single blog post, so you’re certainly getting your money’s worth today.

First up: flooding in Paris:

Insane! Or rather not in Seine at all right now. This is of specific interest to me because we’ve just booked a trip to Europe in June/July and Paris and French waterways are included. I particularly enjoyed the line:

The national flood monitoring agency Vigicrues said the water levels hit a maximum height of 5.84 meters (19 feet, 2 inches) on the Austerlitz scale early Monday. That’s below initial fears last week, and well below record levels of 8.62 meters in 1910.

Yeah. But that’s only really a bonus if your property lies between 5.85 and 8.62m on the Austerlitz scale though, isn’t it?

Then: Superpods of dolphins are gathering off the coast of South Africa

Am I the only one who finds this headline vaguely threatening?
The “are gathering” bit does sound as if there is some common porpoise (stop it!) to their behaviour, and I think we’re all aware that what I mean by that is dolphin invasion, something we’ve covered here before.
Researchers suggest that it may rather be something to do with defending themselves against sharks, but then researchers would suggest that, wouldn’t they? They’re in on the act.
It’s telling that the majority of the pods have been sighted off the sleepy seaside village of Port Elizabeth. PE is the ideal place to begin an takeover: by the time the locals have worked out what is going on and release the emergency carrier pigeons from the Campanile, the tanks (either kind, you do the maths) of invading dolphins will be on the Free State border.

Playing with photos

Practice, they say, makes perfect. And one day, I’d like my photo editing to be perfect. So, whenever I can, I’m finding photos to practice on. Since I didn’t take any this weekend (again, despite this), I’ve borrowed one from Brian Micklethwait over at BrianMicklethwait.com. I loved his photo of Victoria Station (link), and so I shamelessly stole borrowed it and put a bit of a spin on it with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.

Just for absolute clarity, I’m not suggesting that my version is in any way better. I’m just suggesting that it’s different. I was inspired by two things: firstly, the “vintage” look of the station roof, and secondly, Brian’s own thoughts on his image:

I like how this kind of scene permits bright colours, like those little union jacks, but turns fainter colours monochrome, like when that little girl in a red coat appears in Schindler’s List.

The more washed out feel that I’ve tried to give it still allows for those flags to stand out. Maybe they should stand out more. Maybe I should practice more.

And, just because I liked the headlines, these:

Because the data from their fitness apps are now publicly available.

and:

Only, of course, if you’re singing and dancing pornographically in Cambodia.

Be prepared

Ironically, we attended a Scouts and Cubs AGM this weekend, but I was anything but prepared when it came to blogging.

It’s been a busy one with chores, social engagements, some late night drinking and rowdiness, a bathed beagle (grey water was saved for future use) and – despite the fact that there have been 17 matches on – absolutely no football. Weird.

It also seemed to go very quickly.

Other (better) blogs would have had posts ready as back up, but I’ve not been that organised. So suddenly I’m playing catch up and throwing together a few lines about a weekend I wish I could start again and do better.

Photos

I’m not quite sure what’s going on this year, but I’ve already had requests to use my photos from National Geographic Kids, several from Adobe Stock, and now one from a heritage magazine in the UK. Not of these pay well (indeed, some of them don’t pay at all), but money isn’t everything, right?

Of course, if I were even close to being any sort of professional photographer, money would be everything, and I might feel rather differently.

But since I’m (far from) being anywhere near professional, I’m just chuffed to get a bit of recognition.

Speaking to the manager

As Cape Town is – once again – omitted from the plan for rainfall across the nation today, a local radio station has a request:

Well, yes, but we’ve tried that already.

It didn’t work then, and I very much doubt that it will work now.