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Friday, 12 October 2018


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......more land is devoted to cows than any other purpose in the US, whether to pasture them or grow food for them.

I once sat next to a government crop scientist on a flight from Jo'burg to Cape Town and as she pointed out things on the ground, she said "if we stopped eating meat we could feed the world forever"

If the bovine stats piqued your imagination, here's more of the same


Interesting, but, mmm, also somewhat inaccurate. That land use thing from Bloomberg, for example, shows most of New Mexico as pasturage/range. When I look out my window, I tend to see desert, or, as we call it, "high desert" which basically means no big cacti. Much of it won't support grazing animals, unless you're talking tarantulas. The part the does involve grazing animals takes a whole lot of land for not much grazing (and not cows; sheep and goats and horses.)The problem with this kind of graphic is that it tends to shove everything into a pre-defined set of categories. What it needs is a big "other" category, but that would suggest to careful readers that others take up a huge amount of of land...and I would point out that you're looking at an odd definition of "urban," which must mean some kind of population minimum. I consider myself urban -- I live in Santa Fe, which is around 70,000, with 150,000 in the county, but we show up as pasturage and range. The only place most Santa Feans graze is at our numerous Starbucks.

Well implemented graphics can be a great way to make sense of large amounts of data. However I am always cautious when the raw data is not available.

The NYT wrote about Metallica, "It is particularly popular in a south-central swath of Texas" which appears to include Austin and San Antonio. But they appear to be just as popular in southwest Alaska which includes such densely populated places as Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve and the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

Maybe the bears like heavy metal.

If you like that sort of thing, check out:




Re The Justin Timberlake map: The areas of Utah that show up as dark in that illustration are extremely thinly populated. Quite unlike New Jersey and the suburban areas around big cities, where the rest of his fans seem to be. So while there may be a high percentage of Timberlake fans in the canyon country, their actual numbers there will be very few. As always, such graphics require careful study to understand the meaning.

You can get an idea of the devastation in Detroit via Google photos on the site, "Detroit, then and now", at:

I live in Utah. Who is Justin Timberlake?

There's a very zoomable NOAA map of satellite (I presume) imagery of hurricane Michael damage at:


If you zoom in on Mexico Beach, you see just the shadows of houses.

It really lets you get a feeling of the scale of the damage.

The US electoral map sure can use an upgrade. Painting an entire state red or blue simply shows the area of the state, but tells you nothing about how many electoral votes there are; as it stands, it makes the country appear overwhelmingly red, which, of course, is not the case. A better way would be to use dots, each representing one electoral vote. The dots will range from deep blue to deep red, and shades in between, to indicate how each state voted. Even better if the dots can be positioned and shaded according to the districts they represent.


Find this one interesting. Where electric cars make more pollution than gas powered vehicles due to the plants that generate the electricity.
It factors into the decision to "go electric" along with problems of range before charges.

Then there is this one that shows our wind patterns. http://hint.fm/wind/ Living in a windy area it is interesting and soothing both. Watching the changes and seeing how wind behaves.

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