Friday, October 29, 2010

Two geography things

1. Latitudes not Attitudes: I think this guy actually underestimates some foundational importance in terms of geography and civilization. Example the first: Eurasia runs mostly east-west, so you can easily transmit ideas along similarly hospitable climes. Africa and the Americans run north-south, meaning that culture will be divided by climate as deserts, jungles, etc split peoples up. Example the second: Europe has many, many more navigable river miles than Africa does. It's easy to get around most of Europe by boat (which until about 150 years ago was the fastest and cheapest way to move stuff), while it's almost impossible in most of Africa. So, I think he doesn't give enough importance to geography and the early forms of civilization.

But in other ways he overestimates it. The divergences between Western Europe and China in the 1800s and 1900s were not due to geography, at least not the way that he explains it. That had more to do with political and social competition, culture, and just plain luck of the draw. If anything, geographic advantages hindered Chinese gains -- they had everything they needed, why scrabble for advantage? Europeans, in a relatively poorer spot and with more capable competitors, faced a different situation.

2. You Have No Idea How Big Africa Really Is (But This Map Does): actually yes I did have an idea thank you internet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010



Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

rock on, student section.

Dear Auburn Students,

No place rocks like Jordan-Hare Stadium. I know that and you know that, but others are taking notice. Here's what Chris Low of said about Jordan-Hare earlier this week:

"There are a lot of places that rock around the SEC, and there are a lot of places around this conference that hold noise and make you feel like your ear drums are about to explode. But it’s that way from the opening kickoff at Auburn and only picks up steam from there. I’ve been to just about all the stadiums in the league the last few years, and I say with confidence that Jordan-Hare Stadium is as consistently loud and electric throughout the game as any stadium I’ve been to, and I think it’s gotten even more intense this season."

I could not have said it any better myself. When I asked you to go "All In" earlier this season, you answered the challenge. I'm asking you to bring it even louder and stronger this Saturday as we host the LSU Tigers. It will be the toughest test we have faced all season, and the stakes could not be higher.

Student gates will open 45 minutes earlier than normal, starting at 11:45 a.m. So come early, be loud and stay late! You are the best student section in the country, and I can't tell you how much your support means to our players. Thanks again for making Jordan-Hare Stadium the loudest and most electric stadium in the country. Keep it up!

See you Saturday.

War Eagle!

Gene Chizik

Head Football Coach

Calvin and Hobbes

Here's a (the?) list of 25 great Calvin and Hobbes strips. You could, of course, pick 25 random strips and have just as good a list, because that's how good Calvin and Hobbes was.

(the above is one of my favorites)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ole Miss football

Ole Miss, Completely Out of Character, Selects a Black:
Ole Miss has made its selection for mascot, turning away from the somewhat racially uncomfortable Colonel Reb, and instead embracing the regionally indigenous black bear.   The proposed design shows that the bear itself is not actually black, but instead kinda brown.  I would argue that, at Ole Miss, being black is a state of mind.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

2 touchdowns?

Dear Auburn Students,

This weekend, we will face our most difficult challenge so far this season when the 12th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks visit Jordan-Hare Stadium. Just like our football team, you as students have risen to every challenge we've put in front of you.

It's difficult to quantify how valuable our student section and fans are, but in my mind, it's a two-touchdown advantage. If not for your energy and excitement, we may not have been able to capture victories against Clemson and South Carolina.

I want to challenge you again this Saturday. We need you in Jordan-Hare Stadium early and for you to be loud and energetic the entire game. Arkansas has the top-ranked passing offense in the Southeastern Conference and nothing is more difficult on a passing team than a loud crowd. Student gates will open 45 minutes earlier than normal, starting at 11:45 a.m. Come early, and stay late!

As you know, the game will be the marquee matchup in the SEC this weekend and will air before a national audience on CBS. Let's show college football fans across the country and everyone in Jordan-Hare Stadium that Auburn has the loudest and most energetic students in the nation.

I also want you to know how much I appreciate the class and sportsmanship that you demonstrate each and every week. Auburn is a special place, and we need you to help us keep it that way.

War Eagle!

Gene Chizik

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Place names

All vernacular place names, personal names, and names of roads or rivers encode important knowledge. Some of that knowledge is a thumbnail history; for example Maiden Lane denotes the lane where five spinster sisters once lived, while Cider Hill Road is the road up the hill where the Cider Mill and orchard once stood. At one time, when the name became fixed, it was probably the most relevant and useful name for local inhabitants. Other names refer to geographical features: Mica Ridge Road, Bare Rock Road, Ball Brook Road. The sum of roads and place names in a small place, in fact, amounts to something of a local geography and history if one knows the stories, features, episodes, and family enterprises encoded within them.

For officials who require a radically different form of order, such local knowledge, however quaint, is illegible. It privileges particular knowledge over synoptic, standardized knowledge. In the case of colonial rule, when the conquerors speak an entirely different language, the unintelligibility of the vernacular landscape is a nearly insurmountable obstacle to effective rule. Renaming much of the landscape therefore is an essential step of imperial rule. This explains why the British Ordinance Survey of Ireland in the 1830s recorded and rendered many local Gaelic place names (e.g., Bun na hAbhann, Gaelic for “mouth of the river”) in a form (Burnfoot) more easily understood by the rulers.
The Trouble With the View from Above

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Mario Fusion

I want to play this game but can't figure out how to get it or if it is even real. Spartan Armor Mario is adorable!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday zombie games

Stop the Zombies! is dumb, but Zombie4 is awesome. Kids don't need all these fancy graphics.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

We need to buy one of these

I think this would totally be worth $250. Depending on how many people chipped in for photos, we could get it down to double-dollar-digits each.

Sample image:

Monday, October 04, 2010

wait what

what. that's it wikipedia, we're through. you too, ireland.

Monkey Monday

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Best description of Les Miles' luck

Somewhere, there’s a portrait of Les Miles losing close game after close game.