Sunday, September 30, 2007

Modern Changes Bring About An Old Threat

Dengue Fever is spreading throughout Latin America.

The mosquito-spread disease was once on the ropes in Latin America but it has been making a comeback due to changes in the world and Latin America. Up until recently the disease was primarily found in the villages and outskirts of society. However, urbanization of the rural poor in search for better jobs, the increase in travel, and environmental laws forbidding such useful tools like DDT have allowed the disease to easily find new hosts.

Similar trends are found in Africa with the spread of AIDS and Malaria from the country side into the big cities. While DDT would play no impact in combating AIDS, stupid cultural practices like casual sex, polygamy, believing sex with a virgin is a cure, and alike play a role.

The rise of these plagues has caused some to act. DDT is slowly being used again in Africa. Hopefully similar measures will be undertaken to save lives in Latin America.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mirages

Ever been driving along in the summer time and see what looks like water on the road? Sometimes you can even see the reflection of cars and buildings in the "water." But that is not water. That is a mirage you are seeing.

There are two types of mirages: Inferior and Superior

An inferior mirage is caused by a reflection in the air. In deserts and road ways the air right above the surface can be up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (about 16 degrees Celsius). Since cooler air has much greater density, the light reflection can be bent. The mirage is a reflection of the sky and gives the appearance of water.

A superior mirage is also caused by a reflection in the air. This occurs though when the surface is cooler than the air. These are found in the polar regions and around lakes. With the curvature of the earth, a superior mirage gives the impression of a towering horizon which appears closer than it actually is.

Friday, September 28, 2007

World Freedom Atlas

A popular thing for geopoliticans to do is to map out freedom worldwide. I have linked to some examples before which provide a map and tons of data. Nothing however comes close to the visual displays of World Freedom Atlas.

Wrold Freedom Atlas is based on a set of variables including rule of law, civil liberties, electoral process, etc. Each variable or the sum of all can be viewed by easily clicking a tab.

The maps are solid and the data seems reasonable. The Gap theory once again is noticeable but this time with Russia looking like it is leaving the core along with China.

Hat tip: La Cartoteca

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Google Earth's Purpose

Google Earth is an excellent tool for geography. While some may think it is merely to see one's house from space, the GIS abilities to add overlays and study data spatially is a key compenant to geography.

The makers of Google Earth agree. Brian McClendon recently spoke at the University of Kansas where he discussed the potentials for Google Earth and geography. A key point was that without geography problems arise. While I disagree with the statement "For the past 60 years, we’ve had more quagmires than victories," the lack of geographical knowledge both human (different ethnic groups and tribes in Iraq) and physical (a city built below sea level probably will flood) has caused series problems for the United States and the world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Buddhist Monks March for Freedom in Burma

Burma has been ruled under the iron fist of the State Peace and Development Council since 1988. The Junta controls all aspect of life, crushes descent, and renamed the country Myanmar. The people have had enough.

Earlier this month the junta announced it would be raising fuel prices across the board as much as five hundred percent. Buddhist monks in the country, who typical stay above politics, began marching to show how the policy would affect the poor. The marches have turned into anti-government protests.

There are questions of will these marches succeed or fail. The junta is desperate for power and may strike out against the monks. Anything but a crushing blow could lead to revolution but the already internationally shunned junta has nothing to lose by being violent.

In a time when democracies like Iraq and Lebanon are under siege and others like Russia are being corrupted within, it is refreshing and hopeful to see one struggle to be born.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Homosexuality, Ahmadinejad, and The Gap

"Petty and cruel dictator" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to Columbia University to speak but was surprised by the reaction he got. Not only was he embarrassed but he also was forced into some rather bizarre statements.

Chief among them was that there are "No homosexuals in Iran." That probably comes as a shock to the homosexuals featured in the three part CBC feature on gays in Iran (below) and homosexuals who are murdered by the Islamic republic.





Iran's treatment of homosexuals is sadly not uncommon. While many in the first world dispute over whether or not rights should be created so homosexuals may marry; very few call for gays to be executed or imprisoned. The third world is different. Just look at the (NOTE: LINK CURRENTLY DOWN) map and read the article about the primarily African and Islamic laws against gays. Gay author and reporter Bruce Bawer is an American who left the United States to escape what he saw as the Christian Right trying to limit his freedoms. What he encountered was a backwards culture which wanted him dead.

It is unfortunate that realpolitik is interfering with those who see themselves normally as the champion of "gay rights." Let all of us unite for the right to life for all people.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Languages Dying Around the World

"Language is the blood of culture." -Catholicgauze during a seminar in 2003

Rare languages are dying around the world. Many dying languages are located in dying language hot spots located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada, Oklahoma and the American Southwest, central South America, Eastern Siberia, and Northern Territory of Australia. These areas' "indigenous" populations have long been ignored and the need/desire for assimilation was neigh-on-nonexistent. However, greater integration is pushing speakers of these endangered languages to adopt the greater popular culture and abandon the old ways.

Many social scientists see this as a great danger. With the loss of language also comes the loss of customs and traditions. A culture is never the same when the language is defunct. Just compare 1800s Plains Sioux culture to the revivalist-revisionist culture today.

TDAXP has a unique tak
e on this story. Instead of seeing it as bad he sees a positive side. He sees it as integration creating new opportunities and cultural enrichment for all. He does have a point. Traditionally, immigrants to the United States abandoned their old tongues, adopted English, and enriched the melting pot. Do any readers care to offer their thoughts.

There are still many rare languages around the world. Africa, India, and Southwest Asia will probably be the last "hold outs" of rare languages due to physical remoteness of groups and political-economical disenfranchisement of groups which limit the need/desire of integration.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Map of Sacred Sites in Iraq

Beliefnet has an introduction-level map of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holy sites in Iraq. By clicking a site a little information box will pop up identifying who considers the site holy, a brief background, and sometimes a hyperlink to even more information.

For those who want even more information on Bible sites be sure to check out how to view in Google Earth every place mentioned in the Bible.

Fall/Spring 2007

Today the sun reaches the equator 9:51 GMT and continues on its southernly journey to the Tropic of Capricorn. The sun does not actually move though; the earth is titling to that the southern hemisphere is pointing towards the sun.

This middle time in between is known as fall or autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern hemisphere. A little bit of trivia for all those interested is that the earth is getting closer to the sun; the tilt matters that much.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Geography Podcasts

Geography@About.com has a blurb on podcasts about geography. Catholicgauze already knows about Very Spatial (geospatial and applied geography) and Geography for Travelers but that was it. Now on iTunes the USGS has CoreCast which discusses Earth Science issues. And iTunes U features the well respected department of University of California Berkley with podcast of three geography classes. The classes are "World Regions, States, and People"; "Economic Geography of the Industrialized World"; and "Natural Resources and Population."

Catholicgauze once thought about podcasting but deiced my voice sounds terrible and I realized I do not have all the free time in the world.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ralph Peters' Classification of Cities

Readers will remember Ralph Peters from the redrawing the Middle East proposal and the Turkish response. A previous wok Peters did was The Human Terrain of Urban Operations for Parameters, the US Army's War College Quarterly.

The article is meant for invaders/occupiers of cities to have an idea of what they are dealing with. The first classification is hierarchical. Hierarchical cities are cities with a chain-of-command power structure, accepted law, and civic responsibility. These cities are the hardest to conquer because of their organization but easiest to govern once in control.

The second type is multicultural. With this Peters means not multi-ethnic but there are different cultures of power which seek control. Imagine pre-Communist China with the government fighting the triads fighting the communists. These cities are difficult to rule and tend to be self-destructive. Only by rewarding one group and making the others love/fear/respect the ruler can these cities artificial survive.

The final type of city is tribal. Tribal cities are a nightmare and do not last long due to their murderous habits. A thousand miniature power groups jockey for control and the old, brutal ways of the country side seep in.

The fact the article was written in 2000 yet applies much to the Iraq War is darkly humorous. A Dr. Pauletta Otis wrote a rebuttal but Peters replied with "Dr. Otis reports her beautiful view of the world from a university campus, so she has the advantage of me. My own views always seem to be crippled by experience." Ouch! Remind Catholicgauze never to debate against Peters.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Temple Lot in Missouri


Top left of the intersection: Community of Christ Temple
Top right of the intersection: Latter Day Saint Museum
Bottom right of the intersection: Community of Christ auditorium of Community of Christ
Bottom right: House is the headquarters of Church of Christ Temple Lot

Geography plays a big role in religion. The whole concept of a "holy land" brings the cosmos onto Earth. For many the holy land is the land in and around the country of Israel. For others the holy land extends down into Saudi Arabia. For Mormons there is another holy land. This one is located in Independence, Missouri and known as the Temple Lot.

The Temple Lot is a hill to the west of downtown Independence (presently a eastern suburb of Kansas City, Missouri). It is here where Mormon founder Joseph Smith Jr. declared the spot of the Garden of Eden and where a temple would stand that Jesus Christ would visit during his second coming.

Smith intended western Missouri to be the home for Mormonism. However, the New England "bloc" living Mormons were outcasts in an individualistic, slave-owning Missouri. Tick-for-tat terrorist raids on both sides followed up by an extermination order from the governor of Missouri forced the Mormons out and into Illinois.

The importance of the Temple Lot was not lost; however. Mormon theology still teaches Jesus will visit a temple on the grounds. Therefore a temple must be built. Splits in Mormonism have complicated this. Three branches of the religion claim property on or near the lot.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Days Saints (LDS aka Utah Mormons aka the biggest branch of Mormonism) have a visitor center for historical tourists and the headquarters for their local bishops. The LDS does a good job keeping the history of itself in people's minds and on the landscape.

The Community of Christ (CoC) has its own temple. The CoC's presence is reflective of its relationship to LDS. The CoC split off from LDS after the death of Joseph Smith Jr. The CoC rejected what they claim were inventions by Brigham Young and brought the church closer in line with mainline Protestantism. The temple is open to all (unlike LDS temples) and dedicated to peace throughout the world. Inside everyone is welcomed to take a self-guided tour which one symbolically receives all the CoC's sacraments.

The final player is the Church of Christ Temple Lot. Temple Lot believes that towards the end Jospeh Smith lost his way and his last prophesies were false. This group has tried repeatedly to build a temple but has been delayed because of economical downturns, legal challenges, and arson. The Church is small in membership and does not have relations with any other off-shoot. There small building is a monument to their isolation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Distirct of Columbia and American Geopolitics

The Senate failed to achieve sixty votes to floor a bill which would give the District of Columbia a voting representative. Currently the district has an observer who may vote on some bills but her vote does not count.

The side in favor of a voting representative state that the district is under "taxation without representation" while those opposed use the constitution to show a voting representative would be unconstitutional (only states are allowed voting representation under the constitution).

What is really behind the battle though is geopolitics. The District of Columbia (really Washington since its only one city) is rock-solid Democrat. The bill supporters introduced legislation that would give Republican Utah an extra voting seat as well, in an effort to appease Republican opponents. However, because of demographic shifts Utah will get an extra seat anyways after redistricting in 2010.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Illness Affects Villagers After Meteorite Strike

A Peruvian village nearby a recent meteorite strike is suffering from a mysterious illness. It appears that around the area of the strike there is a strange odor which may be causing vomiting and headaches. Most likely there is some chemical/geological interaction going on with the intense heat of the impact. Catholicgauze hopes this is not the first post to be retroactively labelled as "Space Zombie Geography"

Mapping Africa

Princeton University has an online exhibit entitled "To the Mountains of the Moon: Mapping African Exploration, 1541-1880." Not only are there neat maps to go through but also historical information on the efforts to map Africa. If one can not go to Princeton's museum, Catholicgauze brings the museum to them. (Hat tip: Map the Universe)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Belgium to Spilt?

Earlier this year Belgium had an election in which the economic center-right parties won. Now usually all that would be left is for the parties to arrange a government coalition and care on with politics. In Belgium this has proven impossible because of the cultural geography of the country. The French-speaking Walloons do not get along with the Dutch-speaking Flemings and vice-versa.

Negotiations and intervention by the king have produced no results. Belgium is a country with no government (in the European sense). So what do Belgians think? Most do not seem to care. The country is culturally and politically split (separate parties for the different language groups) and economically different as well with the "capitalistic" Flemings being better of then the "welfare" Walloons.

The failure to secure a government has led some to reasonable wonder if Belgium will break up. The Economist has a good article which discusses this possibility. While most Belgians would prefer to keep the country unified, the other side is quite vocal.

Possible outcomes range from new countries to reunification with the respected nations. For all the cartographic lovers out there, someone took the time to create possible outcomes of the breakup.

While Europe moves towards closer political unification with the European Union it also moves towards devolution. Belgium's capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union. If a small country with only two cultural groups like Belgium cannot stay together, how can a supernational European Union ever hope to permanently unite the continent?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bedbugs Map

A useful online geography tool for those afraid of the dreaded bedbugs is the Bed Bug Registry. The map is currently setup for the cities of New York, Boston, and San Francisco but user can also add reports of bedbugs anywhere in the world. Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite!

India versus the Hindu God-King Rama

The Hindu religion teaches of the God-King Rama who had an army of friendly monkeys to build him a land bridge to Sri Lanka in order that he may rescue his wife. The remains of this bridge are said to be Ram's Bridge aka Rama's Bridge aka Adam's Bridge.

The bridge is a series of shoal's which geomorphologists say are the leftovers of a natural land bridge which existed as last as the last ice age.

The bridge is an impediment for ships trying to come from the west heading towards India's east coast. Even where the bridge is now submerged, the sea floor is shallow enough to prevent crossing. So the government is planning to dredge part of the bridge to create a "canal" which would allow for faster maritime travel.

Protests and a court case were launched to save Rama's Bridge on environmental and cultural reasons. The government responded with a report saying the bridge was natural and the religious element of the argument was pointless because Rama was probably not real. "And there was heck to pay." Devout Hindus in the region were shocked and angered by the government's statement. Opposition parties pointed out how the Sikh prime minister and non-Hindu, "cult" member president were treating the majority Hindu's culture. The outrage got so intense the government had to withdraw its statement.

The government in Delhi ignored the cultural importance of the bridge and they are paying for it. Geography matters in India.

Friday, September 14, 2007

GIS Geology Atlas of Iran

The National Geoscience Database of Iran (Quasi-Warning: The link leads to an Iranian government website) is the under construction warehouse for geospatial information on Iran. It contains databases on geology and pages concerning the geology, geography, natural hazards, and mines of Iran.

An in process development on the website the ability to use GIS layering to examine the various provinces of Iran. When fully implemented this will be a great research tool. Each province also has information regarding its mineral wealth, recent earthquakes, etc. The site is a little hard to navigate but once one gets the hang of it there is a gold mine of information.

There is even more to the database. A handy glossary, a job board for those who do not mind working in an Islamic republic right in the middle of the global war on terrorism, and a photo gallery. Make sure you see the geotourism of Iran album.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Earth May Survive Giant Sun

The earth's age has been estimated to around 4.5 billion years. Scientists had believed that it was reaching mid-life and expected the planet to be sallowed by the sun during its death enlargement in about five billion years.

Now some scientists believe the Earth may survive (but any life on the planet is toast). Astronomers noticed a massive gas planet in about the same position of earth which has survived the enlargement of the star V 391Pegasi. There is one catch though, even if the enlarged Sun does not absorb Earth, a giant explosive wave will fling out from the Sun and potentially flash fry the planet (kind of like the explosion in the beginning of Star Trek VI).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Map of the Ethnic Violence in Baghdad and the War in Anbar



TDAXP links to General Petraeus' testimony and a map of the violence in Baghdad (above). The key violence has always been in the southern mixed belt of Baghdad. In the early part of the year there was violence in the northern Shia areas, probably due to Sunni reprisals. However, the Surge has managed to keep the peace in the dominated neighborhoods but when neighbor fights neighbor peace is much harder to control.

Side Note: a neighborhood in the southwest of Baghdad where much of the fighting is taking place is known as "Jihad."


The rest of the slides can be viewed here (PDF). Another map shows the war in Anbar. The fighting is along the "rat line" which al Qaeda uses to receive equipment and funds via Syria. Allying with Sunni chiefs has proven effective and violence is done as the supply chain is being shut down. It is important to remember though that al Qaeda is now trying to find other means to funnel equipment into Iraq.

Monday, September 10, 2007

World66



Catholicgauze has been painting the map read ever since he's been seven months old!

World 66 is a travel website and "sister" website to Wikitravel. So imagine Wikipedia meant for the traveler. Any place imaginable is available to be read about or edit.

A neat feature on the website is one can create maps of places visited. Above is my current states traveled to map but other ones available for customization are visited countries, visited Canadian provinces, and visited European countries.

Browse around and plan your next big or small trip today! (Hat tip: BigFlax.com Blog)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Indo-European Languages


Map of Indo-European languages. Orange are countries where an Indo-European language is dominant while yellow means an Indo-European is a minority language. (From Wikipedia)

Readers paying attention to the Kalash thread will notice Catholicgauze has encountered pro-Albanians who among other things claim 1) Alexander the Great was Albanian 2) Greeks and others are just Albanian posers 3) Albanians are the descendants of Atlantis and 4) Kalash are Albanians (I think, they have not been very clear). There evidence you ask? Some Albanian and Kalash words are similar! When Catholicgauze read that I slapped my head. That's because both Kalash and Albanian are Indo-European languages.

Under the leading theory, around the 4th millennium BC, the Kurgan people began to spread from out of the Pontic-Caspian steppe. The language of the Kurgan is thought to be the first Indo-European language. The vast dispersal was made possible because of the Kurgans use of horses. The Kurgan reach (and probable proto-Catholicgauzes) ranged from Western Europe to India. Today languages probably based from the Kurgan include English, German, French, Latin, Greek, Slavic, Farsi, Hindi, and many more.

As time progressed words changed but simpler ones continue to share similarities. Some words continue to remain almost universal between Indo-European languages. Just think of possibly the most common conversation in the world: "Mom? No!" "Mama? Non!" "Madre? No!" "Mutter? Nein!" "Mama? Nyet!" and so on and so on.

The Age of Colonization and then Imperialism allowed Indo-European languages (in particular English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese) to spread throughout the world. Today Indo-European Languages are either the official or an official secondary language in most countries. Seven of the top ten languages spoken by native speakers today are Indo-European.

The main contender to Indo-European is the Semitic language family of Arabic (spread via Islamic conquest), Hebrew (contained to the Jewish race) and a few other small religious languages such as Syriac (mostly in Eastern Christianity). Semitic languages are deeply interwinded with the religion of the respected speakers.

Niger-Congo is another competitor and it comprises most of sub-Saharan Africa. Many places which have a Niger-Congo language also recognize an Indo-European language due to the influence of colonization.

Other language families like Sino-Tibetan (Chinese, et al) and Japonic (Japanese and a few regional languages in Japan) are limited to one or a few national groups. While there was major European interaction with these groups, East Asia for the most part was able to adopt cultural advancements while still retaining their own identity.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Historical Hurricane Maps

NOAA has a neat online tool which maps out hurricanes as far back as the nineteenth-century. The more recent storms also have meteorological data broken down by various stages of growth and decline of the storm.

Its interesting to see various parts of the country repeatedly hit only to have people build exactly on the same spot only to have the homes destroyed again (cough barrier islands cough).

So far there has been no Hurricane Catholicgauze but there has been a couple Catholicgauzettes. (Hat tip: The Map Room)

Friday, September 07, 2007

10/40 Window of Missonary Activies



The Taliban executed two of the Korean hostages because the missionaries would not convert to Islam.

The world is still a dangerous place for those who feel compelled to spread Christianity like the missionaries of old. But one part of the world is the most dangerous yet most "fertile" zone for Christian missionaries. That zone is known as the 10/40 Window.

Comprising ten degrees north to forty degrees north in the Eastern Hemisphere, the 10/40 Window contains three Christian majority countries (Portugal, Greece, Philippines), and a few mixed regions like South Korean South Sudan, Ethiopia, Nagaland. However, the vast majority of the region is Muslim, pagan, or official atheist.

Other factors like 84% lowest quality of life, 82% of the worlds poor, etc create a base population with qualms towards the establishment. Evangelical groups hope to convert many of these inhabitants and see the situation as an opportunity.

However, history has been rough towards Christianity in the window. Nestorians came close to converting Persia and China but they were crushed. Islam destroyed the Christian Middle East and any chance to spread east, and the Jesuits ran until government persecution in efforts to convert China and Japan. Today a militant strand of Islam is actively fighting missionary efforts.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Germany's (and Europe's) Oil Imports


From Coming Anarchy

Coming Anarchy features a map of Germany's oil imports. Independent research by me shows pretty much a similar pattern for most of western and central Europe with France and some others receiving some Iranian oil.

Much of Europe and especially eastern Europe is dependent on oil from Russia. As the Russians have shown via there power games with their supply pipe lines, that is a tenuous relationship. This gives Putin an even stronger hand when it comes to negotiating deals with the European Union.

Improved relations with Libya will also allow that country to increase its oil output even more. Libya has been taking out ads in international newspapers stating how it is open for business.

Iran has issues with its oil exporting. The lack of infrastructure and some odd deals has caused the regime to ration gas for its citizens. The president of Iran has once again proven himself incapable of sound economic policy.

The globalized first world needs energy to survive and grow. The deals these countries make with others continues to play a massive role in the geopolitical situation and will into the future.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New Map Blog: Maps For Us

Catholicgauze has been watching the rise of another blog entitled Maps for Us. The blog is a collection of maps which range from strange to everyday. The stated mission of the blog ties in with the Miss Teen South Carolina debacle in which she stated, among other things, the children of America need maps.

Maps are donated by readers who e-mail them. However, the readers either do not cite their source or the blog does not choose to publish the source.

Fatah al-Islam Finally Defeated

Fatah al-Islam has been defeated by the Lebanese Army in a battle which has been going on since May.

The conclusion of the battle now allows Lebanon to focus on the upcoming election. The Shia Hezbollah and its allies hope to give an electoral death blow to the March 14 Alliance of Christians, Sunnis, and Druze. The election will play a key role. Lebanon can either become an ally in the War on Terrorism and a beacon of pluralistic democracy in the Middle East, or it can become an Iranian client state. Syria already has Iranian military in it, all of Lebanon may be subject next.

Battle for the DC Skyline: George Washington

The government and God have their presence in the DC skyline but the third player is a combination of the two. George Washington has become a secular, national god. He has two monuments dedicated to him which are easily viewable from much of the Washington DC area.



First off is the Washington Monument. The monument is in the National Mall, a public commons area which has become the highest concentrated area where tourists gather in DC. The monument creates a right angle connecting the executive center (White House) and the seat of the legislative branch (the capitol building). It is also the tallest structure in Washington and will probably remain so do to construction laws in the district.

When the monument was first being constructed Pope Pius IX donated a marble brick as a gift representing Catholic-American loyalties to their home nation. Know-Nothing stole the brick claiming a foreign ruler had no business with the American-hero Washington and the United States. A backlash against the Know-Nothings occurred and the incident became one of the first times Catholics felt truly accepted by Americans.



The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a lodge and museum dedicated to George Washington. The lodge is in Alexandria, Virginia and the only one supported by all other American grand lodges. Since Washington was a Mason and founder of the country, it is viewed that his memorial belongs to all American masons and not just those who live in Virginia.

Secular worship of Washington plus Freemasonry reach a high point in the memorial. Titles of "His Worshipfullness" may surprise the visitor. The tourist areas of the lodge stress how Freemasonary helped foster the ideals of freedom in the United States. The building is a monument to the most famous mason and his effort to create the nation.

The government, God, and George Washington all have their place in the DC skyline. Each monument servers as a reminder to the country of their importance.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Most Affordable Cities in America

MSN and Forbes have an article on the most affordable cities in the United States. Not surprisingly cities in the eastern half of the commonly accepted Midwest region dominate. Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are the leaders of the pack. These places are urban centers yet (with the exception of Detroit) usually do a good job of staying out of the news.

On a side note: Some of the above have baseball teams which would fit under reader Deaner's definition of a blue-collar team. Does an blue-collar, somewhat smaller city mindset help create a culture with many comforts of a city while decreasing crime, taxes, and other burdens?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Internet Troubles and Catholicgauze Loses a Bet

I am currently suffering from internet troubles at the apartment so no "real" post today.

I do have something for you however. A reader successfully and with ease was able to surmise where the term "Catholicgauze" comes from. So as to humble myself here is the reader's podcast. Widely Ranging Interests: Two men, heads filled with trivial flotsam and intellectual detritus, yattering deals with many subjects some of them geographical. While I have yet to listen to them all they do seem promising.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Google Earth Flight Simulator

A friend once told me how pilots play with Google Earth to get a certain feeling of flying. I guess it comes from the feeling of seeing the earth below you. Well, the most user friendly GIS software now has a built in flight simulator! Now all you need to do is read the instructions, hit control-alt-A, and pick between the dinky SR22 or the F16 "Fighting Falcon" aka "Viper."

Catholicgauze looks forward to the day when he can hop on Google Earth and engage some boogies over city full of SketchUp-designed buildings. Fox One!