Hello (from) Rhode Island!

Greetings from  the Ocean State! To be more specific, hello from Barrington, a town of about 16,000 people, south of Providence.

I used Google My Maps to show some of our early favorite places. Here’s a link to the interactive map, and here’s a link to a PDF of My Barrington.

The kids might disagree with my including their schools among the favorites. I hope that they like the schools, since the school system is one of the things that brought us to Barrington in particular when we decided to move to Rhode Island. Anyway, school starts on Monday (August 28).

We’ve been here about a week and a half. So far, so very good. More about Rhode Island, and about much else, soon. Thanks for reading!


Middle East: Two Perspectives

I just finished Dreamers of the Day, Mary Doria Russell’s story of a schoolteacher who visits Egypt in 1921. Agnes meets T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, and others trying to define the states and borders of the Middle East after the Great War.

This isn’t a review, but it is a recommendation. Maria Doria Russell‘s prose is, as always, a pleasure to read. My main reservation about Dreamers is that I was enjoying her writing, rather than Agnes’, and the book is written in the first person.

So one perspective on the Middle East is that of Agnes/Maria. It might be more accurately called a collection of perspectives, since Lawrence and others offer Agnes their differing perspectives.

The second perspective is an Imperial History of the Middle East, in the form of a map. The map (which I found via reddit) changes over a minute and a half to reflect five thousand years of empires.

You don’t need to tell me that there are more than two perspectives on the Middle East, but most other comments would be welcome.

Britain, (In)exactly

I was born (at an early age) in Scotland, which is part of Britain.

But what is Britain? That question recently occurred to Justin – on a rainy day, appropriately enough. He found this Euler diagram at the Wikipedia page Terminology of the British Isles.

14britainsBut what shape is Britain? One way of answering that question is to photograph maps and overlay the shapes of Britain. That is indeed the method chosen by Ben the graphic designer. Ben’s fuzzy Britain prompts musings about the disconnect between map and territory at my favorite cartography blog.

In case you were wondering where in Britain I was born, the answer is: Inverness. Perhaps I should try to mark it on these maps…

Searching For Boston Map

Looking at my blog stats, one of the surprisingly successful posts continues to be the one featuring Ork Posters’ Map of Boston Neighborhoods. The traffic keeps on trickling in, most as a result of searches.

Many of the people who read the post click on through to Ork. I don’t know how many of those people buy a poster. Ork doesn’t have an affiliate program. But if anyone at Ork knows, and feels grateful, I’ll take a red screenprint of Boston, thank you!

No, I’m not trying to mess with your head or eyes by using the green version for this post. I didn’t want to repeat my earlier use of the red one, and it’s a little nod to the NBA champion Celtics.

I’m Just Looking at the Two Englands

englandnorthsouth.jpgEngland is divided into north and south, but it’s not always easy to locate the border. Here’s a recent attempt to draw the real dividing line. East Leake, the village to which we moved when I was 11, and where my parents still live, is very slightly to the north the line on the map. It’s between Nottingham and Leicester.

The divide is the result of a study conducted at Sheffield University. Sheffield, firmly in the north, is the city in which both my parents were born, and is probably best known in the USA now for the Arctic Monkeys connection. The image is my Picniking of StrangeMap 193.