25 August 2013

Macro and micro recovery

Sandy recovery has to be looked at from both a micro and macro perspective. This story is just a micro story, but it might be an indicator of the quality of available workers overall.

16 August 2013

Detailed Map of Americans

An initiative in the war on spatial illiteracy is Slate's Map of the Week feature, which thrusts geographic representations before the eyes of a very large reading audience. This week's map is from Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service . It is always interesting to see whether the comments focus on a social/political issue or dig into cartographic questions.

The sad state of spatial literacy today

Do we need to step up our spatial literacy efforts? Apparently so...

Martin Bashir tweets/writes it off as an honest mistake..

As in, "I honestly didn't know where Buffalo was so I just put it here."
They are all so far off that I can't even guess which one is the closest to its actual location.

15 August 2013

14 August 2013

Does geology still matter?

With some regularity I encounter students who think they should be allowed to bypass our geology requirement because they think it is an antiquated science that we have fully under control. This week's photos from Central Florida prove that geology is still relevant to new construction, even in flat landscapes.

13 August 2013

Musée du Louvre

This past Saturday (August 10) was the 220th anniversary of the opening of Musée du Louvre. To celebrate, Lapham's Quarterly republished a letter by Harriet Beecher Stowe describing her first visit there. While the entire letter is worth reading, I particularly enjoyed this description:
The ascent to the picture gallery tends to produce a flutter of excitement and expectation. Magnificent staircases, dim perspectives of frescoes and carvings, the glorious hall of Apollo, rooms with mosaic pavements, antique vases, countless spoils of art, dazzle the eye of the neophyte and prepare the mind for some grand enchantment. I first walked through the whole, offering my mind up aimlessly to see if there were any picture there great and glorious enough to seize and control my whole being, and answer at once the cravings of the poetic and artistic element.
As you would expect from a great writer, she makes the place come to life, even if this simple letter home.

12 August 2013

Lose the Lawn

The NY Times has yet again rediscovered the conflict between water-intensive lawns and water restricted landscapes. The article titled, "Arid Southwest Cities' Plea: Lose the Lawn," captures the conflict but doesn't reflect the creative solutions we are seeing in some arid cities. They did catch a quote from Diana Balmori, but I would have also liked to hear from Ken McCown, too.

08 August 2013

Pine Barrens

"He asked where I was going, and I said that I had no particular destination, explaining that I was in the pines because I found it hard to believe that so much unbroken forest could still exist so near the big Eastern cities, and I wanted to see while it was still there.” 

 - John McPhee, The Pine Barrens

02 August 2013

Post-Sandy Study Site

For the fall geodesign studio we will be exploring the areas of Eagleswood, Tuckerton, Little Egg Harbor and Stafford. I recently went down to explore the area up-close and here is a small sampling of what I saw:

01 August 2013

Another player on the shore

I am not surprised to see special interest groups like the ALS, or builders associations, or Audubon showing direct interest in redevelopment at the Jersey Shore. Ever since Superstorm Sandy visited, discussions about the future have been more heated. But today's NJ.com described a group that hasn't been as visible in coastal issues: the AARP. Are they complaining about care facilities or evacuation plans? No, Verizon. And, based on the NJ.com report, this isn't a pleasant little intellectual debate:

"This is typical over-the-top, the-sky-is-falling rhetoric from the AARP," he said. "Verizon's goal is to provide our customers with the best service, with the best technology."
 How many other unexpected issues and interested parties will Sandy bring out? How many more will the next storm unearth unexpectedly?