Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Choropleth-o-Rama! Wow What a Map!!

Those smarties at the Centers for Disease Control present (and really this is just one example of their knock-home-the-message communication skills) a jaw-dropping example of a choropleth map - this one shows the prevalence of obesity from 1985 through 2009. Half movie (it's a drama, not a comedy), half public service announcement - this technique presents what must be gobs of data in compelling, and (interestingly) palatable bites.
Man, what a map.

I would be interesting to compare access to healthy food in urban, periurban, and rural regions and obesity - a health issue associated with food deserts. In the US, rural counties have the highest level of diabetes/obesity. Why no gardens?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Base2Stay: A Little Swank in London

Base2Stay is a series of hotels: London, Liverpool. We stayed a Saturday night at one, I've forgotten why, on a sketchy edge of Kensington - the potted palms were chained to the pretty marble porch. Sketchy, maybe, but Base2Stay knows what swank is: gorgeous bedding, gleaming bath, equally gleaming European desk attendants, but it's neearly affordable (95 pounds a night - double it to translate to dollars; 65 pounds in Liverpool) because it knows exactly how much swank it is going to dollop on you. Exactly. How much.

As a result, the room was the size of the bed, and climbing over, the view was of the bins and the road, although the road was Kensington-quiet: a fruit shop and the chemist's on the corner, a Mini whizzing by or a Bentley prowling.

In the morning, galumphing in hiking boots and glasses past the impeccable, freshly spritzed, multi-lingual desk attendants. We went for good Italian coffee around the corner in Earl's Court. On the way, there was half a young man lying on the sidewalk, half through someone's garden gate, the bottom edge of his jacket, a plaid shirt, his legs, and pretty good shoes in the path. They were strange to approach. He was lying on his hip - the way you do - so his legs looked like they were walking toward us in a world on a perpendicular plane.

Brian hopped them, which was both delightful and appalling. Delightful, really.

It had been raining lightly, but the sidewalk under him was dry. He was gone when we walked back, but the legs walking were still there.