Things I’ve Recently Appreciated

My Amsterdam friend, Patricia van Engelen, posted this article about How the Dutch Created a Casual Biking Culture — and I resonated with it on so many levels. This explains why I use my bicycle the way I do in Kent, Ohio: not as a sport, not as a reckless adventure activity, but simply as an efficient and enjoyable way to get around. If every person (and especially every city planner) in the United States could absorb and apply the principles reflected in this article, I think we would be much better off as a society. I’d be excited, at least.

Speaking of excitement: American football season is starting again! I don’t obsess about the sport like I used to, but there’s still something fun and nostalgic about the sport and all the pageantry that comes with it. This dance in the video above is an example of American football pageantry at its finest. I don’t know dance culture or terminology well enough to understand or explain what I like about this  routine from a recent football game — but I like it. It reminds me of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

 

If you’ve checked in on my website with any degree of regularity, you’ve seen that I’m kind of crazy about cartography. Maps fascinate me on the visual, cultural, and anthropological levels — so when I saw this recent piece from the Bloomberg Report on How America Uses its Land, I was intrigued. There are some interesting insights in the report, and they’re laid out in a very visually-compelling way (with minimal political interpretation about the findings). It’s amazing to me how vast the USA really is: as evidenced by the percentage of territory filled by timberland, pastureland, parkland, and farming. Check it out if you’re a map geek like me.

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