Tag Archives: maps

A Travel Query for the Hive Mind

Mother Jones

Ben Cawthra/Rex Shutterstock via ZUMA

OK, hive mind, I have a question for you. My sister is heading to London later this year, and this time she has a shiny new iPhone to take with her. She’s on T-Mobile, so allegedly she’ll have access to calling, texting, and low-speed data without doing anything. So here’s one plan:

Download the maps she needs before she leaves.
Rely on T-Mobile for calling and texting.
Use WiFi whenever she’s at the hotel, in a coffee shop, etc.
Register for The Cloud, and use that when she’s out and about.
When all else fails, use T-Mobile’s low-speed data.


Buy a SIM when she gets there and use local calling, texting, and high-speed internet.

Do I have any T-Mobile readers who have been to London lately? What’s the dope? What do you think her best alternative is?

UPDATE: Thanks everyone! It sounds like T-Mobile’s native service works pretty well.

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A Travel Query for the Hive Mind

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This Map Shows the Freddie Gray Protests Across the Country

Mother Jones

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Thousands took to the streets in Baltimore earlier this week following the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, a black man who died after his spine was nearly severed while riding in a police van. Demonstrators have also gathered in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and nearly a dozen other cities. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced Friday that the six officers involved in Gray’s death will face criminal charges. Protests are planned around the country through the weekend.

Here’s a map of the latest demonstrations (tell us if we’ve missed any):

New York City



Los Angeles




San Diego



Albequerque, New Mexico

Washington, D.C.

Ferguson, Missouri


San Antonio


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This Map Shows the Freddie Gray Protests Across the Country

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These Maps Show Why We Keep Electing Climate Change Deniers

Mother Jones

One of the most significant obstacles to addressing climate change is the fact that huge numbers of US politicians reject the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are warming the planet. Why does the situation persist? How can a senator who (literally) holds up a snowball as evidence that global warming is a hoax keep winning reelection? How can someone who declares himself a climate “skeptic” be a front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination? As newly released research from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication makes painfully clear, GOP climate deniers actually hold views that are quite similar to those of the voters who elect them.

The Yale research is based on data from more than 13,000 survey responses since 2008. It estimates that nationwide, just 48 percent of people agree with the scientific consensus that global warming is caused “mostly” by humans. While other recent polls have found a somewhat higher percentage who say they believe humans are causing the planet to warm, Yale’s numbers are not a good sign for those—like billionaire activist Tom Steyer—who are trying to turn climate change denial into a disqualifying political position.

Things look even more discouraging when you use the researchers’ snazzy interactive maps to break down the estimates by congressional district. The blue districts on the map below are places where the researchers’ statistical model predicts that fewer than half of respondents believe that humans are primarily responsible for climate change. Yellow/orange districts are places where at least half of respondents accept the scientific consensus. As you can see, there’s an awful lot of blue—according to the data, 58 percent of US congressional districts have majorities that don’t accept the climate science.

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

The margin of error on the data makes it impossible to rank with certainty the districts with the most climate denial. Still, the two darker blue portions on the map are noteworthy—these are the only congressional districts in the country in which under 40 percent of residents are estimated to accept the scientific consensus. Texas’ 1st District (where 38 percent believe the science) is represented by Louie Gohmert, a Republican who thinks that the world “may be cooling” and that the rising level of carbon dioxide is a good thing because it will mean “more plants.” Alabama’s 4th District (39 percent believe climate science) is represented by Republican Robert Aderholt, who has argued that “Earth is currently in a natural warming cycle rather than a man-made climate change.” And it’s hard to see on the map, but California’s 12th District has the highest percentage of residents projected to believe that humans are causing climate change—65 percent. That district is in San Francisco, and it’s represented by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Adding elected officials’ party affiliations to the Yale data makes it clear that these aren’t simply one-off examples: In the average district with a Democratic member of Congress, 54 percent of adults believe humans are largely responsible for global warming; in the average GOP-controlled district, less than 46 percent agree.

Similar patterns exist at the state level:

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

In Oklahoma—home to snowball-wielding climate denier Sen. James Inhofe—just 44 percent of residents believe humans cause global warming, according to the researchers’ estimates. The same is true in Kentucky, which is represented in the Senate by Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul. Paul has said that he’s “not sure anybody exactly knows why” the climate is changing.

One final note: Take a look at the early presidential primary and caucus states—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. According to the Yale data, none of these states have majorities that accept the scientific consensus. (Nevada, at 50 percent, is the best of the four.) And when you consider that Republican primary voters are far more hostile to climate science than the general population, there seems to be very little incentive for GOP presidential candidates to embrace the truth about global warming.


These Maps Show Why We Keep Electing Climate Change Deniers

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How Climate Change Will Alter New York City’s Skyline


A warming world means big changes in the Big Apple. T photography/Shutterstock Last week, the New York City Panel on Climate Change released a new report detailing exactly how climate scientists expect New York City to change over over the next 100 years, focusing on projected increases in temperature and sea level. Sea level rise will certainly transform the shape of the city’s coastline. But Manhattan’s edges are basically a man-made pile of garbage already—they can go ahead and disintegrate. What climate will really change is the true shape of New York: Its iconic skyline, and the buildings in it. New York has a head start on adapting its buildings to its flooded future. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the city made zoning changes to support elevating homes, and mandated that new construction and substantial alterations meet the newest flood maps. “Flooding issues were felt most strongly after Sandy,” says Russell Unger, president of the Urban Green Council. “There was a vigorous response to adapt the building and zoning codes.” But those changes won’t be nearly enough. Last week’s report estimates that average annual rainfall in New York City will increase between 5 and 13 percent by the 2080s. Sea levels could be as high as six feet by 2100, doubling the area of the city currently at risk for severe flooding. And that’s without taking into account results published this week in Nature that found coastal sea level north of New York City had jumped temporarily by more than five inches between 2009-2010—an extreme, unprecedented event scientists partially blame on climate change. Read the rest at Wired.

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How Climate Change Will Alter New York City’s Skyline

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How Climate Change Will Alter New York City’s Skyline

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How Screwed Are Your State’s Oysters?

Mother Jones

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When carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and cars rise into the atmosphere, they don’t always stay there. While the majority of these emissions hang around to create the greenhouse effect that causes global warming, up to 35 percent of man-made carbon falls into the ocean. When that happens, the pH level of the ocean drops, causing a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. Some scientists call this the “evil twin” of climate change.

Over the last century, the oceans have become about 30 percent more acidic, a faster rate of change than at anytime in the last 300 million years. That’s really bad news for any sea creatures that live in hard shells (shellfish) or have bony exoskeletons (i.e., crabs and lobsters), and for coral. Fish larvae and plankton can also be affected. And since many of these organisms are food for bigger fish and mammals, ocean acidification puts the whole marine ecosystem at risk.

Of course, humans depend on these critters as well, especially in coastal communities whose economies are deeply tied to the fishing industry. In the last few years, the threat to oyster harvests in the Pacific Northwest has been well documented. But every bit of the US coastline bears some level of risk, according to a new report in Nature. The study offers the first comprehensive projection of which parts of the US coast will be worst off, and when ocean acidification could reach dangerous levels there.

Julia Ekstrom, a climate adaptation researcher at the University of California-Davis, combed through existing scientific literature for three key types of data: How ocean acidification is projected to change in different regions over the next century; how dependent individual local economies are on the shellfish harvest (the study focused only on bivalves like oysters—other critters could be the subject of future research); and social factors that could help communities adapt, like pollution controls (runoff from rivers can also affect local pH) or the availability of other jobs. That data, combined, led to the map below.

Purple indicates the time at which ocean acidification is expected to become serious enough to significantly affect shellfish (darker is sooner); red indicates how vulnerable a region would be to a drop-off in shellfish productivity. So Washington, for example, could see the impacts soon but is relatively well-prepared to handle them. Impacts to the Gulf Coast are expected much further in the future but could be more economically severe.

Ekstrom et al, courtesy Nature

The good news is that many of what could be the hardest-hit communities still have time to prepare. Then again, the outlook could be worse in some places (Maine, for example) if you conducted similar research on lobsters and other vital fisheries. Ekstrom said localized predictions like this are key to enabling communities to prepare and can also help scientists decide where to focus efforts to monitor and track acidification as it progresses.

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How Screwed Are Your State’s Oysters?

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Do You Live in a State With Low Vaccination Rates?

Mother Jones

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Measles is making a comeback: The extremely contagious and potentially deadly disease was eliminated in the US in 2000, thanks to a highly effective vaccine and laws requiring kids to be vaccinated before starting school. But in recent years, it has become easier for parents to opt out—and vaccination rates are slipping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a major spike in cases in 2014, and 2015 might be even worse—in just over a month, there have been 102 cases (and counting) reported across 14 states, mostly connected to December’s Disneyland outbreak.

As we reported yesterday, Anne Schuchat, an assistant surgeon general and the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stressed that measles could get “a foothold in the United States and become endemic again,” if people don’t get vaccinated.

Overall, national vaccination rates seem high: The median rate of coverage for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, administered to most before entry into kindergarten, was 94.7 percent for the 2013-2014 school year. But, as Schuchat points out, the rate is lower in communities where unvaccinated families tend to cluster. In some areas, low rates might have more to do with access to clinics than with beliefs about vaccinations.

“The national estimates hide what’s going on state to state. The state estimates hide what’s going on community to community. And within communities there may be pockets,” said Schuchat. “It’s one thing if you have a year where a number of people are not vaccinating, but year after year in terms of the kids that are exempting, you do start to accumulate.”

Note: This second map has been revised.

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Do You Live in a State With Low Vaccination Rates?

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This Map Shows The West’s Spreading Anti-Terror Crackdown

Mother Jones

On the heels of the Paris attacks, a wave of anti-terror raids, arrests, and new security policies have swept the Western world in at least seven countries. Around two dozen suspects in four countries were apprehended on Thursday and Friday of last week. On Tuesday, counter-terrorism operations continued in France, Germany, and Greece. The map below plots the efforts thus far from Canada, the US, Germany, Ireland, France, Greece, and Belgium. Click on each city for further details.


This Map Shows The West’s Spreading Anti-Terror Crackdown

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Seas are rising in weird, new ways

on the level

Seas are rising in weird, new ways

By on 1 Dec 2014commentsShare

Here’s a fun fact about “sea-level rise”: The seas aren’t actually level to begin with. Because of predictable, long-term patterns in climate, global winds push more water into some oceans than others. This leaves the seven seas (not really a thing) divided into six “basins” (actually a thing). Water in these interconnected systems can slosh around to different areas while the overall volume stays the same — much like water in a bathtub.

Or so we thought!

Last month in the super-sexy-sounding journal Geophysical Research Letters, scientists published research suggesting that changes to the Earth’s climate are driving changes in the way sea level rises in some of these ocean basins. Historically, the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere operate as a closed system, with an inverse relationship between the Indian and South Pacific basin and the South Atlantic basin: When one goes up, the other must come down. Using satellite measurements of sea level to track the flux in level, the researchers were surprised to find that, starting in the late ’90s, both basins began to rise in unison.

This is a map of the ocean basins — those big blue and purple blotches at the bottom of the map have been behaving strangely, thanks to climate change. Click to embiggen. Philip R. Thompson and Mark A. Merrifield

The total increase in this basin is about 2 millimeters a year — for you Americans, that adds up to a little more than an inch since 2000. It’s not weird that the oceans are rising, obviously, but it is strange to see such a distinct shift in the way they rise. The scientists trace this weirdness back to changes in the east-west wind patterns — changes for which they have several hypotheses, all of them linked to climate change.

Meanwhile, the other oceans seem to be behaving normally. Though let’s be clear: By “behaving normally,” we mean “rising in predictably terrifying ways as opposed to new weirdly terrifying ways.”

Science Graphic of the Week: Rising Sea Levels Show Strange Patterns

, Wired.



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Seas are rising in weird, new ways

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This Map Shows What People Are Most Thankful For In Every State

Mother Jones

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Earlier this week, Facebook’s data team crunched the numbers on what users say they are most “thankful” for. The top two overall results were predictably “friends” and “family,” which is heartwarming but sort of a snooze.


The state-by-state breakdown, however, is pretty interesting in a meaningless but entertaining sort of way.


Some observations:

1. To me the most disheartening is Kentucky where people are grateful for their “work family.”

2. There are apparently a lot of magicians in Ohio and Alaska who “don’t do it for the money.”

3. Maryland is thankful for having “a sound mind” which I can only take to mean some sort of criticism of its neighboring states. “Look, look, Delaware and Virginia are dispossessed. We’re just happy to be the state that keeps it all together.”

4. A lot of people in Illinois are apparently trying to passive-aggressively use Facebook to get out of the dog house with their significant other.

Head on over to Facebook for the methodology and some other cool visualizations.

(via The Atlantic)


This Map Shows What People Are Most Thankful For In Every State

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Map: Here’s How #Ferguson Exploded on Twitter Last Night

Mother Jones

On Monday evening, news of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown erupted across social media. The announcement was made shortly after 8:20 PM CT and sparked massive protests around the country. The situation was particularly violent in and around the St. Louis area, with more than 60 people arrested overnight.

Using the hashtag #Ferguson, Twitter has mapped out how the conversation took place:

More from the chaotic scene:

Police gather on the street as protesters react after the announcement of the grand jury decision. Charlie Riedel/AP

Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother, is comforted outside the Ferguson police department as St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch conveys the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of her son. Robert Cohen/AP

People watch as stores burn down. David Goldman/AP

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Map: Here’s How #Ferguson Exploded on Twitter Last Night

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