Findings, Nerdery, Stories

Placenames in Books Through History

Where a book is set is important. Settings can reinforce the centre of power or they can undermine it — the empire seeing itself or being seen from outside.

And places matter to how a story can be told too. Stories have an inheritance if they’re honest. They come from a place, a time and a culture.

The following maps, generated from Google Books, show the names of places in books over the years.

Placenames in books in 1800

Placenames in books in 1800


Names of geographic locations in books in 1830

Names of geographic locations in books in 1830


Names of geographic locations in books in 1860

Names of geographic locations in books in 1860


Names of geographic locations in books in 1890

Names of geographic locations in books in 1890


Names of geographic locations in books today.

Names of geographic locations in books today.

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Findings, Food, Travels, Vancouvering

Sexy Beast: the Giant Pacific Octopus

Loved this long story from Seattle’s The Stranger on the giant Pacific octopus:

Sexy Beast — The Mysteries of the Giant Pacific Octopus

Brendan Kiley captures the octopus in such a wonderful way it’s hard to not want to see one soon in my Pacific freedives.

When we snorkeled in the Mediterranean we often saw octopuses. I pointed one out to Monique one time and as soon as I pointed it saw us and turned a bright red colour. Zounds!

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Findings, Nerdery

Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail Opening Credits

The video:

The excerpts:

  • Moose Trained by
  • Special Moose Effects
  • Moose Costumes
  • Moose choreographed by
  • Miss Taylor’s Mooses by
  • Moose trained to mix concrete and sign complicated insurance forms by
  • Mooses noses wiped by
  • Large moose on the left hand side of the screen in the third scene from the end, given a thorough grounding in Latin, French, and ‘O’ Level Geography by
  • Suggestive poses for the moose suggested by
  • Antler-care by

No! Realli! She was Karving her initanals on the moose with the sharpened end of a interspace toothbrush givin to her by Svenge-Her brother-in-law-An oslo dentist and the star of many norwegin movies: “The hot hands of a Oslo Dentist”,”Fillings of passion”,”The huge molars of Horst Nordfink”

Mynd you! Moose bites can be pritti nasti….

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Findings, Nerdery

The Urgency of Life and Gompertz Law of Human Mortality

What do you think are the odds that you will die during the next year? Try to put a number to it — 1 in 100? 1 in 10,000? Whatever it is, it will be twice as large 8 years from now.

This startling fact was first noticed by the British actuary Benjamin Gompertz in 1825 and is now called the “Gompertz Law of human mortality.” Your probability of dying during a given year doubles every 8 years. For me, a 25-year-old American, the probability of dying during the next year is a fairly miniscule 0.03% — about 1 in 3,000. When I’m 33 it will be about 1 in 1,500, when I’m 42 it will be about 1 in 750, and so on. By the time I reach age 100 (and I do plan on it) the probability of living to 101 will only be about 50%. This is seriously fast growth — my mortality rate is increasing exponentially with age.

Just in case you ever needed motivation to start doing the most important things in your life right now.

From Gravity and Levity.

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Findings, Food, Nerdery

The Hot Waitress Index as Economic Indicator

To be actually useful, of course, the Hot Waitress Index must be a leading indicator, and there is good reason to believe that it is. Employment is generally thought to lag behind economic recovery, which is to say that jobless rates remain elevated, and even climb, after a recession has technically ended. But hotness occupies a privileged place in the employment picture. As a commodity that’s fairly cheap, historically effective as a marketing tool, and available on a freelance basis, hotness will likely be back in demand long before your average Michigan autoworker is. Or the rest of us, for that matter.

What the hotness of your waitress says about the economy: Hot Waitress Economic Index.

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Findings, Nerdery

Fight Club rules people know

Fight Club rules people know.

The Rules of Fight Club

  1. You do not talk about Fight Club.
  2. You do not talk about Fight Club.
  3. Someone yells, ‘Stop!’ The fight is over.
  4. Only 2 guys to a fight.
  5. One fight at a time, fellas.
  6. No shirts. No shoes.
  7. Fights will go on as long as they have to.
  8. If this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight.

As elucidated by Tyler Durden (AKA Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes):

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Findings

Welcome to Our Branding House

If you’re interested, I’d like to see if you have what it takes to write copy for our branding den/ad grotto − and our progressive, independent-minded clients. We need a postcard written for a little neighborhood grill that just opened. It’s called Applebee’s®. They want to promote their Carside to Go™ service. Go crazy with it. Have fun. Push the envelope − and get some papercuts doing it. Ha-ha. But seriously, just make sure you adhere to “The Applebee’s®. Corporate Guidelines and Branding Policies,” which is a huge document. I’ll email you a PDF instead of printing it so I don’t have to write a post-Earth Earth posting on my blog. Damn, I’m clever.

Wonderful satire from the enduring McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Welcome to Our Branding House.

Surprised then didn’t go with BrandingHaus.

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