Sunday, January 25, 2015

The happiest, horniest, wealthiest states

There are infinite ways to look at the U.S. by laying demographic, survey and other data over a map of the country.
What follows are some interesting examples from around the Web.

The Happiest Regions In America

Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research put together a map showing the relative happiness of people in metropolitan and rural areas of the U.S.
Among cities, the small city of Charlottesville, Virginia, tops the rankings, and Washington, D.C., and Atlanta both rank as happier than average, according to Priceonomics.
Declining cities like Detroit, Michigan, and urban areas in the Midwest are particularly unhappy. Large swaths of Indiana and Kentucky ranked at the bottom of the happiness rankings.

States with the horniest women

For his book “Dataclysm,” OKCupid founder Christian Rudder uses data gleaned from what people say and do on dating sites to uncover which states have the horniest women and other interesting facts, according to Men’s Health.

States with the longest and shortest average sex times

Fast Company ran a map showing average sex times in states across the U.S.
The infographic was based on data from Spreadsheets, a sort of sex-focused Fitbit.

Map showing whether states prefer boobs or butts

A study of Americans looking for “straight,” “woman-with-man” pornography on websites Pornhub and Youporn revealed which states prefer butts over boobs, Huffington Post reported.

Descriptive words for each state

Business Insider published a U.S. map showing the top autocomplete word for each state when people search Google for “Why is (state) so …?”
Some results:
Why is Illinois so … corrupt?
Why is Virginia so … strict?

Word used most disproportionately in each state’s Wikipedia article

Slate studied Wikipedia articles to find the word most representative of each state. (For Pennsylvania it’s chocolate, for Colorado it’s cannabis, etc.)
Author Ben Blatt discussed how the data can be sorted to come up with different results based on various parameters.

Top State Income Tax Rates

The Tax Foundation has run a series of informative maps.
Check out the organization’s map showing state income tax rates in 2014, which range from zero in seven states to 13.3% in California.


Largest company by revenue in each state

Huffington Post reprinted a map showing the largest company by revenue in each state.
The map was put together by telecom company Broadview Networks.

Wealthiest Americans by state

Real estate blog Movoto published a map showing the richest person in each state.

What each state buys most on eBay

The data analysts at eBay put together a map of the 50 states showing what types of products are purchased in each state most often.
(See article by the Huffington Post.)


Most popular U.S. attractions by state

An Imgur user posted a map showing the most popular U.S. attractions by state.
It was composed using information from a list website called Reflections of Pop Culture & Life’s Challenges.

Each State’s Supernatural Claim To Fame

The Movoto Real Estate Blog published a detailed map showing each state’s supernatural claim to fame, including cryptids, UFOs and aliens, or paranormal activity.
In my current state of Virginia, the top supernatural incident involves the “the Bunny Man” in Fairfax, Va.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The United States of Food

Regional food preferences are the subject of a lot of cool online maps.
As part of my exploration of online maps, I’ll spotlight a few here.

The United States of Burgers

Serious Eats made a map of the U.S. with each state represented by an iconic local burger.
From my old stomping grounds in the Midwest, Illinois is represented by the Steak ’n Shake burger, Minnesota by the Juicy Lucy and Iowa by the Maid-Rite loose meat sandwich.

The Great American Pizza Map

The Washington Post assembled a collection of maps showing which pizza chains dominate what areas of the U.S.

Red, White & Food

Thrillist published a U.S. map showing the most noteworthy restaurant chain from each state. (See map at top. Click for larger view.)

Mapping the Rise of Craft Beer

The New Yorker created an interactive map to chart the growth of craft beer.
You can click on the map to see which states have the most breweries per 500,000 people, the fastest growing breweries and other neat statistics.

The United States of Corn

Photographer Henry Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin collaborated on a series of “Food Maps” that are made out of the types of foods best known from the places the maps depict.
The U.S. map is made out of corn and corn products.
(See photo below. Click for larger view. Also check out articles by the Laughing Squid and My Modern Met.)


Friday, January 23, 2015

Entertainment maps: music artist preferences by state, Hollywood destruction targets

The United States are not homogeneous. There are distinct differences among the 50 states.
Paul Lamere of the Echo Nest released several maps showing music preferences by state. One map showed the most distinctive favorite artist in each state, meaning the artist that each state listened to more than other states.
Lamere and blogger Randal Cooper put together charts showing the Most Ignored Artists in each state, based on the top 50, top 100 and top 200 artists.
One contributor to Reddit created a map showing the best-selling musician or group by state of birth. Some are obvious, such as Prince in Minnesota and Billy Joel in New York. Others aren’t, such as Kenny G beating out Nirvana in Washington State, according to Fast Company.
Continuing with the entertainment maps theme, Deadspin’s The Concourse did a map of the U.S. showing where Hollywood movies have destroyed the most cities in alien attacks, natural disasters and other cataclysmic events. (See image at top. Click for larger view.)

See also: U.S. maps showing movie and TV show locations.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fun, educational map websites

Maps are endlessly fascinating. They show how we define the world. They can be geographical, sociological, political, historical and otherwise educational.
Many popular maps circulated online combine maps with demographic data to yield eye-opening results. They might better be described as infogaphics.
I’ve found a couple of websites devoted to maps that are entertaining and illuminating.
Maps on the Web is a Tumblr blog that posts several cool maps a day.
Amazing Maps is another Tumblr blog that spotlights neat maps.
Both are worth checking out.

Samples maps (Click for larger view): Apostasy in Islam, punishments by country for a Muslim who consciously abandons Islam (top); and Tearing Europe Apart, 20 ways to slice a continent from Yanko Tsvetkov’s Atlas of Prejudice 2.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

‘Game of Thrones’ in space, ‘Harry Potter’ in space, other space-set dramas coming

The Syfy channel is starting to run ads for its upcoming science-fiction drama “The Expanse,” which has been described as “‘Game of Thrones’ in space.”
As I’ve noted previously, Hollywood writers sometimes put a fresh spin on old stories by adding “in space” to the name of a well-known work.
For instance, the classic “Star Trek” episode “Balance of Terror” (1966) is really just the World War II submarine film “The Enemy Below” (1957) set in outer space. The episode also may have been inspired by another submarine film, “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958).
The original “Battlestar Galactica” TV series (1978-79) was billed as “‘Wagon Train’ in space,” with robotic Cylons replacing the marauding Indians.
The science-fiction horror film “Alien” (1979) was pitched to studio executives as “‘Jaws’ in space.”
The 1997 sci-fi horror movie “Event Horizon” was sold to studio execs as “‘The Shining’ in space.”
In 2009, ABC aired a short-lived science-fiction series called “Defying Gravity” that was pitched as “‘Grey’s Anatomy in space.”
For more examples, check out my April 2013 article “Movies where the setting was changed to ‘in space’.”
More such “in space” stories are in production or have been optioned.
The Expanse” is scheduled to premiere later this year. The 10-episode series is based on the New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as The Expanse, which starts with “Leviathan Wakes.”
Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves is attached to star in a sci-fi romance movie called “Passengers,” which was billed as “Adam and Eve in space.”
In 2012, Warner Bros. acquired the screen rights to the young adult novel “The Planet Thieves,” which was pitched to the studio as “Harry Potter in space.”
And finally, a long-in-development “Star Wars” television series has been described as “‘Deadwood’ in space.” But that ambitious series is likely to fall by the wayside as Star Wars owner Walt Disney focuses on new movies in the franchise.

Photos: Scenes from “The Expanse.”


Monday, January 19, 2015

‘12 Monkeys’ makes nine post-apocalyptic TV shows now airing

With the premiere last Friday of “12 Monkeys” on Syfy, there are now nine post-apocalyptic themed television shows now airing in the U.S.
A tenth is set to premiere on March 1 on Fox: “The Last Man on Earth” starring Will Forte.
“12 Monkeys” is based on the 1995 film of the same name. It’s about a time traveler from the year 2043 who is trying to stop the release of a virus that kills most of the world’s population.
“The Last Man on Earth” is a comedy about Forte as the last man on Earth in the year 2022 after an unknown event wipes out the population of Earth.
But the trend of post-apocalyptic television may have reached its peak.
Alien-invasion series “Falling Skies” is scheduled to end its run this summer with a fifth and final season of 10 episodes.
Plus, broadcasters have pulled the plug on two post-apocalyptic shows in production.
Amazon.com opted not to go ahead with “The After,” a series from “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter, according to GeekTyrant.
And AMC passed on “Galyntine” from executive producer Ridley Scott, the Hollywood Reporter said. “Galyntine” was set after a cataclysmic technology-induced disaster has resulted in a new society that has eschewed any form of technology.
However, one more post-apocalyptic television show is in the works: the unnamed companion series to AMC’s zombie drama “The Walking Dead.”

Check out: List of post-apocalyptic TV dramas.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The 20 most talked-about magazine covers of 2014 (that didn’t feature nudity)

Magazine covers often try to be provocative to attract attention.
Sometimes they become news stories themselves.
What follows are some of the most talked-about magazine covers of 2014. I’ve excluded the notable ones that involved nudity because they were too numerous and I discussed them in an earlier article.

The New Yorker; Jan. 20, 2014

When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was accused of shutting down the George Washington Bridge as political payback, the New Yorker magazine depicted him as a little boy with a ball stopping traffic on the bridge.

GQ, February 2014

GQ may have gone bust trying to get this issue on the rack.
The cover features pop singer Katy Perry with her breasts nearly popping out of her top.
In the accompanying article, Perry talks about praying for large breasts as a young girl. She got her wish.
(See GQ photo spread and articles by Us Weekly and E Online.)

Rolling Stone, Feb. 13, 2014

Pope Francis scored another magazine cover with his appearance on music magazine Rolling Stone. It was the first time Rolling Stone has featured a pope on the cover.
(See articles by the Huffington Post and Information Overload.)

Milwaukee Magazine, March 2014

Milwaukee Magazine caused a stir with its cover story on same-sex weddings. The cover featured a lesbian couple in wedding gowns embracing.
Sendik’s Fine Foods in Brookfield, Wis., blocked the cover, thinking it would offend customers. Instead it ignited a debate about censorship.
(See articles by Jim Romenesko, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and WISN.)

Newsweek; March 14, 2014

The March 14, 2014, issue of Newsweek promised to unmask the mystery man behind the crypto-currency Bitcoin. The article erupted into a firestorm of controversy after the story’s accuracy was questioned.
(See articles by Adweek, Reuters, Medium, Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed.)

Jalouse, April 2014

French magazine Jalouse caused controversy when it featured 12-year-old Thylane Blondeau as its cover model. It touted her as the next Kate Moss.
The Jalouse cover raised concerns about the sexualization of children.
(See articles by the Daily Mail and Huffington Post.)

Vogue, April 2014

A lot of people were outraged that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were on the cover of the April 2014 issue of Vogue.
A Vogue cover is a major accomplishment for fashion models. Giving the cover to a reality-TV fame whore and an egotistical rapper was inappropriate, critics said.
(See articles by New York Magazine and Hollywood Life.)

Golf Digest, May 2014

Golf Digest took heat for its choice of model Paulina Gretzky as its cover subject for the May 2014 issue.
She doesn’t play professional golf but is engaged to PGA tour star Dustin Johnson.
The move irked members of the LPGA, who are largely ignored by the magazine.
(See articles by the Huffington Post and Business Insider.)

Time, June 9, 2014

Laverne Cox made headlines when she became the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine. Cox, who stars in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” was featured on the June 9, 2014, issue. (See article by Entertainment Weekly.)

People; June 16, 2014

The June 16, 2014, cover of People magazine sparked concerns about the health of possible presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In the picture, it looked like Clinton was using a walker. She was actually leaning on a patio chair. (See article by Business Insider.)

Sports Illustrated, Aug. 25, 2014

Thirteen-year-old sensation Mo’ne Davis became the first Little Leaguer to grace the national cover of Sports Illustrated.
(See article by Mother Jones.)

People; Aug. 25, 2014

People magazine’s best-selling cover of the year was its Aug. 24, 2014, issue on the death of actor Robin Williams.
The issue earned the inaugural People Magazine Award for Best People Magazine Cover of the Year.

Wired, September 2014

The Wired profile of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden featured a cover without text except for the magazine’s title. The dramatic design earned many plaudits.

Time, Sept. 1, 2014

Time magazine earned kudos for its Sept. 1, 2014, cover about the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo.
(See article by the Huffington Post.)

Entertainment Weekly, Sept. 5, 2014

Entertainment Weekly did four covers for its Sept. 5, 2014, issue about the fifth season of the “Walking Dead.” The most popular cover, according to a reader poll, was that of Danai Gurira as sword-wielding zombie killer Michonne.

The New Yorker, Sept. 8, 2014

The Sept. 8, 2014, issue of the New Yorker earned stellar reviews for its cover featuring the retirement of New York Yankees great Derek Jeter.

The New Yorker, Sept. 29, 2014

The New Yorker cover on Sept. 29, 2014, about the NFL’s legal problems was an attention-grabber.
The New York Times did an article about the magazine’s covers shifting from polite to provocative.

Bloomberg Businessweek, Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2014

Bloomberg Businessweek did a cover story on the spread of Ebola.
The cover reflected the terrifying nature of the disease.

Vogue China, November 2014

The November 2014 issue of Vogue China earned headlines because the model was wearing the upcoming Apple Watch. The smartwatch was modeled by Liu Wen.
(See articles by the Huffington Post, the Verge and Fashionista.)

Time, Dec. 22-29, 2014

Time magazine chose the Ebola fighters for its Person of the Year issue. It created five covers for the special edition.

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