Lifes Worth Knowing

The Weekender

In Current events, Economics, Fascinating, Interesting, Justin, Maps, Politics, Thoughtful on February 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

Where childhood dreams (nightmares?) come true. Atlas Obscura is one of the coolest/creepiest sites on the internet. It highlights the world’s curiosities, like abandoned theme parks, natural wonders, ghost towns, that sort of thing. While this page for “The Enchanted Forest” theme park doesn’t have a wealth of pictures, it is pretty creepy to see the emblems of childhood fantasies rotting into disrepair. Also check out the Argentinian town drowned by a salt water lake and the Romanian Stonehead to name two of the thousands of locations.

When the truth is embarrassing. I hope that the Atlantic gives a raise to whoever decided to research the topic of this article. It is a (literal) look at some of the pork projects that members of Congress have brought back to their districts…and lists the proximity to their personal residences. An eye opening look at how pork gets dispensed, and why. Do you think the fact that Rep. John Teirney (D-MA) built a commuter rail station less than a quarter mile from the office complex that he owns was a coincidence? I bet that rail station really killed his property value…

Good news for homeowners. We covered the good economic news coming out of the jobs report earlier this week, but this is another dose of good news for the economy…the housing markets seems to have bottomed out. While it is still early, a quick look at the graph does seem to show a trend for stable housing prices. Heres hoping.

Lion and Tigers and Bears. Remember last year when all of those exotic animals were set loose in Ohio? It was a bizarre story then, and after you GQ reporter Chris Heath went to Zanesville to try to understand the incident – it gets even more bizarre. An engrossing and entertaining piece of long form reporting.

If only the highways were subways. This is an awesome, if not imprecise, map of the US highways using subway style representation, showing “transfer stations” at intersections and showing the highway system with beautiful simplicity.  It is really easy to see the awesome length of some of our highways. That Eisenhower knew what he was doing.

Well that’s just not fair. If you could thing up the best position title for your dream career – doesn’t “Explorer in Residence” for National Geographic have to be at the top of the list? That has to be the best job description ever. Now to rub salt in the wound of all of us 9-5 office drones…when these explorers have to sit down and write about all of the awesome places that they go…they get to do it in this office space that is designated specifically for National Geographic’s Explorer in Residence.

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