If you’ve ever looked out the window of your New York to Frankfurt flight and became nervous upon seeing Iceland 30,000 feet below, you can now rest easy knowing that your Trans-Atlantic flight, along with thousands of others, were right on course. For those of us who aren’t pilots, air traffic controllers or in the intelligence business, you can thank spatial analysis for this little bit of information, and its not just information that this type of analysis yields, its also captivating art. Aside from designers, architects and self proclaimed tech geeks, who would have though spacial analysis could look so cool? Well, thanks to some creative and cleaver work by Michael Markieta, who calls himself a “GIS nerd at heart,” those of us who are less technically inclined and motivated have an amazing graphical and artistic representation of just what modern day air travel looks like. More specifically, Michael mapped out more than 58,000 flight routes using data from openflights.org and rendered them into beautiful graphics using ArcMap. These images of global flight paths are fascinating and quite telling on multiple levels. Transit hubs are clearly present, population centers are easily identified, and the disparity between developed and developing countries is readily apparent.
I recently returned from a two week trip to Russia. Compared to the expedition and some other post expedition travels, two weeks really wasn’t very long… at least it didn’t seem very long as it flew by incredibly fast, but then again, the expedition flew by like a blur as well. Needless to say, I packed in as much as I could into those two weeks: from Russian language lessons and Moscow sightseeing, to countryside barbeques and a gigantic celebration of Russian war veterans. I also packed in as much as I could into my luggage. In Colorado, May is a tricky month weather wise. It can be snowing one day and sunny and hot the next. Case in point, the Saturday before I left for Russia, the mercury hit over 80 degrees and a few days later, Denver received 10 inches of snow. This left me scratching my head as to how to pack. My friend Elena said spring in Russia can be equally unpredictable, and considering how far north I was going to be, I decided I had better be prepared for it all.
We have been working on a documentary about bike community for about a year now and are nearly finished. It is called Bike Driven, and over the course of the last year we have filmed some serious nutballs riding the funkiest of setups in Denver, even tall bikes, but none this tall. The bike is insane and the ride in the video is from a gathering called LA Bike Cult.
Upon a little tangent on the internet today, I discovered pretty much the coolest snake and also the wierdest viperkeeper on the planet. The snake is called Atheris hispida, and it lives in Central Africa. Since I am not a zoologist, scientist or snake expert, I will save you the time of reading a long post that is probably full of falsities anyway.
Just watch the ViperKeepers video below, he is a truly awesome snake loving nerd. A warning though, you may end up wasting a bunch of time watching him screw with seriously poisonous snakes.