Friday, March 29, 2013

Money Maps

Some kind of theoretical physicist used data collected from to create a map of how our money moves, hence how we move. The darker blue the line, the less likely a dollar bill is to cross it. How do we understand these lines? The map's creator suggests they can be used to create new state boundaries based not on arbitrary frontiers but on actual social and economic affinities. For me, it's awesome to see how much rivers, specifically the Mississippi, still help shape human mobility. Also how little Florida - or New England - wants anything to do with the rest of us. More pictures here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Living Tree

It’s said they planted trees by graves
to soak up spirits of the dead
through roots into the growing wood.
The favorite in the burial yards
I knew was common juniper.
One could do worse than pass into
such a species. I like to think
that when I’m gone the chemicals
and yes the spirit that was me
might be searched out by subtle roots
and raised with sap through capillaries
into an upright, fragrant trunk,
and aromatic twigs and bark,
through needles bright as hoarfrost to
the sunlight for a century
or more, in wood repelling rot
and standing tall with monuments
and statues there on the far hill,
erect as truth, a testimony,
in ground that’s dignified by loss,
around a melancholy tree
that’s pointing toward infinity.

-Robert Morgan