The paleo-tectonic maps of retired geologist Ronald Blakey are mesmerizing and impossible to forget once you’ve seen them. Catalogued on his website Colorado Plateau Geosystems, these maps show the world adrift, its landscapes breaking apart and reconnecting again in entirely new forms, where continents are as temporary as the island chains that regularly smash together to create them, on a timescale where even oceans that exist for tens of millions of years can disappear leaving only the subtlest of geological traces.
With a particular emphasis on North America and the U.S. southwest—where Blakey still lives, in Flagstaff, Arizona—these visually engaging reconstructions of the Earth’s distant past show how dynamic a planet we live on, and imply yet more, unrecognizable changes ahead.
The winners have just been announced of this year’s National Geographic photo contest. The Society received more than 22,000 entries from over 150 countries. Presented here are the winners from the three categories of People, Places, and Nature, captions provided by the photographers. The Grand Prize Winner receives $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual National Geographic Photography Seminar in January 2013. Be sure to also see earlier In Focus collections of entries:Part I and Part II.
See more. [Images: National Geographic Photo Contest]
[Images: MPI’s Zara Matheson]
Scientists will sometimes stain a certain element of organic matter to enhance its visibility under a microscope. These surreal and sharply colored images could be mistaken for such contrast-enhanced biological material.
They are actually Google Earth photos of tianguis, the famous street markets that spring up all across the Distrito Federal. In a collection compiled by Fabian Neuhaus of UrbanTick, and featured on Nicola Twiley’s Edible Geography on Monday, the markets — sheltered beneath red plastic tarps, which gives them their distinctive appearance from the air - look more like living organisms than groups of merchants. They sprawl down certain streets, seemingly chosen at random from an endless grid, turning corners or branching off into side streets. Their logic, from above, is mysterious and undeniable.
Read more. [Image: Flickr/UrbanTick]
The number of breweries is increasing dramatically, according to the Brewer’s Association, a trade organization — just take a glance at this nifty chart on their website — and 350 more were added between June and the same time last year. Among these breweries, 97 percent are “craft brewers" — meaning they are relatively low-production, independently owned, and "interpret historic styles with unique twists and develop new styles that have no precedent."
Read more. [Images: Martin Prosperity Institute]
These eleven images were chosen from more than 12,000 entries submitted by 6,615 photographers from 152 countries. National Geographic was kind enough to allow me to share the winning photographs with you here, from four categories: Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes, Sense of Place, and Spontaneous Moments.
See more. [Images: Michelle Schantz, Vo Anh Kiet, Lucia Griggi, Camila Massu]
[…] A brief reminder of what Brooklyn used to be: “unsophisticated and unfashionable, the butt of the kind of jokes now directed at New Jersey.” Also, ”synonymous with crime, drugs and welfare.” But flash forward to 2012 and now it’s a “brand,” according to one Brooklynite quoted. Even if there are still murders, poverty, crime, and so on. Even if there are many, many different parts of Brooklyn, in which many, many different things happen, things other than artisanal pickle-making.
Read more. [Images: Flickr/Wally Gobetz, BushwickDaily.com]
In fact, we can quantify how city-like or not city-like any given neighborhood is. That is, we can ask, “how San Francisco-like is the Mission, really?” and “how much more like New York is the Financial District than it is San Francisco?”
And we can do this for every neighborhood. What do we find?
Cities have “stereotypical” neighborhoods that very strongly match the flow of their home cities, and some neighborhoods just don’t really seem to belong to their home city. They’re outliers.
Read more. [Image: Uber]
Michael Phelps has more medals than many countries. But even the greatest medal-winner in Olympic history did not earn enough in these games to push his hometown of Baltimore into first-place among United States metros[…]
Los Angeles leads with a whopping 45 medals, San Francisco is a distant second with 11, followed by Miami, Gainesville, and Trenton-Ewing with 10 each; New York and Austin have 9 each; San Diego has 8 and Athens, Georgia, won 7. Baltimore and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul brought home 6 each; and Denver, Charlotte, and Portland, Oregon have 5 each.
Read more. [Image: Martin Prosperity Institute]