Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finns and pop

While I am most decidedly a word person, I do like maps. I think they appeal to the control freak in me. I like to think of the world as organized. Here are two that landed in my in box this week.

First, the genetic map of Europe which is explained in the NYTimes article of the same name:
The map shows, at right, the location in Europe where each of the sampled populations live and, at left, the genetic relationship between these 23 populations. The map was constructed by Dr. Kayser, Dr. Oscar Lao and others, and appears in an article in Current Biology published on line on August 7.

Having been to Finland so recently, what this map says to me is, "Yes, the Finns are an odd bunch." (The Times explains that the Finns' oddball genes are due to the fact that their population grew from such a small number of people.)

The second map is the pop vs. soda map from one of my favorite sites, Strange Maps. Really I just offer this one because it's kind of pretty and it gives me an excuse to point to Strange Maps. (And I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago as well and so the pop vs. soda linguistic rivalry is still fresh in my mind.

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