There’s a relatively long tradition, in the field of data visualization, of tracking the way we swear. This makes sense. Not only is it fun to track, but cursing is also conveniently specific as a data set; you’ve got your f-bombs and your double hockey sticks and your bodily functions, and, factoring in their permutations, you’re good to go. Plus, you don’t need much sophisticated sentiment analysis to ensure that your data are accurate: An f-bomb is pretty much an f-bomb, regardless of the contextual subtleties. As a result of all this, we, the public, get treated to sweary heat maps. And more sweary heat maps. And sweary interactive maps. There’s just something about big data and sailor-cursing that complement each other—like peanut butter and mothereffing jelly.
Traditionally, those maps are based on text—on swears that are typed into Facebook or, even more publicly, Twitter. Making a map of the sweariest states requires simply gathering geocoded posts, isolating the swears, and going from there.
Read more. [Image: Marchex]
And congrats to California, for being polite while swearing like sailors.
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Just look at all those toys available for $1! Who needs an X-Wii-Station-Box or whatever the kids play with these days? Stick horses, Yankee dump carts, double garages, fairy hay wagons and Billy Whiskers (“A good game for the grown ups as well as the children. Game board of heavy cardboard complete with spinner and directions.”) can all be yours for just $1!
Click the ad for a zoomable version — you don’t want to miss the limerick contest. Leave your best last lines in the notes below, and (if they meet the taste standards of a family newspaper) we’ll tweet them from latimespast or post them here. They’re more difficult than you might think!
There are only three weeks left until Christmas, so for those last-minute bargains, all you need is a time machine and a few bucks.
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Green energy could crash the national power grid
Not because of any sort of explosive danger, but because the U.S. power grid is built for the previous century’s sources of energy. The antiquated grid, already a persistent cause for concern for officials, simply may not be prepared for large-scale adoption of alternative sources of power:
Green energy is the least predictable kind. Nobody can say for certain when the wind will blow or the sun will shine. A field of solar panels might be cranking out huge amounts of energy one minute and a tiny amount the next if a thick cloud arrives. In many cases, renewable resources exist where transmission lines don’t.
Photo: Dennis Schroeder / National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Introducing Tumblr’s 2013 Year in Review, celebrating the best of the Internet
We’ve analyzed millions of blogs, billions of posts, and zillions of notes in order to give you a taste of all the amazing stuff you may have missed on Tumblr this year.
Follow yearinreview.tumblr.com as we release new post categories daily through the end of December!
Just don’t get too lost browsing - you may come up for air until 2014.
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Old Finnish people with things on their heads. That is all.
(OK, I lied, that is not all. These are part of a funny, gorgeous photo series by Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen called Eyes As Big As Plates, and you should look at as much of it as you possibly can.)
(Also: hat tip, so to speak, to Mr. Benjamin Birdsall.)
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Finding a home after 30 years on the streets
Roger Anderson has spent the last three decades without a home after running away from an abusive father at the age of 13. But right before Thanksgiving, at the age of 47, Anderson gained something more than worthy of holiday gratitude: A place to call his own.
Look through a photo essay of Anderson’s last night of homelessness, and his first moments in his new apartment over at Framework.
Photos: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
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Some very serious information here.
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The murderous impact of light
The two photos above, both portraits of murder suspects, display the impact of the different placement of a single light source.
To the left is Arthur Clayton Hester, who eventually was sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing his foster father. And to the right is Arthur Eggers, who was sentenced to death for the murder of his wife.
Read more on the photo’s history over at Framework.
Photos: Paul Calvert / Los Angeles Times
Bad news for Sriracha nation
It’s been a rough day for the Sriracha faithful. A Los Angeles County judge has decided a plant producing the amazing hot sauce in Irwindale should be partially shut down after residents complained about the health effects of fumes created during production.
Production of this year’s batch of sauce has been completed, so don’t go rushing out to the stores and stocking up for the Srirachalypse. But as for next year, well, decisions about future production are now in the hands of air quality experts.
Read more over at L.A. Now.
Photos: Nick Ut / Associated Press
Appropriate, given the weather craziness out East, with impacts stretching all the way out to LAX travelers.
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Past and present: balloons of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
A storm bearing down on the East Coast with a messy mix of snow, rain and wind is threatening to ground giant balloon versions of Snoopy and SpongeBob SquarePants in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The iconic characters that soar between the Manhattan skyscrapers every year may not lift off Thursday if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts exceed 34 mph, according to city rules enacted after fierce winds in 1997 caused a Cat in the Hat balloon to topple a light pole and seriously injure a woman spectator. (AP)
It turns out some old balloons were kind of terrifying.
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“Sometimes the smallest notion can create magic”
The animated classic “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” was born from the simplest of ideas: Creator Charles M. Schultz just wondered what it would be like if children tried to tackle the craziness of Thanksgiving dinner.
Read some more history of the holiday institution, including interviews with some of the special’s cast members, in our latest edition of Classic Hollywood. Or just tip a hat to Schultz, who would have turned 91 today.
Photo: United Feature Syndicate Inc.
Escaping the city for the middle of nowhere, with tens of thousands of books
Partners for 35 years, Polly Hinds and Lynda German left Denver thirteen years ago in search of a quieter life, and they found it in isolated Sweetwater Station, Wyoming.
Not content to keep busy with the upkeep of dozens of farm animals, the two started a mammoth rare book store, with 70,000 titles up for sale.
Their hands filthy from chores, the two veteran booksellers carry armloads of hard-bound volumes, careful not to dirty the historical tomes and two Zane Grey works of fiction, “The Last Ranger” and “Last of the Great Scouts.” The words scrawled in red on a storage shed explain the contrast: “BOOKS FOR SALE.”
Thirteen years ago, the pair fled Denver following a bizarre altercation with police, looking for a quieter life. They found it here on a deserted ranch 40 miles from the nearest store…
Photos: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times