Thursday, September 17, 2015

Do These Places Feel Half Pac NW, Half SoCal?

Some pointless map geekery for you, if you find yourself driving on the 5. If you're cruising on the 5, stop in one of these places and see if they seem halfway. Because they are.

MetricCAN to MEXSeattle to San DiegoAlong 101*
By Drive TimeRedding, CARed Bluff, CAKlamath, CA
By MileageCottonwood, CAArtois, CACrescent City, CA

*Includes going around the Olympic Peninsula via Port Townsend ferry

As a bonus, the halfway point for I-5 in CA is Los Banos or Firebaugh by mileage and time resp.; for the 101 it's Morgan Hill and Palo Alto by mileage and time resp. Below: the West Coast "Heartland".

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dawn of Humanity, or East Bay Hills?

Maybe it was a little greener during the early pleistocene (or whenever the newly discovered Homo namedi lived.) From National Geographic, this is the area around the Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa where H. namedi's remains were found - 15 of them, deliberately put in the cave after death.

This area of South Africa is literally the birthplace of our genus, and possibly our species. That we find places like the Bay Area pleasing, if they look similar, should not be surprising. In a way we're like aliens in most of the non-African climates on our planet, and by coming to another Mediterranean area, we've come home. Note, the area around Sterkfontein is not truly Mediterranean, and even during an ice age, the high pressure zones in the oceans that maintain the deserts and steppes (and Mediterranean areas) on continents to their east would be in the same place. But they do get similar Koppen designations, and the range of lowest monthly low and highest monthly average high in today's world in nearby Johannesburg are 40-78F. That sounds pretty good to me - but then again, my ancestors evolved there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

You Shall Not Find New Places

You shall not find new places; other seas
you shall not find. This place shall follow you.
And you shall walk the same familiar streets,
and you shall age in the same neighbourhood,
and whiten in these same houses.
The Place, CP Cavafy

Don't you know you can't go home again?
- Ella Winter