visualization maps

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Sea levels are rising and climate scientists blame global warming. They predict that higher seas will cause more coastal flooding through this century and beyond, even in places that have normally been high and dry.

But mapping where future floods will strike has barely begun.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency maps where people are at moderate or high risk of flooding. Most people with property in hazardous areas — where the annual risk of a flood is one in a hundred or more — are required by law to buy federal flood insurance from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

But FEMA’s insurance maps are based on past patterns of flooding. Future sea level rise — which is expected to create new, bigger flood zones — is not factored in.

So some communities are doing the mapping themselves. Like Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland.

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Images: Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images; Leanne Abraham/NPR

Started going through my head right after I saw the election results last week…

Be brave and be kind.

-The National, “Baby, We’ll Be Fine”

Kuretake brush pen, Winsor & Newton alcohol markers, stencil, and Micron pens on an atlas page.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau presents the most detailed picture yet of the dramatic rise in the number of people covered by health insurance since the Affordable Care Act went into effect.

County-level data going back to 2010, when the law was signed, shows a patchwork of people living without health insurance that ticked down slowly for the first three years under the ACA. But, once the online insurance exchanges opened at the end of 2013 and Medicaid expanded, the population living without coverage dropped noticeably.

The recently released Census report is county-level data for 2015. Overall, the nationwide uninsured rate dropped 7.7 percentage points for people under 65 years old between 2010 and 2015, from 18.2 percent in 2010 to 10.5 percent in 2015.

Maps Show A Dramatic Rise In Health Insurance Coverage Under ACA

GIF: NPR

5 New ideas for outlining stories

Maybe you are tired of all outlining techniques out there… the snowflake, the skeletal, the summary, the visual map, you’ve tried them all. And, although they are great, nothing works anymore. Or never worked in the first place. Maybe, when you outline, you feel like the magic is gone, the story has already been told, you don’t need to write it anymore. Outlining makes your bored.

Then, you try going pantser, but you get lost to where your story should be going soon after the first plot point. Not outlining makes you lost.

Originally posted by murallamuerta

We need to jump outside the box of plotter and pantser. No one is 100% plotter, or 100% pantser. We are neither. In truth, we are explores, travelers, discoverers of beautiful stories, sometimes we have maps, sometimes we are following the unknown.

If we outline with fear and/or severity, we are doomed. Outlining is supposed to be on the creative side of the brain. It’s the whole picture of a drawing. Or the sketch of a sculpture. So, let’s try an artistic approach to outlining. 

1. TV Series:

For a moment, pretend that you are not writing a book, but a 15-episodes TV series. Write down a small paragraph to what should happen in each episode. Don’t worry about details, make it general. With 15 episodes planned out, you’ll have a clear view of the story. As you write, use the episodes as guidance.

This exercise helps you explore plot details.

2. Hours:

Think of your story as the hand of a clock, it has to run through twelves parts to close the circle. Draw a clock, but, instead of hours, write down plot points. Every hour should change the story somehow and guide the characters to a conclusion.

This exercise helps you keep track with the main plot.  

3. Branches

Picture your story as the branches of a tree. Better yet, grab a paper and draw your tree trunk. The trunk is the beginning of the story. Part the trunk into two big branches. These two branches are two different turns your story could take. From two big branches, create four smaller ones. At each split, create a new course for your story. At the end of the exercise, you’ll have many outlines to choose from.

This exercise helps you discover new possibilities.

4. Mixing

Mix the outline of two existing stories from books, movies or games to create your own. Very simple and easy. Write down one or more paragraphs on how these two stories would merge into one completely new.

This exercise helps you unravel new angles to old ideas. 

5. Tags

Make a list of 10 to 50 words of objects, colors, places, animals or even feelings. Pick three words randomly and try to incorporate them into your story.

This exercise helps you think outside the box.

You can try your favorite exercise, or all of them.

So this is legit the message Trump left at the Holocaust memorial in Israel -

- and, yeah.

One Republican official, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, said after meeting Trump recently he did not think the president had a firm enough grasp on the nuances of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I don’t think he understands it,” said the official, adding that Trump needed more detailed briefings before leaving on Friday. “I think it’s a very difficult challenge and I hope he’s going to talk to a lot of smart people.”

Conversations with some officials who have briefed Trump and others who are aware of how he absorbs information portray a president with a short attention span.

He likes single-page memos and visual aids like maps, charts, graphs and photos.

National Security Council officials have strategically included Trump’s name in ‘as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned,’ according to one source, who relayed conversations he had with NSC officials.

[source: Reuters]

“Wow. That is absolutely pathetic. Our President can only understand the world to the extent it involves…himself.”

There are thousands of parks, refuges and wilderness areas in the U.S. that are kept in something close to their natural state. But one form of pollution isn’t respecting those boundaries: man-made noise.

New research based on recordings from 492 protected natural areas reveals that they’re awash in noise pollution.

Researchers from Colorado State University spent years making the recordings by setting out microphones in natural areas across the country. They caught all sorts of wildlife sounds, such as rutting elk and howling wolves. But they were also after “background” sound — wind, rain, birdsong, flowing streams and rivers, even bubbling mudpots in Yellowstone National Park.

They compared the decibel level of this natural background with the intrusive noisiness from human activity. And they have discovered that in two-thirds of the places they studied, the median decibel level of man-made sound was double the normal background sound. These were sounds that came from within the area, such as road traffic, as well from as outside, such as passing jets or mining and logging equipment.

America’s Protected Natural Areas Are Polluted, By Noise

Map: National Park Service

anonymous asked:

Hi Beast! Do you know any good websites for story/plot charting?

I had to do some research for this question! Look at you guys, making me dig through the bowels of the earth.

Hiveword - Requires you to create an account, but it’s free; allows you to make lists for your characters and their descriptions, list out your plot/story flow, has a built-in name generator and more

Read-Write-Think - Though this one seems to be geared toward younger kids, don’t be fooled - it has different charts that allow you to type out your plot, characters, setting, and resolution via visual maps; the only drawback is that it’s somewhat too simplistic, and doesn’t account for overly complex plots but it’s good for mapping out all the base information needed to plan your story

Scrapple - An app for PCs and Macs that is basically a combination between a mind map and a basic text-editing software, but geared specifically toward writers (if you don’t know what a mind map is, here’s a helpful article); the downside is that it’s $15, but there’s a free trial version available on the linked site

LitLift - Free site (with account registration) that allows you to organize your stories, characters, and plots (similar to Scrapple); also has sharing capabilities so that you can share your story within the site - you can also browse other peoples’ stories if they’ve been shared

Scrivener - Another app for PCs and Macs; like a more advanced version of Microsoft Word, except that it gives you an outliner to list out your ideas/plots/etc, ‘index cards’ to keep your ideas organized, ‘scrivenings’ - which basically function as tabs to switch between manuscripts, and a lot more; downside is that it’s $45, but once again there’s a free trial available on the linked site

Storyplanner - Site that has lists of resources where you can select from novel/short story, screenplay, or nonfiction and it asks you further questions in detail about your story; great for getting all your ideas out in one go (I look at it as sort of a ‘quizilla’ for your story, except it’s not full on Mary Sues and sadness); the site is free to use, but there is a premium edition, though you don’t really need it (you can just copy your answers to your nearest document)

Hemingway - Though this one is more useful for editing rather than planning, this in-browser site that allows you to either write right in the browser or copy/paste text into the window; points out any writing errors, repeated syntax, long-ass sentences, and all kinds of other helpful editing advice; there’s also a desktop version available for download

If anyone finds anything else that’s helpful, feel free to add it!

This year, 25 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures that would bar employers from asking job candidates about their prior salary. Last year, two states — California and Massachusetts — adopted similar policies, aimed at trying to narrow the pay gap for women and minorities.

Such measures are designed to help people like Aileen Rizo. She was four years into her job as a math teaching consultant for Fresno County, Calif., when she found out, in 2012, that a new male hire with less education and experience was offered a salary roughly 20 percent more than she was making.

Rizo was stunned.

“I kind of knew that I had broken stereotypes, as a mathematician, and as the only full-time woman in that department,” as well as being a Latina minority, she says. “But then to find out that you’re getting paid less than all of your male counterparts — that they all started much higher salary steps then you did — is just … devastating.”

Rizo complained to human resources, assuming the problem would be ironed out. Instead, she was told her salary was set based on previous pay — and that her salary would not be adjusted. She says she was shocked and felt locked in.

Rizo filed suit, arguing her employer violated the Equal Pay Act, the 1963 law aimed at abolishing wage discrimination based on gender.

“I have three young daughters, and I don’t want them ever to feel that way,” she says, her voice cracking.

Proposals Aim To Combat Discrimination Based On Salary History

Map: Brittany Mayes/NPR

There’s more grim news about inequality in America.

New research documents significant disparities in the life spans of Americans depending on where they live. And those gaps appear to be widening, according to the research.

“It’s dramatic,” says Christopher Murray, who heads the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. He helped conduct the analysis, published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Health experts have long known that Americans living in different parts of the country tend to have different life spans. But Murray’s team decided to take a closer look, analyzing records from every U.S. county between 1980 and 2014.

Life Expectancy Can Vary By 20 Years Depending On Where You Live

GIF: vizhub.healthdata.org/subnational/usa

10 Steps to Reaching your Full Academic Potential
  1. Always get feedback, whether that be on essays, exams, homework or your general performance. In all cases, especially those where you can’t obtain formal feedback {i.e. from receiving a graded essay or test back}, arrange to meet with your tutor to discuss your progress.
  2. Study efficiently. Pay attention to when you study best {morning or night?} and where you study best. Work on a schedule that falls around that. When you study, give it 100% and don’t give in to menial tasks {such as checking social media} that will break your concentration. Do this on a planned break.
  3. Form good habits. Get roughly the same amount of sleep each night from the same hour at night to the same hour in the morning, if you can. Drink plenty of water. Like I said, take breaks. Study daily, even for a short amount of time if that is all you have.
  4. Set yourself deadlines and stick to them. If you can, start your homework/assignments as soon as you get them, and if they’re longer ones, set goals along the way. 
  5. Fail to plan, plan to fail. A teacher once told me that, and it resonates in my mind even ten years on. It is not wise to write an essay or assignment in your head as you go along. Give yourself a structure and brainstorm ideas, no matter how brief or comprehensive this is.
  6. Study actively. Don’t write and rewrite notes over and over. Get the information in to your long term memory through active recall {testing yourself}, making visual aids {mind maps/diagrams} and teaching others.
  7. Anticipate a certain degree of disappointment somewhere along the way. Even the brightest minds will falter, and understandably, this might knock your confidence or your motivation. Allow yourself to build on those errors in time for your next assessment - let that motivate you. Making mistakes is inevitable, but not making the same mistake twice is key.
  8. Enjoy what you do. Take classes that interest you, and aim to develop a knowledge of that subject which is well-rounded and comprehensive. Taking the extra steps to immersing yourself in your studies will not only make the process easier, but you’ll gain motivation through your inquisitiveness and desire to learn.
  9. Treat your studies like a full time job - that is what they equate to in most cases. Take breaks and know your limits, but remember that if your input is minimal then your output will be too. Resist that urge we all know too well, and don’t shy away from your education.
  10. Don’t succumb to the pressures of studying in the same ways as other people. We are all individuals, and what works for one is not forced to work for another. Experiment with different aspects of your learning experience to find what works for you. If you’re not a morning person, that’s okay. If colour coding feels pointless to you, that’s okay too. As long as you are making progress and you are reflecting on your studies then you’re doing just fine.
Things Bioware got right:

- Gil Brodie’s story: His character arch is very well written, and I it really challenges a lot of the stereotypes about mlm relationships. While his character could be bigger, we still get to see a 3D gay man grow as a person

- The choice system. Often there’s no clear good or bad option, and it really means you have to think about the repercussions of your actions, the right path isn’t always clear.

- The dialogue system: Again you have the chance to create a much more complex character, you can really see Ryder’s reactions change based on your choices. People around you also react differently depending on how you talk.

- The Angara: It’s refreshing to see an alien race that’s so open with their emotions, especially the male aliens. Raw displays of emotion in men are often seen as weakness, but when Jaal, for example, shows the depth of his emotions, it’s shown in a positive, compassionate light, with no shame.

- The Tempest Crew: They are much more dynamic, they’re clearly their own people, not just satellites orbiting around Ryder.

- The Visuals: The galaxy map, the planets, everything is beautifully designed. It feels like you’re in space, or on an alien planet.

- The Combat: Much more fast paced and dynamic, the ability to mix up your powers really allows you to develop a unique combat style, your jump pack and increased mobility make it even better