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On Being Tumblr

On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

Alain de Botton proposes the romantic gift of a frank map of your neuroses; Jenny Lee Shee rises to the occasion.

Alain de Botton proposes the romantic gift of a frank map of your neuroses; Jenny Lee Shee rises to the occasion.

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From thelandofmaps, an intriguing perspective on state lines as determined by interstates. There’s a whole lotta truth in this reality.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

From thelandofmaps, an intriguing perspective on state lines as determined by interstates. There’s a whole lotta truth in this reality.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Now this is a graphic worth pondering and wrapping your mind around. What a wealth of information from the National Post:

Graphic: What would a Palestinian state look like?As the Palestinian Authority’s at the UN moves forward, the Post looks  at what a Palestinian state would look like. For a large version of this  graphic, download the PDF here

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Now this is a graphic worth pondering and wrapping your mind around. What a wealth of information from the National Post:

Graphic: What would a Palestinian state look like?
As the Palestinian Authority’s at the UN moves forward, the Post looks at what a Palestinian state would look like. For a large version of this graphic, download the PDF here

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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As I think about this map posted on The Denver Post's Tumblr, I can’t help but think about my own limited daily range with spurts of summer vacation routes and the like. Tracking humans migratory routes and spikes might surprises us — or depress us, non? Now, make this a project that compares this with data of other cultures and countries, or previous generations’s habits, and we might gain a new sense of what it means to be human in the 21st century:

MAP: New GPS data has scientists reconsidering assumptions about animals’ range, habitat

GPS tracking data collected from radio collars on mountain lions, lynx, wolves and other wild mammals are challenging scientific understanding of the animals’ range and habitat.

Until about five years ago, the use of GPS technology was limited.

Now, Colorado Division of Wildlife and other Western biologists are tracking more animals using satellites and computers and seeing them wander farther, more frequently and far beyond the bounds of what is believed to be their normal habitat.

read more

(map and photo by Colorado Division of Wildlife)

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Maps of Inequity Among the World’s Seven Billion People

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

The World of Seven Billion: Where and How We Live

My household just received the latest issue of National Geographic, which contains a massive pull-out poster showing "a composite face of the world’s most typical person" as the total world population nears seven billion people.

The portrait is fascinating to ponder, but it’s the poster’s back side featuring a comparative chart of the world that presents some striking differences and disparities. The mapmakers have categorized the world’s populations into four groups of annual income-earners: low-income ($995 or less), lower middle ($995-$3,945), upper middle ($3,946-$12,195), and high (more than $12,196). Then they highlight selected statistics — birth rates, number of cars, fertility and net migration rates, and others — and show the differences among the four groups through more data.

The father of two boys under the age of five, I found the disparity among the fatality rates of children age five and under absolutely gut-wrenching: low-income families see 120 deaths per 1,000 live births whereas high-income families only experience seven deaths. It’s tragic, but even bumping those low-income earners over the $1,000 dollar threshold into the lower middle class halves the number of deaths. For more, check out an interactive version of this map on NatGeo’s site.

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A Shift in Global Hunger Across the Developing World
by Trent Gilliss, senior editor
The Economist recently posted today’s daily chart and it’s a mixed bag. I’d love to see this index mashed up with other indices on war, corruption, desertification, pollution, population growth, and I’m sure you could name many more. Any of our readers have the skill set to make this happen?

“Since 1990, two-thirds of developing countries have reduced their populations’ hunger levels. But twenty-nine countries still suffer from ‘alarming’ levels of hunger.”

(source: The Economist)

A Shift in Global Hunger Across the Developing World

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

The Economist recently posted today’s daily chart and it’s a mixed bag. I’d love to see this index mashed up with other indices on war, corruption, desertification, pollution, population growth, and I’m sure you could name many more. Any of our readers have the skill set to make this happen?

Since 1990, two-thirds of developing countries have reduced their populations’ hunger levels. But twenty-nine countries still suffer from ‘alarming’ levels of hunger.”

(source: The Economist)

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Maps of Sin Trent Gilliss, online editor
The infographic above from this month’s Wired Magazine plots per-capita statistics of specified sets of data with the seven deadly sins — wrath is a compilation of violent crime numbers while gluttony is paired with the concentration of fast-food joints.
Naturally, your eye is drawn to where you live. In some cases, it is a cold, hard dose of reality. In others, it’s about what I expected. We’re located in Minnesota, so I found myself generally nodding in agreement.
But, if you’re like me and are a transplant from another state (in my case North Dakota), you revisit home and wondered why you ever left there — greed, wrath, envy, lust, pride — or realize exactly what drove you away — sloth (we NoDaks are an overly pragmatic bunch of home-dwellers).
Draw any conclusions yourself? Enlighten us and leave a comment!
(source: Kansas State University Geography/USACE)

Maps of Sin
Trent Gilliss, online editor

The infographic above from this month’s Wired Magazine plots per-capita statistics of specified sets of data with the seven deadly sins — wrath is a compilation of violent crime numbers while gluttony is paired with the concentration of fast-food joints.

Naturally, your eye is drawn to where you live. In some cases, it is a cold, hard dose of reality. In others, it’s about what I expected. We’re located in Minnesota, so I found myself generally nodding in agreement.

But, if you’re like me and are a transplant from another state (in my case North Dakota), you revisit home and wondered why you ever left there — greed, wrath, envy, lust, pride — or realize exactly what drove you away — sloth (we NoDaks are an overly pragmatic bunch of home-dwellers).

Draw any conclusions yourself? Enlighten us and leave a comment!

(source: Kansas State University Geography/USACE)

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Giving Voice to These Acts of Remembering

Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

A few days ago, I was an emotional mess. I was touched at by the compassion and heart-wrenching stories I was reading. I’m the better for reading them. These are the shared stories about Alzheimer’s experiences from our radio and online audiences. But, then I’m faced with the question: What do we do with this repository of knowledge, with all these magnificent life stories?

Our first step was to create an interface that provides more context — in this case a dynamic map showcasing these acts of remembering. For this “mash-up” we used Google maps, Flickr images, an internally developed application (thanks Dickens!), and our Web site. We gain a greater sense of these authors and their relation to others geographically, including pull quotes and images and age and religious affiliation. And then you can delve deeper by reading each individual essay and viewing larger images.

But the danger is that one can feel lost, even overwhelmed by all these stories, and not no where to begin. We moderate and copy edit most of comments, reflections, and stories online; we like to maintain a safe space where people can feel a sense of trust and share things they wouldn’t in other online forums. The other advantage is that we read everything that comes our way. So, I had to ask myself, “Why not use that curatorial role to highlight particularly moving stories?” So I started tweeting and posting quotes to our Facebook page. For those of you who only read SOF Observed, I thought I’d share them with you:

Madeline MillerMadeline Miller: "I hold that advice dear and try to have lots of picnics or just live in a picnic-like way…"

Diana CarsonDiana Carson: On a moment between her grandfather — who had Alzheimer’s — and her grandmother: "I don’t know who you are, but … I have loved you for a long time."

Deborah JaegersDeborah Jaeger: On working with her father who has Alzheimer’s, "The most difficult aspect of taking care of my father is that we are invisible to others."

Lea MathieuLea Mathieu: Reflecting on the change in her mother who died of Alzheimer’s, "I do not hope for grace and forgiveness in the future — everyone I meet knows I love them now,"

And from this call-out, we found an unexpected voice in Alan Dienstag, who submitted his own suggestions.

A few years earlier, Krista had interviewed two people for a potential show on Alzheimer’s. The interviews went really well, but we wanted our first foray into this topic to speak to something larger, more personal, more universal — and we needed a voice that could create that space.

Alan Dienstag wasn’t on our radar. We hadn’t heard of him, but Krista asked one of our producers to follow up and ask if he had any recommendations (a scenario similar to our encounter with Patrick Bellegarde-Smith). In talking to him, we realized he was our voice. The result: "Alzheimer’s, Memory, and Being."

We take great pride in being open to possibilities and sources that aren’t part of our Rolodex, so to speak. And, we hope to discover more stories that give greater meaning to all these topics we cover over the years. In the meanwhile, we’re ready to include more.

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