1. Finally, Wisconsin is recognized for something we’re really, really good at. Thanks to Nathan at Flowing Data for posting this FloatingSheep gem.
Flowing Data | Where Bars Trump Grocery Stores: “Red dots represent locations where there are more bars than grocery stores, based on results from the Google Maps API. The Midwest takes their drinking seriously.” Actually, it’s just Wisconsin that does. Central Minnesota, Chicago and southeast Illinois lightweights need not apply.
Dubbed MORVEL, for Mid-Ocean Ridge VELocity (because much of the data comes from the mid-ocean ridges) it was created by University of Wisconsin-Madison geophysicist Chuck DeMets and collaborators Richard Gordon of Rice University and Donald Argus of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
MORVEL lets allows users model the relative movements of 25 interlocking tectonic plates that account for 97 percent of the Earth’s surface. It’s being presented in the April issue of Geophysical Journal International and is based on work the scientists have been doing for the past 20 years.
A dynamic three-dimensional puzzle of planetary proportions! Chuck was on my MS thesis committee and we used older versions of MORVEL in our graduate geophysics classes. Glad to see this great research and teaching aid get the attention it deserves.