Friday, August 27, 2010

Ignoring Beck

In an effort to keep my mind from spontaneously combusting in disgust and fury at Glenn Beck's latest attempt at race-baiting and jingoistic hucksterism, I would like to bring to your attention a nifty new thing from the BBC:

BBC Dimension.

I think I'd prefer "BBC Scale", but, then, everybody's a critic, right? What the site does is provide scalar (see!) comparisons of unfamiliar things, areas, depths, etc., with familiar ones.  For instance, after I type in my zip code, I can see the size of the flood in Pakistan overlaid on a map of the American Midwest.  Or the Gulf Oil Spill.  Or China's Great Wall.  Apparently, it's a prototype and contains the proviso that there is no guarantee of accuracy, which pretty much defeats the purpose of the site...BUT one assumes this can and will all be worked out in due course.

I learned of "BBC Dimension" via an e-mail I receive weekly from The Scout Report.  Sponsored by the University of Wisconsin - Madison, "The Scout Report" is a publication of the "Internet Scout Project", which scours the internet for "practical, Web-based information and software solutions for educators, librarians and researchers" and people like myself.  And now you.

Dive in and swim around...and try to forget about The Whitest Man Alive™ hijacking this weekend the anniversary and location of a speech by a speaker he obviously does not understand.


[Image:  Gulf Oil Spill laid over British postal code SW11 1PW via BBC Dimension.]