Map 239 makes me laugh. Do I need to say anything else about it? It’s a blog so I guess I’ll elaborate just a bit. This map from October 10th (sorry for the delay in featuring it) shows how much the President’s approval rating has changed since he took office in January. The map does not provide his approval rating in each state, just how much it has changed, but it’s still a good (and hilarious) map. The starkest changes are in dark red and you may have noticed already but there are no positive changes in the entire country (delicious hilarity). Trump’s approval rating in Illinois has dropped over 30%! Even typically conservative states like Arizona and Mississippi have seen extreme swings of 26.3% and 20.3% respectively. The smallest decrease in the country is Louisiana at negative 11.4%.
So why do I find this map to be so funny? The simplest answer is buyer’s remorse. I find it hilarious that conservatives flocked to a well known fraud/liar (that may have dementia) and are now disappointed when their party can’t get anything done despite majorities in every facet of the federal government including the House, Senate, Supreme Court, and the number of State Governorships. Health care reform has flopped many times. Tax reform is still on the table but floundering. The Administration’s response to multiple hurricanes has been horrendous leaving millions of people in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puerto Rico stranded without the aid they desperately need. This country’s leader (a word Trump does not fit at all) has done nothing but fail since taking office.
Only time will tell what Trump’s legacy will be as a President but as of right now, I find it laughable.
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Map 240 shows the amount of volcanic ash in millimeters that could hypothetically cover North America if the Yellowstone Super-volcano were to erupt. If you didn’t know Yellowstone was a super-volcano, you might want to do some research on it right now because it’s a serious threat to life as we know it.
There are 2.5 millimeters per inch. That means the dark blue zones on the map could be covered in 39 or more inches of ash should Yellowstone erupt. As if the earth-shaking explosion wasn’t enough of a dangerous threat to life, we would also have to contend with the ash spewed from the enormous caldera. It is estimated that Denver could be buried under roughly four to twelve inches!
My home in Minnesota could end up buried by 0.39 to 1.18 inches, which doesn’t sound like all that much until you realize that would be on every square inch of surface area. The main concern with that much ash is what it would do to agriculture. Large volumes of ash in the atmosphere could cause dramatic temperature shifts, block out the sun harming photosynthesis (and solar power) to not function, and ruin top soil for years to come. Even the entire East Coast, far from the National Park in Wyoming, could see an inch of ash.
So what can be done about this massive eruption possibility that would cause massive destruction across North America and the entire planet? NASA and other scientific bodies are currently working on a plan to cool the magma chamber under Yellowstone. This plan involves drilling into the base of the magma chamber (not the top where the temperature and pressure are the highest) and attempting to relieve pressure and cool the molten rock deep below the surface. It may sound like the plot of apocalyptic movie (it definitely does) but if it works, we may never have to worry about the super-volcano ever again. Hopefully they get Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor to play the lead scientists in the eventual movie.
In the meantime, it provides a bit of piece of mind that the best earth scientists are working on the problem. The best we can do as non-scientists is vote for politicians that will fund scientific research (and maybe build a small stockpile of canned food).
Until next time,
Bonus Map Link: NOAA Winter Weather Outlook Map
Bonus Bonus Map Link: Map of Ross Locations in the United States
Bonus Bonus Bonus Map Link: Map of Restaurant Preferences Based on Foursquare App Usage (which I find to be ridiculous because there’s no way Chik-Fil-A is that popular, it’s not even that special!)