Fun with Maps 291&292

China has the longest high-speed rail system on the planet by a wide margin. At 18,000 miles, China owns more than two-thirds of all high-speed rail here on Earth. “China’s ambition of building high-speed rails shows no sign of slowing down. With another 6,000 miles under construction, China aims to cover 80% of metro areas with high-speed rails by 2020” (Yahoo).
Map 291 shows the high-speed rail network in China.

With more than 1.3 billion citizens and 3,700,000 square miles of territory it is perfectly understandable that China would be leading the way in new high-speed construction. You might find it interesting (I certainly did) that so much of the rail network is concentrated in the Eastern portion of the country. The obvious reason was population. I believed the Western portion is more sparsely populated but I wanted to verify that thought before I came online to look like an idiot. I found another cool map of China that appeared to be enough proof for me to move forward (even though I found it on Pinterest and there is no background evidence to support the map at all). Check it out!

The Western portion of China is largely desert and the tallest of mountain ranges so of course there are fewer people there! Potential for looking like an idiot averted (for this, at least).

The United States could (and should) be investing in high-speed rail transportation as well but construction is expensive (China has exploded their debt in building up their infrastructure) and time-consuming. A project in California was recently scaled back because of cost overruns and projects in other states like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida haven’t even begun because the undertaking was deemed not worth the money and effort. Federal money was offered and the states said, “No thanks!”.

* * * * *

Map 292 is about Pokemon. I haven’t been super invested in Pokemon since I stopped watching the original cartoon series back in the day but it’s still quite popular. This map shows each state’s favorite Pokemon. Does your state’s favorite match yours?

I don’t recognize all these Pokemon because it’s been a while but I do see a few of the better known creatures. It looks to me like only original Pokemon are represented, not any of the new creatures that were added with the later cartoons and games. Pikachu is the favorite of the most states (Arizona, Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland, and North Carolina). Mew gets Louisiana and Indiana while Mewtwo takes Florida. Evee owns Nevada, Illinois, Hawaii, and Alaska while Snorlax, lethargic behemoth that he is, is the most popular in Washington and California. I don’t recognize the black horse/rabbit that has my home state of Minnesota but I’m sure it’s great. I don’t really have a favorite Pokemon, myself, but a lot of them are pretty cute I guess. The cartoon did a good job of making most of the monsters seem really likeable.

Let me know your favorite Pokemon in the comments below!

Bryan Signature 2

China Population Map

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