An outstanding series of historical data visualizations and maps over here:
American Panorama is an historical atlas of the United States for the twenty-first century. It combines cutting-edge research with innovative interactive mapping techniques, designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in American history or a love of maps.
This has been blogged ubiquitously today, so much so that the original site exceeded bandwidth. It should be back up soon, but until then there are still pictures around, and more background on the story here. Mental Floss says it best:
Yesterday I came across a slightly mysterious website — a collection of Polaroids, one per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. There’s no author listed, no contact info, and no other indication as to where these came from. So, naturally, I started looking through the photos. I was stunned by what I found.
In 1979 the photos start casually, with pictures of friends, picnics, dinners, and so on.
Sadly, the story ends abruptly. But the Polaroids live on, giving their owner’s life a warm tint as only Polaroids can – a Time-Zero flipbook of a man’s daily life from 1979-1997. It’s such a powerful piece of work to me: the thousands of neatly categorized images, the inherent nostalgia of the Polaroid color palette, the mundane alongside the intimate portraits of happiness and illness, and those who lived on and honored their friend with this exhibit – the story of a life recounted by an SX-70.
If you give me $1,626 I will go to the small Okinawan island called Iriomote and send you an envelope filled with star-sand (don’t worry, I’ve been there before, I know where to go). I will send it from there.
If you give me $400 I will take a train to a desolate area with a packed lunch and sit down and read Anna Karenina. I will do this for 6-10 hours. I will repeat the same thing the following days until I have finally read the entire book. Finally! I am only going to do this once, so this is an edition of one only. I will send you documentation of this from the closest mailbox to where I do this. I’ll also write the location of the mailbox on the envelope if you ever wish to go to where I will have sent it to you from.
If you give me $5 i will write down a secret and mail it to you. NOTE: I am not one to keep secrets. If you buy this, you may receive something that is really serious and may be upsetting, so please keep that in mind.
Nick Ripley owns a secret of mine.
If you give me $2,500 I will hire a skywriting jet in Los Angeles in the summer on a sunday to write “I’m Bored” in the sky. I will make a video of it and send you a DVD.