The Best Combination of a Map and a Chart

I love maps and I love charts. So I was particularly excited to find this great chart of the world’s population by latitude, which obviously resembles a map (because most people live on land):

europe_smlThis is a much more eloquent way of combining latitude and longitude population charts, as I’ve previously posted about here.

At the bottom of the post, the creator links to, where Ryan Brideau posted some R scripts that take publicly available data and create similar population map charts. Ryan does a great job describing why the chart is so interesting:

“What I love about it is that, in the absence of any traditional map features, the outlines of countries and continents are immediately apparent. And as long as you are familiar with what the land masses of the globe look like, you know exactly what the plot is without even needing to be told. Another interesting feature is that the peaks also give information about both the population and and the density: the area under the graph represents the total population, while the higher the peak, the more dense it is. (Hence the huge peak of Tokyo, and the low, wide peak of Mexico City.)”

Having only a little experience with R, I thought this was a good opportunity to see if I could use Ryan’s scripts to make something similar for the Boston area.

After a bit of tinkering, here’s what I came up with for Massachusetts:


And here’s greater Boston:



Not bad. Thanks Ryan.

The Rolling Sloans

This fall I’ve been playing the guitar with the Rolling Sloans, the MIT Sloan cover band. We had a show a few weeks back at Tommy Doyle’s in Harvard Square. It was a great time, and here are a few clips filmed by Natacha Hardy:

All My Loving:

Don’t Look Back in Anger Part 1:

Don’t Look Back in Anger Part 2 (Sean Lee Kills it):

Just a Girl:

Say It Ain’t So:

The Band is:
Robin Bose – Vocals
Charlotte Rocker – Vocals
Vanessa Kafka – Guitar/Vocals
Sean Lee – Guitar/Vocals
Eugene Feldman – Keys
Robbie Hobbs – Drums
Anand Desai – Bass
Jamie Fordyce – Bass
Antonio Yanez – Guitar
Myself – Guitar

I’ve heard there are a few more clips somewhere out there. I’ll hopefully post them in the coming days.

The Sweet & Low Down

This past weekend I went to the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge to see Girls, Guns, and Glory. But the highlight of the night turned out to be the opening band, The Sweet & Lowdown. Miss Tess, one of the band members who mostly sings and plays the guitar (but also plays the upright bass on occasion), used to have the Sunday night residency at Toad, one of my favorite venues in Cambridge. I’d seen her play there countless times before she moved out to Brooklyn a few years back. If you have the opportunity to see either Miss Tess or The Sweet & Lowdown in Boston or NYC, I highly recommend going.

Here’s a clip I recorded from the show (apologies for the lack of quality):