Video of the day

Haven’t had a good time-lapse in a while.  This one of Banff national park in Canada is pretty awesome:

Map of the day

Love this map I’ve seen making the rounds in various places already.  It’s an awesome demonstration of just how urban and concentrated the US population actually is.  The counties highlighted in this map are just 146 of over 3000 counties– and just a tiny portion of the land area– but they contain over half the US population.  Interested to see that my current home of Wake County is on here.  My born and raised home of Fairfax County, VA is on here and my graduate school home of Franklin County, OH.  It appears that my 1 year in Montgomery County, VA and 2 years in Lubbock, County, Texas are the only years I was out living among “real” Americans.

Map of US 50 percent

Census/Business Insider  

Foremost national anthem expert

So, three years ago I wrote a blog post about my love for the Soviet/Russian national anthem (it truly is awesome).  Somehow, that combined with me being a political science professor got me featured extensively in a great article on national anthems in Salon, during the 2012 Olympics.

Naturally, I blogged about the Salon story, and with tongue in cheek, I titled the post, “National Anthem Expert.”  So, it’s the World Cup now and plenty of national anthems.  And it turns out when you google National Anthem Expert, I show up on the first page, which I presume is how I ended up on both BBC Newsday (sorry, no link to the actual story) and the Chicago Tribune in the past few days.

So, this post is upping the stakes with its title.  Anyway, this is a fun piece on anthems in the Chicago Tribune (if that link doesn’t work, just go through the twitter link here).

But those moments of pregame patriotism have opened intriguing windows into each country’s history and identity, emphasizing how a national anthem is much more than a song.

“It’s an important national symbol, especially so for new nations,” said Steven Greene, a political science professor and anthem enthusiast who teaches at North Carolina State University. “It’s like having a flag. It’s something you need to do.”

He said the U.S. takes its anthem more seriously than most, but other countries have shown great pride in their national songs during the World Cup. One of the most stirring moments came before host country Brazil played its first match; FIFA, per its regulations, shut off the music after 90 seconds, but the players and a stadium full of spectators kept singing until the anthem was finished.

Anyway, I guess we’ll now see how this all plays out for me with the 2014 Olympics :-).

%d bloggers like this: