Points of Interest: January 19, 2005

Metal Map. No, it's not a Mental Map, but a metal map of Missouri that's on display in the Adair County Public Library. Why? The retired contractor and longtime welder wanted to do something different. And, as you might expect, the legend (called the "key" in the article) notes that different metal is used for symbology. Bill Belzer, the craftsman behind it did field research, traveling to Columbia and Jefferson City. I confess that I do understand the allure, as I have a friend who's just entered the welding and more recently, the blacksmithing, worlds.

Quecreek Update. A map detailing the actual location of the water-filled Saxman mine was found in old documents. Saxman was the mine opened by miners working in the nearby Quecreek mine. It was misplaced due to a filling error, says the company responsible for the mine, Consol Energy, before it was sold to Mincorp, the current owner.

Apples and Oranges? A techie reviews Garmin's Quest, a car navigation tool. While the details are interesting to programmers (there's no support by Garmin for the Software Developer's Kit, for example) I found it interesting that the reviewer compares the system to MapQuest or MapPoint Location Server. I put those in another category since they are servers. Quest is a "stand alone" client. The writer concludes, "the Quest is a better solution, both in terms of cost and complexity, than Internet-based, location-aware systems." Is this fellow comparing apples and oranges?

Cancer Correlation. George Knox, an emeritus professor at the University of Birmingham in England, mapped the birth locations of children between 1960-1980 and the current chemical emissions sites in Britain, most of which would have been in place during that time. He then looked at their death records. Children born within a 1-km radius of chemical emissions hotspots were 2-4 times more likely to die of cancer before reaching 16 than other children.

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Source: Material used herein is often supplied by external sources and used as is.