Amber Alert



What percentage of people in India have parents who are blood-related? Data from 2018




The State of Deseret

That’s how it looked in 1849 when the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) were colonizing the American Southwest.




The Donor States and the Recipient States

In the case of Arizona, much of the reason this is the case has to do with the Indian Reservations, which receive funds from USGOV.


Talk in NYC

New York is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world. Spanish is the top foreign language. Chinese is most common in Queens, while Yiddish is #1 amongst the Orthodox community in Brooklyn. A lot of Russian in Brighton Beach.


Countries that have had a Disney film set in them

There isn’t much love in the Mouse House for Russia, Canada, or Brazil.


Drug Use Laws & Overdose Rates in Europe


Bull/No Bull


Voting Behavior

Here’s a map of the last time each county voted for the loser of a presidential election. Clallam, WA has voted for the winner since 1980. Clay, MN and Blaine, MT are tied for #2.

Note how many voted for President Trump — and yet he lost to the senile old fool living in his basement…right.


Follow the Money


Percentage of the population in Europe who live in an apartment. Surprisingly, there is no correlation with population density.


No Happy Meals in Iceland, Albania, or Montenegro?


Alaska and Finland occupy similar latitudes.


West Virginia’s Population Loss

The 2010-2020 West Virginia population shift. The population loss in the state is more intense than the estimates suggested. not just down south that’s hemorrhaging population, the central state is too. But growth in Berkeley & Monongalia areas is much larger than in estimates too.


Which states have a higher per capita GDP than Florida?


Located in the NE of South America, Guyana is crossed by many rivers and bordered by the Maroni to the west and the Oyapock to the east. The forest covers 88% of the territory and the coast is made up of bases, savannas, and swamps.


And we’ll wrap this up with Afghanistan

This is what Afghanistan’s territorial control looked like in the decade prior to the US invasion in 2001.


    • I have what I consider a difficult tank challenge coming up for you on Virtual Mirage. At least it would be tough for me.

  1. Donor/Recipient states – wonder what numbers were left out of that chart. The Donor states were getting a fund transfer from Recipient states with their state exemptions. Seem to remember an attempt to close that loophole, but I don’t know if it happened and if it will stick.
    McDonalds in Albania – maybe McDs is balking at paying the bribe money the govt officials are demanding in order to get the stamp of approval??? That’s why an outside group didn’t go through with building a dam, which would have been a big boost to the economy.

    • When I was working in Greece and the Balkans, I discovered that if I saw a lady on the street that I identified as “pretty”, 90% of the time she was Albanian. The Greeks I was with would say, “how can you say that, she’s Albanian?”

      The Bulgarian women I met were even more striking.

      Albania is very corrupt, but how can you not say that about Greece, Bulgaria or anywhere else in the region?

  2. In 2018 my wife and I went to Barcelona for a destination wedding. While in Spain, one of the things I wanted to do was attend a real live bullfight. I remember my Dad saying how he saw them while in the Navy in the 1950’s. Unfortunately, I would have had to travel to Madrid and back to see one because they are outlawed in Barcelona. In fact, the huge beautiful bullfighting arena near the Olympic area is now a giant shopping mall.

    • Barcelona is “Catalonia” and they have a lot of different rules there than in Spain proper. It’s not unlike the way Quebec is to Canada.

      • A number of years ago in Barcelona I was eating lunch in some convention-center-adjacent tourist trap of a restaurant (think Barcelona Big Boy) with a bunch of Swiss-Germans and a Swedish guy. The menu was printed in Spanish (Castilian), Catalan, and English, so that each entry had three lines (in different colored ink). As y’all know, there is overlap between Castilian and Catalan, but the languages are distinct. But to be fair a number of dishes had the same names in both languages.

        So Swedish guy says loudly, “Why does this menu have Spanish twice?” The place went silent and you could just hear heads swiveling in our direction. The Swiss guy across from me and I looked at each other. Swiss guy rolled his eyes and made a little circle gesture in front of his chest (indicating the other people in the restaurant now watching us). We sat there stunned for a few seconds while Swedish guy obliviously and loudly elaborated on his theme on how the menu was “stupid”. Finally I said, loudly, “It’s Catalan, not Spanish. This is Catalonia.” I looked around a bit; the waitress was glaring at us too. Great. So I added, “The Spanish is for tourists, just like the English.” And the heads swiveled away.

        Swedish guy was offended and let me know. “Do you *enjoy* spit in your food?” I asked. He really didn’t get it. Sigh. Personal lessons learned:
        1. So much for the notion that we Americans are all ignorant bumbling idiots abroad while all Euros are all multicultural and sensitive and that good stuff.
        2. Lots of people in Barcelona who eat lunch at mediocre chain restaurants understand English.
        3. It seems reasonable to assume that people take their separate Catalan identity seriously there, at least among people who eat lunch at mediocre chain restaurants in Barcelona. (No, I don’t think anyone was planning on kicking our asses for Swedish guy’s faux pas – but I honestly was surprised at the reaction.)

        • They’re serious as a heart attack about being Catalan. I had a discussion last week with a guy who went to Barcelona on vacation and was telling me all about “Spain”. I said, “You weren’t in Spain, you were in Catalonia.”

          No, I was in Spain… and so it went. I smiled and gave up but when I go places, I read the history first so that people are less likely to spit in my food. It’s like going to Boston wearing a TRUMP 2024 t-shirt and expecting that I won’t have ‘secret sauce’ on my hamburger.

          I try to blend in. I did some training of police in Barcelona since they had a gang problem and I was brought in as “the gang expert”. Being the ‘distinguished foreign expert’ means that 80% minimum of the people you’ll be talking to will hate you. It goes with the turf. Usually, when I leave, they like me better than they first found me.

          There are cultural underpinnings for gangs in that part of the world, be it Catalan, Spanish, Basque, etc. It’s the same in Los Angeles or Manchuria. Before you seek a solution, you must first seek understanding.

          • I generally try and “fit in”, too, in my travels.

            And I’ve been the high-paid external consultant, so I know the feelings it generates amongst the rank-and-file you were hired to work with. I’ve been on the other side, too, so I understand the exasperation of seeing a High Paid External Consultant tell your boss the exact, same thing you’ve been saying for six months or longer.

          • Hah! I’m an external consultant on a few projects currently. Alas, I’ve never leapt into the ranks of the “high paid” ones.

            The frustration of hearing the external pricey consultant (EPC) tell the boss what you’ve saying for months is exceeded only by the rage induced when EPC recommends something stupid and harmful, but boss goes with it because “But he’s from Mac Kinsey!” (Like McKinsey but a bit cheaper, and possibly a little less evil.) And it’s not because boss doesn’t know better, but because he is a moral coward and knows that stupid from an EPC will not get him in trouble, so he goes with path of least moral energy.

          • That’s because the EPC is getting paid out of profits and said “previously close-minded” manager needs to show a return on his budget expenditure. Leave the firm – professionally – then hire yourself back in as a EPC. Win, win.

      • Mrs. and I went to Spain fall of 2017 and had a pretty good time. They do marvelous things with fish and pigs there. Anyway, Madrid, Sevilla, Toledo and Barcelona. Nearly everyone we met had at least a rudimentary grasp of English and everybody we met when hearing we were also going to Barcelona said oh no don’t go there. It turned out to be the most favorite part of the trip and there’s a Catalonian flag bumper sticker on my truck as we speak. Basque area next time plus a return to Catalonia.

    • There was a huge Biden rally in Phoenix in a small parking lot. Five (5) unpaid people showed up. It’s amazing how he swept the state, though we know now that the election had been rigged.

  3. I can vouch for the paying in the green state I live in. In the township I live in, only the hamlet has water or sewer, no trash pick up. You pay dearly at a recycling center. There was no cable until just 5yrs ago. Over 60% of town taxes collected go to the town highway dept. Bigger morons I have seldom seen (excluding Wash.). They salt the roads so hard that it kills any trees catching the runoff and run with blades down with even just a dusting of snow on the roads. One guy flipped the 10 wheeler onto the snowplow blade just a couple years back. County just did a full reassessment with corresponding increase in both school and property taxes.The magnitude of idiocy increases with the level of government until, well you know. To think I got that pissed off from one map. Thanks LL.

    • There essentially is no government where I live. The county plows one road. Everyone else deals with their own problems. There was a resident deputy sheriff but he’s not there anymore. So the response time to a 911 call is back to 2.5 hours unless there is the rare highway patrol officer rolling down that single plowed road. But we’re ok with that here.

      • I envy that and would be ok with it too. When I moved here, it was not to the extent you mention but very very quiet. An expressway to the closest city changed it all. I stayed because of my job. I don’t think I have it in me to move at my current age.

  4. It is always better to scotch your own snakes instead of going to find someone to do it for you on their schedule and to their standards.
    Plus, you know the outcome will be more to your liking.
    If you want a job done right, do it yourself.

  5. A good choice of maps and good comment section! Netherlands has a lot of seabed land, I wonder how it compares with what China has done turning the sea bed into useable land.

  6. I like that on the donor/recipient map, Rhode Island appears to be it’s own, third category.

    It probably stands for “Whenever we send someone there to get the numbers, they rob them blind and send them back wearing a barrel with a bill for services rendered.”.


  7. The reason for states such as NY paying more than it receives is that people earn more, hence they pay more in income taxes. Accordingly, state taxes are higher as well as prices for many goods.

  8. the fed funds to va. goes to the d.c. suburb of northern va, and hampton roads navy yards. the rest of us pay in and get naught. i can’t believe all those liberal strongholds pay in more than they get.

    • California is an economic powerhouse even though the Democrats are working hard to change that. It takes a lot of Newsoms, Pelosis and Swalwells to destroy it. California and Canada have almost equal populations. California is also very heavily taxed. They pay $1.50/gallon more than Arizona for gasoline – all tax.

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