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I’m obsessed with maps.  As I write this from my living room, there is a map of Mahoning County on the wall to my left and one of Ohio to the right.  I’m completely fascinated by them, and this fascination is the main reason I chose geography as one of my specializations (think minor).

It’s no surprise that I was amazed when I found Eric Fischer’s study of racial breakdowns in America’s largest cities.

Fischer was inspired by a map created by Bill Rankin in 2009 that shows Chicago’s racial breakdown by community.  The map is simplistically elegant and informative, showing the stark racial boundaries between neighboring communities in an easy-to-interpret design.

The map that started it all

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Everybody's like everybody else and everybody's different from everybody else.

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He did what all of Ohio had themselves denying he could ever do on national television. The King turned his back on his throne in Cleveland, and he might as well have dropped a bomb on the heart of the city. He just placed himself among the likes of Art Modell. Modell being the most hated man in Cleveland sports history, and the man who moved the Brownies to Baltimore after promising the city he would never even think about it. Lebron will be known as a villain in Ohio for the rest of our lifetimes, but if it was me, I’m on my way to Florida. Sorry.

I want to start by saying I think the way in which LeBron went about this was egotistical and unnecessary. With that said, I don’t think it to be nearly as vicious or absurd as the rest of my state. We live in a different age. One that is obsessed with superstars. Where we know their every move and thought just by checking up on their twitter account. If you weren’t interested in the signing of LeBron James then you need to check your pulse. This is one of the biggest sports story’s in ages. It is a story we have been following for the past two years, and it warranted some attention when decision time finally came.

ESPN actually has signing shows for high school kids who have proved absolutely nothing on their way to college. You know the ones where they have hats lined up on a table in front of them and they put one on for the school they have picked. So is it so outrageous that the most sought after free agent in the history of sports would get his own announcement show. The classy way to do this would have been to simply accompany Bosh and Wade on ESPN for a 3 minute announcement/interview, but would people really have felt any different had James taken that route. The uproar in Cleveland would have still been comparable to a nuclear explosion. You take the chosen one from his deeply rooted homeland and there is no way around mass hysteria.

People forget that Kobe had a similar situation in 2004… Read the rest of this entry »

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