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Kinda-AcademicStuff that's a little more serious, but not really up to academic par.

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Vernacular Region of "Up North," Wisconsin

This "Up North" area is important to Wisconsin's tourist economy and cultural identity. Many Wisconsin residents own property in the region, specifically to support their recreational pursuits. But where is "Up North"? As my GEO 106 students were becoming familiar with Google Earth this fall, I had them create a simple KMZ shape in the program to outline where they thought "Up North" was in the state. Read more
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WLDAAG / ELDAAG Presentation on Fatness

In October 2012, I gave this presentation, entitled "Using Autoethnographic Methods to Understand the Impact of Fatness on Space and Place" at the 2012 Joint Meeting of the West Lakes and East Lakes Division of the AAG at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Read more
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My Geography of Obesity: Recreation & Vacation

Ah, summertime. Summer's a great season for having fun, being outside, traveling, and just generally recreating, especially when one's in an academic position that leaves most of that time relatively free. Of course, as with any profession, it's important that I take advantage of my time off by spending some of that time relaxing so that I can be productive and happy when I return to work. Unfortunately, vacation, recreation and fun aren't quite as relaxing for those of us who are obese. Indeed, my size presents a constant obstacle to achieving that ultimate goal of relaxation; not specifically from physical limitations (though I have those as well), but from the psychological stress that comes from being an obese person in a world designed for smaller folks. Read more
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NBC's Geographic Imagination, as Reflected in the Olympics Opening Ceremony

A lot has been said about the incredibly sub-par coverage provided by NBC during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Between their questionable decision to >tape-delay the ceremony to coincide with prime time to maximize ratings to >the many, many omissions from the rather bland, unsurprisingly free-of-colonialism ceremony on the U.S. broadcast -- including, quite offensively, a tribute to the 7/7 tube bombings that occurred the day after London's winning of the games was announced. Almost certainly, the slicing, dicing and discarding of key moments in the Opening Ceremony's first act was for the purpose of shoving in more commercials. Okay, fine, it's offensive, but whatever. As the second act, that Parade of Nations marched on, the same thing continued, but instead of omitting or glancing over parts of an entertainment production, NBC instead did the same to entire nations, making a mockery of their athletes' accomplishments. In other words, NBC sold out a number of nations and how they were represented to the American public (who, given the sad state of our country might never hear of some of these countries again), just to make more money on ads. Read more
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US That Could've Been: Creating Timeline X's Map with GIS

I've been dabbling around with an alternate historical geography of the United States that I've called "The United States That Could've Been." So far, I've laid out the initial concept map of the altered U.S., and I've drafted an alternate timeline of events, called "Timeline X," which is almost certain to be updated and improved upon a little later. I decided that I'd like to go a few more steps with this and create some bare basic demographic analyses in a GIS, and perhaps put together a little almanac with entries about each of the states. Read more
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US That Could've Been: Building Timeline X

This past December, I put together a sort of alternate history map of the United States called "The United States ...That Could've Been." It was nothing more than just a bit of fun in a dull and dry winter spell. All of the states created in that entry were based on existing real-life partition proposals that were either flat-out rejected or which flamed out. Well, I wasn't yet finished with the project, and I think maybe I can have some more fun with this. So, here is the timeline that I modeled the map on. I'm also planning to put together some GIS shapefiles and do demographic analyses, as well as publish a little almanac of the new states. Eventually. Read more
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My Geography of Obesity: Air Travel

For this entry, I'll be writing a semi-fictional narrative about air travel while obese. It is non-fiction in the fact that every single event I will be describing here has happened to me, personally, many of them on more than one occasion. The fictional aspect of this narrative is that all of those experiences will be combined into a single story, to construct something of a hypothetical worst-case scenario. Doing so is crucial because, whenever I travel, the ingredients of this worst-case scenario are always sitting at the forefront of my mind. I wanted to construct a scenario where it's expressed how I see constant reminders that I'm in a world not built to accomodate my size. Read more
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My Geography of Obesity: Socializing

In this entry, I'll be largely exploring the impact of obesity on socializing, both in public and private settings, using a perspective of a hypothetical narrative. In this narrative, I'll be exploring what I would be thinking and doing during a hypothetical scenario, based upon what I had thought and done in similar situations in the past. The idea behind this is to explore a largely mundane, everyday activity and highlight the differences in mindset that come from my particular personal history of obesity. Read more
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My Geography of Obesity: Introduction

I have a particular interest in geographies of obesity for a pretty obvious reason. I am a geographer, and by nearly every measure that exists, I am also morbidly obese. You'd think that this would be a fairly common occurrence, but observation at our latest AAG meeting in New York seemed to show otherwise. We geographers are, as a whole, a fairly fit and healthy group. Beyond this, as a discipline a majority of geographers tend to not jump into social theory and other such analyses, and perhaps that's why I haven't yet read something quite like this. Read more
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Introducing a 3D Google Earth Model of UWFox

At UWFox this spring, GEO 106 encountered a number of technical problems largely related to software and hardware obsolescence. So old were these machines that even our resident Helpdesk miracle workers found the challenges daunting. Despite mounting frustrations, the students kept an overwhelmingly positive attitude and pushed forward.

Just after midterm, an important GIS lesson was again aborted by the software company’s failure to support its older products still in use. At that time, the class discussed alternate project lessons that could provide a laboratory and application for all necessary skills while creating a product useful beyond the limits of this particular course section or semester.

With this, the first three-dimensional model of the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley campus was born.

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