Here’s a fun little visualization: the total seasonal snowfall in the continental US for 2017–2018 so far, shown as a relief map: Here’s how I made it. First, a Python scraper to pull down the data from the Weather Service: … Continue reading

When the government made communities

I have a piece up today in Places Journal on Rexford Tugwell’s battle with Robert Moses in New York City, in which I out myself as a believer in the Big State. The article is mostly about Tugwell’s brief time … Continue reading

The incrementalist’s guide to owning the world

In property law, there is a distinction drawn between two processes which can redraw a shoreline or riverbank and, consequently, redraw the geographic lines separating two pieces of property, or one political jurisdiction from another. The two processes are accretion … Continue reading

Transmissions from Earth 3

This very bizarre “Digits in Three” collection of videos on is mesmerizing. Need a three-second reminder about American foreign trade in the year 1910? How about the 2001 population of Dindigu, India? The years Gerald Ford was in office? … Continue reading


U. S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center, “Navy Winter Hood” (October 9, 1975), Digital Commonwealth.