Archive | January 2015

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World


If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and infographics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection aims to do just that.

Hopefully some of these maps will surprise you and you’ll learn something new. A few are important to know, some interpret and display data in a beautiful or creative way, and a few may even make you chuckle or shake your head.

If you enjoy this collection of maps, the Sifter highly recommends the r/MapPorn sub reddit. You should also check out There were also fantastic posts on Business Insider and Bored Panda earlier this year that are worth checking out. Enjoy!

1. Where Google Street View is Available


Map by Google

2. Countries That Do Not Use the Metric System


3. The Only 22…

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4 Months After Operation: Confrontation

A couple of years ago, I had a not so nice Facebook status about my parents which included how they didn’t know how to love their kids. I was friends with most of my family members on my dad’s side of the family at the time and instead of anyone coming to me asking me what was wrong or why I felt that way, they all rumored about me and my parents instead. My mom found out. And of course, my parents were mad at me for putting our business on Facebook. I said a hurtful thing about them and I shouldn’t have made it public.

Today, my husband wrote a Facebook status about my dad. Well, it was actually putting out the details of why we got rid of a car my parents gave us nine months before we sent it to its junkyard grave. My dad was really upset that we had gotten rid of it. Nevermind the fact my parents were given vehicles before and got rid of them when they lost their usefulness for my parents. And I had a light bulb go off after I read his well written Facebook account of what happened. The ONLY reason my parents don’t want their business on my Facebook page is more than just their fear it’s out in the public (they don’t understand the idea of privacy settings where only my friends can see my statuses). It’s because they don’t want people to see them as bad in any way. They already feel terrible about themselves, so they don’t need anybody else to see them as bad people too. When my comments on Facebook caused family drama and rumors, it was centered on perception and not wanting to look bad to others.

Well, today I say “fuck that.”

Starting with this blog post, I’m going to say whatever the hell I want about my parents. They don’t get to say whatever they want about me to family members that of course NOBODY comes to me about, so I have no idea what they talk about, and expect me to just keep my feelings to myself.

All I have are my memories and feelings. My husband had to write his story because he is affected by my parents’ bullshit like I used to be when my parents emotionally and mentally abused me. I had terrible nightmares about my parents for YEARS. The nightmares finally ended after I sent my mom the confrontation email in September 2014 that made her stop talking to me besides cordial short sentences at the Christmas family gathering at my uncle’s house. Not that my parents were actually ABLE to manipulate Matt, but they sure tried their best.

My parents have not respected me as a person since I was 12 years old. Yes, stuff happened to them by life, but I’m not interested in talking about that. No matter what happened to them in life, it does not excuse mentally and emotionally abusing their children. I also don’t know how my siblings feel and I will not attempt to speak for them. All I can do is speak for me.

My first memory of experiencing disrespect as a person was when I was about 12. One evening after school, I was listening to Jammin’ 92.3 on the radio. In the early 90’s, Jammin 92.3 in Cleveland Ohio played mostly R&B and rap of the day. “You Down with O.P.P” was playing on the radio and I was upstairs in my room dancing to myself and my dad came upstairs, face all red, ready to tear up some ass because I was listening to “that nigger music”. I learned a couple things. One, I learned in that moment my dad was very much a racist. And two, I had no idea until that moment that I was not allowed to explore what I liked and be myself. That night’s yelling lecture including drilling me on why I didn’t like country music as if there was something wrong with me for not liking country music. I was also forbidden from listening to Jammin’ 92.3. Of course, I didn’t obey as I listened to my beloved music on my Sony Walkman radio. However, I didn’t play it out loud anymore.

There are other examples too, but the point of the lesson I learned when I was 12 was that I was not allowed to explore my identity and figure out who I was. I was expected to like the same things as my parents. Music, clothes, TV shows, movies, whatever. And If I didn’t like something they liked, there was something wrong with me. My dad thought Steve Martin was an idiot and I was expected to share in that opinion even though I never got to watch Steve Martin to form my own opinion. This led to me not having my identity crisis until I was in college. That is a bad time to have an identity crisis and change majors three times because you no longer have any idea what you want to be in life.

So yeah, Mom and Dad. You were assholes. You were supposed to let me figure out who I was. And you were supposed to be ok with me being different and not liking all the same things you liked.

They were also the type of people to hold shit they did for you or gave you over your head. More than once, I was told that I was ungrateful and the most selfish person they’d ever known because they had clothed me, fed me, and did stuff for me while I grew up under their roof and whatever it was I did that hurt their feelings so bad made me a horrible person. I don’t even know what I did wrong other than refuse to give them my hard earned money so my dad could buy cigarettes. Or give them money to buy my sister concert tickets (it was only because I knew I wasn’t going to ever see that money again, it’s not because I didn’t want her to go to a concert). Or other such things that made me so selfish. I do remember saving up my tooth fairy money when I was little and losing teeth. I was about 10 I think and my mom asked to borrow all the money I saved from my tooth fairy money. I never saw that money again. So, if I didn’t want to give them my money from my paper route or from my job at Kmart or the city of Mentor, it was because I knew they weren’t borrowing it at all… they were just taking it. And I was actually trying to save money to buy things I wanted or needed and eventually for the stuff I would need for college. They even charged me $10.00/week for gas to take me to work at Kmart during my senior year of high school while my brother got to use the Ford Escort to drive where ever he wanted and even buy his gas and cigarettes for him since he had no job.

I have a life time of examples. My parents are still like this towards me to this day. There will be times where they love me so much and miss me and want me around. But as soon as my husband or I do something they perceive is against them in any type of way, they hold things over our heads and try to control us. They are sad human beings. Manipulative and mean. When I say things like “they don’t know how to love their children,” it’s not because I’m just being an ungrateful asshole daughter who doesn’t appreciate all my parents did for me growing up. Statements like that are made from literally decades of pain from two people who don’t have a damn clue what Love really is.

Perhaps if they hadn’t treated their oldest daughter like shit since she was 12 years old, there’d be nothing for them to feel bad about or to worry about looking bad to other people. I’m simply being an extrovert and telling my story. If people react to my memory of events and my feelings and my personal truth like my parents are assholes, then my parents only have themselves to blame for their own behavior. I have nothing to feel bad about. I know now from my self-healing process and by learning to love my own 13 and near 12 year old children that many of the things my parents did were wrong. I’m sure there are things I’m getting wrong. But I hope to do enough right that my kids’ blogs won’t have to focus on pain their parents caused that forces them to have to spend so much time trying to heal that pain as adults. Hopefully, I will do enough right they’ll be able to focus most of their energy on making the world a better place and finding out who they are and deciding what happiness looks like for them in a healthy way. That’s what love wants. I sometimes still grieve the loss of realizing I didn’t get what I needed emotionally and mentally from my parents as a kid and a teenager.

The Root: It’s Time to #ReclaimMLK From Those Who Seek to Sanitize His Legacy


One of my pet peeves has been the recent push to turn Martin Luther King, Jr. Day into a generic national “Day of Service.” It annoys me not because I hate volunteerism (volunteering is great!) but because we all know damn well Martin Luther King didn’t live his life under threat of death constantly to eventually die from an assassin’s bullet because he wanted to paint poor people’s houses on weekends. No, he died for the long-denied rights of black people. We need to #ReclaimMLK, and I wasn’t alone in these thoughts.

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