Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hi, I am Normal

In one of the Sponge Bob episodes, he gives up his quirks to become normal. As his behavior changes so does his contours and becomes perfectly smooth and rounded. Normal without his laugh. Normal, as in having nothing to talk about but "wonderful weather we are having". Normal, without any imperfections and sharp edges. Normal, as in boring.

In his new book How States Got Their Shapes, Mark Stein describes Colorado's borders as "boring" (compared t Maryland that has the shape of a squirt gun).

[how the states got their shapes]

Why does Colorado have such boring borders? Disappointingly, many of the Western states fell victim to carto-conformity when Congress clipped and hacked aborning states to a rough equality of size.
So Colorado was designed to have 7 degrees of longitude in width and 4 degrees of latitude in width.

Stein says
"The northern and southern borders of Colorado are artifacts of something remarkable. Or perhaps they are artifacts of something we think is remarkable, but which goes on more than we realize. They are artifacts of foresight and planning by our elected representatives."

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