Beijing: The sound of the city

Part six in a series

As I make the ride from the Beijing airport to our hotel, I have a line from Patrick Watson’s clack-clickity song “Beijing” running as a soundtrack in my head.

“It was the sound of a city. Speaks to me,” he sings. “It was the sound of a city. Sang me a song.”

Wastson’s song is full of cymbals and drums and all sorts of frenetic tick-tack percussion that clinks and clucks and clanks and clangs. It buzzes, bumps, and bounces. The back and forth piano reminds me of the tempo of morning rush hour, and the violin crescendos from just-woke-up speed to that of frenetic commuter. It is, indeed, the hustle-bustle sound of a city.

And Beijing is, if nothing else, all hustle and bustle. Continue reading

Visualization of the scale of the oil spill

Andy Linter at spent some time with Google Maps recently and came up with a visualization tool for the scale of the BP oil slick. When you got to his site, his site grabs your location from your IP address and then moves an overlay of the present size of the oil slick from the Gulf to over your home. The image at right is how big it would be if it were centered near my home in the Denver metro area, Colorado.

After the last census I calculated what percentage of Colorado’s population lived between Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, and it was somewhere between 70-80% of the state. So if that slick were here in Colorado, 3.5 to 4 million people would be covered in oil.

Click on the image to get a feel for how much of your neck of the woods it would cover.

h/t to S&R’s own wufnik