Thursday, April 29, 2021

Rupert's Land

What/Where was it?

Rupert’s Land was a vast territory of northern wilderness. It represented a third of what is now Canada. From 1670 to 1870, it was the exclusive commercial domain of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and the primary trapping grounds of the fur trade. The territory was named after Prince Rupert, the HBC’s first governor.

By 1870, the Government of Canada acquired Rupert’s Land from the HBC for $1.5-million. It is the largest real estate transaction (by land area) in the country’s history. The purchase of Rupert’s Land transformed Canada geographically. It changed from a modest country in the northeast of the continent into an expansive one that reached across North America. Rupert’s Land was eventually divided among Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Indigenous People, Métis and Missionaries

The charter signed by King Charles II gave the HBC complete control of the territory. Almost no thought was given to the sovereignty of the many Indigenous peoples that had lived there for centuries. The HBC established forts and trading routes through much of the territory. The Cree, Assiniboine and other groups supplied the Company with furs, or acted as middlemen for other Indigenous fur suppliers. The Indigenous groups either took part in the growing trading economy or were directly employed by the HBC. The fur trade changed the Indigenous economy. Rather than hunting and trapping for subsistence, people now trapped in exchange.

Unidentified Métis Family
(photo by Robert Bell, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada)

In this family portrait above, we see the blending of two cultures. The father wears a European suit adorned with a pocket watch. The mother, who might be Métis1, holds their infant in a cradle board, traditionally used by First Nations peoples. The shawls, worn by several of the women and girls, reflect Métis culture.

The above sourced from this excellent article:
Rupert's Land (The Canadian Encyclopedia)

1 - Métis 
The Métis are Indigenous peoples in Canada and parts of the United States who are unique in being of mixed Indigenous and European (primarily French) ancestry. In Canada, they are considered a distinct culture, and are one of three groups of Canadian Indigenous peoples referenced in the Constitution. Métis (Wikipedia)

Monday, April 12, 2021

The World's Most Spoken Languages

The 100 Most Spoken Languages Around the World

Around the world, there are more than 7,000 regularly spoken vernaculars, this infographic shows off the top 100 most common languages in a very nice linguistic infographic. World languages list varied origins, with some branching off from the same ancient roots and some having a history all their own. 

The myriad of languages have been illustrated with its language origin tree, so you can easily trace their roots. Beautiful and ever-evolving, like a forest, the sheer variety of common languages spoken around the globe has been charted here in one world language map. Check out the top 100 most popular languages and their origin.

Check out Infographic >

The 10 Most Spoken Languages In The World

Almost half of the world’s population claims one of only 10 languages as their mother tongue

Please note:
What constitutes a language or a dialect is hotly contested stuff. More troubling is the fact that what we refer to simply as “Chinese” is actually a whole family of languages conveniently lumped into a single category. “Hindi” is also used as a catchall term to cover numerous dialects and sub-dialects.

Top 10 Languages By Number Of Native Speakers:
1. Chinese — 1.3 Billion Native Speakers
2. Spanish — 460 Million Native Speakers
3. English — 379 Million Native Speakers
4. Hindi — 341 Million Native Speakers
5. Arabic — 315 Million Native Speakers
6. Bengali — 228 Million Native Speakers
7. Portuguese — 220 Million Native Speakers
8. Russian — 153 Million Native Speakers
9. Japanese — 128 Million Native Speakers
10. Lahnda (Western Punjabi) — 118 Million Native Speakers

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Six Places To Avoid

Six places most folks may want to avoid  :-). "Laugh of the week'"
Click on Google Map Link - these are for real!

1 - Google Map >

2 - Google Map >

Monday, January 18, 2021

Two fabulous interactive data visualizations

A couple of really well done interactive data visualizations...

1 - Galaxy of Covers

How can music and a love of interplanetary ideas mix together to make a data visualization? With this lovely interactive example of a data analysis about famous song covers. Each song is a planet and its covers are satellites orbiting around it. Each song planet can be clicked on to visualize its own specific data. 


  • Walk On By
  • All Along The Watchtower
  • Hallelujah
  • With A Little Help From My Friends
  • etc.

Scroll down and interact - amazing

Go to Interactive Visual >

2- 200 Years of Immigration to the U.S

This is beautiful! Hover over any color at any point, and see the exact number of immigrants who became residents from that country in a specific decade. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021


Who were the Cumans?

The Cumans were fierce and formidable nomadic warriors of the Eurasian Steppe who exerted an enduring influence on the medieval Balkans. They were numerous, culturally sophisticated, and militarily powerful.


The Cumans entered the grassland of Eastern Europe in the 11th century, from where they continued to assault the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, and Rus. It should be noted that Cumania was neither a state nor an empire, but different groups under independent rulers, or khans, who acted on their own initiative, meddling in the political life of the surrounding states.

Did you Know?

The Polovtsian Dances 
The Russian word "Polovtsy" was the name given to the Kipchaks and Cumans by the Rus people. A very famous classical music piece is called the Polovtsian Dances from Alexander Borodin's opera Prince Igor.  His opera tells the story of the heroic antics of a 12th-century Russian prince Igor and his campaigns against invading nomadic Polovtsy tribes. The Polovtsian Dances offer an exhilarating climax to the opera’s second act, as Prince Igor and his son Vladimir are taken prisoner by Polovtsian leader Khan Konchak, who entertains them lavishly and calls on his slaves to perform the thrilling dances. 

Further Info

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Rock Band Timelines

Wikipedia is always a great resource for info. From obscure history details to well written summations of art, literature and music its no wonder Google Searches always turn up a Wikipedia page first!

The visual format of the revolving membership in rock bands is a great example of well done data visualization. Below are a few from the collection. Click any graphic to see its enlargement

Allman Brothers




Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Pink Floyd


The Band



Best Data Visualizations of 2020

 A few selections from the visme site...

Plastic Bottles

Humans are addicted to drinking water from plastic bottles. This has turned into a huge garbage problem. This visualization shows the piles of plastic bottles in relation to famous landmarks and cityscapes. Source #5

Space Junk

Data artist Federica Fragapane was commissioned by the BBC to create a data visualization about Space Junk. The data sets are separated into different categories; the distance from the earth, the types of space junk, and the size and mass of the objects. Source #10


Migration waves is a visualization of data from 50 years of migration. The black and white waves over the yellow background create a wonderfully visual rendition of the data. It’s interesting to see in which countries more people leave and in which countries more people settle anew. Source  #21