Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why do we live here?

During our latest bout with nature's wrath, I started thinking about the United States and the places we call home.
What I came up with was that vast parts of the country are uninhabitable, and if we were explorers from another world, we would render these places ill suited for human habitation, yet they are the places with the highest population densities in the country. Explain.
I even made a map (right) to show where those places are located.
Conversely, the areas that seem to be the most inhabitable are the least populated. What's wrong with us? I equate it to our love of fatty foods, alcohol and cigarettes. We know they're killing us, yet we embrace the lifestyle and dare people to tell us to stop. Let's analyze the areas, shall we?
The northeast is way too susceptible to snow and cold to be worth living in, yet millions call Boston, Hartford and Albany home.
The southeast coast is ravaged with hurricanes on a routine basis, and the "best vacation spots" are in North Carolina.
Florida is a huge mistake. It's hot, humid and prone to great thunderstorms, hurricanes and animals like alligators that routinely wander into homes terrorizing the residents. Somehow, we love Florida though, and we move there in droves as we retire. You'd figure old people would have gotten smarter, but no.
The central south is another big error. New Orleans - need I say more? It's an entire city built below sea level. What were we thinking? Weather notwithstanding, you have to deal with those rednecks every day. That's more than I could stand. Plus, it's way too humid for humans. That's why reptiles and amphibians are abundant. Think about it.
It's way too hot in big areas of Arizona and New Mexico. Earthquakes infest southern California, it rains constantly in Oregon and it snows from April to October in vast expanses of the mountain time zone. Millions of people. What the hell?
The northern part of the central time zone is way too cold on way too many days to consider itself an inhabitable part of the country, and "Tornado Alley" - seriously - if you live in an area where in less than a half hour your home could be moved a thousand feet and left upside down you should consider moving. For most of the year you're living in fear of something you cannot control.
Alaska and Hawaii were late-inning additions that really should have been left to Russia and Japan.
That leaves the areas that I have striped in silver as what I would consider to be "inhabitable" parts of the country. Places where the environmental conditions are the least offensive to great parts of society for the least amount of time, and where you stand the least chance of having your home destroyed or your life altered in some horrible way.
Sure, it snows and they have the occasional catastrophic weather event, but it is usually an historical event that makes the evening news because nobody can believe it actually happened here - like our latest 70 inch snow winter of discontent.
Strangely, if you looked at a map of population density, those areas are some of the least populated.
Why do we torture ourselves? Maybe the answer is something as simple as the fact that we cannot control where we are born? I blame our ancestors.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like your map :)

Kcoz said...

I like the map as well...

Later...

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Map is fierce indeed. Yeah, you'd think people living in a region called, "Tornado Alley" would be concerned. Then again, that IS the Bible belt you're talking about. They just believe Jebus will protect them!!

As for retiring, well I don't think I could afford anything more than Oscar the Grouch's pad.

Kcoz said...

I live in tornado ally and was in a building that was hit by one many years ago..I survived and the "great cloud god" had nothing to do with it...I heard it coming and jumped under a desk!

Others were not so wise..2 killed and thirty some others wounded.

The odds of me being hit by another tornado are extremely rare so I should rent myself out to stand in businesses during Tornado warnings...

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