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Isn't That Spatial?

a podcast dedicated to casual geography and the spatial component of whatever

ITS005: Spatial Topics in Music – Songs of the Suburbs

This episode is the first installment of a new feature we’re starting – Spatial Topics in Music – where I select a geography theme and do a little dive into some of the popular songs that pay tribute to that theme.

For this first one, we’re taking a listen to the Songs of the Suburbs. Yes, the suburbs – that geographic entity whose derision is as ubiquitous as its Starbucks and cul-de-sacs. As a mainstay of modern American life, it’s no surprise that quite a few lyrics have been penned to both laud and loathe it.

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Show Notes

Songs Featured + Referenced In This Episode

Ode to the Outskirts

Ray Charles, “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town”

The Beach Boys, “In My Room” + “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”

Pulp, “Joyriders”

Weezer, “In The Garage”

Suburban Ubiquity and Malaise

Pete Seeger, “Little Boxes”

The Monkees, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”

The Members, “Sounds of the Suburbs”

The Kinks, “Shangri-La”

suburban-punks
suburban punks
Full-on Angst/Ennui

Radiohead, “Street Spirit (Fade Out)”

David Bowie, “The Buddha of Suburbia”

Everything But The Girl, “Hatfield 1980”

The Wrens, “Won’t Get Too Far”

Daniel Johnston, “Devil Town”

ITS004: REPRESENT!

This episode examines the Geography of Political Representation.

What could be more spatial than the lines that combine and divide us to make up our political representative districts? On this episode, we will take just a peek at how we all get bundled together – or not – to get some representation – or not – in our legislative bodies. What is the makeup of our representation and is it fair and adequate? How did we get here and who is in charge? There has got to be a better way – right?

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Show Notes + Sources

Um, what are Congressional Districts? Via the Census.

Apportionment Method

600px-us_population_per_representative

Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting

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World’s Most Egregiously Drawn District, the North Carolina 12th
md3
Maryland’s 3rd District makes a pretty creative showing, too.

Interactive Map of Congressional Districts and “Safety” Ratings

Gubernatorial and State Legislative Party Control, via Ballotpedia

Redistricting after the 2010 Census, via Ballotpedia

NC2010vs2012CongressionalRedistricting.png
Both major parties have had their shot at gerrymandering in NC.

Under-representation after the 2010 Census and Redistricting, via the Washington Post

Representation at the local level

Unintentional Gerrymandering of ourselves.

More on independent redistricting commissions

Pending court cases related to redistricting schemes

ITS003: Public vs. Private Ride-Hailing Services


Hey, have you heard about this Uber thing? On this episode, I’m looking at ride-hailing services – so-called public taxis versus newer, private app-based services such as Uber and Lyft (among many other players in the market). How do these services fit in to the urban transportation picture? Are the new private services the key to the gaps in our transportation system? Do they complement or harm the public taxi system, or the public transportation system for that matter?

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Show Notes

From FiveThirtyEight:

In NYC, Uber and taxi cabs tend to share the same market –

uber-feature-demobreakdown-map-1

Ride-hailing paired with good public transportation can potentially replace the need for vehicle ownership in cities –

uber-feature-demobreakdown-linechart-6

Other Sources:

Cool NYC Taxi stats

Taxi history from Time Magazine

The Economist and The Globalist on Uber vs. Taxis

University of Chicago Law Review on the Social Costs of Uber

The Daily Caller on DC rethinking its public taxi services

Recent court ruling on tossing out taxi company complaints against Uber

Venture Beat weighing the problems and possibilities of private ride-hailing services

The moral quandary of public vs. private car services

ITS002: The Bicycle and Women’s Lib


We urbanists know and have heard much laud for the humble bicycle as a key piece of the multimodal transportation puzzle. But who knew the bicycle was such a feminist?! In this episode, we explore the modern bicycle’s role in enabling the increase of women’s participation in democracy and local advocacy.

law-abiding-women-suffragist
Image Courtesy of University of Virginia

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Note:  I originally researched, wrote, and recorded this as episode 1 for release on November 9, 2016. And then…. Something unexpected happened and I scrapped the whole thing.

But hey, building off the momentum of the Women’s March this last weekend, this topic is still as relevant as ever and perhaps even more so than… back then.

So, I’ve re-recorded this episode – this time with a little less innocence and I think a bit more, mmm, presence.

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Another Note!:  This episode frequently references Susan B. Anthony, the well-known women’s suffragist, who also happened to be on the record lauding the bicycle during the period of time I discuss in this episode. Let’s keep in mind here that she certainly wasn’t the only major actor in the women’s suffrage movement and Ms. Anthony must also bear some controversy with her name. I just wanted to make that clear. Onward!

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Show Notes

Sources:

The Atlantic

The Library of Congress 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times over

Cambridge University Archives

How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle by Frances E. Willard

Objections to Women on Wheels:

“The Bicycle Indicted” – This bulletin from 1896 begins, “The Women’s Rescue League intends to begin a national crusade against the use of the bicycle by women.” Cool.

Maysville, KY evening bulletin, 1896 – “Just what relation exists between the bicycle and eternal salvation or destruction of the soul is a question of importance…”

The advocate. (Topeka, Kan.), 09 Jan. 1895.

christmas-cycle-costume
Image Courtesy of The Library of Congress

How do like my Christmas Cycle Costume?

Calling for a “rational dress” while cycling

The Rational Dress, explored by the St. Paul Globe (1897)

THEY RIDE BIKES (The Wichita Daily Eagle, 1894)

More on the rational dress phenomenon

Inclusionary Biking

Lots of good work on exploring inclusivity in biking culture and creating a fairer environment for bikers of all sorts of backgrounds

Check out these fun ladies and their work supporting the community of women of color who bike (or would like to)

Featured Music

220px-daisybell

“Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)” by Harry Dacre – This song was considered rather progressive at the time as it helped to normalize the image of a woman on a bicycle (with a male counterpart, of course).

Sesame Street – Mary Had A Bicycle (full version) – YouTube

ITS001: Geography of the Dive Bar

Welcome to Isn’t That Spatial! This is a podcast dedicated to casual (so casual) topics in geography and the spatial component of… whatever.

This first episode (!) discusses the geography of the classic dive bar – its history, its urban and rural iterations, and how it currently fits (or doesn’t) into our contemporary urban fabric. But it’s very casual. Very breezy.

I’ll always post my show notes here on this website, including links to sources and relevant articles.

If you have a topic you think would be very Isn’t That Spatial to explore, please let me know in the comments!

-Amanda

P.S. We’re coming soon to iTunes and other stuff – for now, SoundCloud and LibSyn are our primary media.

Show Notes + Links

Dive Bar History:

Library of Congress

More dive-y-ness from the Library of Congress

New York journal and advertiser, March 9, 1899

LOC and the Excise Tax

University of Houston – Prohibition

episode-2-raid-crop

Dive Bars Now:

Mapping Bars vs. Grocery Stores

Strongtowns on Drunk Driving

Dive Bars and Gentrification

Can New York Protect Its Dive Bars?

Get ready…

…to set aside a whole 10 minutes of your week for the inaugural episode of Isn’t That Spatial.

Hint:

2964809871_c155bc17b2_n_d
Photo courtesy of: FogCityFog

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