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Weird city rankings

Inspired by David's (admittedly bizarre) claim that Missouri is "the" place to live, I decided to get to the bottom of this. Heading straight for Bert Sperling's popular bestplaces.net, I quickly discovered that the "best city" title is a hotly-contended one: there are at least eight U.S. metropoli vying for the honor -- and none of them are in Missouri. Satisfied that such subjective rankings will leave cities like jogger-friendly Portland, OR, Southern charmer Charlottesville, VA and spickety-span Fort Collins, CO (Money magazine's 2006 top city) duking it out for decades to come, I gravitated toward the weirder rankings. For instance:

  • Birmingham, AL: the home of mental_floss, and also the city in which you are 2nd most likely to develop a respiratory infection. #1 was Nashville; in fact, 8 of the top 10 cities are in the South. (This study doesn't discuss contributing factors -- anyone care to hazard a guess?)
  • Boston, MA: hardest city to navigate. Factoring in one-way streets, bodies of water, congested freeways and days per year when snow exceeded 1.5 inches, Boston took the cake. Can you dig it?
  • Detroit, MI: worst place to get a good night's sleep. A recent study found a link between high unemployment and sleepless nights, putting the Motor City way ahead of New York -- the "city that never sleeps" -- at #6.
  • Cincinnati, OH is the city in which you're most likely to develop a migraine headache. Big triggers include rapidly-changing weather and a high rate of red wine consumption.
  • Kansas City, MO: toughest place to get a date. A lack of date-friendly hangouts like coffee shops, bars and bowling alleys (always my preferred lady-wowing venue), combined with a lack of eligible singles 18-24 make Kansas City the city least likely to help you get your freak on.
  • The people of Las Vegas, NV have the highest rate of resistance to antibiotics. And if you need more information to explain that one, it's time you left Kansas City.
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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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