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Show & Tell: A Map of Matrimony

Library of Congress // Public Domain

This undated “Map of Matrimony,” held by the Library of Congress, represents itself as a handy guide for "timid lovers," promising to help them navigate "the orbit of affection to the true haven of conjugal happiness.” The map, which was probably published in the 19th century, was one of many popular maps of love published in the United Kingdom and the United States starting in the late 18th century.

These maps translated the fraught journey from the first blush of courtship through matrimony into tangible geographical features. This map features a “Coast of Doubt,” a “Whirlpool of Reflection,” “Shoals of Fickleness,” and (in a nod to the real world) a “Cape of Good Hope.” Acknowledging that lovers would suffer agonies of confusion as they tried to navigate romantic situations, the maps physicalize emotions, recognizing that pity, treachery, jealousy, and prudence could feel as insurmountable as mountains, or as influential as prevailing winds.

While many maps of matrimony, like this group collected by Barron Maps, were intended for wall display, such maps were also occasionally found on Victorian valentines, one type in a class of parody card that was, as Lucinda Matthews-Jones writes, harmlessly fun. Such cards took many forms: “Bank notes from the bank of love, rebus valentines or word puzzles, and fake marriage certificates or telegrams.” Unlike cruel “vinegar valentines,” these humorous cards gently satirized courtship, offering a little social commentary on the common stages and rituals of the process.

Since maps of matrimony were a popular art form practiced across decades and continents, the archive of surviving examples offers interesting points of connection. Here’s one circa-1825 Map of Matrimony, which was professionally printed. Compare it with a hand-drawn example that antiquarian bookseller and author Tim Bryars offers on his blog, and another homemade map of matrimony, this one in an autograph book compiled by a Canadian woman. The two hand-drawn maps echo features found in the printed version—all three offer “Mountains of Delay, inhabited by Lawyers,” a “Land of Spinsters” off to the west, and a “Petticoat Government” to the south—suggesting that people who made homemade love maps may have copied liberally from printed versions. 

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The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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