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In 1914, it could take over 40 days to travel to remote places in the world.

That year, John G. Bartholomew — Great Britain’s royal cartographer at the time — published an isochronic map showing travel times from London to various places around the globe. "Isochronic" simply means that lines (isochrones) are drawn on the map between locations that could be reached in the same amount of time. Trips range from “within 5 days journey” to “over 40 days.”

Even at first glance, it’s stunning.


Map by John G. Bartholomew, 1914.

This map tells a story of the evolution of travel in the early 20th century.

Look closely at what happens when a route reaches a land mass.

In North America, the pink range (five to 10 days) extends from New York to Winnipeg.

But in South America, the yellow segment (10 to 20 days) only reaches a hundred miles or so inland before giving way to green, light blue, and soon dark blue (over 40 days).

The difference between these areas lies in railroads, which in 1914 were fairly common in the eastern United States but significantly harder to come by in South America. An article in The Economist quotes geographer L.W. Lyde as writing, “isochronic distances ... change with every additional mile of railway brought into use.”

But the very year that Bartholomew released his map, another form of travel entered the scene: airplanes.

On Jan. 1, 1914, the first scheduled commercial airline flight took place. It lasted just 23 minutes, and its single passenger spent $400 for the ticket (equivalent to over $9,600 today) at an auction, eager to go down in history as the world's first commercial flight passenger.

A Benoist XIV floatplane in 1914, the type used for the first commercial flight. Image from the Florida Photographic Collection/Wikimedia Commons.

By the 1950s, commercial air travel was booming. Passenger flights were expensive and about five times as dangerous as they are today, but rapid innovation and competition among airlines continued to make flights increasingly accessible. From 1954 to 2014, the number of flight passengers in the U.S. grew by by a factor of 21.

Travel on the ground was rapidly changing as well: 1914 was the time of the Ford Model T, a car often credited with bringing affordable travel to middle-class Americans.

A Ford Model T in 1923, nine years after the creation of Bartholomew's map. Via Conrad Poirier/Wikimedia Commons.

In 1956, President Eisenhower authorized the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate was declared complete in 1992 — at which point the project was about $91 billion over its initial budget and about 23 years overdue.

A century after the original, an updated version of Bartholomew’s map shows how much travel has changed.

In 2016, travel search platform Rome2rio updated Bartholomew’s map to show modern travel times from London around the world. The new map calculates journeys by plane, train, car, bus, ferry, and more.

As Rome2rio wrote on their blog, “What we uncovered was fascinating.”

Map by Rome2rio, 2016. To purchase this map, visit Wellingtons Travel Co. Used with permission.

Note that the legend on this map shows a new time scale. No longer do the dark pink areas represent travel “within 5 days,” but instead, “Within ½ day.” On the other end of the spectrum, in blue, what used to show “over 40 days” now shows “over 1½ days.”

Significant changes in the updated map can be seen in Asia, Africa, and parts of South America. In 1914, a traveler from London could reach any part of India in 10 to 20 days. In 2016, the entire country can be reached within ¾ of a day — with many major cities accessible in less than that.

In the coming years, the isochronic map will undoubtedly continue to change as modes of travel evolve across the globe.

How would a high-speed rail system in the U.S. change the map — not to mention your daily life? Will more of South America become pink in the next couple of decades?

However the map changes in the coming years, one thing is certain: Travel today is faster, safer, and cheaper than it's ever been.

Which begs the question: What part of the globe are you planning to explore next?

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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