I want to go there.

This week, Science published a noise map of the U.S., showing where the loudest and quietest places are.

It reminded me of a tree map of the U.S. published a couple of years ago.

If I were a maps geek, I’d try to combine these two maps so I could see at a glance the places that are both filled with trees and quiet. Because those are the places I want to go.

Sometimes a tree-filled and noisy place, like Central Park, can be invigorating, while a quiet and treeless desert, like Death Valley, has its own special charms, too. But most of the time what I’m missing is being among the trees, in silence, like a druid.

New map show's America's quietest places, from Science Magazine
New map show’s America’s quietest places, from Science Magazine
Where the trees are, from the NASA Earth Observatory
Where the trees are, from the NASA Earth Observatory
I want to go there.

Facebook’s fake “real names” policy

Dana Lone HillIn October, Facebook issued a very clear statement saying that it’s never been the company’s policy to require legal names — but rather, to require people to use the names they go by in real life. “For Sister Rosa, that’s Sister Rosa. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that’s Lil Miss Hot Mess,” a company spokesperson said.

But Facebook is repeatedly reneging on that promise. For Native Americans, for instance, it insists that names like “Dana Lone Hill” don’t meet its guidelines — and then it requires legal documentation (copies of a driver’s license, for instance). For punk music writers like Legs McNeil, it requires a more “legitimate” sounding name. For video blogger Jay Smooth, it briefly suspended his account (and then reinstated it when Smooth, who has quite a following, complained about it on Twitter.)

Whenever the company gets called on this behavior, it says each individual instance was a mistake. But this is a repeated pattern. The “mistake” excuse does not hold water.

This is not responsible corporate behavior. This is the behavior of a company that believes it can say one thing publicly and do something completely different in daily practice.

Facebook’s fake “real names” policy