In which the counties of Iowa try to get back in my good graces by amusing me


Yeah, so, that thing where I was fed up with that double-stack county in Iowa last week? That’s Kossuth County and there’s stories behind it.

Map of Iowa showing the divisions for counties, which are mostly fairly uniform and nearly rectangular counties. On the northern boundary is one county, highlighted in orange, that is double the height of all the others in its row, but the same width.
Not depicted: either Armstrong County, South Dakota, the first of which was a thing from 1873 to 1879 in what’s now southeast South Dakota and the second of which was a thing from 1883 through 1952 in the central part of South Dakota, because South Dakota has got not much to do with Iowa apart from sharing letters such as ‘a’ and ‘o’.

So Kossuth County had been the lower half of this. In 1857 it absorbed the northern county, Bancroft County, because it turned out the whole area was wetlands and it wasn’t any good for farming. That’s all fine and that’s like the first joke I would make about it. But you know what they say about never using your first joke about something? (They say don’t use your first joke about something.) Well, in 1870 they (Iowa) carved a county out of the northern part of that again. They didn’t just call it Bancroft County II: The Secret Of Curly’s Ooze, though. They named it Crocker County. And this didn’t work because it turned out Iowa’s constitution prohibited the creation of any new counties smaller than 432 square miles, and Crocker County was, so the Iowa Supreme Court voided it the next year. Anyway, 1871: bad year for the Paris Commune and north-central Iowan counties.

In which I am jolly well fed up with the counties of Iowa


OK, so I was looking at Wikipedia’s page about the counties of Iowa for the usual reason and then this bit of nonsense caught my eye.

Map of Iowa showing the divisions for counties, which are mostly fairly uniform and nearly rectangular counties. On the northern boundary is one county, highlighted in orange, that is double the height of all the others in its row, but the same width.
The map here by the way I didn’t just rip off of Wikipedia. I went to Iowa’s Geographic Information Services Department So Far As I Can Tell and got their scans based on the 7.5′ topographic quadrangle maps they have. So that’s the level of crankiness I am bringing to this. Yes, yes, I know what you’re wondering and according to the metadata, this map “encompass’ [ sic ] the Iowa-Nebraska Compact of 1943” so don’t worry.

So, look, Iowa. Either have a pattern for your counties, or don’t have a pattern. Don’t give me this nonsense of a bunch of nice little orderly rows and columns and then just toss in a double-height county like that. Furrfu. Re-work this and come back when you’ve fixed the issue.

Statistics July: Or, Statistics April, Another Time


The mysterious drop in readers continues. I heard a rumor that WordPress’s statistics page has started failing to count views from mobile devices. I don’t know if that’s so, although it would explain why the number of readers here and my mathematics blog collapsed simultaneously, and why other statistics-watchers reported similar sudden drops. My mathematics blog has struggled back above the 1000-reader mark, I believe because of the Mathematics A To Z glossary project that got me posting something nearly every day. I can’t repeat that here, though, since I already post something every day, and posting two things in a day would just be madness.

Anyway, the number of page views in June was a mere 739, down from May’s 759 and April’s 808. The May and June numbers are nearly the same number of views per day, though, so perhaps I’ll see an uptick in July.

The number of unique visitors rose, though, for the third month: from 303 in April to 359 in May to 380 in June. That’s almost got me up to where I was in October, when I accidentally got noticed by fans of the Kinks. It’s the right direction anyway. This does mean the views per visitor has dropped for three months, from April’s 2.67 to May’s 2.11 and then to a mere 1.94 in June. But I can take mere, if there’s enough of it.

Might not be enough, though. There were 365 likes recorded for my pages in June. That’s down slightly from May’s 380 and more from April’s 402. It’s not awful, though. The number of comments was down. There were 108 in April, and 81 in May, and only 59 in June. I need to start asking more open-ended questions, I guess, and giving obviously wrong answers to inspire reader enragement.

WordPress tells me I start July with 585 viewers, and that I just crossed 18,000 total views on the 1st of the month. The 18,000 is a nice and orderly piece of data.

What were the most popular posts in June? Sayeth WordPresseth:

The United States as ever sent me the most viewers (546), with the usual Anglosphere nations following up: Canada (45), Australia (43), the United Kingdom (24), and New Zealand (13). India gave me five readers in June, too, up from two.

The single-reader countries were the European Union (?), Italy (see what I mean?), Mexico, Morocco, Russia, and South Africa. None of them are single-reader repeats.

Finally, I’ve read advice that it’s worth reminding people how to follow your blog, so that people who read it can be nagged into reading it again. This seems logical. Since I’m right now on the Twenty Fourteen theme here, there’s a green button on the upper left that reads “FOLLOW, PLEASE” which is good for that. On my machine the FOLLOW is split between two lines, because that somehow makes sense to the computer as a thing to do. Maybe it would be different if I changed to Twenty Fifteen.

If you have an RSS reader, then I agree with you that’s a good way to follow posts and I don’t know why it’s getting so hard to do that anymore. Anyway, https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/feed/ will give you my posts. https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/comments/feed/ should give you comments, too. And my regular old Twitter account is @Nebusj, which is about what you might figure except I sometimes chat with people you don’t know about things you have to kind of guess about. We’ll see.

Statistics Saturday: Number Of New Jersey Municipalities With “Egg” In Their Name By County


County Number Of Municipalities With “Egg” In Their Name
Atlantic 2 [1]
Bergen 0
Burlington 0
Camden 0
Cape May 0
Cumberland 0
Essex 0
Gloucester 0
Hudson 0
Hunterdon 0
Mercer 0
Middlesex 0
Monmouth 0
Morris 0
Ocean 1 [2]
Passaic 0
Salem 0
Somerset 0
Sussex 0
Union 0
Warren 0

[1] Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township.

[2] Little Egg Harbor Township.

No two “Egg Harbor” municipalities share a border.