Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

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Tagged united states

Which countries work, relax, and volunteer most?

AM Charts

AM Charts

I did some light reading on time-use recently and came across some insightful observations from researcher John Robinson. He’s spent the last four decades reviewing thousands of “time journals” from people around the world.

Contrary to what you might think, Robinson argues we have more free time today than when he started keeping records in the ’60s, something The Atlantic corroborates. Only now we choose to fill that free time with overwork or busy-ness instead of proper leisure (e.g. relaxation, hobbies, or adventures) because that’s how many of us validate our existence.

A few highlights from Robinson’s research: People in Spain spend the most time walking (good for them!), Italians and Slovenians spend the most time relaxing (nice!), and Bulgarians (not Americans!) spend the most time watching TV (tsk, tsk). In the United States, people spend more time on computers than any other country, they volunteer more, and they spend the most time taking care of children and the elderly.

I suspect the increase in childcare is partially due to the rise of helicopter parenting. But those are mostly noble uses of American’s time, I believe. That is, of course, if we’re using computers to work smarter, work less, and facilitate really cool offline adventures.—Blake Snow

The story first published to in 2014

After visiting 35 “United States,” these are the ones that stand out (so far)

Courtesy amCharts

I’m incredibly biased and totally indoctrinated, but I admire America. Objectively speaking, it truly is one of the world’s most diverse playgrounds. Granted, I cherish my adventures abroad and look forward to future ones. But I treasure my own backyard as much as I do exotic soil.

So far I’ve managed to spend meaningful amounts of time in 35 states (excluding states I’ve driven or flown through without doing more than filling gas or eating a roadside meal). As you can see from the accompanying map, I’ve traveled through all of the West, much of the South, and the better part of the Northeast.

Which states have left the biggest impression on me so far? To keep things fair, I’m excluding my home state of Utah, although many would argue it’s an impressionable one. Also, I tend to value “great outdoors” over cities. That said, these are my favorites until further notice: Continue reading…

Published columns: Americans abroad, epic inlands, Monument Valley, underrated states

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Here’s where my travel column went last month:

Thanks, Paste Magazine, for letting me write these adventurous stories last month

Paramount Pictures

And the best United State to live in is…

New Hampshire? That’s what State Master says, after ranking each state’s quality of life. And of course, paying no mind to where your friends, family, and specific job-related opportunities are (you know: location, location, location).

Rank State
# 1 New Hampshire
# 2 Minnesota
# 3 Vermont
# 4 Wyoming
# 5 Virginia
# 6 Iowa
# 7 Massachusetts
# 8 New Jersey
# 9 South Dakota
# 10 Nebraska Continue reading…

Report: What the next depression will look and feel like has published an interesting story surmising what a depression in the 21st century might be like. While the Great Depression and all its similarities to our current situation was very public, the New Depression (defined as a recession lasting a few years and unemployment upwards of 25%) will be very private, the article suggests, given the proliferation of the Internet to perform many daily duties including shopping, banking, entertainment, and communication. In short, author Drake Bennett expects long lines at the ER since people will drop their health insurance, a television boom since it’s the cheapest form of entertainment (movies and baseball were in the 30s, but not anymore), and barren suburbs due to crashing home values. Oh, and those shiny gadgets (bu-bye iPhones) will be traded in for reliable and durable tech like Nextel phones, and people will stop consuming organic food and other snobbery items because they’re too expensive.

[Thanks, Connor]

7 things I don’t miss about Georgia

Carrollton, GeorgiaHer Southeastern beauty may be unmatched, but Georgia has her share of irritants.

I moved to Utah from Georgia six years ago in pursuit of a degree from BYU (Go Cougars!). I came for the education (okay, not really), but stayed for the girl. It’s a place I call home and a state in which I’m happy to reside.

Earlier this month, Lindsey and I took a trip back to Georgia to see the family — something we hadn’t done in almost three years. Despite the laughs, good company, and unrivaled hospitality, I quickly recognized some things I don’t miss about Georgia. Here are seven of them: Continue reading…

It’s embarrassing to read about the “U.S. Invasion of Iraq”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you don’t want to challenge your optimistic beliefs on the U.S. War in Iraq, or are offended by patriotic criticism, please skip this post.

AP Photo File

Upon researching the ancient, now-ruined city of Babylon, I discovered that its remains lie 55 miles south of Baghdad. The nearest modern-day city is named Al Hillah and “was the scene of relatively heavy fighting in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq,” according to Wikipedia.

Given what we’ve known since 2005, I was embarrassed to read that last line, “in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.” It’s still difficult for me to consider that the United States invaded anyone, much less Iraq on false, reportedly fabricated premises.

Continue reading…

My homeland is in a world of hurt

Our executive branch of the federal government has failed us. Our legislative and judicial branches aren’t much better, though their added checks and balances make them less susceptible to corruption than our most popular branch of government, the one the POTUS oversees.

From my cursory vantage, here are some of the issues that concern me most, both from political and economical perspectives: Continue reading…