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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

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Strange Maps

630 - The Silver Dog with the Golden Tail

about 1 year ago

Five score and seventeen years ago, the United States was a boxy, silver-coloured dog with a chunky tail of dark gold. That bizarre image, embedded in the familiar outline of the U.S. map, is as obscure today as it was poignant during the 1896 presidential election. The question dominating that ...

Strange Maps

625 - Gingers of the World, Unite!

about 1 year ago

"All hail! The red, orange and pale!", "Ginger and proud!" and "It gets redder": those were some of the slogans on display across Edinburgh on 10 August 2013, in what was probably the world's first Ginger Pride parade. The march, part of the Edinburgh Fringe festival, was organised by comedian ...

Strange Maps

624 - This is Your Brain on Maps

about 1 year ago

If you think that trawling the internet for cartography is a harmless endeavour, you are sorely mistaken. Think again. If you still can, that is. The relentless perusal of maps - one more, and then another, but never the last one - is a perversion of the normal requirement in healthy individuals ...

Strange Maps

623 - Fear of a Belgian Planet

about 1 year ago

It's a good season for subterfuge. While the rest of the world is watching Syria - or, more precisely, the omnishambles following Obama's "red line" in the Syrian sand - Europe has quietly, but quite drastically been taken over by Belgium.  This map, published 9 September 2013, shows a continent ...

Strange Maps

618 - Milk, the Drink of Conquerors

over 1 year ago

The drink of conquerors? Not wine, or rum, or even the blood of your enemies - but milk. Plain old milk.   Recent scientific discoveries suggest that the spread of farming across prehistoric Europe may have gone hand in hand with the increase in lactose tolerance. This would have given the ...

Strange Maps

616 - All Quiet on the Illinois Front

over 1 year ago

It's the morning of Wednesday, 13 September 1939. In an America supremely at peace, newspapers hit front lawns with headlines screaming of war. The horrific conflict splashed across the front pages of thousands of dailies is happening an ocean away, in Europe.   Two weeks earlier, Nazi Germany ...