126 - Hannover On Her Mind - and On Her Back
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
"I wanted something unique, something nobody else had. But every idea I had – it had already been done," says Britta Oelschlaeger. The 33-year-old photographer, who hails from the city of Hannover, knew she wanted a large tattoo on her back. Eschewing more popular designs as elves, dragons, dolphins and roses, she looked for ten years until she found this 1896 map of her hometown. "I’m a fan of Hannover’s football team and I’m completely crazy about maps," the artist explained her choice of tattoo.
It took the tattooist 7 hours to etch the outlines of that late 19th-century city plan on her back, and it will take many more to etch in the various hues of brown and green to give it the exact look as the original map. According to the AP press report, Oelschlaeger’s daughter is absolutely thrilled with her mom’s cool and original tattoo. Hannover is the capital city of Lower Saxony, one of Germany’s constituent Länder. 1896 happens to be the founding year of Hannover 96, Oelschlaeger’s favourite football club.\n
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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