168 - "Does My Brazil Look Big in This?"
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.
This little piece of fashion cartography was made by Dutch artist Coriette Schoenaerts, based in Amsterdam and London. On her website, she explains why she went to the trouble to organize expensive clothing into the outlines of South America (here), the Netherlands (here) and Europe (here):\n
"The central theme of [Rails Magazine] was countries and borders. Contrary to the usual fashion photography, that shows off the newest clothes on a human body and wants to sell an ideal, I made still lives depicting maps and landscapes."\n
One has to wonder, though, whether it wouldn’t have been better to compose the maps of clothing more ‘suited’ to each map. But then again, maybe Coriette didn’t have enough tanga slips to fill out the whole of South America. It seems they’re rolled up to compose the Falkland Islands. Most of the South American countries are well defined, although Argentinians might object to that brown shawl representing the southern part of Chile, intruding too far into Patagonia. Also, Uruguay, Ecuador and the Guyanas will probably mind being left off the map, even if it’s a less conventional one.\n
Interesting and possibly unintended cartographic analogy: the folds in the bed cover resemble the latitudinal and longitudinal lines on maps.\n
Thanks to George for providing the link.\n
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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