190 - World-Wide Web Map, From .ad to .za
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.
The world can be sliced and diced in many ways, and one of them is by dividing it into the 245 ccTLDs that cover every country and territory in the world. ‘ccTLD’ stands for ‘country code top-level domain’, which refers to the extension behind the final dot in mail addresses and URLs – if they refer to countries or territories. There are about a dozen non-geographic TLDs (such as .com, .org and .edu), which are used extensively but numerically, the ccTLDs are vastly superior.
The 245 ccTLDs, all two-digit codes, cover all UN-recognised countries, plus several non-sovereign islands and territories. This map, designed by John Yunker (website here), presents those codes in a size relative to the population of each country or territory – except China and India, which were restrained by 30% to fit the layout. The smallest type size reflects all countries with 10 million inhabitants or less.
The map includes a list of the most popular ccTLDs, the top 10 being, in descending order: .de (Germany), .cn (China), .uk (UK), .nl (Netherlands), .it (Italy), .us (US), .ar (Argentina), .br (Brazil), .ru (Russia) and .ch (Switzerland).
This sample shows most abbreviations are easily recognisable, with the exception of countries’ abbreviations not related to their English name (.de for Deutschland, German for Germany; .ch for Confoederatio Helvetica, Latin for ‘Swiss Confederation’).
Some small countries (such as Tuvalu – .tv) have made a tidy profit because their country code could be used as a vanity ccTLD, often leading to strange, virtual associations between very disparate places. This list, from Wikipedia:
* ad is a ccTLD for Andorra, but has recently been increasingly used by advertising agencies. * ag is a ccTLD for Antigua and Barbuda and is sometimes used for agricultural sites. In Germany, AG (short for Aktiengesellschaft) is appended to the name of a stock-based company, similar to Inc. in USA. * am is a ccTLD for Armenia, but is often used for AM radio stations. * as is a ccTLD for American Samoa. In Denmark and Norway, AS is appended to the name of a stock-based company, similar to Inc. in USA. * be is a ccTLD for Belgium. Widely used by small Bulgarian websites because it’s cheaper than a bg ccTLD. * cc is a ccTLD for Cocos (Keeling) Islands but is used for a wide variety of sites. * cd is a ccTLD for Democratic Republic of Congo but is used for CD merchants and file sharing sites. * dj is a ccTLD for Djibouti but is used for CD merchants and disc jockeys. * fm is a ccTLD for the Federated States of Micronesia but it is often used for FM radio stations. * gg is a ccTLD for Guernsey but it is often used by the gaming and gambling industry, particularly in relation to horse racing gee-gee. * in is a ccTLD for India but is widely used in the internet industry. * je is a ccTLD for Jersey but is often used as a diminutive in Dutch (e.g. “huis.je”), as “you” (“zoek.je” = “search ye!”), or as “I” in French (e.g. “moi.je”) * la is a ccTLD for Laos but is marketed as the TLD for Los Angeles. * nu is a ccTLD for Niue but marketed as resembling “new” in English and “now” in Nordic/Dutch. Also meaning “nude” in French/Portuguese. * sc is a ccTLD for Seychelles but is often used as .Source * tv is a ccTLD for Tuvalu but it is used for the tv/entertainment industry purposes. * ws is a ccTLD for Samoa (earlier Western Samoa) is marketed as .Website * vu is a ccTLD for Vanuatu but means “seen” in French.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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