195 - Spam Maps
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.
"Looks tasty, doesn’t it", says one of the submitters of this map made out of Spam. Well, that’s a matter of opinion (but I think he was being ironic, anyway).
The map is the work of Manila-born US artist Michael Arcega, who on his website displays a series of maps made from Spam and explains: "Spam was used as ration by the US Armed Forces during WWII. It ultimately spread through many Pacific Island nations as a standard source of meat. Spam’s diasporic nature is symbolic of America’s ongoing influence on many nations."\n
Arcega loves to play with words, so it’s no coincidence that s-p-a-m is m-a-p-s spelled in reverse.\n
This map was sent in by Mo Moussa, Ken Lacy and several others.\n
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
We know the dangers of too little sleep. Now for the other side of the story.
- Western University researchers found that sleeping over eight hours per night results in cognitive decline.
- Oversleepers suffer similar difficulties on certain cognitive tests as those who sleep under seven hours.
- Not all the news is bad: One night of oversleeping results in a cognitive boost.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
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