251 - Pot Kettle Black: Yugoslav Map of the Near-Collapsing US

“While on vacation in Dubrovnik, Croatia this summer, we ran across an old Yugoslav atlas which included this map on the entry for the US. My Serbo-Croatian isn’t so good so I don’t know the true details as to what it’s about, but it appears to be plans for a Russian invasion,” says Andrew, who sent in this map.

“Submarines labelled SSSR are on both coasts. The apparent flight paths of ICBMs are marked. Cuba’s soldiers and bases are indicated (…) If you can figure out more precisely what’s going on I’d certainly be curious, and I imagine that other readers would get a kick out of it.”

My Serbo-Croatian isn’t very good either, but the map does seem to speak the language of the Cold War. Guessing the exact year is complicated as national borders in the Americas have remained stable in the last few decades, unlike in other parts of the world, where they allow easier carto-dating.

A look at the actual legend of the map does allow for some closer dating. Item #3 (the red vertical stripes) indicates the pro-soviet regimes in the hemisphere – Cuba and Nicaragua. The inclusion of that second country limits the timeframe of the map to 1979-1990, the era when the Sandinistas were in control of Nicaragua.

Although the Soviet navy has got the North American continent completely surrounded, in my opinion, the map does not demonstrate a Soviet plan of attack, but restates the Communist ideological orthodoxy of the US as an aggressive, unstable monstrosity at near-collapse – a remarkable example of the pot calling the kettle black.

• Whereas blue indicates the US itself (Sjedinjene Americke Drzave, acronym SAD – but that is a coincidence, I presume), yellow indicates ‘separatist’ forces at work in the North American continent, such as Quebec (although that is a Canadian, not a US issue) and Black Muslims (around Chicago) and Mexican-Americans (in Texas). Again, a pretty remarkable comment, coming from a Yugoslav atlas. • Item #5 on the legend indicates, I think, ‘disputed’ marine boundaries, mainly between Canada and the US, thus misrepresenting the mainly friendly relations between those two countries – the disputes might be real, but their significance is relatively minor.

Anyone able to elucidate on the meaning of the other symbols? Please do!

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less