29 - The Berlin Republic
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 don’t remember where I got this map from, but the context seems quite straightforward. The two figures in the foreground are saying “ein Geschwür!” (literally: “an ulcer”) and “Da sei Gott vor!” (“may God prevent this”). It must be a comment on the role of Berlin, once more the capital of Germany after Unification in 1990. Before this, West Germany’s capital was the comparatively tiny town of Bonn.
In comparison, Berlin is a megacity. It has been undergoing a rash of redevelopment after the fall of the Berlin Wall and may be drawing in too much attention (and funding) according to Germans in outlying areas. The title of this caricature is ‘Die Berliner Republik’, which I suppose is a reference to the ‘Weimarer Republik’, the nickname of the democratic but weak Germany that existed between the end of the First World War and the Nazis’ power grab in 1933.\n
The areas in red on the map correspond to parts of Berlin, which in reality occupies a relatively small area in the east of the country. In this map, it appears to be smothering the yellow areas, which refer to the ‘Bundesländer’ (constituent states) of the Federal Republic of Germany.\n
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
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
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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