302 - Really Awful TV Studio Background Maps, Part II
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 was watching TV and noticed an informercial for cure-all vitamin supplement with a unique map background," writes John Deal, who immediately grabbed a camera and took a few shots for Strange Maps. Good reflexes, John!
"It kind of remembers your Larry King map (#242) – but worse. Australia is still drifting north and Africa has moved into position between Europe and North America. There are two Asias but South America has sunk into Atlantic. Sad. All those poor Brazilians, gone forever."\n
A map in a TV studio background performs the same function as a diploma on a professional’s consulting room: it lends an aura of respectability and believability to what goes on there. Maybe putting a really awful map like this in a TV studio background is a subconscious, subliminal way of conveying a message to the viewing public: don’t believe a word we’re saying!\n
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