83 - A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms
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.
Gulliver’s Travels (1726) is a satire of contemporary England dressed up as a faux traveller’s tale by Jonathan Swift, narrating in the first person the voyages of one Lemuel Gulliver. The book, divided in four parts, tells of Gulliver’s shipwreck on Lilliput (which is inhabited by people no more than 15 cm tall), abandonment in Brobdingnag (where giants of 22 metres tall live), rescue by the flying island of Laputa, trip to Balnibarbi (where science is pursued without practical ends) and finally his voyage to the country of the Houyhnhnms.
These Houyhnhnms are horses that rule over Yahoos, who are deformed, debased humans. Gulliver sides with the horses, comes to despise the humans, but in the end is expelled. Upon his return to England, Gulliver can no longer stand the company of ‘Yahoos’, and becomes a recluse, preferring the company of his horses.\n
The island of the Houyhnhnms is apparently situated close to the recently explored continent of Australia (or ‘New Holland’, as it was then known), evidenced by the many Dutch names on the mainland visible on this map, e.g. Nuyts Land, Maelsuyker Island, De Wits Island.\n
This map found on this page at the British Library.\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.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
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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