The art of the map--literary maps, maps of the body, maps of the imagination, and more--comes to life in this curated round-up of creative cartography
I'm obsessed with maps--a fundamental sensemaking mechanism for the world, arguably the
earliest form of standardized information design, and a relentless
source of visual creativity. Today, we turn to seven fantastic books
that explore the art and science of cartography from seven fascinating
Matthew Cusick, 'Fiona's Wave,' 2005. Cusick's oversized collages are painted with fragments of vintage
atlases and school geography books from the golden era of cartography, 1872-1945.
Qin Ga, 'Site 22: Mao Zedong Temple,' 2005. In 2002, China's Long March Project embarked upon a 'Walking Visual Display' along the route of the 1934-1936 historic 6,000-mile Long
March, and Beijing-based artist Qin kept tracked the group's route in a
tattooed map on his back. Three years later, Qin continued the trek
where the original marchers had left off, accompanied by a camera crew
and a tattoo artist, who continually updated the map on Qin's back.
You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination
is a beautiful and meditative compendium of maps and musings on maps
that explore, in the broadest possible terms, the human condition. Divided
into three sections--"Personal Geography," "At Home in the World," and
"Realms of Fantasy"--the book features 50 full-color and 50
black-and-white cartographic illustrations, ranging from a humorous
diplomatic atlas of Europe and Asia to a canine view of the world to
hand-drawn maps of shelters along the Appalachian Trail.
A selection of diverse essays, from the academic to the personal to
the humorous, contextualize the maps within the larger conceptual
narrative exploring humanity's compulsion to map and chart its place in
Eccentric yet unassuming, From Here to There offers a charming visual treat and, in the process, reveals fascinating slivers of human stories.
4. RADICAL CARTOGRAPHY
An Atlas of Radical Cartography
is as much about the art of cartography as it is about social activism,
pairing artists, designers, architects, urban planners, and cultural
institutions in an ambitious volume that explores mapping projects
across social justice, globalization, energy, human rights, and more.
It features 10 eye-opening maps on everything from marginal land
settlement in Calcutta to the Los Angeles water cycle by 10 different artists, alongside 10 compelling essays on sociopolitical issues examined through the prism of cartography.
Based on the excellent blog of the same name, Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities
features 138 of the most fascinating, absorbing, and remarkable maps
from the blog's three-year history of culling the world's forgotten,
little-known, and niche cartographic treasures. From the world as depicted in Orwell's 1984, to a color map of Thomas More's Utopia, to the 16th-century portrayal of California as an island
where people live like the Amazons, the book is brim-full of priceless
anecdotes from our collective conception of the world over the
antiquity, humanity has had an ongoing fascination with the nature of
time, struggling not only to understand it but to also visualize it and
thus make it more digestible, more tangible, more graspable. Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline
traces the history of graphic representations of time in Europe and the
United States from 1450 to the present in a gorgeous, lavishly
illustrated collection of timelines, featuring everything from medieval
manuscripts to websites to a chronological board game developed by Mark
Twain. BibliOdyssey has a sneak peek.
Cartographies of Time
is easily one of the most beautiful books to come by in the past year,
both a treasure trove of antique artwork and a priceless cultural
time capsule containing humanity's understanding of time and place in
the larger context of existence.
7. MAPS OF THE IMAGINATION
a most fundamental level, maps are visual storytelling about the world--about what exists in it, what matters in it, and where we belong
relative to it. In Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer,
Peter Turchi explores how some of greatest storytellers in literary
history employed maps as narrative devices, revealing some remarkable
similarities between mapmaking, traditionally perceived as an
analytical science, and the art of writing fiction. From Melville to
Nabokov to Stevenson to the Marx Brothers, the book features hundreds
of extraordinary illustrations from and about iconic works of
Maps of the Imagination
is a genre-defying gem that straddles art book, writer's manual and
cultural critique in an utterly captivating way that makes you look at
both old maps and familiar fiction with new eyes.
With Donald Trump its presumptive nominee after his win in the Indiana primary, the GOP will never be the same.
NEW YORK—Where were you the night Donald Trump killed the Republican Party as we knew it? Trump was right where he belonged: in the gilt-draped skyscraper with his name on it, Trump Tower in Manhattan, basking in the glory of his final, definitive victory.
“I have to tell you, I’ve competed all my life,” Trump said, his golden face somber, his gravity-defying pouf of hair seeming to hover above his brow. “All my life I’ve been in different competitions—in sports, or in business, or now, for 10 months, in politics. I have met some of the most incredible competitors that I’ve ever competed against right here in the Republican Party.”
The combined might of the Republican Party’s best and brightest—16 of them at the outset—proved, in the end, helpless against Trump’s unorthodox, muscular appeal to the party’s voting base. With his sweeping, 16-point victory in Tuesday’s Indiana primary, and the surrender of his major remaining rival, Ted Cruz, Trump was pronounced the presumptive nominee by the chair of the Republican National Committee. The primary was over—but for the GOP, the reckoning was only beginning.
Ted Cruz suspends his campaign after losing Indiana, all but assuring the front-runner of the Republican nomination.
“Republican nominee Donald Trump.”
That phrase, once the stuff of fantasy, is now all but set in stone. The entertainer scored a huge victory on Tuesday in Indiana, as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced that he was ending his bid for president after being routed in the Hoosier State.
Trump will be the first major-party nominee without prior experience in elected office since General Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. With most of the vote in, Trump was on course to win around a large majority of the state’s 57 delegates. Those numbers, the subject of obsessive calculation and analysis over the last month, have now become somewhat academic. With Cruz out of the race, Trump is effectively assured of winning a majority of the delegates ahead of the July Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Rampant drug use in Austin, Indiana—coupled with unemployment and poor living conditions—brought on a public-health crisis that some are calling a “syndemic.”
Jessica and Darren McIntosh were too busy to see me when I arrived at their house one Sunday morning. When I returned later, I learned what they’d been busy with: arguing with a family member, also an addict, about a single pill of prescription painkiller she’d lost, and injecting meth to get by in its absence. Jessica, 30, and Darren, 24, were children when they started using drugs. Darren smoked his first joint when he was 12 and quickly moved on to snorting pills. “By the time I was 13, I was a full-blown pill addict, and I have been ever since,” he said. By age 14, he’d quit school. When I asked where his caregivers were when he started using drugs, he laughed. “They’re the ones that was giving them to me,” he alleged. “They’re pill addicts, too.”
It’s a paradox: Shouldn’t the most accomplished be well equipped to make choices that maximize life satisfaction?
There are three things, once one’s basic needs are satisfied, that academic literature points to as the ingredients for happiness: having meaningful social relationships, being good at whatever it is one spends one’s days doing, and having the freedom to make life decisions independently.
But research into happiness has also yielded something a little less obvious: Being better educated, richer, or more accomplished doesn’t do much to predict whether someone will be happy. In fact, it might mean someone is less likely to be satisfied with life.
That second finding is the puzzle that Raj Raghunathan, a professor of marketing at The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business, tries to make sense of in his recent book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?Raghunathan’s writing does fall under the category of self-help (with all of the pep talks and progress worksheets that that entails), but his commitment to scientific research serves as ballast for the genre’s more glib tendencies.
A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.
As we go about our daily lives, we tend to assume that our perceptions—sights, sounds, textures, tastes—are an accurate portrayal of the real world. Sure, when we stop and think about it—or when we find ourselves fooled by a perceptual illusion—we realize with a jolt that what we perceive is never the world directly, but rather our brain’s best guess at what that world is like, a kind of internal simulation of an external reality. Still, we bank on the fact that our simulation is a reasonably decent one. If it wasn’t, wouldn’t evolution have weeded us out by now? The true reality might be forever beyond our reach, but surely our senses give us at least an inkling of what it’s really like.
Does the presumptive Republican nominee see African Americans and Hispanics as part of the American “we”?
Celebrating his big win in Indiana—and his elevation to presumptive nominee of the Republican Party—Tuesday night, Donald Trump spoke at Trump Tower in New York City, where he delivered a promise to heal the deep fractures in his party.
“We want to bring unity to the Republican Party,” he said. “We have to bring unity. It's so much easier if we have it.”
That will be a tall order. But as a general-election candidate, Trump will need to win over more than just Republicans. In his inimitable way, he pledged to bring together the rest of the nation as well.
“We're going to bring back our jobs, and we're going to save our jobs, and people are going to have great jobs again, and this country, which is very, very divided in so many different ways, is going to become one beautiful loving country, and we're going to love each other, we're going to cherish each other and take care of each other, and we're going to have great economic development and we're not going to let other countries take it away from us, because that's what's been happening for far too many years and we're not going to do it anymore,” he said. (That’s a single sentence, if you’re keeping track at home.)
The Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is now underway at National Geographic, and entries will be accepted until the end of the month, May 27, 2016.
The National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is now underway, and entries will be accepted until the end of the month, May 27, 2016. The grand prize winner will receive a seven-day Polar Bear Safari for two in Churchill, Canada. National Geographic was kind enough to allow me to share some of the early entries with you here, gathered from three categories: Nature, Cities, and People. The photos and captions were written by the photographers.
Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.
Since 2013,the Federal Reserve Board has conducted a survey to “monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.” Most of the data in the latest survey, frankly, are less than earth-shattering: 49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage; 29 percent of Americans expect to earn a higher income in the coming year; 43 percent of homeowners who have owned their home for at least a year believe its value has increased. But the answer to one question was astonishing. The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. Four hundred dollars! Who knew?
The Democratic U.S. presidential candidate secured a win over Hillary Clinton when he desperately needed it.
Updated at 10:30 p.m. Eastern on May 3, 2016
Bernie Sanders just got the victory he desperately needed. The Democratic presidential candidate won in the Indiana Democratic primary on Tuesday, which will give him to the momentum he needs to stay in the race and fight on.
The victory does not not fundamentally change the trajectory of the Democratic race, in which Hillary Clinton holds a commanding lead in the all-important delegate count. But it offers some much-needed enthusiasm to the Sanders campaign at a crucial moment. After a string of defeats in Northeastern primary states last month, Sanders attempted to reframe the terms of the race, suggesting that even if he does not win the White House, he might still claim victory if he can leave a progressive stamp on the Democratic party platform.
The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world.
Friday, August 30, 2013, the day the feckless Barack Obama brought to a premature end America’s reign as the world’s sole indispensable superpower—or, alternatively, the day the sagacious Barack Obama peered into the Middle Eastern abyss and stepped back from the consuming void—began with a thundering speech given on Obama’s behalf by his secretary of state, John Kerry, in Washington, D.C. The subject of Kerry’s uncharacteristically Churchillian remarks, delivered in the Treaty Room at the State Department, was the gassing of civilians by the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.