This LiveJournal page has a number of photos of Nazi Germany. While the pictures are from the 1940s, the style (both composition and texture) are similar to 1950s reporting. Therefore, many feel as if they are from out of time.
There is also a photo of a map of the war. In the map the Soviet Union is a dagger, falling down upon Europe. The “east-is-up” also makes the USSR look like some kind ofÂ serpent, threatening to strangle Japan.
Today I finished The Island of Lost Maps by Miles Harvey. This book was loaned to me some time ago by a very close friend. In truth, I was hesitant to read it because of the ghastly nature of the crime. The description of taking an X-acto knife to library books to rip out maps made me physically ill.
However, the book was a great read. The meandering narrative gave it a hallucinogenic feel, as did the attempts by the author to understand the map thief, one Gilbert Bland. While Harvey can be quite opinionated on historical questions — his denunciation of cartographic “lies” could be tempered by reading Phantom Islands of the Atlantic or even Lands Beyond — I learned a lot about John C. Fremont, and many other characters besides. Harvey clearly enjoys the world of reading maps, and has a list of cool map links on his personal website.
I love maps, and this story of someone who destroyed them for profit was a fascinating read. Like anything with maps and the unknown, it leaves a sad feeling at the end, because after the last page there is no more of this book to read.
The most recent edition of The Economist has, as its cover, the view from Beijing:
Which reminded of me the famous New Yorker‘s view from 9th avenue:
In the Beijinger map, you can clearly make out the Birdnest Stadium, the Imperial Palace, Beihai and Houhai (where Zhonghai and Nanhai should be), Tiananmen Square, Mao’s mauseleum, the Temple of Heaven, the Beijing Railway station and and its track to the south-east. More detail is available from Strange Maps.
Catholicgauze is on it. He links to markedup Google maps for 8/12, 8/11, and 8/9. More info available at the Keyhole forums.
Two stories, two maps.
To the Borders of Russia
The first: the European visa-free zone increased, incorporating many of the new EU members. Germany and Austria no longer have guarded frontiers, formerly having checkpoints on the Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Slovene borders. Russia now borders the four members of the visa-free zone: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland (in addition to Finland and Norway).
Europe and the West Balkans
The second is the continued dismemberment of the Russian client state, Serbia, at the hands of Brussells (and Washington, and Berlin, and…). When Kosovo declares independence, which is already a few months overdue, Serbia will find itself surrounded by eight countries — three of whom are already in the EU, another (Croatia) which will probably be the next EU member, and the rest looking for eventual EU integration.
Relatedly: Vladimir Putin, who has been invaluable in accelerating Europe’s rise, is Time‘s Man of the Year.
CG, who just finished from using free GIS tools to outline the Oregon Trail, returns by adding overlays to Google’s free globe:
The Holy Land at the Time of Christ
Good work, CG!
Ever wonder what your city looked like a century ago? The answer is available from The University of Texas at Austin’s Perry-CastaÃ±eda Library Map Collection (which has previously been described at tdaxp and by Catholicgauze).
Here’s what the grandest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls, looked like in 1920:
What’s interesting to me is how few of the streets I am familiar with. Main and Philippes are still in the city’s center, and Minnesota and Cliff are still imposing avenues. But Ridge? Colton?
I recognize some further sites — the Big Sioux River, obviously, as well as the South Dakota
Deaf Mute Institute School for the Deaf 1920 Map of Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls is a beautiful city. ‘Specially when we blow stuff up. And afterwards, too.
“Bush Turns to Fear-Mongering: Creation of ‘Islamic’ Bogeyman,” by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 6 September 2006, http://www.juancole.com/2006/09/bush-turns-to-fear-mongering-creation.html.
The latest column by Juan Cole (a Professor at the University of Michigan) is his usual semi-factual self
Iran has not launched a war on a neighbor since the late 1700s.
True… ish. (Never mind that in the Tanker War, Kuwait required assistance of both the Soviet Union and the United States to protect her ships from Iranian aggression.
Another comment comparing the Syrian regime to California New-Agers must be read in context to be believed.
Next, Dr. Cole attacks the usual enemies — Christians and Texans
If you want to know what is really going on, it is a struggle for control of the Strategic Ellipse, which just happens demographically to be mostly Muslim. Bush has to demonize the Muslim world in order to justify his swooping down on the Strategic Ellipse. If demons occupy it, obviously they have to be cleared out in favor of Christian fundamentalists or at least Texas oilmen.
This paragraph leads to an interesting map where Cole defines a “strategic ellipse.” The map combines the best of Barnettian and Spykmanian geopolitics.
The Pentagon’s New Heartland?
Leaving aside Cole’s incoherent rant, what we are left with is the fact that much of the world’s oil and gas comes from countries we don’t much trust. Hopefully President Bush is serious about a geogreen gas tax.
I’ve written about South Korea’s hateful nationalism and noncooperative behavior before, but now Seoul has gone another step in its bizarre, Arab-style retreat into the past:
This map was seen in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the USA Passport Application page (accessed to verify a point for a debate over at The Korea Liberator and this blog). Among other weird aspects
- The map extends significantly north of the Korea-Chinese border, and emphasizes the topographic continuity of “Korea” through Eastern Manchuria.
- The map emphasizes irredentist claims against a fellow democracy, Japan
- The map makes no mention of the Stalinist regime which controls half of Korea’s territory
More is available on Korea’s bizarre “We love Dokdo” page, dedicated to Chosen’s domination of the Liancourt Rocks.
During a time when North Korean refugees seek refuge in the United States, The Pyongyang Regime that is increasingly legitimized by South Korea devalues our currency, Secretary Rumsfeld is right to let South Korea defend herself. She is not an ally like Japan, and increasingly not even a partner like China.
The best idea moving forward?
1. The Israel Model: U.S. forces leave Korea, but continue giving it substantial assistance aimed toward a robust, independent self defense. This would require much larger capital and human investments by the South Koreans and an expansion of the South Korean reserves.
2. The Thailand Model (circa 1970â€™s): U.S. ground forces leave, except for regular exercises and relatively small units. A robust air component remains. This was sufficient to deter Vietnam at its apex after the fall of Saigon, Luang Prabang, and Phnom Penh.
3. The Taiwan Model: U.S. forces leave, U.S. assistance is tightly restricted, and the nationâ€™s government, placing its faith in trade with its foes and hopes of an American rescue, allows its defense to gradually decline to a point of vulnerability.
7. Terminator V: U.S. forces leave Korea. Korea, with a declining human population, turns to a new race of super-intelligent warrior robots, programmed with nihilistic tendencies by a vengeful Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk. The robots, backed by their own robot air force, then conquer and subjugate both Koreas, except for a small band of ultra-nationalists on Tokdo. This band successfully defends Tokdo against the robot invasion, but starves to death a few weeks later because Tokdo is, after all, just a couple of godforsaken barren rocks.
Give Korea to the robots.
While I was in Fort Wayne, my friend Biz suggested that I calculate the states I had visited. He says that a state only counts as visited if one had mingled among the local people by buying some thing, and that airports did not count. I thus looked online for a clickable states visited map, and I was unimpressed with what was available. So I used a clickable electoral college map similar to the one I used for my analysis of the West Wing election
tdaxp has been in 279 electoral votes worth of states (plus one district!)
While I have an absolute electoral votes without them, I have included Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia as “undecided.” Like every other American I have spent time in Atlanta’s airport, I drove through Tennessee on my recent interesting adventure, and was previously in a bus in Mississippi.