Strange Maps

I am the 10,000,000th person to come across the blog Strange Maps but I don't care. It is the most consistently fantastic thing I've seen online in a long, long time. It has motivated me to drag from the vaults a collection of maps I've been meaning to post on here forever. While researching a conceptual encyclopedia I made for my college senior thesis I found a wonderful old book deep in the library stacks called Unrolling the Map: The Story of Exploration by Leonard Outhwaite (1935) that I think beautifully illustrates the discovery of the world from an unashamedly Eurocentric point of view. For some reason you weren't allowed to check it out so I had to sneak a scanner into the library and covertly gather these images, coughing heavily to hide the noise. I've tried to pair them with maps detailing the same period in world history as close as I could using the book Atlas of World History by John Haywood (1997):

1800 AD — Exploration

1812 AD — Cultures

1550 AD — Exploration

1530 AD — Cultures

1490 AD — Exploration

1492 AD — Cultures

700–1300 AD — Exploration

1279 AD — Cultures

1000 AD — Exploration

1000 AD — Cultures

800 AD — Exploration

800 AD — Cultures

3000 BC — Exploration

2000 BC — Cultures

I like to imagine how mind blowing it would be to live in Europe 2000 years ago and be handed an accurate map of the world and all the people in it, or to be transported from Medieval Europe to the advanced Aztec or Mayan capitols, or Japan, or to Polynesia. It would be akin to being handed a map of the night sky with all the inhabited planets pointed out on it. Kind of like this:

Treehouses for the Homeless

I thought both Christo's Gates and Eliasson's Waterfalls were ugly, uninspired and over-hyped. There. I said it. Meanwhile I just stumbled across Tadashi Kawamata's Tree Huts in Madison Sqare Park never having heard of them (or that they had been installed way back in September and are coming down in February) and am in love! Madison Square Park in particular has had a series of great public art including installations by artists Mark Dion and Wim Delvoye. Here's to more great pieces being quietly installed all over the city instead of a few lame blockbusters!

I like looking at this one next to Steichen's The Flatiron (1904):

Kids Cook/Befriend/Torture the Strangest Cookies/Vampires/Zombies

I made the mistake of passing this video on to Alex before posting it here and got stabbed in the fucking back when he posted it first. Lesson learned. Anyway, here is the cutest thing since the Amelie girl:

He has two previous episodes as well but this one is his best and in addition is his first original recipe.

Proof that not all kids are adorable, I also just returned from Let the Right One In which was as good as HBO's True Blood is bad. The trailer of course doesn't really do it justice:

(I also think it kindofsortof resembles the plot of my previously posted children's book.)

Lastly, Neil passed this great short film along to me about a bunch of sadistic teenage boys in a post-apocalyptic Australia (why is Australia (and sometimes New Zealand) so prone to apocalypse? Zombie Movie / The Quiet Earth / Mad Max / On the Beach to name a few). Here it is, if you're my mum don't watch it:

Steampunk Keyboard

It's a little late but check out the poor man's steampunk keyboard my dad whipped up for my brother for x-mas!

For some extreme steampunk technology look at this.