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Posts Tagged ‘Captain Cook

“In a long voyage… the map of the world ceases to be a blank”*…

 

tupala

 

One of the first-known maps of the Pacific, shown above, was a collaboration between the crew of Captain Cook’s Endeavour and a Tahitian man named Tupaia in 1769.

In the book Sea People, Christina Thompson tells the story behind the map. Cook and his crew wanted a chart to navigate the South Seas, so they questioned Tupaia (“a tall, impressive man of about forty, with the bearing and tattoos of a member of the chiefly class“) and tried to transcribe what he told them, on their coordinate system of north–south and east–west.

From Sea People:

“It is a truly remarkable artifact: a translation of Tahitian geographical knowledge into European cartographic terms at the very first moment in history when such a thing might have been possible; a collaboration between two brilliant navigators coming from geographical traditions with essentially no overlap; a fusion of completely different sets of ideas. There was no precedent for it; it has no known equal; and, with the benefit of hindsight, it looks like something of a miracle that it was ever created at all.”

But she continues:

“Unfortunately for Cook—though interestingly for us—Tupaia’s chart is ‘opaque with trans-cultural confusion.'”

In a more literal way than Korzybski meant, “the map is not the territory“: “Tupaia’s Map.”

(Many thanks to MK)

* Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle

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As we get lost in translation, we might recall that it was on this date in 1826 that the HMS Beagle set sail from Plymouth on its first voyage, an expedition to conduct a hydrographic survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in support of the larger ship HMS Adventure,

The Beagle‘s second voyage (1831-1836) is rather better remembered, as it was on that expedition that the ship’s naturalist, a young Charles Darwin (whose published journal of the journey, quoted above, earned him early fame as a writer) made the observations that led him to even greater fame for his theory of evolution.

300px-PSM_V57_D097_Hms_beagle_in_the_straits_of_magellan source

 

 

Written by LW

May 22, 2020 at 1:01 am

“A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points”*…

 

This rectangular world map [from the design firm AuthaGraph] is made by equally dividing a spherical surface into 96 triangles, transferring it to a tetrahedron while maintaining areas proportions and unfolding it to be a rectangle.

The world map can be tiled in any directions without visible seams. From this map-tiling, a new world map with triangular, rectangular or parallelogram’s outline can be framed out with various regions at its center.

For more background and other views, visit The AuthaGraph World Map.

* Alan Kay

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As we struggle to keep it all in proportion, we might send exploratory birthday greetings to Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen; he was born on this date in 1778.  A sailor, navigator, and cartographer, Bellingshausen was appointed by Czar Alexander I of Russia to lead an expedition that aimed to pick up where Captain Cook (who had died a year after Bellingshausen’s birth) left off, exploring the southern polar region of the globe.  Bellinghausen may have been the first to sight the Antarctic mainland, when he saw distant mountains on January 28, 1820.  Between February 17-19, he recorded seeing ice cliffs and ice-covered mountains, though he didn’t realize that they were in fact a continental mainland.  Similar sightings were also made at about the same time British naval captain Edward Bransfield and the American sealing captain Nathaniel Palmer sailing from other directions, so who was actually the first of them to see Antarctica remains unclear.

(Just as there is some uncertainty as to which of the three mariners was in fact the first to sight the seventh continent, so there is some confusion as to Bellingshausen’s birth date.  This is one of the primary candidates.)

 source

 

Written by LW

August 30, 2017 at 1:01 am

By their “f#*ks” ye shall know them…

click here to play

One can click on the rapper of one’s choice at The Rap Board to hear that artist’s signature catch phrase (or cry or grunt or whatever)…

 

As we rework our rhymes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1778 that Captain James Cook became the first Caucasian/European to visit the Hawaiian island of Maui.  He was, of course, by no means the last.

source

 

Written by LW

November 26, 2011 at 1:01 am

It’s that time again…

…time to start strategizing for that annual test of taste, that carnival of consumerism, Holiday gift shopping.

source: Amazon.co.uk

Happily,  Jolyon Fenwick and Marcus Husselby have ridden to the rescue with a guide to the perfect gift for those one one’s list for whom it’s not the thought that counts:  Einstein’s Watch: Being an Unofficial Record of a Year’s Most Ownable Things

From the publisher’s description:

What is the value of Gandhi’s glasses or a collection of Braille editions of Playboy? And how much is an artwork consisting of ten million $100 banknotes worth? In this gloriously eclectic overview of 2009’s most ownable objects, Jolyon Fenwick and Marcus Husselby present a treasure trove of over 100 desirable things bought or offered for sale this year. Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, the cache of curios includes: a hard disk of MPs’ expenses over the last five years; Einstein’s watch; Uncle Monty’s cottage from Withnail and I; the last ever cheque issued by Woolworths (it bounced); a holy water sprinkler (made by Parker pens); official posters from the Obama campaign; Captain Cook’s boomerang; Super Lemon Haze marijuana; Black Canary Barbie (described as ‘filth’ by Christian Voice [pictured on the book’s cover]); and, the key to the binoculars storeroom on board the Titanic.

source: Designs Through Process

As we scrawl “Dear Santa,” we might note that today’s a great day to March right down the Middle, in honor of Victorian novelist, poet, and translator George Eliot– Mary Ann Evans– who was born on this date in 1819 in Warwickshire.

George Eliot

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