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Posts Tagged ‘HMS Beagle

“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

Squatch Watch…

 

 click here (and again) for larger version

Every now and then a dataset comes along that just has to be mapped. This is one of those times.

Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Skookum. Yahoo. Whatever you call it, the towering man-like ape is a folklore staple. From stories of Yeti in the Himalayas to Wildmen in the Pacific Northwest, people have been talking about and trying to find the creature for ages. Occasionally, some form of evidence – like Patterson’s famous 1967 film – emerges and either feeds our fascination or gets dismissed as a hoax. In either case, it’s easy to see why believers search for proof and skeptics remain doubtful.

Through archival work and reports submitted directly to their website, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization has amassed a database of thousands of sasquatch sightings. Each report is geocoded and timestamped. Occasionally, even photos and videos of the alleged evidence are included. I’m not quite sure how I stumbled across this, but I’m glad I did.

After crawling the data and converting it to a more convenient format, I mapped and graphed all 3,313 sightings that were reported from 1921 to 2013…

Read Josh Steven‘s fascinating notes on “92 Years of Bigfoot Sightings in the U.S. and Canada”  (and do browse the comments…)

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As we we ask Nessie if she’s seen him, we might recall that it was on this date in 1836 that HMS Beagle called at the Island of St. Michael’s (north of the Azores) for letters, then sailed for England.  The ship’s naturalist, Charles Darwin, did not sight Bigfoot.

 source

 

Written by LW

September 25, 2013 at 1:01 am

Got you covered…

With thanks to reader RS, a terrific post from STWALLSKULL, in honor of Banned Book Week (celebrated here), highlighting the covers of a number of comic books called out by Frederic Wertham in his inflamatory book Seduction of the Innocent, which led to the “Comics Code”– and the banning of several series.

There are some not-so-surprising entries, e.g.:

… and then, some real stoppers:

Read the entire post for the cautionary tale that it is.

As we rinse the ink from our fingers, we might spare a thought for Charles Darwin, who reached James Island (now better known as Santiago Island) in the Galapagos Archipelago on the H.M.S. Beagle on this date in 1835…

James Island as it might have appeared to Darwin as he approached

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