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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Darwin Doorbooger Solves An Enigma


In keeping with the previous post's investigation of  lexiconography (which happily drew good comments from good minds), I have decided to reference Helsingør and Word List #8 ,  posted June, 2011 (which didn't get any comments at all) --specifically to investigate question #3:"Has Mercator projection ever been tested on humans?"

Mercator projection is the flat, 1-dimensional, map of the world that rolled down by a shade-pull from a long horizontal cylinder over classroom blackboards when we were schoolkids.However, it distorted the planet to where  North and South Poles were broader than any continents that were  not made out of ice. So I went outdoors (I usually do) and called out, "Darwin? Darwin Doorbooger!" You wouldn't know about my seminars with Darwin Doorbooger without clicking on this blue sentence and reading the entries there below this one. Let us proceed.

Darwin: I'm over here on a geranium leaf.
Geo.: Good heavens, old friend! Are you all right? You look pale.

Darwin: I'm ok. It's just something that happens to older treefrogs.

Geo.: Ah, like my hair going white.

Darwin: What's hair?

Geo.: Nothing important. I came with a question about how the world is mapped.

Darwin: The world, as I see it, extends some few yards around this geranium --maybe 100 feet in circumference, tops.

Geo.: What if I told you it is around 25000 miles in circumference?

Darwin: Now you're just being silly, Geo.

Geo..:  But it's been measured and ascertained as a globe. We have representations in our classrooms, halls of learning --not to mention the hall off my back porch. Look into my mind:
Darwin: What the heck is THAT?

Geo.: It's a simple sinusoidal representation of the planet, showing a more accurate surface of a globe.


Darwin: Geo., your kind thinks in three or four dimensions while we think in zero dimensions, and I'm sure  that map presents human population densities quite well but poses problems and anomalies to shipping lanes and international borders. What if somebody made even more gores, cuts and lobes?

Geo.: They have, Darwin, they have.

Darwin: Well,  that would disrupt borders, divide countries and bisect private properties! You humans need to stop this catastrophic cartology at once! It may approach  accuracy but sends the wrong message.

Geo.: Then upon whom was the Mercator Projection originally tested, if not humans?

Darwin: Treefrogs, of course.  


29 comments:

  1. Excuse me, but how many shipping lanes and international borders does treefrog envisage in a world extending 100 feet in circumference - tops!

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    1. Dear Tom, it's 2:30 a.m. here and Darwin is out there eating bugs. His world-view is most accurate in daylight and, even then, he's just an inch long. I'd go out and ask him about shipping lanes etc., but won't for fear of stepping on him. I'm afraid he's delivered a new enigma.

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  2. I don't like maps Geo. The globe is a better representation but the best way to view the earth is to look at those photos from space. Our little blue marble bopping along on its journey around the sun. I imagine us all swarming over its surface, intermingling in peace, no borders or boundaries of any kind...everyone happyi and sharing. (hey, it's MY imagination) I do, however, admire the minds that managed to map so very accurately this planet..

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    1. I like your imagination, Delores. It encourages me to think of Earth as a unified garden growing around its star.

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  3. Darwin is wise. It is all dependent upon the point of view. What I see is different than what you see on a day by day basis. It is an enigma.

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    1. True, Emma, and that difference in world-view from person to person is full of fascinating surprise.

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  4. Looks somewhat like the Peters Projection, kinda sorta.

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    1. You're right, Mike. I think it's a Goode homolosine projection but the elongated continents are very much like Peters.

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  5. As someone who is in another dimension entirely - commonly known as the Twilight Zone - I envy the normalcy of three or four dimension existences.

    I know nothing about maps, other than the fact that you could get a nifty one for free at gas stations when I was a kid.

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    1. Jon, sometimes I wonder if our view of space and time are limited strictly to what we need to function on Earth --that there may really be a Twilight Zone that is imperceptible to our 5 senses. I remember those free road maps with the names of the gas stations on them --they were good advertising and really useful.

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  6. Who decided about maps, boundaries? Why can't we go where we like? I never had a say in it. Why not? The whole world should be our lobster.

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    1. Sensible John, Yes! When our kids were little and wondering how big the world is, I told them it was HUGE and that I hoped they get to play in all of it. They are.

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  7. That hairless gray Darwin frog is cute, Geo.
    Of course everyone looks through his own glasses, and from Darwin's point of view the world is small. To others the earth is a disc - a way to see it too. In the eyes of a fly it must be very pixelated (if I got the right word) - till the moment at least when Darwin swallows the fly - then: tunnel-vision. (If at all).

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    1. Dear Brigitta, Darwin is indeed a fine figure of a frog --and I envy his ability to sit comfortably on a leaf. His company is calming when the world gets too complicated for me. And yes, "pixelated" is an accurate adjective for the compound eyes of flies.

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  8. Wow! I hadn't given a thought to those wonderful pull down maps for many years, until you and Darwin's conversation brought them up. And that Darwin is one wise old tree frog. I have to wonder if war is not derived of that "catastrophic cartology?"
    Sorry I'm no help-I can add nothing further to question #3. But for the record I hope there are always pull down or fold out maps. As gee whiz as the phone maps are, nothing is quite like a tactile map that a kid can fold out on a table and let his or her mind roam. Wander and wonder!

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    1. Excellent question, Tom! What can we expect of international coexistence and peace when our maps are so prone to distortion? Just this year, Social studies classrooms in Boston are getting maps drawn using the Gall-Peters Projection. It is more accurate than Mercator, but elongates all the continents to look like they're melting wax-like toward the South Pole. Well, with global warming, they might be for all I know. But, like you, I believe --between globe and flat maps-- the imaginations of children will be inspired, and (like us) they'll want Earth to be the best and happiest planet in the world.

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  9. We had to find our way to our son's new apartment recently. He gave us Google map directions. We tried to figure it out with a paper map while he was here with us. Both sides were frustrated with the other's technology!! hah

    I do love the tiny doorbooger - and the word doorbooger.

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    1. O_Jenny, my maps come from AAA auto club, which I joined in 1972. They are paper, and I'm used to them. When I go someplace complicated, like San Francisco, I park in a garage and rely on the supernatural skills of cab drivers. Digital and GPS navigation is beyond me. Glad you like Darwin; treefrogs are among the loveliest and friendliest wild creatures.

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  10. I love maps and had lots of fun with projections while teaching maps to my elementary kids. I'm sure that they would have enjoyed this conversation with Darwin (and I would have shared it)! I saw a joke the other day using the Mercator Projection ~ Sorry, I'd give you a link if I could find the joke again, and I have a prosaic kitchen floor waiting to be washed.

    Someone actually posted on Facebook asking why Americans were so worried about North Korea hitting them with a missile when it was located on the opposite side of the world.

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  11. Dear Louise, I found one joke involving Mercator Projection on Pinterest. Did yours involve Batman and Robin? As to N.Korea, I had a conversation 10 years ago with friend, Willie, and opined that country would be ill-advised to attempt a war with only 2 months oil reserve. Their only ally, China, has become so dependent on world commerce, I doubt they'd support an attack upon the U.S. or any other country. Also, lately, I've noticed photos of Kim Jong-un show him to be of fairly normal weight, but his uniformed entourage --and "adoring" public crowds are rail-thin. There is sign of a food shortage that could lead to desperation. I hope missiles will not be involved in securing the help that country needs.

    I've had an enjoyable time chasing your comments through the past 5 posts. So happy you're feeling better. Stay well, Louise --you're important!

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    1. Thanks, Geo. The joke had a mercator projection of the world together with the real Facebook post (poster's name blurred out) of someone asking why Americans were so worried about North Korea hitting them with a missile when it was located on the opposite side of the world. Duh!

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  12. Although I used to love to draw colorful maps when I was in school, I now think of them sometimes as a necessary evil. Humans are so focused on the imaginary boundaries and borders they impose on the world and the false labels of MY land vs. YOUR land, when all of the land existed long before we did, and hopefully, will continue to exist long after our demises. It's all rather arrogant on our part, kind of like the Europeans exploring the world centuries ago and "discovering" new lands, upon which they planted a flag, completely ignoring the fact that other people already lived there and already had a perfectly good name for their land.

    By the way, I forgot to mention how tickled I am that you're planning to visit your friend Willie. I'd noticed his absence some time ago... it's good to know he's still kicking, so you two can continue to kick around ideas.

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    1. Thanks, dear Susan. Your point regarding geo-political boundaries is true and well-taken. It parallels exaggerated conflicts in ideology as well. It seems we can be stirred into suspicion --hatred even-- of other countries whose leaders are contentious, but whose populations are clearly nobody's enemy. How can we maintain peaceful coexistence in the world when portions of our populace are persuaded to antagonize others in our own country? Beats me. As for Willie, he still has an online presence but we communicate mostly by landline. I'll do my best to attend his party --he is a true fixed point in a chaotic universe and I love him.

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    2. Sometimes, I think the best we can do for peaceful coexistence is to live a life that exemplifies it. Our voices for love have to be louder than the voices of the hate-mongers.

      It's awesome that you have such an enduring friendship with Willie. Your feelings about him are obvious in any post in which you mention him.

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  13. Ha...maps have never been my forte...I can find my way a lot better without them! lol
    In fact, think I must be a "Trekkie"...the idea of a "Federation of Planets" really appeals to me...with it's suggestion of our entire earth's population living in harmony.
    Yes, I know, dream on, fool!
    But I can't help hoping...

    Many thanks for a fabulous and thought-provoking post.
    I so enjoyed reading! :))

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    1. Most kind, dear Ygraine. Remember, the idea of a democratic republic, government by representation and discussion was long-considered a foolish concept. Not until we educated our various peoples did we consider tyranny anachronistic. With knowledge, comes freedom --and yes, harmony.

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    2. Yikes! I just realized I'm addressing the namesake of the legendary Ygraine, mother of Arthur, who was a primary proponent of government by discussion. Where there is legend, there is education.

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  14. I think I'm gonna like this blog.

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    1. I sure like your blog too. Welcome, and thanks!

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