The Spilhaus Projection

The Spilhaus Projection

In 1942, Athelstan Spilhaus produced a world map with a unique perspective, presenting the world’s oceans as one body of water. The Spilhaus Projection could be just what the oceans need to get the attention their problems deserve.

Big Think: This is a world map unlike any other. Uniquely, it centres on Antarctica. Disturbingly, it rips Asia and the Americas to shreds. And compellingly, it presents the seas and oceans – 71% of the Earth’s surface – as a unified body of water. The map was designed by a renaissance man who also invented the skyways of Minneapolis and the secret weather balloon that caused the Roswell Incident. And yet you’ve never heard of him.

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Shape of things to come

The Spilhaus Projection: Oceans in the centre of the world

“Athelstan Spilhaus (1911-1998), geophysicist and oceanographer, proposes a representation of the Earth centered on the oceans . The poles are located in South America and China, deforming the continents in particular, but the oceans merge into a closed inland sea.”

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Researchers map where subjective feelings are located in the body

Bodily feeling maps
Pixel intensities show regions where each feeling was associated with statistically significant bodily sensations.

British Psychological Society: “How do you feel?” is a simple and commonly asked question that belies the complex nature of our conscious experiences. The feelings and emotions we experience daily consist of bodily sensations, often accompanied by some kind of thought process, yet we still know very little about exactly how these different aspects relate to one another, or about how such experiences are organised in the brain.

Now, reporting their results in PNAS, a team of researchers in Finland, led by neuroscientist Lauri Nummenmaa of the University of Turku, has produced detailed maps of what they call the “human feeling space”, showing how each of dozens of these subjective feelings is associated with a unique set of bodily sensations. [⋮]

The new results provide yet more evidence for the emerging idea that the body plays a crucial role in cognitive and emotional processes – something which has, until very recently, been overlooked. “In other words,” says study co-author Riita Hari, “the human mind is strongly embodied.”

See also: 216 positive emotions that have no direct English translation

Humans and other animals

A cartography of consciousness

“Subjective feelings are a central feature of human life, yet their relative organization has remained elusive.”

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Evolution of the English Alphabet

Evolution of the English Alphabet

Matt Baker: Fyi, the above chart was actually just a simplified promo for a much larger chart – a Writing Systems of the World poster. So, if you’re concerned about the fact that thorn, wynn, or any other letters are missing, rest assured that they were indeed included on the main chart.

History of the Alphabet →

Use your words

Evolution of the English alphabet

“Shouldn’t you have titled this ‘Evolution of the Latin Alphabet?'” Well, yes, that would have been correct as well. But it’s also not incorrect to refer to an “English alphabet”. Obviously, many European languages use the same Latin script. But some use a slightly different number of letters. When one is referring to the set of Latin letters used for a particular language, it’s ok to refer to that set as the “[language name] alphabet”. — Matt Baker / UsefulCharts.com

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Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London

Entries to a Competition to Design a New Tower in London (1890)

The Public Domain Review: A selection of the more inventive entries to a competition to design a new tower for London. The year previous, 1889, saw the hugely successful Eiffel Tower go up in the centre of Paris, and the good people of London, not to be outdone, decided to get one of their own. A wonderful array of designs were put forward. Many were suspiciously similar to the Eiffel Tower and many erred on the wackier side of things…

The very practical design number 37 by Stewart, McLaren and Dunn was eventually chosen to be awarded the 500 guinea prize-money and built in Wembley Park. Construction began in 1892 but the company in charge of the erection, The Metropolitan Tower Company, soon ran into problems including falling chronically behind schedule due to marshy ground and then financial difficulties which eventually led to their liquidation in 1889. Construction ceased after only 47 metres had been completed.

(via @PublicDomainRev)

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Craft and creativity

Entries to a competition to design a new tower in London to rival the Eiffel Tower (1890)

A selection of the more inventive entries to a competition to design a new tower for London.

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Medieval trade routes and geography

Even before modern times the Afro-Eurasian world was already well connected. This map depicts the main trading arteries of the high middle ages, just after the decline of the Vikings and before the rise of the Mongols, the Hansa and well before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope.

Medieval Trade Routes and Geography

Credit for this map goes to Martin Månsson who posted this on /r/MapPorn, which has some interesting discussion.

The map also depicts the general topography, rivers, mountain passes and named routes. All of which contributed to why cities came to be, and still are, up until modern times.

The Silk Road is not just one, but many roads that leads through all of Asia, from Constantinople in the west, through Central Asia and the Himalayas, to Liangzhou in the east. During this time, the Chinese Song dynasty was in its height and it was one of those Chinese dynasties that were open to foreign trade and invested in commerce and infrastructure. Foreign trade was mostly concentrated to the southern ports were both Jews and Muslims had their own communities.

(via @stephenniem)

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Miscellany

Map of medieval trade routes

The high middle ages were a time when the stars aligned in terms of commerce for many areas of the world. In central Europe many German and French cities initiated annual trade fairs, some of which are still active today – most notably in Frankfurt.

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Desk by Caleb Kraft

Is My Mid Century Modern Desk An Homage or a Cheap Knock Off?

Caleb Kraft for Make: I needed a desk for my office. Being a maker that is also loaded down with fancy tools, I couldn’t bear to go to the store and buy something. I decided I wanted to make something, and the design would have to be one that I wouldn’t mind looking at for long periods of time.

The big question at this point, however, is what to do with the files. Do I share them even though this is a knockoff of Helmut Magg’s work?

Helmut Magg desk This is a lovely project idea and something I would very much like to do for myself.

This particular project raises some interesting questions as the desk is based on a fairly famous 50s writing desk designed by Helmut Magg. It and other similar Magg desks are still sold from licensed vendors for thousands of dollars apiece. There is also a pretty healthy knockoff market. Like the author, I think these kinds of designs are fine to use as inspiration for personal projects, but selling them — or even giving away the design blueprints — definitely puts you in a grey area. You’d probably be opening yourself up to a lawsuit, even if you were ultimately well within your legal rights.

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Make: Design for CNC

Craft and creativity

A DIY mid-century modern CNC flat pack desk and the ethics of recreating classic furniture

In Autodesk Fusion360, I designed my own. This is where things start to get muddy. I looked at his, then put it away and designed my own. All my angles and measurements are actually different than his. However, I very obviously was designing something to look pretty much just like his.

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True Colors

True Colors

A visual experiment that evaluates the evolving graphic symbolism of the United States, True Colors is a collection of flags generated from the 2016 American Community Survey. Each flag is based on data specific to its state, and provides information at a glance.

Most existing flags share the same common visual cues: stripes, circles or polygons, and stars. You’ll find these familiar components in the flags of True Colors as well but their color, size, shape, and position are all determined by data.

Each layer of the flag corresponds to subjects that provide an informative snapshot of life in that state. The background visualizes population, the stripe shows housing, the circle or polygon represents economics, and the star indicates education.

Indiana - details

(via @WalterStephanie)

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The Refugee Nation flag

Shape of things to come

True Colors: If US state flags were designed by data

How do the United States flags look when data decides their designs? True Colors was created by Olivia Johnson, a graphic designer and flag enthusiast based in New England.

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