Sunday, April 30, 2006

Catfishing with RPGs!

This blog needs a little humor so I present to you this video which has been going around the internet.

The video shows Afghan security forces fishing with a rocket propelled grenade! Usually this type of hardwire is used to shoot down Black Hawk helicopters but I guess Afghanistan is the Arkansas (no offense) of the terrorist world.

I don't think I'll be using this technique next time I go fishing.

France needs babies!

Depopulation in France and the rest of Europe is finally getting people's attention. The government is offering money and tax incentives to have three or more children. Right now France has a relatively high (for European standards) birth rate of 1.9. That includes; however, the non-Frenchified immigrants (read: those who like to burn cars) who have large families which skew the average. Only time will tell if the effort to begat more French will work.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Medieval Christianity Cosmos

Almost all of us are familiar with the zodiac and the cosmos according to the ancient Western civilizations and maybe even the Chinese zodiac. And while I was well aware of Christian cosmetology I never knew about any Christian efforts to completely co-opt the constellations and zodiac.

That is until I was given the chance to go on a private tour of the Library of Congress' Map Collection (very poor online version). During the tour I saw an atlas which depicted the heavens in the most vivid color with saints, angels, and Noah's Ark included.

I forgot the title of the atlas and thought my new found knowledge was lost. But because of the power of Google I can now tell you the title of the book was the Harmonia Macrocosmica, which was created by Andreas Cellarius. Some of the book can be viewed here. Another work of Christian cosmetology was Coelum Stellatum Christianum by Julius Schiller. A complete copy of the atlas can be found here with the maps starting here and a complete sky map here.

The efforts to Christianize the heavens have failed, or so many think. Anyone who points out the constellation of Orion believes this. However, in some places including South America, Orion is named after the three Mary’s of the New Testament. The reason is religious geography. These two efforts to baptize the stars were made in the 1600s, well after the Protestant reformation and Church of England split. Traditional Catholic areas like South America would adopt these heavenly ideas, the Protestant countries would ignore them as being the work of "Papists," and areas hit by the Renaissance would have favored the classical depiction and forgot about the Christian efforts during the Age of Enlightenment.

Maps and atlases are always an interesting way to view not only their depictions but also the world in which the works were created.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Pyramids of Eastern Europe UPDATE

Remember the coolness you felt when I reported on the possible pyramids of Bosnia? Catholicgauze should have done some more research because it seems the guy operating the project is a freaking nut job. His own work dangs him to heck in this "bishop's" mind. Looks like the only pyramid in Europe belongs to Roman legions playing cult.

Hutterites in Africa

I have the honor of knowing some Hutterites through family connections. The ones I know are from the Upper Midwest and of the Schmiedeleut persuasion. While some Hutterite groups are wary of technology for personal purposes (but certainly not for work) the Schmiedeleuts I knew had wireless phones, air conditioners, digital atomic clocks, and even the occasional newspaper that was smuggled in.

I thought that all Hutterites were just like what I knew: Tirolean speaking, Germanic Anabaptists who are somewhat skeptical of personal technology.

It appears I was right about the Anabaptist part. Some Schmiedeleut Hutterites, in partnership with the quasi-expelled Bruderhofers, have founded Palm Grove mission in Nigeria. They have even started a blog documenting their missionary activity. As of right now there are 300 Nigerians at the mission. The primary language in the colony is English so both Hutterite and Nigerian can communicate. Their have been incidents; however, including being attacked by armed gangs in the middle of the night.

So much for my “Tirolean speaking, Germans who are somewhat skeptical of personal technology” definition of Hutterites.

Category: Miscellaneous

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Neogeography and Catholicgauze's Atlas

I have joined the "Neogeography," "mashups," or whatever you call them crowd of integrating online technology with geography. National Geographic writes about the trend, so does Map Room Blog, and Placekraft.

I feel Neogeography can be a really useful tool for geographers and non-geographers. We must be careful though not to think it is the Holy Grail that will completely rebuild the field like some thought of Quantitative Analysis or GIS.

But the big thing you all probably notice is the new map on the top of the page. That is Catholicgauze's Atlas! The Atlas, also viewable here, is spatially placed links to some of my blog posts. Go on and explore and tell me what you think.

There is a variety of Neogeography tools out there. I am using Platial but there is also Tagzania and Frapper. Let me know which one you prefer or if I left anyone out. Two interesting projects using neogeography are Chicago Crime, which maps out different types of crime reported in Chicago, and "Where I was When 9/11 Happened?"

Category: Neogeography

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Next Oil

High gas and oil prices are leading many to call for alternative energy sources. I have been long calling for new energy sources since my youth for environmental and capitalistic reasons. Popular Mechanics has a very interesting feature discussing the different types of energy sources which one day could replace oil. They also have a very neat chart (pdf) that breaks down their feature. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Category: Miscellaneous

Visiting the Rocky Mountains

From Wikipedia "The San Juan Mountains are a rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The Rio Grande rises on the east side of the range. The other side of the San Juans, the western slope of the continental divide, is drained by tributaries of the San Juan, Dolores and Gunnison rivers which all flow into the Colorado River. The San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forest cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains."

Category: Virtually Travelling the World

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Army Map Guide

Coming Anarchy links to Global Security's vast collection of army manuals. Among them is Map Reading and Land Navigation. This 14 chapter and 12 appendix behemoth has everything you ever need to know about contour and military maps. Enjoy!

Category: Books, GeoInfo

Destroying Man's Oldest Enemy

For years man has been wondering how to destroy the Earth, now we have it on paper! Live Science has an interesting feature on various, highly scientific methods to destroy the planet. Everything from Total Existence Failure (doing nothing and hoping it goes away) to ramming ions together to moving the planet into the sun is covered. Debated is feasibility and how long it would take to do. Very interesting and fun!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Languages of the United States GIS Map

¡Los Estados Unidos de Español!

The Modern Language Association has released their Language Map of the United States.

The map is actually a GIS-based program in which one can choose to see various languages distribution in the United States. Languages include English, Spanish, French, American Indian, Arab, Hungarian, and much more. On can zoom in or out or even examine the distribution on a state level. Layers include interstates, county and state names, and much more. Tabular data is also available to examine.

Enjoy! This post is in the spirit of Yall tock funny ya hear, and Figjam. I'll make a series section on my blog sometime.

Hat Tip: The always great Map Room.

Category: Languages, Maps

Sunday, April 23, 2006

It is Easter again

Happy Easter Sunday (Again)!

Today is Easter for Eastern Christians. Its common referred to as Pascha to avoid confusing us easily confused Western Christians. A great breakdown of why the difference between Easter dates can be found here.

Below is my timeline of the Easter/Eastern-Western Christianity Controversy

325: Yay! We have a date set for Easter!
1054: Hey Wessies! Die in a fire!
1204: No! You die in a fire!
1274 and 1439: Okay, we will reunite. Fooled you!
1582: Pope to Orthodox "I fixed the calendar, what to adopt it?" Orthodox to Pope: "No"
1923: We'll take the calendar for everything but the Easter season!
1965: Okay, you don't have to die in a fire.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Geophotographical Travels in Britain

TDAXP has sent me a link to Geograph. Geograph is an open group effort to have every, and I mean, every piece of Great Britain and Ireland photographed. One can start from the map view and work their way down to ground level to obtain a picture of the area they want. To any British readers out there or tourists: be sure to help out!

My favorites so far are here, here, and here. Be sure to comment about your own favorites or what you contribute!

Category: Virtually Travelling the World

Friday, April 21, 2006

Iraq War Update

Note to terrorists: Always, always make sure it is Akmad on the other end of the phone and not an American solider or you end up like your dead terrorist buddies.

Pyramids of Easter Europe

Work of man?


Visocica Hill in the middle of unassuming Bosnia may be a pyramid. If it is than it is a third larger than the Great Pyramid in Giza and therefore the largest pyramid in the world.

What makes this hill a possible pyramid is local legend, discovery of geometrically cut blocks on the side of the hill, and tunnels leading in and out of the hill. Yahoo has some interesting pictures of the work being done on the hill.

If it is a pyramid it will most likely made by the Illyrians, the ancestors of modern-day of Albanians. Nice to know they have been progressing well from Stone Age to... um... yeah. The design seems to be independently made. The other known pyramid in Europe, the French Falcon Pyramid, was most likely made by Roman Legends involved with Eastern cult worship.

This is not scientifically proven however. There are those who are calling the head of the study a nut and equating him to the Taliban. He has responded by making a website and starting naming the alleged Pyramids by himself (which is a bit odd). Archeology is a field where different opinions lead to war. Just look at the pre-Clovis controversy.

At this time all geographers can do is step aside and yell "Archeologist fight!!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fourteen Cents a Gallon!

Fourteen cents a gallon! Fourteen cents a gallon! That is how much gas costs in Venezuela right now according to this international chart of gas prices. I wonder if this is actual market price or if the government is keeping prices artificially down.

Poorer countries seem to have it easier with gas prices while Europe has higher prices due to targeted taxes designed to keep people from driving. Interesting outliers exist however. While gas in the United States is about $2.85, Taiwan has gas at $2.47 and Australia's gas is at $2.63. Both are first-world (or very close to it) and use a fair amount of gas. I wonder how they are keeping prices down.

Category: GeoInfo

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

This is why I do not live in New England

The year is 1892. Thomas Oliver made the first practical typewriter, tractors with the internal combustion engine were all the rage, President Harrison was about to lose to the man he beat four years earlier, and New Englanders were digging up graves of their relatives in a desperate attempt to stop undead vampires!

Folklorist Dr. Michael Bell documents in Food for the Dead the long tradition New Englanders had for digging up their dead family members, burning hearts, and destroying corpses all in a desperate attempt to stop tuberculosis (known as consumption at the time). The belief was that consumption was caused by the dead who feed upon the living leaving the disease behind. The only way to stop the disease, the tradition held, was to destroy the evil creature causing it.

The book starts out with the 1892 case of Mercy Brown allegedly doing some post-mortem infections on the rest of her family. The book goes on detailing earlier cases of vampire hunting (although the Yankees at the time never used the word) around New England. Bell even provides an interactive map of the cases he discovered on his website for the book. It appears this tradition has its basis in Puritan times. I guess if one is accusing neighbors of witchcraft the belief in the undead is not that far behind.

The vampire case is a good example of why geography matters. In the American Journal of Physical Anthropology Paul S. Sledzik and Nicholas Bellantoni describe how poor soil conditions in some areas of New England were the cause of tuberculosis and how this led to the rise in vampire beliefs.

The belief is spread further by matters of religious geography. Catholic belief states that if a body does not decay it is a sign of sainthood. Protestant and Orthodox tradition holds if the body does not decay it is a sign of Satan's workings. Where are two major points of vampire story beginnings? Orthodox Eastern Europe and Protestant New England!

The 1892 Mercy Brown case seems to be the last vampire case in New England, although the odd Montague Summers may have done his vampire hunting into the 1930s. The tradition of vampire-like creatures continued to survive and H.P. Lovecraft writes about it in the Shunned House. The belief is now dead but the legends live on with locals and historians.

Its something that in an era when people were starting to buy cars others were busy battling against vampires.

Category: Historical Geography, Miscellaneous

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tax Burdens Around the World

MSN has an interesting article and chart detailing tax burdens around the world.

It is interesting to see how different countries reward or punish tax-wise marriage and having children. For instance, Australia, Iceland, and the United States all have double digit tax drops if one is married and has children.

Turkey and Mexico, with their quickly growing populations, have no tax break for marriage and children.

On the flip side Greece actually increases the tax burden; while France, Germany, and Hungary have high-taxes with only a superficial drop. For some reason some parts of Europe are actively encouraging negative population "growth" via abortion, high-taxes, and destruction of horizontal social controls. If these countries wish to survive they may want to start rethinking their strategy.

Category: GeoInfo

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lech Walesa's New Map

Lech Walesa: Supporter of a Catholic form of Globalization

Lech Walesa recently spoke to Kansas State University and the public concerning the past and where the world is going.

The Past:
Walesa was the leader of the Solidarity movement and had a message of hope for those who were oppressed. He described how the world ignored Poland's warning about Hitler and then Stalin. He then went on to state that the Western world supported Polish anti-communist efforts but thought them a lost cause. "The West could not fathom a world without communism. " "The West had these computers which calculated no Polish effort could end communism"

Walesa pointed out that the calculations had left one thing out- faith. The election of Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II and his visit to Poland showed a bound among the Polish people that no system could destroy. "Even the Communists were learning to cross themselves."

Besides God, Walesa attributed Communism's fall to "50% the Pope, 30% himself, and 20% Reagan." While he thanked Reagan immensely, Walesa pointed out that the people themselves on the ground must do the work to end oppressive regimes.

The Future:
Walesa's recommendation for the future can be best described as Catholic. The first part can be related to benign imperialism (like feudalism on paper), the second part focuses on the economic liberation of the person, and the third part is faith based.

Part 1) The United States is the world's sole superpower and while it leads economically it must lead the world politically and culturally. America has done a great amount of good but seems unwilling and guilt-prone. If the liberal and democratic America does not take the lead countries like Communist China or the Islamic fascists will and mold the world in their image.

Part 2) People must be the central part of any global plan. When Walesa criticized how the United States uses more than "its share" of resources one person asked how Walesa recommended wealth redistribution amongst countries. Walesa responded with a strong "no" to wealth redistribution. He stated the best way to build up the less development countries was to give grants to businesses and people to create businesses. With people working, making money, and buying products they will become part of the global community. The rich should help the poor by giving them the tools to fish; as the old expression goes.

Part 3) Walesa is convinced God played a massive role in his past and one should realize that with hard work and faith anything is possible. No one thought communism could be destroyed but "faith made it possible." America and the world are in the War on Terrorism and other efforts for the long haul. We must work hard and have faith that good will conquer evil.

Walesa speech was powerful and he was received well. While some who attended the speech like his efforts they were displeased by Walesa thanks towards Reagan.

These people miss the point. Communism was brought down by local and international alliances. If we are to integrate the world and stop movements that wish to kill us we must realize that victory is possible and create local-global efforts to succeed.

Category: Geopolitics

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Iraq War Victory?

In 1948 German werwolfs launched a major bombing campaign against Allied and Soviet forces. German citizens demanded the terror campaign to stop and the werwolfs ended their resistance to the new Germany.

The same may be happening in Iraq. al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq attack on the Samarra Mosque may have been their high-tide. First there was native Iraqi insurgent versus al Qaeda battles, then al-Zarqawi was demoted, now Lt. Gen. John R. Vines reports that al Qaeda in Iraq has realized Iraq is not the best place for their Caliphate and pulling out.

This is possible when one thinks about it. Attacks on Coalition forces are down while the violence seems to be between al Sadr forces and rival Sunni militias. These groups' qualms are against each other and not the government. The militias will weaken each other as the government becomes stronger and gains the ability to crush these rogue groups. Let us hope and pray that this is the case.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Extraterra Update

Purple looks good on her

The European Space Agency has released new images of Venus. Nothing too interesting but I like the image and my caption above.

NASA has discovered yet another planet in the Kipper Belt. It temporary name is 2003 UB313 but it is nicknamed Xena while its moon is Gabrielle. This thus proves astronomers are geeks.

Category: Space

Easter Geography: Part II

Map of Jesus' doings in Jerusalem

Paleogeographic Maps of North America


Dr. Ron Blakely of Northern Arizona University has released maps of North America throughout earth's history. These things are works of art and provide a detailed geographic history of the northwest hemisphere. Enjoy them now! (A great and mighty hat tip to Map Room and Cartography)

Category: Maps, Physical Geography

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Easter Geography: Part I

Map of Judaea at the time of the reign of Herod and Christ's birth.

All the city information you will ever need

All the city information you ever need can be found at City Data. Everything from census data, weather data, ancestry information, new housing prices, famous citizens, crime data, nearest cities, famous citizens, government budget, cemeteries, radio and television stations, and more can be found for almost anywhere!

Give it a whirl and enjoy!

Category: GeoInfo

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Europe Update

Bad news is abound

France is having problems. Chirac has cowardly dropped the new labor law yet the Fromage still protest. The law, partially past to appease the Fall protestors and give them jobs, was opposed by the middle class who does not want to lose their privileges. When the time for reform finally comes it will be painful for the French economy and people. Time magazine has an excellent break down of information (Hat tip: Instapundit).

Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may or may not have lost his reelection. He is the first pro-Iraq War leader to lose since al Qaeda decided to throw the Spanish elections. It seems Europe is losing its will. Berlusconi may still pull out by a hair because the Italian election system is no better than Florida's.

A threat to NATO that I forgot to mention in the last post was that in order to have a strong alliance one needs strong members. Europe is no longer the lion it once was.

European Union and NATO: Part IV

Yellow means both EU and NATO membership. Blue means EU only. Red means NATO only.

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part 3.5

NATO was formed in 1949 from the wake of the Berlin Blockade. It was clear to the Western Powers that the Soviet Union posed as much as of a threat as Nazi Germany and a military alliance was needed to fight off possible aggression. NATO spent the Cold War preparing for a European land war.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union; however, there was concern for the future of NATO. With no primary enemy could the organization survive? NATO was involved in the various Balkan conflicts but everyone knew those styles of conflicts in Europe were limited and would soon past.

September 11th changed everything for NATO. NATO is now in command of the War in Afghanistan. NATO has also recently expanded into Eastern Europe, before the European Union did, and there are talks about including such countries like Ukraine, Finland, and Israel. Further roles in the War on Terrorism and expansion are possible.

The problem for NATO is that of its fundamental character. NATO was created to defend Western Europe from Eastern Europe in a Third Generational War (3GW). If it does global wars and recruits countries not from Europe- is it still NATO?

A secondary threat comes from the European Union. The EU is trying to create an army and may try to force members out of NATO. However, the EU is neck deep in other problems so this is a distant issue for now.

The future of NATO is brighter than the EU. Its focus on purely military matters has spared it from many of the political problems the EU has had. NATO's problems seem to be problems of success and enlargement.

Category: Geopolitics

Monday, April 10, 2006

Who were the Proto-catholicgauzes?

My investigation of the proto-catholicgauzes via the Genographic Project and other means continues.

After doing a long Google search I found that the Little Family DNA Project had some information which aided me. DNA maps of the British Isles, Europe, and the World gave me a good idea of R1a's journey and settlement.

It appears that R1a is big in the former Eastern Europe, Russia and Norway. The areas in the British Isles where R1a holds it own are Shetland, Orkney, and the Isle of Man. These areas were once ruled by Norway way back in the Viking days. However, none of these places are English. The London area has a marginal R1a population of four to one percent. So where did my R1a'ers come from? The odds are against Norway. Perhaps Huns? The search continues.

Category: Miscellaneous

MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base

Sonny from FX-Based blog has given me a wonderful hat-tip to MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. The database is like Global Security with a cartographic and GIS focus on terrorism. Lots of map overlays possible which deeply appeals to me.

Lots of interesting information available on various groups throughout the world. Enjoy and thanks for the link Sonny!

Category: GeoInfo, War on Terrorism

Sunday, April 09, 2006

GIS and Linguistic Dialect Maps

Remember how cool the Figjam and Y'all tock funny post were? Well, Professor Bert Vaux originally from Harvard University decided to do a survey of different dialect differences in the United States and map out the results with GIS.

He has over 100 results up so far for different words. The usually suspects like aunt, caught, and caramel are mapped but so are others like Elvis, dragged and drug, lawn and grass. Enjoy! (Hat tip: NRO corner)

Category: Languages, Maps

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Geography and Film: Goodbye Lenin!

**********Spoiler Warning**********

Goodbye Lenin! is a German film which depicts the last days of East Berlin and the process of reunification.

Movie Review
A son tries to convince his ailing mother that her beloved East Germany still exists even though it went defunct while she was in a coma. The movie is a well done combination of comedy and drama. I greatly enjoyed the powerful acting and the sense of triumph and tragedy of each turn of events.

Geographic Review
There are tons of things geographers can analysis in this film. First off is economics. Soon after the Wall comes down a wide range of goods reaches East Berlin. The main character goes to the supermarket and sees all the different types of foods when he was use to one brand for one product. Signs for Coca-Cola replace red banners. Finally, the sister of the protagonist gets a job at an icon of capitalism, Burger King.

Another thing illustrated well is housing. Many people left East Berlin trying to sneak into the West. When the Wall came down there was a lot of cheap housing available which was taken by West Germans. One of the characters remarks on the amount of "people from the West" living in the apartment building.

A strong point in the latter part of the film is the depiction of ill will towards West Germans. The protagonist remarks how he is from "another country" to West Berlin kids, says "Westies" are arrogant, and attempts to give East Germany the "send off it diverse." Eastern Germany has been the black sheep of Europe for a while and the move does a good job showing some of the problems. (Hat tip: TDAXP's old review of the film)

Category: Geography in Movies

Friday, April 07, 2006

Historical Washington DC Maps

It’s been an extremely busy day and the weekend looks like it will be also. But I should be able to fit in some good posts.

DC Vote, an organization which seeks to give the District of Columbia full congressional representation, has an excellent historical map section. Maps depicting the original L'Enfant plan all the way to present day are available to examine.

Category: Historical Geography, Maps

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Religiousography of the Gospel of Judas

Update: The New York Times does not like seeing National Geographic joining the for profit artifact trade.

Warning: Ranting ahead. To those who don't want to waste time reading my conservative Catholic rant, there will be a real geography post later in the day.

After winning praises from me National Geographic has joined the Da Vinci Code bandwagon (link goes to counter-argument against the bandwagon) and released a bunch of information dealing with the "Gospel" of Judas. The "gospel" claims that Jesus asked Judas to betray him to free him from his human shell (a little bit different than Jesus' "What the hell, Judas?!?" of "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" in Luke 22:48).

So who made this "gospel" you ask? The group was a Gnostic and Antinomian (bad actions are okay, no moral law binds you) sect named the Cainites (who worshiped Cain!!!). These Gnostic dastards were ethnic Greeks who tried to use Jesus as a tool to advance their belief in secret knowledge being the only way to obtain salvation of some sort or another. Never mind the fact that the Gospel was written approximately 200 years after the events by a person who claimed to be Judas. You might as well quote a book from 2076 which claims to be written by Thomas Jefferson which states Washington wanted Benedict Arnold to be a tratior.

Saint Irenaeus
laid the smack down on these guys in his Refutation of All Heresies at part I.31.1.

We have always known of other gospels. Some have been outright rejected as heresies, some like a few infant gospels are considered nice stories and one was used by Anne Rice for her Christ the Lord: Out Of Egypt book, some have Jesus being saved by a family of friendly dragons, and some of the Nestorian gospels (also mentioned in the Koran) depict Jesus as the child from Hell who kills and resurrects his friends at random.

So what is the big deal with the Da Vinci Code and other books which advance a neo-Gnostic point of view? Catholicgauze senses a conspiracy! It seems that there are those who see religion as a tool to advance their own agenda. I have dealt with this issue before. Some churches have been turned towards "social gospels" and away from issues dealing with salvation. Other churches, including conservative evangelicals and the Catholic Church, have remained solid in their defense against "progressive Christianity." In order to remove opposition to the progressive agenda, those who advocate it make mass appeal for products which undermine the foundation of the traditional groups. The appeal has attracted many cultural Christians.

Do I think there is a group with actual meetings? No. There is a common movement to undermine conservative ideas in religion however.

Also, the fact that the Da Vinci Code is "sexy" and is making a ton of money plays a major role. Probably a bigger role than my first theory.

Every time the Da Vinci Code accuses the Catholic Church of covering up goddess worship, Jack Chick cries.

Category: Religion

Making Blogging Worth While

Catholicgauze has achieved his first conversion!

A naval sailor and blogger with the Forward Deployed Naval Forces has expressed interest in obtaining a major in Geography after he was converted by my Harm De Blij speech review for TDAXP.

I am glad that the love of geography is spreading. It makes blogging worthwhile.

Euratlas Public Service

The interesting maps store Euratlas has released online, zoomable scans of antique maps of Europe and parts of Africia. My two favorite have to be of the north African coast and the one of Turkey and Greece. Enjoy!

Category: Maps, Historical Geography

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


The United Nations University has made Globalis available to the masses.

Globalis is an "interactive world atlas where you decide what is to be displayed on the map. Globalis aims to create an understanding for similarities and differences in human societies, as well as how we influence life on the planet." Translation: It’s pretty cool.

Globalis offers statistics in many different categories and thematic maps. One can zoom in and zoom out, places labels, and much more.

Go ahead and check it out!

Category: Atlas, GeoInfo

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Quick France Update

The protest/riots continue to go on at full speed even as Chirac promises to water down the bill. Sarkozy's efforts to be a flip-fop and become the hero of the rioters seems to be working.

I just heard on French TV that more police have been injured than in the 2005 Islamists riots. Maybe because those were well organized efforts while this is just random acts of violence by spoiled kids.

Foreign News for the Expatriate

There's nothing like foreign news in English. Sure one can try to read Spanish, German, or Fromage but that gets complicated. Now though there is Expatica. Expatica offers news about Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain along with Housing, Employment, and other services.

For the past day or so I've been following the riots in France and how Gerhard Schroeder is poison for companies.


Iraq War Coalition Fatalities Map

Graphic Designer Tim Klimowicz has created a flash map which depicts Coalition fatalities in Iraq and Kuwait from the start of the war in March 2003 to late Mate 2006.

This map hits close to home with anyone who has even very minor military experience like me. One can turn on and off different countries layers to see who relatively few non-Americans have died in the war.

The map is a sad one but everyone needs to remember those brave soldiers who gave their lives for freedom for Iraq. The map includes accidental and other non-combat deaths.

Category: Maps, War on Terrorism

Monday, April 03, 2006

Maps of Jupiter

NASA has released Cassini made maps of Jupiter in several different projections. From what I can tell Jupiter is a cloudy place. The BBC has a good rundown of information dealing with the maps. Enjoy! (Hat tip: The Map Room)

Category: Space

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Geography of Made-Up Lands: San Serriffe

Yesterday was the thirty-ninth anniversary of San Serriffe's independence! The fictional country made by the Guardian newspaper twenty-nine years ago on April Fools.

Wikitravel has a nice tourist guide to the country. The Guardian still has two follow up stories up on the internet here and here.

A sad thing is many people fell for this hoax. Where is our English grammar education gone when people do not get the joke "San Serriffe" with the islands of Upper Casse and Lower Casse?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Geography and Film: Brotherhood of the Wolf

The Brotherhood of the Wolf is a 2001 French movie based on the Beast of Gevaudan.

Movie Review

The movie is literally a mixed bag. The first half has a hard time determining if it is going to be a Kung Fu, erotica, travel, or horror movie. The second half, starting with the main characters return from Paris is much better and focused. The action scenes are great. Finally, the movie is free with its liberty to do absolutely unexpected things in the second half.

Geography Review

The Gevaudan province in the Languedoc region is depicted as a forested, rocky, and bogged hinterland region of France. The movie does a good job at portraying and giving a sense of place.

The society of the region is depicted as a rich, interloping oligarchy ruling over the peasant class. The upper class is divided between the Enlightenment movement and loyalties to the Catholic Church. Peasants are depicted as loyal church goers.

Some of the villains are cast interestingly. They seem to be dressed like the Hun hoard and behave like Roma (Gypsies). Secondary villains include some members of the Church's hierarchy. The ruling oligarchs are also portrayed in a negative light. Seems like typical French bias.

Category: Geography in Movies