Thursday, September 22, 2011

Here be dragons, or something like dragons...

I never watch Jeopardy!, but I became a fan of Ken Jennings after that whole Watson thingie. Turns out Jennings has now written a book about maps, called Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks. 

I hate maps, personally. That is, I hate them as functional objects, because I can't read them. I'm the one in the Honda Fit, parked cockeyed and three feet from the curb, holding the map upside down and bordering on tears. However, as aesthetic objects, I like maps very much.

I particularly like map monsters, and Jennings has put together a delightful slide show thereof. Also, a fun fact (what else would you expect from the Jeopardy! champ?): the phrase "Here be dragons" is not common at all on old maps, and in fact seems to have only one recorded appearance. And that is probably a translation error.

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