Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Too many hurricanes

I don't know that this is going to be a particularly heavy hurricane season, but Mr. Munroe's XKCD has this take on hurricane naming

At the actual webcomic, hovering over the image reveals this additional message in the "title-text":

After exhausting the OED, we started numbering them. When overlapping hurricanes formed at all points on the Earth's surface, and our scheme was foiled by Cantor diagonalization, we just decided to name them all "Steve". Your local forecast tomorrow is "Steve". Good luck.
I have no idea what "Cantor's diagonalization" is, and that's even after I looked it up on Wikipedia.

Also, I thought that I would mention this Kickstarter project to make a documentary about cartoonists:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Libya two-fer Gaddafi

Now is as good a time as any to do a round-up of Libya-related editorial cartoons that included something map-ish.  There's a LOT of them here... and one can see as the nature of the conflict changed over time how the focus of the cartoons generally shifted from "Gaddafi vs. the Arab Spring" to "NATO/Obama/Rebels have no idea what they're doing in Libya" to "So long Gaddafi"... all over th course of about 6 months.  Here goes:

Artist: Ena van Bockel

Earlier in the situation, when the Arab Spring had just begun, many of the cartoons basically just reminded their audiences of Gaddafi's continued presence and his odious hostility towards his subjects..
Artist John Sherffius

Artist: Arend van Dam
Artist: Hassan Bleibel Al-Mustakbal
As the Arab Spring continued and the world began to take more notice of the situation in Libya the cartoons began to look at international involvement.

Artist: Dale Cummings
As the concept of a "no-fly" zone began to be bandied about an incredible number of editorial cartoonists used the Gaddafi-as-fly motif.  Here's a couple that also included maps.

Artist: Stuart Carlson

Artist: John Sherffius
 Of course it didn't always need to be a fly.

Artist: Ena van Bockel

This was during the part of the venture when a group of African leaders went to Libya to try to help sort things out and ended up offering a proposal which seemed to favor Gaddafi
Artist: Godfrey Mwampembwa, aka "Gado"
Don't forget there were other conflicts going on in Africa at the time (map-of-Africa logo on the African Union Commission logo qualifies it for this blog) 

Artist: Chip Bok
I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be Obama... but it's one of the few editorial cartoons that I found that correctly pointed out that this was primarily a British/French-led adventure with the U.S. playing a back-up role.  There were plenty of cartoons, however, that pointed to a selfish, usually oil-based, motive behind NATO's help of the rebels in the conflict.

Artist: Joel Pett
Joel Pett looked at the hypocritical origins and misplaced priorities angle
Artist: Joel Pett
Artist: Marshall Ramsey
 There were also a lot of U.S.-is-overextended cartoons.
Artist: Ed Fischer
Artist: Steve Sack
 There were lots and lots of NATO/Rebels arguing cartoons

Artist: Bas van der Schot

Artist: Tony Auth

Artist: Paresh Nath
... and several "Does NATO/U.S. have any idea what they're doing" cartoons

Artist: Drew Sheneman

Artist: Steve Sack
However, there was also the part of the conflict where Obama was trying to not call the U.S. involvement "war", so as to get around having to ask Congress for permission to act.

Artist: Walt Handelsman
...and reminders that the situation in Libya was part of the larger continuing "Arab Spring".... Summer? ...Fall? Still, I think the changes have been moving a long quite rapidly, all things considered. 

Artist:Christ Grosz
But now it appears that Gaddafi's time is almost up. 

Artist: Mike Thompson
... so it's time for the U.S. public to move on to another topic... although honestly the blame for this attention deficit disorder rests just as squarely upon the popular U.S. news outlets.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Prepared like a boy scout

As summer comes to a close, here's Brian Basset's Adam@Home joking about the beginning of summer

Of course this was originally published when orienteering, the use of compasses and maps, was still the primary geography-based merit badge on offer through the boy scouts.  Since then they've added the Geocaching merit badge. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

O, Quebec?

So whoever made this map seems to have a big thing for Quebec... and hates Manitoba... and who knows what's going on with Saskatchewan (though I cannot believe I've mentioned Saskatchewan again)... But I didn't realize that Canada has its own "Four Corners"... although I imagine it gets far fewer tourists. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stinky animated Thursday

This animation shows gas leaks under U.S. cities.  Stinky (except natural gas itself has no odor, they just add a smell so people will notice leaks.  Methane is a different matter).

From New Scientist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Soviet propaganda two-fer

20 years ago this week the Soviet Union ceased to exist. The Soviet hardliners staged a coup to wrest control of the nation from the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev, but in the ensuing popular backlash the Soviet Union fell apart and Boris Yeltsin became the new leader of Russia and the world gained 15 new independent nations. In a fit of nostalgia for the Cold War geography, let's have a look at map-themed anti-U.S.A. Soviet propaganda, shall we? These are from (Collection 1, Collection 2, Collection 3 ... if you visit that site be careful about scrolling all the way to the bottom of their page... there's often NSFW material there at the bottom).

The text says: “We sow Peace! They sow Death! Two Worlds – Two Plans!”. In the American part of the poster, the lower one, it says “locations for army bases”. Of course I suppose we're supposed to ignore the irony of the symbolism of the military directing the civilian in the "good" Soviet model vs. the civilian directing the military in the "bad" U.S. model.... and who knows what the wizened old farmer there is thinking about this upstart army recruit telling him how to do the farming he's done for decades.

The text says: “One more turn and…”

In a similar vein, this one says “Sphere of USA Vital Interests”.

No text. You get the idea. The little globe symbol in the middle is the map part. The "N" on the bomb is for "Neutron bomb", which was particularly odious to the Soviets because it was specifically designed to kill people while preserving property. Even a US general referred to it as a "capitalist bomb"... though the Soviets did build a few anyway.

Here's Uncle Sam and his Navy spying on Soviet lands in the Black Sea using a spyglass that's labeled "Provocation".

The translator says the text on this one is hard to understand. You can just barely make out The White House below the missiles in the lower left-hand corner above the arm of the U.S. gardener who is attempting to trim/destroy the U.N. and, presumably, the peace it represents. This one is a bit odd since often enough the Soviet Union railed against the U.N. as being a puppet organization to the U.S. ... so much so that in 1950 the Soviet Union boycotted the U.N., which made it possible for the U.N. to pass a resolution allowing it to go to war in Korea against the North Korean communists... the Soviet Union never made that mistake again.

That's greedy Uncle Sam on the left and the British "milkmaid" on the right... I'm not sure who that's supposed to be in the middle. But that's supposed to be the Arabian Peninsula that they're all milking. The text says: “Here again blood and oil is being poured”.... This one at least has a legitimate point.

No text. The land there is Europe, which the U.S. is using as its footstool

This one is just Red Army propaganda, not anti-USA. Some of the text reads: “Only Red Army will give us bread! Red Army advances – the bread stocks are growing”. The guy on the left has a backdrop of maps... but I'm not entirely sure whether he's supposed to represent a good guy or a bad guy. The fat/skinny juxtaposition confuses me.

Just to show that the Soviets could be equal-opportunity propagandists, this one is WWII-era concerning Soviet-Finnish hostilities (during WWII Finland fought 2 wars against the USSR, the second time allied with Nazi Germany...and 1 war against Nazi Germany... and won all three). So it's anti-Finn (notice the fat guy with the stein) not anti-US. The text says “We don’t want the war – but we’ll defend the Soviet lands”... which was the Soviet propaganda trying to claim that Finland was the aggressor.  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Paintball Lagoon

In this Sherman's Lagoon strip by Jim Toomey from last April the main cast uses Google Maps. In the past they've used Google Earth, Google Ocean, and, of course, Mapquest

By the way, our heroes get obliterated in their paintball match..

Friday, August 19, 2011

Win bookshelf

Is this not the most excellent bookshelf ever created?  I wonder what tiny volume is on the Rhode Island shelf...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kaleidoscope maps

It's interactive again for this Thursday's map animation, but it's totally worth it! Over at James Bridle's website he has created a beautiful thing called Rorschmap, which kaleidoscopes the aerial views of places searched in Google Maps. This is joyful interactive fun!  How about commissioning an Oriental-ish rug out of something like this? I'd get just as lost in something like that as I'd like get in this carpet.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New boat -bert

The mention of GPS in that 4th panel makes this a map-related Dilbert by Scott Adams.  Is this an instance of passive-aggressive envy?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Billy's trail map two-fer

The two most map-related regular features of Family Circus by Jeff and Bill Keane have been Billy's pun maps, and the kids' wandering-around-dotted-lines.  The latter of which are so iconic that they're part of the design of the official Family Circus website and have been endlessly parodied by other cartoonists.  This one above, in fact, I found in a article that proposed rather foul alternatives to some Family Circus captions (click link at your own risk).. 

Here are more, some original, some parodies.  Click on any of them to make them larger, easier to read:
This one is actually an original... but given that the subject is essentially feline drug abuse, it could easily have been a parody.

The art in this one is original, but the dialog, obviously, is not.  I've seen many, many examples of the art for this one posted all over the web, but either none of them has the original dialog, or the ovoid-headed kids are cropped out completely.

 A parody involving The Marvel Family.

 This one is a first-day-of-school original from 2001

 Here's a parody from Pearls Before Swine creator, Stephan Pastis

 And another parody from Randall Munroe's XKCD.(the title-text at the original site: "This was my friend David's idea")

 This one is kind of a self-parody original involving Sherlock Holmes, for some bizarre reason.

And finally a parody with a "Blair Witch Project" theme.