Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No way out

Here is Jef Mallet's Frazz strip having fun with a GPS and getting lost in a corn maze.

Oddly enough the GPS locations recorded by many mobile devices while they're at rest can look very much like a hairball.  When at rest the mobile device's location measurements can get confused by picking up location signals from cel towers. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Round and round the world she goes

Today's two-fer has two different spins on the same punchline.  The first is from Jim Meddick's Monty.The second is from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach Weiner.  I'm a bit surprised to see that this is at least the second time Newark has been referenced in this blog... although it's certainly not the first time New Jersey has been the butt of jokes in map-related comics.  But this is the first time Utah has been referenced... so we're up to 27 states referenced in map-related comics.  Which state will be next?  Which state will be last?

Monday, November 28, 2011

...have to watch the show

What if there was a long lost screenplay by Muppet creator Jim Hensen that hadn't been movie-ized yet?  What if that were made into a graphic novel?  Fortunately for us, the brilliant cartoonist Ramón Pérez has done just that with Tale of Sand, due to be released any day now. Note the discarded map being blown into the canyon.

While you're waiting for that to come out, do, certainly, have a look at Mr. Pérez' masterwork webcomic Kukuburi, which is one of my most very favorite things, although it's updated far too infrequently.  Read it from the beginning and bask in it's surreal loveliness.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Recycled world art

Here's a wall map of the world made out of recycled computer parts.  Fun!

Close-up view:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who the bleep is Colonel Bleep?

The closest thing that I used have to a Thanksgiving-themed map-related comic is one involving a traditional song and bad directions:

I had scheduled this post to include a request for something better, but then one Nadia posted to the Portland GIS group a link to a map of Thanksgiving ingredients.  And while it's only a little cartoony, I'll take it.

If you have any better Thanksgiving-themed map-related comic let me know.

In the meantime today's map animation involves a vintage TV cartoon that tried to jump on the new Sputnik-inspired space-age craze: Colonel Bleep (1957 Robert Buchanan).

I found a tool online TubeChop that should let me zero-in on the specific map-related part of the cartoon (so that you don't have to sit through all 10 minutes of it):

The quality of the animation is even worse than the standard Hanna Barbara cartoon, although to be fair this is a pilot.  And what the devil is Colonel Bleep riding? A warp speed unicycle? Sheesh!

And the description of his sidekicks, Squeak and Scratch is not to be missed:
With Colonel Bleep are two unusual companions to share his exciting adventures. First, there is Squeak, a happy-go-lucky boy of the present, very much like you! Except that Squeak is a puppet and cannot speak a single word. Because as you all know, a puppet cannot talk for himself… Second there is Scratch -- an expert on the past, who, like other cavemen, should really have become extinct several thousand years ago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Body blow!

Many moons ago there was a boxing arcade video game known as "Punch-Out!". This game gave the world a number of cultural memes, the one that crawls into my head most often is "Body blow!".  Here the Perry Bible Fellowship (warning: occasionally NSFW), takes a literalist twist on that theme.  I don't know whether that first panel ever appeared in the original video game (it probably did), but it's certainly worth having some fun. PBF is drawn by Nicholas Gurewitch, Evan Keogh, Jordan Morris, and Albert Birney.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lego globe

My friend Rob suggested this one: The Lego fist punching out of the Lego globe. This is from artist Nathan Sawaya's "Art of the Brick" Lego exhibit that was at the American Swedish History Museum in Philadelphia in 2008.

Of course that's not the only Lego globe on offer.

There's the more generic examples:

There are versions with more colorful texture:

 And there's even a huge version that also comes in the form of an online jigsaw puzzle:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Class warfare

Here's another item from Ruben Bolling's "Tom the Dancing Bug" editorial cartoon, this time related to the issues surrounding the Occupy Movement.  Note the maps in panels 2 and 7 Click on the image to make it larger if needed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What in the name of Pei Xiu is that in China?

So this week there was a bit of a dust up as some extremely odd things were found in satellite images of China.  An article in Gizmodo (and other places) has more pictures, but not much in the way of explanation.  Anybody out there have any ideas?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is it hot in here?

Let's do an animation this week on Global Warming.  Although I don't think he'll like it, I'm going to credit an online associate of mine, Jim Hatch, with inspiring this one.  I regularly spar with him on political topics via email.  He recently sent me an unintentionally humorous article on the recent BEST study of global temperatures that showed average global temperatures rising even faster than previously measured. Here's an animation that can go with that:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Your favorite projection

When a map-related comic is this massively obvious it'd be a travesty not to post it on this kind of blog.  Of course this very-inside-baseball riff on projections is from Randall Munroe's XKCD (click on the image to make it larger and more legible... It's very worth it!)

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

What's that? You think I don't like the Peters map because I'm uncomfortable with having my cultural assumptions challenged?  Are you sure you're not ... ::puts on sunglasses:: ... projecting?
That's just brilliant!

Here, by the way, is a fun video clip about the Peters projection from The West Wing:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

7 billion -fer

So last week there was the advent of the birth of the 7 billionth human. So this week we'll do a round-up of map-related comics on that theme:

Signe Wilkinson here combines the topic of the 7 billionth human on the planet with the Occupy Wall Street movement (which has been going on for the last month or so).

  Next we have one by a cartoonist named Garrincha  out of Miami.

 Keeping with the theme of associating the population topic with another current event, there's this one by Ken Catalino who makes a play on the fact that the Duggar family is expecting their 20th child. 

By the way, Mrs. Duggar is nowhere near the record-holder for most number of children born to one woman. That, believe it or not, is a tie, at 69:
  • Mrs. Fyodor Vassilet was born in Russia in 1707. . During her lifetime, she gave birth to 16 sets of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets, for a total of 69 children. 
  • The second woman who gave birth to 69 children was Mrs. Bernard Scheinberg, who lived in Austria in the late 1800s. 
    • When she died in 1911, at the age of 56 (so even if she started giving birth at age 16, that's over 1.7 kids per year), her husband remarried and had 18 more children with his second wife, for a total of 87 children!
    • But Genghis Khan may have fathered far more children than that, with estimates possibly in the thousands.

 Here's one by Danish artist Van Dam Landmeer.  You'd think the Earth there depicted would be glad to be growing a fuller head of hair, no?

Here's one by Hajjaj out of Jordon.  I'm actually not entirely sure that it's about population.  It almost looks like it could be about constipation.

Tom Toles

And finally, Lalo Alcaraz, with each baby there representing 7 billion people.

Actually, the rate of population growth appears to be leveling off.  We should peak around 9 or 10 billion by 2050 and then either level off or start dropping... unless medical technology cures everything by then and people stop dying... which actually isn't all that unlikely.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A map in memorium to Bil Keane

You already knew that I would definitely have to post a Family Circus pun map in memory of the passing last week of its creator, Bil Keane.  Take a moment, won't you, and enjoy both his pun maps and the kids' dotted trails.  We will always remember Mr. Keane's contributions to cartooning cartography (even though it was actually his son Jeff who likely invented both).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Travel with Indiana Jones

One of the more memorable, I daresay iconic, map animations in cinematic history involves the travel/map sequences from the Indiana Jones franchise.  Here's an image from one of those sequences from the first movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where somebody has pointed out an error in the background map: The area labelled "Thailand" was actually called "Siam" during the timeframe in which the movie was supposed to be taking place.

This came from an internet item from entitled The 15 Worst Movie Mistakes in History.  Frankly the items listed in the piece don't strike me as all that bad.  They're kinda nit-picky, mostly continuity errors and extras/props being visible where they shouldn't be.  I'll grant in this age of CGI many of those mistakes should have been eliminated, but none were glaringly obvious and/or damaging to the plotlines.  And certainly none comes anywhere close to rising to the level of "Worst movie mistakes in history".  The black hole that constitutes the plot(s) of any/all of the Transformers movies, that might be a "Worst movie mistake".  The second and third Matrix movies squandering such a perfect first in the series, or Lucas' pillaging of the original Star Wars trilogy (and just don't even speak the name of the Star Wars Holiday Special), or the completely ridiculous notion of an invasion of the U.S. that is the premise for Red Dawn (not to mention that the movie is a favorite at terrorist training camps and among those who kidnap child soldiers), any of those could qualify as a "Worst Movie Mistake in History", not some simple editing oversights.  

But let's not stop there.  While I wasn't able to find a clip of the actual map-background travel scenes from any Indiana Jones films, I was able to find a tribute video of sorts made by one Jason Byfield who wanted to make a map animation in the style of the Indiana Jones map travel sequence:

Traveling Indiana Jones Style from Jason Byfield on Vimeo.

Of course what I actually need is the map room scene from "Raiders..." That'd be perfect for the blog, no?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flat Earth two-fer

Ah, the Flat Earth myth. It's probably the simplest geography-based shorthand for political cartoons and debate.  Unfortunately, as I've mentioned before, it's unfounded.  The widely accepted concept of a nicely rotund Earth pre-dates Columbus by centuries, and probably millennia. Sure, the ancient Greeks may have been the first ones to estimate the actual dimensions of Earth's sphere (unless the Chinese beat them to that too). But the concept of the Earth being round was well known long before that.

So in the end equating a loathsome idea or concept to a Flat Earth mentality is not the best tactic because the analogy it's built on is false (similar to the false belief about suicidal lemmings)

So what to use as an alternative?  Geocentricity would do nicely.  The idea that the Earth is the center of the universe was very widely believed until Copernicus proved it wrong in a monumental feat of scientific genius.... yet the false belief still persisted many decades after the data was comprehensively falsified.

But the Flat Earth shorthand remains commonplace in editorial cartooning... and has been applied to a wide range of topics.  Here's a small collection (to add to previous collections)

Rex Babin
Rex Babin applying it to different administrations' science policies

Mike Lester
Mike Lester on climate change

Steve Greenberg

Steve Greenberg on the recent flat tax debate

And finally a pair of Non Sequitur  strips (by Wiley Miller) about political discourse that ran back-to-back (so even though the first one isn't "Flat Earth" per se, it seemed appropriate to post them together) 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Satellite collage art

I'll post this image in relation to last week's completion of the World Series:

Artist Jenny Odell scours through Google Maps and other satellite image repositories to put together these amazing collages of map art.  Check out more of her work on her personal page. It is immense fun.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No more bogeymen

This Non Sequitur strip by Wiley Miller came up randomly, but it's nicely related to yesterday's post.  There's a good argument to be made that the military industrial complex (or is it the security industrial complex now?) is very adept at maintaining a level of fear in the general public.... a level of fear they need to sustain their existence.... a level of fear I'm happy to reject.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hell in a handbasket

For today's Two-fer Tuesday here's a pair of comics illustrating the oft-repeated of "The world is going to hell in a handbasket":
This first one is by Mike Puckett and is the classic interpretation of the concept.

This second one is from The Argyle Sweater by Scott Hilburn.

The last one is by Ronaldo Dias... although it's not a "Hell in a handbasket" theme, but rather simply a little devil at play.... it does kinda make one wonder how and/or why would it be sitting in heaven doing that?  And what's with the triangular halo?

I do want to mention here that I don't care for the "Hell in a bandbasket" type sentiments... that attitude that the world just keeps getting worse and worse.  It turns out that the opposite is true... and this can be factually demonstrated in any number of ways.  A good place to start would be Steven Pinker: