LQCs: Bad Map Projections; Worldle; Banned Books

I’ve commented a few times about map projections, and how projections of the entire globe are invariably misleading in one way or another, because there’s no accurate way to map a spherical surface onto a flat map. Inevitably there are distortions. Here’s one today, from xkcd:

Expanding on this idea, it’s always been a wonder why global society chose north to be ‘up’ on maps and south to be ‘down.’ This presumption goes back to the earliest European maps, when the area around the Mediterranean Sea was taken to be the entire world. So why one direction up, and not the other?

But is that really true everywhere? I don’t know. I do suspect that global maps made by, say, Russia, and China, put their countries at the middle of their maps. Just as they tell history from their perspectives. And all of us, them and us, assume our perspectives are true and natural.

The way to avoid the distortions of flat maps is to use a globe.


Meanwhile, there is Worldle, a site created in analogy to Wordle, but about recognizing the shapes of nations, rather than guessing words. I have 100% success rate with Wordle, for over 100 days now, but not with Worldle; on the latter, some shapes are obvious, many others are easily found by scanning a globe, or Google Maps. Today’s Worldle, for example, with its curved left edge and shore-line like right edge, I have not figured out.


Avoiding the big issue of the past couple days… here’s a piece that explores *why* certain books are banned. It’s not a list of reasons, as the posted headline implied, but a list of specific books, and why some people want them to be banned.

Washington Post, Laura Meckler and Perry Stein, 28 April 2022: These are books school systems don’t want you to read, and why

Titles include To Kill a Mockingbird, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, The New York Times’ The 1619 Project, about the interpretation of American history through the history of slavery; and Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye.



We saw most of the movie The Eyes of Tammy Faye, missing the first 15 minutes or so, last night. Of course, it’s about the evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, a by now commonplace story of evangelists who make a lot of money hosting a TV show that constantly asks their viewers for contributions. They became wealthy, until a point, a point where Jim came under fire for financial mismanagement, and for gay dalliances, and then they lose it all.

Both Andrew Garfield and Jessica Chastain are brilliant. I think Chastain sealed her Oscar win with the last scene in the movie: her nervous, then confidant, performance, before a crowd of skeptics.

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