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July 8, 2019

"Still Life with Chessboard" or "The Five Senses" — Lubin Baugin

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Lubin Baugin was a French painter (1612-1663) known for a small number of still lifes, and for religiously and mythologically-themed works.

He painted this oil on wood panel when he was 18 years old, in 1630.

How many other great artists like this are lost in the sands of time?

The 22" x 29" painting is in the collection of the Louvre in Paris.

July 8, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Syrian Foodie in London

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"All my life I wanted to be a chef. As a true Syrian I ended up a surgeon!"

July 8, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The true size of countries


Wrote Nick Routley:

Mercator Misconceptions: Clever Map Shows the True Size of Countries

Maps are hugely important tools in our everyday life, whether it’s guiding our journeys from point A to B, or shaping our big picture perceptions about geopolitics and the environment.

For many people, the Earth as they know it is heavily informed by the Mercator projection — a tool used for nautical navigation that eventually became the world’s most widely recognized map.

Mercator's Rise to the Top

With any map projection style, the big challenge lies in depicting a spherical object as a 2D graphic.

There are various trade-offs with any map style, and those trade-offs can vary depending on how the map is meant to be used.

In 1569, the great cartographer Gerardus Mercator created a revolutionary new map based on a cylindrical projection.

The new map was well-suited to nautical navigation since every line on the sphere is a constant course, or loxodrome.

Geographic Inflation

The vast majority of us aren't using paper maps to chart our course across the ocean anymore, so critics of the Mercator projection argue that the continued use of this style of map gives users a warped sense of the true size of countries — particularly in the case of the African continent.

Mercator's map also inadvertently pumps up the sizes of Europe and North America.


Visually speaking, Canada and Russia appear to take up approximately 25% of the Earth's surface, when in reality they occupy a mere 5%.

As the animated GIF at the top — created by Reddit user @neilrkaye — demonstrates, northern nations such as Canada and Russia have been artificially "pumped up" in the minds of many people around the world.

Greenland, which appears as a massive icy continent in Mercator projection, shrinks way down.

The continent of Africa takes a much more prominent position in this new, correctly-scaled map.

Despite inaccurate visual features — or perhaps because of them — the Mercator projection achieved widespread adoption around the world.

This includes the classroom, where young minds are first learning about geography and forming opinions on relationships between countries.

Getting Reacquainted with Globes

Google, whose map app is used by approximately 150 million people/month, recently took the bold step of overlaying their map onto a globe.

This change sidesteps projection issues completely and displays the world as it actually is: round.

Thus, Greenland is no longer the size of Africa.

As people become more accustomed to equal area maps and seeing the Earth in its spherical form, misconceptions about the size of continents may become a thing of the past.

July 8, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

LightSail 2 Mission Control Dashboard

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Ad astra per aspera.

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This spacecraft was funded through Kickstarter.

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More here.

July 8, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rosewoods of the World


Did you know there are 19 different species of rosewood worldwide?

Well, you do now.


Features and Details:

• Each photograph measures 6" x 3" 

• Standard 24" x 36" — suitable for framing

• High-resolution images represent wood at actual size

• Dried weight and Janka hardness data listed for each species


$14.99 (while they last: regularly $29.99, now discontinued).

July 8, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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