Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Maphead I

One of the cool Christmas gifts my sister Vickie gave me was Ken Jennings' Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks (Scribner, 2011). I'm now about a third of the way through. 

For now, two things. First, studying maps and geography is a good way to enrich your brain (and mind). Literally. Jennings points out that the hippocampus (part of the cerebral cortex) expands when map-reading is added to a person's mental activities (page 17). 

Secondly, there's this about maps:

There's a tension in them. Almost every map, whether of a shopping mall, a city, or a continent, will show us two kinds of places: places where we've been and places we've never been. The nearby and the faraway exist together in the same frame, our world undeniably connected to the new and unexpected. We can understand, at a glance, our place in the universe, our potential to go and see new things, and the way to get home afterwards. . . (page 29).

Today's Rune: Signals.  


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