Who says North is up?
Upside Down maps (also known as South-Up or Reversed maps) offer a completely different perspective of the world we live in.
Technically speaking, even referring to the earth with words like “up” or “down” or comparing places with words “above” or “below” is flawed, considering that the earth is a spherical body (it’s actually slightly “fatter” at the equator) and flying through 3 dimensional space with no reference of up or down. However, the issue of “up” and “down” does become an issue when viewing the surface of the earth projected onto a flat piece of paper (a map). And the effect of the orientation of a map is more significant than you might realize.
As all maps require orientation for reference, the issue of how to layout the map orientation is as old as maps themselves. As map orientation is completely arbitrary, it is not surprising that they differed throughout time periods and regions.
The convention of North-up is usually attributed to the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy (90-168 AD). Justifications for his north-up approach vary. In the middle ages, East was often placed at top. This is the origin of the term “The Orient” to refer to East Asia. During the age of exploration, European cartographers again followed the north-up convention…perhaps because the North Star was their fixed reference point for navigation, or because they wanted (subconsciously or otherwise) to ensure Europe’s claim at the top of the world.
In modern times, reversed maps are made as a learning device or to illustrate Northern Hemisphere bias. Different from simply turning a north-up map upside down, a reversed map has the text oriented to be read with south up.
The famous “Blue Marble” photograph of the Earth taken from on board Apollo 17 was originally oriented with the south pole at the top, with the island of Madagascar visible just left of center, and the continent of Africa at its right. However, the image was turned upside-down to fit the traditional view.
While the orientation of a map might seem harmless, it can have a significant effect on one’s perception of the world, and the relative importance of the different place in it.
In speech, we often refer to places being “above” or “below” others. Think of how you would say you’re about to travel to the state or country to your north or south (to go “down” to Kentucky from Indiana, or “up” to Canada from the US). Without even mentioning geography, ask any grade school student whether Mexico is “above” or “below” the United States. We’re all familiar with the “land down under”. As we often correlate importance to relative height (think how a citizens of a country will fly their flag higher than all other flags), the north-up convention reinforces the idea that northern bodies are more important than their southern neighbors. Suddenly, traveling “down” to the South might have an inference much deeper than geographic location.
After looking at the map more closely, you may realize that the South-Up orientation may change your perception of the relative status of different places. For example, South America suddenly looks to have more prominence, and Africa and the Middle East completely dwarf Europe. Likewise, tucking Northern Europe, Canada, and Russia away at the bottom of the map, subconsciously takes away their status.
To summarize, unconditionally accepting the north-up map convention without at least appreciating the effect stands at odds with viewing all people and places within the world equally. x x
How much of a fucking hipster and an asswipe do you have to be to use the fucking term ‘Northern Hemisphere bias’ and invert maps to take away the status of the ‘western world’? Because it’s full of white heterosexual males who are all evil cis scum who ruined the world and hurt all the minorities ever and should feel guilty for all the evil in the universe they are the source of?
Oh, I’m stuck in the repressive mindset of a western north hemisphere white male? I need to assert the dominance of my hemisphere, gender and orientation over everyone else? It’s the 21st fucking century, stop being butthurt over the most minor of details that really, really don’t matter anymore, of they even ever mattered. Who’s going to oppress or discriminate somebody who’s from a different hemisphere? Countries and cultures and religions, yeah, all THAT exists, but discrimination hemispheres? If that exists, in all my time on the Internet I have never once heard of that
It’s the constant creations of borders and distinctions like this that enforce the borders and distinctions that already exist, it doesn’t unite anybody. The world is the world, we all have history, we all have culture, we have all done bad and good. Please. Fucking. Stop.
An international team of scientists recently surveyed almost 12,000 climate science research publications to gauge the consensus on manmade global warming among people who know lots about climate science. They did this because some people still like to pretend like there’s plenty of skepticism and doubt about what’s causing all this.
What did they find? Well, of the 4,000 papers that declared a position on the cause of global warming since 1991, 97.1% of them agreed that humans were causing a majority of global warming. The rest? Most of them didn’t claim a position because it’s so well-accepted that they didn’t want to waste the space.
And just how small is the leftover, even if it was real doubt (which it isn’t)? That 2.9% remainder is less than:
- The percentage of Americans who think we never landed on the moon (6%)
- The percentage of Americans who think a UFO landed in Roswell (21%)
- The percentage of Americans who believe in Bigfoot (14%)
- The percentage of Americans who think airplane contrails are chemicals secretly released by the government to control our minds (5%)
- The percentage of Americans who think lizard people secretly control the government (4%)
- The percentage of Americans who think Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 (5%)
Can we start accepting how much everyone who understands the science is in agreement and work on fixing it and adapting to it? The doubt is not real. Just like the Loch Ness Monster.
Read more about the climate research survey at Smithsonian.com. Read more about the crazy psychology behind conspiracy theories here (which is all I am willing to call climate science denialism from here on out).
Judge dismisses case against cop who broke into home with no warrant and killed an unarmed man
Haste was facing manslaughter charges until the judge threw out the indictment.
When you see a cop, ask them this please to see how they respond
My daughters should not have a truck grabbed out of their hands by an adult and handed to a male cousin because, “This is a boy toy anyway.”
My son shouldn’t be ridiculed because his favorite color is pink.
Ich hab mich so dermaßen über die pinken “nur für Mädchen” Überraschungseier aufgeregt… es ist Schokolade und Plastikspielzeug - da sind keine OBs, Fleshlights oder Prostata-Untersuchungs-Gutscheine drin oder irgendwas, was die Trennung von Geschlechtern rechtfertigt. Was fällt denen ein, Kindern vorzuschreiben, welches Spielzeug sie mögen dürfen?! Und dann ist die Werbung auch noch so klischeehaft mit Glitzerfeen und Prinzessinnen. Als wenn ALLE Mädchen auf sowas stehen würden und KEIN EINZIGER Junge sich dafür interessiert. Ich kenn mindestens drei Jungs, die voll drauf stehen würden. Ich, als Mädchen, empfinde das “nur für Mädchen” als Beleidigung und wenn ich ein Junge wär, wie’n Tritt in die Eier. Als ich klein war hab ich mit Autos UND Barbies gespielt. Jetzt hab ich doch all die Jahre lang geglaubt, das wäre okay! Aber nein, ich habe einen Uterus, ich muss Feen und die Farbe Pink mögen. Und stellt euch vor, wie bedrückend es für einen kleinen Jungen sein muss, der tatsächlich Feen mag und ihm sein Spielzeug weggenommen wird, weil irgendjemand sagt “nur für Mädchen”. Ich hoffe die Leute vom Marketing Team, das für Ü-Ei arbeitet und sich dieses neue Ei ausgedacht hat, haben keine Kinder, die würden mir nämlich echt Leid tun, da sie unter so einem Schubladendenken aufwachsen müssen.
The platypus has a wicked self defense method. They are one of the very few known venomous mammals. Both genders of platypus are born with calcaneus spurs near their hind feet(above), but the male’s contain a potent cocktail of toxins specifically designed to cause pain and incapacitate an opponent. These toxins have been found to directly target pain receptors in the brain and a dose of them can result in agony that can last for up to a few weeks or longer. It is not fatal to humans, but it has been known to kill smaller animals such as dogs. They may be irresistibly cute and cuddly, but before you go grabbing up and hugging the next platypus you come across, think carefully about how you do that.
Photo credit: Jean-Paul Ferrera
(or just don’t pick up animals that are not under your guardianship)
Numbers stations are mysterious shortwave radio channels of indiscernible origin that exist in countries all across the world and have been reported since World War 1. They are identifiable by the unusual contents of their broadcasts: seemingly random sequences of numbers, words, letters, tunes, and Morse code, usually spoken by artificially generated voices of women and children.
The most common theory regarding the purpose of these bizarre stations is that they’re used by governments the world over to secretly transmit encrypted commands and messages to spies. That said, even though numbers stations have been discovered all over the globe and in any number of different languages, no government has ever officially acknowledged their existence. While the espionage theory is a logical one, with no official confirmation of their purpose the jury is still out.
One particularly odd station, UVB-76, has existed since the late 1970s and has broadcast a simple, repetitive buzzing tone 24 hours a day ever since. On very rare occasions, however, listeners have reported a Russian voice interrupting the buzz to read out sequences of numbers and words, always in a consistent format — this happened once in 1997, once in 2002, once in 2006, 56 times in 2010, and 14 in 2011. As with all numbers stations, its true purpose is and will probably remain unknown, but the increase in frequency of whatever it’s doing is certainly odd.
You can listen to well over 100 recordings of numbers stations for free on archive.org but be forewarned that they’re all kind of, well, eerie. They feel like something you shouldn’t be listening to, which stands to reason since apparently you’re not supposed to know they exist.
Hold on just a tick. Listen, I’m Jewish, so I’m perfectly capable of understanding that what he did was just…..well, there are no words for it. But let’s not round it up to simply Jews that got killed. It was six million people that died in those camps, not just Jews. Did you know that homosexuals were sent there, too? Yeah, I’m sure you did. They had to wear special little symbols on their clothes. Do you know what it was? It was a pink triangle.
It was six million PEOPLE.
But you let that roll over in your mind for a while and you are going to forever see this man as a monster, but that’s not what he was. He was someone who thought he was truly doing something right for his nation, no matter how shitty he was doing it. Believe me when I say that I don’t like him. I really don’t. My grandfather’s brothers died in those camps, and my grandfather escaped to Spain, then to Mexico. He was lucky.
This is not a monster holding hands with a little girl.
This is Adolf Hitler, a man, holding hands with a little girl.
Yeah. It’s fucking scary. It really is. Do you know why?
It’s because you’re seeing that he wasn’t, in fact, a monster. You’re seeing in this picture that he was a man. He was a man, and that’s really the saddest part of it all.
As a History major who specializes in the history of early modern Europe, I’ve studied a lot of dictators in detail, not just Hitler. The number one mistake anyone could ever make in history is making the assumption that only inhuman monsters are capable of doing terrible things.
Stop dehumanizing Hitler just so you can reassure yourself that “normal” humans aren’t capable of doing bad things. Hitler liked children and dogs, he was a vegetarian and he cried like a little boy when his mother died. I’m not saying he was a good, innocent person, but when you stop attributing human characteristics to historical figures like Hitler, it’s how you overlook people just like him in real life, and it’s how people like him end up back in power.
That’s the real truth: Human Beings are scarier than any ‘monsters’ out there because we’re all born blank slates and BECOME our legacy.
This is the best post I’ve seen in a while.