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Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta
|| 9/13/2008 || 11:32 pm || Comments Off on Gloria Immortalis Labore Parta || ||

Immortal glory is brought forth by labor
Undying fame is born of hard work
Labor will be rewarded by eternal glory
immortal glory is the fruit of hard work and anguish

The other day I discovered a cache of digitized rare books at the Le Service Intertablissements de Cooperation Documentaire (SICD) at the Universities of Strasbourg. While skimming through Johannes Kepler‘s Prodromus dissertationum cosmographicarum, continens Mysterium cosmographicum (1622 edition), I found the emblem above on the title page of the Apologia (full page below). After this work, Kepler only published the Rudolphine Tables, which was the most up to date star catalog of the time, and Somnium, which is cited as the first literary work of science fiction.

The original emblem, copied by the publishers of the book (and by me above & below), was originally created by Hadrianus Junius 57 years earlier as EMBLEMA III in his graphic arts book Emblemata (1565). Although he currently only has a Dutch wikipedia entry, I wonder how many other books copied his various emblems?

The paragraph below from Page 86 of The French Book by Henri-Jean Martin, Paul Saenger, Nadine Saenger (1996) gives instructions on how to view this emblem:

We may to try to understand how one “read” such a page by examining as an example an emblem from Emblematum libelus of the Flemish doctor Adrianus Junius, published in 1565 by Christopher Plantin at Antwerp. The title Gloria immortalis labore parta signifies that immortal glory is the fruit of hard work and anguish. The image that expresses this idea makes use of four coded symbols: the continuous coiled snake is viewed as a sign of eternity, the crown of laurel symbolizes glory, and the shovel and terrestrial globe symbolize, respectively, labor and human endeavor. If we look above the terrestrial globe (which represents our daily reality), we notice the shovel excavating it. The snake holding the shovel’s handle in his mouth is encircled by the crown of laurels. Thus, a rhetoric of image identical to the rhetoric of discourse animates the different elements of the emblem, which were placed arbitrarily against a rustic background.

Exciting the mind by their obscurity and polysemantic nature, such illustrations seem to belong to the images employed since antiquity to facilitate memorization and to encourage the creative impulse.

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Federico Aubele’s Anthropomorphic Map of Panamericana
|| 9/12/2008 || 11:18 pm || Comments Off on Federico Aubele’s Anthropomorphic Map of Panamericana || ||

I am a bit late on posting this t-shirt, but since I have been posting other t-shirts lately, I feel the time is write to put up this entry. I went to see Federico Aubele and Natalia Clavier the other night and saw that the shirt above was for sale.

Argentinian-born Federico Aubele‘s Panamericana was released in the United States last September on Washington, DC-based ESL Music. It’s Federico’s second full-length album and it turned out being one of my favorite CDs of 2007. In full disclosure, I “sing” in the chorus with 4 others on the track “Este Momento” (a long story for another posting).

The map above combines his head and curly hair with the continents of North and South America. The greek prefix pan means “all, whole, all-inclusive,” hence the geographic title of the album, Panamericana. I’ve always been a fan of how his chin exudes the Alaskan Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands almost as if its cartographic goatee. The songs on the album even include geographic sounding titles like “In The Desert” (En El Desierto) and “In Every Place” (En Cada Lugar) and to compliment the map t-shirt, the CD’s insert even contains a map of the Pan-Aamerican Highway.

Unlike the Addias map shirts and the Express Clothing map t-shirts, Federico Aubele’s Anthropomorphic Map of Panamericana t-shirt was made in America by American Apparel. However, I don’t know where the graphic was printed (maybe by American Apparel?) For some reason I own two copies of the shirt, but I haven’t taken a picture of myself wearing the shirt…yet.


Here’s a YouTube video of the song La Esquina from Panamericana:

He’s currently on tour with his wife Natalia Clavier (who’s first CD is great, BTW). Check either of their MySpace pages (links above) to see if they are coming near you because you might be able to get the shirt above in person.


Related Fashion:

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Interviews with Alex Jones at the DNC in Denver and other videos
|| 9/11/2008 || 11:13 pm || Comments Off on Interviews with Alex Jones at the DNC in Denver and other videos || ||

My friend just put up the interviews on YouTube that I filmed while in Denver, I figured today was the best day to post these.


My interest in Alex Jones was first piqued in January of 2001 (pre-9/11) when I saw his cameo in Richard Linklater‘s innovative film Waking Life:


Continue reading:

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Empirically demonstrating how voting can prove uniqueness
|| 9/10/2008 || 11:48 pm || Comments Off on Empirically demonstrating how voting can prove uniqueness || ||

The above screen grab is from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics website and shows the votes cast for D.C. Statehood Green Party Candidates in my precinct. Unlike the presidential primary election, where there were two DC Statehood Green Party votes cast, this time around the tally shows that I was the only person at my precinct to vote for the D.C. Statehood Green Party Candidates.

Taken together, these two votes show that I vote in the super minority, but when combined with the fact that I was the only person in 2004 to vote for David Cobb in my precinct, I’ve come to the conclusion that voting can empirically show my uniqueness.

Yet politics and elections are not supposed to show that only I voted, rather when aggregated they are to reflect the values and beliefs of a geography. So in this respect, these election results show that I am unique to where that I live, but they also show how little influence my beliefs have at the ballot box of my precinct. Regardless, I am happy to live in a city that has more than two major parties because many cities only have two choices.


Related 2008 Election Entries:

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My Blaeu map to be featured in an upcoming magazine advertisement
|| 9/8/2008 || 11:41 pm || Comments Off on My Blaeu map to be featured in an upcoming magazine advertisement || ||

Today I mailed a copy of one of my favorite maps to a company that intends on using the map for an upcoming advertisement. I can’t post too many details until the advertisement has been completed, but I intend on posting the photos when they become available. It should look awesome :-)



The Precessional Pentagram of Venus
|| 9/7/2008 || 11:20 pm || Comments Off on The Precessional Pentagram of Venus || ||

Successive inferior conjunctions of Venus occur about 1.6 Earth years apart and
create a pattern of precessing pentagrams, due to a near 13:8 orbital resonance
(the Earth orbits nearly 8 times for every 13 orbits of Venus).

Was reading about Transits of Venus and came across this graphic on Wikipedia. What a beautiful celestial design.


Related Space Entries:

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The Adidas World Map and the Adidas Map of the Western Hemisphere
|| 9/6/2008 || 11:44 pm || Comments Off on The Adidas World Map and the Adidas Map of the Western Hemisphere || ||

As I mentioned in my last entry I went to the Adidas store in Georgetown last night. While I was looking through the clothing on the various racks, I spotted these two map related t-shirts. They use the Adidas logo as the texture of the surface of the earth. Unlike Express clothing’s cartographic t-shirts, this time around I actually looked at where the shirts were made. The location and the Adidas map of the Western Hemisphere are below the fold:

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QR Code on display at the Ralph Lauren store in Georgetown
|| 9/5/2008 || 11:51 pm || Comments Off on QR Code on display at the Ralph Lauren store in Georgetown || ||

Tonight I went to the Adidas store in Georgetown because my friend DECOY was celebrating her birthday and another friend was DJing. After parking my bicycle down the street (Georgetown doesn’t have many bicycle locks), I noticed the sign outside of the Ralph Lauren store. This sighting marks the first time I’ve seen a QR Code in Washington, DC. I decided to snap a picture of it to see if I could decode on my computer and below the fold you can see the results:

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Wasilla, Alaska is literally off the map, the Google Map that is
|| 9/4/2008 || 8:34 pm || Comments Off on Wasilla, Alaska is literally off the map, the Google Map that is || ||

The Republican Party’s vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Tonight this website had a visitor from Wasilla, Alaska who looked at this statehood-related map. Upon looking at the city on Google Maps, I found out that Wasilla is a border city where the imagery of the geography shows only a portion of the city using new high-resolution imagery. In some ways, this map proves that Republican Party’s vice-presidential choice was literally off the map.



UPDATE – Due to the presidential election, Google has updated their imagery of Wasilla, Alaska.


Related Google Map Entries:

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A New & Somewhat Accurate Map of the Tropic of Gemini and the Tropic of Sagittarius
|| || 7:11 pm || Comments Off on A New & Somewhat Accurate Map of the Tropic of Gemini and the Tropic of Sagittarius || ||


For the last month I’ve been working on a slightly strange map above. It’s based on Johannes van Loon’s “Scenographia systematis mvndani Ptolemaici” (1660), which includes an “Axis Zodiaci” that shows the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius being slightly more illuminated than Cancer & Capricorn (see below). This shading possibly indicates that the author was aware of natural movement of the earth since the time of Ptolemy (~125 A.D.).

A new & somewhat accurate map of the Tropic of Sagittarius and the Tropic of Gemini was created using two maps of the Tropics from Wikipedia. I added the glyphs of the Zodiac over the meridians, but unlike the antique map below, I moved the signs backwards. The word “tropic” itself comes from the Greek tropos, meaning turn, referring to the fact that the sun appears to “turn back” at the solstices. I have read that in 1989 the Tropic of Gemini moved into the constellation of Taurus, which technically means it should be the “Tropic of Taurus,” but to keep the circle of animals in exact opposition, I kept the tropic in Gemini, hence “somewhat accurate.”

Close-up detail of A New & Somewhat Accurate Map of the Tropic of Gemini and the Tropic of Sagittarius

For hundreds of years cartographers have included the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer on nearly all globes and world maps. Yet with the natural movement of the earth through space & time, the solstices are not located in the constellations of Capricorn or Cancer anymore. So why do cartographers continue to label the maps & globes using this incorrect information? Does cartographic tradition trump astronomical observation? Should contemporary maps be changed to reflect the passage of time? Are there any antique maps that place the Tropics in any other constellations? Leave your comments below.

Johannes van Loon’s “Scenographia systematis mvndani Ptolemaici” (1660)



Postscript: I believe I was incorrect in my analysis above. I failed to take into account the sideral.


Related Antique Entries:

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