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Tabvla Temporis [Semidiurni in fignis Borealibus / Australibus]
|| 5/25/2008 || 12:17 am || Comments Off on Tabvla Temporis [Semidiurni in fignis Borealibus / Australibus] || ||

This is the reverse side of Willem Janszoon Blaeu’s Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula (Amsterdam 1606) which I used in my recent creation A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum. If you look closely, you can see the reverse of original map that bled through the paper after couple hundred years and some image manipulation. The table shown is similar to an Ephemeris, which is table of values that gives the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time. I would love for someone to sit and explain the way one goes about reading these types of antique charts. I understand a fair amount of what is being shown, but I do not fully grasp how to apply the calculations.



A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
|| 5/23/2008 || 10:43 am || Comments Off on A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden || ||


:: saved at 6,480 x 5,040 ::

To celebrate the new procedure I decided to get around to editing the Library of Congress‘ copy of Willem Janszoon Blaeu‘s Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula, which was published in Amsterdam in 1606. I removed the original map from the center and kept the decorative border similar to Nova et Accvratissima Totivs Terrarvm Orbis Tabvla, A New Map of the Terraqueous Globe : according to the the Ancient discoveries and most general Divisions of Geospatial Art, America as a Cloverleaf, and A New And Accurate Map of the World by John Speed. However, unlike the previous antique map mash-ups, which usually feature the earth laid out in two hemispheres, this map uses a rectangular space (Mercator?). The beauty of this open layout is that I can place any of my previously made maps inside of this 402-year-old template.

A common naming practice I’ve noticed in old map is the use of “New & Accurate” and since I like to play around with words, I changed Accurate to Arabesque to create a visual pun. The source map was about 6,500 pixels wide, I underlaid a rotated 9,000 x 6,000 copy of Hirshhorn Quilt to fit perfectly in the center of the new map. I think it would be fun to actually hand-color the engravings on this map to match other copies of this map which have the various figures colored in. The LOC’s copy is uncolored which means that its actually easier to add color to it than if it were already colored because pigment matching is not needed.



: detail of the planet Goddess Venus :

Across the top (left to right) you have the planet gods:

Drawn within each of these engravings are the signs of the Zodiac that the planets rule:

Below I dissect the rest of the border of the map:

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The Athan Drum & Bass Mashup via YouTube Doubler
|| 4/24/2008 || 11:00 pm || Comments Off on The Athan Drum & Bass Mashup via YouTube Doubler || ||

The other day I wrote about Brian Kane’s YouTube Doubler. Continuing on the same style of taking a beat track and adding a new element, today’s mash-up is similar to one that I made before using dub reggae back in December of 2004. Unlike the last version, which was created before YouTube even existed, this mashup features the Muslim call to prayer, known as the Athan, combined with a very techy drum & bass mix.

First and foremost, if you are reading this and are offended by my use of the Athan, I apologize. It is not my intent to debase or make fun of the Athan in any way, rather this mashup was designed to expose others to different ways of hearing the Muslim call to prayer. One of the fundamental tenets of Islam is tolerance and I hope you are able to tolerate this mashup. Drum & bass is very abrasive form of electronic music and the Athan is normally sung without any instrumentation, so I feel it’s an interesting sonic juxtaposition.

What I like most about the Athan video is that it features mosques from around the world. So not only do you get to hear the beauty of the call to prayer, you are shown the beauty of Islamic architecture as well. If you are interested in seeing/hearing a different Athan, check out the call to prayer being sung inside of a al-Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca. It’s the holiest site in all of Islam.

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Of (the Tartars) manners both good and bad (around 400 years ago)
|| 4/19/2008 || 3:26 pm || Comments Off on Of (the Tartars) manners both good and bad (around 400 years ago) || ||

1732 Map of Great Tartary by Herman Moll
Obtained from the David Rumsey Map Collection

Today’s entry follows up my successful layout of Ovid’s Remedia Amoris / The Cure for Love and employs the same side by side Latin / English text. Below you will find Chapter 5 of Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoueries of the English Nation – Volume 2 published 1598-1600 in London, England.

Richard Hakluyt was an English author, editor, translator, and personal chaplain to Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, principal Secretary of State to Elizabeth I and James I. A great history of his life and works can be found in his Wikipedia entry. Most notably, he was one of the biggest advocates for English colonization of Virginia. Some of his other exploration-related works include the Discovery of Muscovy, Voyagers Tales, Voyages in Searth of the North-West Passage, and numerous similar volumes related to The Principal Navigations, Voiages, Traffiques and Discoueries of the English Nation (Project Gutenberg lists a total of 12 volumes altogether).

In the chapter below he describes the manners of the people of Tartary. This antiquated geographic name was used by Europeans from the Middle Ages until the twentieth century to designate the great tract of northern and central Asia stretching from the Caspian Sea and the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean (see map above). Inhabited by Turkic and Mongol peoples of the Mongol Empire who were generically referred to as “Tartars”, the present day geography includes the current areas of Siberia, Turkestan (including East Turkestan), Greater Mongolia, and parts China. In many ways the book reminds me of how an antiquarian National Geographic article might have read. The aim of this book, and many of his other works, was to consolidate what others had written about different regions around the known world and in doing so help spread the diffusion of geographic & ethnographic knowledge.

Lastly, in regards to the transcription below, I did not modify the original Project Gutenberg text, so when reading please note that there are some typographic differences in the old English and contemporary English. Remember to change the lowercase V to a lowercase U and in some cases, change the I’s to J’s. I did consider updating the text to modern English, but in some ways I feel that it would be better to keep the text in it’s originally transcribed format. Unlike Ovid’s Remedia Amoris / The Cure for Love, I did not include the line numbers because they were not given in the original text. I did, however, separate the text into easy to read paragraphs. If you are reading this entry via Google Reader, the chapter can be better read by hiding the sidebar that shows your subscriptions by clicking the small arrow on the left separator or by pressing “u” on your keyboard to switch to wide screen.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:

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Rush hour bicycle traffic congestion in Copenhagen, Denmark
|| 4/16/2008 || 4:34 pm || Comments Off on Rush hour bicycle traffic congestion in Copenhagen, Denmark || ||

The last couple days I’ve been posting about bicycling, so why not add another one of my favorite examples of how people in another country have embraced bicycling? Everyday I check out Copenhagen Cycling Chic, which is a blog about styliciousness of bicyclists in Copenhagen, Denmark. More specifically, the blog usually features well-dressed, attractive women on bicycles. As xenophile, I love seeing how the people commute and how drastically different it is from the American way of life. It seems that the majority of bicycles for sale at my local bike shops are racing bikes, mountain bikes, and single track bikes. Thus it appears that the stores mainly cater to the athletic folks who treat bicycling as a physical activity (or business: couriers), and not a simplified, slowed-down, lifestyle as the author of Copenhagen Cycling Chic and myself view bicycling. I have not owned a car in nearly 10 years and I don’t miss being car-crippled one bit. The money I’ve saved in car payments & car insurance is astounding and I’m healthier because my transportation is also my exercise. Yet this is the difference– I view the exercise as a lesser byproduct of a conscious decision to live a more mentally & ecologically sound life. I’ll pick the rush hour in the YouTube video above any day over sitting in traffic enclosed in a metal box pumping toxins into the atmosphere. Better views too.



Streetfilms: Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia
|| 4/15/2008 || 8:55 am || Comments Off on Streetfilms: Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia || ||

Continuing on the topic yesterday’s post about how my neighborhood used to be a bike track, I figured that I should follow-up the entry with something bicycle related. I saw this video a few months ago and even sent it to my old Urban Geography Professor. The 7 minute video is about Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia, which is a a weekly event in which over 70 miles of city streets are closed to traffic. As you can see in the video, residents come out to walk, bike, run, skate, recreate, picnic, do aerobics, and basically enjoy the city safely and pollution-free.

I found the video to be very inspirational. In the back of my mind, I began constructing the theoretical Ciclovia map of Washington, DC. What roads would be closed? Would people take part en masse? Or would it be relegated to some corporate sponsored yearly event like Bike to Work Day?

Frankly, I don’t know, but I think it would be fun to start small. DC currently has miles 17 miles of bike lanes, and I don’t think people would give up their coveted on-street parking in favor of bicyclists, so most streets can’t be closed off. However, there are some streets that could be (and sometimes are) made one-way (P Street) and there are some wide streets that could be partially closed (15th Street). In this respect, DC could do a Cyclovia and it wouldn’t require that much work.

But what about participation? If you delineate it, will they ride on it? That being, if there was to be a Cycloviva, would there be enough people riding their bikes to justify the road closures? Frankly, I don’t think there would be enough sustained interest if it were a weekly event– not enough bicyclists in DC. Instead I think it would work better as a seasonal event. Cyclovia Spring, Cyclovia Summer, etc. and over time there might be a critical mass.

Related Bicycle Entires:

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YouTube Doubler [Scratch Slavery Revisited]
|| 4/13/2008 || 3:32 pm || Comments Off on YouTube Doubler [Scratch Slavery Revisited] || ||

YouTube Doubler

Links to my first YouTube mashup “Scratch Slavery.”

This weekend I found Brian Kane’s YouTube Doubler and smiled. In August of last year I coded a proto-version of YouTube Doubler to create my first YouTube mashup “Scratch Slavery.” The mashup juxtaposed Rory Mayberry, a former subcontractor employee for First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting Company, giving testimony at the Oversight Committee’s hearing on “Allegations of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse at the New U.S. Embassy in Iraq,” with a simple beat track by DJ Loomy showing the Vestax Controller One turntable.

What I would like to see next is YouTube Wall. In November of last year, I was able to place four YouTube videos together to create a YouTube Quadrupler. I think it would be interesting to scale down the size of the YouTube videos and create video tiling where the different video screens make a design. It would also be interesting to use multiple scales to create border of videos with a large video in the center. A random YouTube selector (a la Lost Series) would be a lot of fun because of the vast of amount of videos that could be chosen.



GPS Drawing in the new Mercedes advertisement
|| 4/11/2008 || 7:41 pm || Comments Off on GPS Drawing in the new Mercedes advertisement || ||

GPS Drawing

GPS Drawing was created by Hugh Pryor and Jeremy Wood. This artform involves the use of a GPS device to record people’s movements on the surface of the earth. It works on the premise that as one moves through their day, the GPS device continuously records (or tracks) the exact coordinates of the owner. Here it has been copied by Mercedes in their newest advertisements related to their line of cars with built-in GPS devices.

Now say “Ahhhhh” — huh? At first I didn’t get the correlation between the GPS drawing and the location. The GPS drawing shown above appears to be teeth with a starting point of Paris and terminal point at Cordes sur Siel. Upon further inquiry, I found that Cordes sur Siel is home to the Musee de l’Art du Sucre. Yum!



The Yu Ji Tu map [1137] and a map of the distribution of Moslems in China [1922] via Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr.’s trip to northwest China [1936]
|| || 6:42 pm || Comments Off on The Yu Ji Tu map [1137] and a map of the distribution of Moslems in China [1922] via Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr.’s trip to northwest China [1936] || ||

Page 6 of Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr. photo album featuring the photograph of the Yu Ji Tu
Image from the Harvard University Library

Last night I came across Harvard Library’s digitized photo album of Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr.’s trip to northwest China. Of all things to have on the inside of the album cover, there was a small map showing “Moslems in China”. After flipping through a few pages I spotted a photograph of one of China’s most famous maps: the Yu Ji Tu.

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World Vision : You can’t ignore child labor
|| 4/7/2008 || 10:29 pm || Comments Off on World Vision : You can’t ignore child labor || ||

While I am not a big fan of pervasive advertisements, I found this guerrilla marketing campaign designed by Ogilvy to be highly effective. It comes directly from the same vein as Amnesty International’s award-winning campaign “It’s Not Happening Here But It’s Happening Now.” However, instead of being merely a billboard campaign, this iteration is interactive. As one pushes the revolving door, they are trapped between two photographs of child laborers also pushing the door. Above each the child is the text “You can’t ignore child labor – www.kinderarbeid.nl[kinderarbeid= child labor]

Watch the video to get the idea:

Related Activism Entries:

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  • thank you,
    come again!