Archive for the ‘Europe’ tag
Unfortunately there is almost no explanation provided on this site for any of the maps on it, but it is quite a collection.
Neat little chart — maybe even a map — of how the European language relate to each other. It’s a pity it’s a bit cryptic with many getting only two letter abbreviations, but the gist is quite good.
It includes some interesting notes about English:
English is a member of the Germanic group (blue) within the Indo-European family. But thanks to 1066, William of Normandy, and all that, about 75% of the modern English vocabulary comes from French and Latin (ie the Romance languages, in orange) rather than Germanic sources. As a result, English (a Germanic language) and French (a Romance language) are actually closer to each other in lexical terms than Romanian (a Romance language) and French.
I learned a lot I didn’t expect from this short essay about the issue of Malta trying to sell citizenship to itself, and thus the EU citizenship to anyone who can pay:
New legislation, Muscat and his advisers said, would allow carefully screened foreigners to obtain fast-tracked, no-strings-attached Maltese citizenship in exchange for an investment of 650,000 euros. The parliament in Valletta was due to approve the plan once a few details had been ironed out. In the meantime, interested parties should speak to Henley & Partners, the firm that had organised the conference and would be administering the passport programme.
Striking photographs accompanied by an interesting story well told. Its start:
Paul Koudounaris is not a man who shies away from the macabre. Though the Los Angeles-based art historian, author and photographer claims that his fascination with death is no greater than anyone else’s, he devotes his career to investigating and documenting phenomena such as church ossuaries, charnel houses and bone-adorned shrines. Which is why, when a man in a German village approached him during a 2008 research trip and asked something along the lines of, “Are you interested in seeing a dilapidated old church in the forest with a skeleton standing there covered in jewels and holding a cup of blood in his left hand like he’s offering you a toast?” Koudounaris’ answer was, “Yes, of course.”
This nearly narrative-less version of history is a really interesting format. Whether you know the players and specific events or not, I think it’s quite a nice map. I also have to say I like the selection of audio-clips that come in beside the music: clearly not incidental.
The story of how Martin Luther’s ideas went from a small bulletin-board post at a university to a religion-changing, war-causing force.
Tetzel, the indulgence-seller, was one of the first to respond to him in print, firing back with his own collection of theses. Others embraced the new pamphlet format to weigh in on the merits of Luther’s arguments, both for and against, like argumentative bloggers. Sylvester Mazzolini defended the pope against Luther in his “Dialogue Against the Presumptuous Theses of Martin Luther”. He called Luther “a leper with a brain of brass and a nose of iron” and dismissed his arguments on the basis of papal infallibility.
More Time-Space Maps
So fascinated was I by the idea from yesterday, I’ve hunted down a few more examples.
- Oscar Karlin redesigned the iconic London tube map so that distance were determined by travel time. So did Rod McLaren and Tom Carden.
- “Patrick” made a map showing the travel time, using public transporation exclusively, between Brussels and a number of European cities. This observation is striking:
And although Chimay is a lot closer to Brussels in the real world, with public transportation, you’d long be in Paris or London before arriving in Chimay.
- David Chatting, as enamored as I am, has saved more of these of Delicious. He’s also stretched Britain based on driving times and trains from Ipswitch.
- Personal World Map not only offers time-space shifting, but also money-space shifting. It does air travel.
These maps that don’t actually offer a time-space adjustment, but do illustrate travel times.
- The EU made a map showing how long it would take you to get to a city of 50,000 people or more from anywhere in the world.
- TripTrop has a time overlay based on the NYC subway travel time.
- A similar map of train travel times for the entirity of Britain.
- And, finally, how long it took to get from London to the world by steamship in 1920. (This from the incredibly cool Hipkiss Scanned Old Maps collection.)
This Economist story’s a bit stale, but I feel a need to document such errata about obscure places.
Strange Maps highlights a study of the genetic commonality of Europeans. Finland’s a striking outlier. Other observations:
- The extent of genetic variation is greater north to south than east to west. This may be a result of the way Europe was colonized by modern humans, i.e. from the south, in three successive waves of migration (45,000 years ago, where before there had only been Neanderthals; 17,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age; and 10,000 years ago, with the advent of farming techniques from the Middle East).
- Yugoslav genetic variation is quite large (hence the big pink blob), and overlaps with the Greek, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech and even the Italian ones.
- There is surprisingly little overlap between the northern and southern German populations, each of which has more in common with their other neighbours (Danish/Dutch/Swedish in the northern case, Austrian/Swiss/French in the other one).
- The Swiss population is entirely subsumed by the French one, similarly, the Irish population almost doesn’t show any characteristics that would distinguish it from the British one.
This Green.view column raises some valuable points about Canada’s supposedly brutal seal hunts:
Still, groups such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) call it inhumane, and they have successfully lobbied politicians across Europe. In 2007, Belgium and the Netherlands banned trade in seal products. Other countries—perhaps even the whole European Union—may soon follow suit.
IFAW records hundreds of hours of video footage of the annual hunt, in which seals are killed either by shooting or with a hakapik, a heavy wooden club with a pick. Although IFAW feels the hunt is inhumane, a study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal in 2002 concluded that most seals (about 98%) were killed in an acceptably humane manner.