After browsing a website on the supposed early maps of Antartica, I thought the idea of mapping out the world without any of the high-tech equipment we have today to be pretty fascinating. Most of the maps look ridiculous from our point of view now, but I remembered an article in Zeit Magazin from a long time ago which had German politicians draw up maps of their country. The results were pretty funny. Now I tried to do the same, but up the ante a little bit – draw a world map from memory. I have to say, I used to be good in geography in school, but my memory for where countries are located is pretty spotty at best. There are a lot of embarassing blank spots in Africa, South America, Asia but also Eastern Europe. I don’t even know all the countries there. The result is a pretty Euro-centric map, as was to be expected … By the way, why not create a map yourself and post it in the comments section? You can add an extra challenge if you like and try to locate all the capitals. I decided not to do that because I couldn’t remember how to spell Reijkjavic Reykjavík. Now without further ado, behold! I give you the world according to me:
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Money is always short when it comes to spaceflight. While NASA does have a rather large budget in comparison to ESA for example, very little seems to come out of it if you look at the development time of the new Ares rockets which are supposed to take human beings to the moon again. If you consider that it’s already been done before a couple of decades ago, you’d think it could be repeated in a shorter time frame and with less money now since a lot of the basic research has already been done (of course, a lot of know-how has been lost as well.)
I’m back from London just in time for the first anniversary of the blog. One of the most interesting discoveries for me was a clothing store chain that sells video game t-shirts. How cool is that! I wanted to get a black Arkanoid shirt, but since they were out of stock, I went for a Bomberman motive instead. I usually hate shopping for clothes, but this was really awesome. If they had stores in Germany or Austria as well, I’d be going out on the hunt for clothes more often. HINT HINT!
Oh, I almost forgot: to celebrate the first year, the blog can now be reached via robotriot.org as well.
While doing some research for my thesis, I stumbled upon these amazing “automatons.” Automatons are basically mechanical robots with two of the most famous examples being The Turk and Vaucanson’s duck. The Golden Age of automatons was the second half of the 19th century, the ones shown here however were created by a Swiss watchmaker by the name of Pierre Jaquet-Droz around the year 1770 and finished in 1774.
I just recently heard Request Line by Rockmaster Scott & The Dynamic 3 for the first time on WeFunk Radio and today I discovered this awesome 80s video for it. If they had made only one rap video in the 80s, it definitely should have been this one. Unfortunately the lyrics are cut short in the video version.
Check out my brother‘s “new” album – it contains a couple of electronic tracks he made from around 2000. If you’re more into acoustic sounds, you may also want to check out his earlier album released under the Hobo Twang monicker together with a friend.
I created the strange cover art for MFTY2K by the way. I should do more stuff like that, I’m really out of practice. However, my internship will start on Monday, so that’s definitely going to give me the opportunity to get back into drawing/pixeling and all that stuff I couldn’t do much lately.
Yesterday I got my 6th hit at Eurobilltracker. This is a website dedicated to tracking the paths Euro bills take around the world (derived from the US-counterpart Where is George?.) It works simply by entering the serial number of the note into the online database. Once somebody else receives your bill and enters it, you’ve got yourself a hit. The website generates a lot of statistics (did I mention that I’m a huge fan of statistics, graphs and tables yet?) and maps showing you the distance your note traveled and the amount of time it took. It’s a really fun waste of time, and a very satisfying feeling once you actually do get a hit (which will take its time at first.)
Two days ago, the United States Supreme Court toppled the gun ban in Washington DC. I am probably a bit naive, but I was shocked at how the mostly US-residents at a games forum I frequent reacted to this. They had pretty much nothing but applause for the result, even those who didn’t care much for guns stated that the freedom to bear arms is important to them. I simply can’t understand how having firearms in your home reduces the crime rate. Criminals knowing that every household has a gun in a drawer somewhere won’t turn into saints looking for legal work all of a sudden. They commit crimes for a reason, and I doubt they don’t know the risks that come with their “job.” And even if they avoid robbing homes and choose “easier” targets, as suggested in the forum thread, that doesn’t reduce the crime rate at all. It just shifts a little into other areas. And I guess it’s safe to say that the probability of firearm accidents is 100% higher if you have a gun at home than if you don’t. And of course, lifting the restrictions on gun possession will make it a lot easier for criminals to get hold of weapons themselves. It’s like an arms race between two nations. If you know your target owns a gun, you’d better be equipped with an adequate counterpart yourself. I mean, a gun is a device made to kill a living being. How can that be any good for anyone? I’ve even seen a video once of children sitting on machine guns at a firing range, with their daddies standing there right next to them smiling. WTF is wrong with this society? I think it’s time to realize that maybe, 200 years ago, things were a little different than they are now. At least other high-income countries with stricter regulations seem to have less problems with homicide as well. But I guess the constitution is just too much of a religion for the US, an infallible, untouchable holy grail of democracy.
De La Soul – Stakes is High
I found this store some time ago in a nearby town. Maybe this would be a more lucrative business for Amiga, since the company is in constant trouble ever since Commodore went bankrupt. And the current owner of the Commodore brand isn’t doing that much better either: they’re about to fold again – it’s the same old curse. I’ve lost count already of how many companies have owned the Amiga and Commodore trade marks in the last 14 years. At least Commodore is still a somewhat recognized brand, and I don’t think it would be too difficult to cash in on that by selling retro products, like the C64 DTV. That’s definitely putting the brand to a better use than selling PC towers with a C= logo slapped onto them.
I actually don’t read that many blogs on a regular basis. In fact, there are only three that I find myself returning to more than once a week:
- Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad – The name says it all. Four authors rip apart some of the worst webcomics out there. It’s not always funny. Their use of language might be debatable. Still, I find myself drawn to it every once in a while, to see what kind of abomination they managed to drag out of the ghetto of webcomics. I still would like to start a webcomic myself actually, I just don’t feel up to it, mainly concerning writing a story.
- Paleo-Future – I’m a sci-fi nut. So naturally I have to adore this blog. It’s showcasing pieces of past visions of the future, both in written and visual form. Most of the time, it’s ridiculous. But every once in a while, there are relatively accurate predictions among the entries. Also, it’s a nice source of inspiration, thanks to the weird retro art posted from time to time.
- Bernd Leitenberger(‘)s Blog – (German) While I may not agree with all of his standpoints, he does post interesting articles from time to time, mainly concerning space flight. If you can ignore the sloppy writing style, the articles on space probes and rockets on his website make for a really good read (for the technical minded) since he’s going into hardware details you will rarely find elsewhere on the web. Not that I understand all of it anyway, heh.