AuthaGraph World Map; I want it.

Have you seen this new world map? It won a prestigious design award in Japan and is now being used in text books for Japanese students.

Authagraph

Now, I have a map on my wall at home. It was a $5 purchase from the local bookstore that I threw in a cheap, ill-fitting Walmart frame and wrote “wanderlust” along the side of—et voila, decor. It’s hung behind my couch for about four years now, and just a few months ago I was alerted to the fact—by my intoxicated friend, no less—that it is severely out of date. It features the Dominion of Canada, the USSR, and Yugoslavia for crying out loud. Antarctica isn’t even on it! It’s probably actively making me dumber.

But this map is way better. It’s up to date on the world’s countries, it includes all the continents, AND it shows us just how far we’ve been mislead by every single map we’ve ever seen. I’m telling you, the AuthaGraph is friggen cool. And to prove it, I’ve stolen an entire article from all_that_is_interesting.com.

On November 3, 2016, reporter Michael Gardiner reported:

You probably don’t realize it, but virtually every world map you’ve ever seen is wrong. And while the new AuthaGraph World Map may look strange, it is in fact the most accurate map you’ve ever seen.

The world maps we’re all used to operate off of the Mercator projection, a cartographic technique developed by Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. This imperfect technique gave us a map that was “right side up,” orderly, and useful for ship navigation — but also one that distorted both the size of many landmasses and the distances between them.

To correct these distortions, Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa created the AuthaGraph map over the course of several years using a complex process that essentially amounts to taking the globe (more accurate than any Mercator map) and flattening it out:

Narukawa’s process indeed succeeded in creating a map that no longer shrinks Africa, enlarges Antarctica, or minimizes the vastness of the Pacific — and the list goes on.

In recognition of Narukawa’s success, he’s now beaten out thousands of other contestants to receive this year’s Grand Award from Japan’s Good Design Awards, and his map is featured in textbooks for Japanese schoolchildren.

“AuthaGraph faithfully represents all oceans [and] continents, including the neglected Antarctica,” according to the Good Design Awards, and shows “an advanced precise perspective of our planet.”

Furthermore, according to Narukawa, his map means a lot more than just a faithful cartographical representation of our planet. Because Earth is now facing down issues like climate change and contentious territorial sea claims, Narukawa believes that the planet needs to look at itself in a new light — a view that perceives the interests of our planet first and its countries second.

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Yes, I’m still working on my 2016 book challenge.

paintedgirls_buchanan

Since The Painted Girls fulfilled the “something your mom recommends” category, I present to you my genius mother’s review:

“This book called my name from several places—bookstores, airports, discount chains—so I finally gave in and purchased it. Having a niece in the ballet industry, combined with my love of historical fiction, drew me in, wooed me. And once I began to read I couldn’t put it down. The dark underbelly of Paris, teeming with ne’er-do-wells, is revealed: the façade of the well-to-do patrons, the incredible struggle of the poor, the heartbreaking sacrifices of the dancers, all woven together to create an intriguing tale of love and loss.”

No. 18 on my challenge. Thanks for the recommendation, Momma. I whole-heartedly agree.

Squeeeeeee

Brie Larson, Naomi Watts are radiant in exclusive first look at The Glass Castle

Woody Harrelson also stars in the dysfunctional family drama, slated for release in 2017

After helping to shatter a glass ceiling as the star of Marvel’s first major movie with a female lead, Oscar-winner Brie Larson is stepping into The Glass Castle, a coming-of-age drama revolving around a young woman who grows up amid a poverty-stricken family, and EW has an exclusive first look at two images from the upcoming film.

Adapted from the New York Times best-seller of the same name, the film version of the 2005 autobiography stars Larson as the memoir’s author, Jeannette Walls, who, along with several siblings, was born into a clan of dysfunctional nomads fronted by Rex, an alcoholic, and Rose Mary, an artist.

Though Rex’s addiction often imposes upon the family’s well-being, he sparks his children’s imagination with feelings of hope to distract them from their daily struggles. According to the film’s official synopsis, the family’s nonconforming lifestyle serves as both “their curse and their salvation.”

Continue reading on Entertainment Weekly. Includes photos!

 

I am so! very! excited! for this movie.

Killin’ it

My friend Alexandra Forman is an incredibly talented artist and makeup artist. Since 2014, she has made a habit of unveiling extraordinary Halloween makeup during the last week of October. I was impressed from the get go, but with tonight’s reveal (the last photo) she blew me out of the water and I had to share. Here are her looks, starting from 2014. Prepare to be amazed:

Abe! Freaking! Lincoln! This girl is killin’ it.

Avoiding “apostrophe catastrophes”

I’m not going to tell you how to live your life, but I will allow this hilarious woman to tell you how to make your last name plural. And I’mma make it required reading if you want to be my friend:

 

How to Make Your Last Name Plural This Christmas Season

Nothing quells my Christmas cheer as quickly as a stray apostrophe. Every year they assault me.

0b6db-quaint
How quaint? This quaint.

Usually it’s in the middle of an otherwise quaint moment: I am padding around my parents’ house, wearing pink slippers, sipping on some hot chocolate. Snow is falling outside the window, and Josh Groban’s Christmas CD is filling the downstairs with peace on earth and mercy mild. My mother is baking a pie. She’s about to ask if I want to lick the spatula (which, duh, I will).

First, though, I find a stack of Christmas cards and begin to flip through them—pausing to marvel at how big so-and-so’s kids have gotten. And then I spot it: an apostrophe in a last name that isn’t supposed to be possessive.

I shudder, flipping past the unwarranted punctuation. But as I keep flipping, the apostrophes do, too—flipping me off, that is. They defile Christmas card after Christmas card, last name after last name with their presence. Gone is my Christmas cheer! All my glad tidings, replaced with fury.

“Did no one teach these people how to make their last names plural!?” I scream as I chuck the cards into the fire heretofore crackling peacefully beneath the mantel.

I watch the cards curl and disintegrate in the flames, and I wonder if I’ve overreacted.

Is pluralizing last names more difficult than I realize? Apparently so. Because we get these cards every year—these cards with their adorable photos and their apostrophe catastrophes.

This year I’d like to preempt the pluralization problems. It’s mid-November now, time to order Christmas cards again. I have created a brief guide to help you pluralize your last name. It is my humble attempt to preserve not only apostrophe protocol but also the dignity of the letter S.

Continue reading on Kate Brannen’s blog for a chart and pluralization FAQs…