Thursday, January 12, 2012

Around The World In 276 Pages

Topophilia* is the dominant theme of Maphead by Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings. Jennings details his personal fascination with the love of place and then takes the reader on a wonderful exploration of map culture - from earliest parchment to the sophistication of modern day GPS.

During the journey, your discoveries will include;
Geography and Map Division of The Library of Congress containing the largest map collection in human history with 8500 cases with five drawers in each case. In sports terms the equivalent of two football fields.
Eccentricity of the author. As a young boy he slept with the 1979 Hammond Medallion World Atlas on the next pillow.
Open Street Map - the indispensable technology that aided Haitian earthquake victims.
Gaskin - her parents and friends call her Lilly. She is an undisputed map prodigy not quite 2 years old.
Royal Geographic Society - the venue for the London Map Fair and a veritable treasure trove of past cartographic history including Henry Morton Stanley's pith helmet (the Stanley who found Livingstone), Charles Darwin's pocket sextant and Edmund Hillary's oxygen canisters.
Preparing for the National Geographic Bee which dwarfs the National Spelling Bee in difficulty
Hippocampus - the part of the brain responsible for spatial cognition
Yen for competitive travel. There are a myriad of travel clubs where he who visits the most countries is the winner.

*Topophilia literally means love of place. Geographer Yi-Fu Tuan stated that topophilia "can be defined widely so as to include all emotional connections between physical environment and human beings" Ken Jennings childhood memories of the beautiful Willamette Valley of the Pacific Northwest led him back to his life outside Seattle as an adult. In the in-between years he lived in Seoul, Salt Lake City, Spain and Singapore (a product of accidental alliteration).


Personal note - as a person who is definitely challenged by maps I am hoping that Maphead will have a positive effect on my hippocampus. Only time will tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What can I post on your wall?
Commenting & Posting Guidelines

Welcome to your library on social media!

Pima County Public Library (PCPL) offers blogs and other social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for educational, cultural, civic, customer service, and recreational purposes. They provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions, and information about library-related subjects and issues.

By choosing to comment or post on our social media accounts, you agree with the following:

Comments and posts are moderated by library staff, and the library reserves the right to remove any that are unlawful or off topic. Posts containing the following may be deleted:
Copyright violations
Off-topic comments
Commercial material/spam/solicitation
Sexual content, or links to sexual content
Threatening or harassing postings
Libelous or other kinds of personal attacks
Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
Content that reveals private, personal information without permission
Vulgar language or content
Comments in support of or in opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures
Content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification

P.S. Protect your privacy. Don't post personally identifying information in these public spaces, including details like your library card number, phone number, or medical information, etc.

Young people under age 18, especially, should not post information such as your school, age, phone number, and address.