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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

True North and Week 51: Using Maps as Spatial "To Do Lists"



     It's Week 51 (not Area 51) of Partial Ellipsis of the Sun. WOW! What a year! Thanks for your support, your puns, your funny stories, your intellect, and yes, thanks, too, for sharing your heartbreaks.


     For the past two weeks, I have been exploring creating a daily map of my day, as I tend to think spatially anyway and to do lists are so tedious. 

      And I always start with a NORTH ARROW:










     True North. Not True South. Not True West. Not True East. True North is always the way I align myself to the day. There are many ways to represent that north arrow. . .






        Whichever north arrow one uses, the path leading up to the tip of the arrow is generally straight, unlike the path we usually follow in a day. The kindergartners and I each have our own MAP BOOKS, replete with a TRUE NORTH arrow on each internal page:







             After just one session with the map books the kids drew those north arrows first, like map-making pros, and then drew the playground with the dinosaur nest with 13 dinosaur "eggs" and mom and dad dinosaurs on or near the nest.







            [They also made "business cards" to hand out to friends:]




           Here's an example of a TRUE NORTH map for last Sunday:


       The kids already know that the north arrow may not be pointing up but may point to the left or right or even down but knowing true north is a critical part of the map. 

         One more piece of art from the festival on the playa. . .That's True North, too, especially on the journey I traveled with my son in the extensional Basin and Range topography of Nevada.



      
     Where is your True North? Have you tried making a map of your day instead of a to do list?

Steph
(Burner)


      



     My son teaching the kindies ;-) :





           


65 comments:

  1. Jill Ker Conway's "True North" is a wonderful description of her movement from Australia to Toronto. I guess if you are born in Australia, you are almost always headed north. . .

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  2. Steph,

    How about this for North Stars. When they moved to Dallas they became not the “South Stars” but simply the Stars.

    East is West and West is East and ever the Twains do meet Department (or at least morph into one another):
    Rotate E 90 degrees counterclockwise to get W; Rotate W 90 degrees clockwise to get E.

    Clockwise and counterclockwise take on a whole nother meaning when you’re doin’ upside-down digital clock puzzles. Does anyone even see an upside to these anymore?

    LegoCounterclockwisdom

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, Lego, of all the drections, South most assuredly gets the worst reputation; "things are headed South is generally a bad thing."

      W and E, N and Z. . .

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  3. I've always appreciated that on some early European maps, Jerusalem, in the East, not North, was at the top, so when you picked up the map, you turned it that way, and orienting yourself still means getting your bearings.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it seems the" looking to the rising new day" at the East for Orienting would be a natural choice for orienting a map. . .Until our understanding of magnetic morth came about, I suppose.

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    2. Oh, I'm sure the rotation of the sun, moon, and stars around the True North (and South) pole was noticed long before geomagnetism was,

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  4. Lego, your comment reminds me of the mnemonic, "East is least, West is best," used when navigating to remember whether to add or subtract the Deviation (of Magnetic North from True North) to/from one's true course to get one's magnetic course.

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    Replies
    1. Reminding me, naturally, of:

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    2. Periodically, Paul, you punctuate things with East is East and West is West. How come no North is North and South is South, though. . .?

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    3. I don't want you to tell all your girlfriends I'm 'less competent'.

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    4. So now I'm thinking of chakras. Something else I've never understood.

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    5. Nor I. I am happy the 7 colors associated with chakras are in ROY G BIV order; my scientific mind wants red to be on top and violet on the bottom, though. . .

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    6. I am intrigued with words that are "untranslatable" like GEZELLIGHEID from the heart of Dutch culture. . .

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  5. My son saw a friend who is a practicing D. O . today; he said it was helpful. Seems he is finding his True North also, as he heads to Canada Sat. Within 10 days he got his driver's license, new passport, new credit card, and new phone and charger. It's been a good week and a half.

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    Replies
    1. "O Canada . . . The True North strong and free!" Where's he headed?

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    2. He will actually fly to Detroit and take the bus to London, which requires only the passport card and is much cheaper ($300 less) than flying directly into Canada.

      O! Canada!

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    3. London, Ontario? North? Hah!
      L.O. is almost two degrees latitude south of Minneapolis, Minnesota. You betcha! And I’ll betcha their yearly median degrees temperature is south of Minnesota’s too.

      No, if your want true Canadian North you need to travel Hudson Bayward.

      LegordonLegightfoot

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    4. A little touchy about latitude attitude, lego?!

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    5. Steph,
      Touche. I’ll just betcha have an attitude of gratitude that you didn’t have to rhyme longitude.
      LegoExpungeEtude

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    6. Lego, revisiting David's comment about the stones in Kunming Park brings us back to bongitude longitude. . .

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    7. And then back again to true north and an attitude of gratitude. . .

      Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not. -Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

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  6. Getting back to last week's blog, I was wondering, if Mayzie were a boy, would he have been Boyzie?

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    Replies
    1. jan, the blog cross-pollination is getting stronger week by week. . .

      "Partial Ellipsis of Blainesville Puzzleria?"

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    2. Indeed, David.

      Yo, PEOTSers~~any special requests for next week, week 52? I am shooting for a strong topic for the last week of our first trip around the sun. . .

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  7. Speaking of Yellowstone, Boyzie, and Wolves, this is truly wonderful:

    WOLVES IN YELLOWSTONE"

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    1. OK, I can accept that Brits don't know the difference between deer and elk (and yes, I know that elk are a kind of deer, but still...). But if your whole thesis is the ecological changes wrought in the decades after introducing wolves in 1995, and you fail to even mention the devastating fires of 7 years earlier, and the recovery of the forests thereafter, it smells as if you're intentionally shading the facts to suit your story.

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    2. Yea, I can see that. . .I was in Yellowstone in December '88 and the fire devastation was quite remarkable. . .

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  8. If Maizie were a boy dog he would be "Willie Maizie," the "Say Hey Canine."

    LegoWertzWereRobbed!

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    Replies
    1. Maizie is not all that into baseball, lego. . .swimming and squash are atop her sports list currently. Maybe (s)he'd grow into a name like Willie Maizie, though. . .A diamond in the ruff, as it were. . .

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  9. Replies
    1. It's like Gravity was telling those continents, "March or Die"!

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    2. Why do desert movies often make voices sound strange, almost nasally?

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    3. The futility of trying to get Gene Hackman to sound French? The dry air? Hmmm . . . dry air can lead to epistaxis (nosebleed), which is often treated with nasal tampons, yet another blood sausage. Le Boudin!

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    4. (Sorry about that, before breakfast.)

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    5. They really have nasal tampons? At Girl Scout Camp the counselors affixed sanitary napkins spelling out LOVE to a large chicken wire square and set it on fire. I guess the Girl Scouts were ahead of their (Burning Man) time...

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  10. Replies
    1. jan, there you go, being all prescient again:

      RHINOREX

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  11. jan, I could have lived my whole life without knowing about this item.

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  12. Just in case you missed this:

    Rectal temperature-taking. . .

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/18/347996684/some-airports-have-a-new-security-routine-taking-your-temperature

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    Replies
    1. Hey, after the shoe-bomber, the TSA started making us take off our shoes. How come there were no new security measures after the underwear bomber?

      You know how you can tell the difference between an oral and a rectal thermometer, right?

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    2. Well, we have none here, right? ;-)

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  13. My son visited the kindergartners today. He told them all about his travels from Providence to Australia to New Zealand, to Philadelphia. When he told them he was headed north to the cold climes (sorry, Lego) of Canada they suggested he bring a jacket. . .and a scarf!

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  14. Just throwin' this out

    http://www.geomidpoint.com/

    it was fun for me.

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    1. Just had dinner with friends from Jersey City, NJ, in Maplewood, which turned out to be closer to halfway between them and us (in Madison) than I would've guessed. Can't figure out what you'd use the bearing and distance calculator for, given that you input the bearing and distance from a starting point, and it tells you what's there. There are other calculators around that, given a starting and end point, tell you the bearing and distance, which is useful, say, for ham radio operators wanting to point their directional antennas. The random point generator was mildly amusing. I generated 100 random points, and none of them turned up in the United States. Perversely, it reminded me of a nasty old Cold War rule of thumb, that German villages are located, on average, about 10 kilotons apart.

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    2. Geomidpoint. Huh. May need to sit with that awhile (with my violet or indigo chakra?).

      My cousin lives in Maplewood.

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    3. Comment 51, week 51, area 51. . .

      C'mon, you must have a stellar idea for week 52?!

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  15. Comment 53:
    Stellar Steph,

    A stellar idea, huh? How about the geology of stars? (stellology?)

    Or, is there anything here ?

    Tellurium has 52 as its atomic #, but I don’t know if it’s interesting.

    Why did we divide the 3 days of our year by 7 to get 52 weeks? Why not divide by 6, 5, 8, 9, X? Surely it’s not based on Genesis, is it?

    Some kind of playing cards/probability theme?

    How about LII for PEOTS followers in Italy?

    I’m not exactly Mr. Geology, as readers here know, so I’m kind of out-of-my-element here. (My element used to be nickel [At.No.28] till I spent my last nickel. Now my element is copper [At.No.29] and I’m almost out. I understand that Einstein was so smart that he was never out of his element [At.No.99]) Hey, maybe something on “the geology of numismatics?”

    LegoCatch52Skidoo

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    Replies
    1. Wow, Lego, those are some stellar ideas. I especially like the "here" suggestion. Thank you!

      You must be traveling on a super-Mercurial planet that has only 3 days a year :-).

      I am in the midst of my third time through "Basin and Range" by John McPhee. It is that good. And I see different things than when it was first published in 1981 and now that I've driven I-80 across almost all of Nevada. . .

      Gorgeous morning here. A day of gardening, farmer's marketing, and swimming outside awaits. . .

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  16. One more to properly go with breakfast:

    Now I understand hash browns! (see new graphic above)

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  17. Here's a question for you, Steph, that the rangers at Yellowstone were unable to answer:

    We all know that the energy for all that geothermal activity ultimately comes from the decay of radioactive elements deep (or not so deep) within the earth. Plumes of molten rock rise up to the water table, and result in all that wonderful sturm und drang on the surface. My question is: are the geysers, hot springs and fumaroles hot in the radioactive sense as well, and if so, how much? I got an "I don't think so" from the rangers I asked, and I figure all us tourists wouldn't be allowed around anything too dangerous, but inquiring minds want to know.

    I found one paper from 1909 (!), (6 years after the Curies' Nobel Prize!), but they used ancient equipment and reports results in units I don't have a feel for. So, complete the following sentence, if you will:

    Standing next to, say, Imperial Geyser, inhaling that sulfurous steam for an hour is equivalent to having [blank] chest x-rays?

    (As my father-in-law's sketchy cardiologist said, granting dispensation for the occasional cigar, "it keeps your lungs warm".)

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  18. I cannot complete your sentence, jan, but your point is valid. Based on the 1909 results, I would not hang around Clepsydra Geyser for a long time in Yellowstone, just to be on the safe side. I see no record of "Model Geyser" the other geyser with high data, but I'd avoid that too (or maybe the National Park Service has removed that geyser from one of the boardwalk tours).

    Hmmm, come to think of it, Clepsydra (Greek for Water Clock) IS a bit off the beaten path . . .

    Clepsydra erupted every 3 minutes until the 1959 Hebgen Earthquake. .

    I'm still going to go there again! Soon!

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  19. Next question: what's your new thumbnail image?

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    Replies
    1. Gezelligheid, my interpretation: twinkly blue fairy lights and fresh flowers from my garden.

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    2. What an interesting word! I still can't grasp the scale of the picture. At first, I thought it was an oscilloscope tracing.

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    3. That's gezelligheid, all right. You know you like it but you can't grasp the scale or anything else about it. You just know. . .

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    4. Thanks to my friend, Curt, for introducing me to gezelligheid.

      We PEOTSers know a great word when we see it. . .Have you heard it?



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    5. Nope. But I'm still suffering from schadenfreude over my machatunim's fahrvergn├╝gen....

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    6. ;-)

      Here is a primer on pronouncing the adjectival form of this untranslatable Dutch delight, gezellig:

      Gezellig

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