William Gibson’s character map for Zero History from the most recent volume of the Paris Review.
Stellatum Planisphaerium by Louis Vlasbloem from 1675.
This double hemisphere celestial chart by Louis Vlasbloem, called Ludovico Vlasblom on the chart, is derived from the celestial hemispheres in Joan Blaeu’s world map. The small spheres depict the geo-centric and helio-centric configurations of the solar system. The very energetic expansion of Dutch maritime trade in the late 16th century and first two thirds of the 17th provided Europe with new astronomical knowledge of the Southern hemisphere, and in 1598 twelve new constellations formed by Petrus Plancius appeared on a Hondius globe. These were added to the Ptolemaic canon of 48 constellations making a total of 60. The newly discovered constellations of the southern hemisphere include: Pavo), Phoenix, Indus, and others, and Coma Berenices in the north.
Leo Belgicus (Novus XVII Inferioris Germaniae Provinciarum) by Famiani Strada (1648).
The Leo Belgicus is a map of the Low Countries (the current day Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium) drawn in the shape of a lion.
“Judith Schalansky was born in 1980 on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. The Soviets wouldn’t let anyone travel so everything she learnt about the world came from her parents’ battered old atlas. An acclaimed novelist and award-winning graphic designer, she has spent years creating this, her own imaginative atlas of the world’s loneliest places. These islands are so difficult to reach that until the late 1990s more people had set foot on the moon than on Peter I Island in the Antarctic.”
The Pinetree Line was a series of radar stations located across the northern United States and southern Canada at about the 50th parallel north, along with a number of other stations located on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Run by NORAD (after its creation), over half were manned by United States Air Force personnel with the balance operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The line was the first coordinated system for early detection of a Soviet bomber attack on North America, but the early 1950s radar technology quickly became outdated and the line was in full operation only for a short time.
Hypotheses in science, though apparently transcending experience, are in reality experience modified by scientific thought and pushed into an ultra experiential region. At the time that he wrote, Sir Thomas Dick-Lauder could not possibly have discerned the cause subsequently assigned for the blockage of these glens. A knowledge of the action of ancient glaciers was the necessary antecedent to the new explanation, and experience of this nature was not possessed by the distinguished writer just mentioned.
From Fragments of Science, by John Tyndall, F.R.S. 1879.
Left the bay area a couple days too early to catch this, but hopefully some west coast readers will make it:
Grouper Presents SLEEP
Friday July 23, 7:30 pm
Berkeley Art Museum
Doors/Ambient Sounds 6 p.m.
Liz Harris (Grouper) contours her sonic craft to the spiraling space of the museum, creating a site-specific composition made up of tape-collage and live instrumentation accompanied by video. Her piece intends to “echo the movement of a downward-pulling current, lulling with the hiss and resonating pulse of watery sound and light.” Harpsichordist Eugene Petrushansky opens the night with pieces of both early music and music of his own improvisation, performing on the harpsichord that he hand-built for himself.
The 2nd floor of Holmes Castle.
The ground floor of the Castle contained Holmes’ own relocated drugstore and various shops, while the upper two floors contained his personal office and a maze of over one hundred windowless rooms with doorways opening to brick walls, oddly angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, doors openable only from the outside, and a host of other strange and labyrinthine constructions. Holmes repeatedly changed builders during the construction of the Castle so only he fully understood the design of the house he had created, thus decreasing the chance of being reported to the police.