This diagram, made in 1850 by cartographer J. H. Colton, shows the relative sizes of waterfalls, lakes, islands, rivers, and mountains of the world.
Reblogged from Scientific Illustration.
Be very quiet. I am softly onboarding interested readers to my new email newsletter, at http://orbitaloperations.com/ ....
Why do I need mind-maps?
"There are a few things you need to know:
First, I am lucky enough to have a number of positive impacts of dyslexia. One of those is that once I have acquired new information I can process it very rapidly and often have multiple thoughts at once. That often means that I can solve the most complex problems faster than others.
Second, I have a problem writing and thinking at the same time. I believe it is to do with short-term memory. However, the bottom line is that I keep forgetting where I am in the overall flow of the thing that I am writing. As a result, my writing meanders and needs to be edited (by me) again and again until it finally expresses what I mean.
Thirdly, I see patterns in things – often before others. I use that to form and then set out compelling arguments and explanations that become very clear to readers.
Finally, I have a fairly precise use of language and so – whilst not finding it easy to write – am a fierce critic of my own work. So that means the editing can take a very long time.”
from MindMaps are the answer…. what’s the question?
In 1919, Victor Tausk, a disciple of Sigmund Freud, committed suicide by simultaneously hanging and shooting himself. “I have no melancholy,” he wrote in his suicide note, which was addressed to Freud. “My suicide is the healthiest, most decent deed of my unsuccessful life.” His essay, “On the origin of the ‘Influencing Machine’ in Schizophrenia,” which has since become a classic in psychiatric literature, had just been published.
In the article, Tausk described the elaborate mechanical devices that paranoid schizophrenics invent in their imaginations to explain away their mental disintegration. As the boundaries between the schizophrenic’s mind and the world break down, they often feel themselves persecuted by “machines of a mystical nature,” which supposedly work by means of radio-waves, telepathy, x-rays, invisible wires, or other mysterious forces. The machines are believed to be operated by enemies as instruments of torture and mind-control, and the operators are thought to be able to implant and remove ideas and feelings, and inflict pain, from a distance.
Influencing Machines are described by their troubled inventors as complex structures, constructed of “boxes, cranks, levers, wheels, buttons, wires, batteries and the like.” Sometimes these devices are thought to be their doubles, unconscious projections of their fragmented bodily experience. Patients will typically invoke all the powers known to technology to explain their obscure workings. Nevertheless, they always transcend attempts at giving a coherent account of their function: “All the discoveries of mankind,” Tausk asserts, “are regarded as inadequate to explain the marvelous powers of this machine.”
Tausk took his term from an apparently magical device invented in 1706 by Francis Hauksbee, a student of Isaac Newton. His “Influence Machine” was a spinning glass globe, which cracked like lightning when touched, transmitting an electrical spark and emitting a greenish neon light when rubbed—a mysterious luminosity which was called “the glow of life.” These apparently supernatural effects were caused by the introduction of static electricity into a vacuum; it worked like the shimmering vacuum tube of the modern TV. Its psychological incarnation had similarly mesmerizing effects: “The influencing machine,” Tausk wrote, “makes the patients see pictures. When this is the case, the machine is generally a magic lantern or cinematograph. The pictures are seen on a single plane, on walls or windowpanes; unlike typical visual hallucinations, they are not three-dimensional.”
The psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn began collecting for his famous Museum of Pathological Art the same year that Tausk published his essay (within a year Prinzhorn had acquired forty-five hundred works, which are currently housed in the Psychiatric University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany). One of these images illustrates an Influencing Machine in strikingly graphic form. The artist was Jakob Mohr, a farmer and hawker suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and his picture shows someone holding a small box which resembles an old-fashioned camera and transmits something like static at its victim. The structural workings of the contraption are explained in a palimpsest of scribbled notes, which Prinzhorn called “word salad.” The operator, who is thought to be the psychiatrist (he wears headphones so that he can listen in on Mohr’s thoughts), aims a radiation tube at his subject that emits “electric waves” and renders him a “hypnotic slave.” The machine’s energy flows two ways—it is a magnet as well as a gun: “Waves are pulled out of me,” Mohr scrawled, “through the positive electrical fluorescent attraction of the organic positive pole as the remote hypnotizer through the earth.” The appliance’s malevolent power over Mohr is illustrated by a series of childishly drawn arrows and wavy tentacles which unite both men in a painful-looking spasm of electricity.
“Our brains are a vastly parallel and distributed system, each with a gazillion decision-making points and centers of integration. The 24/7 brain never stops managing our thoughts, desires, and bodies. The millions of networks are a sea of forces, not single soldiers waiting for the commander to speak. It is also a determined system, not a freewheeling cowboy acting outside the physical, chemical forces that fill up our universe. And yet, these modern-day facts do not in the least convince us there is not a central “you,” a “self” calling the shots in each of us. Again, that is the puzzle, and our task is to try and understand how it all might work.” - Michael S.Gazzaniga
Ancient Egyptian music notation
From a set of 6 parchments described by German musicologist Hans Hickmann in his 1956 book Musicologie Pharaonique, or Music under the Pharaohs, as dating from the 5th to 7th centuries C.E. Colors are presumed to indicate pitch and size to indicate duration. Writings on the parchment are in Coptic with indications like “Spiritual Harmony” and “Holy Hymn Singer”. This manuscript had a profound influence on Egyptian composer Halim El-Dabh’s music notation and paintings when he discovered a reproduction in Vogue magazine in 1952.
Note: I wasn’t able to locate these manuscripts and couldn’t find any reference to them online, but they are presumably in NY’s Metropolitan Museum collections. This image comes from Theresa Sauer’s book Notations 21, Mark Batty Publisher, USA, 2009.