Category Archives: cartography

Mistakes were made … by Readers’ Digest

Normally I don’t patronize Readers’ Digest. My grand mother had a cardboard box filled with them that I used to read when I was visiting her place when very young and was up late at night, as I nearly invariably was. This was before computers.

Anyway, I found a posting by “RD” that listed what it considered stupid laws from the 50 states. These are fodder for satire everywhere and even some websites (I won’t link to them because they are usually trash) pretend to collect them.

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A beautiful island of Science

There is a term in physics and somewhat chemistry, the “island of stability”. Essentially as atoms get bigger, they tend to be less stable. That is, they are radioactive and tend to decay into smaller atoms.

Except there is a suspicion that when they are large enough, they might get to be stable again. Here’s a map of this island, with mistakes, from a Wikipedian user:

1000px-Island_of_Stability.svgWITH MISTAKES!

The mistakes in question are of the proton and neutron numbers, so don’t use this on an exam.

Having said that, it is a beautiful illustration of the concept and the naming conceit. Anyone can see why it is an “island” in speech. The current image is more scholarly, but less attractive.

Two maps of a “four corners for registration”

I have two completely different things for you that can both be called “four corners for (or of) registration”.



These doodles are called “registration marks” and are used to line up the different colors. If you are familiar with printing in color (even with little desktop printers), you know that there are usually four colors printed individually: cyan (bluish), magenta (pinkish), yellow and black. Each color is printed separately from the rest of them and, when the four layers of single color are on the same paper, they form a color image.

Ofcourse, if they are not aligned correctly, it looks ugly. These marks somehow help the print operators and also the printers and presses themselves to line them up correctly.

I don’t care though, because this looks like a particularly interesting map of a four corners. What’s that on the corner? A water tower? And the green line could be a trolley track from west to north. Some cars are present on the south and east.

The liquid cockroach was a spot of glue that took off some of the cardboard it was pressed against.



To register to vote in Oklahoma, you may (if you don’t have an address) have to draw a map. I never thought cartography would be a prerequisite to enfranchisement. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to claim this was an illegal literacy test?

The image above in context can be seen at the entire form, here.