Saturday, June 03, 2006

upside down may be the right side up?

This is the second time I've ever written on a flight; the last time was in 2001 on the way to Paris. Back then I didn't believe in typing because I always enjoyed the fact that the tone and slant of my handwriting was a good indication of what I was feeling when I was writing- Was I in a hurry? Tired? Taking my time? What words could I never spell right? And now look at me, 2006, embracing the whole typing thing and even a proud blogger!!

Anyway, my little 'time off' is over. I've had an interesting three weeks to be sure- but one thing that just never left my mind was the introduction of the Peter's Map on an episode of the West Wing that I was watching with a friend of mine. Ok, so take a look.

Now this is what its meant to be: a 'correct' representation of the way the world looks. Apparently, the world map that we use today isn't accurate. Western countries are represented as having a bigger land mass than they actually have- for example, on the map we use Greenland and China LOOK the same size but in reality China is FOUR time the size of Greenland! The arguement on the episode (and as I learnt in real life) lies in the fact that the old map suited the colonial powers- but to have a truly global understanding (and no North/South biases) the map needs to reflect the reality. So the north side of the map (the northern hemisphere) should actually look pretty darn tiny in front of the southern hemisphere. Will the map change any time soon? I don't know. Its taken forever to make changes to the QWERTY..

But it does bring up some interesting points about how we understand the world around us. If the map showed the real sizes then younger students of geography (and so on) might grow up wondering why the minority of the world lives in the 'first world' and the majority is begging for help.

Now the other day I saw this advertisement on TV about a new program that helps people read better. Instead of reading books in the standard manner- one word at a time- people learn to construct images in their head and have a visual feel. You know, I already do that but maybe thats why I both love reading- and read fast. But I did get that many people- especially the ones who probably hate reading, don't- and this could help them enjoy books by changing the way they understand them.

Ahh the process of digestion of information.. one of my favorite things to muse about! Anyway, I'll take leave now. I've had an exhausting 24 hours of non stop travelling and carrying heavy objects and I need a hot shower.

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