Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bugs flat Earth

I've mentioned this Bugs Bunny bit before when discussing the fallacy of the flat Earth myth (to sum: nobody in Columbus' time believed the world was flat).  But it doesn't make the Christopher Columbus-themed 1949 Bugs Bunny short "Hare We Go" any less funny.

All in the classic Loony Toons style of debate (lots of violence).

    Hare We Go Scene by voiceman91

    Bugs Bunny Hare We Go (1951)

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    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    14 Carrot Rabbit

    This is a still from the 1951 Bugs Bunny short "14 Carrot Rabbit".  The setup for the gag involving a map and Fort Knox starts at the 5:00 minute mark.  And as I mentioned in the last post, this is where I learned that the US keeps (much of) its gold at Fort Knox Kentucky.

    Of course this isn't the only time Bugs Bunny has fun with geography (I mentioned that one already in this post).  His "left toin at Albaquoikey" line is practically iconic.  In fact, let's do that one tomorrow...

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Treasure Map

    Treasure Map
    If it's a bit hard to see the caption up top it says "Treasure Map"  This cartoon by Henry Martin ran in The New Yorker in May of 1998. Fort Knox, in case you didn't know, is where the U.S. stores its gold bullion.  ... well a lot of it anyway.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan holds more.  I first learned about this important fact from Bugs Bunny.... which will be in the next post.

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Generational directions

    This is The Buckets by Greg Cravens on giving directions.  I actually think that the teenager is more likely to give the Mapquest directions and the dad, when he was the teenager's age, would have been more likely than the teen today to give those kinds of clandestine directions. But that'd be confusing and teens do stereotypically go for the subversive route.

    By the way, "The Kellets" mentioned is Dave Kellet who does the Sheldon webcomic.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    New York travel

    A print ad, archived at AdClassix, from 1954 for tourism in New York State. This pre-dates the iconic "I *heart* NY" ad campaign by some 20 years.  

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Happy 2007

    At the end of 2006 cartoonist Brian Farrington published this editorial cartoon about the US war in Iraq.  At the time it was looking very, very bad (instead of just today's very bad).  This was before "The Sunni Awakening" turned things around, or at least made them somewhat less bad.  Technically "combat operations" are over and US troops are on their way out.  A clear exit map would still probably be useful.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Cow world

    On this, exactly a month after the first anniversary of this blog, I'm posting this "World of Cow" strip by Stik, which is remarkably similar to this image that was a large part of this inspiration for this blog:

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    GPS for life

    Tom Batiuk's Funky Winkerbean.  This comic used to be about the adventures of some high school kids.  A little while ago the artist decided to jump the ages of the main characters by what he claimed to be 10 years.  But those characters appeared to go from young adults in their 20's or maybe early 30's to these guys who appear to be pushing 60 hard.  Some comics fans see this strip as being rather thoroughly and consistently depressing.  I just tend to find it wordy and un-interesting.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010


    Artist Charles Barsotti had this one published in The New Yorker in May of 1996.  Kansas doesn't always get the kindest treatment in map-related comics.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010


    Cartoonist Joel Mishon's take on weather maps and the general lack of understanding about isobar maps.  If you want to know, isobars show where air pressure is the same, much like topographical isolines show where elevations are the same.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    GPS advice

    "The Better Half" by Randy Glasbergen.  Can somebody please explain to me why the world needs this comic strip, and "The Lockhorns" and Willy 'n' Ethel? These all seem to be descendants of Andy Capp.  I could have sworn there was another single-panel husband-and-wife strip out there, but maybe not.  And why does the Harriet character in The Better Half remind me of Olive Oyl

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Bad GPS

    Another cartoon by The New Yorker regular, Roz Chast, this one from June 2003.  GPS satellites can, in fact, be this capricious.  Allow me to explain:
    The GPS technology was initially developed in the 1970's.  When the Cold War ended the companies that helped the DoD create it requested that they be allowed to market the technology commercially.  The Defense Department finally agreed, but on condition that they could scramble the signal so that nobody could have locations as accurate as the military. So while the military had sub-centimeter-accurate locations, everybody else was limited to locations +/- 30 meters. Within a year of its commercial release some intrepid users had found a way to get around the scrambled signal.  After further lobbying the DoD released a more accurate commercial signal, but with a more sophisticated signal scramble so that the commercial devices could be accurate to within 10 meters.  Users cracked that signal within 6 months.  Finally the military gave up and let the same signal they had out to everybody.  They still reserve the right to scramble the signal whenever they deem it necessary, and that could cause this kind of bad behavior.  But with the launch of the European "Galileo" GNSS, and the upcoming launch of the Chinese version, what's the point?

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Disneyland, 'twas always so

    Here's an oldie that still carries a punch today. Published in The New Yorker in September of 1955, this cartoon by Richard Decker ran just a month after Disneyland's opening, a testament to its instant popularity (and/or the aggressiveness of the Disney marketing machine).

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Extraterrestrial Mapquest

    Lio by Mark Tatulli.  For those who may not know, Gliese 581 c is one of the more famous of the 500 or so newly discovered planets outside our solar system.  The Gliese 581 system, in fact, contains at least 6 known planets.  Gliese 581 initially seemed to be habitable, prompting Lio's desire to make the trip.  However further evidence showed it to be less likely to sustain life. Rather , its sister planet Gliese 581 g, at only 1.9 x the mass of Earth, and residing within its star's "habitable zone",  appears to be the better candidate for supporting life.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Biff to scale

    Here's the first posting of a "Book of Biff" webcomic by Chris Hallbeck.  There'll be a few others in the future.  And this is a typical "scale" gag.  The "Book of Biff" is an excellently surreal webcomic.  I highly recommend it.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Backseat GPS

    Cartoonist Richard Jolley does a GPS gag.  Why would anybody purchase both of these?  More interestingly, in comics that feature GPS directions, do the directions more often recommend a left or a right turn?

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Golf GPS

    A strip from "Betty" by Gerry Rasmussen & Gary Delainey.  I'm not that into golf.  But geocaching is fun. I've got to believe that golf courses have apps or downloads that allow golfers to upload the tee and hole coordinates into GPS units and/or smart phones.  If this doesn't exist yet it should.  Here's a rather sophisticated version.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    In charge

    In case you can't read the caption it says: "I have the whole universe to look after, so I'm putting you in charge of this planet."  The other Sam Gross post I've made also presents a rather heavily cosmic/theological concept to deal with. This, however, comes close to actual beliefs of certain denominations and hints at some transhumanist precepts. This one is from January of 1999 in The New Yorker of course.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Google terror tool

    Google Earth is terribly useful... but in a bad way?  There's articles that say that the attackers in the 2008 Mumbai/Bombay attacks used Google Earth to plan and carry out their attack.  But at this point it's a Pandora's box thing: If Google Earth went away a dozen other things would rise up to take its place. There's already at least a dozen Google Earth clones out there.  

    Monday, March 1, 2010

    Mapquest north

    A Mapquest joke by Harley Schwadron.  Not the first time a map-related comic posted here has used huskeys.  I don't think this counts as a husband-and-wife-arguing-over-directions joke.  They both seem happy enough.  But that is an impressive WiFi signal that laptop is picking up