These holes in the ice form thanks to Antarctic water circulation, reports Maddie Stone at Earther. Warm water rises toward the surface, melting the ice that sits atop the open ocean waters, creating the polynya “window.” Heat is released from the water through this opening, causing the now cooler water to sink. This circulation pushes more warm water toward the surface, which keeps the polynya open. More on Smithsonian
The Guardian: The head of polar programs at WWF, Rod Downie, said: “Adélie penguins are one of the hardiest and most amazing animals on our planet. This devastating event contrasts with the image that many people might have of penguins. It’s more like ‘Tarantino does Happy Feet’, with dead penguin chicks strewn across a beach in Adélie Land. more
providencepubliclibrary – Maybe the best document mystery/controversy ever: on October 10, 1965, Yale announced their determination that The Vinland Map was first known map of America, dating it circa 1440. At that time it was thought to confirm Viking exploration of North America.
The map had first appeared in the 1950s, bound together with two medieval documents (the Tartar Relation and the Speculum Histioriale), and is still subject to intense scrutiny. This 2013 story details the research of an “amateur” historian thought to have by historians to possibly have found credible new information the map’s actual, later origin. This 2009 opinion claims to prove its’ authenticity…
The Monialium Ebstorfensium Mappamundi is considered to be the German equivalent of the Hereford Mappamundi (below) and is known as the ‘Ebstorf Mappamundi’ (cosmography not cartography) and was produced in 1234 by Gervase of Tilbury. Read more about it (via bibliodyssey)
Hand-painted on calfskin vellum, the Hereford Mappa Mundi is the world’s largest medieval map. Created in the very late 1200s the map has spent its entire life in Hereford Cathedral surviving fire, flood, theft, various battles and world wars to present to today’s visitors a mesmerising detail of the world as it was understood at the time.
The map is split into three main parts (click on it to view it in more detail) – Asia is the top half of the map (maps in those days have east at the top and the Orient sees the sun first, Europe in the lower left and Africa in the lower right. In an embarrassing timeless gaffe, the author labels Europe as Africa and Africa as Europe. The very centre is reserved for Jerusalem with the Mediterranean just below it as the divider of the three known continents.
Each of the over 400 marked cities are identified by a castle or cathedral with the name of the city. Rivers and seas curl through the map like veins. A further hundred or so animals, people, biblical events and plants fill the gaps reinforcing prejudices and legends of the times. Mythical creatures like fire-breathing dragons and griffins are drawn into the Asian section as an area not understood, faraway and hence dangerous and frightening.
A 12th Century Mappa Mundi has been re-created using paint made from ground up lapis lazuli, malachite, a pigment known as ‘dragon’s blood’, ink from oak galls and 23.5 carat gold leaf
The three foot by four foot map, handcrafted on calfskin, is the first serious modern attempt to make a medieval world map. It is based on the Sawley Map – the only surviving English 12th Century Mappa Mundi, which is kept in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge – and the Hereford Map which dates from around 1300.
The map, commissioned by English Heritage, is to be placed in a suite of rooms in Dover Castle’s keep which are being refurbished to look as they did when King Henry II built them in the 1180s. Dr Steven Brindle, the English Heritage historian behind the project, said of the map: “We wanted a spectacular and charismatic object that would convey as much as possible about 12th Century culture, about how different the medieval views of geography and spirituality were from our own.
Mary A Whalen– People have been asking us, so here’s a BARNACLE PARADE UPDATE. We hear from Ben Schneider that it will be a benefit for Puerto Rico! As usual, it’s the anniversary (of the) day of hurricane Sandy, eg, October 29. That’s a Sunday this year. Parade at 2:00pm, block party at 5:00ish. Muster on Pioneer between Van Brunt and Imlay. Leaving and returning there. Check out the The Barnacle Parade Facebook page for updates.