Monday, September 29, 2008

The Whole Wide World

I have a thing for maps and globes.  Always have.  I could sit for hours with my atlas marveling at the tables and charts along the margins, wondering how so many people could fit into such small places.  I remember when I discovered that Spain was in Europe and not South America.  I remember when the U.S.S.R. turned into Russia and its tiny,  consonant-laden bits and pieces.  I loved colouring maps, the best countries were mid-sized, pressing hard with my pencil crayons along their borders and shading lightly their fleshy centers.  To this day I could spend days searching, but now with the added bonus of Google Maps and detailed satellite imaging.  

I got a new globe yesterday, and I think I'm in love.  It was $10 and is a strange size.  Globes the size of volleyballs are fairly common, but this one is smaller, perhaps comparable to a cantaloupe or a child's skull.  It's colours are rich and vintagey.  The equator has been fastened down in a couple of places, the tape yellowing.  These are the things that make me happy.


  1. Ok, the last three posts some how did not show up in my feed reader. Hmm...

    Man, I was just looking at globes the other day in the map store -- $85 for a "volley ball sized" one! 10 bucks is a steal! I am in love with black globes, and as luck would have it, they are always the most expensive, wherever I find them.

  2. thomas of washington dcOctober 1, 2008 at 10:20 PM

    love your new globe..looks great on your bookcase.

  3. we got a new globe at the store today....i thought of you! It's kind of cool, although I'm not sure it's to your taste. I'll tell you anyways! It's a magnetic globe, and all the pieces of the earth were little magnet pieces that stuck on the base-which we do not have-so it remains as a very minimal black sphere. Pretty neat!

  4. My parents have a wonderful globe that I plan on stealing. It's got a lightbulb inside. Yes.
    Also re: colouring maps. I kind of used to love it, but then my grade 5 and 6 geography teacher was CRAZY about colouring maps. It's all we ever did. And he was very particular about pressing HARD so that "no white was visible". This included oceans. Exhausting, when you're tackling 5-10 maps a week along with other homework! Not to mention the wear and tear on my precious Laurentians.

  5. I love globes too, and have a small collection of war era tin ones that I have picked up on eBay. They look great grouped together. Have a look at some pics I used to work as a cartographer so I guess that is where my love of maps and globes comes from.

    Keep up the good work, I love reading your blog.

    Ross from Perth, Australia.

  6. Hey Ross!
    Thanks for writing! And reading!

  7. globes are always uplifting, spinning into a hopeful future