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The First Modern Atlas: Finding Our Way in a Whole New World *

In the practical sense, the known world has become too large to create a useful map of it all on one page. In the past, larger maps were printed on separate sheets and joined together. This year the Flemish cartographer, Abraham Ortel, has taken those separate map sheets and bound them into book entitled "Theater of the World". This is the first modern atlas. It consists of 70 maps on 53 pages along with explanatory text. Copper sheets are custom-made for the printing press so that it can be mass produced. Four surviving copies can be found at the Library of Congress. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This atlas is evidence of an on-going change in thinking. The printing press allows anyone to retain a baseline of knowledge without using complex memorization techniques. On the way out are those stream-of-consciousness books that require the reader to consider the book as a whole. Now people can look things up. This frees up the mind to consider new ideas. Today, hardcopy books are on the way out, requiring the human mind to change again. Although we are losing our connection with the physical book with page numbers for reference, we have a search bar which accelerates the look-up process. It's the difference between finding our way using a paper map and asking our Smart Phone for directions. It's a whole new world. [4] [5] [6]

'Remember, Remember, the 5th of November'... Guy Fawkes and Occupy Wall Street

Guy Fawkes is born this year in York, England. He will grow steadily dissatisfied with the government and the ongoing religious conflict. In 1605 he will conspire with 12 others (13 total) to fill the basement of Westminster Palace with gunpowder. (It's not for killing the rats.) The authorities will charge him with treason and send him to the gallows. Unfortunately for the hangman's paycheck, Guy Fawkes will leap off of the platform and break his neck. Thereafter, the country will observe Guy Fawkes Day with bonfires, fireworks and burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes in a mask... otherwise known as "the Guy". It won't take long before Guy Fawkes Day becomes a time for burning effigies of religious and political figures. By 1982, Guy will become something of a superhero with his own DC Comic called "V for Vendetta" and a movie by the same name in 2005 starring Natalie Portman. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
So what about the mask? DC Comics created the distinctive mask in the 1980s. The hacker group 'Anonymous' picked up on the symbol and so did the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I even saw someone wearing the mask during the Baltimore riots. The mask was made popular by the movie, "V for Vendetta". Guy Fawkes is portrayed as a Batman-like superhero fighting a fascist government. In the movie trailer, Guy paraphrases Thomas Jefferson saying, "People should not be afraid of their government. Government should be afraid of their people." It seems like the perfect movie for the TSP listener, but like the word "liberal," the symbol of the mask has come to mean: government over private enterprise. In some cases Libertarian ideals overlap with the Occupy Wall Street movement, but the overall goal of 'Occupy' seems to be getting government to force private industry to do the bidding of government. That is fascism, plain and simple. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Jimmy Stewart Takes the Bullet but No Grassy Knoll

Assassination by firearm makes its debut. The target is James Stewart, the Earl of Moray and more importantly, the Regent for the infant King of Scotland. The Earl and the Hamiltons have been embroiled in a bitter feud. The Hamiltons supported Mary, Queen of Scots, in her fight for the Scottish throne, but when she went south, into the hands of Queen Elizabeth the 1st, the options for the Hamiltons narrowed considerable. The Earl has them on the ropes and all seems lost until the Earl transits through town with his troops. As the Earl passes the Hamilton residence, James Hamilton appears in the window and uses his carbine to shoot the Earl dead in the street. (No second shooter on the grassy knoll.) Hamilton escapes. Since the Earl was not in the midst of battle, and since he was also the Regent of the King, this counts as an assassination... the first with a gun. It had to start somewhere. [19] [20] [21] [22]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the 1500s, the reasons for conflict were a mixture of the religious and the secular. In fact, I doubt the people of the time would make a distinction between the two. There remained lingering beliefs in the virtue of trial-by-combat... as if the winner was judged worthy by Heaven. That may explain why the religious were fighting so hard for their separate causes. Losing a fight was like a criticism of their ultimate goals. Social Darwinists use a similar argument but in the secular sense. Survival of the fittest means that if I can beat you up and take all of your stuff, it's because I'm stronger and better suited to use your stuff than you are. Have a nice day.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1570, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Ortelius Atlas. USA Library of Congress (2002). Retrieved on 4 May 2015. “Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World) is considered the first true atlas in the modern sense: a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. [...] The original 1570 Latin edition of the Theatrum mapbook consisted of seventy maps on fifty-three sheets with accompanying texts.”
  2. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 May 2015. “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 'Theatre of the World') is considered to be the first true modern atlas. Written by Abraham Ortelius and originally printed on May 20, 1570, in Antwerp, it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved.”
  3. Abraham Ortelius - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 3 May 2015. “Abraham Ortelius (also Ortels, Orthellius, Wortels; 14 April 1527 -- 28 June 1598) was a Flemish cartographer and geographer, generally recognized as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World). He is also believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions.”
  4. Novum Organum (1620). Constitution.org (2015). Retrieved on 4 May 2015. “Now my method, though hard to practice, is easy to explain; and it is this. I propose to establish progressive stages of certainty. The evidence of the sense, helped and guarded by a certain process of correction, I retain. But the mental operation which follows the act of sense I for the most part reject; and instead of it I open and lay out a new and certain path for the mind to proceed in, starting directly from the simple sensuous perception.”
  5. Baconian method - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 May 2015. “The Baconian method is the investigative method developed by Sir Francis Bacon. The method was put forward in Bacon's book Novum Organum (1620), or 'New Method', and was supposed to replace the methods put forward in Aristotle's Organon. This method was influential upon the development of the scientific method in modern science; but also more generally in the early modern rejection of medieval Aristotelianism.”
  6. Novum Organum - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 4 May 2015. “The Novum Organum, full original title Novum Organum Scientiarum ('new instrument of science'), is a philosophical work by Francis Bacon, written in Latin and published in 1620. The title is a reference to Aristotle's work Organon, which was his treatise on logic and syllogism. In Novum Organum, Bacon details a new system of logic he believes to be superior to the old ways of syllogism.”
  7. Westminster Palace and Houses of Parliament Guide. about.com (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “The houses of British Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, have met in the Palace of Westminster since around 1550.”
  8. Guy Fawkes or a Complete History of the Gunpowder Treason, A.D. 1605. London: John W. Parker, West Strand. 
  9. Guy Fawkes - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 30 April 2015. “Fawkes became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in Britain since 5 November 1605. His effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, commonly accompanied by a firework display.”
  10. V For Vendetta (2005) Official Trailer #1. YouTube (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015.
  11. V for Vendetta (2005). Internet Movie Database (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of 'V', plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.”
  12. A brief history of the Guy Fawkes mask. The Week (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “The iconic version of the Guy Fawkes mask owes its popularity to the graphic novel and film V for Vendetta, which centers on a vigilante's efforts to destroy an authoritarian government in a dystopian future United Kingdom. Although he didn't predict the mask's role in popular protest, David Lloyd, the artist who illustrated the comic, told The New York Times, 'It's a great symbol of protest for anyone who sees tyranny.'”
  13. Sting nets 5 accused of plotting to bomb bridge near Cleveland. cincinnati.com (May 2, 2012). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “The FBI sting operation that led to the arrests of five men in an alleged conspiracy to blow up a Cleveland-area bridge involved now-familiar undercover techniques to identify a potentially dangerous terrorist plot.”
  14. Staff writer (1 May 2012). Cleveland Bridge bomb plot: 'Occupy' anarchists arrested for 'plotting to blow up Ohio bridge'. Daily Mail Online. Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “A member of Occupy Cleveland revealed that at least some of the suspects had attended the group's events, sparking concerns that some supporters of the anti-capitalist movement could turn to violence.”
  15. History - The Gunpowder Plot. BBC (March 29, 2011). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “It was ordinary Catholics, however, who suffered the longest as a result of the Gunpowder Plot. New laws were passed preventing them from practising law, serving as officers in the Army or Navy, or voting in local or Parliamentary elections. Furthermore, as a community they would be blackened for the rest of the century, blamed for the Great Fire of London and unfairly fingered in the Popish Plot of 1678.”
  16. When government fears the people, there is liberty...(Quotation). Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
  17. Bonfire Night 2014 (Photos). NY Daily News (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015.
  18. Here's the History Behind Occupy Wall Street's Creepy Guy Fawkes Mask. TheBlaze.com (November 4, 2011). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “But history books didn't lead to the mask's popularity: A nearly 30-year-old graphic novel and a five-year-old movie did.”
  19. James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “Moray was assassinated in Linlithgow on 23 January 1570 by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a supporter of Mary. As Moray was passing in a cavalcade in the main street below, Hamilton fatally wounded him with a carbine shot from a window of his uncle Archbishop Hamilton's house. The belief that a second shot killed Lady Mondegreen, who was in the street, watching the cavalcade is an urban myth. It was the first recorded assassination by a firearm.”
  20. James Hamilton (assassin) - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh and Woodhouselee (died 1581) was a Scottish supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, who assassinated James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, in January 1570. He shot Moray from the steps of his uncle Archbishop John Hamilton's house in Linlithgow.”
  21. Craignethan Castle. Scottish-Tourist.com (April 30, 2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “Feuding continued between the Hamiltons and the opponents of Mary. In 1570, Moray was shot in Linlithgow by James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh. After an English army assisting in the Marian civil war went to Glasgow in May 1570 the Hamiltons withdrew to Craignethan, and the Earl of Sussex was informed of Craignethan's defensive shortcomings;”
  22. Overview of Bothwellhaugh. scottish-places.info (2015). Retrieved on 5 May 2015. “A location and former mining village of North Lanarkshire. From mediaeval times, Bothwellhaugh was the name given to a tract of low-lying pasture-land wrapped around the right bank of a bend in the River Clyde lying to the east of the town of Bothwell. Originally the site of a Roman fort, the area much later became part of the Duke of Hamilton's estates. The Duke ensured rapid development when he allowed the Hamilton Palace Colliery to be sunk here in 1884 to exploit the rich coal measures lying beneath the surface.”

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