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Exploration - mattangs & medoes

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160619.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:46 am Reply with quote

Now all we need is an elephant link...

160648.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:59 am Reply with quote

Well, we have here elephant maps, used to establish where poached ivory comes from, by matching it up with samples of ele-shit, collected and sent in by field workers in various locations:

Frederick The Monk
160751.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:00 am Reply with quote

Nor is that the only elephant map - Mrs Monk was making a documentary series a few years back about mapping and discovered that there is an elephant shaped hill in the Gold Coast map of 1929 - except of course there isn't really. A junior army cartographer, rather dispirited at the lack of interest shown by his bosses in his work and probably not a little bored doodled an elephant in contours on the map which slipped through the editorial net and ended up being published.

Ah yes, here it is:

Can you spot the elephant?

Last edited by Frederick The Monk on Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total

160753.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:04 am Reply with quote

It's really clear, even on the first pic, isn't it? Perfect! I wonder if there have ever been any elephant cartographers, along with the (reported) musicians, poets, painters and so on?

And we could always lay an outline of Africa over an outline of an African elephant's ear ...

160756.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:06 am Reply with quote

**cough** picture researchers **ahem**

160766.  Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:25 am Reply with quote

Well that's just frigging perfect if we go with this idea of an "Elephant in the room!" joker.

Pardon my French.

164533.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:25 pm Reply with quote

It just got better:
The Polynesians were, in fact, among the most highly skilled seafarers and navigators the world has ever seen. They had an astounding knowledge of the night sky (and) an amazing ability to detect surface currents and compensate for them. And they had the almost uncanny skill of steering by wave motion, guided by the barely perceptible swells reflected from islands beyond the horizon: as David Lewis remarks. "The skilled navigator comes to recognize the profile and characteristics of particular ocean swells as he would the faces of his friends, but he judges their direction more by feel than by sight."* The most advanced practitioners of this art would enter the water to judge the swells against the most sensitive part of the body, the scrotum - thus giving a whole new meaning to the term 'ball bearings'.

* article entitled 'Wind, Wave, Star and Bird' by D. Lewis (1974) in the National Geographic, Nat. Geo. 146 (6): pp.746-54

The Enigmas of Easter Island by John Flenley and Paul Bahn

164552.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:54 pm Reply with quote


164555.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:11 pm Reply with quote

We've never covered it but I did look at it the other day and in the end I didn't post it because I didn't think it was all that well-known of a duck; it might just get blank looks from the panel.

164557.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:17 pm Reply with quote


164592.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:59 pm Reply with quote

You said it was a canard.

164720.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:35 am Reply with quote

Heh - 'ball bearings' is very good. Surely a forfeit card for that one.

The mattangs are all about surface wave shapes, though, not subsurface currents (which is a separate navigation method) so unless the chap were floating naked on his back with his genitalia aligned north-south...

164981.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:10 pm Reply with quote

'Does sir dress north or south?'

167164.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:41 am Reply with quote

For the mattang notes, you may find this article useful Chris.

Mapping of the ocean floor by sonar has shown why the waves of the Californian coast are so, like, awesome, dude.

It makes sense that underwater topology would affect the way that waves form, I wonder how the polynesians took this into account when creating their mattangs?

167187.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:28 am Reply with quote

At the highest point of the protrusion, the wave becomes unstable and breaks. Data collection was impossible in that location because the rough sea presented too much danger to the scientists.

They clearly need more surfer scientists.

I've been researching albatrosses, and have found that certain species seem to be able to detect the contours of the ocean floor, and will only fish from areas that are greater than 1,000 feet deep. Some Antarctic scientist was tracking a few tagged ones on satellite, and they appeared to be following the contours perfectly on his map overlays.


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