Daily Archives: August 18, 2022

Marguerite Ragnow examines a Portolan chart

ManeyPublishing– May 2, 2011

Marguerite Ragnow is the Editor of Terrae Incognitae and curator at the James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota, USA. The Bell Library has a large collection of rare books, maps and manuscripts that focus on trade and cross-cultural interaction before ca. 1800. In this video, Marguerite introduces one of the library’s Portolan charts. These are navigational maps made in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries which were based on realistic descriptions of harbours and coasts and which recorded the accumulated experience and wisdom of generations of Mediterranean seafarers. The chart in the video includes all of Europe, extending to the Black and Red seas in the east, and shows Antilia at the western extreme. It was made by a Genoese cartographer, Albini de Canepa, and he indicates the Genoese trading stations in the Black Sea area.

Portolan Charts – Beinecke, Yale University

Beinecke Library at Yale– Sep 2, 2020

Portolan charts, or vellum charts illustrating the harbors and trade routes of the Mediterranean, were an early cartographic form, emerging in Spain and Italy in the thirteenth century. The Beinecke’s collection, ranging in date from the fourteenth through the end of the sixteenth century, includes portolan charts, atlases, and materials on the craft of chartmaking.

Read and see more on the library website: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/col…

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BBC World Service – HARDtalk, George Monbiot: Surrounded by fear

Humans face a series of interlinked existential challenges. How do we feed a global population heading towards ten billion? Can it be done without degrading ecosystems and exacerbating climate change to a calamitous extent? Stephen Sackur interviews writer and environmental activist George Monbiot, who has spent decades addressing these questions and framing radical answers. Why are so many politicians and voters seemingly unwilling to listen?


BBC World Service – The Forum, The Art of War: Ancient Chinese guide to victory

The Art of War is one of the most important military strategy texts ever written, and it has become just as influential, perhaps even more so, in the worlds of business, sport, and politics.

Bridget Kendall learns what the 2,000-year-old treatise has to say about deception, spying, and ruthlessness, and asks why it has come to be viewed as a guide to success in life in general.

But has it been misunderstood? We discuss whether it’s better viewed as a guide to avoiding war and conflict, rather than a manual for how to fight.

Plus, we try to get to the bottom of who really wrote it and learn about the blood-soaked period of Chinese history in which it’s believed to have been created.

Producer: Simon Tulett

Credit: Excerpts from the text were based on translations from Michael Nylan’s book (see below), published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2020.


Michael Nylan, professor of early Chinese history at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States, and author of ‘The Art of War: A New Translation by Michael Nylan’;

Derek Yuen, a scholar of strategy and international relations from Hong Kong, and author of ‘Deciphering Sun Tzu: How to Read the Art of War’;

Peter Lorge, associate professor of pre-modern Chinese and military history at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, in the United States, and author of ‘Sun Tzu in the West’.

(Picture: Terracotta warriors – sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China who unified the country after the Warring States period. Credit: Getty Images)

BBC World Service – Science In Action, Deadly drought

East Africa has endured more than two years on continuous drought. The latest predictions suggest the drought is not likely to end any time soon. We look at why climate change and weather patterns in the Pacific and Indian oceans are largely to blame. Andrea Taschetto, chief investigator at the Centre on Climate Extremes at the University of New South Wales discusses the latest predictions

Drought has also been an issue in Europe, comparable with events nearly 500 years ago. Chantal Camenisch at the Institute of History at Bern University in Switzerland has been delving into European drought history and says despite the vast differences in living conditions there are many parallels with today.

When a dinosaur killing asteroid hit the earth did it have company? A suspected impact crater discovered off the coast of West Africa may have been caused at around the same time . Heriot Watt University geostratigrapher Uisdean Nicholson and University of Texas geologist Sean Gulick have been investigating.

And we have some of the answers to why T Rex had such small eyes for the size of its skull, Stephan Lautenschlager at the University of Birmingham has the gruesome answer.


Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian Siddle


China’s ongoing heat wave leads to power and factory disruptions

Aug 18, 2022

CNBC’s Eunice Yoon joins ‘Squawk Box’ to report on the heat waves hitting China that are drying up water supplies and cutting crucial energy sources. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi

BBC World Service – The Inquiry, Can we control the weather?

This Summer, countries across the world have experienced extreme weather events.

Flash floods have killed people in South Korea, Uganda, Australia and the US state of Kentucky, and heatwaves have broken records across Western Europe, North America and Japan.

However, countries across the world are developing ways to try to tame the weather. China, the UAE and the USA are at the forefront of research into methods of producing rain in drought-stricken areas.

And some scientists are thinking even bigger; investigating technologies which could cool the entire planet.

This week, the Inquiry asks: Can we control the weather?

Dr Rob Thompson, University of Reading
Professor Katja Friedrich, University of Colorado, Boulder
Professor David Keith, Harvard University
Professor Elizabeth Chalecki, University of Nebraska Omaha

Presenter: Charmaine Cozier
Producer: Ravi Naik
Researchers: Anoushka Mutanda-Dougherty and Christopher Blake
Technical Producer: Nicky Edwards
Broadcast coordinator: Brenda Brown

Antique maps of Africa – Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

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Inflation Reduction Act “Biggest Step Forward” on Climate, Says Biden Amid Calls for Renewables

Aug 17, 2022

President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday, a sweeping $739 billion bill to address the climate crisis, reduce drug costs and establish a 15% minimum tax for large corporations. Biden has praised the IRA as one of the most significant measures in the history of the United States, though many climate groups and Indigenous land and water defenders have criticized the package for including major handouts to the fossil fuel industry and other corporate entities. Professor Ashley Dawson, who is a member of the Public Power campaign in New York, says the law’s tax credit provisions give “big banks deciding power over what projects get built and where they get built and who builds them.” He supports a democratically controlled “public alternative” which would have the power to build out renewable infrastructure at the speed needed to mitigate the climate emergency.

John Nichols: “Standing Up to Donald Trump in the Republican Party … Leads to Your Defeat”

Aug 17, 2022

We look at the outcome of Tuesday’s primaries for opponents of former President Trump. In Wyoming, Liz Cheney, Trump’s chief House Republican foe, lost her primary to a Trump-backed challenger. In Alaska, Senator Lisa Murkowski, another Republican Trump critic, will move forward to the general election alongside a Trump challenger who also advanced under the state’s ranked-choice voting system. The races “show a clear signal: Standing up to Donald Trump in the Republican Party, by and large, leads to your defeat,” says John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation. Despite Cheney’s defeat, Nichols says she is an “extreme right-wing conservative” who is “signaling an openness to running for president of the United States.” Nichols also discusses how former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is projected to advance in the race for Alaska’s at-large congressional seat.