Few have ever ventured

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having a look at my National Geographic map of the Channel Islands

says the NPS:

The freighter Chickasaw, with its cargo of children’s toys, ran aground on the south side of the island in a heavy storm in 1962. Since the time of this photo, the Chickasaw has further deteriorated leaving very little wreckage visible to visitors.

and from this one, CA Wreck Divers:

The wreck of the Chickasaw remained one of Southern California’s most prominent wrecks as her large hulk stood fast for many years.   However, the exposed site gradually wore down her hull and those that visited her periodically saw her swallowed up the ocean, piece by piece, as her hull disintegrated into the surf line.  Today, nothing remains visible of the ship, except for her smoke stack that lies on the shore.

Given the unprotected location, sharp wreckage and high surf typically found on the site, few have ever ventured to dive the wreck.


The Canny Admirals

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Found this picture of John McCain Sr. (the Senator’s grandfather) and William “Bull” Halsey on Wiki while looking up something or another.

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Here’s McCain Sr and Junior (the Senator’s dad) at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.  McCain Sr. dropped dead four days later.

 


Feejee mermaid

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To go on display!  But back in Massachusetts.  Is is worth a trip?

The original object was exhibited by P.T. Barnum in Barnum’s American Museum in New York in 1842 and then disappeared. It was assumed that it had been destroyed in one of Barnum’s many fires that destroyed his collections…

There is controversy today on whether the Fiji mermaid actually disappeared in the fire or not. Many claim to have the original exhibit, but Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, has the most proof that their exhibit is the actual original. It does not look completely the same, but it does have the same flat nose and bared teeth. The thought that the fires could have altered the appearance of the mermaid are reason for it not looking completely like it did in Barnum’s possession.

Well, if I can’t make it to Cambridge I can always make my own:

A guide to constructing a Fiji mermaid appeared in the November 2009 issue of Fortean Times magazine, in an article written by special effects expert and stop-motion animator Alan Friswell. Rather than building the figure with fish and monkey parts, Friswell used papier mache and modelling putty, sealed with wallpaper paste, and with doll’s hair glued to the scalp.


How big are places compared to other places?

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Traveling across the South Island of New Zealand by train, I was trying to work out for myself how big exactly the country is.

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It looked big

With the help of OverlapMaps, here’s a comparison of New Zealand to California:

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The total land area of New Zealand, says Google, is 103,483 mi²

In US state terms, that makes it just smaller than Colorado, at 104,185 mi².

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Colorado has about 1 million more people.

Colorado: 5.356 million (2014)

New Zealand: 4.5 million

Pop wise New Zealand is about the size of Kentucky or Louisiana.

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The folks at Brilliant Maps do fantastic work in this field.  Here are some of my favorites:

Los Angeles and other cities overlaid on The Netherlands:

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Not sure I totally understand what’s going on here.

Cali and Madagascar:

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The size of the Pacific:

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Map by Chris Stephens, from naturalearthdata.com

US population in Europe:

Created by: reddit user Tom1099

Created by: reddit user Tom1099

US in China by population:

How the US population fits into China by reddit user jackblack2323

How the US population fits into China by reddit user jackblack2323

OR:

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Map by reddit user gotrees

Size of different islands:

The relative size of the 24 largest islands in the world, map by reddit user evening_raga

The relative size of the 24 largest islands in the world, map by reddit user evening_raga

And The Circle:

Map created by reddit user valeriepieris

Map created by reddit user valeriepieris

Here’s one more for you, from OverlandMaps:

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Australia’s population is 23.13 million or so, so it’s about three million people bigger than Florida (20.2 mill) and smaller than Texas (27.46 mill).  Whole lotta room down there.  About as many people as Illinois and Pennsylvania put together, in a land area (2.97 million square miles) that’s about as big as 51 Illinoises.

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one of Australia’s more densely populated areas.


Sounds bad

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from Gothamist


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via this blogpost, “25 Creepiest Creatures of Narragansett Bay,” ht Sis.


San Francisco

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Right before Christmas had a chance to visit San Francisco — always great!IMG_1447

In San Francisco you can really feel like you’re halfway in the ocean.  IMG_1387

Finding myself with an idle hour I went to go check out Diego Rivera’s mural Allegory of California over at the City Club in the former Pacific Stock Exchange building.  The City Club was all done up for a Christmas party.

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Pictures of the mural often leave out the amazing ceiling part:

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Rivera painted this one in 1931,   He modeled the lady on tennis champ Helen Wills Moody, who was at that time one of California’s most famous daughters:

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She was a painter herself:

Wills was an artist by avocation. She received a degree in fine arts along with a Phi Beta Kappa key from the University of California, and painted throughout her life. She was delighted to be chosen as the model for Diego Rivera’s two-story mural “The Riches of California,” commissioned for $2,500 in 1930. Wills and the first of her two husbands, the financier Frederick Moody, invited Rivera and his wife, the painter Frieda Kahlo, to a celebratory tea after the mural’s unveiling at the former San Francisco Stock Exchange.

For Wills, who confessed to suffering the intangible pangs of “a restless heart,” tennis and painting were the best antidotes for melancholy. She maintained an artist’s studio at her residences in San Francisco and later in Carmel, once sold 40 paintings for $100 each and illustrated her own articles for The Saturday Evening Post.

Here’s one of her own drawings:

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 1.26.20 PMLifting that one from San Francisco’s Lost Art Salon.   Reader Schoboats calls our attention to a good detail from Wills Moody’s NY Times obit:

Perhaps Wills’s most infamous match, and certainly the one she extolled as the focal point of her playing career, was her only meeting with Lenglen, the queen of the continent, in a much ballyhooed showdown at Cannes in 1926. Lenglen was 26 and tactically superior; Wills was 20 and physically stronger. Lenglen won the raucous encounter, 6-3, 8-6.

There was a prizefight atmosphere, with tickets scalped at a then-shocking rate of $50 each, and an international gallery of spectators that included King Gustaf, a group of stowaway French schoolboys in a eucalyptus tree at one end of the court and Wills’s future husband, Frederick Moody, who introduced himself to her after the match. Wills was fond of noting that although she lost the match, she not only gained perspective on necessary changes to her game, which tended to be without nuance and relied on battering her opponents into submission with repetitious forehand ground strokes, but also gained a husband.

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Maybe next time I’m up there I will get to see Making Of A Fresco:

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