Wednesday, 21 June 2000

Map-geekery

Listening to:

Beethoven, symphony #2 in D major, op 36. This is a recording from 1963 with Herbert Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, a very famous coupling. Nonetheless, as Hofstadter says in Le ton beau de Marot (not a bad book BTW), it’s Beethoven who should get top billing.

I actually have a box set in front of me of all of the 1963 recordings of the nine symphonies. I chose this particular CD because it couples the 2nd with the 4th symphony. Of the nine, I know the 4th least well, so I like to listen to its freshness and surprises. Does this mean that other music, which I’ve listened to many, many times is stale? Well, maybe stale is too strong a word. No, I like to hear the familiar development. I like to hear again how beautiful it is, even though I know what’s "going to happen".

How am I a geek? Let me count the ways...

One of the ways is that I'm a definite map-geek. I've been amusing myself with MapQuest, and zipping around the world, looking at maps of all the places I've lived. There are varying levels of detail available. Best of all was Montréal, where I was able to see the street where I lived. (The link is to a larger view, where it's easy to see the neat fact that Montréal is a city on islands in the middle of a river.)

Sendai in Miyagi prefecture Japan wasn't great, but Nadi, Fiji is definitely worst. Few surprises there I suppose. It's a shame that even at their most detailed, the maps never get as nice as those that you can get in paper from the Ordnance Survey. But again, few surprises there.

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