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Paris vs NYC

A visual but friendly match between those two cities seen by a lover of Paris wandering through New York’s infinite details, clichés and contradictions.

Paris vs NYC - Pierre de taille vs Brick
(c) Vahram Muratyan - parisvsnyc.blogspot.com

Vahram Muratyan, a curious mind and talented designer, reduced the differences between Big Apple and the City of Light to the essential. As a result he shows us great visualizations of urban lifestyle on both sides of the Atlantic. I appreciate his minimalist approach amongst all those overloaded infographics of our days.

It would be interesting to see other cities matched, too. Berlin could be especially funny, with “Mietskaserne”, “Kaffee Latte”, “Trinkgeld”, “Grünanlagen”, “Mülltrennung” etc.

For many more matches between the two cities have a look at parisvsnyc.blogspot.com and follow @parisvsnyc on Twitter!

Paris vs NYC - Espresso vs Americano
(c) Vahram Muratyan - parisvsnyc.blogspot.com
Paris vs NYC - Pourboire vs Tip
(c) Vahram Muratyan - parisvsnyc.blogspot.com
Paris vs NYC - Espace vert vs Go green
(c) Vahram Muratyan - parisvsnyc.blogspot.com
Paris vs NYC - Tri sélectif vs Recycling
(c) Vahram Muratyan - parisvsnyc.blogspot.com
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T.

Tesla, Wi-Fi, and Electronic Music – Literally

A Tesla coil is a resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla at the end of the 19th century. It is used to produce high voltage, relatively high current, high frequency AC electricity. Some people make music out of it.

“What you hear is audio modulated thunder”, Joe DiPrima of Arcattack, a band from Austin, Texas, explains. During their shows Arcattack’s MC and stunt man Patric Brown walks and dances through half a million Volt sparks wearing a Faraday suit.

One of Tesla’s early stuntmen was Mark Twain. The writer and the engineer were close friends and spent much time together in Tesla’s laboratory. Obviously Mark Twain survived the experiments and wrote some great novels later on. High voltage AC electricity is less dangerous for human beings than DC electricity. One explanation is that under AC electricity the ions in the human body are rather oscillating within the cells than moving between them. It might hurt anyway; and remember: a real thunder is DC! So please don’t try this at home, unless you are a stuntman wearing a Faraday suit or a great writer looking for inspiration.

Mark Twain in Tesla's Lab (1894): Suddenly the lights came on.

Today the main use of Tesla coils is entertainment and educational displays. Neverless the underlying ideas on wireless communication seem visionary in the era of the internet. In 1915 Tesla declared that “wireless wonders” may solve some of the world’s greatest problems. With wireless communication “we might decrease the cost of the dissemination of useful information that every citizen of this country, resident no matter how remotely from the populated centres, could be kept continually in touch with the outer world occurences, weather prospects, and all that helpfull information which the Government already gathers, or might gather if it had at hand the means by which to make it public”, the New York Times reported on August 1, 1915. Let’s solve the problems, we have got the tools!

Wi-Fi 100 years ago: Tesla's tower on Long Island.
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I.

Imaginary Landscapes and Literary Maps

Did you ever wonder which of your favorite literary characters lived in the same street or were actually neighbors? Now you can find it out.

Visit the Literary Map of Manhattan to see where some 100 imaginary New Yorkers “lived, worked, played, drank, walked and looked at ducks.” In my opinion this is the best combination of maps and literature so far.

Looking at ducks (c) www.nytimes.com

Across the Atlantic you can find a similar project called Books in London marking the location of more than 400 books either set in, or about, London.

Mapping the books. (c) www.getlondonreading.co.uk

The creators of Books in London also provide a free iPhone app of their literary map.

Augmented reality by bike.

Still another way to explore maps and literature is Gutenkarte. The so called “geographic text browser” is intended to help readers explore the spatial component of classic works of literature. Gutenkarte downloads public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, and stores all the geographic locations it can find locations in a database, along with citations into the text itself.

Tagging the world of War and Peace. (c) www.gutenkarte.org

You can also browse historical literary maps at the Library of Congress. This collection of maps was part of an exhibition entitled “Language of the Land“, a breathtaking journey through the literary heritage of the US.

The historical point of view. (c) www.loc.gov

Augmented reality is reality. And I am eager to see what is coming next.

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