Tidal energy is counted as renewable but clearly the energy has to come from somewhere. What happens if you put stuff in the way of tides?
- It makes the moon slow down and eventually crash into the earth.
- It makes the earth's rotation slow down and eventually stop.
- It cools down the sea by reducing the friction of the water sloshing about.
Recently read "The Riddle of the Sands" by Erskine Childers, which includes regularly referenced maps and nautical charts of the German North Sea coast. This has made me think about books with maps in them.
The first mappish books I thought of were Ursula le Guin's Earthsea - by the end of the original trilogy the dude had been pretty much everywhere on the map.
I seem to remember that The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings have unconvincing maps with rectangular mountain ranges. However, Lord of the Rings gets bonus points for having a fold-out map, in the edition I read.
I suppose a lot of other fantasy books have maps in them, but I don't read many of them.
All the best detective stories include plans of the house, of course.
From my childhood reading I think that most of the Swallows and Amazons books have maps in them.
The Courts of the Morning by John Buchan is one I reread a while back - this also suffers from the rectangular mountain range problem. It's about a small war in South America. You'd expect military books to go in for mapping but I don't read too many of those either. The Flashman books have maps I suppose.
I have as yet formed no significant conclusions on the important topic of literary cartography, except that all books should have maps if at all possible. Maybe I'll go and draw some for Pride and Prejudice. I expect Jane Austen would have done that if she'd thought of it.
Short book reviews
Beyond Black - Hilary Mantel. Black comedy about a medium. Good.
The Butt - Will Self. Set in fictional country vaguely like a third-world Australia with violent tribes etc. Dull, disappointing.
Atonement - Ian McEwan. Good.
The Janissary Tree - Jason Goodwin. Crap. Did the hero continually think things to himself in single line paragraphs with gratuitous italicization?
Yes he did.
I think I remember the Da Vinci Code using the same irritating device but maybe it was something else.
Apparently this is my first diary since 2004. I think I posted a couple of Holes in the meantime though. Nothing really happened anyway. I don't know if I'll become a real diarist. I am posting this at the weekend so as to retain my amateur status.
|< Work it, baby | You gotta do what you gotta do. >|