Sunday, December 28, 2008

Moving Pictures

This is an video of art illustrating a song about art. It's just lovely. Magical, actually.

(Via Luca Has 2 Mommies)

I loved the video so much, I went to iTunes and bought the song.

Do You Know Your State's Motto?

Check out this awesome map, a composite of 50 linocuts, from artist Emily Wick (via Prêt à Voyager).

Emily says, on Anne's site:

Believe it or not, they are the official mottos. Each state only has one official motto (though occasionally a state will change it).

However, a state can have many slogans; they are typically used for advertising purposes, such as "Vacationland" or "The Sunshine State".

The mottos are often written in Latin on the flag and other official documents, so many people are not familiar with a motto even if they live in the state!

Thanks for visiting Two Eyeballs. Maryland's is definitely the most eyebrow-raising...

She offers shirts and other goodies with the individual states, as well, in her gift shop.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Accidental Deliciousness

I meant to make haystacks, which are very simple: melted butterscotch chips and chow mein noodles in clumps.

But I forgot that the recipe didn't include marshmallows, so I added marshmallows.

But then it was too sticky, and I realized my mistake.

And I do like marshmallows, but I don't like overly marshmallowy things (blame it on an overdose of rice krispy treats as a kid). So I decided to add chocolate chips to the marshmallow-butterscotch mix, to balance it out a bit.

Then I stirred in the chow mein noodles. And at some point, a half stick of butter.

The mess was too sticky to form spoonful cookies, so I pushed it all into a 9 x 13 baking pan and let it cool.

Oh-my-god good.

Sticky, but not too sticky, not too firm. Not too sweet, either. Just sweet enough to make them irresistible. Do you know what I mean?

Here's the recipe (I've unofficially named them earthworm cookies, because that's what they look like, but there's got to be a more appetizing name):

1/2 stick butter
1 bag marshmallows
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 bag chocolate chips
1 can chow mein noodles

Melt it all together, push into pan. Let cool. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

... Season's Greetings ...

... Wishing you all a perfectly magical Christmas ...

... full of joyful surprises ...

... and of course, merriness ...

... and a delightful New Year ...

... full of dreams come true ...

... and all the happiness in the world.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Retrospective, of Sorts

Thanks, Hugh, for summing it up so perfectly*:

So true. I am so sorry. I haven't forgotten this blog. How could I? Just, in the blizzard of pre-holiday activity, haven't had the large chunks of time to sit down and write a post that will add to the world in any meaningful way.

So I offer up little, Halloween-sized chunks of my life, for now, which all together, probably add up to more calories than it would be if I just gave you a candy bar.

* and for allowing me to share your cartoon on my own blog. Via GapingVoid, via TwitterFanWiki.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Save the Handmade World!

One of my treasured possessions is a handmade teddy bear that my aunt purchased at a craft fair for me while my Mom was still pregnant with me. Bear - I renamed him many times over the years, but always came back to Bear - isn't that handsome (he's the one in back), and he's really looking his age, which is like 95 in teddy bear years, but he's taken so much abuse over the years and survived. He knows all my secrets and has been there for me whenever I needed him. I actually left him at home when I went to college... and then brought him back down with me the very next time I went home, because I missed him so much.

But if the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act had been in effect back then, Bear and I probably would never have been given the chance to become the best of friends.

I think the only time I've ever written to a Congressman or Senator might have been in high school -- I'm not positive -- and a few weeks ago, when I wrote to request Inauguration tickets. But today I wrote to my Congressman, my Senator and my Senator-elect, and I ask you to please do the same thing.

In its crucial, admirable and necessary efforts to protect children from poisonous products, Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act requiring manufacturers of items for children -- everything from toys to furniture to clothing -- to submit their products for extensive, and expensive, third party testing.

The unintended consequence is that thousands of independent American makers of handmade toys, baby blankets, clothing, and the like may very well be forced out of business, because the cost of the testing is so prohibitive. This legislation, which seems to be aimed at large companies importing items from countries like China,* does not take into consideration the sole proprietors and small businesses making safe, high-quality handcrafted items in workshops, cottages and studios across the United States, Canada and Europe.

My artwork is not targeted specifically at children, although parents do bring me a large portion of my business, but the effects could spread far and wide, as craft fairs and the online marketplaces that serve all craftspeople, such as Etsy and ArtFire, take a beating. If they, in turn, go out of business, even those people who do not make items for children may lose their main sales venues.

I don't think a single person is arguing against making sure products are safe for children - in fact I think most of these craftspeople are parents or grandparents themselves, or hope to be, like me, and are making these things because they love children - but if provisions are not made for small businesses and sole proprietors, the unintended consequences could be devastating to the handmade world.

I think it is a terrible shame that legislation that is intended to protect the health of children and babies should also throw another baby – small business owners and craftspeople – out with the bathwater, particularly at a time when our economy needs all the help it can get. At a time when people who are losing their jobs might turn to alternate methods of earning a living, the CPSIA will pull those opportunities right out from under them.

There must be solution: perhaps a way to make it possible for these small makers to document their materials to show they are not dangerous, or perhaps, as the Handmade Toy Alliance suggests, for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to offer free testing for small businesses.

I've sent letters to my Congressman, my Senator and my Senator-elect, and you can find out how to do the same thing, here: Senate and Congress. You can also find out more at the Handmade Toy Alliance, and find a sample letter here. You can also read an open letter written by Etsy, here, and find more information at this activist site.

Please, take a few minutes, and put in a good word for craftspeople. They need you.

* And I certainly don't want to imply that items from China or other countries, and items manufactured or imported by larger companies, are automatically dangerous to children, or that this won't affect large companies whose products are safe, as well. It's just that craftspeople and small businesses have much smaller safety nets, if they have any at all.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Interimaginational Institute's New Outpost

I am so delighted to announce the opening of the latest outpost of the Interimaginational Institute, at ArtFire, a new handmade marketplace.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

If you head over there now, you'll find some of my favorite maps, plus my North Pole Map Christmas postcards (I am so, so excited and proud of these that you'd think I'd have all my Christmas cards sent out already, just to show them off, but no, I am lagging, as usual!).

If you are a seller of handmade items and are interested in setting up shop on Artfire, there's no better time to do it... first, you can get in early, and tell everyone that you knew Artfire when.

And second, if you sign up now, you can lock in a Verified membership at $7 a month for life (it's usually $20 a month). The great thing is, you don't have to sign up for a Verified membership, because a basic membership is free (That's right! Free! No listing fees and no commissions when an item sells), but Verified membership does offer perks like shop stats, which, naturally, I am checking 8,237 times a day, just for the novelty of it.

Either way, ArtFire is not just another Etsy. I love Etsy so much. Etsy has changed my life, in so many wonderful ways, and made it possible for me to even continue doing what I do.

ArtFire is still very new, with a lot of bugs. But it's obvious that they're working really hard to make it a nice place to find and to sell handmade items (and vintage, supplies and design services, too). And I think ArtFire has some features that make it a great complement to Etsy, a lovely place to bring even more people into the marvelous world of fantastical exploring...

Speaking of exploring, just head on over there and check it out. If you do sign up for the paid membership, tell 'em I sent you (by using this link: Register on, and you'll help me be on my way to a free lifetime Verified membership (for which I will be eternally grateful)... and then you can refer your way to a free lifetime membership too (the offer ends at the end of December).

Already, the ArtFire buzz is noticeable. I think it's going to catch on fi ... uh, sorry... I think it might just be the next big thing.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Own Personal Sing-Along

I made one of those obvious discoveries today, the ones that come with technological advances, that everyone else always seems to know from the get-go...

If I ever have trouble thinking of my favorite songs - and I do, because I like a lot of music, and I've had senior moments since I was a senior in high school, or maybe since I was a senior in pre-school - I can just click on my "Top 25 Most Played" list in iTunes.

And there's no hiding from the fact that these are, well, the songs I listen to the most, and the songs I know by heart.

The list seems pretty eclectic at first glance, and it makes me really happy (and not a little bit smug, to be totally honest) that it spans so many artists and genres, but actually, these songs fit together really well. The playlist flows quite nicely.

As far as favorites go, though, I would replace "Rich Woman" with "Fortune Teller," and "Spooky" by the Classics IV has been getting a lot of ear time lately, so you can consider it the honorary 26th member. Also, I'd add "Going to California" by Led Zeppelin, and "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd, and about 25 more songs I don't listen to that often that are still my favorites. But this pretty much sums it up, for the time being:

  • LDN by Lily Allen
  • Iko Iko by Cyndi Lauper
  • Millionär by Die Prinzen
  • Tiny Dancer by Elton John
  • Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
  • Superstition by Stevie Wonder
  • Take Me to the River by Al Green
  • Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby by Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch
  • Desperation Song by Carbon Leaf
  • Long Black Veil by The Band
  • Back to Black by Amy Winehouse
  • Ballad of Cable Hogue by Calexico
  • How Many Times by Fairport Convention
  • La Mariquita by Correo Aereo
  • Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blonde
  • Sloop John B by the Beach Boys
  • Tall Ships by Show of Hands
  • A Cloak of Elvenkind by Marcy Playground
  • Bird from the Mountain by Fairport Convention and Ric Sander
  • Rich Woman by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
  • New Shoes by Paulo Nutini
  • Tóg É Go Bog É by Kíla
  • King of Elfland's Daughter by Phoenyx
  • The Perfect Crime by the Decemberists
  • Fidelity by Regina Spektor

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Win Free Paintandink Prints Today!

Quick! You have a chance to win some of my prints at Coveiter if you make a comment on that blog post by midnight tonight...

Thank you to Coveiter for inviting me to participate.

(Sorry for the late notice... holiday decorating with company going on around here to the sounds of jazzy Christmas music.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

To Australia, Pittsburgh, the North Pole, and Beyond!

It might not surprise you, but I love Google Maps Street View. I can travel vicariously through my computer, and that's awesome ... a few weeks ago, in fact, I spent a good half hour wandering around Sydney, Australia.

Even more, I like to go back and visit all my old haunts, the ones that are hundreds or thousands of miles away from me now. Not all of my favorite places are on Street View yet, but enough of them are that when I get homesick for whichever place - I've had a lot of homes - it's not a bad antidote.

It never occurred to me to see Street View as a performance venue, but other people have, some for prurient purposes (go find your own links for that one if you want) and others just for the sake of plain old fun, wacky entertainment. Like Street With a View, in which vignettes were purposely set up in time for the Google car to capture them on camera. Take a look at the photos, then click the links on the side to see the scenes in Street View. (Via

This is my favorite:

Or maybe this one:

In other news, I was knocked off my feet and out of the studio last week, not by sword-bearing people, but by a very rude flu. This week I am gratefully on my way to recovery, aided by joyous excitement that my holiday postcards with my map of the North Pole have arrived!

North Pole Map

As soon as the envelopes (ordered separately) get here, I will list the cards in my Etsy shop. Reproductions of the map are already available, here. Not only that, but you can find it on nifty products here, in the other Interimaginational Institute shop, including a coffee mug and an apron for wearing while you make your favorite holiday cookies. While you're there, you might just find the perfect gift for your favorite map lover. Happy browsing!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Facebook Fun...

I have read a lot of suggestions lately that artists open a Facebook account and share it with the world. The thing is, I love that Facebook isn't open to the world. I do have a Facebook account, but I keep it fairly private, limited mostly to people I know in person, so that I can be "myself."

Not that I'm not myself with you, my wonderful blog readers, but I do try to keep the conversation (somewhat) sweet and polite, and keep my more sardonic / political / sometimes very mundane / occasionally fiercely opinionated sides out of the spotlight. I wouldn't want you all to run away screaming...

But thanks to French Toast Girl, I have discovered a way to share Facebook with everyone: I have set up a page for the Interimaginational Institute, and if you have a Facebook account, you can be my fan, post comments, take a look at my gallery and so on. I'd be honored if you check it out, and if you do, please say hello!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you know your way around the North Pole?

No? No problem! I have the North Pole Tourism Bureau's definitive map right here:

Tour the toy factory, carpentry workshop, and stocking shop; take a spin in Santa's sleigh; pick up a delicious snack at the bakery; slide around on the skating pond; and top it all off with a cozy supper at the North Pole Restaurant & Inn. There's caroling, tree-lighting, cocoa-drinking and merriment galore at the North Pole, and they can't wait for your visit!

And very soon, you can share that with everyone on your Christmas card list. I've just ordered a batch of holiday cards, which will be available in the next few weeks at the Interimaginational Institute for Fantastical Exploration & Cartography, so check back soon.

November 11

Veteran's Day is technically over where I am, but before I go to bed, I just want to say:

Thank you, honey.

For working so hard and giving up so much (especially things like daylight and fresh air).

I love you, and I am proud of you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Cherry-Picking #9: These Boots Are Made for Everything

I wore cowboy boots almost every day for five years .

I hated cowboy boots growing up in Reno -- thought they were totally dorky, and I would know, because I was a total dork.*

And then a strange thing happened when I moved away. I got nostalgic. So I bought a pair on one visit home. Ariats. Comfortable, like a dream. Or like jeans, which I also wear almost every day.

When that pair wore out (after thousands of days, not to mention miles, because I lived in and walked all over the city of Philadelphia for most of those five years), I started mixing my shoes up a bit in the summer (I like Mary Janes almost as much as I like cowboy boots and flip flops are slightly more practical in Virginia humidity, after all).

But I have a new pair of boots, purchased on my road trip last year** from the same tiny shop in Reno where I bought the first pair, for almost the same price.

And I am so glad fall is here, so I can bask in their bootness: comfort, laid-backedness, me-ness.***

* Yes, I still am. I know.

** What, you don't think year-old boots are new? Well, I did work in an office all last winter, and then wore other shoes all summer. The boots aren't even close to being broken in, yet.

*** And no, in case you're wondering, I don't ride horses. Would love to, they just haven't really been part of my life, except for that one day when I lost my hat because I happened to be on horse that decided it was a Ferrari and managed 0 to 60 in 1.2 seconds. I didn't have boots back then. Probably lucky my hat was all I lost.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I don't have any photos or fancy Election Day graphics, but you can find those in a lot of places online today (not to mention some cool artwork, like my friend Jeannine's).

I just want to say this:

I voted this morning.

Actually, I arrived this morning, couldn't find a parking spot, drove home, walked back, waited in line, and ended up voting just after noon.

The last time I voted -- I do my best to vote in each election, even the small ones, because I feel it's important to use your rights or lose them, although I won't vote if I know nothing about the ballot, because that is also irresponsible, and I forgot that I would be in Hawaii during the primaries, so I never ordered an absentee ballot -- the last time I voted, which was for city council races, there were only five other voters in the room. No line.

This morning, I was told, there were 800 people in line when the polls opened. Eight hundred. That's a lot more than five. The earliest voters arrived at 3:20 a.m. Still yesterday in some parts of the country.

You should know that this morning, when the polls opened, it was raining. And it rained until just before I arrived, and then off and on again. Those people waited up to three hours, outside in the rain, to vote in an election that, in our area, only has three things on the ballot: United States president, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative.

I arrived later, at 10:37, thinking that most people would be at work. I was wrong. I waited for an hour and a half. And every minute felt fantastic.

This is the first time in the 15 years since I turned 18 that voting made me feel elated, instead of mildly curious, or even resigned. And it brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy. Tears of hope. Tears at the thought that I have the privilege of casting my vote for the leader of my country - nay, leaders, because our Senators and Representatives are leaders, too - when so many people haven't, for so long through history, had the right to pick their own government and to this day still do not have that right.

And when my vote not only affects the future of my country, but the future of the world.

It was an honor to wait in that line.

If only all elections were like this.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Hear Turkeys Wearing Sleigh Bells and Bearing Gifts

Well, I do have very strange and vivid dreams a lot of the time, but actually, that title is a roundabout way of saying:

Holiday shopping time is nearly here!

Actually, for some, it is already here and gone. My cousin has finished Christmas shopping for her kids, and wow, I am in awe.

But for those who have not finished, or even begun (um, like me), don't forget to check out Etsy for some incredible, marvelous, singular handmade items and vintage goodies.

I'm going to post a new widget on my sidebar to give you an easy way to sign up, but feel free to try out the link now (and I don't get anything from the referral but joy, because it's my opinion buying from craftspeople and artists like those on Etsy can improve the economy and change the world).


I invite you to visit an incredible website called Etsy ( Etsy is an amazing online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. You'll find a creative community of independent artists and designers offering the very best in handmade goods, craft supplies and vintage. It's an excellent place to buy one of a kind items, to give as gifts or for yourself, directly from the artists, while forming personal connections with the people who create them. And even just the window-shopping is fantastic.

Signing up is free and easy. Just click here:

Enjoy! And while you're there, stop by my shop for a visit:

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cherry-Picking #8: The Skeleton in the Closet

In honor of the Day of the Dead...

I used to keep a skeleton in my closet.

A glow-in-the-dark skeleton that was a left-over prop from a show I worked on.

I named him, but I don't remember what his name was.

I thought the closet was the appropriate place for a skeleton, and I made a point of telling everyone I had a skeleton in my closet. A little affected, perhaps, but I thought it was hilarious.

I miss my skeleton. I don't know what happened to him.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Behind the (Many) Mask(s)

I won't really be Halloweening it this year, or even dressing up, because, once again, I'll be en route to New Jersey, this time for my sister's birthday party. I've been on the go so much lately, I haven't had much time to think of a costume, anyway. (I did hear a rumor that there would be face painting at the party, though!)

But I think the drive will give me plenty of time to plan next year's costume. In the meantime, here is a list of my most memorable costumes... sadly, I only have a few photos. Such is the way of the pre-digital camera world. Or the I-was-partying-so-I-forgot-photos world. Or the I-was-partying-so-I-deleted-those-photos world.

1. The Queen of Hearts costume I mentioned on Becky's blog.

2. At 11, I took a cardboard box, a sheet, and some aluminum foil and turned my best friend into a pack of Bubble-Yum. I have no idea what my costume was, but I've always remembered hers.

3. Cruella de Vil, just before the news came out of the live-action version of 101 Dalmations. That costume was fabulous: a white fur coat (from a thrift store, I promise), a red silk purse, a slinky black dress, the perfect wig, and a cigarette holder to top it all off.

4. I turned myself into Daphne and my mother into Velma in 2000, two years before the Scooby-Doo movie (again with the uncanny cinematic timing), for my mom's Halloween birthday party about 8 years ago.

I was sewing that costume, which you can't even see in this photo, on the airplane from Philly to Reno, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers. But I was even prouder of my mom's costume -- those glasses are the perfect touch, no?

5. In 2003, I made a mask out of cardboard, paint, sequins and ribbons. Didn't really fit my face, but doesn't that just make it more mysterious? (Please say yes.) It hangs in my studio to this day.

And, to tell the truth, that blue cloak ends up as an element of my costumes on a regular basis.

6. And for years, I was Annie at every opportunity... Halloween, school photos, random Annie-ish occasions, so I could remind the sun to come out tomorrow.

7. And then I morphed into Laura Ingalls...

8. Actually... yeah... who needs Halloween?

My 12th birthday party.

Me in a production of The Pied Piper my cousins and I put on at my grandma's house.

I look like my Dad, don't I?

Many years in the Society for Creative Anachronism left me with a great wardrobe.


Which I continue to find reasons to wear.

How do I look as a blond? Me and some of my coworkers on Official Wear-a-Wig-to-Work day. Okay, so it's not a national holiday yet. It will be soon.

And if you don't have a wig, just improvise.

Oh, wait, this isn't really a costume, per se, but a uniform.
I wore this to march in a parade at Disneyland and perform on the field at Angel Stadium during halftime of a USC game. Then I quit the band and joined crew instead. Where we also got cool clothes, but no flag.

Whatever you're wearing, I hope you have a very happy Halloween!

Witchy Woman: Who, Me?

This morning was full of those little annoyances that add up quickly into something more disgruntling than the sum of their parts, and I was feeling quite witchy after such a tricky day...

... but then I opened the mailbox and got a sweet treat.

The Fab (and so generous) Miss B, akay Becky Kazana, offered up a giveaway of her Halloween mix in exchange for a comment about her readers' best Halloween costumes, and I, with no casting of spells whatsoever, won...

The packaging alone is a treat...

... and the mix is awesome, full of a number of songs I have loved for years but never had in my collection, and is going a long way toward improving my mood.

(I even got a new vibrant green sticker to add to my long-beloved clipboard from my TV days.)

My winning luck has been lovely lately (with the exception of the races a few weeks ago), and so I think it will soon be time for me to offer up a gift to the world in return. It may take me a little while, since my topsy-turvy schedule still stretches out in front of me for weeks to come, but watch this space for your chance to win some sort of paintandinky treat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The Phillies won the World Series!!!!!!!

Sometimes there IS crying in baseball.

Tears of joy!

They Say It's Your Birthday...

I'd like to wish my mom a very happy, belated birthday -- it was yesterday. Happy birthday, Mom! May it be the start of a magical year.

And today, it's my sister's second birthday. Happy birthday, Olivia!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm a Thief, but I Have a Cute Hat

For all that I am against the stealing of other people's images, I am shamelessly stealing photos from my stepmother's Facebook account. Don't try this at home, but I think she'll forgive me...

Me and my dad.

Me and my stepmom.

Me and my dad, after the game. That rally towel? It was pristine, until I dropped it on the rainy ground in the ninth inning. I don't care, I'm framing it, dirt smudges and all.

(As for my hat, whoops, how did it get turned around? Must have been in all the excitement.)

Cold and Wet and Happier Than I Can Ever Explain

World Series, Game 3
October 25, 2008
Citizens Bank Park
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

It was the most exciting baseball game I have ever attended in my life.

It was POURING before the game. We got there at 6 p.m., the start of the game was delayed until 10, and the game ended just before 2 a.m.

But at least we were luckier than the fans at yesterday's game, who sat in pouring rain during the game, and then had to go home when it was suspended.

These fireworks went off during the Star-Spangled Banner -- and then went off for every Phillies home run -- three times during the game -- that was fantastic!

We had a great view. High up, but we could see everything -- including the Philly skyline over the back of the park -- and at least twice, our section started a cheer that spread through the whole stadium. It was awesome.

Then again, we also got to see one of our neighbors arrested for peeing over the railing... it seems, onto the head of a police officer (we didn't actually see that happen, because he was two rows behind us, just the arrest). I've never seen a police officer so angry; I thought he might throw the guy over the railing himself. I couldn't believe what an idiot the guy was... wasting a World Series ticket like that and only in the first or second inning.

The upper sections of the park... a different world.

Shane Victorino, the Flyin' Hawaiian

This photo is actually in remarkable focus, considering how far away we were and the fact that this is 16x digital zoom.

The Philly Phanatic: We have the best mascot ever.

At the top of the 7th, we moved down to the standing room only area, to be part of the crowd, and missed all the craziness that led to a tie game, because I decided to make a "quick" stop at the merch stand on the way.

But we didn't miss the ninth inning... in which a game in which the winning team had three home runs was won with a hit that didn't even leave the infield.

After the game... everyone was so excited... perfect strangers hugging each other... we were all exhausted, and frozen, but I didn't want to leave... this is me (on the right) with my friend Amanda (on the left) and her friend Dawn (in the middle)...

I really don't have the words - or the photos - to describe what an amazing night it was - I get tears of excitement in my eyes when I think about it - and I can't ever put into words how grateful I am that I had the chance to go.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Mapping the Story of the United States

I am so very fortunate and grateful to have been recently given a copy of the Census Atlas of the United States. It's a marvelous book for those of us who, as I read in a comment made recently by Anne Chung, "read maps like novels."

Full of vibrantly colored graphics, this atlas tells the stories of America through all those details that make up our lives: ancestry, language, occupation, and so forth.

I have poured over this book for hours, and probably will for a long time to come. Beautiful, absorbing, and meticulously assembled, it's a treasure for map lovers and fact lovers.

If you'd like your own copy, you can purchase the atlas here or you can download it in PDF format for free here.

Fascinating stories and a fascinating book.