May 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Da Ritzenator | Leave a comment

mapIf you want to save a piece of paper forever, draw a map on it. I’m guessing it is illegal to dispose of anything with the image of a land mass, or drawn directions of how to get from my house to the turnpike, because my parents have saved every detailed scrap of “map” dating back to 1964. In a big plastic bin, at the bottom of the closet, under the winter coats that I’ve long outgrown are all the maps they have gathered on holiday trips or directions to the cemeteries that my great-grandparents are buried in.  These maps, particularly the one for locating all the Roy Rodgers in the tri-state area, are mostly useless and out of date. But my parents still cling onto them, bonded by Public Law 83-137 (S. 945) which forbids the “marring, defacing, or falsification any image which was manufactured to assist in finding one’s location” or so I’m told. It’s not like the maps will become useful again. Progress usually goes one way, and new maps are needed when new roads, towns, and Knotts Berry Farms are built.

 As I’ve hinted to already, maps come in all shapes and sizes, and for different uses. Most maps are “large, flat, two-dimensional representations of the earth’s surface” where you “assume that a small distance on the map is a much larger distance in reality” (1). With this type of map, my parents can figure out how to drive from my house to the baseball card show at the convention center. Maps also come in handy in case Godzilla is attacking your town, you can figure out a way around him by using alternate roads in order to get to the baseball card show before it closes.

Without the maps that were created frame by frame, I don’t think I would have ever been able to navigate through Charlock Castle to finally beat the Dragonlord. I’ve gone back and tried to beat it for real, without the maps, but I can’t! I’ve tried so hard, but the same room keeps appearing over and over again. Thank you Nintendo Power mapmakers for guiding me and showing me the way.

I’ve also seen maps used for secrets in movies and in comics like Spy vs. Spy. The white spy needed to plot where the black spy had to stand in order to spring a trigger which throws a bowling ball onto the black spy’s head. But in an unthinkable twist, the black spy snuck a peak of the white spy’s map with his bendy telescope. He then made HIS OWN MAP to plot when to open an umbrella and bounce the bowling ball back onto the white spy’s head! Thanks to their ingenious and inspiring work, I have drawn detailed maps of the path through the woods that connects my house to my best friend’s house. On the map, I marked where all the booby traps that we planted are in order to prevent his evil brother from sneaking around. Without our map, he’ll be toast!

So as you can see, maps are very important for finding things that are hidden, or for finding out how to get somewhere. And thanks to the invention of the computer, internet, and satellites, there are maps available that don’t require paper, which can guide you where you want to go in real time. So now I don’t even need my parents to drive me to the baseball card show. I’ll just ride my bike down the small roads named by the internet: Internet-95 to Internet-76. Thanks Maps! – Da Ritzenator

(1) – Kids In The Hall, Season 3, Episode #310 – Navy Captain

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