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The 1931 Histomap: The entire history of the world distilled into a single map/chart.

This “Histomap,” created by John B. Sparks, was first printed by Rand McNally in 1931…. This giant, ambitious chart fit neatly with a trend in nonfiction book publishing of the 1920s and 1930s: the “outline,” in which large subjects (the history of the world! every school of philosophy! all of modern physics!) were distilled into a form comprehensible to the most uneducated layman. The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1…

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Our news is dominated by people in expensive suits, shouting at each other

Most of the time, I religiously avoiid watching TV news; however, every 2 years, right before I teach my “News Writing” class, I refamiliarize myself with what a large percentage of my students will think of when they hear the word “news.” (I listen to NPR for context, check the Drudge Report for hype, and use news.google.com for depth.) My least favourite part of any TV debate is the moment…