The Sunday Morning Chillax: Short Videos with Big Stoke

The Art and Beauty of Handmade Globes in the Age of Google Earth

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Peter Bellerby - The Globemaker from Cabnine on Vimeo.

Just last week my six-year-old daughter asked to play on my wife's iPad in the final moments before bedtime. "Sure," I told her, "but just for ten minutes. What do you want to play, anyway?"

She thought for a second, shifted her eyes around the room and considered her choices. "I want to play Google Earth." You know as well as I do that it's not a game. Nevertheless, when she gets to use the iPad, she has a handful of games she could play but more often than not she wants to soar around the world looking at things through the window of Google Earth. Like Rome. The South Pole. Her school. Grandma's house. She blows me away with this stuff because she can get so engrossed for so long. I sat down with her on the couch and we went to Hoover Dam, Eiffel Tower, Acropolis. To her it's magic—and it ought to be more magical to me as well. I went to bed that night wondering about my little kids and the places we've taken them and how we've revisited them on Google Earth long after the fact, and that they can ask me at any time to show them, for example, where we've camped on the beaches in Baja.

But maps are magic—aren't they, the way they'll make you wonder? Oh there's an argument out there somewhere, I'm sure, that says thanks to the high accessiblity to any place on earth through the thrill of our computer screens and phones dulls our awareness, imaginations and our drive to go out there and go find something for ourselves. But let's not get too carried away. The story in this short and wonderfully shot video is about a globemaker; one who makes them by hand. It's a fascinating and intricate process that Peter Bellerby, founder of the company, describes as "fraught with different issues because you're multiplying every error by pi." If nothing else, it's enchanting to see such an antiquated, pervasive gadget live on as a subject of art. Or the artform itself.

Yet, I see this as a collision of two themes that are dying away and undergoing resurgence some ways. Those are 1). Making discoveries for yourself and 2). making things with your hands. Watch this short and see if it spikes your imagination.

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The Sunday Morning Chillax is here while you're enjoying a cup of coffee in the quiet morning as your kids, hopefully, sleep in. No need to read, this is always a video; something to give you happy thoughts about mountains, fresh air, stoke, fun, or being outside. Enjoy. Relax. And, um, not guaranteed to be weekly — hey, you get what you pay for, but it's a dang good bargain.

 

P.S. The irony here is that I'm writing this late at night and my daughter just now ran into the room, fuzzy headed and half asleep in her candy-themed pajamas looking for the bathroom. She tried the trash can. I said, "You need help?" She said no. She can find Hoover Dam but she can't find the bathroom.

 

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