Monday, December 21, 2009

My Africa

So I was at a meeting and I made this doodle.


Pretty good, no? I mean, except for some real minutiae (Liberia and Sierra Leone reversed (which I suppose doesn't feel like minutiae to the Sierra Leoneans and Liberians, but come on)), I got almost every African country in the rightish place. And many with their approximate shapes!

When I finished it, the Somali man sitting next to me looked over, clucked with disapproval, pointed at Somalia, and said "No, no! It's more pointy here!" That's why Somalia is kind of pointy now.

OK, then. I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU to freehand a map of African countries from memory! See if you can beat me! Images to m5kdecathlon at gmail. [alternative challenge: some crazy thing that you doodled at a recent meeting.]

The L&TM5K Advent Calendar
December 21


Rogier van der Weyden. Nativity, Middelburg Altarpiece detail. c.1445-1448. Oil on panel. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

13 comments:

Elaine said...

I would not dare to draw a map of Africa, though I could roughly manage the shape and one or two countries and a cape....but MY map would have Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, Rhodesia, and so on. My brain is full of OTHER things.... I presume.

Kadonkadonk said...

That Jesus looks like a scary Benjamin Button!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

All that Africa shit from memory? Does your neck hurt from that big ass brain?

After West Africa being on the left and South Africa being on the bottom, I'm pretty much done.

Ben said...

Must have been a pretty boring meeting...

Michael5000 said...

Elaine: Except you give a pretty good list of countries whose names have changed, suggesting that you have indeed kept track....

Kadonk: Yeah! Actually, it's only fairly recently -- centuries-wise -- that children in paintings start to look child-like to us. Some people think this means that people didn't used to think of childhood as as distinct from adulthood as we do today. Others think that they maybe just didn't use child models. In the case of da Baby Jesus, though, there's a theological thing too, because they are painting God and don't want to come off as disrespectful. Painting him as a tiny adult implies both the adulthood of God, and brings the concept of sacrifice and the crucifiction right there into the manger, which we today tend to see as taking some of the charm out of the nativity story, but was important at the time.

@Dr. Noisewater: FROM MEMORY, BABY!

@Ben: ...and it wasn't even an especially boring meeting.

Libby said...

You disgust me...and by disgust me I mean put me to shame.

Michael5000 said...

@Libby: That's a sweet way of putting it...

: )

Aviatrix said...

Not even going to try. Does the fact that you were in a meeting with a Somali suggest that you're in a line of work where that knowledge is of some use to you, or was he just a plain old American worker who happened to come from Somalia? (Which used to be just part of Ethiopia, my parents' favourite source of 'starving children who would be grateful to have a nice dinner like that.')

The Calico Cat said...

I bow down to your supreme knowledge.

I list quilty stuff... & if the meetings are particularly long, I re-list them using some sort of importance factor...

Jenners said...

Oh My Lord ... you are just like you were in college.

Boo said...

I am impressed with your doodles. The last think I doodled it did it in words as a board meeting. I created a chart of the things that distinguish digital immigrants from natives. Not many drawings though.

Your Advent calendar is lovely.

Michael5000 said...

@Aviatrix: Knowing the layout of African countries has only trivial benefits in my current profession. It was perhaps more germaine, I suppose, to a past occupation as Geography professor.

Now, you know I would never, ever, ever niggle -- but Somalia was never part of Ethiopia. You are likely thinking of Eritrea.

@Jenners: Not true! I'm fatter now! And less hair!

IN GENERAL, I must say it's been a pretty disappointing response to a double-dog dare. But I understand that it's the busy holiday season.

Aviatrix said...

Niggle away, that's why I come here! Yeah, when I was a little girl Eritrea wasn't its own country yet. I had though that when Ethiopia was an empire it went all the way to the Arabian peninsula, but lots of things I thought I learned in school are wrong. Lousy biological information storage unit!