Photo: Population Map

  • Does something seem a little off about this map? It’s a visual representation of population worldwide, as illustrated by a group of self-proclaimed map geeks at Worldmapper, based out of the University of Sheffield in England in collaboration with a web designer at the University of Michigan. More odd-shaped maps, on subjects like income and internet use can be found at their site. [NPR]
  • Skydiving at the speed of sound? Austrian Felix Baumgartner will attempt to break a new record for the highest skydive, jumping from a specially-designed helium balloon 120,000 feet above the earth’s surface. In the process, he hopes to be the first jumper to break the sound barrier. Our colleagues at National Geographic’s Adventure blog have an interview and the full details. [NG Adventure blog]
  • The French palace of Versailles evokes images of gilded ceilings, opulent architecture, and elaborately intricate decor. But for the next two months, it will also feature space aliens, smiling flowers, and other out-of-this-world creations, thanks to the new installation by Japanese manga artist Takashi Murakami. Seven of his surreal sculptures will be on display through December 12, 2010. [In Transit]

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Image: University of Sheffield

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