John Smith of Jamestown / Creative Commons

When friends say they're going to Paris I make them promise to get a Plan de Paris,  which is a pocket-sized book of little maps and one big, huge fold-out map which you never use because it makes you look like a befuddled tourist and it's really hard to fold back into the little book. But the Arrondissement maps and Plan are essential. If you have them, you'll understand where you are and where you're going. If you don't, not so much. My point is this-it's just not true that we don't need or use maps anymore. 

Rajan Narayanan isn't your average yoga instructor. During his classes, he uses words like "neuroplasticity," avoids Sanskrit terms and sometimes shows up to teach in a suit and tie.

And often, as was the case on a recent Monday at a Maryland conference center, most of his students are doctors and nurses.

Stretched out on orange and green yoga mats for a weekend-long workshop, the 30 students learned breathing techniques, lifestyle tips and research findings that support the health benefits of yoga.

When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.

And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.

Rick Mastracchio / NASA

Last week, NASA astronaut and Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio blasted off into space and boarded the International Space Station. On Wednesday afternoon, he tweeted a photo of his home state from the ISS. He said the station's altitude is around 400 km, and the view is magnificent.

Think about this: You wake up in New York City, decide to go for a stroll, head east after breakfast, and a short time later, still on foot, you find yourself in Morocco. Three hundred million years ago, you could have done that! There was no civilization back then, no cities, no countries, no people, but the land was there, so take a look at this map.

“A Noble and Precious Life”

Apr 12, 2013

A handful of maps of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, published I Philadelphia during the early 1850s, bear the name of E. M. Woodford.    Edgar M. Woodford was born April 15, 1824,  in Avon, Connecticut , where his family had a farm.  Self-taught as a civil engineer, Woodford became county surveyor for the County of Hartford.  A nephew recalled his Uncle Edgar as “a great strapping man,” who would come “over the hills with his [surveying] instruments over his shoulder, crying for fear his work would not come out right.”

Newport Geographic (Flickr Creative Commons)

Does geography matter anymore? It seems more and more Americans have trouble finding other countries on the map, but why would you need to? Your cellphone can tell you.

Robert Kaplan says knowing the map can actually tell you quite a bit about how we got here politically, socially and culturally, and where we might be headed.

"Where a country is, is more important than the system by which it's governed often," said Kaplan. 

Getting Lost

Aug 21, 2012
Jaypee (Wikimedia Commons)

Daniel Boone, the great American frontiersman, is alleged to have said, "I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks."

Most people today think they're lost if the voice on the GPS machine fades away for 15 minutes.

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

The modernist architectural team of Charles Gwathmey and Robert Siegel used art as an inspiration throughout their long collaboration, which produced many acclaimed public buildings and private residences until Gwathmey’s death in 2009.

The inspiration they drew from art forms the basis of an exhibit of their work on display at the Yale School of Architecture Gallery - until January 27th.

Wednesday is the deadline for state lawmakers to draw up a new legislative map. Every ten years, the boundaries are adjusted based on the census and it is a process that can often be contentious. The redistricting commission is responsible for balancing out the state House and Senate districts in addition to the five Congressional districts. While progress has been made since the previous deadline was extended, the commission is unlikely to complete its task at hand.