Datebook: March 5 - Gerardus Mercator turns 500

Mar 5, 2012

Gerardus Mercator was a Flemish cartographer, born on March 5, 1512. He is remembered for the Mercator projection world map, which is named after him. This proved very useful to many later navigators who could, using his map, sail across the entire ocean on approximately straight paths, called rhumb lines. Mercator's first independent map was of Palestine in 1537. In 1544, he was charged with heresy and imprisoned for seven months on the basis of sympathy for Protestant believes and suspicious about his frequent travels. In the 1550s, he taught mathematics at the college of Duisburg and published collections of updated atlases, correcting many errors that had pervaded since Ptolemy. He devised an innovative technique to produce globes on a mass-produced scale, out of wood and papier-mache. He was on a quest to make the world "look right." Indeed he did, his maps and globes were very accurate, and closely resemble the world today. Mercator died wealthy and well-respected on December 2, 1594.

It’s Monday, March 5

The Murray-Calloway County Hospital Health Express stops at the Marshall County Senior Center in Benton tomorrow morning from 9:30 to 11:30.  Free screenings include blood pressure, pulse, and blood sugar checks.  For more information about the Health Express schedule or about the screenings offered, call 762-1348.

Merry Wiesner-Hanks gives a lecture on Gender in World History tomorrow at 7PM in Mason Hall Auditorium.  Wiesner-Hanks is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. For more information, contact Kathy Callahan at 809-6580.

Murray State University accounting students will be available on Friday to help MSU students, employees, moderate-income tax payers, and senior citizens with their taxes.  The IRS-certified students will hold sessions from noon to 4 in Business Building South Wing Room 353.  No appointment is necessary.  For more information, call 809-4193.

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