I am a map geek. Holidays and birthdays, my wife doesn't have to think too hard about what to get me: a map, preferably a facsimile of an old one of an area where I have just been on assignment.
Anyway, today is the birthday of the great Gerardus Mercator. He was born 500 years ago today as Gheert Kramer in Flanders, now part of Belgium, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. Kramer means merchant in English, merchant in Latin becomes Mercator, and that's how he is remembered.