Answer #1: You know the Hobo-Dyer is an equal-area projection. But so are two of the others on our new placemat! The Eckert II and Goode's Homolosine are equal-area. You can find more about another equal-area map at www.petersmap.com
Answer #2: Side A is north-up and Africa-centered. Side B is south-up and Australia-centered.