- Adanac, Ontario
- Tromelin Island
- Manalapan, Florida
- Canada, Oiratno
- Canada (asteroid)
- Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania
- Adanac, Oiratno
Reference: Exploring Space with a Camera, Edgar M Cortright.
Reference: Exploring Space with a Camera, Edgar M Cortright.
So Australia’s looking like they’re committed to not asking me to prime ministrate for them. Fine, all right. It’s time for some long-term planning. If you don’t agree it’s time for that, come back in ten minutes and see if it’s time then. If that still doesn’t work, come back in 1,425 years and then we’ll see who’s saying what. No, that’s not me tricking you into long-term planning. I’m thinking of something that’s really long term. Like, longer even than 1,430 years.
If we keep looking forward we find the Sun’s going to keep shining. This just makes sense. The costs of constructing the Sun have been nearly completely amortized. Replacing it with something else that would provide the same services would be fiscally irresponsible. Just complying with the changes in zoning regulations would make the whole project economically dubious. If you disagree I can put you in touch with the Comptroller, but do be warned, he’s a hugger.
The thing about the Sun shining that’s relevant here is that it puts out all sorts of light. A bit of it presses down on our ground. The rest goes off somewhere, we don’t know where. It’s probably harmless. But while light doesn’t have mass, it does carry momentum, as it had the idea that this would make it more popular in middle school. This worked as well as every plan to be more popular in middle school. Nevertheless, when light hits the surface of the Earth, it delivers this momentum, pushing down on the planet just like tennis balls hitting the ground would, only without the benefit of line judges.
Imagine the Earth were made of Play-Doh. This is a simplification for the purpose of planning. It’s really made of a Silly Putty alloy. Nevertheless, if you take a gob of Play-Doh out of its can you’ll quickly get distracted by that weird not-exactly-polymer smell. Push past that, though. Roll the thing into a ball and set it on a table. It doesn’t stay round forever. The pull of gravity will spread it out. This takes time, but that’s all right. You can let this run for billions of years, if that’s what it takes. You don’t have plans that far out, even though you somehow don’t have the time to do anything either.
The Earth isn’t just sitting on a table, which is a relief, since it would probably leave a stain on the tablecloth. But the pressure of that sunlight has a similar effect, except for going the opposite way. As the sunlight presses on the Earth, the planet’s also rotating, which implies we’ll eventually have the planet rolled out into a long and skinny pole, several inches wide and unspeakably long. It’s astounding enough to think of it twirling around the solar system like an enormous baton. But imagine the size of the matching cheerleaders and marching band. All Jupiter would barely be enough material to make the tuba.
What can we expect for life on this Pole World to be like? The obvious supposition is that it will serve very well the descendants of modern large cities. People who’ve gotten very used to standing on crowded buses and subway cars would be great at clinging to a pole for stability. This is too facile an analysis. It overlooks that, obviously, subway service will have stopped long before the Earth becomes a rod only a couple inches across. Bus service can continue a bit longer after subways become impossible, of course. But even that will have to end no later than when the Earth is a cylinder at most ten feet in diameter.
Without subway or bus service most large-city commuting will be impossible. This will require a major restructuring of the economy. But given how much demand there’s likely to be for hooks or straps that could catch onto the Pole World, for stability, this restructuring was probably going to happen anyway.
It’ll also be tough for burrowing animals. But they’ll evolve adjustments to these changes gradually. This means we will most likely not get a great moment where a groundhog shuffles off, confident it’s going to get away from whatever is annoying it, and starts digging, and then accidentally pops out the other side of the planet and looks stymied and confused. Reality does have a way of spoiling the cool stuff like that. But animals that cling to branches or vines seem set to do well. Two- and three-toed sloths may find the geography extremely comfortable except when someone’s trying to pass.
But who really knows? As the city-dwellers example shows, the full reality of something can have weird and counter-intuitive results. This is why it is so hard to predict the distant future. Well, we can check back in a couple dozen gabillion years and see how it’s all turned out.
Source: This New Ocean: A History of Project Mercury, Loyd S Swenson Jr, James M Grimwood, Charles C Alexander.
Bonus: six of these are also titles of upcoming Doctor Who episodes.
Also bonus: I am way too proud of “The Bois are Barque En Têt” considering it only works to the tiny extent it does if you know that the Têt is the largest river in southwestern France and even then it isn’t actually “funny” so much as it is “adequately researched”.
Note: Mooseapopalis is not named as it is, of course, a fictional city in Nova Carolus and not a fake province or territory of Canada. We weren’t born yesterday.
Fun Fact: I did not call this “Faux Canada” because the wordplay never crossed my mind, and don’t think I’m not all burnt up about that. I may never forgive myself. Well, it’s too late now. Too bad.
Another Fun Fact: I am completely incapable of telling whether a fact is, in fact, fun.
Source: History of the Space Shuttle, Volume 1: The Space Shuttle Decision, 1965 – 1972, T A Heppenheimer.
Also including the District of Columbia because, heck, what does that cost me?
|State Or District Of Columbia||Thickness|
|Alaska||20,310 ft / 6191 m|
|California||14,783 ft / 4506 m|
|Washington||14,417 ft / 4394 m|
|Hawaii||13,803 ft / 4207 m|
|Nevada||12,665 ft / 3860 m|
|Arizona||12,565 ft / 3830 m|
|Idaho||11,954 ft / 3644 m|
|Utah||11,354 ft / 3461 m|
|Oregon||11,249 ft / 3429 m|
|Colorado||11,123 ft / 3390 m|
|Montana||11,003 ft / 3354 m|
|Wyoming||10,709 ft / 3264 m|
|New Mexico||10,323 ft / 3147 m|
|Texas||8,751 ft / 2667 m|
|North Carolina||6,684 ft / 2037 m|
|Tennessee||6,466 ft / 1971 m|
|New Hampshire||6,288 ft / 1917 m|
|South Dakota||6,276 ft / 1913 m|
|Virginia||5,729 ft / 1746 m|
|New York||5,343 ft / 1629 m|
|Maine||5,270 ft / 1606 m|
|Georgia||4,784 ft / 1458 m|
|Oklahoma||4,686 ft / 1428 m|
|West Virginia||4,623 ft / 1409 m|
|Nebraska||4,587 ft / 1398 m|
|Vermont||4,300 ft / 1311 m|
|Kentucky||3,887 ft / 1185 m|
|South Carolina||3,560 ft / 1085 m|
|Massachusetts||3,489 ft / 1063 m|
|Kansas||3,361 ft / 1025 m|
|Maryland||3,360 ft / 1024 m|
|Pennsylvania||3,213 ft / 979 m|
|North Dakota||2,757 ft / 840 m|
|Arkansas||2,698 ft / 822 m|
|Alabama||2,413 ft / 736 m|
|Connecticut||2,379 ft / 725 m|
|New Jersey||1,803 ft / 550 m|
|Minnesota||1,700 ft / 518 m|
|Missouri||1,542 ft / 470 m|
|Michigan||1,408 ft / 429 m|
|Wisconsin||1,372 ft / 418 m|
|Iowa||1,191 ft / 363 m|
|Ohio||1,094 ft / 333 m|
|Illinois||955 ft / 291 m|
|Indiana||937 ft / 286 m|
|Rhode Island||811 ft / 247 m|
|Mississippi||807 ft / 246 m|
|Louisiana||543 ft / 165 m|
|Delaware||447 ft / 136 m|
|District of Columbia||408 ft / 124 m|
|Florida||345 ft / 105 m|
Source: Wikipedia from which I learn there’s only two states that have spots below sea level? That’s weird. Like, I understand Colorado not having any spots below sea level, but there isn’t one rocky crag somewhere in, like, North Carolina that runs below the ocean level? And like how has someone not dug a big cement-lined pit somewhere on Long Island to set it underneath the sea level just to show they can do something pointless like that? You know? Also, I guess mines and stuff don’t count for lowest elevations, which is fair enough, but wouldn’t they start counting if the mine’s ceiling collapsed? It seems like states could totally rig their thickness rankings if they wanted. Plus, like, I know for a fact that New York State claims sovereignty over the seabed of the entire Hudson River; doesn’t that count as the lowest elevation in the state? I’m saying while I give you this list I think there’s a lot of pointless argument to have about what the lowest points of elevation in states such as New York and Delaware are and yes that is because I’m from New Jersey and angry about the implications of colonial-era borders.
You know, you never really think of Kansas as having more of an elevation change than Pennsylvania does. I feel a bit weirdly defensive about it myself.
On the one hand, many of these seem like much more important things to accomplish first. On the other hand, as swell a song as it may be, it doesn’t seem like “Hotel California” should have taken that much effort to create, does it? History is a curious thing.
Isn’t it a little bit surprising there aren’t two states with capital cities the same name? Like, why couldn’t Kentucky have put its capitol in Jackson? Doesn’t “Jackson, Kentucky” make at least as much sense as “Frankfort, Kentucky”? And wouldn’t it just be great if the capital of Washington were Lincoln? Why not “Dover, Oregon”? “Albany, Montana” is no more absurd than Billings. I think some of these states could make do to share capital city names. If we picked some state — let’s say Colorado — and declared that its capital was named Providence, and we called it that long enough and consistently enough, eventually we’d be right. Especially if we edited Wikipedia. City names aren’t carved in stone, except for in concrete highway overpasses. We have the power to make them anything we want. We need to use this power for good, is what I mean, and I propose that making some states tied in this ordering is a good.
Weekend events to celebrate the Fourth of July:
Fireworks Spectacular. The attempt to confront Lisa with her self-centeredness sprawls out of control. Featured side-fights include arguments about who was driving who to that concert in 2005, every remaining issue from Junior Year in the Suites, a squabble that somehow compares Babylon 5 to Star Trek: Voyager, that dispute about the duck pond from two years back, and who told Terry’s mom about the tablecloth after all. Scheduled to begin Friday at 9 pm. Reverberations may last for months, or longer. It depends how long it takes people to start speaking to one another again.
Music Endurance. Once more challengers attempt to turn off Johnny Rivers’s Secret Agent Man instead of kind-of-grooving all the way through it. The last successful Secret Agent Man-stopper was in 2008, so, maybe we’re due? Friday at 10 pm.
Washington Crossing The Delaware Reenactment. The lawsuit about who owns the usufruct of the oars for the reenactment boat was finally settled. The estimated seven Revolutionary War Reenactment groups agreed to have the case mediated by a Court of Oyez and Terminer re-enactors. They’ve been waiting literally since the 1947 State Constitution. That’s the document that asked if we even had oyezes around anymore. They’re some of the more re-enactor-ish groups you can find. The court ruled in favor of hitting with an inflatable squeaky mallet the first person who said “usufruct”. This they revised to anyone saying “usufruct” who wasn’t in the Court re-enactors. Jeremy couldn’t stop giggling. Anyway, now they have all that sorted out and it’s only a little over six months late. Also moved to no river anywhere near the Delaware watershed because that was just too controversial too. Cancelled, due to bad weather.
Annual Doubleheader. Joining the regular debate between “semimonthly” and “bimonthly” is the traditional July treat of “biannual” versus “semiannual” versus “biennial”. Phyllis has promised this will be the first year she doesn’t get into a frothing, screaming fit where she cries out “what would you people make of `centannual’ anyway?” Organizers promise the event will be worth seeing anyway. We don’t buy it either. Punch and small, flavorless sandwiches to be served. Good chance someone will be punched, too, so there’s that. Saturday, 1 pm.
Marching Band. So, funny story. You remember how nobody remembered to arrange a Memorial Day parade until the last minute? And we had to lean on Jeanne to call in some debts with the high schools to put together a respectable marching band? And because of the texting mishaps they started out on Eight Street instead of on Eighth Street? And they started marching a half-hour before everyone else was ready to go? Well, they’ve been spotted on the outskirts of Edmonton. We’ve texted as many of them as we can to tell them to stop and we’re putting together a potluck to raise money to get them back home. Saturday, 7:30 pm. Bring your own sheet music.
Geography Bee. Identify the capitals, populations, economic bases, and interesting features of nations of the world. (This world.) Or try to come up with plausible-sounding alternatives. Championship rounds include making up plausible-sounding countries out of whole cloth. Championship awarded to the person who can compose the most plausible-sounding yet unrealistic continent which isn’t Australia. All are welcome. $4.65 entry fee because the Geography Club has too many 35-cent pieces hanging around. Cloth available $0.65 (city-states and small island countries) to $3.65 (regional powers). Eighth Not Eight Street High School. Sunday, 2 pm.
Grouse Hunt. Hourlong contest to celebrate the diverse set of things people can grumble impotently about. Celebrity categories to include: the roads, newspaper comics pages, piles of things in the corner, record stores, picking your seats when you buy movie tickets, newspapers, how many layers of packaging there are around bananas somehow, those cars where the dashboard instruments are in the center for some reason instead of in front of the steering wheel, and Freestyle. Pitchforks provided, although not the good kind they used to sell in hardware stores, back when the hardware stores were any good and they didn’t have metal detectors even on the entrance doors for some reason. Sunday, 5 pm.
To-Do: Check that this is all happening in the United States. Or the Philippines, we heard that was a thing once. Maybe Liberia? Some of them probably celebrate the fourth as something other than the fourth day of the month, right?
Someone trying to be funny is, generally, hoping to get feedback that they have successfully made someone laugh. People saying that they loved the piece are always welcome. More satisfying, I believe, is hearing that your attempt to be funny helped someone through a lousy time in life, or gave someone despairing reason to feel cheer. But I do know what is the most wonderful bit of feedback a humorist can get. I’ve gotten it a few blissful times. The most wonderful feedback a humorist can get is an angry scolding from someone who didn’t get the joke. Robert Benchley must have gotten that all the time, since he was so good at writing things that began more or less normal or plausible and continued until they were past bizarre. And at least once he turned that angry scolding into a new magnificent piece. Please let me share that, from My Ten Years In A Quandary And How They Grew with you.
A few weeks ago, in this space, I wrote a little treatise on “Movie Boners,” in which I tried to follow the popular custom of picking technical flaws in motion pictures, detecting, for example, that when a character enters a room he has on a bow tie and when he leaves it a four-in-hand.
In the course of this fascinating article I wrote: “In the picture called Dr. Tanner Can’t Eat, there is a scene laid in Budapest. There is no such place as Budapest.”
In answer to this I have received the following communication from M. Schwartzer, of New York City:
“Ask for your money back from your geography teacher. There is such a place as Budapest, and it is not a small village, either. Budapest is the capital of Hungary. In case you never heard of Hungary, it is in Europe. Do you know where Europe is? Respectfully yours,” etc.
I am standing by my guns, Mr. Schwartzer. There is no such place as Budapest. Perhaps you are thinking of Bucharest, and there is no such place as Bucharest, either.
I gather that your geography teacher didn’t tell you about the Treaty of Ulm in 1802, in which Budapest was eliminated. By the terms of this treaty (I quote from memory):
“Be it hereby enacted that there shall be no more Budapest. This city has been getting altogether too large lately, and the coffee hasn’t been any too good, either. So, no more Budapest is the decree of this conference, and if the residents don’t like it they can move to some other place.”
This treaty was made at the close of the war of 1805, which was unique in that it began in 1805 and ended in 1802, thereby confusing the contestants so that both sides gave in at once. Budapest was the focal point of the war, as the Slovenes were trying to get rid of it to the Bulgks, and the Bulgks were trying to make the Slovenes keep it. This will explain, Mr. Schwartzer, why there is no such place as Budapest.
If any word other than mine were needed to convince you that you have made a rather ludicrous mistake in this matter, I will quote from a noted authority on non-existent cities, Dr. Almer Doctor, Pinsk Professor of Obduracy in the university of that name. In his Vanished Cities of Central Europe he writes:
“Since 1802 there has been no such place as Budapest. It is too bad, but let’s face it!”
Or, again, from Nerdlinger’s Atlas (revised for the Carnation Show in London in 1921):
“A great many uninformed people look in their atlases for the city of Budapest and complain to us when they cannot find it. Let us take this opportunity to make it clear that there is no such place as Budapest and has not been since 1802. The spot which was once known as Budapest is now known as the Danube River, by Strauss.”
I would not rebuke you so publicly, Mr. Schwartzer, had it not been for that crack of yours about my geography teacher. My geography teacher was a very fine woman and later became the mother of four bouncing boys, two of whom are still bouncing. She knew about what happened to Budapest, and she made no bones about it.
In future communications with me I will thank you to keep her name out of this brawl.
My grand project is drawing nearer completion! Can you feel the sort-of excitement-ish sensation? I know I can.
I choose to believe this project will someday be remarked upon by someone else with a comment like “you won’t believe how this changes the way you see the world!”
This listing of nations of a particular continent proved to be the most challenging of any continent so far. This is due to the large number of European countries with names the same length as one another. The student of history knows that is a consequence of the famous Treaty of Ulm of 1802, which I need hardly tell you closed out the war of 1805. You’ve probably read something about it. If you haven’t, you should, as it’s a fascinating problem of history and geography.
(This one was complicated by my learning that “Oceania” still looks wrong to me even when I have independent evidence that I’m spelling it right.)
(This ended up more complicated than I figured, because I forgot Caribbean countries would be in the list.)
|County||Number Of Municipalities With “Egg” In Their Name|
 Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township.
 Little Egg Harbor Township.
No two “Egg Harbor” municipalities share a border.
“Length” is here taken to be longitudinal, east-west, distance; “Width” that to be latitudinal, north-south, distance. “Height” is that normal thing.
The dimensions of Rhode Island as measured by an (American) football field, with the long dimension (120 yards) running east-to-west:
The dimensions of Rhode Island as measured by an (American) football field, with the long dimension (120 yards) running north-to-south:
I recently reached my 11,000th reader here! And more recently, my 11,111th reader. But that doesn’t mean just anybody is looking at pages here so, based on the WordPress statistics page and a list of nations of the world that I found … somewhere … here’s as best I can figure all the countries that haven’t sent me even a single reader all the time I’ve been here, as of early the 29th of November:
|Anguilla||Antarctica||Antigua and Barbuda||Armenia||Aruba|
|Ashmore and Cartier Islands||Azerbaijan||The Bahamas||Bassas da India||Belarus|
|Botswana||Bouvet Island||British Indian Ocean Territory||British Virgin Islands||Brunei|
|Cape Verde||Cayman Islands||Central African Republic||Chad||China|
|Christmas Island||Clipperton Island||Cocos (Keeling) Islands||Comoros||Congo, Democratic Republic of the|
|Congo, Republic of the||Cook Islands||Coral Sea Islands||Cote d’Ivoire||Croatia|
|Egypt||El Salvador||Equatorial Guinea||Eritrea||Estonia|
|Ethiopia||Europa Island||Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)||Faroe Islands||Federated States of Micronesia|
|Fiji||French Guiana||French Polynesia||French Southern and Antarctic Lands||Gabon|
|The Gambia||Gaza Strip||Georgia||Gibraltar||Glorioso Islands|
|Heard Island and McDonald Islands||Honduras||Iran||Isle of Man||Jan Mayen|
|Jersey||Jordan||Juan de Nova Island||Kenya||Kiribati|
|Nepal||Netherlands Antilles||New Caledonia||Nicaragua||Niger|
|Niue||Norfolk Island||North Korea||Northern Mariana Islands||Palau|
|Panama||Papua New Guinea||Paracel Islands||Paraguay||Pitcairn Islands|
|Reunion||Rwanda||Saint Helena||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Saint Lucia|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Samoa||San Marino||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Senegal||Seychelles||Sierra Leone||Solomon Islands||Somalia|
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||Spratly Islands||Sudan||Suriname||Svalbard|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Tuvalu||Uganda||Uzbekistan||Vanuatu|
|Vatican City||Virgin Islands||Wake Island||Wallis and Futuna||West Bank|
Have to be honest: I’m not surprised about Cuba, North Korea, or Mongolia. And I figure Syria, Sudan, Clipperton Island, and Eritrea have better things to do than deal with me. But Bermuda? That hurts, man, and not having both Luxemburg and Liechtenstein? Well, that’s just not fair.
I’m not sure of the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the same place or not. I have a nagging recollection that they’re completely different places and I should know whether they are, but it’s embarrassing to admit that and I think I’m just going to put them in different table rows and hope nobody notices the listing because who’s actually going to read all those listed countries and see if I made up any of them?
The most surprising result of all this is it was quicker for me to type up a list of the state names and write the PHP code for finding all their md5 hashes than it was to do anything else I accomplished this week.
A quarter of a year (91 days) is not prime, but what can you do? Calendar reform hasn’t been a going concern since the 1930s.
|Country||Prime Number of Visitors|
|Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic||2|
Somehow I had always imagined myself to have a more composite relationship with Malta and Malaysia. Australia feels about right.
I’ve been tracking my statistics around these parts, and the start of a month is a good time to review neurotically how unpopular I am, so, here we go. According to WordPress, the humor blog here had 396 page views in April 2014. That’s down from March’s 468, but it’s still the third-highest monthly total I have on record. There were a relatively meager 167 unique visitors, down from 199, but that means the views per visitor grew imperceptibly from 2.35 to 2.37. That’s also the third-highest views-per-visitor for a month that I have on record, so, that’s something.
312 of the viewers came from the United States this past month, with nine each from Canada and the United Kingdom, and lesser counts from other nations of the world. Sending me a single visitor each were Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, South Korea, Sovenia, and Spain. Pakistan’s the only repeat from last month. Nobody came here from Gambia, the Central African Republic, nor from Turks or Caicos.
The most popular posts this month were:
Terms that have brought viewers to my blog this past month have included, besides the abundance of Turbo search terms:
11:58 am. Coming to question entire point of expedition. What is the point of discovery? What is the value of exploration? How can traveller’s tales of Upper Fiddled Mewes or the eastern shore of the Pompous Lakes District be relevant to the modern age? Is there a point to continuing, and at that, is there a point to pointedness when life is occupied by a string of suffering that stretches to the indefinite past and to the pointlessness of the future? The Price Is Right ended in a Double Overbid. After enough time spent staring into the void will come the balm of punching a book of Nietzsche.
Total Mileage: 0 (me), 0.001136 miles (book of Nietzsche, would have been farther but it hit the wall; may try again in a larger room).
I confess I’ve gotten a little away from the important business of these statistical reports, that of listing countries of the world. Let me return to that, then, with a brief chart describing the countries of the world and how their population compares to what I thought.
|Country||Population||How That Compares To What I’d Have Guessed|
|United States||317,842,000||About Right|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||67,514,000||Higher|
|South Korea||50,219,669||About Right|
|North Korea||24,895,000||About Right|
|Sri Lanka||20,277,597||About Right|
|South Sudan||11,296,000||About Right|
|United Arab Emirates||8,264,070||Lower|
|Papua New Guinea||7,398,500||About Right|
|Hong Kong (China)||7,219,700||Higher|
|Sierra Leone||6,190,280||About Right|
|Central African Republic||4,616,000||Lower|
|New Zealand||4,522,810||About Right|
|Republic of the Congo||4,448,000||Lower|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3,791,622||About Right|
|Puerto Rico (USA)||3,615,086||About Right|
|Equatorial Guinea||1,622,000||About Right|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1,328,019||About Right|
|Cape Verde||491,875||About Right|
|Martinique (France)||392,291||About Right|
|French Polynesia (France)||268,270||About Right|
|New Caledonia (France)||258,958||Higher|
|French Guiana (France)||237,549||Higher|
|Mayotte (France)||212,645||About Right|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||187,356||Lower|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||109,000||Lower|
|United States Virgin Islands (USA)||106,405||Lower|
|Aruba (Netherlands)||101,484||About Right|
|Federated States of Micronesia||101,351||About Right|
|Antigua and Barbuda||86,295||Lower|
|Isle of Man (UK)||84,497||Lower|
|Marshall Islands||56,086||About Right|
|American Samoa (USA)||55,519||About Right|
|Cayman Islands (UK)||55,456||About Right|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||54,000||About Right|
|Northern Mariana Islands (USA)||53,883||About Right|
|Faroe Islands (Denmark)||48,308||About Right|
|Sint Maarten (Netherlands)||37,429||About Right|
|Saint Martin (France)||36,979||Lower|
|San Marino||33,549||About Right|
|Turks and Caicos Islands (UK)||31,458||Lower|
|British Virgin Islands (UK)||29,537||Lower|
|Åland Islands (Finland)||28,502||Lower|
|Caribbean Netherlands (Netherlands)||23,296||Lower|
|Cook Islands (NZ)||14,974||Lower|
|Wallis and Futuna (France)||13,135||Lower|
|Saint Barthélemy (France)||8,938||Lower|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France)||6,081||Lower|
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK)||4,000||About Right|
|Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Norway)||2,655||Lower|
|Falkland Islands (UK)||2,563||About Right|
|Norfolk Island (Australia)||2,302||Lower|
|Christmas Island (Australia)||2,072||Lower|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia)||596||Lower|
|Pitcairn Islands (UK)||56||About Right|
In conclusion: there are a lot of countries in the world and I somehow had preconceptions about the size of the populations of New Caledonia, Gambia, and Benin, which I only hope hasn’t caused me to make improper policy decisions.
I do make a serious effort to track what’s being read and what isn’t around these parts, and for February 2014, it turns out the number of readers of pages around here went from 337 in January to 337 in February. At least they were different readers. Actually, the number of readers increased from 153 to 170, implying a page-per-reader count drop from 2.20 to 1.98, so I’m amusing more people, but they’re all a little less happy with what they see.
The most popular articles the last thirty days were:
As usual the countries sending me the most readers were the United States (261) and Canada (28), with the United Kingdom (8) and Singapore (6) coming up next. The countries that could just barely tolerate me were Denmark, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. None of them were on last month’s roster, just as last month none of the countries were from December 2013’s roster of single-viewer nations, so my plan to amuse one person in every country in the world is continuing to exist.
Based on the graphics I see passed around the friends of my Twitter feed, it’s really popular to make maps that equate states of the United States (America) to nations of the world, in terms of population, or gross domestic product, or area, or what have you. And since lists of statistics are unmistakably the most popular thing I write around here, let me get in on the action. For your convenience, here’s a list of the fifty certified United States matched up with one of the world’s nations that has just as many letters in the name.
|United State||Matches Nation|
|North Carolina||United Kingdom|
|North Dakota||Sierra Leone|
|Rhode Island||Saint Helena|
|South Carolina||Virgin Islands|
I just hope that someone finds this list and discovers how very much time it saves having it on hand.
Oh, I should have made this a picture, shouldn’t I? Too bad.
I’d like to start out with a proof that I haven’t been to New Zealand. I feel like if I’m going to bring stuff like this to people’s attention I should have a ready alibi. Unfortunately, the fact is that I haven’t ever been to New Zealand — the closest I’ve ever been to New Zealand has been some emotional closeness with imaginary squirrels based out of there — and it is sadly impossible to prove a negative. At least, I think it’s impossible to prove a negative, although I don’t suppose I have seen that demonstrated. Well, it’s probably true enough.
What’s got me on this is that apparently New Zealand’s tallest mountain has come up about a hundred feet shorter than everyone thought it was. I didn’t have anything to do with it, but I also don’t want the hassle of being suspected by New Zealand police or, worse, angry geologists. They’re people who are very skilled with rocks, and I’m very bad at flinching, so all I can do if they’re going to be riled up is not be the person they’re riled at. But according to a survey by the University of Otago in November 2013, Mount Cook, also called Aoraki, comes in at 3,724 meters tall, whereas it used to be figured at 3,754 meters tall, and they’re using the same old meters both cases so don’t go thinking that’s the problem.
So if we’re all agreed that I’m not to blame for shrinking any mountains anywhere near New Zealand, and if we’re not then I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to have a civil conversation and must face the prospect that we’ll learn how well we can flinch from rocks, we can get to wondering where the mountain height went. I guess the first thing to check is if maybe they shrank the typeface they’re using to label the thing “Mount Cook, also called Aoraki”. Maybe someone figured instead of mixed case it should be put up on the mountain in small caps instead, and that makes the whole name just run out too long and they had to make the letters less tall to compensate. You might ask how this could possibly make a difference; I say, don’t underestimate typeface enthusiasts. They’ve got to have been looking at that “r” in Aoraki and thinking how magnificent it would look in capitals, even small capitals. There are some lovely things to be done with a “k” as well, if it’s balanced right. I wouldn’t be surprised if they slipped a “W” into the name, regardless of what it does to the ordering of New Zealand mountain heights.
And apparently it hasn’t done anything about New Zealand mountain height orderings, if I understand right. The second-tallest mountain, Mount Second Tallest Mountain Or Something, is still second-tallest and doesn’t seem to be gaining any. This, of course, rules out a couple possibilities for how Mount Cook, Also Called Aoraki, might have shrunk. Apparently people weren’t swiping height from the first to boost other mountains that anybody’s caught, for example. I guess we can rule out that everyone’s just standing a little bit taller so the mountains appear to be shorter, since that would affect all the other mountains just as much and we’d be seeing widespread reports of New Zealanders discovering stuff they forgot was on top of the refrigerator.
Of course, wouldn’t it be something if someone were swiping height from Mount Cook, Also Called Aoraki, and were turning it into extra width or depth of other mountains by the simple process of rotating it in three-dimensional space? Has anyone done a careful measurement of just how fat the mountains of New Zealand are lately? If they haven’t, can we be positive this isn’t what’s going on? And before you go chuckling that of course the people responsible for mountain checking would notice and report on any mountain fatness before announcing the mysterious loss of height, consider that these same mountain-checkers didn’t notice exactly when their tallest mountain went and shrunk some. There’s obviously plenty of chances for mischief.
It just struck me I shouldn’t say the mountain has come up a hundred feet shorter. I should probably do something about that.