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Geography achievement unlocked: Mexico

I've learned the states of Mexico, both on "match name to state" and "recite list of names". Won't guarantee I'll get all of them three days from now, but I'm getting there.

Other brag points: states of India, states of China, all the countries of the world except tiny Caribbean or Pacific islands.

Sometimes it pays off, as in reading Chinese or Indian history or looking at museum art placards, and being able to go "I know where that is!" Like I just re-read _The Argumentative Indian_, and in it Sen was talking about the gender ratios of various Indian states, and as he named them they lit up in my head. And I know where Szechuan or Hunan cuisine are coming from (and can wonder about the lack of any northern Chinese restaurants. Where's Heilongjiang food?)

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/422043.html#comments



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
Whereas I can't even remember which comes first, Saskatchewan or Manitoba. (When I made that confession on a newsgroup, a Canadian chimed in "They both come last".)

A puzzle that amuses me: What is the population of the largest city you have never heard of? My answer is: a couple of million, and it's probably in China.
Jun. 14th, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
I can! Manitoba is above Minnesota.

Though I also take the attitude that getting things exactly right is often not that important. E.g. the Baltics are easy -- alphabetical order, north to south -- but as a global citizen reading the newspaper, it's more important to know what countries are the Baltics and roughly where the group is, and that they're not the Balkans, than to know which one specifically is Estonia. Likewise, recognizing and roughly placing the Yugoslav successors is more important than knowing exactly which is Croatia or Bosnia. Or, "the inland Canadian provinces", "the maritime Canadian provinces"...

Going by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_proper_by_population the first one I have absolutely not heard of is Bengaluru, India, 8.4 million. OTOH, my claim to have "heard of" Tianjin is pretty sketchy (there's a Tianjin-shi 'province' on the China quiz).
Jun. 14th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC)
Tianjin Province is a city like Beijing "provice" is a city. It's a port city a couple hours east of Beijing.

Speaking of what's important to know as a general matter: do not confuse the Baltics with the Balkans. Ahem.
Jun. 14th, 2015 02:48 pm (UTC)
Somehow I have never been tempted to confuse the Baltics (1939 dirty deal) with the Balkans (Tito kept the lid on). However, the alphabetical order is helpful. One does want Estonia to be right across the water from Finland, because of the linguistic relation.

Edited at 2015-06-14 02:49 pm (UTC)
Jun. 14th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
For a software engineer in America, I'm surprised you'd absolutely not heard of Bengaluru (or Bangalore, as it used to be known)!
Jun. 15th, 2015 04:10 am (UTC)
I've certainly heard of Bangalore, and not just as a CS center. I didn't map the transliteration.

Consulting the same list, that pushes me down to Dongguan, also at 8 million.
Jun. 15th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. It's less a transliteration and more of an attempt to indigenize place names. So Bombay to Mumbai, Calcutta to Kolkata, Madras to Chennai, Orissa to Odisha etc. It's quite a recent change. In fact, although the Karnataka government (now that you know the states I can use their names with confidence!) sought to impose the change about a decade ago, and everybody had just assumed the change was official, it hadn't actually been implemented by the federal government as the law warrants. Some clever clog realised this last summer and the name became official only last October.

Have you also learned the union territories of India, or just the 28 29 states?(I almost forgot the newly-created Telangana.)

Edited at 2015-06-15 03:04 pm (UTC)
Jun. 15th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
That'd be why I hadn't heard of it before!

Yeah, the lizardpoint quiz did them all. Mind you all I've learned is the names and location, I haven't looked up any history, like why some of them look like set theory unions. Well, I did look up Puducherry I think, but forgot it all.
Jun. 13th, 2015 10:49 pm (UTC)
Jun. 14th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC)
I was right about China (Tianjin) but very wrong about the population 15M!
Jun. 14th, 2015 09:42 pm (UTC)
Nice puzzle. I expected it to be a city in China as well of about 5 million. It turned out to be Dongguan (so China indeed) and it's 8.2 million, so not too far off.
Jun. 14th, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC)
The reason the West (or Can/US, depending on perspective) has certain regional cuisines, is that we've had immigrants from those areas. So Fujian and Szechuan yes, Heilongjiang no. Although I've had Heilongjiang food in Heilongjiang; we're not missing out on much.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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