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Thank you for the explanation.  Now I understand my faux pas.  And you are correct.  The Czech Republic will probably always be "Eastern" in my mind ... Yes, because for so long we used the term to mean "mysterious underdevoloped oppressed country Americans weren't allowed to visit" not a proper geographical designation.  How could I have missed that?  Well, thank you for enlightenning me.

BTW, this just underlines my desire to have a nice informative map of Europe linked to the front page here.

Now.  I have friends who insist that Finland can be considered part of Scandinavia.  What's the proper designation there?  


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 04:35:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooooh, you probably opened another can of worms :-) I let Sven Triloquist, Nikita, Sirocco et al decide that, but I would say that though Finnish is not a Scandinavian language, well Saami isn't either, and Finland could be considered part of Scandinavia by history and geology.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 04:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Check out the ET Wiki, the "Politics and Policy by Country" section: I added some links for you.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:14:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you.

Hmmm. "Eastern Europe" still looks rather "East" to me.  Whatever...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:18:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, much of East-of-Urals Russia is off that map :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:23:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahh, but is that "Europe"????

Anyway, what does this have to do with recommended reading?  So far off topic...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:35:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some days I think DoDo's idea of "really Eastern Europe" is Vladivostok...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:37:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't understood your and Metatone's comments until reading my own comment again - uh oh, sorry, I meant West-of-Urals...

As for recommended reading, well, I recommended some maps for reading :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HaHa.  Well, maps wouldn't be very practical for my commute, though.  People would either think I was a tourist or terrorist (all the same in America these days, esp. if you're trying to get on a plane...)  And I'd inevitably biff someone in the eye.

I actually LOVE geography.  One of those people who can get lost in an Atlas for hours...  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 05:57:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You live in Washington State, right?

Once I had the pleasure to go to a public lecture by Sherman Alexie (recommended reading!!!) who is a Spokane indian (for the rest of you: that would be an important indian tribe in Washington, and a town on the Eastern fringe of the state).

Anyway, the theme of Alexie's lecture was what it was like to be brown in America after 9/11. He told this one anecdote about how, right after 9/11, he was waiting to cross the street at a traffic light in Seattle and this "phallic" [sic] pickup truck with a huge American flag rolled by and the driver screamed at him "Go back to your country!". When Alexie was able to recover from his laughter, he shouted back "you first!", but the truck was too far away.

The lecture was part of the promotional tour for Ten Little Indians (recommended reading!) and a lot of the anecdotes and impressions in the lecture were actually incorporated into the stories in the book. I don't remember whether the one about the pickup truck was.

Alexie's lecture was more like stand-up comedy all the way, but with lots of food for thought.

Hmmm... I don't know what the point of this whole rant is... Hey, I also suggest Maps in a Mirror, the collected short stories of Orson Scott Card.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 06:10:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm in Chicago, actually.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 06:16:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aye!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 06:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never mind, the point of the rant was (I remember now) "tourist or terrorist".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 06:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks she is in the Chicago area.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 10th, 2006 at 06:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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