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Interesting country facts and figures

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WordLover
970962.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:35 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Awitt wrote:
Istanbul , Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.


No. There's a city called Rafah, which is divided between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Accordingly, I suggest that it is divided between Africa and Asia.
Interesting question of identity there. Do the Rafah in Egypt and the Rafah in Gaza count as the same city or as two?

 
suze
971020.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:09 am Reply with quote

I imagine the answer to that would depend who you asked.

These days, it is of course de jure two cities. But before the Camp David Line split it down the middle, it was de facto one.

Whether people who live in one half consider the other half as being "somewhere else" I don't know. Then again, I don't know whether people who live in the wealthier European side of İstanbul consider the poorer Asian side to be "somewhere else".

On the other hand, I do know a bit about San Diego / Tijuana. These cities are contiguous across the Mexican border; there are many thousands of Mexicans who cross the border daily to work in San Diego. (One of my work colleagues used to be one of them; she has taught both English and Spanish as both first and learned language both sides of the border. Although she was born in Tijuana and supports Mexico at football, her first language is probably English.)

And what you find is that Americans consider Tijuana to be "somewhere else", but Mexicans consider San Diego and Tijuana to be one city divided by the border. The USA being what it is, the tram between the two centres terminates 200 yards inside the USA and passengers must walk across the border. (Which is in turn 200 yards from a Mexican bus terminal.)

But in Europe they are less paranoid about borders, and for instance the French-Swiss border is taken to pass through the middle of Basel railway station. (It's a legal fiction and the real border is about a mile away, but people who live in suburbs which happen to be in France and Germany don't say that Basel is "somewhere else".)

 
Peregrine Arkwright
971032.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:38 am Reply with quote

.

suze wrote:
There's a city called Rafah, which is divided between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Accordingly, I suggest that it is divided between Africa and Asia.
I'm surprised the Sinai peninsula is considered to be in Africa. So far as I know the Suez Canal is the effective boundary between Africa and the Levant.

 
Peregrine Arkwright
971038.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:55 am Reply with quote

.

suze wrote:
But in Europe they are less paranoid about borders, and for instance the French-Swiss border is taken to pass through the middle of Basel railway station. (It's a legal fiction and the real border is about a mile away, but people who live in suburbs which happen to be in France and Germany don't say that Basel is "somewhere else".)
I think this getting mixed up unnecessarily between convenient arrangements for Passport control and municipal authority over the district involved. Basel Station is in Switzerland, just as St Pancras is entirely in London and Gare du Nord is entirely in Paris - even though for convenient Passport control you "pass" into the further country just before you board Eurostar.
There is a lot of difference between Istanbul and the other places mentioned. Both sides of the Bosphorus share the same municipal administration as well as the same city name. There are many communities which straddle border crossings and sometimes they share the same name, but they never share the same municipal administration.

 
PDR
971042.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:01 am Reply with quote

Indeed. I'd love to think that the British passport control in the ferry port at Calais represented the first step in the liberation of the french-occupied British territories of poitou, anjou and aquitaine, but I don't think this is really the case.

PDR

 
suze
971135.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:54 pm Reply with quote

Peregrine Arkwright wrote:
I'm surprised the Sinai peninsula is considered to be in Africa. So far as I know the Suez Canal is the effective boundary between Africa and the Levant.


If we define Africa in the way that you suggest, that implies that part of Egypt is in Asia. I do not believe that this is the usual understanding.

But I did wonder earlier about Russia. The Urals have conventionally been regarded as the boundary between Europe and Asia within Russia (and also within Kazakhstan), but that's not as clear cut as it used to be.

Are there any susbtantial cities in Central Russia which aren't really sure which continent they belong to?

 
CB27
971188.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:43 pm Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundaries_between_continents#Africa_and_Asia

Having spent lots of time in the Sinai, I don't remember any of the people who lived there identifying themselves as Africans :)

 
suze
971194.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:08 pm Reply with quote

If we do construe the border that way, does it then follow that the city of Suez is divided between Africa and Asia?

Downtown Suez is a couple miles west of the Suez Canal, but Google Maps has the city limits extending a few miles east of the canal as well.

 
CB27
971202.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:39 pm Reply with quote

I suppose it's where you think Sinai begins. As I understand it the suez/sinai border is about 10 miles south of the canal, and heads west for a few miles before turning north. Whether this is simply an administrative line, or an agreed geographical line, I don't know.

 
Janet H
971203.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:46 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Indeed. I'd love to think that the British passport control in the ferry port at Calais represented the first step in the liberation of the french-occupied British territories of poitou, anjou and aquitaine, but I don't think this is really the case.

PDR


Yes, but then you have the issue of the French border people in Folkstone? (Assuming they're still there. I avoid the mainland since the value of the Euro:Pound got silly.)

 
Starfish13
971206.  Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:57 pm Reply with quote

WordLover wrote:
one of those circulated emails wrote:
Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.
I wonder how big a pond must be, to be regarded as a lake.


Pond Conservation defines a pond as "a natural or man-made waterbody between 1 m^2 and 2 hectares in area, which holds water for at least four months of the year".

However, the Ramsar convention defines ponds as up to 8 hectares in area.

 
Peregrine Arkwright
971357.  Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:12 pm Reply with quote

.

CB27 wrote:
Having spent lots of time in the Sinai, I don't remember any of the people who lived there identifying themselves as Africans :)
That is rather to be expected, but do they consider themselves to be particularly Egyptian either?

 
CB27
971368.  Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:37 pm Reply with quote

At the time I was there you had two main groups of people, the bedouins (not necessarily nomadic) and the Egyptians who came to work in the towns.

From what I understand, since the Sinai was given back to Egypt, there has been a bit of a migration of bedouins to the north, with many Egyptians coming in and taking over the tourist towns in the south.

 
AlmondFacialBar
971447.  Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:11 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
But in Europe they are less paranoid about borders, and for instance the French-Swiss border is taken to pass through the middle of Basel railway station. (It's a legal fiction and the real border is about a mile away, but people who live in suburbs which happen to be in France and Germany don't say that Basel is "somewhere else".)


I just asked my friend from Basel for verification on this one and she added to it that the same applies for Basel airport.

Other divided cities... Frankfurt/ Oder and Słubice, which used to be the suburb of Dammtor?

And the town of Athlone is divided between the counties of Westmeath and Roscommon, the River Shannon forming the border.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


Last edited by AlmondFacialBar on Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:26 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Neotenic
971482.  Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:18 am Reply with quote

Oooh, we missed one;

Quote:
Brazil

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.


Nope.

As is often the case, the etymology is open to a certain amount of debate, but it would appear that the brazilwood tree (Caesalpinia echinata) has a stronger claim than brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa).

If nothing else, the name of the nuts (that, of course, aren't nuts) in the local languages do not contain the word 'Brazil', or 'Brasil', or anyother variation.

 

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