(Roughly) Daily

A Man, A Plan– Karakalpakstan!


Karakalpakstan. The name sounds made up, but it’s a real place. And it could have been the 13th member of an exclusive club: nations which have only a’s for vowels in their name. The others being the Bahamas, Canada, Chad, Ghana, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malta, Myanmar, Panama, Qatar and Rwanda. As the only country in the world scoring five a’s in a row, it would have ruled this particular roost.

Perhaps the God of Geography decided in his wisdom that this would just have been too much of an accolade for what is, essentially, a forlorn, windswept, ecodisaster-ridden corner of Central Asia. So Karakalpakstan (the name is Turkic for ‘Black Hat Land’, a toponym that also only has a’s for vowels – how weird is that?) continues its twilight existence, forever on the brink of brighter days (or darker nights) as both Uzbekistan’s geographically eccentric western outpost, and the only ‘autonomous republic’ of a medium-sized post-Soviet autocracy…  This is but one example of the frustratingly complex borders designed just so for Central Asia (for the entire former Soviet Union, in fact) as an extra adhesive for the multi-ethnic communist state…

Read this twisted tale in its entirety at Strange Maps.


As we head for the hills, we might recall that in was on this date in 1909 that Alexei Maximovich Peshkov– better known by his pen name Maxim Gorky– was tossed out of the Communist Party for criticisms that later proved prophetic: “Lenin and his associates,” he later wrote, recapping his critique, “consider it possible to commit all kinds of crimes …the abolition of free speech and senseless arrests….” {Lenin is] a cold-blooded trickster who spares neither the honor nor the life of the proletariat.”

The father of “Socialist Realism,” Gorky was ultimately re-embraced by the Soviets, who later named a Moscow park and a war plane, the Tupolev ANT-20, for him.


And finally, on the occasion of Black Friday, an alternate notion:

 Buy Nothing Day




Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 29, 2013 at 1:01 am

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