It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an "Odds and Ends" compilation. That’s where I combine lots of minor yet noteworthy topics that don’t provide enough material to stand on their own into one completely disjointed article. Frankly a lot of these miscellaneous topics have been going onto my Twelve Mile Circle Google+ site lately so I’ve not done one of these in awhile. Somehow I seem to be awash in them at the moment. I need to flush the whole pile all at once.
Truly, these morsels have nothing to do with each other. There’s no overarching theme. It’s completely random. Just sit back and take it all in stride.
Dust Bowl Marathon Series Update
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It’s on. I’ve purchased airline tickets to attend the Dust Bowl Marathon Series described previously in Mainly Marathons. I won’t be running of course, just attending. Airfares dropped so I figured I’d better grab tickets while the getting was good. I’ll definitely be in the vicinity of where Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico come together, and you’ll find me there from March 18-22, 2013. Geo-oddities on the short list include the Colorado-New Mexico-Oklahoma and Colorado-Kansas-Oklahoma tripoints, the Oklahoma highpoint, and the driving tour through Cimarron National Grassland. The Prairie Dog Village at the grassland is definitely on the agenda. I’ll probably ask again later as the date approaches, although anyone with an immediate "must see" oddity within easy striking distance of this route should feel free to suggest it now.
I continue to be fascinated by a comment from Mr. Burns. He noted that locals pronounce the Kansas town on the Dust Bowl list, Ulysses, as "You-liss-us" rather than "You-liss-eez." That makes logical sense when one considers that Ulysses is located in Grant County. Thus it’s Ulysses, Grant, and indeed it refers to the General and President of the same name. It’s one of those first name – surname symmetry locations mentioned in a previous article.
Shaped Like Indonesia
Remember my article about Pinwheel? It’s now called Findery. They had to change the name because of a trademark dispute. That’s an interesting tangent although somewhat immaterial. Getting back to the point, I noticed a post over there a few days ago about a place called Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
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Taman Mini Indonesia Indah features Indonesian culture, and the most striking feature for geo-geeks such as ourselves is its centerpiece lake with islands shaped like Indonesia. If you have an account on Findery you can view the original note at Mini Indonesia. If you’d like an invitation to Findery, let me know because I still have a few left. If none of that really matters, then simply ponder the awesome shape and move on when you’re ready.
Gazetteers and Place Name Databases
Are you getting tired of weird place names from the same four countries on most 12MC articles, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States? I am. I noted my dilemma in Captains Less Prestigious earlier this week. I haven’t been able to locate publicly-available Internet place name databases for other nations. I’m hamstrung by my inability to search in languages other than English.
I’d love to create a compendium of national place name database links, or better yet use one that may already exist, in addition to the four databases I’ve already identified. Let me know if you are aware of any. I’ll gladly add them to my repertoire to increase the variety of international locations highlighted on 12MC.
You Know You’re a Geo-Geek When…
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I played a game of hide-and-seek with my friends when I was about 10 years old. I ran towards home base just steps ahead of a kid who was chasing me, and slammed my face into a metal pole. I’m reminded when I watch my own children that kids of that age don’t have any common sense, and my misadventure was a perfect case in point. Who in his right mind would select a metal swing-set as home base? I will note for the record that I was safe by the way, however I did manage to break a corner of a front tooth in the process. A quick trip to the dentist took care of that issue and it’s completely unnoticeable. Now every fifteen years or so the repair breaks-off and I have to get it replaced. That happened randomly on Monday.
I’ll answer the question for you now that we all understand the context. "You know you’re a geo-geek when… you look into the mirror and your first though is how much your damaged tooth resembles Nevada."