Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bipolar world?

So if the EU gets credit for the lack of major wars in Europe since its inception--Bosnia excepted, but of course it's not part of the EU--what accounts for the lack of major wars in Asia during roughly the same period? There are obviously too many variables to offer a clear comparison, but no major Asian power has been involved in a war since Korea.

I'm a fan of the EU, but I am always annoyed when people defend it by saying that Germany and France have not gone to war again, as if they are natural and implacable enemies. They are not. The post-war European peace, and to a lesser degree the post-war Asian peace, stem from 1.) the reshuffling of populations that occured at the end of the war, which lessened ethnic tensions and 2.) the patience and realism the post-war reconstruction efforts. Part of that reconstruction was the vision of a united Europe, but not the only part.

Short stroll off Long Wharf

Google maps is apparently unfamiliar with the idea of air travel, because a trip to Europe following their directions would get a little uncomfortable.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

xkcd is an internet comic updated three times a week. For something drawn entirely with stick figures, it's often surprisingly poignant, but almost always also funny.

Not today, though. Today's is just nerdy. In fact it's the nerdiest thing I've ever seen, and I'm ashamed to say I got the joke.