123 - The Hutt River Principality: What, No Prince Jabba?
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Some 75 sq. km of the state of Western Australia form Australia’s oldest micronation. The Hutt River Principality has about 20 permanent residents, but thanks to the fascination exerted by micronations – not to mention the possibilities for propagation of and affiliation to such projects offered by present-day media – it counts an additional 13.000 passport holders worldwide.
The Hutt River Principality, about 500 km north of Perth, declared its independence on 21 april 1970. On that day, the eccentric wheat farmer Leonard George Casley became Prince Leonard I. This was the result of a long-standing dispute with the Australian government over wheat quotas, and of the Treason Act of 1495, a British law Casley felt allowed him to secede from the Commonwealth of Australia (and remain loyal to Queen Elizabeth II).\n
I don’t know if and how the Principality manages to evade Australian wheat regulations, but Prince Leonard must have made a handsome amount of money off the stamps and coins issued by his micronation – as yet unrecognised by Australia or any other country.\n
The future seems secure for the Hutt River Principality: the Australian government has accepted it as a ‘business enterprise’, one which generates a fair amount of tourism, and with Crown Prince Ian waiting in the wings, the succession is guaranteed.\n
This map was scanned from p. 27 of the ‘Micronations. The Lonely Planet Guide To Home-Made Nations’, one of the most hilarious travel-guides out there. More information on the Hutt River Principality on its own website – which indicates that the Principality, although landlocked, has a navy of its own.\n
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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