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List of Western countries

There is no single definition of what the West is, so the list of countries changes depending on context. The different contexts are outlined in this Wikipedia article. Since people are now visiting this page more frequently, I will present three definitions, which people can use depending on context: The Latin West (cultural definition) – […]

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What kind of students get into the University of Chicago?

There are essentially four types, and I’m broadly stereotyping here: The College Prep kid (~40%). This is the most common, at least in the Class of 2019 – 50% of the class went to a private school. The Type 1 kid went to a private prep school, especially one of the Eight Schools. They did […]

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US cities: cheap and open-minded

Context: on Quora, I was asked, “What is the cheapest and most open-minded city in the United States?“ Tl;dr: Louisville, Kentucky – aka “Where sobriety goes to die” or “The Southernmost Northern City”. Wow, cheapest AND most open-minded… this is not easy to measure. For “cheapest” I assume you mean cost of living, which I […]

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Why is San Jose’s airport so close to downtown?

This is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. In the background is downtown Washington, D.C. Reagan National is approximately a 1–1.5 hr walk from the White House, depending on which part of the airport you start in. This happens to be roughly the same as the walking time between San Jose International and the center of […]

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What does my Cyrillic handwriting look like?

The image below says: “The little bears deprived the chinchillas of a lily, and the chinchillas deprived the little bears of a pinecone.” Hehe, sorry, couldn’t pass up the chance. Here’s a more normal looking writing sample: I imagined there would be a lot of beautiful penmanship in the thread so I feel like contributing something a […]

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Why does England have so many more people than Scotland and Wales?

It’s mostly a matter of physical geography. Take a look at this satellite image of the British Isles, without any borders. Right away you can see where the hilly and mountainous terrain is – mostly in Great Britain’s north and west. Mountainous terrain gives you benefits as well as drawbacks: The rugged land is more […]

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