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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 little more […]

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UChicago over Stanford?

UChicago is higher ranked than Stanford (US News) because UChicago happens to be better at generating the right stats for the methodology. You could call it gaming the system, but that’s unfair since it’s mostly not deliberate. According to Parchment.com’s statistics, about one in three students choose UChicago over Stanford, if admitted to both.Here’s a walkthrough of […]

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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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Response: “Why are ghettos mostly populated by blacks?”

I’ll start by saying that not all ghettos are populated by blacks. The word ghetto itself comes from an Italian term for the area of the town to which Jews are restricted. In the United States, the term ghetto has come to mean an urban or suburban area that is poor (“low-income”) and racially homogeneous. […]

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If the world federates into one nation, where would the capital be?

New York.I agree with S. Ranck that most likely there would not be a single capital where the entire government is located. However, in terms of a city that serves as a figurehead for the “world government”, it would very likely be New York City.New York is already where the United Nations has their official headquarters, […]

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Why is Mexico viewed as a Third World country?

It’s not anymore, at least not by anyone who knows what they’re talking about. It’s poorer than the US, but Mexico’s Human Development Index score is 0.756, which is officially considered “high”. But this photo of Mexico City perfectly illustrates the problem.The problem in Mexico is inequality. The raw human development score for Mexico makes […]

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What new countries may be formed in 2016?

Realistically, none, even taking into account unrecognized countries. But here are the three least remote possibilities in the near future, if not 2016:0 . Scotland – In light of recent news I’m gonna add to the answer, since it still gets views. Scotland rejected independence from the UK in 2014 in a 55–45 vote. However, […]

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How many people are eligible to be President of the United States?

There will be some imprecision in my calculations but we can arrive at a general estimate.There are 322,772,000 people in the US. Of these, about 13 million are Legal Permanent Residents without citizenship. 11 million are illegal immigrants. The State Department estimates about 5 million US citizens living abroad.So the number of US citizens is […]

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What is the northernmost city in the world?

Here is a list of northernmost inhabited places by increasing population: 82º N: Alert, Canada – population 0-5. Northernmost inhabited place. 79º N: Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Norway – population 35. Northernmost year-round inhabited place. 78º N: Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway – population 2,075. Northernmost town of over a thousand. 71º N: Tiksi, Russia – population 5,063. Northernmost […]

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