I’m in a pretty good mood today (if you know me in IRL you’ll know why) and I have suddenly just realized how happy I am about the world. A lot of people moan about how awful it is, but is actually pretty damn fantastic the way it is. We get to do loads of awesome things and we have loads of awesome things at our disposal. Sure we do have problems with the economy, various wars and climate change, but overall we are incredibly luck.
We live in a planet in the Goldilocks’ Zone which means it isn’t too near or far to the sun and we have a moderate climate that supports life. For all we know we could be the only intelligent life in the galaxy, if not the universe. We have billions of light years of space at our disposal.
Our technology may not quite be sci-fi but it is pretty cool. We have a network that connects billions of people around the world to do pretty much anything. Communication, sharing, social interaction, information, news and they way we shop has been completely overhauled by the web.
There is issue that does bother me: SOPA. SOPA looks like it is set to destroy freedom on the web. People can get sued for embedding a picture in their website. It will be a ridiculous world and frankly I would give up blogging completely if that happened. But I’m an optimist, so I hope it doesn’t.
Last night Azerbaijan surprisingly won the Eurovision song contest, easily beating the critics’ (and bookies’) favorites France, Sweden and Ireland – and they rarely get it wrong on big events like Eurovision. When watching Eurovision, other than noticing that about 90% songs were English – quite surprising considering that the UK – the people who would be expected to sing best in English – don’t normally do that well -, I also noticed that I didn’t actually have a clue about Azerbaijan, where it is, what language it speaks, what the culture is like and all the other interesting things that might be expected from me. Here is my fact file:
- The capital city is Baku
- Just over 9,000,000 people are thought to live there
- It is on the edge of the Caspian Sea
- It is bordered by Russia, Armenia, Turkey, Georgia and Iran
- The official language is Azerbaijani and to say hello you would say ‘Salam’, so look out for lots of this next year
- The current political system is a Presidential Republic (with a President and Prime Minister), however it has been a Democratic Republic (1918) – the first Islamic state of its kind – before being taken over by the Soviet Union in 1920, finally gaining independence in 1991 with the disillusion of Communism
- Azerbaijan is technically considered by the United Nations (which it is a member of) to be in Asia, however it is in the Eurasian area, which why it (and the other former Eastern Bloc countries) is allowed to perform in Eurovision
- During World War Two, Azerbaijan fought with the Soviet Union, supplying men and oil
- 90% of the people are considered to be Azerbaijani, and much of the remaining ten percent is made up from peoples from former Eastern Bloc countries
- 99% of the people are Muslim
- The three most popular sports are Freestyle Wrestling, Football and Chess
- The Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency plans to launch its first satellite in summer 2012
- Azerbaijan is very mountainous, however 9 of the 11 climate zones exist within Azerbaijan, with temperatures ranging from -33 degress Celsius to +44 degrees Celsius
And because I quite enjoyed that, I might do something like this for more countries in the future. Please put ideas in the comments!