I am running late, I do apologize! Tardiness is not usually a problem, unless cats are involved, but frankly, I slept. So hard that the phone didn't wake me, either. (And now I owe $75 to my dentist and had to reschedule the cleaning, which was set to begin, oh, half an hour before I typed the word Tardy! above... Ooops.)
I made an interesting discovery. I cannot, on purpose, "slip a stitch" when attempting this knitting thing even on a lap loom knitting "board". (Allegedly so simple even kids can't screw up. Yep. Then it met me.)... Anyway, on purpose? LOL. By accident? Yep. Now, if I knew *how* I did it... I could do pretty patterns. As I've no freaking clue beyond "hey, that's a hole! crap! I skipped a stitch!"... In loom knitting, btw, skipping a stitch is same as slipping one according to websites and books. According to me, not so much...
In 1556, an earthquake in China resullted in reported casualties of over 800,000. Now, were those all deaths, or daeths and injuries, or what? However, even with a conservative low-ball of half that, it still ranks among the top ten deadliest natural disasters of all recorded time. And, yes, dealier than the 2004 quake-tsunami most of us remember.
Interesting to note, the deadliest natural disasters of all time all happened in Asia or the Pacific, and yes, Antioch's deadly earthquake in the 6th century counts as Asian --- Antioch is in Turkey, and that *mostly* lies (as in 95% of it), in what is considered Asia.
The border between Europe and Asia is, at times, really quite arbitrary. There's no one continuous geographical feature to split them up. More or less, it's the Ural mountains and river (Russia) south to the Black Sea and down to the Aegean, but quite honestly, the distinction could as easily be drawn further east or west as one prefers. In fact, for most of history, what we consider Russia was "Oriental" (that is, "the East, Asiatic", but Peter The Great decided Eruopean culture was way better than those weird herding people all over the place from Siberia to the Black Sea. He campaigned to have SOme part of Russia considered European. Peter failed. His niece, who became empress Anna, grabbed onto a single mapmaker's idea that Asia began at the Ural Mountains. ... And she ran with it, promoting Russia to Europeans as "a European nation with a toe hold in Asia". If you look at a map, the bulk fo Russia lies in what we consider now to be Asia.
The cartographer in question, btw, was the first to assign th eUral Mountains. The SOviets finished the job by deciding Asia began at X point beyond the Caucaus mountains, rather than at Y, and thus we have... This boundary that has no natural basis whatsoever. Eurasia is, in fact, on econtinental mass.
That said? It's also a single *geolgical* mass. Yep. The continental plate of Eurasia is one big bad sucker. IT has subcontinental plates --- India and Arabia notably among them --- but it's one big chunk of continental plate. This is rather different to the Americas, where the Nroth American plate extends into Siberia (Yep!) and squishes the Caribbean palte like a vertebra in your back between it and the SOuth American plate. Incidentally, the North American-Asian plate meeting in Siberia? Tectonically stable as all get out by comparison to everything else.
Why? It's not moving much.
Meanwhile, as the Pacific plate pushes and is pushed, causing allt he geological higgledy-piggledy of earthquakes and volcanoes.... The west coast of Nroth America is dumb lucky. Outside Alaska, it's not subduction, but slip-strike. This means, instead of plates going head to head, so to speak.... the Pacific plate slides one way, whil ethe Nroth American slide parallel in the opposite direction, like cars going opposite traffic. Sometimes it gets cranky and California has a realllly bad day. Were it subduction in the classic mode like, say, Indonesia or other types of continental "force" boundaries? Yeah, you wouldn't live in California. There wouldn't be one. It'd have ripped apart. Sooo... Weird but true.
I got here from China. God, I miss caffeine. *sigh*
In another weird side note completely, the death toll from Shaanxi, China's 1556 earthquake was partially because the peopl elived in caves carved out of cliffs mad eof a type of soil called "loess". Its silty. Not stable. Not to say rocks are better if they fall on you, but having your "mountainside" turn into a pile of loose dirt? Bad.
So why doesn't Russia want to be Asian? Well... Honestly, much of it is. But the big important parts in the western region --- Moscow etc. --- needed Euro-identity to be politically au courant or whatever the silly phrase is in French. To have influence, really. And, yet, despite a few centuries of campaigning, Eastern Europe and Russia particulary are *not* see as "the same as the rest of Europe". Even Italy and Spain, south of the Alps/Pyrenees, are more included in the European identity than Russia or many Soviet satellite nations still are, despite 25 years since effective Soviet control over that region.
If the Eastern Roman Empire had not split up as shockingly from teh Western in the early centuries (2-6th AD), the line between Europe and Asia might well have begun at Iran or Iraq instead of Turkey. Ponder that one and the impact on culture, politics, etc.... After lots of coffee. Me? I gotta just settle for... uh... Yeah, flavored water. Not the same.
And on that note... May Tuesday be gentle to you!