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March 26, 2007


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Noel Maurer

Apropro of nothing: Mexico is kicking Paraguayan ass in soccer right now. Yes, Carlos, I've gone over to the dark side. I've even at times caught myself thinking that basketball has too much scoring.

But apropro of Ptghni: do you have photos? I'm curious to see how Armenian villages stack up against rural areas in other parts of the world. I'm only now realizing that all the rural areas I've seen have been overrun by children: even a comparatively low TFR of 2.5 produces a lot of kids running around. What are villages devoid of children like? They sound depressing.

I like Mexico City, Copenhagen, and New York much more than Paris, London, or Toronto because they have lots of children running around in places where you wouldn't expect them. (This is not necessarily directly related to the metropolitan birthrate: frex, Hong Kong has kids everywhere and Buenos Aires does not.) Of course, I write this in a cafe in a yuppie part of Mexico City where I can see seven pre-adolescent children out of a total patronage of 24 people --- with all the expected annoyance --- so perhaps I am biased. But how do Torontonians or Washingtonians stand it? And what must a village devoid of rock-throwing nine-year-old boys be like?

Doug M.

Basketball /does/ have too much scoring. I don't like to watch the first three quarters of a basketball game for just that reason.

Claudia's the picture-taker (and has the camera). But I saw maybe fifteen people in the village, and just one kid -- a boy of ten or twelve, shoveling snow. Several older folks, though. I'd put the median age somewhere in the forties.

Kids: I had the same experience in Tirana, Albania. Came there from Bucharest, where you don't see a lot of kids. Tirana had kids /everywhere/.

BTW, the "gh" represents a soft fricative that's something like "uhkh". So, it's pronounced something like "Patuckney".

Doug M.

Gareth Wilson

You're just making these names up, aren't you?
Just kidding. Although I did check Google to confirm it existed. Are those kind of consonant clusters common in Armenian? To my laymen's eye it looks more Georgian.

Dennis Brennan

re: municipality name. Insert obLovecraft joke here.

Brings back memories of when I was doing some sort of project in high school (details forgotten) and learned that a town in eastern Turkey is named Batman.

Of course, us folks in Pennsylvania have no business making fun of anybody else's town names-- we have plenty of wacky ones here.


The 'gh' in Armenian is often the product of a sound change from a variant 'l' sound, about 1500 years ago. So it very well might be one sound change away from a word like "Ptolemy", while a little peculiar to eyes and ears canalized by the English language, doesn't present too many difficulties.

And hell, Poughkeepsie /pkIpsi/. Ia ia mamaroneck.

Doug (not Muir)

R'lyeh Wagn'nagl Fhtagn! Aaaiii!!!

I mean, you're in Ptghni without an HPL reference?

Pilot Padget


I'm only going to say it the once, because it looks WAYYYY too much like one of those words which, if one says them too often, will summon some Eldritch Tentacular Horror from a dimension Man Was Not Meant To Know. And I like my soul where it is, thanks. Plus I'm quite fond of (what remains of my/what passes for) sanity.

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