Blog Articles

Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan

Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan – a travel blog

June 3, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

The Central Asian countries of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan share many similarities. However, as a tourist, I was struck by their differences. Note: For some, Azerbaijan counts as being in the Caucasus, along with Georgia and Armenia. However, my guide in Azerbaijan spoke of his country as being in Central Asia.... read more

Soviet Junk: Post-Communist Clean Up

May 20, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

My recent visit to Azerbaijan inspired this blog. As I was being driven through Baku, my guide, Basran, would occasionally gesture at crumbly old buildings and say, “Soviet junk.” I’ve gained experience roaming through countries spewed by the cement mixer of communism: the Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria), Russia, Mongolia, and now... read more

Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, Malaysia

May 13, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

The fourth stop in my trip around the world is Malaysia, landing in Kuala Lumpur. The first thing you need to know is that kuala means ‘confluence of two rivers, estuary’ and lumpur means ‘muddy’. Here I am (in the photo on the right) at the muddy confluence. Note: Everywhere in Asia... read more

Globalization Through The Lens of Malaysia

May 9, 2016 9:00 am Published by 2 Comments

Malaysia perfectly exemplifies today’s globalization. Kuala Lumpur’s Twin Towers seen from the Traders Hotel where I stayed.  Here I outline the way globalization is woven into Malaysia and the way Malaysia weaves itself into globalization. Some of my observations are not surprising. They are rather eyewitness confirmation of what we... read more

Further Observations on Japan

May 6, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Here is another listicle about Japan. This time the observations are random and in no particular order: 10. T-shirts/sweatshirts. Many people wear T-shirts or sweatshirts with names of U.S. states on them, like South Dakota or Maryland. Every now and then the shirt has the name of a college, often... read more

Linguistic Residual Zone: New York City

April 29, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Johanna Nichols – among her many contributions to the study of language – has identified two types of geographic zones relevant for comparative work in linguistics: the linguistic residual zone and the linguistic spread zone. A linguistic residual zone tends to be a relatively small, often geographically enclosed area where a higher number of... read more