Re: Burnout

1

I love the discussion of Lego as an investment ("we don't smoke, we don't drink much"). You really need a lot of space to follow this (and other collector-ish) hobbies, so I wonder if the community is dominated by the US.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 5:01 AM
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On a walk this past weekend, we came across a corner house where you could walk right up and peer into the backyard.

The backyard was completely dedicated to a tiny land with a train and traintrack winding throughout. Real trees pruned down to size. Bitty houses, fences, light posts: everything you'd see in some dedicated person's basement, but it was their entire backyard.

It was really something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 7:34 AM
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When I was a kid Lego was close to being the only toy I had, but I had a lot of it thanks to aggressively searching yard sales when we visited the US. By the time I was ~10 my collection filled a box that was a little smaller than a steamer trunk. Plus, Lego Technic! Gears! pulleys! actuators! You could make some seriously awesome stuff with that.

My Nephew has a bunch of construction toys but they are incompatible and for the most part lack real flexibility. I think that for next Christmas I am going to buy small kits of each of the systems he has, cut the parts up, and epoxy them together into adapters so the construction systems can be used together.

Now I get to play with 80/20, which is sort of like Lego for grownups.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:08 AM
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One of the many ways in which I've failed as a parent is that my kids don't seem to be attracted to Legos at all -- I bought them a big bucket of the basic stuff ages ago, and it does not get played with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:13 AM
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Also, BrickStud.com! Laydeez...


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:23 AM
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2: My impression, formed from browsing store shelves, is that current Lego sets are filled with overly specialized pieces, making them worthless in the manner you describe.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:27 AM
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4: Maybe they're just deconstructionists. No shame in that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:27 AM
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so I wonder if the community is dominated by the US.

Wouldn't surprise me. There's a line where one of the collector dudes suggests the Pacific Northwest is thick with collectors, though there is the one Canadian (who's from the PNW, too: Vancouver).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:32 AM
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6: You can still buy buckets of ordinary Lego -- it's hard to find in amongst all the models, but it's there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:34 AM
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9: Good. I doubt I ever followed the building directions more than once, preferring instead to create my own armies of unstoppable killer robots.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:41 AM
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But they killed Meccano, which was sheer corporate vandalism.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:01 AM
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9, 10: if you ever come across a Lego store, they have a really cool in-store display that lets you mix and match ordinary Lego. I remember reading something nigh-tearfully-happy about it on an AFOL blog when they were first rolling it out and indeed, it's pretty cool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:11 AM
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12: Oooooooooooooo.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:15 AM
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current Lego sets are filled with overly specialized pieces

This. The Harry Potter set my niece begged for unsuprisingly languishes in the box. How many times can building Hogworts be interesting? Fortunately, the younger ones groove on the basic ones, so I get to build "spaceships" that are preposterously unwieldy and un-aerodynamic -- but with so many interesting and unnecessary features!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:28 AM
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14: Not to accuse you of not wasting half an hour on watching the video, but there's a portion where they're at BrickCon and several mention not being interested in sets but rather individual pieces. Also that they'll buy sets to get specific pieces, which seems like the proper approach. Fuck a bunch of instructions.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:34 AM
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11: Meccano was nice, but it suffered from being a little too tinkery, what with all the little nuts and bolts and stuff. If they'd modified the connectors a bit to eliminate the need for nuts it would have been better.

The really nice thing about Meccano is that many of the parts are bendable, which really opens up possibilities.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:37 AM
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Legos by the kilo at garage sales or eBay.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:50 AM
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Lego Mindstorms are pretty cool. Kinda make me want to have a kid.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:00 AM
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Kinda make me want to have a kid.

Laydeeez.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:17 AM
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19: "Let's play Legos." (As the actress said to the bishop.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:21 AM
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7: They should get Frank Gehry to design a Lego set. Now that would be something.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:25 AM
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21: Trolling JRoth when he's presumably off being productive is rather mean-spirited, DS.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:27 AM
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"Want to come up and see my etchings legos?"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:31 AM
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I'm always tried to interrogate and enact the self-occluded traces of evil in the code "benevolent."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:32 AM
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And I don't need no stinking spelling, neither.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:32 AM
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When my friend and I were heavily into LEGO in the early 1980s, we created a rubric of interconnectability such that pieces which were too specialized were deemed "unLEGOish". Not that we didn't covet certain specialized pieces of course, but we tended to privilege having enough standard bricks that we could create larger buildings or vehicles or whatever.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:44 AM
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23: "To be honest, I prefer erector sets."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:47 AM
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My childhood Lego set was mostly just bricks, with a couple of specialized types of pieces (shingles, car parts, trees), and the special pieces were always frustrating because they were unsubstitutable, and without careful planning there'd never be enough to finish stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:57 AM
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And we had (and have) lots and lots of Lego (and Duplo ... and Duplo trains). In fact I think there is a Lego Hogwarts* still up on top of the piano.

*But built from basic bricks and stuff recycled from other sets (we did end up with a bunch of Star Wars sets).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 11:24 AM
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28: I like the little windows and doors, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 11:26 AM
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Mindstorms is great Bave, I recommend getting a set now, because even if you started breeding immediately, it'd still be a few years before your kid would be big enough to enjoy it properly.

My kids entered the First Lego League competition last year and it was excellent fun.

Have loads of Lego here (and not enough room at the moment to have it all out to play with properly, though that should be remedied shortly) - the electric trainset, lots of Technics stuff, kilos of basic pieces, etc. Love it. There was great excitement in this house when K'nex introduced their brick building blocks, so now Lego can be joined to K'nex.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 11:51 AM
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32

No more masturbating to Alex Chilton.


Posted by: honigessig | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 12:42 PM
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32: You sicko. The rest of us stopped masturbating to him yesterday.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 12:47 PM
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33: Time stamp says you're a perv, too, if you stopped only yesterday.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 12:51 PM
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Actually, two days ago.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 12:52 PM
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34: It's all relative, Stanley. As long as I wasn't the last one to masturbate to Alex Chilton, then I'm not perverted.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 12:53 PM
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Couldn't help myself?


Posted by: honigessig | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 12:58 PM
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38

Someone else could help advert you, though.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 1:02 PM
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39

So, I guess, guilty as charged?


Posted by: honigessig | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 1:02 PM
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37: Sister Corpse Lovers


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 1:05 PM
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I can't partake in Lego bucket nostalgia. I mostly just did sets when I was growing up - more generic spaceships and castles than branded stuff, and we often made new things or alterations with the accumulated pieces, but still I perceived sets as the paradigm.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 2:47 PM
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31: I judged part of the 2008 First Lego League. It was fun, except for the bit when it was obvious that the poor kids had no chance.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 2:51 PM
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I wasn't that crazy about legos growing up, because basically you could just build square stuff. Tinker toys were the shiznit.bom.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 3:07 PM
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44

Shorter 43: "I was always square enough already."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 3:11 PM
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44: "Always already square enough".slb


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 3:22 PM
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45: Heh. I had it typed up that way first but changed it, figuring I'd leave the low-hanging wordfruit for someone else. Nice snag!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 3:25 PM
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43: Just another far left lie. Not only can you build square stuff with Lego, you can also build rectangular stuff. Why do you hate America?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 3:57 PM
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And you can build stuff of any shape, so long as you don't mind its being a little pixelated.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 4:02 PM
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42 - cool! We went up to Loughborough (not our nearest regional competition, but the one that gave us the most time!), and the week before we were considering pulling out as we didn't think we'd done enough. But when we went, there were only 5 other teams, and they were all from primary schools (ours was a team of 9-11 year old home educated kids, and they were all worried they'd be up against expert 14 and 15 year olds), and even though our robot wasn't doing very well, everyone else's was equally bad! So it all turned out well, and our lot came second and got awarded Best Robot Design. There'd been a sticky moment where we'd worried that we might have won, and none of us wanted to come back and compete against *good* teams. Looking forward to doing it again this year.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 4:13 PM
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On the titular part of the OP, I turned my particular flavor of computer hobby into a job back in 2001, and did that for seven years. I've almost entirely lost the desire to do that on my own time. However, I picked up a different hobby instead, and that ended up being homebrewing, so I think I came out ahead in the end.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:53 PM
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51

All of you people suck!


Posted by: Starbuck | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 8:54 PM
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I flirted with trying to turn my raging youthful map-nerdism into the pursuit of a geography-related career, but resisted doing so in part due to just those concerns. In retrospect, I am somewhat annoyed with myself. (Although at those critical early junctures, I was so thoroughly alienated from both the means and ends of societal, academic or commercial success that I probably would have fucked it up.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:18 PM
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When I was a kid my best friend and I invented a game that involved resolving the battles of Risk through individual chess games with rules modified to accommodate the inclusion of lego men.

52: But how accurate is your freehand map, and can you name the capital of Burkina Faso?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:33 PM
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When I was a kid my best friend and I invented a game that involved resolving the battles of Risk through individual chess games with rules modified to accommodate the inclusion of lego men.

Wizard cocksucker.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:34 PM
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55

WHY DO ALL OF YOU HATE ME?


Posted by: OPINIONATED ABRAHAM LINCOLN LOGS | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:35 PM
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I bet a lot of us would read opinionatedabrahamlincolnblogs.com


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:37 PM
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But how accurate is your freehand map, and can you name the capital of Burkina Faso?

Pretty fucking good, and you mean the capital of Upper Volta of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:45 PM
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Ouagadougou.

(My freehand mapping is legendary.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:47 PM
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55: Because you were relatively big, clunky and constrained in your use. Because the roof slats broke too easily. Because looking at it you were actually pretty fucking lame.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:50 PM
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58: Ouagadougou.

Really? Who knew?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:50 PM
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Who knew?

Me, apparently. Maybe not you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:51 PM
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Goo goo g'joob.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 9:53 PM
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Geography nerd fight. Khust was the capital of what extremely short-lived country? Why was the capital located in Khust rather than the seemingly obvious choice of Uzhgorod?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:04 PM
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62: You walrus hurt the one you love.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:06 PM
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I do not know the answers to the questions in 63, and I'm not going to google them right now to give the impression that I do know them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:15 PM
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59: Lincoln Logs were great for building fortresses and/or villages that one could then destroy by chucking more Lincoln Logs at them.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:22 PM
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On the internet, know one knows that your an honorable man.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:29 PM
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67: But it's easy to tell whose a little bitch.


Posted by: M/tch M/llls | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:35 PM
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Hose a little bitch?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:39 PM
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Doesn't everyone know about Ouagadougou? In a middle school English class I wrote a short story set there because I thought the name was awesome. I didn't really know anything about it, so there wasn't any interesting local color in the story. But what a name!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:43 PM
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Doesn't everyone know about Ouagadougou?

Little Gidding is, of course, the name of a lonely spot not far from Petersborough, where Nicholas Ferrar and his few followers in the reign of Charles I built a small plain chapel in which to worship undisturbed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:50 PM
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Kafiristan? Or was that the country in The Man who Would Be King?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:51 PM
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72 to 63, and, on googling, I'm not that bothered to be wrong.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-19-10 10:54 PM
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71: Kobaltana, of course, is a once-fashionable mountain resort near the ruins of some old military barracks. Nothing of interest is located there.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 1:03 AM
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72: Kafiristan is a real place, but it's been called Nuristan since its inhabitants were forcibly converted to Islam in the 1890s. Eric Newby went there in A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 2:22 AM
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Fleur and I almost took the little Ruprechts to Legoland when we were visiting Denmark a few years ago. But then it ended up being cold and rainy the day we planned to go. Between that and the fact that the little ones were really still too young to appreciate it (and the fact that the entry fee is bloody expensive!) we passed up the chance.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 3:33 AM
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Lincoln Logs were great for building fortresses and/or villages that one could then destroy by chucking more Lincoln Logs at them arson.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 3:35 AM
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We always wanted to go to the Danish Legoland when we were growing up, but never did. Now we live very near the Windsor one, and have been loads. Not sure I'd pay full price - we've usually gone at the highly discounted home educators price. I don't think anyone pays full price to get in, there are always deals and offers available. Nice place, as long as it's not the school holidays ...


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 5:12 AM
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Going to the Danish LEGOland was always a coveted excursion when I was growing up. But, of course, we never had anything like nearly the money to travel internationally. At least we have a LEGO store at the MOA now, so I content myself with looking at the MOCs the local expert builders put up. Also, I know D__ S______, the local AFOL who got one of his MOCs turned into an actual official set. Still kicking myself that I didn't by half-a-dozen of those when they came out.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 8:01 AM
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80

Did my comment get held for moderation or something? Whatever happened to the Unfogged kitten?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 8:02 AM
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63: Khust was the capital of what extremely short-lived country? Why was the capital located in Khust rather than the seemingly obvious choice of Uzhgorod?

The country was Carpatho-Ukraine which was a country for somewhere between 1-3 days in 1939. I learned about it as a kid with regard to that bit of trivia, and with the wrong name of "Ruthenia". (It is among the most crossroad-y of Eastern Central Europe crossroads areas as reflected in the Wikipedia list of names for the region: Carpathian Ruthenia, aka Transcarpathian Ruthenia, Transcarpathian Ukraine, Zakarpattia, Rusinko, Subcarpathian Rus, Subcarpathia (Rusyn and Ukrainian: Карпатська Русь, romanised: Karpats'ka Rus'; Russian: Карпатская Русь, romanised: Karpatskaya Rus'; Slovak and Czech: Podkarpatská Rus; Hungarian: Kárpátalja; Romanian: Transcarpatia; Polish: Zakarpacie; Yiddish: קאַרפַּאטן רוּס).) Also, In ethnic diversity, it is inhabited by Ukrainian, Rusyn, Lemko (who are of southern Polish) origin, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Bulgarian and Russian populations. It has small Bogomil, Hutsul, Jewish, Romani and Zekler or Csango (ethnic Magyars in an Orthodox church) minorities.

The "natural" capital Uzghorod had already been annexed by Hungary before independence was declared upon the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, and it was the Hungarians who then took it over. Kind of a fascinating place, but per 73 I would certainly not expect anyone (other than maybe tmk or stamp collectors) to know anything about it. I know a bit more because of research we've done on nearby shtetls where some of my wife's family originally came from.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 10:07 AM
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I spent a summer in London when I was 18, and worked as a receptionist for a bunch of guys whose previous construction project had been LegoLand. They called it LegoverLand.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 10:35 AM
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83

LEGO Carpathia


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 10:42 AM
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Could one of them have been... Naaah!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 10:45 AM
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3: awesome gift.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 11:14 AM
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The burnout concern is one of the main reasons I'm so steadfastly opposed to becoming an academic. I do really like studying things and explaining them to people, but I'm sure I would get tired of it pretty quickly if I actually had to do it all the time. My plan right now is to do something I find at least somewhat interesting as a job, and do scholarship-oriented stuff on the side.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:27 PM
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86: What are you doing commenting? You're squandering valuable macking time!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:35 PM
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What, I can't do both at the same time?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:37 PM
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He's playing hard to get


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:37 PM
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"Come on over. I'd like to show you my etchings comments."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:41 PM
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We're all sitting here at the kitchen table talking and stuff.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:41 PM
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My roommate and I are on our laptops. The friend is studying anatomy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:42 PM
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93

Wow, look at that fruit.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:45 PM
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I can't look that low.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:46 PM
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Anyway, it turns out she has a boyfriend. So, yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:49 PM
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92: ChatRoulette LARPing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:50 PM
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What, I can't do both at the same time?

Now this is low-hanging fruit.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:53 PM
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Anyway, it turns out she has a boyfriend. So, yeah.

Does that mean you're coming to the meetup?

Or just that you'll have to work a little harder?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:53 PM
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It does not mean I'll be coming to the meetup.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 4:54 PM
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KOBE DEMANDS TEO ATTEND MEETUP


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 5:22 PM
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101

OMG Northern Iowa!!! (and I hardly even pay attention to basketball.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 5:46 PM
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102

This has been a great tournament so far.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 5:51 PM
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God, I love March Madness. It is the best.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 5:57 PM
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101 is correct. The Murray State win has been my favorite so far, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 6:27 PM
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I have fond memories of high school Science Olympiad at Murray State.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 6:32 PM
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All the top talent leaving early for the NBA means the tournament is totally unpredictable. I mean, not only did St. Mary's win, they looked better -- it didn't really feel like an upset. If those teams played ten times SM would have won most of them.

Northern Iowa was a more old-style upset...you got the feeling that if Kansas had just gotten serious earlier and started pressing they would have won.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 6:35 PM
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That was a surprisingly watchable documentary.

I was lucky enough to buy a big boxes worth of legos for my kids at a yard sale for $50. They still like building the sets, though.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 03-20-10 10:05 PM
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