Map 241 shows the ethnic groups of Central Asia. It’s a large image so I’ve included close-ups as well.
There is a ton of information there. I’ll give you a minute to digest it. Done? Alright. The first thing you might notice is just how empty large swaths of this area are. That is due to mountainous territory and desert climates that make living around there much more difficult. The areas that are populated appear to be quite segregated by ethnic group. There are not a lot of places where multiple groups are indicated sharing the same territory (indicated by diagonal stripes). Some of the rare spots of ethnic co-dominance are in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan where Uzbeks and Tajiks mix near their country’s borders. Another interesting thing I see is how groups of people cling to natural features like rivers. The Uigher people in Northeast China have clung to the Yarkant He and Tarim He rivers while a large finger of the Kazakh people are shown living near the Syrdariya River in Kazakhstan. Finally, how about those German pockets in Northern Kazakhstan? Neat!
Map 242 is a partial bird’s eye view map of Alcatraz island. This map is informative and visually appealing, which is why I like it. It identifies all the key places on the island such as the Main Cellhouse, the Recreation Yard, the Power House, the Officer’s Club, the Warden’s House, and the Water Tower.
Beth and I visited Alcatraz a few years ago on a road trip to Texas and California. I was really excited to take the tour because the famous prison has a large presence in movies and pop culture. One of my favorite movies is The Rock with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage (I have the poster on the wall in front of me) but Alcatraz has also been in numerous other movies, television shows, books, and video games.
The tour was a lot of fun. Beth and I were joined by her dad, Ken, his brother, Tom, and their youngest sister, Debbie. They spent much of the day showing us around San Francisco and hamming it up along the way (it is their family nature and I think I fit in fairly well). If you are visiting the Bay Area I recommend making the effort to include Alcatraz in your itinerary (even if you cannot enjoy it with the company of the Bombens). The cell blocks were really interesting. Some of the cells were filled with era-specific props so you could see how inmates would have lived while incarcerated. It was just a little disappointing the tour did not include a tour of the underground tunnels but maybe they’ll add a VIP version in the future. Until then, the views of San Francisco across the bay from the Parade’ Grounds is a fantastic stop on the tour.
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Here’s a recent photo of James for those interested. He isn’t walking on his own yet at 14 months, just assisted, but his personality is really coming out lately. He’s extremely talkative, a good-eater, and cute as a button.
Until next time,
Bonus Map Link: Horror Movie Map
Bonus Bonus Map Link: Update to State-by-State Real-ID Acceptance Map