Within a dark room, a wizard, wise, bearded, cloaked, and hooded, is sagly pondering and gazing into his glowing blue orb

Table of contents


Things that I find interesting

Interesting Places

Within the US

Freedom Comparison of States

State Defense Force: Military solely under the command of the state (i.e. not the federal government).

Outside the US

Worldwide Human Freedom Index

GDP (PPP) per capita (in USD)

Median wealth per adult by country

Countries by military and paramilitary personnel

World Happiness Report

Gross National Happiness

Countries by TFR

  • Singapore
    • Main language: English (Singlish, Singapore English)
    • Happiness: 6.377 (2020)
    • GDPPC (PPP) (in USD): (2021) $102,742, (2026 expected) $134,774
    • Median Adult Wealth: (2021) $86,717
    • TFR: (2021) 1.15, falling from (2015) 1.24
    • World Heritage sites in Singapore
  • Switzerland
    • Main language: German
    • Happiness: 7.560 (2020)
    • GDPPC (PPP) (in USD): (2021) $75,880, (2026 expected) $92,498
    • Median Adult Wealth: (2021) $146,733
    • TFR: (2021) 1.56, rising from (2015) 1.54
    • World Heritage sites in Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
    • Main language: German
    • Happiness: Unknown, assumably similar to Switzerland
    • GDPPC (PPP) (in USD): (2009) $139,100, (2026 expected) Unknown
    • Median Adult Wealth: Unknown, presumably the 2nd highest in the world, given that their mean wealth is 2nd only to Monaco
    • TFR: (2021) 1.69, rising from (2015) 1.58
    • As of 2022-March, there are no World Heritage sites in Liechtenstein (see nearby Switzerland & Germany)
  • Germany
    • Main language: German
    • Happiness: 7.076 (2020)
    • GDPPC (PPP) (in USD): (2021) $56,956, (2026 expected) $71,748
    • Median Adult Wealth: (2021) $65,374
    • TFR: (2021) 1.48, rising from (2015) 1.45
    • World Heritage sites in Germany
    • NATO member
  • Principality of Sealand
  • North Sentinel Island: Inhabiteted exclusively by the Sentinelese, whom are an autonomous stone-age human tribe which murderously completely avoids contact with the outside world.
  • The Darvaza Gas Crater, AKA The Gate to Hell: A continuously burning natural gas cavern.
  • Hang Sơn Đoòng: One of the largest natural caves in the world. Located in Vietnam, includes many trees and a river inside of the cave.
  • Giant's Causeway: World Heritage Site in Ireland where an anciant volcanic eruption resulted in ~40,000 interlocking columns/pillars that are (when looking down at them) peculiarly shaped as hexagons.
  • "Blue Tears" bioluminescent microorganisms in the East Asian Sea: Toxic but awe-inspiring


Interesting Languages

The US Government's opinion regarding, for a native English speaker, how much time it will take to "learn" a specific foreign language (¿to what extent? Presumptively to the extent required to be an effective US Diplomat).

Language Concepts

  • NATO phonetic alphabet (e.g. Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, etc.)
  • International Phonetic Alphabet: an internationally standardized written representation of speech sounds. For example, when you look up the dictionary entry for mouse, and either at the top or in the section "Pronunciation", you see "/maʊs/", this is the International phonetic representation for how to pronounce said word. If you understand this alphabet, then if you lookup any word, you'll be able read exactly how it it pronounced, even if it is in a different language.
  • Smart quotes (e.g. curly and straight) vs dumb quotes: “” vs ""
  • World Language, Universal Language, International auxiliary language, International English
  • Language planning
  • Language death, & Language revival
  • Irony punctuation: "⸮" (unofficial)
  • Interrobang: "‽" (often represented by any of ?!, !?, ?!?, !?!). Punctuation mark intended to combine the functions of the question mark (AKA interrogative point), and the exclamation point (AKA a bang).
  • Inverted marks: Spanish language feature where question marks and exclamation marks are also put at the beginning of the sentance, but inverted. E.g. ¿Where is it? ¡Here it is!
  • Internet slang
  • Verbs transitivity
    • transitive: A verb that takes a direct object; One does this to something (e.g. destroy, create, lift; because one can "lift something", one can say "I lift the box")
    • intransitive: A verb that cannot take a direct object; This verb isn't done to something (e.g. fall, sneeze, sleep; because one cannot "sleep something", one cannot say "I sleep the box")
  • Eachother (2) vs one another (3+)
  • In (static) vs into (movement/change)
  • Who (subject) vs Whom (object)
  • Assume (little to no evidence) vs Presume (reasonable evidence)
  • Biannual (2 per 1 year) vs biyearly (1 per 2 years)
  • May (permission) vs can (capability)
  • Boat (small, often recreational) vs ship (large, often commercial)
  • Than (comparison, e.g. "more than him") vs Then (time, e.g. "I run then I jump", "if this then that")
  • Weather (e.g. snow, tornado) vs Whether (mutually exclusive possibilities) vs Wether (a castrated ram/goat)
  • Commission (action) vs Omission (inaction)
  • Majority (>50%) vs Plurality (larger than each alternative, but not necessarily >50% (e.g. 40% is the plurality in "40% vs 30% vs 30%""))
  • Esperanto's future tense vs English's lack
  • "E.g." = example. "I.e." = in other words
  • Capital (uppercase letters, accumulated wealth, or a city that serves as the seat of a government) vs Capitol (a building in which the legislative body of government meets)
  • Morals (internal) vs Ethics (externally imposed, e.g. by laws, an industry, or review board, etc)
  • The word import should be spelled "inport" (with an "n"). It comes from latin, in which there were two different forms, "inporto" and "importo" (both meaning "I bring, carry or convey into; bring in from abroad, import"), both of which were a combination of latin "in-" and latin "portō".
  • Faux Cyrillic: the use of Cyrillic letters in Latin text, usually to evoke Russia or the Soviet Union
  • Cryptophasia: ("crypto-" = secret, "-phasia" = speech) A language developed by twins that only they understand.
  • Portmanteau: A new word is made from parts of multiple words. E.g. motel = motor + hotel, spork = spoon + fork, smog = smoke + fog, Interpol = international + police.
  • Pleonasm: (pleon meaning 'to be in excess'). A redundancy in linguistic expression, such as "black darkness" or "burning fire", often used for emphasis.
  • Neologism: "neo" (new) + "logism" (speech, utterance). A new word, term, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but is not yet mainstream.
  • Euphemism: A word or phrase to replace another with one that is considered less offensive, blunt, or vulgar than the word or phrase which it replaces
  • Diphthong
  • Abbreviations
    • initialism: (e.g. USA, OMG, FYI, CIA, DNA) Each letter is individually pronounced.
    • acronym: (e.g. SCUBA, NATO, NASA, OPEC, CERN) All of the resulting letters are combined to pronounce one new word.
    • contraction: (e.g. Dr., y'all, Mr., I'm, Ltd., Jr., Asst., yr.) Some letters (from the middle) are omitted. Pronounced as the original word.
    • shortening: (e.g. Inc., Pres., Gen., Corp., sec., min., etc., et al.) In written form, retains only either the 1st syllable, or 1st few letters. Pronounced as the original word.
  • metonym: A word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated.
    • Examples of metonyms:
      • In politics, the name of a county's capital city is often used as a metonym for said country's government.
        For example, "Washington", and "D.C." are each metonyms for the US Federal Government;
        Likewise "Berlin", "Moscow", "New Dehli", and "Bejing" are metonyms for the national governments of Germany, Russia, India, and China, respectively.
      • "Dish" is a metonym for the an entire plate of food.
      • "Houston" is a metonym for NASA's Johnson Space Center, its Mission Control Center within, or NASA in general.
      • "The Pentagon" is a metonym for the US Department of Defence and/or the US armed forces.
      • "The Hague" is a metonym for the International Criminal Court and/or the International Court of Justice.
  • Indication of questions
    • Indication at the start of a sentence
      • Spanish begins questions with "¿" (an example of "inverted marks")
      • Esperanto always begins questions with an interrogative (either "ĉu", or one of the "ki-" correlatives)
    • Word order
      • German moves the verb from the 2nd position (SVO), to the 1st (VSO)
    • ¿Hybrid?
      • English: ending tone, question word at the start (but these words often have other uses too (e.g. had, have, do))
        • Have a drink? (question, ending has a rising tone)
        • Have a drink. (command, consistent flat tone)
        • That's what he wants? (question, ending has a rising tone)
        • That's what he wants. (command, consistent flat tone)
  • English oddities
    • "drempt"
    • future tense verbs require an extra word beforehand (e.g. "will")
    • irregular verb conjugation
      • regular:
        • "jump" to "jumped"
      • irregular
        • "run" to "ran" (unexpectedly not "runed")
        • "sing" to "sung" (unexpectedly not "singed")
        • "knee" to "knelt" (unexpectedly neither "kneld", "kneed", nor "kneled")
  • A concept for a spectrum, where on one end is Mandarin (no alphabet), in the center is English (with an alphabet), & on the other end is Esperanto where each letter has exactly one sound, & each sound has exactly one letter, & there is no irregular conjugation.
  • The superiority of unambiguous "Y'all" over ambiguous plural "You" as a second-person plural pronoun. Because the latter can be confused with the 2nd-person singular pronoun "You".
  • Korean languages differences between DPRK (North) & ROC (South)
  • French puts adjectives after the noun, compared to English which puts them before. (Seems more logical to put them afterwards)

Vocabulary: New or Interesting

(n) A speech or writing which bitterly denounces something
(n) An old person with impaired intellect; One in one's dotage
casus belli / cāsus bellī
(n) An act seen as justifying or causing a war.
(a) Unoriginal, and thus uninteresting.
(a) Offering nothing that is stimulating or challenging : flat, dull
(a) lacking interest or feeling
(a) lacking moisture
(n) Hard money, especially coins of precious metals (e.g. gold, silver, the American Silver Eagle); Not to be confused with fiat currency (e.g. coins made from base metals like copper. E.g. US post-1965 quarters, post-1965 dimes, post-1945 nickles, pennies; None of which are currently made from previous metals, and as such are currency but neither money nor specie)
(vt) proclaim
(vt) To put into effect as a regulation
(vt) To announce or declare
(a) aggressively greedy or grasping
(n) A sly insidious trick
(vi) To entice or lure
(vi) To distribute in small amounts
(n) Government currency to the unemployed
(n) A slave
(n) Movable property (e.g. furniture, cows)
(a) disk-like
(vt) To make less painful or to calm
(n) The West; Europe (often excluding Eastern and South-Eastern), and the "Five Eyes"
(n) The East; Asia (especially East Asia)
(vt) To create
(n) immoral / grossly unfair behavior
(a) characterized by iniquity; Wicked, sinful
(a) difficult to understand
(n) A critical explanation or interpretation of a text (especially a religious text)
(a) clever or skillful
(a) Wise or shrewd
(a) Artful, tricky, or cunning
(a) Characterized by moral and/or cultural decline
(n) A very poor person
(n) A toll road
(n) A main road
(a) of, or relating to, or being a thing something is named for
(a) showing great care, attention, and effort
(n) Plebian; One of the common people
(n) Greek vase (or similar)
(n) A model of excellence or perfection
(n) An omen of something bad to come
(n) The chief magistrate in the republics of Venice & Genoa. The plural form is "dogi"
(n) A cute internet meme
(a) Fortunate / lucky
(a) The bulk or majority
(n) Superiority of influence, power, a quality, etc.; an outweighing, predominance, pre-eminence.
(n) The status of being preeminent, dominant, or ascendant.
(n) An organism with a spinal column (e.g. humans)
(n) An organism without a spinal column (e.g. jellyfish, worms)
(n) A stream feeding either a larger stream, or a lake
(a) Lasting a very short time
(vt) To avoid, especially a duty, responsibility, etc
(vi) To evade an obligation
(n) One who shirks
(n) (Islam) The unforgivable sin of idolatry
(n) A disastrous event marked by great loss and alsting distress and suffering
(a) Being, causing, or accompanied by calamity
(n) One who attacks/destroys cherished beliefs, especially religious symbols/icons
(n) To make miserable
(a) Having moral integrity
(a) Not scrupulous; Lacking moral integrity
(a) Altered, transformed, or mutated into a form that is grotesque or amusing
(n) A small portion
(adv) Unstopable; Unpreventable; Relentless; Not to be persuaded, moved, nor stopped
(a) Movable or persuadable
(a) Having qualities that discourage approach or attack
(n) A special right, privilege, or power (typically due to one's role/position)
(n) Something that portends (warns of) an upcoming unfortunate or evil event; An omen
(n) An arbitrary or authoritative command or order to do something
(n) Fiat currency: Currency that backed by no commodity, and often is established as legal tender by government fiat
(a) Coming or having recently came into existence; Budding
(vi) to express regret or mourning
(vt) To cause a quality to become part of someone's nature
(n) A critisism for a fault
(vt) To teach and impress by prequent repitions and admonitions
(a) Containing an error
(a) False
(a) Deprived of homes, possessions, and security
(vt) To surround with armed forces (for the purpose of capture or forcing surrender)
(n) A military or political group that takes power by force
(a) Showing strong feeling
(n) Something or someone that one vehemently dislikes
(n) The owner of either a business or property
(n) A political, economic and social system in medieval and early modern Europe; originally a form of serfdom but later a looser system in which land was administered via the local manor
(v) To intentionally add noise to a signal to randomize errors
(n) A coastal body of water where ocean tides and river water merge
(n) A crown or soemthing that adorns like a crown
(a) Highly injurious or destructive; Deadly
(n) One possessing supreme political power
(n) A governor that rules as a representative of a king or sovereign
(vt) To repeal (often in a legal context), or do away with
catchment area
(n) An area where a city institution, or service attracts users. (e.g. a school catchment area is the geographic area from which students are eliible to attend a local school)
(n) The highest class in a society; The nobility
(n) Rule by a small privileged class, or by the best individuals
(a) Hostile or unfriendly
(a) Harmful
(n) A waste of time and/or money
(n) A goat's horn endlessly overflowing with whatever its owner wants (historically this was fruit, flowers, and/or grain)
(a) Foolish, silly, stupid
(a) Skillful; quick and neat in action
raison d'être
(n) Literally "reason to be"; The sole or ultimate purpose of something or someone
bon vivant
(n) Literally "good liver" ("liver" as a person that lives). One that lives well / enjoys the good things in life, especially good food & drink
pro rata / pro-rata
(adv) (of an allocation) In proportion to some factor that can be exactly calculated
(vt) To remove by the roots
(n) (sociology, biology) A social philosophy or practice which advocates the improvement of human hereditary qualities through selective breeding, either by encouraging people with good genetic qualities to reproduce (positive eugenics), or discouraging people with bad genetic qualities from reproducing (negative eugenics), or by technological means (e.g. gene editing)
(a) (genetics) Antonym of "dysgenic". Positive eugenics; Exerting a beneficial effect on offspring through the inheritance of desirable characteristics
(a) (genetics) Antonym of "eugenic". Exerting a detrimental effect on offspring through the inheritance of undesirable characteristics
(n) A design that may be read as the same word, name or phrase (or sometimes two different words, names or phrases) when oriented in two different ways
(vt) To reduce by 10%
(n) A fact/person/place/thing/event that is unusual, curious, astonishing, and/or remarkable
(a) Self-generated / random / from a momentary impulse; happening without any apparent external cause nor pre-planning
(a) (typically of speech or discussion) angry & bitter
consanguineal / consanguineous
(a) Related by blood
(a) A substance that flows out from something
(a) The process of flowing out
persōna nōn grāta / persona non grata
(n) Literally "person not acceptable"; A person, especially a diplomat in a foreign country, who is not welcome
quid prō quō / quid pro quo
(n) Literally "something for something"; A favour for a favour (one form of "tit-for-tat")
eye for an eye
(n) A disfavor for a disfavor (one form of "tit-for-tat")
(a) shy, hesitant, modest
(a) (game theory) An uncooperative or purely-selfish participant in an exchange or game, especially when untrusting, acquisitive, or treacherous. Refers specifically to the Prisoner's Dilemma, alias the Hawk-Dove game. Antonym of "dove"
(a) (game theory) A person favouring conciliation & negotiation rather than conflict. Antonym of "hawk"
insofar as
(conjunction) to the extant that
(n) A mixture or alloy
(n) A metal that is a combination of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal
(n) An admixture; something added which stains, taints, etc
(n) A metal of greater value, mixed with a metal of lesser value
(v) To increase / enlarge
(vt) To upturn convention from the foundation by undermining it (literally, to turn from beneath).
(vt) To pervert, as the mind, and turn it from the truth; to corrupt; to confound.
(vt) To overturn from the foundation; to overthrow; to ruin utterly.
(phrase) Situation normal, all fucked up
(phrase) Fucked up beyond all repair
(n) A situation report
(n) A federal government official, especially of a three-letter agency
three-letter agency
(n) U.S. alphabet agencies that are specifically of the national security state (e.g. DHS, ATF, NSA, FBI, CIA, etc.)
etc. / et cētera
(phrase) “and so forth” (used when referring to non human things)
et al. / et alia
(phrase) “and others” (used when referring to people, and especialy people in legal/court contexts)
viz. / vidēlicet
(phrase) "as follows"/"that is to say"/"specifically"
(n) sulf-sufficiency, especially including economic independence
(n) A portmanteau of the first few letters of each country's name - Belgium, the Netherlands, & Luxembourg
axiom / postulate / posit / assumption
(n) (classic philosophy) A statement that is so evident or well-established, that it is accepted without controversy nor question
(n) (modern logic) A statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning & arguments
(n) An authoritative absolutely indisputably true principle or belief, regardless of the quantity/quality of supporting evidense (or lack thereof)
(vt) to bring or recall to the conscious mind
(n) (plural only) Protection or patronage
(n) An omen/sign
(a) Of or relating to a good omen; indicative of current or future success
(n) Something that serves as a warning for something (often, but not always, something bad) to come
(vt) To serve as a warning/omen of
(a) Of or relating to an ominous significance
(n) A sense of evil to come
(symbol) international currency symbol
(a) Insufficient to meet demand
(vt) To denounce/condemn
(vt) To furnish proof of; To certify
(a) Harmless; Unprovocative
(a) Impressive & awesome, yet simple
(n) An aristocrat; one of aristocratic blood
(a) Having honorable qualities
(a) Mutually destructive
per annum
(adv) per year; yearly
self-licking ice cream cone
(n) A process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence
(a) Attended with peril; dangerous, risky
(a) Appalling, dire, terrible.
(a) Obnoxiously stupid
(a) Difficult to control or predict because of wilful or perverse behaviour
(a) Open to multiple interpretations
(a) Obligated
(a) Excessive
(n) Great reluctance to spend money unnecessarily
(a) Up to this or that time or point
(a) Having analogy; corresponding to something else; bearing some resemblance or proportion (often followed by "to".)
(n) A self-taught person
(n) An apparent shift in the position of two stationary objects relative to each other as viewed by an observer, due to a change in observer position. E.g. an analogue speedometer that reads a speed of 60 to the driver, but 50 to the passenger—even though the needle itself is only in one place.
celebration parallax
(n) A fact that, depending on who states it, is either (1) true and glorious or (2) false and scurrilous
(n) A concept of social solidarity with an emphasis on unity, group consciousness, and a sense of shared purpose and social cohesion
dīvide et imperā
(proverb) divide and rule (i.e. divide and conquer)
(vt) To use a combination of political, military and economic strategies that aim to gain and maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.
(a) Lacking character, definition, or flavour
(n) A behavior or way of thinking that is characteristic of a person
(a) 2nd to last
(vt) To place under another as belonging to it; to include or contain something else
(a) Of or relating to the body and/or internal organs
(n) Excessive pride, presumption or arrogance
(n) Doctrine of annexing foreign land that one views as having historic or ethnic links to
(n) A wasting of time in idleness or trifles
(n) Playful flirtation; amorous play
(a) Made, or become weak
(n) The state of being deprived
(n) (uncountable) Offspring or descendants considered as a group
(n) Praise or glorification
(n) "omni-" (all) -cide" (to kill). The total extinction of the human species as a result of human action
(n) (architecture) A tall, square, tapered, stone monolith topped with a pyramidal point, frequently used as a monument. For example, the Washington Monument
(a) Narrowing gradually towards a point
(vt) (of a central bank) To tighten monetary policy
(a) near, close by
(preposition) near; close to
(adv) Almost, nearly
(a) Out of alignment, in disarray or disorder
as per
(preposition) Consistent, or in accordance, with; according to