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Wuppertal
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Re: Postboxes

Post by Wuppertal » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:16 am

sejintenej wrote:
Wuppertal wrote: A few months ago a friend in Ireland sent me a letter addressed to "Hartland, Devon, United Kingdom". It went to "Hartland, North Dakota, United States", before being returned to sender. And my postcode was on it! On the second attempt it got to me :)
The UK Post Office is little better even with post codes - my town has the same first letter as Birmingham (but I think almost all the the other 8 are different) which is where they have consigned letters in the past. You have to remember that the US education and information systems are a bit different to ours; the next state is abroad, the other side of the pond is equivalent to Mars. Many of them simply have not heard of the United Kingdom as an area not controlled by Bush or Iraq. As for Ireland - one of then actually asked me which state it is in :x :x :x :x . International director of one of the biggest New York bank had to ask where Marrakesh is (the conversation related to a banking conference there).
Aargh it makes me so angry how some people are so arrogant with knowing where places are!
OK call me a complete geek but I can locate any country in the world if you gave me a blank map. That's not something I ever did on purpose but an interest in political geography and world affairs in general just led me to be able to know it without me planning it. But seriouslty and from a less personal point of view, I think it's important just to have a general awareness of what's going on and where places are - it seems quite small-minded and selfish and ignorant to not care what is happening outside your own village or something like that. I just find it depressing that some people have no idea what country is next door to theirs, or thinking Iraq is in Australia, or that Swiss people speak Swedish, or the Ireland is part of the UK, or millions of other examples...OK rant over and apologies to anyone I have offended! :|

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Re: Postboxes

Post by Ajarn Philip » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:12 am

Wuppertal wrote:
Aargh it makes me so angry how some people are so arrogant with knowing where places are!
OK call me a complete geek but I can locate any country in the world if you gave me a blank map. That's not something I ever did on purpose but an interest in political geography and world affairs in general just led me to be able to know it without me planning it. But seriouslty and from a less personal point of view, I think it's important just to have a general awareness of what's going on and where places are - it seems quite small-minded and selfish and ignorant to not care what is happening outside your own village or something like that. I just find it depressing that some people have no idea what country is next door to theirs, or thinking Iraq is in Australia, or that Swiss people speak Swedish, or the Ireland is part of the UK, or millions of other examples...OK rant over and apologies to anyone I have offended! :|
Wupp, just to clarify your first sentence, are you angry because some arrogant people know where places are (in which case you've probably offended sej), or are you angry that some arrogant people don't care?

Speaking as someone who's not entirely sure where Marrakesh is (Morrocco? but I'm guessing), I have some sympathy with the ignorant masses, but I actually agree with your rant. I'm sure we've all seen those internet/utubey-type things that show interviews in the street with people who think that the UK currency is the dollar, that Australia is in Europe, etc. I teach at a university in Thailand, where knowledge of world history and geography is generally poor. I do what little I can, but since many have never heard of Hitler and World War II it's difficult to know where to start. Having said that, I wonder how much European and American students know about Hitler and World War II? And I doubt they know much about SE Asia.

When George Dubb'ya Bush displays ignorance on a vast scale with a vacant grin, you wonder how much hope there is for teenagers.

Seems to me it's a rather personal and individual thing. Either you're curious or you aren't. If you want to learn about the world in general the information isn't difficult to find. And that's probably why we're lucky to have been at a school that encouraged you (perhaps not always intentionally...) to think for yourself.
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Re: Postboxes

Post by sejintenej » Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:20 am

Wuppertal wrote:
Aargh it makes me so angry how some people are so arrogant with knowing where places are!
OK call me a complete geek but I can locate any country in the world if you gave me a blank map. That's not something I ever did on purpose but an interest in political geography and world affairs in general just led me to be able to know it without me planning it. But seriouslty and from a less personal point of view, I think it's important just to have a general awareness of what's going on and where places are - it seems quite small-minded and selfish and ignorant to not care what is happening outside your own village or something like that. I just find it depressing that some people have no idea what country is next door to theirs, or thinking Iraq is in Australia, or that Swiss people speak Swedish, or the Ireland is part of the UK, or millions of other examples...OK rant over and apologies to anyone I have offended! :|
Ajarn Philip wrote: Wupp, just to clarify your first sentence, are you angry because some arrogant people know where places are (in which case you've probably offended sej), or are you angry that some arrogant people don't care?
Not that easily offended. I was simply making the observation that merkins simply are ignorant of anything outside their state. I don't know why Wuppertal learned all that but it was basic lessons in my primary school at age 7 or so; we even had to be able to draw (pretty awful) maps showing where places are.
Ajarn Philip wrote:Speaking as someone who's not entirely sure where Marrakesh is (Morrocco? but I'm guessing), I have some sympathy with the ignorant masses, but I actually agree with your rant. I'm sure we've all seen those internet/utubey-type things that show interviews in the street with people who think that the UK currency is the dollar, that Australia is in Europe, etc. I teach at a university in Thailand, where knowledge of world history and geography is generally poor. I do what little I can, but since many have never heard of Hitler and World War II it's difficult to know where to start. Having said that, I wonder how much European and American students know about Hitler and World War II? And I doubt they know much about SE Asia.
My moan here was based on the function of the man making the utterance. He was responsible for all the foreign operations of one of the biggest banks in the world so with a job like that I would expect him to have a pretty wide geographic and economic knowledge. (We aren't talking the old Thai Farmers Bank or the Military Bank or the Bank Bumiputras in your neighbouring countries - this bank probably has multiple billions of dollars in Thailand).
European knowledge of S E Asia? I guess a lot has come from coverage of the tsunami and in older generations from coverage Pol Pot, US operations in Viet Nam, the Malaysian conflict, coverage of Ankor Wat, the military in Burma. The UK dows not have as wide international coverage in the newspapers and especially TV as in France - the coverage here is extensive so if you watch you learn.
Ajarn Philip wrote:When George Dubb'ya Bush displays ignorance on a vast scale with a vacant grin, you wonder how much hope there is for teenagers.
And that's probably why we're lucky to have been at a school that encouraged you (perhaps not always intentionally...) to think for yourself.
It's not only Bush - one of his predecessors mistook Brazil for somewhere like Colombia as he stepped off the plane. That went down like a lead balloon - and he wasn't the first to make such a faux pas. We need the educated likes of Eiserhower (?sp) and Churchill
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Re: Postboxes

Post by jhopgood » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:00 am

Lots of stories about people not have a good idea of Geography.
I also worked in an international bank and was pretty upset with the Director of the International Division when he said he wouldn't put more investment in Costa Rica as there were troubles in Peru. And it wasn't as if they weren't investing in other countries in the region.
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Re: Postboxes

Post by sejintenej » Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:10 pm

jhopgood wrote:Lots of stories about people not have a good idea of Geography.
I also worked in an international bank and was pretty upset with the Director of the International Division when he said he wouldn't put more investment in Costa Rica as there were troubles in Peru. And it wasn't as if they weren't investing in other countries in the region.
Isn't it stupid. I had a boss who banned any dealings with Peru on the gounds that their politics were too far to the right for him. Given that he was a councillor in a borough which was far left of Lenin that doesn't say much.
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Re: Postboxes

Post by Wuppertal » Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:35 pm

Apologies if I wasn't clear - I would in no way expect people to learn and know where everywhere is (that is a matter of personal interests), but it is the people that simply don't care about anywhere other than their redneck village who annoy me! :evil:

Yes, those youtube videos of people in the street are exactly what I mean and the ones I find unbelievable.

I think all people have a few topics that they know lots about and have a kind of anoraky knowledge of...and I appreciate that for each individual, those topics are different. I think I'm on a fine line of appearing intolerant and I regret that - I am not saying everyone must learn all the maps and things, but people should just have a general awareness I think and know at least what continent someone is talking about when they mention France or India or Brazil - which sadly some people wouldn't know.

Concerning the media, I find the BBC News website second-to-none in terms of coverage of everywhere - your own county, the UK, Europe and the whole world. Newspapers and television news are different, however.

Sejintenej, I agree with you about French TV news - I often watch the TF1 news online and find its coverage broader than the 10 o'Clock news or something like that.

What I do find arrogant, and maybe offensive to those who come from a small country, is when a major event in a small, unknown country is considered less important than a similar major event in a well-known country.

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Re: Postboxes

Post by sejintenej » Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:27 pm

For classic declarations of total ignorance / stupidity there is a TV show which SWAMBO is addicted to called "Judge Judy" which, it is claimed, is real courtroom stuff as it happens. Sky channel 118.

You won't laugh; it's sickening. Almost as sickening as the Darwin Awards but at least those people remove themselves from the human genepool
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Re: Postboxes

Post by Wuppertal » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:02 pm

sejintenej wrote:For classic declarations of total ignorance / stupidity there is a TV show which SWAMBO is addicted to called "Judge Judy" which, it is claimed, is real courtroom stuff as it happens. Sky channel 118.

You won't laugh; it's sickening. Almost as sickening as the Darwin Awards but at least those people remove themselves from the human genepool
Yes I know Judge Judy! I don't have digital TV at home but whenever I am somewhere with access to ITV2 I have a look at it! Indeed some of the characters on there are some of human intelligence's great mysteries.

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Re: Postboxes

Post by michael scuffil » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:39 pm

Judge Judy herself is great, though she did once have to ask the uniformed man next to her whether the hard drive was an important part of a computer.
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Re: Postboxes

Post by Jo » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:53 pm

I'm afraid Judge Judy is a periodic weakness of mine. A friend of mine in Canada introduced me to it about 5 years ago, and when I discovered it was on over here on ITV2, I got a bit addicted. Every now and then I wean myself off it, and then some months later get inexplicably hooked again. Some of the characters do indeed beggar belief. The Judge herself is great :lol:
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Re: Postboxes

Post by Wuppertal » Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:23 pm

They have lots of fun Judge Judy clips on Youtube!

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Re: Postboxes

Post by sejintenej » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:03 pm

michael scuffil wrote:Judge Judy herself is great, though she did once have to ask the uniformed man next to her whether the hard drive was an important part of a computer.
I don't know about the 50 odd US legal systems so far as that is concerned but in the UK you sometimes hear the judge ask questions like that, often where slang has been used. Often he knows the answer but he has to ensure that the word in the transcript can be understood by someone reading it in a hundred years time.

That is also why it is so hard to give evidence; as indicated in another thread the accenting of a phrase can give it anything up to a couple of dozen different meanings but what you say must be absolute and not capable of misinterpretation
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Re: Postboxes

Post by nastymum » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:56 pm

Entirely off the original subject but I was once in court with a 'client' who was juvenile offender with a vast array of TWOC offences that had been held over for weeks as more acculalated. In the interim he had change his name in order that the cletk would have the indignity of reading out 'It is alleged that on or about the 12th of April you Secret Squirrel' did..etc etc . . After the hearing my client promptly went out into the car park and stole the magistrate's car. Oh how we laughed...

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Re: Postboxes

Post by Jude » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:53 am

We didn't have a post box in Hertford - we were beaten to a pulp on a Sunday afternoon and FORCED to write letters home (which were READ! ) then put them in the envelope, add the stamp and they were put out on the ledge outside the upper VIth study at the front of the house... I never saw how they got to a post office, but I assume they did.. I wrote a lot on secret - to my foster parents begging them to take me away from CH and my father and step-mother..I think I got a senior to post it for me - probably at some tremendous cost to me!

Letters are now a lost way of communication - I get very few real letters - just bills, and a weird one on Saturday saying I had won rather a lot of Euro's - I will take it to the Bank to see if it is Kosher, I guess it isn't, but if it is, I will pay off all my debts, my mortgage and buy a newer car that is automatic, as the journey to Hertford a couple of w/e ago and to Leeds this w/e only served to remind me of how painful driving can be..

Back onto topic - can anyone give me a Properly good reason for the closure of the Scottish Mail train? As the train trundled up the line, a load of sorters got all the mail into the right places - surely no one can do that in the back of a lorry as it chugs up the M5/M6 etc?? To me it was a great idea to have the post done by train - just think - London post to Cornwall - arrives same day as sent or next day - ditto to Scotland, and back etc... It might mean we all get our post on time with fewer losses...

I want to start up a group to ballot parliament now " Bring back the Mail TRains!" :? :? :oops:
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Re: Postboxes

Post by Wuppertal » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:16 pm

Jude wrote:FORCED to write letters home (which were READ!)
That is completely not on. Nomatter if anyone tries to defend it as being old-fashioned and/or completely normal in those days, it doesn't make it right; it's disgraceful mistreatment of the children. Everyone has the right to write a personal communcation with their parents, or indeed anyone they wish, without being forced to show it to anyone else.
Jude wrote:Back onto topic - can anyone give me a Properly good reason for the closure of the Scottish Mail train? As the train trundled up the line, a load of sorters got all the mail into the right places - surely no one can do that in the back of a lorry as it chugs up the M5/M6 etc?? To me it was a great idea to have the post done by train - just think - London post to Cornwall - arrives same day as sent or next day - ditto to Scotland, and back etc... It might mean we all get our post on time with fewer losses...

I want to start up a group to ballot parliament now " Bring back the Mail TRains!" :? :? :oops:
As to the mail, trains, I too am disappointed at their demise. Living right in the provinces as I do, first class mail usually takes two days to arrive to me and also to be sent to anywhere else.

Maybe a reason was to accommodate the tracks for more passenger trains, to get rid of some of the overcrowding?

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