Friday, 23 July 2010

The return

I'm finally settled in one place for the first time since leaving Moscow for Siberia (full story once I've sorted out how I want to write it). I'll be off up to Edinburgh soon to review at the Festival Fringe for Fest magazine, meaning that my Moscow test review passed muster.

In the meantime, here's a piece about vuvuzelas I wrote for Rob Marrs at Left Back In The Changing Room during the World Cup but haven't remembered to link yet. Enjoy it, there will be a bit more football coverage soon, looking at a great abandoned stadium, racist hooligans and the language of football reporting.

On a wild tangent, since getting back from my travels in Buryatia, I have read about a fascinating place, the world's best location for travel, a Bond villain's lair or the setting for an adventure novel sold in airport bookshops.

It's Bir Tawil, the only place in the world outside Antarctica that no country claims (h/t Strange Maps). If you look below, it's the little red trapezoid shape on the Egypt-Sudan border, next to a much bigger triangle which stretches to the coast. Both Egypt and Sudan claim the triangle (Hala'ib), using different sets of borders, each of which assigns Bir Tawil to the other side. As a result, either country claiming Bir Tawil would automatically have to yield Hala'ib, which is more valuable. Unfortunately, there are no reports of anyone using the little trapezoid, about the size of Singapore for nefarious world-controlling schemes.