Wikipedia articles of interest

1. Somalia. An excerpt:

“In the 16th century, Duarte Barbosa noted that many ships from the Kingdom of Cambaya in modern-day India sailed to Mogadishu with cloth and spices, for which they in return received gold, wax and ivory. Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat, wheat, barley, horses, and fruit on the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants.[36] Mogadishu, the center of a thriving textile industry known as toob benadir (specialized for the markets in Egypt, among other places[37]), together with Merca and Barawa, also served as a transit stop for Swahili merchants from Mombasa and Malindi and for the gold trade from Kilwa.[38] Jewish merchants from the Hormuz brought their Indian textile and fruit to the Somali coast in exchange for grain and wood.[39]

Trading relations were established with Malacca in the 15th century,[40] with cloth, ambergris and porcelain being the main commodities of the trade.[41] Giraffes, zebras and incense were exported to the Ming Empire of China, which established Somali merchants as leaders in the commerce between the Asia and Africa[42] and influenced the Chinese language with the Somali language in the process. Hindu merchants from Surat and Southeast African merchants from Pate, seeking to bypass both the Portuguese blockade and Omani meddling, used the Somali ports of Merca and Barawa (which were out of the two powers’ jurisdiction) to conduct their trade in safety and without interference.”

Here’s some more recent stuff:

a) “According to a 2005 World Health Organization estimate, about 97.9% of Somalia’s women and girls have undergone female circumcision” [I much prefer the term ‘female genital mutilation’, US]
b) “The Central Bank of Somalia indicates that the country’s GDP per capita is $333” … “About 43% of the population live on less than 1 US dollar a day”
c) “Owing to a lack of confidence in the local currency, the US dollar is widely accepted as a medium of exchange alongside the Somali shilling”
d) “The country’s population is expanding at a growth rate of 2.809% per annum and a birth rate of 43.33 births/1,000 people.[2] Most local residents are young, with a median age of 17.6 years; about 45% of the population is between the ages of 0–14 years, 52.5% is between the ages of 15–64 years, and only 2.5% is 65 years of age or older.”

Not once do the words “basket case” appear in the article.

2) Lagrange multipliers. All econ guys reading along already know this stuff, but to all you other guys: This is some of the stuff students of economics learn (early on, in the mandatory courses of the BA-part of the econ education). Stuff like this and this is also likely to come up at some point, though not everyone will have courses about these things. Some students here choose to work with something like this instead, it is a ‘School of Economics and Management’ after all. I often get confused as to how much stuff you guys know, I only just now figured out that William perhaps had no clue what I meant when I stated in a previous comment that “there’s likely a huge sigma playing in the background”. Economists and statisticians use a lower case sigma to denote the standard deviation of a statistical distribution. So: “there’s likely a huge sigma playing in the background” = ‘my weight likely varies a lot over time’.

3) History of the alphabet.

4) Age of Discovery. I have no clue why this is not a featured article.

5) Star. I’ve linked to the article about the Sun before, but the scope of this article is a little different, even if the Sun is naturally often mentioned in the article in a variety of contexts.

September 10, 2010 - Posted by | astronomy, demographics, Geography, history, mathematics, wikipedia

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