Oct 10, 2022Liked by Siddhesh

Hi Siddhesh,

I remember really enjoying reading and responding to your post about the culture of the U.S. (which originally inspired me to subscribe to your newsletter). As a not-very-well-travelled-within-the-U.S. American, here are a few more additions:


- People often have to fly between parts of the state because not all are connected by road!

- Some parts have native communities that speak Inuit languages (historically known as Eskimo languages), and there are a large number of Inuit place names

- They have a negative income tax (people get paid to live in the state)


- Surprisingly, also very important agriculturally as the Central Valley (which is extremely poor compared to other parts of the state) is extraordinarily fertile and intensively cultivated. Americans associate agriculture much more with the Midwest region, but certain crops are primarily grown in California.


- The classic TV series *Mork and Mindy* (with the brilliant comedian Robin Williams co-starring as a space alien) also took place here :-)

- Denver is called the Mile High City because it is at an elevation of about 1 U.S. mile above sea level

- Lots of very sporty people who do year-round outdoor sports (cycling, hiking, snow sports...)

- NORAD (U.S. aerospace / nuclear command-and-control) is here, deep inside a mountain

- And some other Air Force facilities


- Also the center of the insurance industry


- Also large swamps

- Extremely long causeways connecting islands to the mainland

- One of the most culturally and politically divided "swing states"

- One of the most vulnerable states to hurricanes

- One of the states with the most Latin American culture and where Spanish is most widely spoken (especially in and around Miami)


- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

- Coca-Cola Company


- Pearl Harbor (site of Japanese attack on U.S. Navy base which drew the U.S. into World War II); the base is still there and still operating

- Pineapples

- Active volcanoes

- Hawaiian language is widely spoken by indigenous Hawaiian people, and many people know at least a few words

- Like other Polynesian languages, it has an extremely minimalist sound system with only a few consonants and a few vowels, and no consonant clusters

- It's recognizably related to other Polynesian languages from around the Pacific


- Very famous for potatoes


- Main railroad hub of the United States (in Chicago)

- Sears Tower in Chicago (now called Willis Tower) was the world's tallest building for decades

- Great Lakes

- Peoria, Illinois is considered a classic boring / average / mainstream U.S. city


- "Name seems like a ripoff of India" : indirectly yes, because it's named after American Indians, who are named after the Indies, which is named after India - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_name_controversy#%22Indian%22_and_%22American_Indian%22_(since_1492))


- Also very agricultural

- One of the largest recreational cycling events in the United States: https://ragbrai.com/

- Ames is a pretty important college and research center (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames,_Iowa)


- Famous for tornadoes (partly through the Wizard of Oz although they really do happen there a lot)

- Topeka is also sometimes considered a somewhat boring / average / mainstream U.S. city (like Peoria, mentioned above)

- One of the most politically-divided swing states at the time of the U.S. Civil War, with outbreaks of mob violence between pro-slavery and anti-slavery constituencies


- Major role for French language and culture

- Cajuns, who are descended from Acadians (a French-speaking group expelled from Canada)

- The only U.S. state whose legal system is based on civil law (continental European style) rather than common law (British style)

- Major oil and shipping industry largely due to Mississippi River (the largest and most commercially important river in the U.S.) reaching the ocean here

- Mardi Gras


- Lobsters

- Even though it often superficially looks on maps like Canada is only north of the U.S., it is in fact also east of Maine (in a fairly large part of northern Maine you can reach a land border with Canada by going east, and the American continent continues extremely far east and northeast from there within Canada's Maritime Provinces)


- Home of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which creates important technical standards and is active in metrology and precision timekeeping and various kinds of research

- Home of the National Security Agency (NSA), which tries to spy on everyone's communications


- "Super cold" : the autumn is lovely! With beautiful foliage as deciduous trees change color. (You can also see this in most other northeastern states, and to a pretty large extent in the other northern U.S. states.)

- Famous for U.S. colonial and revolutionary history as one of the top three most economically and culturally important colonies during this period (along with New York and Virginia).

- U.S. revolution actually started here

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Oct 9, 2022Liked by Siddhesh

Omg I had so much fun reading this hahahaha❤️ really well written

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