Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Monaco

I thought we all needed a change of scenery, at least in the landscapes of our minds. This scene of Monaco made me sigh after a day of mighty rains in our valley that have produced somewhat an irregular moat around the front of our house. I could be stuck in an airport like so many travelers are right now, and things could always be worse. Still, this has been one hell of a stressful year and two things in the last 24-hours have held some respite for me: on Tuesday I had my first-ever acupuncture treatment, and then late Tuesday night I looked at this postcard.

Now, I could be all standardized with information about the place and give you some quotes from, and link to, the Monaco Official Site. OR.....I could give you what I found in the first link I clicked on because I was intrigued by the "CIA" mentioned in conjunction with my search on Monaco, and that is indeed what I am going to share.

The website I happened upon is The World Factbook, a publication of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). I haven't hunted around the site yet because I needed to stay on task, which is information about Monaco and the link above will take you to the page for that country. However, there is a drop-down bar where you can Select a Country or Location, and bingo! .... the world according to the CIA is at your fingertips!

This is a Screenprint of the topics covered.

Notice below the map you are able to "Expand All" and "Collapse All"? Well, I suggest expanding all because, along with expected info and stats, there is some truly esoteric information there! Some samples follow:
The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present day Monaco in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family first seized temporary control in 1297, and again in 1331, but were not able to permanently secure their holding until 1419. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to France and the opening of a casino. Since then, the principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center.

Area - comparative: about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Climate: Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m, highest point: Mont Agel 140 m

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population: 30,586 (July 2010 est.)
   country comparison to the world: 214 

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 89.78 years
country comparison to the world: 1
male: 85.81 years
female: 93.9 years (2010 est.)

noun: Monegasque(s) or Monacan(s)
adjective: Monegasque or Monacan

Economy - overview:
Monaco, bordering France on the Mediterranean coast, is a popular resort, attracting tourists to its casino and pleasant climate. The principality also is a major banking center and has successfully sought to diversify into services and small, high-value-added, nonpolluting industries. The state has no income tax and low business taxes and thrives as a tax haven both for individuals who have established residence and for foreign companies that have set up businesses and offices. The state retains monopolies in a number of sectors, including tobacco, the telephone network, and the postal service. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.

I wondered what celebrating New Year's Eve in Monaco would be like! Since the CIA doesn't seem to be in a party mood, I clicked on that Monaco Official Site to read all about New Year's Eve festivities. Happy New Year to all you Monegasques! (I learned that word from the CIA)



mythopolis said...

I think "Monegasques" is too hard to say! I think they should be called Monikers.

the watercats said...

Marvellous stuff :-D all round. Your cat looks absolutely stunning in the Christmas tree, those are some spectacular eyes!
As for accupuncture.. you lucky thing! My friend and neighbour when I lived in the U.K was training in Chinese accupuncture, I got to be her guinea pig and after she'd qualified, got to be her most regular needle host. She once gave me a treatment in a full blown thunder storm which involved using points in the top of my head.. it was incredible! I have no doubt that a properly trained accupuncturist can do some pretty incredible things for the body and mind and spirit. It helped me through an awful lot of crap.

Theodore Daniel Richards said...

It would have been nice to go there in the fifties when people had meaning and significance. Too bad today we are seen as brands: white-brand, English-brand, American-brand, Christian-brand instead of who-we-actually-are-brand. You could...

Fly the ocean in a silver plane...
See the jungle when it's wet with rain...
See the marketplace in old Tangier...

Have a happy new year.


Looking to the Stars said...

LOVED the info, put the CIA link in my fav's :) thanks so much! You know me, I love stuff like this :)

take care

Owen said...

Hard to believe that such a place even exists... an anachronism if there ever was one. A haven for the astoundingly rich, where yachts can be shown off...

Ok, that's probably my sour grapes speaking, I'm so poor and worthless I don't even have a yacht... sigh...

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ "Monikers"! That's great!

the watercats~ I get chills reading your description of the treatment you had during that storm. Without the experience I had this week it would have been interesting. But I've had a small sample of what you experienced, and I tell you, I felt a calm that I have not experienced in any other way during and after that treatment. Next one: Monday!

Ted~ Your lyrical comments, quote, and good wishes for the new year really graced this old postcard post. Thank you.

Looking to the Stars~ Oh that is fun! I think you are one who will get a lot from that site. :)

Owen~ It is strange that on such a tiny parcel of land such opulence shines. Can't fathom it, really. In fact, I have never seen a yacht. Even the finest boats I've seen docked along the Oregon coast seen unfit for the Monaco lifestyle...and they are probably pleased to have it that way!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

those 89.78 years life expectancy sound good - when i get near 60 i might move to monaco to get myself an extra 30 years!

I think they still have a royal family? Princess Grace of Monaco - rings a bell.

Also Peter Hook (New Order/Joy Division) had a band called Monaco - first album was quite good, second was rubbish

Hooky is one of my musical heroes - he plays his bass guitar like he's fighting it to the death

And there ends my knowledge of Monaco

bfk said...

Important Travel Tip®, Lydia. And to think I've been using Time Out and Expedia while ignoring the wealth of information to be had from the CIA. I intend to rectify this.

Of course, I suppose if this same information were posted on WikiLeaks, they'd be after poor Julian Assange again.

Lydia said...

Pixies~ I did not win MegaMillions on New Years Eve, so in spite of getting near 60, I will have to defer my move to Monaco. You, on the other hand, should begin planning now. You could teach a class on esoteric musicology and art. The ghost of Princess Grace might appreciate you shaking up things a bit. :)

bfk~ It is a great travel idea, isn't it? I really do just love the photo on this old postcard so much. Speaks to me. And since posting this I bet the CIA is listening in...



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