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"Custom is king of all."
— Pindar

My friend Sean was telling me sometime back that in the world of Wi-fi
notebook internet communications that places where you can pick up a
signal are called "hot spots."

Well, I noticed the other day on my Clustrmaps map that I've gotten a
few visitors from central Algeria. As near as I can make out from the
atlas, the visitors (or, more accurately the signal that their computer
was carrying on from the host) came from I-n-Salah or near to that.

So my blog visitors must be from somewhere in the Saharan desert. Which
must be a very "hot spot" indeed. In fact, you might say that their "hot
spot" is the hottest of them all — Mongolian desert excepted, but I
haven't gotten any visitors from there yet.

I got curious and decided to look up a few things.

Here's what my source says about internet communication in Algeria:

Internet country code: .dz
Internet hosts: 1,202 (2006)
Internet users: 1.92 million (2005)

Good service in north but sparse in south; domestic satellite system
with 12 earth stations (20 additional domestic earth stations are
planned) international: country code – 213; submarine cables – 5;
microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia;
coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel;
satellite earth stations – 51 (Intelsat, Intersputnik, and Arabsat)
(2005)

I also looked up some general information about Algeria. There are some
cave paintings there at a place called Tassili N'Ajjer that date from
about 10 thousand BP. I don't know for sure, but perhaps these are the
same cave paintings that were shown (or imitated) in The English
Patient
. That movie also gives the story about the people who waged
war against the wind. Here's what Herodotus says on that:

The neighbors of the Nasamones are the Psyllians — a tribe that met
with extinction. This is how it happened. The south wind dried up their
water-holes and there was no water to be found anywhere in their
territory, which all lay to the east of the Gulf of Syrtis. They
deliberated and unanimously decided — I am repeating what the Libyans
say — to march against the south wind. When they reached the sandy
desert, the south wind blew and buried them.
— (Herod. IV.173)

Now I don't think that the Psyllians were an Algerian people, as the
Gulf of Syrtis is obviously what we call today the Gulf of Sidra. So if
the Psyllians came from just east of there that would place them in what
is today Libya. But it's a good story anyway, and definitely one that
political leaders the world over should keep in mind — You can't wage war
against the wind.

So to visitors in Algeria I would just like to say

Salam Alaikem and

S'lam n rbbi f llam



The Goddess Nut

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