Wednesday, February 27, 2013


As discussed, it's hard to bring significance to small landmarks: from mount to mound, how tiny do we go? But islands and island states can be defined by their diminutive size, and so we will be going there.

Nonetheless, I feel like I'm stuck on this island (thing) so let's row over to the mainland for a couple of posts.

For this post, rather than lamenting our dive toward a Mad Monarchist Monk government, or scoffing at the first Pope to resign in 600 years, I thought I should mention (again) that Christine Milne is the leader of the Greens, only this time with a link. And Jay Weatherill  is premier of South Australia, one of the few ALP governments left standing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Isles, say

Australia has 8,222 islands in its maritime borders.

Tasmania 68,332 sq km
Melville Island 5,786 sq km
Kangaroo Island 4,416 sq km
Groote Eylandt 2,285 sq km
Bathurst Island 1,693 sq km
Fraser Island 1,653 sq km
Flinders Island 1,359 sq km
King Island 1,091 sq km
Mornington Island 1002 sq km

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Isle, sea: about that

Again not considering the continental landmass, here are the ten largest island countries

  1. Indonesia 1,904,569 sq km yes, they may not be setting off an invasion force but the islands of Indonesia challenge us on another front. 
  2. Madagascar 587,713 sq km known for its lemurs
  3. Papua New Guinea 462,840 sq km (note the appellation)
  4. Japan 372,801 sq km known for its technology and its lack of natural resources that forces it to use nuclear power in an environment prone to earthquakes and tidal waves
  5. Malaysia 329,758 sq km is many things but an offshore processing centre, I think not, whatever its proximity to our waters
  6. Philippines 300,000 sq km is long recovered from dictatorship and has become a source of amour for our lovelorn
  7. New Zealand 269,057 sq km is another island neighbour. We seem to have a few.
  8. Great Britain 229,957 sq km - the source notes the requirement to mention the complex arrangement of countries and counties that constitutes Great Britain. Many of us can trace our ancestry to this island country.
  9. Cuba 110,861 sq km long the demon bogie with its Communism unsupported since the collapse of the Soviet Union; still it persists
  10. Iceland 103,000 sq km source of the ethereal, at least going by their musical acts

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Island, on my feet

I grew up being told that the country I lived in was the largest island and the smallest continent. We've seen how continential collaboration takes place with PNG and NZ and now we find we lose the biggest island tag as well.

The honour goes to the misleadingly titled Greenland (though I guess "Iceland" was already taken)

The second largest island is New Guinea, just to the north of us.

Third largest island is Borneo. Known for its Wild Man.

Madagascar, which has had a movie serial named after it, is the fourth largest isle.

Have you heard of Baffin? High five.

Sixth largest island that's also pretty close this part of the world, Sumatra.

Honshu sounds like it's in Japan.

Great Britain is a once empire that is also the eighth largest island on Earth.

Victoria sounds like its suffering from too many things being named after the monarch of that aforementioned empire.

Ellesmere is elsewhere, and rounds out the island ten. (and is not really elsewhere from Victoria)

[and my source for this information goes on to say that, while Australia is more defined as a continental landmass; it is in reality the largest island, being 7,618,493 sq km some five and a half thousand square kilometres larger than Greenland, but never mind]