Procrastination and distraction are upon me, so posts of more substance have been patiently simmering away, awaiting an eventual stir. It will come.
But for now, at various sites I have come across the image below, which provides a more compelling impression of the size of Africa. It’s huge! Really, really big. Look how many countries a guy called Nathan Yau has been able to calculate would fit in it (using good old km²). He did not include Australia, but I guess America was more familiar to most people who might see this graphic. Click the photo to see all the detail.
At the other end of the scale Jeffrey Winter has produced a graphic in the same vein, though to show how tiny is the Vatican City State, the world’s smallest sovereign nation. It would fit into Gibraltar several times over! Again, click the picture to make it bigger.
Interestingly, Africa’s population was reckoned at 1.03 billion in 2011. Most of them are members of a myriad of largely disunited tribes, the boundaries of which rarely coincide with the boundaries of the nations that make up the continent. The Vatican City State had a population in the same year of 832. But it is the spiritual capital city for the Catholics of the world in communion of mind and heart with the Pope, who numbered, in 2010, 1.19 billion.
The little old Vatican packs a bigger punch in some respects that the immense continent of Africa. This was a point Josef Stalin obviously did not get when he sarcastically asked how many divisions the Pope could field. None of course. But Stalin’s communist bloc of Russia and eastern Europe is relegated now to the pages of history. It managed to endure about 73 years. The Pope in his Vatican is still going strong, coming up to 2000 years and counting. Hell cannot prevail against it.