12 September 2006

Bad research alert!

I mean, if you want to pass as a decent tourist destination guide and you're going to review a whole country in a few pages, at least try to get basic facts right. Ask us. We'll answer, even for free.

Geographia starts off with well-known facts about Argentina and then starts losing track. In its introduction, after the oft-heard comments about geographic diversity, it speaks of "the land ranging from wild, remote areas in southern Patagonia to the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires in the north." In the north? Didn't they notice that half of the country is north of the latitude of Buenos Aires, including three of the most populated cities and most of the large provincial capitals?

On the Cuyo region, it says "
only a few miners and herders occupy this unforgiving region of volcanic peaks and salt lakes." Never mind the hundreds of thousands of hectares of vineyards producing the world's finest Malbec, and 800,000 people in Greater Mendoza.

Reviewing the south of Argentina, it illustrates the vastness of Patagonia, its lush conifer woods, its lakes, and the End-of-the-World mystical quality of Tierra del Fuego with a horrific, spiky ten-legged seabug (never mind its deliciousness). For God's sake, why didn't you get a picture of Bambi or a sheep?

The folks at Geographia then review Buenos Aires as follows: "Italian and German names outnumber Spanish". Italian, sure. But German? Then this, which looks terribly like a joke but regrettably doesn't seem to be a joke: "The city has no dominating monument, no natural monolith that serves as its focal point." Ooooh-key!

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