Friday, January 8, 2010

Failing Geography


I recently got a terrific offer from National Geographic Magazine and subscribed for a year. Along with my first issue, I got a new edition of the world map. I have been content to live with my preconceived notions about geography for most of my life. As a result, this new map showed that I'm really out of it!

There are an amazing number of things that I didn't know, had forgotten or was incredibly confused about:
  • The largest city in the world is now Tokyo, followed by Mexico City. NYC is only 3rd.
  • Bombay is now Mombai (4th) and Calcutta is now Kolkata (11th).

  • Burma is now Myanmar (Myanmar-Shave just doesn't have the same ring, does it?)

  • St Paul Mn is north of Toronto, Ontario.

  • Peru is north of Chile.

  • There are a whole bunch of "Stans" where part of the USSR used to be, but Russia is still a huge country.
    • I don't want to bore you with my ignorance, but keeping up with the global changes can be mind-bloggling. I don't know how many erroneous preconceptions I still hold in my head, so thank goodness for the map makers.

      12 comments:

      ^..^Corgidogmama said...

      What an interesting, fact filled, yet still fun post!
      Thanks for the geography lesson Ms Sparrow!

      Blissed-Out Grandma said...

      I know exactly whereof you speak! I audited a college class 10 or 15 years ago, and had to learn to locate every country in the world. The test for that particular piece of learning was a world map and the names of about 30 countries. It is definitely tricky for someone who was fascinated by "The Belgian Congo" in 4th grade geography.

      Kathy said...

      I am seriously considering subscribing again. It's such an awesome magazine and the photography is beyond awesome!

      Daughter Number Three said...

      My daughter has been doing quizzes on a site called Sporcle, and can now accurately type the names of almost all the countries from looking at a world map. She's a bit vague on the Pacific and Caribbean islands but can spell all the Stans. Ah, youth.

      Olde Dame Penniwig said...

      OMG I almost spat out my coffee with laughing at your idea of "Myanmar Shave."

      That's classic, Ms. Sparrow!!!

      Barbara Blundell said...

      Hi Ms Sparrow
      Always enjoy reading your blog. I know that lack of inspiration feeling and dry up sometimes but you always manage to come up with something interesting!
      The gt grand children look a lovely, lively bunch !

      Sparrow chic said...

      Allen, won the National Geographic contest last year here in Fergus Falls. He did not make it to state competition though. We then decided, he needed his own subscription, so he too has the opportunity to enjoy all the magazine has to offer ( of course mom and dad do also ).

      gayle said...

      Use to get this and loved it!! Thanks for the info..didn't know any of that!!

      √ Abraham Lincoln said...

      Glad you got that map. I got my geography lesson.

      Buttercup said...

      I'd have a lot of learning to do too. I'm stuck somewhere in 1963.

      Teresa Evangeline said...

      This is a great post, concise and funny. I, too, had a fascination with the Belgian Congo as did one of your other readers. Nice geography lesson and a good reminder to get a bit more updated myself.

      Kittie Howard said...

      Ahhh, Ms Sparrow, you kinda made me wish I were leavin' on a jet plane....