The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study was just released, with more sad news about young Americans’ (aged 18-24) lack of even basic geography skills like reading a map. Only 50% or less of the surveyed people could identify New York or Ohio on a map, and 88 percent couldn’t find Afghanistan, and about 60% couldn’t find Iraq. Those kind of statistics go on and on, but here’s what I think is the really disappointing stat that was quoted in the news article: “Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14% believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.” At the rate that globalization is changing the world, an attitude that only America matters or, more specifically, “my backyard” (considering a lot of the survey respondents couldn’t even identify other US states), just isn’t going to cut it. As someone who in theory is pursuing a PhD in Geography so I can teach others, I have to say it’s really depressing, but the real issue will be to try to figure out how to reverse the trend.
Harvard magazine has an interesting article about global warming. It’s a longer read than many of our posts, but worth checking out. Of particular note is the artistic rendering of what parts of the US would look like if the oceans rose 3.5 meters. Much of Florida would disappear and a over half of Manhattan.
Tim lives in Lawerence, Kansas. He likes to travel. For instance, last tuesday, Tim traveled 103.25 miles to Prairie Village Kansas. How do I know this? Because Tim uploads his GPS location every 15 minutes and posts it on his Google Map! You can download the data into Google Earth and watch where Tim goes throughout his day. You can even do a flythrough of Tim’s daily route. Personally, I don’t think I’d like people to know where I go, but Tim doesn’t mind because he works for EnGraph, which makes GPS tracking software. It’s rather the perfect marketing tool, I guess.
UPDATE: Tim called (Thanks Tim!) to let us know that the data is actually updated every 15 seconds, not minutes. That’s even more impressive! Sorry I missed that (at least it shows we do check our voicemail).
Via Google Earth Blog
Mazda just announced their Mazda CX-7 EarthSearch Sweepstakes, which runs until June 27th, 2006. All you do is download Google Earth (if you don’t already have it installed, of course), then to play, head over to the sweepstakes website, and click “Play Now.” You watch a short video that has a hidden clue to the Mazda CX-7’s location. Then, you navigate to that location, which will be marked by the Mazda Sweepstakes Entry icon that you click to enter to win. The clues will get harder and harder as participants move throughout the game. So, if you think you want a brand-new, shiny Mazda, or other prizes like a 30 GB iPod or a Magellan Roadmate 800 Navigation System, then give it a shot. I know I am!
…though iTunes never seems to be up to date. I just posted episode 41 to the feed and podcast page. I am tossing down an IOU for shownotes for 40 and 41 but they will be up within the next 22 hours. 14-16 of you downloaded a draft version of 41, but other than some sound issues that I have been battling today, the content should be the same.