King’s College [geography] quiz

In December, the Guardian UK website posted the questions for the notoriously difficult King William’s College quiz or General Knowledge Paper (GKP) given to students (and parents) at King William’s College on the Isle of Man.  In another article on, “The Story of the King Wiliams’s College Quiz” quizmaster Dr Pat Cullen discusses the impact of the Internet on the 106 year old quiz and attempts to Google and social media proof the quiz to keep it intellectually challenging. MacLean’s Canada article on the history of the quiz is simply titled, “The World’s Most Difficult Quiz. Really.

While only section 2 relates specifically to geography and cartography, I estimated that about 70  of the 180 questions could be considered geo-spatial.  These range from questions such as, “4 Who first used continuous and broken lines to indicate fenced and unfenced roads?”  to  5 Where did close neighbours claim the invention of a device for observing at a distance?  The answers to last year’s questions were posted in February, so you will have to wait a while if you get stumped.

The quizmaster Dr. Pat Cullen doesn’t live in a dusty library tower, he is also a birder and citizen scientist for the Isle of Man which is home to several rare species of birds.

40th anniversary of the announcement of the space shuttle program

This great image of US President Nixon and NASA Administrator Dr. James Fletcher shared today by NASA marks the 40th anniversary – January 5, 1972 – of the announcement by President Nixon of the start of the Space Shuttle program, and the beginning of 40 amazing years of innovation and achievement, as well as tragedy in the loss of Challenger and Columbia and their crews.

Image courtesy of NASA