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Once again, Americans are geo-clueless

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Once again, Americans are geo-clueless

Old 05-02-06, 02:56 PM
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Once again, Americans are geo-clueless

National Geographics has done its survey again, and again, Americans did poorly. Seemingly, FEMA couldn't find Louisiana, either.

Good thing we have smart bombs -- they found Iraq.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/educat...03/detail.html
Where's Iraq? Most Young Americans Have No Clue
'My Wonderful World' Aims To Improve Geography Knowledge

POSTED: 11:34 am EDT May 2, 2006
UPDATED: 12:01 pm EDT May 2, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi.

Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find Iraq, according to a Roper poll conducted for National Geographic.

"Geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates us from the world," National Geographic president John Fahey said in announcing a program to help remedy the problem. It's hoping to enlist businesses, nonprofit groups and educators in a bid to improve geographic literacy.

Planned is a five-year, multimedia campaign called My Wonderful World that will target children 8 to 17. The goal is to motivate parents and educators to expand geographic offerings in school, at home and in their communities.

They will have their task cut out for them, judging by the results of the survey of 510 people interviewed in December and January.

Among the findings:


One-third of respondents couldn't pinpoint Louisiana on a map and 48 percent were unable to locate Mississippi.

Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.

Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.

Six in 10 could not find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.
While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.

While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.


Nearly three-quarters incorrectly named English as the most widely spoken native language.

Six in 10 did not know the border between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world. Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.


Joining in the effort to improve geographic knowledge will be the 4-H, American Federation of Teachers, Asia Society, Association of American Geographers, National Basketball Association, National Council of La Raza, National PTA, Smithsonian Institution and others.

"Geography exposes children and adults to diverse cultures, different ideas and the exchange of knowledge from around the world," said Anna Marie Weselak, president of the National PTA. "This campaign will help make sure our children get their geography - so they can become familiar with other cultures during their school years and move comfortably and confidently in a global economy as adults."
Old 05-02-06, 02:59 PM
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Thirty percent thought the most heavily fortified border was between the United States and Mexico.
Do people even attempt to think anymore?
Old 05-02-06, 03:05 PM
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This isn't really all that suprising. Most of my friends growing up thought Alaska was next to Hawaii.

I grew up with a map of the world next to my bed so I'm pretty knowledgeable in geography. But it's not exactly something you need to know to get into college or get a job, it pretty much just reveals character.
Old 05-02-06, 03:09 PM
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It's because we don't give a shit about anyone except ourselves.
Old 05-02-06, 03:09 PM
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Gerneral knowledge questions don't mean much to me. You learn it for a test, and relearn it when you really need it. Most of that stuff doesn't affect most people's lives, so they don't commit it to memory.

When something is important and you use it daily, you learn it....like up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
Old 05-02-06, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
This isn't really all that suprising. Most of my friends growing up thought Alaska was next to Hawaii.
That's because they put them together in those little insert boxes on the maps.
Old 05-02-06, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
That's because they put them together in those little insert boxes on the maps.
Alaska is the oddest-shaped island I've ever seen.
Old 05-02-06, 03:19 PM
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Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.


very sadly, i might not have gotten this. of course i know it happened in the kashmir region but i twould have taken me a second and i might have guessed iran off the top of my head since they had a few recent quakes
Old 05-02-06, 03:24 PM
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Not surprised in the least. This is carbon blobs we are talking about.
Old 05-02-06, 03:24 PM
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More money into education works wonder!
Old 05-02-06, 03:27 PM
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This country is going to hell in a handbasket.

That's my wildly pessimistic statement of the day.
Old 05-02-06, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
Not surprised in the least. This is carbon blobs we are talking about.
These are Carbon Blobs™.

Oy Vey!
Old 05-02-06, 03:31 PM
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Sad. I have lots of friends who don't know anything about Hawaii (where I'm from). These are smart people who went to good schools.

They also don't know basics like the capital of China, Spain, Canada or Australia. They don't know what language(s) are spoken in Hong Kong, India, Denmark or Brazil. Have no idea where countries like Wales, the Netherlands, Argentina or Greece are.

It's actually quite disturbing. Do they not teach basic geography anymore?
Old 05-02-06, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
That's because they put them together in those little insert boxes on the maps.
That also means they've never looked at a globe or world map.
Old 05-02-06, 03:43 PM
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Personally, I think it's better if they don't know where La or Ms is - gotta keep the population down here.
Old 05-02-06, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Myster X
More money into education works wonder!
Quoted for irony.
Old 05-02-06, 03:51 PM
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It's not just Americans. I remember after 9/11, some news channel went to Afghanistan to interview some of the taliban youth there. They didn't even know where America was! One guy said "It's right next to Saudi Arabia, right?"
Old 05-02-06, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by nodeerforamonth
It's not just Americans. I remember after 9/11, some news channel went to Afghanistan to interview some of the taliban youth there. They didn't even know where America was! One guy said "It's right next to Saudi Arabia, right?"
Yeah, but I'd like to think that we as a country can do considerably better than a country where, if you make $750 a year, you're Donald Trump.
Old 05-02-06, 03:55 PM
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IIRC, Afghanistan has a literacy rate of ~50% and the U.S. has a literacy rate of 97%.

BTW: Is that Carmen Santigo geography show still on TV? Pretty fun show from what I remember.
Old 05-02-06, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Quoted for irony.
'tis rumored that people have a hard time finding this "Democratik People's Republik of Kalifornia"
Old 05-02-06, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Yeah, but I'd like to think that we as a country can do considerably better than a country where, if you make $750 a year, you're Donald Trump.
Exactly.
Old 05-02-06, 04:08 PM
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People keep picking on kids and geography. So what? A recent poll of American adults showed that 80% were unable to locate the nearest Abercrombie.
Old 05-02-06, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
IIRC, Afghanistan has a literacy rate of ~50% and the U.S. has a literacy rate of 97%.

BTW: Is that Carmen Santigo geography show still on TV? Pretty fun show from what I remember.

I used to play that on our Tandy computer! I think it was a PC game before it was a TV show.
Old 05-02-06, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by National Geographics
Where's Iraq?
This made me think of Hot Shots! Part Deux, where a map shows the mission's target is located between Iraq and "A Hard Place".
Old 05-02-06, 04:09 PM
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I went to take the 20 question NSG quiz in that link and the second question was, "Which of these cities is the setting for the original television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation?"

What the fat friggin' eff?! Never watched that show once. I cry foul.

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