Ross and I played a game the other day to guess the 39 countries bigger than Texas. I thought we did fairly well in the time allotment of 6 minutes naming about half the countries.
I attribute having any success at all in this game solely to living in Europe. That's because prior to moving to Belgium, I didn't know where Belgium was. Sad, but true.
You don't have to be a beauty pageant contestant or be from South Carolina or South Africa to be geographically challenged. Thank you, American school system.
As I've probably mentioned before - because I mention it from time to time - I think every school gym and/or playground should have a map of the world painted on it. How easy and fun would it be to learn geography while kicking a ball around, jumping rope or skipping?
Anyway, the world map as you know it is thanks to Gerardus Mercator. He was born in 1512 in a little town in Belgium about an hour from us. He was a cartographer and is most famous for the world map he produced in 1538.
The Mercator map was based on sailing routes way back then, but it's still in use today. The problem is . . . it's a bit distorted from the actual world.
Here's what I mean . . .
This is the Peters map produced by Dr. Arno Peters in 1973 and it's a much more accurate depiction of the world's land masses. Dr. Peters was born in 1916 in a suburb of Berlin in Germany.
So you can see by comparison between the Mercator and the Peters maps that we only thought half the world would fit in Russia.
If you'd like to play the "name the countries bigger than Texas" game . . . there's a link at the bottom of this post.
But first, if you have never seen this video, you really should see it now. It's 48 seconds that will truly amaze you.
Bless her heart.
Click on GAME to play.