San Francisco Chronicle Geography Quiz

I’ve been holding this one in reserve for awhile in case I needed an "easy" topic, and I really need one today for reasons I’ll explain later.

The San Francisco Chronicle has been holding a geography quiz for several years. There aren’t any prizes, just matters of pride, and it’s a lot of fun figuring out if you can answer them all. See if you can rely on your own intuition rather than resorting to Google. What would be the enjoyment in that?

Here are a few question from the most recent quiz held in 2008. Answers are provided at the bottom of this post but several of them may require further explanation that is available at the Chronicle website. There’s even a spot there for people who disagree with the answers and seek further clarification. I need to get me one of those for Twelve Mile Circle (I mean, some place other than the comments). Anyway, try your hand at these:

  • Half of all the world’s lakes are located in a single country. Which one?
  • Where on Earth would you find the Mountains of the Moon?
  • Where was the onetime overseas possession of Nazi Germany called New Swabia located?
  • The greatest time change at any international border is 3 hours, 30 minutes. Where is this?
  • Which state leads the nation in toxic Superfund sites?
  • Name the only nation that has two other independent nations entirely within its borders. 46

Now go back to the link to see the rest of the questions plus the quizzes from 2006 and 2007.


Flight Delay

I’m not posting much today because I’m still really tired from my recent Florida vacation. Well, not the vacation so much as the trip back home. We got on the plane and pushed back from the terminal exactly on time. It seemed like we’d have one of those increasingly rare perfect flights as we taxied onto to the runway. We reached the front of the queue ten minutes later and started rumbling down the landing strip, picking up speed and preparing to lift off.

The captain powered down the engines about a third of the way along the runway. I’ve never had that happen before and knew it couldn’t be good. Sure enough, we rolled back towards the gate. They never canceled the flight as they ran tests, isolated the problem, flew a new part in from another airport, tested it again, and got the flight crew back from a hotel airport so they didn’t violate FAA regulations. Eight hours after our initial attempt, we rolled back onto the runway and finally took off.

The kids held up pretty well, and there were lots of them because everyone was returning from Spring Break. All the Type-A personalities heading back to their power jobs in DC however didn’t hold up nearly as well since it was a situation they couldn’t control. Some people finally gave in as the hours passed and used it as an opportunity for a nap, like the nameless passenger pictured above.

We got home eventually though and that was fine, because had the plane not been repairable at the gate, all seats were booked from the three nearest airports for the next day and a half. So I’m going to take a rest and get back to more odd geography in a couple of days.


ANSWERS: Canada; widely believed to be the Ruwenzori Mountains of Central Africa; Antarctica; between Afghanistan and China; California; Italy surrounds both Vatican City and San Marino


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