Archive for October 4th, 2008

October 4, 2008

Globe Challenged

I tried to draw the planet today.  I actually took a marker to whiteboard and attempted to freehand a globe with the continents.  Its not as easy as you might expect.  And it was sort of hilarious the points where I became impossibly confused. 

The familiar coastlines of the US didnt give me one moments worth of grief.  But, the outcroppings of Indonesia and everything that lies between Australia and mainland Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the relative outline of Canada and Greenland and Iceland, and the complete unknown (to me) that is Norway and Sweden made my head hurt.  I almost entirely forgot the Philippines and I’m half filipina!  Even worse, I nearly wiped New Zealand off the map entirely. 

I was actually proud that I remembered the blocky peninsula that includes Portugal and Spain and the general architecture of Greece and Italy as they sweep into the Med.  Thats sort of pathetic. 

Whatever happened to geography?  Have I forgotten all of social studies all those years in school?  Was I right when I warned Mr. Tinney in eleventh grade that I would never need to know the capital of Tanzania?   What is the capital of Tanzania?  Clearly his strategy to teach the relative layout of the world by requiring us to color in paper maps of continents didn’t leave an indelible inner map of borders and coastlines in my mind! 

At least my knowledge of biogeography runs a bit deeper.  Maybe I can channel Jeff Corwin and figure out where I am in the world based on the kind of wildlife I find in the area.  Penguins living alongside sea lions and iguanas?  I must be in the Galapagos. 

Seriously though, can you draw the planet?  Its an incredibly taxing exercise; perhaps something you can do to either a) stave off boredom b) amuse yourself or c) challenge your brain to guard against Alzheimer’s.  (Or at least I hear you can prevent some types of mental disease by consistently using your brain.) 

You can earn bonus points if you remember to tilt your depiction of the planet a bit on the axis and fail to draw a perfect circle.  Remember, Earth is a bit pudgy about the equator.