Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New Start. - Geography nuggets. -

After coaching my daughter Isabella for 3 years for the National Geographic Bee, in which she placed in the top 20 nationally in both 2010 and 2011, I felt “depressed” by the poor level of geographic knowledge of most US students and educated adults, so I decided to do "a little something" about it... Using this blog and my website (www.geokid.org) I will deliver short, geography nuggets, in both written and video form.
But wait: isn't learning geography boring and useless?
I am asking you to give me the benefit of the doubt and let's find out together:
Japan Tourism Agency is thinking about offering free roundtrip flights to Japan to promote tourism, which has been very badly affected by the devastating earthquake of 2011. The final decision has not been made yet, but, if I were you, I would enter my name to be notified. To find out more follow this link: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/topics/2011/free_flights.html

So you may be lucky enough to visit Japan for free. But what do you know about it?

video
Video obtained using Google Earth

Japan is an island on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean than California.
It is about a 12 hours flight from Dallas, TX to Tokyo, the capital of Japan.
Japan has an emperor who for centuries was venerated as a God.

What else do you know about Japan? Try the following:
What is the tallest mountain of Japan, which is also a volcano?
Approximately how many people, do you think, live in the Tokyo metropolitan area? 2 million, 15 million, 35 million?
Did you know that Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world but also one of the fastest aging populations in the world? In 2009, about 23 percent of the population was over 65, and by 2050 almost 40 percent of the population will be over 65. Why is that relevant?


There are other geography blogs and websites out there, some of which I visit daily to learn new things. Here is what will make my offer different:

• Fun, Interesting and simple geography tidbits, focusing on useful and applicable information.

• Reader-driven content. Please submit suggestions and requests for geographic subjects to cover. Which foreign countries have you visited? Which ones would you like to visit and why? Have you ever completed a mission trip overseas? Do you support any nonprofit organization in developing countries? Do you speak a foreign language?

• And… starting soon, if readers like the idea, I plan to offer the opportunity for regular, geography live chats. Let me know what you would like to talk about. Maybe your social studies homework? Send me an email: info (at) geokid (dot) org and I will provide you with my Skype ID, for the weekly geo-chat sessions.

Looking forward to your feedback.

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