Tag Archives: geography

Talking to Every Country

CIA_WorldFactBook-Political_world.pdfHave you ever wanted to visit every country in the world? That’s a very difficult thing to do, considering travel restrictions to some countries, but also the amount of money it would take to do so. It’s unlikely I would ever be able to do it.

One person tried reading the world, and succeeded. I have a bit of a challenge for myself to read a book from every country, as well. That’s not an easy thing to do, though.

But what about talking to someone from each country? I would have to wonder how to go about doing that. How do you contact people from every country? For many, it would be easy to just email someone. But for some, access to the internet is limited, and mail may be more feasible. But you know what? There’s a young boy in England named Toby who’s doing just that. For the past three years, since he was five years old, he’s been sending letters to people in as many countries as possible, and it seems he gets replies from nearly half of them. That’s pretty good!

It has me thinking. I’ve tried in the past getting comments from people from as many countries as I could, but it’s not easy getting the word out. So, knowing what kind of person and my interest in countries and geography, I don’t give up easily. I’d like to find blogs of people who live in as many countries as possible and compile a list. Searching will find many, but I’d like to focus on those that talk about books and writing or life and travel in those countries. And I won’t just stick to countries. For some countries, I’ll even include states, provinces, and territories.

So, if you’re reading this, I’d like your help in getting this started. Please leave a comment below with your blog’s address and where you’re from. If possible, please include your state, province, territory, prefecture, or another division within your country. And another favour to ask of you: Please share this post on social media or with your friends. I wonder how far we can go. And maybe you’ll find some interesting blogs, as well.

Coming Soon: Top Ten Tuesday

When I say soon, I mean tonight! Although it will be Wednesday my time when I post it, it’ll be Tuesday in most if the world.

I am starting a weekly Top Ten series that will focus on science and geography. Sometimes they’ll be factual, other times, they’ll be my opinion. But I will always provide you with some interesting information about each entry. And I intend it to be full of pictures.

Interested? Let me know what you think.

Mission Statement – Science

Here is the second part of the blog’s mission statement. And this time, we move into reality. Less geeky, more nerdy.

I have a very long history with science. From the very beginning when I got encyclopedias, I started reading them, especially for the science and geography entries. I also read a lot of dinosaur and astronomy books. In university, I studied physics and astronomy, though I included a couple geology classes and an atmospheric science class. I haven’t stopped reading about science. On this blog, I started the Encyclopedia Entries series, but have changed it to Quick Facts, as they’re designed to be easy to read and you’re able to find facts quickly. I also talk about various current events in science, especially related to astronomy and space exploration.

As for Quick Facts, this is what is currently planned:

Astronomy

I’m currently going through the moons of the solar system in alphabetic order. In the future, I may focus on constellations and major stars.

Space Exploration

I’m going to go through all of the space probes, both successful and unsuccessful, that were sent to study other bodies in the solar system. I’ll do them in chronological order.

Geography

I will be going through all of the countries in alphabetic order, then move on to Canadian provinces and territories, Japanese prefectures, American states, and Australian states. I may do more.

Palaeontology

I’ll be covering all of the dinosaurs in alphabetic order, which may take a long time. After that, I may take a look at pterosaurs, icthyosaurs, mosasaurs, and plesiosaurs. And I may go further back in time, too.

Zoology

I’d like to go through the birds of North America. I was often fascinated by birds, which we now know are modern dinosaurs. So, why not include them?

Beyond these, I will have to see what comes up in the future. Who knows, I may look at geology, volcanoes, or even take a look at history in some way.

One thing I’d like to do with these is have a weekly schedule to post them. It’ll either be once or twice a week. I’ll have to see which is best.

So, what are you most interested in seeing? Let me know in the comments below.

Canada by Geography Now

A year ago, I subscribed to a rather unknown channel called Geography Now. It had a one of a kind premise, to go through every country in the world and talk about the political and physical geography, demographics, and the country’s friends and enemies. Paul Barbato has made them all entertaining and informative, and there are even teachers who are using his videos in classrooms.

Well, the time has finally come. A year after starting with Afghanistan, he has finally arrived at Canada. Check it out.

There are a few spelling mistakes, but he does focus on a few things that I’m sure many people didn’t know.

What did you think of his video?

Quick Facts Geography Preview

I’m itching to get started on Quick Facts Geography. I have a few ideas about how I’d like to do it, as well as what I want to include. For each country, I’ll provide facts and information that you can quickly find, rather than having a wall of text to search through.

So, here is what I’m thinking about including:

Country Basics

  • Country name, origin of name, and name in official language.
  • Official language(s)
  • Map (Google Maps embedded)
  • Flag
  • Official religion (if available)

By the Numbers

  • Population
  • Area
  • Year of independence
  • Highest point (with picture)
  • Lowest point
  • Borders with neighbours
  • Coastline
  • Administrative divisions
  • Life expectancy at birth
  • Literacy
  • Human Development Index

Cities

  • Five largest cities with population and pictures (these will be public domain or shareable via Creative Commons).

Physical Geography

  • Description of general areas: mountain ranges, major lakes, major rivers, etc.

Environment

  • Climate zones (Koppen classifications)
  • Average high and low for hottest and coldest months at selected locations.

Some information may not be included, some may be added. This is not a complete list, and is subject to change.

So, I would like some suggestions from you. What would you like to see included in Quick Facts Geography? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Share Your Geekiness

I am a geek. I’ll admit that quite honestly. Anyone who knows me knows that I like a few geeky things. Let’s take a look.

Star Trek

I am a big Star Trek fan, and have been since the late 80s. I’ve been to a few conventions, but never dressed up in costume for it. I bought a lot of books, including technical manuals and starship guides. I even have the Klingon Dictionary.

Dinosaurs

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved dinosaurs. Still do. They were more of a mystery back in the 80s, but so much more is known about them that we have come to accept that dinosaurs never disappeared. They’re still with us in the form of birds.

Weather

I keep track of the weather daily. I’m fascinated by the long-term trends, as well as the short-term fluctuations. I keep a record on another blog, 365 Rotations.

Space

Well, considering this was what I studied in university, I’m not so sure if I should include this as being a geek thing. But I love anything to do with space, space exploration, astronomy, and so on.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

This is more of a book thing, but I also love movies and TV series that are sci-fi or fantasy. Love Pern, Shannara, A Song of Ice and Fire, and more. But you should know this, considering what I usually talk about on this blog. I even got goosebumps when I watched the new Star Wars trailers.

Geography

I love maps and geography. I love city planning, how countries use the land, how the landscape shapes countries and towns, how relations with other countries affects the course of history, etc. It’s all very interesting to me.

Computer Games

Many of the games I enjoy are geeky by nature. SimCity 4, The Sims 2, Civilization series, and I am eagerly awaiting No Man’s Sky. I love RPGs and MMORPGs, but found I didn’t have the time required to dedicate to them.

Transformers

I watched the cartoons as a kid, loved the original movie, and then later bought the entire series on DVD as an adult. I will watch it again and again. The live action movies are a travesty, though. It just feels like the whole series was gutted.

There are so many more things I could go into. I have too many interests to ever get bored.

So, now it’s your turn. Share your geeky side in the comments below!

Reaching Out to the World Again

I just checked out which countries my blog’s visitors have come from since country stats started to be recorded. Here’s the map.

world_visitorsThere are some interesting places that aren’t included. No Paraguay. A lot of Africa is absent. A bit of central Asia.

So, time to reach out to the world again! Please go to this post and follow the instructions. I want to know where you’re from. Let me know in the comments on that post, and I’ll add your country to the list. And please share that post so we can get word out to more people! Thank you.

Real and Fictional Geography Preview

As I mentioned before, I’ll be working on Geography Quick Facts and the Ariadne Encyclopedia’s country profiles at the same time. So, here’s a comparison between Earth and Ariadne.

CIA_WorldFactBook-Political_world.pdfEarth

Number of countries (official): 193

Total land area: 148,326,000 square kilometres

Largest country: Russia (17,075,200 square kilometres)

Smallest country: Vatican City (0.44 square kilometres)

Number of continents: 7 (Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Australia/Oceania, Antarctica)

Number of oceans: 5 (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, Southern)

20140926-182944-66584034.jpgAriadne

Number of countries (official): 249

Total land area: 150,930,246 square kilometres

Largest country: Name to be revealed (3,336,638 square kilometres)

Smallest country: Name to be revealed (630 square kilometres)

Number of continents: 4 (Ipeiros, Voreios, Tropikos, Notos)

Number of oceans: 4 (Tethys, Thetis, Proteus, Nereus)

As you can see, the land area is surprisingly similar. I didn’t plan it this way, it just turned out like that after measuring the land area of each country. There are also fewer continents and oceans on Ariadne, though its largest continent, Ipeiros, is huge. At 103,001,817 square kilometres, it’s larger than Asia’s 44.58 million square kilometres, and Eurasia’s 54.76 million square kilometres. It’s a supercontinent!

As I go through each country on each planet, you’ll get to discover many more stats, facts, and information that should be interesting. What are you interested in finding out?

Real and Fictional Geography

I think it’s about time I get started on this. I’m going to be showing you both real and fictional geography at the same time. What does that mean?

First of all, I’ll be working on Geography Quick Facts, going through each country in the world alphabetically, providing you with various facts and figures about each country. I won’t be going into depth about culture, the people, or history of the countries, but I’ll be focusing more on statistics, such as population, largest cities, and tallest mountains, as well as physical characteristics, such as bordering countries, climate zones, and geological zones. I will provide pictures whenever possible.

As for fictional geography, I’m going to do something similar for Ariadne. But these will be the start of the country profiles for the Ariadne Encyclopedia. As I haven’t published anything yet, I’ll only focus on the physical geography of the countries. You can see the names of them, but you won’t get to learn about the cultures, history, or any demographics. Only physical geography, including climate, geology, and ecology. These profiles will grow over time, as I write the books, and I can flesh out the countries, including minor spoilers (these will be marked as spoilers, so you can skip over them).

So, which one are you interested in seeing?

Axial Tilt, Latitude and Other Planet Details

I’ve already done posts about this before, but it’s nice to see another point of view. And this one has some really nice maps!

The War of Memory Project

It’s been a while since I did a worldbuilding post.  This one will be thin, because I just have a few points of data rather than anything particularly visual or interesting, but my friend Chris and I spent most of today batting planetary details back and forth, trying to figure out some of the specs of my world.

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