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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Lithuania's Two Independence Days


LITHUANIA celebrates its independence on not just one — but two — days in the year! The first Lithuanian Independence Day on the calendar occurs annually on February 16th. In 1918, an Act of Independence allowed for the independence of Lithuania from both the German and Russian Empires.

Info box showing that Lithuania celebrates an Independence Day on February 16th

The second Independence Day occurs annually in the next month, specifically on March 11th. This Independence Day commemorates the restoration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. Congratulations, Lithuanians, for about 30 years of sovereign freedom!


Did you know? Lithuania's neighbors to the north, ESTONIA and LATVIA, also celebrate two Independence Days each year! Estonians celebrate their independence on February 24th (original day in 1918) and August 21st (restoration in 1991). In Latvia, Independence Days are May 4th (restoration in 1990) and November 18th (original day in 1918).

Wednesday, April 17, 2019



On April 17th, SYRIA commemorates the end of the French Mandate in 1946. This Independence Day is also known as Evacuation Day because of the French "leaving" behind their colonial rule in Syria. Of course it is no mystery that the people of Syria are struggling through difficult and war-torn times, but let this day and others in the future be the stepping stones toward a hopeful future.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

National Geographic Quiz — April 14th, 2019


The online National Geographic Geo Bee Quiz (↗) is still in existence after all — just hosted on a different web address. Keep testing your geographic knowledge (↗) with other quizzes from GeoFact of the Day. If there's a tricky question, try searching for a post or access the Countries page (navigation bar). Your answer might be found on GeoFact of the Day. Enjoy and good luck!

1)      Analogy: Cappadocia is to TURKEY as Gascony is to what?
A — AUSTRIA
B — FRANCE
C — SWEDEN

2)      Several countries in Central Africa use a unit of currency known as the CFA Franc. Most of these countries are former colonies of what country?

3)      Which country is not a component of the Greater Antilles archipelago?
A — BARBADOS
B — CUBA
C — JAMAICA

4)      Cyrenaica, Fezzan, and Tripolitania are historic regions in which country?
A — CHAD
B — EGYPT
C — LIBYA




















ANSWERS

Question 1:
B . . . . . France

Question 2:
France

Question 3:
A . . . . . Barbados

Question 4:
C . . . . . Libya

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Value of Trees


Brought to you by the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, USA and featured in the March 2019 issue of  Lion Magazine ↗ (Lions Clubs International ↗).

Trees Make Communities Healthier

Children who live in neighborhoods with more street trees are less likely to have asthma. People who live in areas with plenty of greenery are less likely to be overweight or obese.
 

Trees Clean the Air We Breathe

Urban trees capture fine particles from the air as well as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous dioxide, and other pollutants. Scientists estimate the value of this pollution reduction in the U.S. at US $7 billion a year.
 

Trees Save Energy

Trees shade buildings to reduce the need for air conditioning. Evergreens that block winter winds can save on heating.
 

Trees Shelter and Feed Wildlife

Birds and other wildlife live and find food in trees. The flowers of trees provide pollen and nectar to feed bees and other insects we depend upon to pollinate plants in our gardens and farms.
 

Trees Naturally Manage Storm Water

Trees collect rain on their leaves and channel heavy rainwater to the soil. Together, a community's trees reduce the water flowing into storm sewers. The USDA Forest Service estimates that 100 mature trees intercept about 250,000 gallons of rainfall per year.
 

Trees Increase Property Values

Homes in neighborhoods with mature trees sell for 3.5 to 10 percent more than homes in neighborhoods lacking trees.
 

Friday, March 29, 2019

National Geographic Bee Prep — Shrinking Lake


Providing approximately one-third (1/3) of ISRAEL's drinking water decades ago, the largest freshwater lake in Israel is currently shrinking due to drought and higher water demand. What is the name of this lake?




The answer is listed below!


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Answer: Sea of Galilee

National Geographic Bee Prep — OPEC Countries


Name one country that currently maintains membership in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).




All possible answers are listed below!



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Possible answers:

Algeria
Angola
Ecuador
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Iran
Iraq
Kuwait
Libya
Nigeria
Republic of the Congo
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
Venezuela

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

National Geographic Bee Prep — Black Sea


Name at least two countries that directly border the Black Sea in Eastern Europe.




All possible answers are listed below!



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Possible answers:

BULGARIA
GEORGIA
ROMANIA
RUSSIA
TURKEY
UKRAINE

(MOLDOVA does not quite border the Black Sea, although it does have access to the Black Sea via a port along the Danube River.)

Monday, March 11, 2019

GeoFact of the Day Quiz — March 11th, 2019


It appears that the National Geographic Geo Bee Quiz (↗) is temporarily out of service, ahead of the 50-state geographic bees on March 29th and the National Geographic Bee from May 19th to 22nd. Keep testing your geographic knowledge (↗) with other quizzes from GeoFact of the Day. If there's a tricky question that you want to try answering correctly, search for a post or access the Countries page (navigation bar). Your answer might be found on GeoFact of the Day. Enjoy and good luck!

1)      Which Eastern European country celebrates its 29th Restoration of Independence Day today?
A — LITHUANIA
B — BELARUS
C — SLOVAKIA

2)      Which African country celebrates Moshoeshoe Day today and annually on March 11th in honor of King Moshoeshoe I?
A — GHANA
B — LESOTHO
C — SWAZILAND
D — ZAMBIA

3)      Guadalajara in south-central MEXICO has grown relatively rapidly since the 1940s as a major industrial center. With a population greater than 1.5 million people, Guadalajara is located in which Mexican state?
A — Durango
B — Guanajuato
C — Jalisco

4)      Which of the following is not a city on the island of New Caledonia?
(New Caledonia is an overseas island territory of FRANCE.)
A — Dumbéa
B — Nouméa
C — Zagazaja




















ANSWERS

Question 1:
A . . . . . Lithuania

Question 2:
B . . . . . Lesotho

Question 3:
C . . . . . Jalisco

Question 4:
C . . . . . Zagazaja

Email Address


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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New Blog Map of Madagascar



The new Republic of MADAGASCAR map on GeoFact of the Day provides a decent amount of details (especially in regards to cities), following in the footsteps of my ANGOLA map! If you don't mind, let me know what you think about this map with a comment, and feel free to share your suggestions in regards to future maps! Access the Madagascar post (↗) to enjoy the newest addition to GeoFact of the Day's mapmaking efforts!

Malagasy People's Translated Nicknames


Some ethnic populations in MADAGASCAR have their own nicknames, although Encyclopedia Britannica (↗) notes that some of these nicknames are not true to their respective indigenous cultures. If anything, some of these seemingly innocent nicknames are carryovers from the time when France imposed its colonial rule on Madagascar. Nevertheless, we are given subtle insight into the daily lives, cultural traditions, and habitats of the various peoples of Madagascar because of these nicknames. Ethnic groups and their corresponding nicknames are listed in the table below. If there are others that I omitted, i would be greatly appreciative if you let me know with a comment below!

            ETHNIC GROUP  NICKNAME     
Antaifasy"people of the sand"
Antaimoro"people of the banks"
Antakarana"people of the rocks"
Antandroy"people of the thorn bush"
Antanosy"people of the island"
Betanimena"people of the red soil"
Betsileo"the invincible multitude"
Betsimisaraka"the inseparable multitude"
Bezanozano"those of many small plaits" or
"those with many-braided hair"
Mahafaly"those who make taboos"
Merina (Imerina)"elevated people"
Sakalava"people of the long valley"
Sihanaka"people of the lake"
Tanala"people of the forest"
Tsimihety"those who do not cut their hair"

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Crazy Combo of Winter Weather Alerts in Northern Indiana



Enough said — a picture (or map) is worth a thousand words! All kidding aside, keep up to date with the latest information from your local National Weather Service (↗) office. All times in the map above are in the Eastern Time Zone, and you can see that some alerts will expire (or should expire) before lunchtime arrives.

Friday, February 8, 2019

National Geographic Quiz — February 8th, 2019


National Geographic Bee Logo

Questions for this quick geography quiz are found on the National Geographic Geo Bee Quiz (↗) website. Keep testing your geographic knowledge (↗) with other quizzes from GeoFact of the Day. If there's a tricky question that you want to try answering correctly, search for a post or access the Countries page (navigation bar). Your answer might be found on GeoFact of the Day. Enjoy and good luck!

1)      Arnhem Land, which includes a tract of Aboriginal-owned land in northern AUSTRALIA, lies west of what gulf?
A — Spencer Gulf
B — Gulf of Carpentaria
C — Joseph Bonaparte Gulf

2)      Albany and New York City are major ports overlooking which river?
A — Hudson
B — Potomac
C — Susquehanna

3)      Gentlemen with the last names Amundsen, Byrd, and Scott all explored which continent?
A — South America
B — Antarctica
C — Australia

4)      Analogy: LESOTHO is to SOUTH AFRICA as SAN MARINO is to what?
A — ITALY
B — LUXEMBOURG
C — SPAIN




















ANSWERS

Question 1:
B . . . . . Gulf of Carpentaria

Question 2:
A . . . . . Hudson

Question 3:
B . . . . . Antarctica

Question 4:
A . . . . . Italy, because Lesotho and San Marino are enclave countries within South Africa and Italy, respectively.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A government leader thought Bhutan and Nepal are part of India


Map of Bhutan and Nepal, courtesy of CNN, with neighboring countries annotated

The author of GeoFact of the Day would like to thank government leaders and personnel around the world for at least trying to learn more about the world around them. However, one such head of state allegedly mispronounced the names of BHUTAN and NEPAL in an intelligence briefing — but also said something that leaves geography nerds (like me) and international-relations wonks pulling their hair out! According to Politico (↗) based on two sources "with knowledge of the meeting," the U.S. President mispronounced Bhutan as something like "button," while Nepal was pronounced something like "nipple." Unfortunately, no recording of the incident is publicly available as far as I know. This leader also mispronounced NAMIBIA as "Nambia." I get it, sometimes countries have interesting names. When speaking, there is probably at least one countries' name that I am mispronouncing. However, the mispronunciation of Bhutan and Nepal as mentioned above is a far stretch in my opinion, and especially for a leader!

...But there's more (dun dun dun...)! According to John Wolcott's Time report (↗), the U.S. President thought that Bhutan and Nepal were entities within INDIA, rather than the separate and sovereign countries that they really are. OH THE HORROR!!! I have much respect for India, but as a proud geography whiz, hearing that a "world leader" thought Bhutan and Nepal were a part of another country rather than as their own is absolutely heart-wrenching! Nowadays, geographic information is thankfully at the fingertips for everyone with Internet and library access.

We make mistakes, so hopefully he can learn from these geographic mistakes and try better at learning more about other countries. Maybe GeoFact of the Day would be a great place for him to start (hint hint, wink wink), so at least he can sound smarter at his intelligence briefings! It feels strange knowing something that a world leader did not at the time, so maybe I will run for President one day!

Bhutan post (↗)Nepal post (↗)India post (↗)Namibia post (↗)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Islands of Tasmania


You may know about Tasmania, a sharktooth shaped island encompassing an area of 68,401 sq. kilometers and 26,410 sq. miles in southeastern AUSTRALIA. However, are you familiar with the over 300 smaller islands surrounding Tasmania? If not, here are some of those islands: Badger, Bruny, Cape Barren, Clarke, Curtis, De Witt, Deal, Flinders, Hogan, Hunter, King, Maatsuyker, Maria, Robbins, Schouten, Three Hummock, Walker, and Waterhouse. Much smaller than Tasmania, the largest island of the minor islands is Flinders with an area of 1,367 sq. kilometers and 527.8 sq. miles. A majority of the islands surrounding Tasmania are not inhabited by people, including Hogan, Hunter, Maria, and Waterhouse. Some but not all of the larger inhabited islands contain communities and towns. These include Adventure Bay, Alonnah, Dennes Point, Great Bay, Lunawanna, North Bruny, and South Bruny on Bruny island; Emita, Lady Barron, Loccota, Whitemark, and Wingaroo on Flinders island; and Currie, Egg Harbor, Grassy, Loorana, and Naracoopa on King island.

Map of islands surrounding Tasmania

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dangerous Cold Throughout the Midwest


The U.S. National Weather Service (↗) has issued Wind Chill Warnings for all or parts of the following states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, (western) Pennsylvania, and (western) New York. The bitterly cold temperatures will mostly occur on Wednesday, January 30th and Thursday, January 31st.

Some areas might experience wind chill temperatures of -40 to -60 degrees (40 to 60 degrees below zero)! If possible, do not go outside on those days. If you unfortunately have to, please bundle yourself up as much as you can with hats, mittens, scarves, etc. and wearing extra layers of clothing. Frostbite might occur within minutes, especially if the air is windy. Please check your local weather source and regional National Weather Service website for the complete details for where you live, work, and play.

As an indication of the imminent coldness that will soon descend the Midwest and surrounding areas, the following county governments in Northern Indiana are closing for January 30th and in some cases for January 31st as well: Allen, Elkhart (some government functions), Jay (courthouse and likely other government functions), LaGrange, Lake, Kosciusko, Marshall, Noble, Porter, Saint Joseph, Steuben, and Whitley counties, among others. Of course, plenty of school districts — if not all of them in Northern Indiana — will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.
(List updated 5:48 PM Eastern Time, January 29th)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Flag of the Day: Windhoek, Namibia


Flag of Windhoek, Namibia

Location of Windhoek, the capital of NAMIBIA: Practically right in the center of Namibia in the Region of Khomas. Surrounding towns and cities include Avis, Brakwater, Cimbebasia, Okahanja, Olympia, Otjomuise, and Seeis.

Based on population figures from previous years, GeoFact of the Day estimates the population to be 350,000 in January 2019.

Image above derived from CRW Flags (Flags of the World) (↗)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Which Countries Do Not Have Railroad Service?


After fact-checking and compiling a list based on various sources of data, the following is a list of countries that do not currently have railroad service for transportation and passengers as of January 21st, 2019:

Andorra, Belize, Bhutan (possible Golden Jubilee Railway project coming soon), Burundi (projects are being planned), Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad (projects are being planned), Cyprus, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland, Kuwait, Libya, Malta, Mauritius, Niger, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar (projects are being planned), Rwanda, San Marino, Somalia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Yemen

Did I forget to mention a country in this list? Please consider posting a comment ... thanks!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

National Geographic Quiz — January 15th, 2019


National Geographic Bee Logo

Questions for this quick geography quiz are found on the National Geographic Geo Bee Quiz (↗) website. Keep testing your geographic knowledge (↗) with other quizzes from GeoFact of the Day. If there's a tricky question that you want to try answering correctly, search for a post or access the Countries page (navigation bar). Your answer might be found on GeoFact of the Day. Enjoy and good luck!

1)      Byzantium was the Greek name for what present-day city in TURKEY?
A — Izmir
B — Istanbul
C — Ankara

2)      What UNITED STATES town, located at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, was the site of an 1859 raid on a U.S. armory before the Civil War?
A — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B — Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
C — Annapolis, Maryland

3)      "In God We Trust" is the motto of which southern U.S. state that is home to Big Cypress National Preserve?
A — Georgia
B — Alabama
C — Florida

4)      What is the term for the process by which ice sheets expand and reshape the physical landscape?
A — weathering
B — deposition
C — glaciation




















ANSWERS

Question 1:
B . . . . . Istanbul

Question 2:
B . . . . . Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Question 3:
C . . . . . Florida

Question 4:
C . . . . . glaciation

Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Blog Map of Angola



The new GeoFact of the Day map of the Republic of ANGOLA is one of the largest and most-detailed maps on this website! If you don't mind, let me know what you think about this map with a comment, and feel free to share your suggestions in regards to future maps! Access the Angola post (↗) to enjoy the newest addition to GeoFact of the Day's mapmaking efforts!

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