Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yesterday, while watching Season Four of Boston Legal, one of the cases involved a high school student who shredded a standardized test in protest of the American educational system–one that focuses heavily on passing standardized tests, which often leads to individuals being test smart, but not intellectual, inquisitive, imaginative learners.  During part of the episode, they were giving some facts about how little Americans know about basic geography.  It was appalling!  And even more embarrassing, was the fact that I have to admit, I’m HORRIBLE at geography.  I wish I knew more geography.  I ALWAYS felt stupid playing Trivial Pursuit and hoping that I didn’t have to answer a geography question.

Well, this morning I decided that I could reverse my ignorance.  Just because I’m out of school doesn’t mean I can’t stop learning.  With having the Internet, it’s almost a sin not to learn something new everyday.  Before, if one wanted to learn anything, a trip to the library was involved, and once there you had to use a card catalog and search the shelves, and then make notes on note cards  since a lot of reference books could not be checked out.  Today we are lucky enough to have Google and in an instant, you have more information than you know what to do with.

So I decided to start with the United States.  Yep, I admit I even have difficulty knowing about all of our states.  Wyoming?  Where’s that?  Montana?  Louisiana?  Virginia?  Sure, I know the easy ones–Wisconsin (because I lived there!), Massachusetts (because I live here now!), California, Texas, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire.  So now I want to know more.

I chose Maine as the first state to “discover.”

Here’s some stuff I learned…

  • The capital of Maine is Augusta (it used to be Portland, but then it was changed in order to make the capital more centrally located)
  • Maine is the ONLY state to have a name which is one syllable long
  • The largest exports of Maine are blueberries (which probably everyone knew) AND toothpicks (who would’ve known!)
  • It is called The Pine Tree State–approximately 90% of Maine is forested
  • There are approximately 5,000 miles of shoreline in Maine
  • Maine is the largest of the New England states, about the size of the five others combined (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont)
  • The population of Maine is about 1.3 million
  • Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous U.S. (meaning excluding Alaska or Hawaii)
  • Maine became the 23rd state in 1820
  • Acadia National Park is the only national park in New England
  • 98% of people who live in Maine are Caucausian
  • 5% of people who live in Maine speak French–the highest percentage in the nation
  • Portland is the most populous city in Maine with 65,000 residents
  • Four U.S. navy ships have been named USS Maine
  • Maine is the only state in the 48 contiguous states to border one other state–New Hampshire
  • Maine has 62 lighthouses, of which 50 are in use
  • The state animal is the moose
  • The state tree is the Eastern White Pine
  • Famous Mainers include: Patrick Dempsey (actor), Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean (clothing maker and retailer), Milton Bradley (board game inventor), Liv Tyler (actress), Stephen King (writer),  Harriet Beecher Stowe (abolitionist and writer)

**Information from Wikipedia–Maine

I found it pretty interesting to learn about one of the states.  Of course, I only know an inkling of all the information that is available, but I feel better even knowing a little bit more.

Kimm and I are thinking about taking a mini-vacation up to Maine in early fall.  In fact, when I went to the library today (!) I picked up a few travel guides for the area and can’t wait to look through them.

Even though it was another scorcher, I made chili for dinner!  I’m crazy sometimes I think.  But it sure did taste awful good.  Sometimes you just have a hankering 🙂

Relaxing for the night.  Ahh…. just the sound of the fan blowing.

I hope you had fun learning a little bit about Maine.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Great post sweetie! I really enjoyed all the different tidbits about Maine. Looking forward to taking a little trip up there soon.

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