Published on August 3, 2014
PowerPoint Presentation: John Flinn writes a weekly column and feature articles for the award-winning San Francisco Chronicle travel section. He has journeyed on assignment to more than 20 countries, including Bhutan, Cuba, the Cook Islands and Croatia, and written more than 400 travel articles. Prior to his job at the Chronicle, Flinn was a feature writer for the San Francicso Examiner, where he was paid to, among other things, fly with the Blue Angels, climb El Capitan, wrestle a bear, and go on a date with Miss America. Here now, in two installments, is the 2013 Geo Quiz! Good luck! -Alex Back in 2008 I put John Flinn’s Geo Quiz into a two-part PPT presentation. I even found a minor correction in one of the questions and alerted Mr. Flinn, who kindly gave me a mention in the Chronicle. So I have decided to once again share the 2013 Geo Quiz, courtesy of the SF Chronicle’s John Flinn. -Alex McMurray PowerPoint Presentation: 1. The United States ranks only third in world film production, behind India's Bollywood and another place nicknamed Nollywood. Where is Nollywood? Answer : Nigeria has the world's second-largest film industry , producing about 200 movies a month. Most are straight-to-video. 2. The 45th parallel north is (about) halfway between the equator and the North Pole, and in France it roughly forms the border between two distinct culinary traditions. What are they? Answer : North of the 45th, French chefs usually cook with butter ; south of it they tend to use olive oil. PowerPoint Presentation: 3 . If it's noon in San Francisco, what time is it at the South Pole? Answer : Trick question, sort of. Because standard time zones converge at the poles, there is no officially recognized time there. Scientists and explorers tend to use the time zones of their home countries or supply bases . The U.S.-run Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station sets its clocks to New Zealand time because its resupply flights originate in Christchurch. 4. From a postal standpoint, what do the White House, Dodger Stadium and the headquarters of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs have in common? Answer : Each building has its very own ZIP code. There are a few others ,among them the Empire State Building in Manhattan and the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago. 37188 90090 80920 10118 75007 PowerPoint Presentation: 5. What is the only U.S. state named for a French king? Answer : Louisiana was named for King Louis XIV of France. 6. It's the most populous landlocked nation on Earth, the birthplace of the coffee bean, and the only African country to defeat a European colonial power and maintain its independence during the "Scramble for Africa" in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Name it. Answer : Ethiopia . PowerPoint Presentation: 7. "More boulevards than Paris, more fountains than Rome" is the slogan of which U.S. city? Answer : Kansas City 8. Where is the Beaufort Sea? Answer : Part of the Arctic Ocean, the Beaufort Sea laps up against the north coasts of Alaska and Canada's Yukon and Northwest territories . PowerPoint Presentation: 9. What type of tree is most associated with Lebanon? Answer : The cedar. In ancient times, much of the country's mountains were covered by cedar forests. They're mentioned 75 times in the Bible and today are honored on the nation's flag. Deforestation has greatly reduced their numbers. 10. Which is larger - the Sahara Desert or the United States? Answer : The United States is slightly larger. The CIA's World Factbook lists the United States' total land area as 3.8 million square miles. Most sources list the Sahara as 3.6 million square miles . 3.6 million square miles 3.8 million square miles PowerPoint Presentation: 11. One Western state ended up with a name Congress had considered for another state but rejected as bogus. Name the two states. Answer : Colorado originally was going to be named Idaho. The name was presented to Congress by a mining lobbyist named George M. Willing for a new territory around Pikes Peak . He claimed it was a Shoshone Indian term that meant "gem of the mountains." Congress was about to vote when it was discovered it wasn't in fact an Indian word; Willing had just made it up. But three years later, the name Idaho had become appended to some gold mines to the north, and this time around a less-persnickety Congress OKd it for a new territory. 12. Three national capitals have two-word alliterative names. We'll spot you Addis Ababa and San Salvador. What's the other one? Answer : Phnom Penh . Addis Ababa San Salvador PowerPoint Presentation: 13. If you set out to travel the full circumference of the Earth by the shortest route, would you follow the equator or go north-south via the poles? Answer : A circumnavigation of Earth via the poles is 26 to 42 miles shorter (depending on which source you consult) than one via the equator. The Earth is not a perfect sphere – technically it's an oblate spheroid, or ellipsoid. That means it bulges at the equator, like a lot of us. 14. Rejected names for this country include New Britain, Laurentia, Britannia, Cabotia, Columbia and Ursalia. What do we call it today? Answer : Canada . PowerPoint Presentation: 15. Which U.S. city likes to say it's located "where the Ashley and Cooper rivers come together to form the Atlantic Ocean"? Answer : Charleston, South Carolina 16. Are there more people in China or the entire continent of Africa? Answer : China is more populous, with a population of just under 1.4 billion. The continent of Africa has slightly more than 1 billion people . 1.4 billion 1 billion PowerPoint Presentation: 17. What begins in a little Cotswolds meadow called Trewsbury Mead and ends 215 miles later at the North Sea? Answer : The River Thames. 18. A Basque sailor named Juan Sebastián Elcano and 17 members of his crew achieved a feat widely (and incorrectly) credited to Ferdinand Magellan. What was it? Answer : They were the first to sail around the world. Magellan made it only as far as the Philippines , where he was killed. Elcano took over command of the expedition and got them home . Tresbury Mead North Sea Juan Sebastián Elcano PowerPoint Presentation: 19. Which of the eight main Hawaiian islands is nicknamed the Target Isle? Answer : The Target Isle is the nickname of Kahoolawe, the large, dry, nearly uninhabited island off the southwest coast of Maui. It was used as a bombing range by the U.S. military until 1990, when it became a preserve for native Hawaiian cultural practices. 20. True or false: There is such thing as "land tides," by which the gravitational pulls of the moon and sun cause the ground to shift up to 12 inches twice a day. Answer : True. They're also called "earth tides." PowerPoint Presentation: 21. What large body of water separates Kazakhstan from Azerbaijan? Answer : The Caspian Sea . 22. Which of the seven continents has the lowest high point? Answer : At only 7,310 feet , the rooftop of Australia, a peak called Kosciuszko, is the lowest continental high point by a considerable margin. But if you consider the seventh continent to be Oceana, which also includes New Guinea, Indonesia and New Zealand, the high point becomes a much more respectable 16,024 feet - the summit of Puncak Jaya. Also known as Carstensz Pyramid, it's a glacier-draped peak rising out of the jungles of New Guinea. People on a quest to climb the "seven summits" argue about this all the time. Kosciuszko - Australia Puncak Jaya – New Guinea PowerPoint Presentation: 23. Sometimes called "a nation without a country," their slogan is "4 + 3 = 1." Who are they? Answer : The Basques. The slogan refers to their dream of uniting the four Basque provinces in Spain with the three in France to create one Basque country . 24. What U.S. city calls itself "the city too busy to hate"? Answer : Atlanta . PowerPoint Presentation: 25. Where did the original Bohemians come from? Answer : The historic region known as Bohemia covers about two-thirds of the present-day Czech Republic.