11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… education is not the key to a good income. Read of the week!

Economic success is much, much more likely to be associated with parents’ income and geography than to excellence in academics.
Photograph by Paolo Woods, National Geographic

What’s grit got to do with it?


… the world’s daylight hours is a beautiful data visualization!

Infographic by Yvan Fornes

What are the politics of Daylight Saving Time?



… why girls in the Middle East do so much better than boys in school.

Across the Arab world, women earn more science degrees on a percentage basis than women in the United States. Here, a Palestinian woman graduates from a university in Israel.
Photograph by James L. Stanfield, National Geographic

Use our service-learning toolkit inspired by Malala Yousafzai, a leading global activist for girls’ education.



… a wild bison was spotted in Germany for the first time in two centuries. And then it was shot.

The largest land animal in Europe, the European bison is today mostly found in conservation centers.
Photograph by Michael Gäbler, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How are European bison different from their American cousins?



… what the world would look like mapped by time instead of space.

Isn’t this pretty? It’s a 1910s map of Melbourne, Australia, by travel times to the city center by tram or train.
Map courtesy State Library of Victoria. public domain

What are some other strange ways to map?



… the world’s greenest sports team is a 128-year-old soccer club.

Is “professional athlete” a “career in renewable energy”? (No)



… how to get hot dates in Saudi Arabia.

The Unaizah Date Festival, held in late summer, can generate as much as $300 million through the sale of thousands of tons of dates.
Photograph by Suliman Al-Kurishan, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0

Where are many of the Arab world’s dates grown?



… the challenge to geography posed by the Information Age.

The defense and disaster-response industries have been profoundly impacted by the response time generated by the 24-hour news cycle—“prisoners of geography.” Here, U.S. service members escort U.S. citizens from Dominica before Hurricane Maria made landfall.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ian Leones

How is “crisis mapping” responding to the challenges of the Information Age?



… we live in the golden age of animal tracking.

This spectacular map tracks the complex seasonal movements of nine individual elk herds in the greater Yellowstone area.
Map by Martin Gamache, National Geographic

Use our GeoStory to help track animal migrations.



… how a community copes with decades of mercury poisoning.

Mercury poisoning can be a classic example of bioaccumulation, the process of chemicals building up through consumption in the food web.
Illustration by Bretwood Higman, Ground Truth Trekking. CC BY 3.0

Omega 3s vs. mercury: Is seafood good for you?



… there was never really a “tulip fever.”

When the 17th-century tulip market crashed, speculators were left with as little as 5% of their original investments. In this scene, a nobleman guards an exceptional bloom as soldiers trample flowerbeds in a vain attempt to stabilize the tulip market by limiting the supply. This didn’t happen.
Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme, courtesy the Walters Art Museum

Where is the “original tulip state”?

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