11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… why isochrone maps are making a comeback.

This gorgeous isochronic map shows the travel times in 1881 from London, United Kingdom to different parts of the world in days.
Map by Francis Galton, courtesy Wikimedia. Public domain

Use our activity to help students map time and distance in their school or community.



… the key to raising a happy kid.

Getting kids started with National Geographic doesn’t hurt …
Photograph by Richard Hewitt Stewart, National Geographic

What is the key to making a happy tweet? It may be geography.



… it’s not quite the end of The World, but it’s close.

The World, a collection of artificial islands off the coast of Dubai, is largely a collection of sand bars these days.
Astronaut photograph ISS022-E-24940 was acquired on c with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera fitted with a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 22 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed.

What are artificial islands?



… how anti-plagiarism software led scholars to a new Shakespeare source text.

William Shakespeare had a lot of influences circling around his busy brain. Wcopyfind, an open-source antiplagiarism program, revealed both Richard III and King Lear were influenced by A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels.
Illustration by Mikel Jaso, National Geographic

Celebrate Shakespeare with our Top 10 list … and check for plagiarism.



… the Korean DMZ is a wildlife paradise.

White-naped cranes are just one of dozens of rare species that thrive in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
Photograph by Jeonglae Yu, Republic of Korea National Defense, courtesy Flickr. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Is the U.S.-Mexico border a wildlife paradise? (Sort of!)



… geography may influence the types of fears that fuel U.S. hate crimes.

This map displays hate groups per million by state.
Map by Richard M. Medina, Emily Nicolosi, Simon Brewer, from “Geographies of Organized Hate in America: A Regional Analysis,” Annals of the American Association of Geographers. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2017.1411247

Watch our video to see how students from different geographies confront stereotypes through frank dialogue.



… a Peruvian national park will protect millions of acres of roadless wilderness—and the indigenous people who rely on it.

Like Manu National Park, above, Yaguas National Park sits on the banks of rivers. The Yaguas and Putumayo are tributaries of the Amazon.
Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic

Do your students support the creation of a national park in the Amazon rain forest? Use our activity to guide them to an informed decision.



… Chicago is a city divided by barbecue.

Aquarium-style smokers, like this one cooking up tips and links, are becoming a rare tool in Chicago.
Photograph by Amy C Evans, courtesy Southern Foodways Alliance and Wikimedia. CC-BY-2.0

Does barbecue help define who we are geographically?



… low-tech “gutter buddies” help protect New Orleans waterways.

New Orleans hopes blocking gutters will prevent beads, cups, and general debris from clogging Crescent City storm drains.
Photograph by Nick Solari, courtesy Flickr. CC BY SA 2.0

Follow the “tremendous travels of trash” with our activity.



… blue whale songs are revealing blue whale lifestyles.

The biggest animal to ever live is also the loudest, and we’re still learning how to interpret their songs.
Photograph by NOAA. CC BY 2.0

Learn more about blue whale songs and calls with our fun article.



… when the world’s current political borders were defined.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

What are political borders? Use our lesson plan to introduce the concept to students.

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