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Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 1961916 times)

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Luci

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7575 on: March 13, 2013, 11:12:59 AM »
I made my own brain hurt they day I made a shocking discovery...

For whatever reason, I'd assumed all through high school and my first year of college that the Continental US and Canada were roughly the same size geographically. Somewhere in my second year of undergrad, I really looked at a map and it dawned on me that Canada is MUCH larger.  Once you see it, it's amazing how anybody could not realize the difference in size. Canada is huge, and dwarfs the US in physical size.  Even when you add Alaska into the total area, Canada is still bigger. I blame teenage oblivion for that oversight.

According to my research, Canada is 3.85 million sqaure miles. Contiguous US + Alaska is 3.79 million square miles.

It just looks so much larger because it is north of us and so the sphere is stretched to make it fit the flat map.

I looked up some maps of the world to show you, but the address are too long to fit into my paste feature. Sorry.


mmswm

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7576 on: March 13, 2013, 11:17:53 AM »
I made my own brain hurt they day I made a shocking discovery...

For whatever reason, I'd assumed all through high school and my first year of college that the Continental US and Canada were roughly the same size geographically. Somewhere in my second year of undergrad, I really looked at a map and it dawned on me that Canada is MUCH larger.  Once you see it, it's amazing how anybody could not realize the difference in size. Canada is huge, and dwarfs the US in physical size.  Even when you add Alaska into the total area, Canada is still bigger. I blame teenage oblivion for that oversight.

According to my research, Canada is 3.85 million sqaure miles. Contiguous US + Alaska is 3.79 million square miles.

It just looks so much larger because it is north of us and so the sphere is stretched to make it fit the flat map.

I looked up some maps of the world to show you, but the address are too long to fit into my paste feature. Sorry.

Right, when you consider Alaska, the US and Canada aren't too far apart in size, but my feeble HS brain was comparing just the 48 continuous states.  Alaska alone is 663,300 sq miles (1,718,000 km˛), and added to the roughly 350,000 sq foot difference in Canada's favor, the difference between the to land masses I was equating at "roughly equal" is actually about 1,000,000 square miles.  That's not chump change.
Some people lift weights.  I lift measures.  It's a far more esoteric workout. - (Quoted from a personal friend)

snowflake

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7577 on: March 13, 2013, 11:18:38 AM »
In the same vein as the geography thing, when I was in college (in the Bay area) a friend of mine got a new roommate from a pig farm in Idaho.  On meeting him he insisted that he was NOT a backwards hick and that deep down he always knew he was going to end up living his life in a big city.  And then we went out for the first time. 

He asked, "Why do there have to be so many traffic lights? It's annoying!"

I had never thought about this before and started out with what was probably a very bad explanation of how traffic needed to be directed.

He broke in.  "You don't need them.  At home we have only one light in the whole town.  You just need all the drivers to have common sense and be polite."

I then tried to explain that while having a 4-way stop at every intersection was fine and dandy for a town of 500, it really was going to cause much more grid-lock and chaos once you added a couple million cars to the mix.  But like I said, I hadn't really thought about it much so by the time I was done I hurt my own brain and I'm sure I pulverized his.

But I was still right!

We teased him (gently) about being a country boy after that.  He came back with gentle teasing about California airheads so it was all good.

BTW, part of the problem with this whole perception problem is the projection we use in most maps.  The best discussion of this problem I have seen is right here: http://x959fm.com/blogs/post/savery/2013/feb/08/maps-will-blow-your-mind/

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7578 on: March 13, 2013, 11:27:11 AM »
I remember watching a program on how states got their shapes and they said that Maryland, Delaware and PA got their borders for religious reasons.   Maryland was a Catholic state, or at least mostly Catholic.  Pennsylvania was full of the Amish/Pennsylvania-Dutch and Delaware had Quakers.  That's about all I remember though, as it's been a while since we saw that episode.

In high school, we often had foreign exchange students and one was a guy from Holland who ran on the cross country team during his time here.  One guy, when we were getting to know him, asked "So if you're from Holland, what are you called, Hollish?"  ::)  The guy was a joker so I'm not convinced he was serious. Least I hope not, as he was a senior at the time and I'd sure hope he knew by 12th grade that "Hollish" is not the right term.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

WillyNilly

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7579 on: March 13, 2013, 11:39:08 AM »
Yep.  And as with the historically-challenged lumping all history as "The Olden Days" here we see the geographically challenged lumping all the world as "Not Here."  Or perhaps "No Place I Have Ever Been."  I was in Oregon visiting my sister, went to buy some wine, and the cashier noted from my ID that I lived in Maryland.  "Is that near Missouri?"  Only alphabetically, dearie. 

ETA: The US would have far fewer states if the East Coast was divided into sensible chunks instead of teeny-tiny little states the size of western counties.  All of New England ought to be one state.  Delaware should be part of Maryland. New Jersey should be part of New York.
As a native New Yorker, I have to say: TAKE THAT BACK!

LOL

Yeah. Serious?  Dems fightin' words.

drzim

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7580 on: March 13, 2013, 12:12:13 PM »

I agree.  Looking at it geographically, it should be part of Pennsylvania.  In fact, I propose that we break off Western PA and make that a state, and absorb NJ into PA.  West PA can have Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and East PA will take Philadelphia s its new capital.

While we're at it, let's break up California.  There's two, maybe three distinct states there.  We can also merge a few New England states, since they're each about the size of a decent IHOP.
[/quote]

There's always been many in favor of splitting up into two states: Northern and Southern California because the culture is so different and very distinct, plus the north tends to be more liberal politically while the south in more conservative.

However, since Northern California provides all the water for dry Southern California, I don't think it'll ever happen.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7581 on: March 13, 2013, 12:32:43 PM »
I remember watching a program on how states got their shapes and they said that Maryland, Delaware and PA got their borders for religious reasons.   Maryland was a Catholic state, or at least mostly Catholic.  Pennsylvania was full of the Amish/Pennsylvania-Dutch and Delaware had Quakers.  That's about all I remember though, as it's been a while since we saw that episode.

In high school, we often had foreign exchange students and one was a guy from Holland who ran on the cross country team during his time here.  One guy, when we were getting to know him, asked "So if you're from Holland, what are you called, Hollish?"  ::)  The guy was a joker so I'm not convinced he was serious. Least I hope not, as he was a senior at the time and I'd sure hope he knew by 12th grade that "Hollish" is not the right term.

If it ever comes up again, the answer is "Hollandaise".  :D
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jedikaiti

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7582 on: March 13, 2013, 12:37:39 PM »
...She then informed me that similar problems to mine were being reported in central Texas and since I lived so close to there perhaps I was experiencing the same thing. I live in southern Arizona...

Eventually I was transferred to second-level support. That lady also mentioned the problems in Texas and suggested that I might be affected "since I'm so close." I advised her that I live in Arizona and she replied, "Yeah, but it's just the next state over."  ???

And no, the problem has not been resolved.

The New Mexico Magazine has a regular column - One of our 50 is missing (http://www.nmmagazine.com/one-of-our-50-is-missing/ )You might like to suggest your internet provider becomes a subscriber.

In recent years, I have come across quite a number of accounts from people in the US, of dealings with compatriots who basically had not heard of the state of New Mexico, and thought that Mexico the country was being referred to. (Am not meaning to mock America and Americans, in this -- plenty of people here in the UK are highly "geographically challenged".)  I can't help feeling that when the United States acquired this area, a more convenient name for the state might have been hit on, than "New Mexico". In the light of how easily confused, and not very clued-up, people can be; the choice of name, was perhaps inviting this problem.
With bansidhe's "just the next state over" lady: in Harry Turtledove's "How Few Remain" alternative-history series, that applies, but "the other way round", as it were. In this series of novels, the history of North America works out somewhat differently from "our time line" (and often, rather nastily). In the series, there are not quite as many western states, as in "our time line": there's no Arizona -- what is Arizona and New Mexico in "our time line", is all just New Mexico.  Perhaps, by reason of this, in the novels' "universe" New Mexico turns up "missing", less than it does with us...

No kidding.

I was startled by reading account after account on notalwaysright.com of Americans that are clueless that New Mexico is not another country. I always thought that my geography skill were poor because I didn't know all the US territories but I do know all the states!

I always feel bad because I tend to scramble those tiny little New England states, but at least I know they're there, and part of the US! I just don't know which is which without a label.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7583 on: March 13, 2013, 12:56:50 PM »
I remember watching a program on how states got their shapes and they said that Maryland, Delaware and PA got their borders for religious reasons.   Maryland was a Catholic state, or at least mostly Catholic.  Pennsylvania was full of the Amish/Pennsylvania-Dutch and Delaware had Quakers.  That's about all I remember though, as it's been a while since we saw that episode.

In high school, we often had foreign exchange students and one was a guy from Holland who ran on the cross country team during his time here.  One guy, when we were getting to know him, asked "So if you're from Holland, what are you called, Hollish?"  ::)  The guy was a joker so I'm not convinced he was serious. Least I hope not, as he was a senior at the time and I'd sure hope he knew by 12th grade that "Hollish" is not the right term.

If it ever comes up again, the answer is "Hollandaise".  :D

Like the sauce? ;)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

jedikaiti

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7584 on: March 13, 2013, 01:02:03 PM »
I made my own brain hurt they day I made a shocking discovery...

For whatever reason, I'd assumed all through high school and my first year of college that the Continental US and Canada were roughly the same size geographically. Somewhere in my second year of undergrad, I really looked at a map and it dawned on me that Canada is MUCH larger.  Once you see it, it's amazing how anybody could not realize the difference in size. Canada is huge, and dwarfs the US in physical size.  Even when you add Alaska into the total area, Canada is still bigger. I blame teenage oblivion for that oversight.

According to my research, Canada is 3.85 million sqaure miles. Contiguous US + Alaska is 3.79 million square miles.

It just looks so much larger because it is north of us and so the sphere is stretched to make it fit the flat map.

I looked up some maps of the world to show you, but the address are too long to fit into my paste feature. Sorry.

tinyurl.com is your friend.  :)
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

TootsNYC

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7585 on: March 13, 2013, 01:10:27 PM »
I broke my own brain a few days ago. I can get pretty kooky - putting peanut butter in the fridge when it's not the kind that needs it, almost putting a whole thing of mayonnaise in the trashcan, etc.

However, I've never been absentminded enough that I got a dinner plate to put my ice cream on. Yes, a dinner plate. I only realized my error when I put the scoop in the ice cream and looked over to the dish I'd gotten on which to put my ice cream. After I'd gotten a bowl and put the plate back, I laughed like a loon for a minute straight.
The most brain hurty part for me is why you did not continue with eating from the plate that you got out. It doesn't really matter for the ice cream eqating experience, and it only makes for slightly more dishes. Getting a bowl is more trouble then the extra dishes are.

I got the plate down, realized I got a plate instead of a bowl, and got a bowl before I even scooped out the ice cream. The plate and the ice cream never met. I just switched dishes before I plated (bowled?  :P) the ice cream.

It's easier to eat ice cream in a bowl--you have a side to hold the ice cream when you're cutting it with the side of the spoon.

Virg

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7586 on: March 13, 2013, 01:22:29 PM »
TootsNYC wrote:

"It's easier to eat ice cream in a bowl--you have a side to hold the ice cream when you're cutting it with the side of the spoon."

Also, as it melts it's much more likely to spill off a plate than out of a bowl, and it's harder to scoop liquid off a plate.

Melle wrote:

"I probably caused some collateral brain damage when a friend told me he now lived in "Stockton, CA" and I took the state abbreviation to mean "Canada"... in my feeble defense, I'm from neither the US or Canada"

Here's one that regularly causes brain cramps at our workplace.  There's a city in California named Ontario, so the postal address reads "Ontario, CA 91761".  We pretty regularly have to deal with people who think that's wrong because this must certainly be referencing the province of Ontario in Canada  and so it should have a Canadian postal code, not a ZIP code.  It does us no good to point out that Ontario (Canada) addresses would read "(city name), ON  M4B 1B3" to these people, and around and around it goes with them.

Virg

LazyDaisy

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7587 on: March 13, 2013, 01:39:56 PM »
TootsNYC wrote:

"It's easier to eat ice cream in a bowl--you have a side to hold the ice cream when you're cutting it with the side of the spoon."

Also, as it melts it's much more likely to spill off a plate than out of a bowl, and it's harder to scoop liquid off a plate.

Melle wrote:

"I probably caused some collateral brain damage when a friend told me he now lived in "Stockton, CA" and I took the state abbreviation to mean "Canada"... in my feeble defense, I'm from neither the US or Canada"

Here's one that regularly causes brain cramps at our workplace.  There's a city in California named Ontario, so the postal address reads "Ontario, CA 91761".  We pretty regularly have to deal with people who think that's wrong because this must certainly be referencing the province of Ontario in Canada  and so it should have a Canadian postal code, not a ZIP code.  It does us no good to point out that Ontario (Canada) addresses would read "(city name), ON  M4B 1B3" to these people, and around and around it goes with them.

Virg
I grew up near there. Ontario, California has an airport. I remember overhearing a woman (years ago) talking to someone in the airport in Chicago (I was flying home from a vacation) insisting that ONT (airport code) was the flight to Canada. The other person corrected her and said, no that's Ontario, California. Back and forth back and forth, "no CA is for Canada," no "CA is California." I sure hope that lady got to the right place.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." — Douglas Adams

Ms_Cellany

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Elfmama

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #7589 on: March 13, 2013, 01:47:49 PM »
A friend of mine was trying to mail something to Austria, and went round and round with two postal clerks AND the postmaster of that branch, who all insisted that 'Austria' was not a valid abbreviation of 'Australia'.
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