Do you know?

Do you know? (From Denil Joseph)

April 29, 2016 (Numbers in brackets indicate the difficulty level of the questions; For more examples of questions with difficulty levels, refer to Fact File section, starting January, 2016) Topic - WORLD QUESTIONS (3) In 1958, oil was discovered in which wealthy capital city on the Arabian Peninsula? (3) Gro Harlem Brundtland became the first female prime minister in 1981 in which country that has the Rauma River? (4) Wole Soyinka became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He is from which African country that has the city of Jalingo? (4) Which Asian country was known as the “Miracle on the Han” for its booming economy? This country also owns Jindo Island. (5) Desmond Hoyte became president in 1985 in which country that has the Berbice River? (3) John Pombe Joseph Magufuli is the president since 2015 in which country that borders Malawi? (4) The Kaieteur Falls which is the highest waterfall in Guyana is located on which river? (5) Montplà is a mountain in which small mountain range that is on the north bank of the Ter River in Catalonia? (5) Ségou is a town and an urban commune in south-central Mali that lies 235 kilometers northeast of Bamako. The town is the capital of the Ségou Cercle and the Ségou Region. This town is located on which river? (4) Skikda is a city and a port on the Gulf of Stora in the northeastern part of which country that borders Mauritania? (5) Which town is the largest town in the Oshikoto Region which is one of the fourteen regions of Namibia? This town is also the closest town to the Etosha National Park. (5) Zunyi is a prefecture-level city in which mountainous province in southwest China? (5) The Isla de Lobos is a small island located about 8 kilometers southeast of Punta del Este. This island is owned by which South American country? (5) Das Island is an Emirati island in the Persian Gulf. This island is part of which emirate? (5) The town of Khorugh, also transliterated as Horog, Khoroq, Khorogh, Khorog, or Xoroq is the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in which Central Asian country? It is also the capital of the Shughnon District of Gorno-Badakhshan. (5) Kuş Island or Arter Island, is a small island in which lake in Turkey? It is now uninhabited but formerly contained a small Armenian monastery. (4) Nador is a coastal city and provincial capital in the northeastern Rif region of which North African country? (4) Yarmouk University is a public university in which city in Northern Jordan that was known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela? (4) Which city is the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia? This city is also the industrial, economic, scientific and cultural center of the republic. (4) Imandra is a lake in the south-western part of the Kola Peninsula in which oblast in Russia? (5) Misiones, a rugged province in northeastern Argentina, is home to one of the world's largest waterfalls. Stretching for 2.7km, and straddling the border with Brazil, famed Iguazú Falls encompasses hundreds of separate cascades as well as the 80m-tall Garganta del Diablo (“Devil’s Throat”). Name the capital of Misiones Province? (4) Tekkeköy is a borough of which city on the north coast of Turkey and is also a major Black Sea port? (4) Kournas is the name of a village and nearby lake in Greece. It is in the Apokoronas region of Chania regional unit close to the border with Rethymno regional unit, 47 km from the town of Chania. Kournas is located on which Greek island? (4) Which Indonesian island was formerly known as Jilolo, Gilolo, or Jailolo? This island is the largest island in the Maluku Islands. (4) Haeundae Beach is a beach in which major city in South Korea? It is situated less than one hour from Gimhae International Airport. (5) Kayes is a city in western Mali. It is located on which river? (4) Nijhum Dwip is a small island under Hatiya upazila. It is situated in Noakhali District in which country that has the city of Sylhet. (4) Lake Benmore is a lake in which country that has the city of Palmerston North? Lake Benmore was artificially created in the 1960s by construction of Benmore Dam. (4) Mussau Island is the largest island of St. Matthias Islands in which country that has the town of Kavieng? Mussau Island is one of the northernmost islands of this country. (4) Charters Towers is a city in the northern part of which Australian state? The city is 134 kilometers inland from Townsville on the Flinders Highway. ANSWERS (3) In 1958, oil was discovered in which wealthy capital city on the Arabian Peninsula? { Abu Dhabi} (3) Gro Harlem Brundtland became the first female prime minister in 1981 in which country that has the Rauma River? {Norway} (4) Wole Soyinka became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He is from which African country that has the city of Jalingo? {Nigeria} (4) Which Asian country was known as the “Miracle on the Han” for its booming economy? This country also owns Jindo Island. {South Korea} (5) Desmond Hoyte became president in 1985 in which country that has the Berbice River? {Guyana} (3) John Pombe Joseph Magufuli is the president since 2015 in which country that borders Malawi? {Tanzania} (4) The Kaieteur Falls which is the highest waterfall in Guyana is located on which river? {Potaro River} (5) Montplà is a mountain in which small mountain range that is on the north bank of the Ter River in Catalonia? {Montgrí Massif} (5) Ségou is a town and an urban commune in south-central Mali that lies 235 kilometers northeast of Bamako. The town is the capital of the Ségou Cercle and the Ségou Region. This town is located on which river? {Niger River} (4) Skikda is a city and a port on the Gulf of Stora in the northeastern part of which country that borders Mauritania? {Algeria} (5) Which town is the largest town in the Oshikoto Region which is one of the fourteen regions of Namibia? This town is also the closest town to the Etosha National Park. {Tsumeb} (5) Zunyi is a prefecture-level city in which mountainous province in southwest China?{Guizhou} (5) The Isla de Lobos is a small island located about 8 kilometers southeast of Punta del Este. This island is owned by which South American country?{Uruguay}(5) Das Island is an Emirati island in the Persian Gulf. This island is part of which emirate?{Abu Dhabi} (5) The town of Khorugh, also transliterated as Horog, Khoroq, Khorogh, Khorog, or Xoroq is the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in which Central Asian country? It is also the capital of the Shughnon District of Gorno-Badakhshan.{Tajikistan} (5) Kuş Island or Arter Island, is a small island in which lake in Turkey? It is now uninhabited but formerly contained a small Armenian monastery. {Lake Van} (4) Nador is a coastal city and provincial capital in the northeastern Rif region of which North African country? {Morocco} (4) Yarmouk University is a public university in which city in Northern Jordan that was known in ancient times as Arabella or Arbela? {Irbid} (4) Which city is the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia? This city is also the industrial, economic, scientific and cultural center of the republic. {UFA or Ufa} (4) Imandra is a lake in the south-western part of the Kola Peninsula in which oblast in Russia? {Murmansk Oblast} (5) Misiones, a rugged province in northeastern Argentina, is home to one of the world's largest waterfalls. Stretching for 2.7km, and straddling the border with Brazil, famed Iguazú Falls encompasses hundreds of separate cascades as well as the 80m-tall Garganta del Diablo (“Devil’s Throat”). Name the capital of Misiones Province? {Posadas} (4) Tekkeköy is a borough of which city on the north coast of Turkey and is also a major Black Sea port?{Samsun} (4) Kournas is the name of a village and nearby lake in Greece. It is in the Apokoronas region of Chania regional unit close to the border with Rethymno regional unit, 47 km from the town of Chania. Kournas is located on which Greek island? {Crete} (4) Which Indonesian island was formerly known as Jilolo, Gilolo, or Jailolo? This island is the largest island in the Maluku Islands. {Halmahera} (4) Haeundae Beach is a beach in which major city in South Korea? It is situated less than one hour from Gimhae International Airport. {Busan} (5) Kayes is a city in western Mali. It is located on which river? {Sénégal River} (4) Nijhum Dwip is a small island under Hatiya upazila. It is situated in Noakhali District in which country that has the city of Sylhet? {Bangladesh} (4) Lake Benmore is a lake in which country that has the city of Palmerston North? Lake Benmore was artificially created in the 1960s by construction of Benmore Dam. {New Zealand} (4) Mussau Island is the largest island of St. Matthias Islands in which country that has the town of Kavieng? Mussau Island is one of the northernmost islands of this country. {Papua New Guinea} (4) Charters Towers is a city in the northern part of which Australian state? The city is 134 kilometers inland from Townsville on the Flinders Highway. {Queensland}

Why Geography Bee?

Why Geography Bee?

Preparing for this competition is a fun way of learning about places and people, all across the world! It increases geographic knowledge and helps children in becoming champions. It instills in them the universal principles of education – the desire to learn, the ability to focus, the discipline to stay on course, the importance of working hard, an opportunity to understand novel concepts and to make a sense of every day, world events .
Preparing for Geography Bee leads to learning important life lessons that are absolute pre-requisites for higher achievement.

Why Geography?

Why Geography?

In an increasingly interconnected, interdependent and compressed world, knowing about the world and the happenings around will enable us to understand how remote events have the ability to impact people's lives all around the world. Geography connects physical systems, cultural characteristics, evolution and modification of environments and availability and distribution of resources. Being Geographically literate and by having a mental map of the world, children will have a decent chance to become global citizens and consequently, primed to be active players on the world stage. They are also more likely to appreciate Mother Earth as the homeland of humankind, for making wise management decisions about how the planet's resources should be conserved and used in the next century.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!



Read more about Earth Day ... 

(From Wikipedia)

Earth Charter

The Earth Charter is an international declaration of fundamental values and principles considered useful by its supporters for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. Created by a global consultation process, and endorsed by organizations representing millions of people, the Charter "seeks to inspire in all peoples a sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family, the greater community of life, and future generations."[1] It calls upon humanity to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history. The Earth Charter's ethical vision proposes that environmental protectionhuman rights, equitable human development, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. The Charter attempts to provide a new framework for thinking about and addressing these issues. The Earth Charter Initiative organization exists to promote the Charter.

Preamble

We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

Principles

The four pillars and sixteen principles of the Earth Charter are:
I. Respect and Care for the Community of Life
1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion and love.
3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable and peaceful.
4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
II. Ecological Integrity
5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights and community well-being.
8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
III. Social and Economic Justice
9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social and environmental imperative.
10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care and economic opportunity.
12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
IV. Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace
13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision-making, and access to justice.
14. Integrate into formal education and lifelong learning the knowledge, values and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence and peace.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

GeoBee Fact File - April, 2016

Read the posted information to expand your body of knowledge and make a note of facts that are not familiar to you. This is also the location for you to post information that you learn from other resources in the ongoing Fact File assignment (seniors, at least 10 NEW facts that your learned, 3 times a week; juniors, at least 10 NEW facts, twice a week). Avoid repetition of information that already exists on my blog...
Ensure that all posts are accurate, appropriately worded and relevant!!!
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Do You Know These Fascinating Facts About Coffee?


Yes that’s right, coffee is the world’s most consumed beverage – after water.
It’s the world’s 2nd largest traded commodity.  Oil is first.
The longer that coffee beans have been roasted – the healthier they are.
It was said that coffee was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia in the 1500s.  He saw his goats eating coffee cherries. Afterwards he observed a change in their behaviour and shared his findings with some monks. They experimented with brewing the cherries like they were brewing tea.
There are 80 different kinds of coffee plants.
Only 4 of these are used today.
Coffee plants can grow at 2000 meters elevation. They can even be planted on volcanoes! Sometimes it’s advertised as High Mountain Grown. However it makes it more difficult to harvest  and drives up the price.
One coffee plant can be used for 20 years for commercial purposes.  Technically it can be used for longer but with the quality decreases
Wild plants are rare. The best place to find this in in Ethiopia, where they grow up to 10 meters
Most of our coffee comes from plants grown on plantations. Most plants only reach 2 meters.
Coffee is grown in 80 countries, many along the equator.
One plant has ~5 kg of fruit. This results in 800 grams of roasted coffee.
Nespresso capsules have ingredients added to make it foamy. This result is not possible with just coffee beans.
Scandinavian countries and the United States drink the most of this brewed beverage.
Decaffeinated coffee comes from a chemical process where the caffeine is taken out of the beans.  The caffeine is then often sold to Coca-Cola.
Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world.  It comes from Indonesia and is made from beans excreted by the Asian Palm Civet (a type of a cat).

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GeoBee News of the Day - April, 2016


GeoBee Parents:
As you follow important events around the world, make a note of them from the competition perspective and post the facts here in a statement or in a Q&A format (samples provided below). Emphasize the geographical aspects of the place more than the main news/event itself. Make sure that the posts are accurate, complete and are properly worded. For examples of topics to be covered, check the previous posts in this section going back a few months.
You can also click on the posted links to create your submissions and follow the news all around the world with your children!
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(from CNN)
Massive coral reef discovered in the Amazon River

The Amazon River, known for its array of wildlife from pink dolphins to flesh-eating piranhas, has revealed a new treasure -- a massive coral reef that stretches for some 600 miles, scientists say.
A team of scientists from Brazil and the United States discovered the reef in the muddy waters at the mouth of the Amazon, according to a report published in the Journal Science on Friday The reef system spans 3,600-square miles along the ocean floor, stretching from French Guiana to Brazil's Maranhao state along the edge of South America's continental shelf.
The finding is surprising because large rivers normally create gaps in reef distribution due to unfavorable conditions such as salinity, pH and light penetration. However, this coral reef system seems to be healthy, according to the report.

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(From The Economist) April 4, 2016
Flare-up: Armenia and Azerbaijan
Intense fighting in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has left at least 30 dead, amid the worst violence since the shaky ceasefire declared in 1994. Shooting has long been common across the front line. But the use of tanks, attack helicopters and heavy artillery has raised fears of a return to all-out war, which would undermine regional stability and draw in outside powers, including Russia (which has a military base in Armenia) and Turkey (which has close ties to oil-rich Azerbaijan). The Azeri leadership declared a unilateral ceasefire yesterday, but fighting seemed to continue. Both Russia and America, which with France supervise the long-stalled peace talks, have called for calm. But a heavily militarised front line, no international peacekeepers and deep-seated resentments give little cause for comfort. The disagreements over the future of the Armenian-held territory are often called a “frozen” conflict. A better word would be “festering”.


GeoBee facts about Armenia (QA format) (the number in brackets indicates difficulty level)
(1) What is the capital and the largest city of Armenia? (Yeravan)
(2) Armenia is located in what mountainous range? (South Caucasus)
(3) Armenia is situated between what two bodies of water?  (Black and Caspian Seas)
(3) Armenia became independent in 1991 from what country? (Soviet Union)
(3) Armenia became the first Christian nation in the world in what year? (301 AD)
(4) Nestled in the Armenian highlands, what is the second largest lake in the world relative to its elevation, at 1,900 meters (6,234 ft) above sea level? (Lake Sevan)
(4) What exclave of Armenia extends into Azerbaijan? (Nagorno-Karabakh)
(5) What is the highest point of Armenia? (Mount Aragats) 
(5) What mountain peak is depicted in the national emblem of Armenia? (Mount Ararat, which is presently in Turkey. Historically, it belonged to Armenia and is visible to people of Armenia)

GeoBee facts about Azerbaijan (QA format)(the number in brackets indicates difficulty level)
(1) What is the geographic location of Azerbaijan? (Azerbaijan is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea at the southeast extremity of the Caucasus Mountains)
(1) What is the capital of Azerbaijan? (Baku)
(2) What Azerbaijani exclave borders Turkey? (Nakhchivan or Naxcivan)
(2) More ethnic Azerbaijanis live in what neighboring country than in Azerbaijan? (Iran)
(3) What are the two main export of Azerbaijan? ( Oil and gas)
(3) What three mountain ranges dominate Azerbaijan? (The Greater and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, together covering approximately 40 percent of the country) 
(3) What is the currency of Azerbaijan? (Manat)
(4) Azerbaijan is famous for what unique geological feature? (mud volcanos - Nearly half of all the mud volcanoes on Earth are concentrated in Azerbaijan, these volcanoes were also among nominees for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
(4) Baku is on what peninsula? (Absheron peninsula; Baku is also known as 'land of fire' because of numerous natural gas flares)
(4) What are the highest lowest points of Azerbaijan? (The highest peak of Azerbaijan is Mount Bazardüzü (4,466 m), while the lowest point lies in the Caspian Sea (−28 m))
(5) What two rivers dominate the landscape of Azerbaijan? (The Kura and Aras rivers, that flow into Caspian Sea)
(5) What natural gas fire blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron peninsula on the Caspian Sea near Baku that is referred to as 'burning mountain'? (Yang Dag)
(5) What is the national animal of Azerbaijan? (The Karabakh horse)


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(From CNN) April 3, 2016

Magnitude-6.9 earthquake hits Vanuatu

(CNN) A magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. 




The USGS said the quake hit at 7:23 p.m. local time (4.23 a.m. ET) off the island of Espiritu Santo, 407 kilometers (more than 250 miles) north-northwest of the capital, Port Vila. It occurred about 81 kilometers (50 miles) north-northwest of the town of Port Olry at a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles).
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially warned of a potential tsunami but subsequently said the threat had "now largely passed."
Vanuatu is situated in one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and similarly sized temblors struck it in October and December.
Last year, the nation of some 270,000 people was ravaged by Cyclone Pam, one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfall.

GeoBee facts about Vanuatu (Fact file format)
(From Wikipedia)
1. Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu is a Y shaped, archipelagic nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The capital and the largest city is Port Vila, on Efate Island.
2. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres (310 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.
3. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island in 1606. He then claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies, and named it Austrialia del Espiritu Santo.
4. In the 1880s, France and Great Britain claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium
5. Vanuatu gained independence from both Great Britain and France, after a brief Coconut War in 1980.
6. Apart from English and French, the local official language is Bislama.
7. Vanuatu was formerly known as New Hebrides.

2016 State Champions from my circle - Congrats!

    Pranay Varada (7), Texas

    Saket Pochiraju (6), Ohio

                                     Pranav Arunandhi (8), Michigan

                             Satvik Kabbur (4), Washington

                           
                 Abhinav Govindaraju (6), New Hampshire

             
                      Saketh Jonnalagadda (8), Massachusetts
                   
                   
                      Grace Rembert (8), Montana

    Ankit Garg (6), Utah

    Nikhil Krishnan (8), Missouri

Vishvesha Sridhar (8), Virginia

Nishaanth Krishnan (8), California

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

GeoBee Fact File - March, 2016

Read the posted information to expand your body of knowledge and make a note of facts that are not familiar to you. This is also the location for you to post information that you learn from other resources in the ongoing Fact File assignment (seniors, at least 10 NEW facts that your learned, 3 times a week; juniors, at least 10 NEW facts, twice a week). Avoid repetition of information that already exists on my blog...
Ensure that all posts are accurate, appropriately worded and relevant!!!
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(From BBC)

Floating Villages of Lake Titicaca, Peru

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20140903-surreal-towns-shaped-by-nature


What led Lake Titicaca’s Uros people to build entire islands for their villages? In a word: Incas. Around the 13th Century, frequent attacks from their aggressive Inca neighbours led the Uros to build some 42 islands from bundles of floating reeds, called totora, whose dense root systems act as natural support. Each island could be moved – like an overlarge raft – if attacks were imminent.
A few hundred Uros still live on the islands; many work in tourism, which provides financial opportunities – but also strains the delicate reed islands. Because the reeds at the bottom of the islands rot quickly, fresh reeds are added every few months.
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GeoBee News of the Day - March, 2016

As you follow important events around the world, make a note of them from the competition perspective and post the facts here in a statement or in a Q&A format. Emphasize the geographical aspects of the place more than the main news/event itself. Make sure that the posts are accurate, complete and are properly worded. Look at the posts in this section (going back a few months) to get a correct perspective and format...
Also, click on the posted links and follow the news all around the world!
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First First Grader Ever to Qualify for the National Round of the Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

1. Akash Vukoti has won the 28th San Angelo Annual Spelling Bee – 2016, held at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts on Saturday March 5th 2016. With this win Akash will be representing San Angelo, TX in the 89th Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington DC during May 22 – 27th 2016.
2. Akash is 6 years old, a 1st grader. This perhaps is the first time a 1st grader has won the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee and qualified for the Finals in the 88 years old history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Congratulations and Best of Luck, Akash!
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(From BBC)

Death Valley Blooms...
Read full article at:
 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160303-a-deserts-once-in-a-decade-super-bloom
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Check a related article at 
 http://news.yahoo.com/list-reveals-worlds-most-powerful-passports-155251369.html


World's best passports (by number of countries granting visa-free access)
1. Germany -- 177
2. Sweden -- 176
3. Finland, France, Italy, Spain, UK -- 175
4. Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, U.S. -- 174
5. Austria, Japan, Singapore -- 173
6. Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Switzerland -- 172
7. Greece, New Zealand -- 171
8. Australia -- 169
9. Malta -- 168
10. Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland -- 167

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(From BBC)

Nepal Everest: Climber permits to be extended after quake

           


The authorities in Nepal are to extend for free permits for foreigners prevented from climbing Mount Everest by last year's earthquakes. More than 800 foreign climbers had paid up to $11,000 (£7,900) for permits for expeditions cancelled after quakes in April and May.  Climbers who missed out will be able to use the same permit for 2016 and 2017. At least 19 people were killed on Everest in avalanches triggered by April's quake. Nearly 9,000 people died across the country in the two quakes. 


     Mount Everest 

  • First successful ascent was by New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay on 29 May 1953
  • More than 4,000 people have scaled the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit since then
  • Hundreds of people normally attempt a climb every year 
  • More than 200 people have died trying to climb the mountain

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016 GeoBee Retreat - Tampa, Florida


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jw649VOv-mnqL1Qg2ot6JN2N5rZRgQGra9FAQUA2ToyHDbTaY5VM9nW0j2X03Qa4i-RLBuYf4obeprv0Al-g5lD1OuhtGAMsjYcRlp1AAbYzg5_GjFOuf1pjZqg2FU75ZoUh_wP6

What: 5th Annual GeoBee Retreat - 2016
A unique program, only one of a kind in the country, tailored to improve knowledge and to develop mind management skills for top notch performance in regional, state and national level Geography Bee competitions. Get ready to learn new information, practice new strategies, take challenging quizzes and participate in mock Bees.  On the fun side, there will be goodies and prizes to take home; meet, greet and hear from the past champions; develop friendships with other participants as parents network with other parents!

Where: ENA 105, Engineering Teaching Auditorium, University of South Florida
(USF), Tampa, Florida
When: Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13, 2016
Who: 1st to 8th graders, GeoBee Coaches
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Contact: tampageobee@gmail.com for information and registration
Attendance: By prior registration only
Deadline for registration: March 5, 2016 (CLOSED)


Sunday, January 31, 2016

GeoBee Fact File - February, 2016

Read the posted information to expand your body of knowledge and make a note of facts that are not familiar to you. This is also the location for you to post information that you learn from other resources in the ongoing Fact File assignment (seniors, at least 10 NEW facts that your learned, 3 times a week; juniors, at least 10 NEW facts, twice a week). Avoid repetition of information that already exists on my blog...
Ensure that all posts are accurate, appropriately worded and relevant!!!
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(From CNN)

Map - Tracking Zika Virus


 http://www.cnn.com/specials/health/zika

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(From NASA)
Map - Global Lightning


Both terrifying and thrilling, lightning is one of the most obvious signs of the immense energy involved in severe storms. Detecting lightning strikes is important for improving public safety during severe weather, warning land managers of possible wildfire triggers, and protecting electrical and transportation systems. Earth scientists are interested in detecting lightning because it helps pinpoint where and when strong convection—the rising of air— is occurring. Convection is one of the Earth system’s key mechanisms for “evening out” heat and moisture across the globe, and yearly maps of lightning flashes may help scientists identify how parts of the Earth's climate system, such as severe storms and precipitation, might be changing over time.

The map above shows the average yearly counts of lightning flashes per square kilometer based on data collected by NASA satellites between 1995 and 2002. Places where less than 1 flash occurred (on average) each year are gray or light purple. The places with the largest number of lightning strikes are deep red. Much more lightning occurs over land than ocean because daily sunshine heats up the land surface faster than the ocean. The heated surface heats the air, and more hot air leads to stronger convection, thunderstorms, and lightning. The map also shows that more lightning occurs near the equator than near the poles. This pattern is also due to differences in heating. The equator is warmer than the poles, and convection, thunderstorms, and lightning are widespread across the tropics every day.

Some facts about Lightning

  • On average, about 200 people are killed by lightning in the United States every year.
  • The state of Florida holds the title of the “Deadliest State.” There are twice as many lightning casualties as in any other state. 10% of all people struck by lightning were in Florida at the time.
  • The chance to be killed by lightning is 1 in 2,000.000. You have the same chance dying from falling out of bed.
  • Never talk on the phone while a storm is breaking outside. Not only do cell phones “attract” lightning, but about 1% of all lightning deaths in the U.S. are a result of people talking inside the home on a corded phone during a thunderstorm.
  • About 71% of all people struck by lightning survive. The fatal cases are usually the result of cardiac arrest. However, those who survive often suffer from serious health and psychological problems like loss of memory or sensitivity, insomnia, impaired hearing, or constant pain.

GeoBee News of the Day - February, 2016

As you follow important events around the world, make a note of them from the competition perspective and post the facts here in a statement or in a Q&A format.
Emphasize the geographical aspects of the place more than the main news/event itself.
Make sure that the posts are accurate, complete and are properly worded. Look at the posts in this section (going back a few months) to get a correct perspective and format...
Also, click on the posted  links and follow the news all around the world!

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Christian Gonzalez - Alabama Brain Bee State Champion


Christian was the Alabama state GeoBee champion in 2014. He is one of my GeoBee Ambassadors. Following is a piece written by Karan Menon, the 2015 Nat Geo National Champion and Founder of the blog, GeoBee City:

Hey everyone! I have some exciting news to share. Longtime GBC member and 2014 Alabama State Champion Christian Gonzalez just won his statewide Brain Bee today in one of the most competitive states for this particular competition. Last year he was 2nd. May his victory today inspire us to do well in both the bee and other pursuits beyond the geography field. Christian, a very motivated and hardworking homeschooled also came 2nd in the Dana Foundation's Design a Brain Experiment and is currently researching about various brain diseases with a professor at Vanderbilt University. 
Here are 5 GeoBee questions related to Christian's win.

1. Vanderbilt University, where Christian will be researching, is located in which state capital city, the northern terminus of the Natchez Trace? (Nashville)
2. Christian is from near which major Alabaman City, north of the Tennessee River, which is home to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center? (Huntsville)
3. After winning his state bee, Christian has earned a trip to the national finals, which will take place in which city at the mouth of the Patapsco River? (Baltimore)
4.Christian's accomplishment with the Design a Brain Experiment has earned him a invitation to a conference related to Multiple Sclerosis in the nation's capital. Washington DC is at the confluence of what two rivers? (Potomac and Anacostia)
5. If Christian is crowned the Brain Bee national champion, he will be given an internship and a ticket to the International Brain bee, which is taking place in which national capital city on the island of Zealand? (Copenhagen)
Well done Karan!

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(From CNN)

World's largest concentrated solar plant switches on in the Sahara


Morocco has switched on what will be the world's largest concentrated solar power plant.
The new site near the city of Ouarzazate -- famous as a filming location for Hollywood blockbusters like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gladiator" -- could produce enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760,000 tons per year, according to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) finance group. 
As His Majesty Mohammed VI of Morocco pressed a button on 4 February 2016, the first phase of the three-part project was set in motion.

The solar plant, called the Noor complex, uses concentrating solar power (CSP) which is more expensive to install than the widely used photovoltaic panels, but unlike them, enables the storage of energy for nights and cloudy days.


Mirrors focus the sun's light and heat up a liquid, which, when mixed with water, reaches around 400 degree Celsius. The steam produced from this process drives a turbine and generates electrical power.
A cylinder full of salt is melted by the warmth from the mirrors during the day, and stays hot enough at night to provide up to three hours of power, according to World Bank, who partially financed construction of the plant through a $97 million loan from the Clean Technology Fund.
Africa has tremendous potential for solar generation that remains largely untapped.
"With this bold step toward a clean energy future, Morocco is pioneering a greener development and developing a cutting edge solar technology," said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for the Maghreb.

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(From BBC)

Bolivia's colourful Oruro carnival



People in the Bolivian city of Oruro are gearing up for carnival.
This year's celebrations start on 30 January, but the main days will be on 5, 6 and 7 of February when thousands of people will congregate in Oruro. The carnival dates back more than two centuries and is one of Latin America's most colourful.

They play marches, cuecas (a musical style popular in Bolivia, Chile and Argentina) and other typical rhythms while they parade along a 3km (1.9-mile) route on the first day of the Oruro carnival. Key to the Oruro carnival are "fraternidades", fraternal orders or fellowships, which parade around town preceded by a richly decorated float carrying a religious statue.

The elaborate costumes, masks and decorations used in the Oruro carnival are largely made by hand in small workshops such as Berna Bordados y Artesanal. There are also dances representing Bolivia's colonial history.  One of the most traditional is the "Morenada", performed by dancers representing African slaves brought to Bolivia during Spanish colonial times to work in the mines.  Their masks have outstretched tongues to represent the exhaustion from which the slaves suffered after long hours down Bolivia's silver mines. There are also dances representing Bolivia's colonial history.  Another particularly athletic and colourful dance is the Tinku, a form of ritualistic combat

Click on the link   http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35400563    for more pictures and information.  Make a note of places and interesting facts!

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

GeoBee Fact File - January, 2016

Read the posted information to expand your body of knowledge and make a note of facts that are not familiar to you.  Post all the NEW facts (as you learn them) in this section in a statement or in a Q/A format.  This is also the location for you to post information in the ongoing Fact File assignment (seniors, at least 10 NEW facts that your learned, 3 times a week; juniors, at least 10 NEW facts, twice a week).
Ensure that all posts are accurate, clear and relevant!!!
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(From BBC)
Bhutan's dark secret to happiness
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150408-bhutans-dark-secret-to-happiness



A devotee before the Buddha Dordenma statue in Thimphu. (Credit: Prakesh Mathema/AFP/Getty)

Ten interesting facts about Bhutan (from WWF)
Until recently, the tiny Asian kingdom of Bhutan remained tucked away in total isolation from the rest of the world. That segregation helped to preserve its deep Buddhist traditions, importance of the family and pristine landscapes. It’s also made it a fascinating country to study.

10. One of 43 landlocked countries in the world, Bhutan is about half the size of the state of Indiana.
9. The word “Bhutan” translates to “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” It earned the nickname because of the fierce storms that often roll in from the Himalayas.
8. Bhutan is the first country in the world with specific constitutional obligations on its people to protect the environment. Among its requirements: At least 60 percent of the nation must remain under forest cover at all times.
7. One-third of Bhutan’s population is under the age of 14; its median age is 22.3 years.
6. Thimpu is one of just two capital cities in Asia that does not have a single traffic light. (The other is Pyongyang, North Korea.) There was such public outcry when local officials installed a single signal that it was quickly removed, and a traffic officer was re-assigned to the intersection.
5. Bhutan is the only nation in the world where the sale of tobacco is banned.
4. At 24,840 feet, Gangkhar Puensum is the highest point in Bhutan—and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.
3. Bhutanese manners dictate that you are to refuse food whenever it’s offered to you. The tradition is to say the words “meshu meshu” and cover your mouth with your hands. You can give in, though, after two or three offers.
2. Anyone found guilty of killing a highly endangered and culturally sacred black-necked crane could be sentenced to life in prison.
1. Bhutan is one of the last countries in the world to introduce television to its people. The government lifted a ban on TV—and on the Internet—only 11 years ago.