Do you know?

Do you know? (Submitted by Karan Menon)

World (Questions) 1. What is the main international airport of Rio de Janeiro? 2. What is the largest island in the Lesser Sunda Islands Archipelago of Indonesia? 3. What is the largest island in the Novaya Zemyla Archipelago? 4. Which strait in the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago separates the two largest islands, Yuzhny and Severny? 5. Kisangani, a city on the banks of the Congo River, is the capital of which province, the most populous in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? 6. Which spit, separating the very salty system of lagoons called the Syvash from the Sea of Azov, is the longest spit in the world? 7. The Curonian Spit is located in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia and which other country? 8. Pyongyang is on the banks of which river which rises in the Rangrim Mountains and flows into Korea Bay at Nampo? 9. Courland, a historic region whose northern boundary is formed by the river Daugava, is located in which country? 10. The Neman River flows into the Curonian Lagoon in which country? 11. Which city, the 5th largest in Russia, is located at the confluence of the Volga and Oka Rivers? 12. Which city on the banks of the Volga is the 6th largest in Russia? 13. Which city on the banks of the Volga River was formerly known as Stalingrad? 14. The city of Izhevsk is the 19th largest city in Russia and it is located in the Western Urals. With over 600,000 people, it is the capital of which Russian republic? 15. Ufa, the 11th largest city in Russia, is the capital of which Russian Republic between the Ural Mountains and Volga Rivers that is the most populous Russian Republic? 16. Novaya Zemlya separates the Kara Sea from which other sea? 17. Which upland region in northwest of Central Russia is the source of several rivers including Volga, Dnieper, and Daugava? 18. Name the Bavarian city situated on the Danube River that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806? 19. The Bolan Pass, located in the Toba Kakar Range was one of the most important gateways to South Asia and connects the city of Sibi with which major Pakistani city home to large numbers of Pashtuns, Brahuis, and Balochis? 20. Which city, located across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska, was the historic starting point of the Mormon Trail? 21. Casper and Laramie, the 2nd and 3rd largest cities of Wyoming respectively, are located on which tributary of a tributary of the Missouri? 22. The Yodo River, which flows through Osaka, flows out of which lake, the largest in Japan? 23. What uninhabited island near the southern tip of the Cheleken Peninsula in the Balkan Province is the largest island in both Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea? 24. The longest river in South Korea flows through Daegu and Busan. Name this river. 25. Which city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr Area, with the world’s largest inland harbor, is located at the confluence of the Ruhr and Rhine Rivers? 26. Which city on the Elbe is the capital of the state of Saxony? 27. The city of Pyeongchang, which will host the 2018 Winter Olympics, is located in which mountain range, which forms the main ridge of the Korean Peninsula and is the source of South Korea’s 2 most important rivers, the Han and the Nakdong? 28. The Ramsar Treaty was an international treaty signed about the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. The treaty is named after the city it was signed in, Ramsar. Ramsar is located on the coast of the Caspian Sea in which country? 29. Which isthmus is located between Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland, and contains a section of St. Petersburg that is north of the Neva River? 30. The largest lake in Finland is connected to Lake Ladoga by the Vuoski River. Name this lake. 31. The historical capital of Normandy and the current capital of Lower Normandy is located on the banks of the Seine River and was where Joan of Arc was executed in 1431. Name this city. 32. What is the main distributary of the Rhine River in the Netherlands? 33. Which Scottish National Park is the largest national park in the British Isles? 34. Which estuary, the largest in Western Europe, is formed by the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers? 35. Tahiti is located in which Archipelago, part of French Polynesia? (Answers) 1. What is the main international airport of Rio de Janeiro? (Galeao International Airport) 2. What is the largest island in the Lesser Sunda Islands Archipelago of Indonesia? (Timor) 3. What is the largest island in the Novaya Zemyla Archipelago? (Severny Island) 4. Which strait in the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago separates the two largest islands, Yuzhny and Severny? (Matochkin Strait) 5. Kisangani, a city on the banks of the Congo River, is the capital of which province, the most populous in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? (Orientale Province) 6. Which spit, separating the very salty system of lagoons called the Syvash from the Sea of Azov, is the longest spit in the world? (Arabat Spit) 7. The Curonian Spit is located in the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia and which other country? (Lithuania) 8. Pyongyang is on the banks of which river which rises in the Rangrim Mountains and flows into Korea Bay at Nampo? (Taedong River) 9. Courland, a historic region whose northern boundary is formed by the river Daugava, is located in which country? (Latvia) 10. The Neman River flows into the Curonian Lagoon in which country? (Lithuania) 11. Which city, the 5th largest in Russia, is located at the confluence of the Volga and Oka Rivers? (Nizhny Novgorod) 12. Which city on the banks of the Volga is the 6th largest in Russia? (Samara) 13. Which city on the banks of the Volga River was formerly known as Stalingrad? (Volgograd) 14. The city of Izhevsk is the 19th largest city in Russia and it is located in the Western Urals. With over 600,000 people, it is the capital of which Russian republic? (Udmurtia) 15. Ufa, the 11th largest city in Russia, is the capital of which Russian Republic between the Ural Mountains and Volga Rivers that is the most populous Russian Republic? (Bashkortostan) 16. Novaya Zemlya separates the Kara Sea from which other sea? (The Barents Sea) 17. Which upland region in northwest of Central Russia is the source of several rivers including Volga, Dnieper, and Daugava? (Valdai Hills) 18. Name the Bavarian city situated on the Danube River that was a legislative seat of the Holy Roman Empire from 1663 to 1806? (Regensburg) 19. The Bolan Pass, located in the Toba Kakar Range was one of the most important gateways to South Asia and connects the city of Sibi with which major Pakistani city home to large numbers of Pashtuns, Brahuis, and Balochis? (Quetta) 20. Which city, located across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska, was the historic starting point of the Mormon Trail? (Council Bluffs, Iowa) 21. Casper and Laramie, the 2nd and 3rd largest cities of Wyoming respectively, are located on which tributary of a tributary of the Missouri? (North Platte River) 22. The Yodo River, which flows through Osaka, flows out of which lake, the largest in Japan? (Lake Biwa) 23. What uninhabited island near the southern tip of the Cheleken Peninsula in the Balkan Province is the largest island in both Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea? (Ogurja Ada) 24. The longest river in South Korea flows through Daegu and Busan. Name this river. (Nakdong River) 25. Which city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr Area, with the world’s largest inland harbor, is located at the confluence of the Ruhr and Rhine Rivers? (Duisburg) 26. Which city on the Elbe is the capital of the state of Saxony? (Dresden) 27. The city of Pyeongchang, which will host the 2018 Winter Olympics, is located in which mountain range, which forms the main ridge of the Korean Peninsula and is the source of South Korea’s 2 most important rivers, the Han and the Nakdong? (Taebaek Mountains) 28. The Ramsar Treaty was an international treaty signed about the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. The treaty is named after the city it was signed in, Ramsar. Ramsar is located on the coast of the Caspian Sea in which country? (Iran, it is in the province of Mazandaran) 29. Which isthmus is located between Lake Ladoga and the Gulf of Finland, and contains a section of St. Petersburg that is north of the Neva River? (Karelian Isthmus) 30. The largest lake in Finland is connected to Lake Ladoga by the Vuoski River. Name this lake. (Lake Saimaa) 31. The historical capital of Normandy and the current capital of Lower Normandy is located on the banks of the Seine River and was where Joan of Arc was executed in 1431. Name this city. (Rouen) 32. What is the main distributary of the Rhine River in the Netherlands? (Waal River) 33. Which Scottish National Park is the largest national park in the British Isles? (Cairngorms National Park) 34. Which estuary, the largest in Western Europe, is formed by the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers? (Gironde Estuary) 35. Tahiti is located in which Archipelago, part of French Polynesia? (Society Islands)

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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hail to the Winners...

Karan Menon (NJ) – 2015 National Champion
Shriya Yarlagadda (MI) – 2015 National Runner-up

For the second year in a row,  the top two spots are taken by folks from my coaching circle – Last year, it was Akhil Rekulapelli (VA) and Ameya Mujumdar (FL)!

Grace Rembert (MT), Rishi Nair (FL), Rohan Kanchana (DE) and Arnav Patra (NY) have all finished in top 20 spots (out of a total of 54 contestants)!

Feel free to leave your message of congratulations in the comments section below!!!

Photograph by Rebecca Drobis, National Geographic
Karan Menon, 14, from New Jersey is the 2015 National Geographic Bee champion.



Karan, Shriya and Soledad O'Brien (Host)

This year's top 3 with last year's #1 (Akhil Rekulapelli, from Ashburn, VA)

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

D.C. Bound and at NG...

(From the National Geographic Society)

ADVISORY: 10 Students Qualify for 2015 National Geographic Bee Championship Round, May 13

Round Will Air on Friday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel and on Wednesday, May 20, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD

May 11, 2015


The 10 finalists are:
  • Kapil Nathan — Alabama
  • Sojas Wagle — Arkansas
  • Nicholas Monahan — Idaho
  • Patrick Taylor — Iowa
  • Abhinav Karthikeyan — Maryland
  • Lucy Chae — Massachusetts
  • Shriya Yarlagadda — Michigan
  • Shreyas Varathan — Minnesota
  • Karan Menon — New Jersey
  • Tejas Badgujar — Pennsylvania
  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2015 Contestants for the National Championship
(Sunday, May 10th, 2015)


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Leave a message of support/encouragement/advice to your fellow members of my coaching circle in the comments section below!
The national competition begins on Monday, May 11th and ends on Wednesday, May 13th.


Friday, May 1, 2015

GeoBee Fact File - May, 2015

Read the posted information to expand your body of knowledge and make a note of facts that are not familiar to you.  Post those facts and others from different sources that are new to you in this section in a statement or a Q/A format.  Ensure that all posts are accurate and are properly worded.
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(From CNN)

New dinosaur...Yi qi (meaning strange wing in Chinese)

(Artist's rendering of Yi qi)

(CNN)Chinese scientists say they have discovered a new dinosaur species, with bat-like wings, that sheds light on how dinosaurs may have evolved into birds.
Based on a fossil specimen discovered in China's Hebei province a decade ago, scientists estimate the bird-like dinosaur existed for a very short time 160 million years ago during the Jurassic Period, according to a new paper published in scientific journal Nature on Wednesday. 
The flying creature weighed about 230 grams and was 63 centimeters in length.
Xu Xing, a paleontologist with China's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, and lead author of the report, told CNN the dinosaur's fossilized remains highlighted the complexity of evolution.
Named Yi qi, or "strange wing" in Chinese, Xu said it was one of the earliest dinosaurs to show some capacity for flight -- even though it wasn't very successful.

Unlike other bird-like dinosaurs, its wings were made from membranes -- like a bat -- rather than composed of feathers. 
    It didn't become the birds we see today -- it tried but failed.
    "It's a failed experiment, it's an evolutionary dead end," Xu said.
    "Over the last 30 years, there were so many discoveries made that demonstrate birds are really descendants of dinosaurs," he said. 
    "It's a great example showing how dinosaurs evolved into birds."
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    GeoBee News of the Day - May, 2015

    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.
    Also, click on the posted links  and follow the  news all around the world!
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    (From CNN)

    Memorial Day vs Veterans Day



    We are here to make sure you don't embarrass yourself. 
    Inevitably, someone says something demonstrating confusion over the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Allow us to explain it to you.
    Memorial Day: Celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military. 
    The website for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs recounts the start of Memorial Day this way:
    "Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans -- the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) -- established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country."
    The passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 by Congress made it an official holiday.
      Veterans Day: This federal holiday falls on November 11 and is designated as a day to honor all who have served in the military. According to Military.com, Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.
      "In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans," the site says. "With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars."
      Just for good measure, we will also throw in some information about Labor Day because, believe it or not, we've seen folks thanking troops on that holiday. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, honors the contributions of American workers, not the military.
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      Mediterranean migrant routes and disasters


      Recent Mediterranean migrant disasters

      Oct 2013: More than 360 people, mostly Eritreans and Somalis, die as their boat sinks off Lampedusa.
      Sept 2014: At least 300 migrants drown off Malta when people smugglers ram a boat after its occupants refuse to move to a smaller one. Survivors said it was "mass murder".
      Feb 2015: At least 300 migrants feared drowned as four dinghies get into trouble after leaving Libyan coast in bad weather.
      12 April 2015: Some 400 migrants feared drowned after their vessel capsizes off Libya.
      19 April 2015: About 650 migrants feared drowned as boat capsizes in Libyan waters south of Lampedusa.

      Thursday, April 23, 2015

      World's Happiest Countries

      (From CNN - http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/23/travel/feat-world-happiest-countries-2015/index.html)

      Lake Wanaka, Near Queenstown, South Island, NZ




      Here are the top 10 happiest places on Earth, according to the World Happiness Report. 
      1. Switzerland
      Switzerland took the top spot from Denmark in 2015, rising from third to first place in this year's list of the world's happiest countries. 
      Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, has the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture that make it apparent why the old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the city's founding in the 12th century, it has expanded in an often neat and orderly fashion. And the lovely River Aare offers in-town swimming and boating. 
      Looking to get out of the capital city? Book a trip to Lucerne, where you can take a boat trip on the lake, ride the panorama gondola, take in the views on the new Dragon Ride aerial cableway and ride on the world's steepest cog railway. Book the Golden Round trip and get all four trips -- and stunning views of the Alps -- in one day. (The railway reopens in mid-May.) 
      And no matter where you go, there will certainly be plenty of delicious chocolate to try. 
      2. Iceland
      Nature and culture combine to make Iceland a truly happy place, so delightful that the tiny country jumped from ninth to second place this year. 
      Explore South Iceland, where many of the ancient tales -- called sagas -- that document Iceland's 10th- and 11th-century history are remembered. A two-hour drive from the capital city of Reykjavik, south Iceland is home to Vatnajokull Glacier, the 60-meter (197-foot) Skogafoss Waterfall and amazing fresh seafood. (Though you could probably skip the fermented shark ...) 
      No matter where you visit, there's probably a geothermal swimming pool or hot spring spa to soak your weary bones after a long day of exploring. And when you get back to the capital, note that the renowned annual Reykjavik Art Festival will take place from May 17 through June 7. 
      3. Denmark
      Never mind that Denmark lost the top spot this year and is now the third-happiest country in the world. 
      Looking at all that Danes have to be happy about, you won't notice the slight dip while you're enjoying jazz at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in July, hanging out with the hipsters at Queen Louise's Bridge, taking a canal tour or playing beach volleyball in front of the Royal Danish Playhouse. 
      Prefer your music in the woods? Head to Smuk Fest ("The Beautiful Festival"), a rock/pop festival in the woods of Skanderborg held in August. 
      Wherever you go, enjoy that Danish tradition of "hygge," sometimes translated too simply as the need for "coziness." It's really a complex sense of intimacy, community and contentment that generally happens with friends and family, and it makes for one happy country. 
      4. Norway 
      The sun never sets in some parts of Norway during the summer months, and the North Cape area is one of the best spots to play when the sun stays out for 24 hours. Visitors love to golf, hike and even run a marathon during the months ruled by the midnight sun. 
      If your taste buds dictate your travels, head to the Norwegian capital city of Oslo, a gastronomic paradise where the Michelin food guide has awarded five stars among four restaurants: Ylajali, Statholdergaarden and Fauna (one star each) and Maeemo (two stars). 
      5. Canada
      Canada combines European style, sensibility and history with the enormous natural wonder of North America. 
      Within the French-speaking province of Quebec, a tour through the historic city of Old Quebec is a treat for any Francophile. Founded in the early 17th century, it's the only North American city north of Mexico that still has its fortifications. The historic district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      Just a few minutes from downtown Quebec City, Ile d'Orleans is a small island where farming and agriculture are still a way of life. And if nature is what you crave, in less an hour from Québec City, you could be hiking through the Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, home to the glacial Vallée de la Jacques-Cartier.
      6. Finland
      What a happy event to spot the rare Saimaa ringed seal, which adapted to freshwater living after the Ice Age cut off its lake home from the sea. There are only about 300 of them in the world, and they can be found at Lake Saimaa in eastern Finland. 
      But you might have more luck spotting the white whooper swan, Finland's national bird, whose arrival heralds the start of spring.
      For a more urban experience, visit Helsinki's Market Square and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. And you can still spot animals in the capital city: In mid-May, the cows will be herded into the fields in Viikki, a neighborhood in Helsinki, after the long winter. Locals always gather to celebrate this moo-ving event. 
      7. Netherlands (Holland)
      Though the Netherlands' tulips are without equal, and they are most stunning at Keukenhof (known as the Garden of Europe), there are so many beautiful spots across the country to walk and bike to welcome spring and its trademark flower. 
      For a more regal celebration, note that the kingdom celebrates its 200th year this year with many festivities. 
      8. Sweden
      In a country that's very fond of celebration, Swedes love to celebrate midsummer, the longest day of the year, most of all. It's a national holiday marked with traditional food and dances around a maypole. 
      Can't make the midsummer parties? There's still plenty to do. Just 20 minutes from the capital city of Stockholm, the Stockholm Archipelago of about 30,000 islands offers endless opportunities for contentment. Swimming, hiking, cycling, fishing, horseback riding -- it's all within your reach by booking a boat ride. (Some boat trips include meals and tours of many of the islands.)
      9. New Zealand
      New to the top 10 list of happiest countries, New Zealand has plenty of reasons to celebrate. Though it's always been an attractive spot to explore, Peter Jackson choosing the country to host the filming of the "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy has given New Zealand more attention than money could buy. 
      The capital city of Wellington has benefited from the growth of the movie industry, developing a happening restaurant and design scene. 
      And many of the country's natural wonders have gained international attention, including the 2,291-meter (7,516-foot)-high Mount Ngauruhoe, which played the fictional Mount Doom. It's part of Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      10. Australia
      The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest collection of coral reefs, is a natural phenomenon not to be missed. Australians are arguing fiercely over manmade threats to its existence (and no one is happy about that). 
      Once you've had a chance to explore that magical underwater realm, head to the Australian state of Tasmania, an island 240 kilometers (149 miles) off the mainland coast. The Tasmanian Wilderness, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes one of the last surviving temperate rainforests in the world. 
      To see the wilderness up close, try hiking the stunning 65-kilometer (40-mile) Overland Track. It takes about six days for hikers (who must book the trip in advance), but day-trippers can take short hikes starting at Cradle Mountain Visitor Centre and Dove Lake.