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20 November 2008

Are You Smarter Than 2-Year-Olds?

Oh sure, you may sit there nodding smugly but when you think about it - how well do we really know the world? Many probably know about the popular American TV show, "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?" - but I think fifth graders are so overrated in an age of information and technology where even 2-year-olds can use the Internet. Without going any further click here to take this quick quiz and see how many countries you can you name in under 5 minutes, then come back to this post. On the other hand, keep reading if you are scared.

Alright, here is a world map that could refreshen your minds. Now are you ready to take the quiz?

With all due respect to the less worldly among us, though, kids are pretty darn smart when it comes to the world we share with several billion others. For instance, how would you stack up against a cute, 2-year-old, map reading wonder named Lilly? Check out this video in which the budding scholar shows off her vast geographic knowledge:

Pretty impressive, huh? She now knows over 80 countries. So whaddya think, can you do better than li'l Lilly? Keep in mind, she had no trouble pointing out island nations you might only know if you were Survivor fans. Perhaps you think she was "specially trained" for this or that she is exceptional and just a one off phenomenon. Wait till you see Krish, another 2-year-old geography whiz kid, who can name up to 90 to 100 countries when their flags are pointed out:

Astounding isn't it? There are many more videos of young brains out there, but I digress, time to share a few fast facts about our ever more multinational globe:

  • There are 195 official countries in the world.
  • 45 nations are landlocked, ie having no seacoast.
  • 44 nations in the world are officially monarchies.
  • The United Nations charter was ratified in 1945 by its 51 members.
  • English was an official language in 87 nations and territories by 1994.

Now that your brain cells are juiced, it's time to get jetpunked. According to Jetpunk, the average score is 53, which doesn't sound like a lot afterall. Remember, you've got 5 minutes to name as many countries as you can and you've got to spell them correctly. 300 seconds.. not a lot of time to name a lot of countries, but hey - there've been 14 editions of Survivor so you're 7 percent there already. You can do it!

So, how did you score up this time? Still not good enough? Then I guess it's time you watch this video:

Written by Steve Levenstein, sponsored by Jetpunk.

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11 November 2008

What If Matrix Ran on Windows XP

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08 November 2008

Top 10 Most Annoying English Phrases

Irregardless, could you care less? A bunch of Oxford researchers got together and compiled a list of the Top 10 most irritating expressions in the English language. "The scholars in question keep track of linguistic mangling and overused buzzwords in a database called the Oxford University Corpus. The voluminous record keeps track of books, magazines, broadcast, online media and other sources, watching for new overused, tiresome phrases and retiring those that fade from use (or misuse)." Here is the Top 10 list they came up with:

10. It's not rocket science
9. 24/7
8. Shouldn't of
7. It's a nightmare
6. Absolutely
5. With all due respect
4. At this moment in time
3. I personally
2. Fairly unique
1. At the end of the day

In your opinion, what are the most irritating phrases in English?

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