Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - I Used To Know That: Geography: Stuff You Forgot From School

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book Review - I Used To Know That: Geography: Stuff You Forgot From School

About the Book

This small but mighty collection will trigger your memory with fun facts you learned in school-from adverbs to the Pythagorean Theorem. Witty, engaging, entertaining-a book you'll pick up again and again.

Author Caroline Taggart discovered two things while researching this book and talking with other people: One, everybody had been to school. And two, they had all forgotten entirely different things. Contained in this handy little book are the facts that you learned in school, but may not remember completely or accurately. Covering a variety of subjects, this book features all the most important theories, equations, phrases, and rules we were all taught years ago.


  • History: The first president to occupy the White House was John Adams in 1800
  • Religion: The seven deadly sins and the names of the twelve apostles
  • Literature: In which Shakespearean play "The quality of mercy" speech appears
  • Science: The periodic table of elements devised by a Russian chemist in 1889 includes the symbol for lead (Pb), silver (Ag), tin (Sn), and gold (Au)
  • Nature: How photosynthesis works

The information-presented in easy-to-retain, bite-sized chunks-is accurate and up-to- date. It will touch a chord with anyone old enough to have forgotten half of what they learned at school. Here is a perfect gift for every perennial student.

Geography Quiz
By Will Williams
Author of I Used To Know That: Geography
Stuff You Forgot From School

“Without geography, you’re nowhere.”
- Jimmy Buffett

1. The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are two imaginary lines running east and west around the globe. Which one lies north and which south of the equator?
A) Tropic of Cancer - North / Tropic of Capricorn - South
B) Tropic of Cancer - South / Tropic of Capricorn - North

A: The Tropic of Cancer is located at 23.5 degrees north of the equator and is the spot on the planet where the sun is directly overhead at noon on June 21. The Tropic of Capricorn lies at 23.5 degrees south of the equator and is the spot where the sun is directly overhead at noon on December 21.

2. What is the Ring of Fire?
A) A twenty mile circle of radioactive land in Antarctica.
B) A brightly colored stretch of coral barrier reef off the coast of Belize.
C) A large horseshoe shape area marking volcanic areas in the Pacific.

C: The Ring of Fire is an arc of intense seismic and volcanic activity stretching from New Zealand, along the eastern edge of Asia, north across the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and down the coast of North and South America. More than 75 percent of the world’s volcanoes lie within this ring.

3. True or False. Hawaii is a North American U.S. state?

False: Yes, Hawaii is a U.S. state, but technically is not part of North America. It is grouped with Australia and the other Pacific Islands.

4. What is the largest U.S. state?
A) Texas
B) California
C) Alaska
D) Montana
E) Rhode Island

C: While everything might be bigger in Texas, Alaska (570,00 square miles) is more than twice the size of the Lone Star State.

5. Talking about elevation, what is the highest city in the world?
A) Denver
B) La Rinconada
C) Mount Everest
D) Salt Lake City
E) Lake Louise

B: While Mount Everest holds the title for highest point in the world, La Rinconada in Peru is the highest city in the world with an elevation of 16,728 feet. That’s over three times higher than Denver, the mile-high city!

6. The country of Japan consists of how many islands?
A) 10 - 100
B) 100 - 1,000
C) 1,000 - 10,000

C: Japan, which is an archipelago, consists of more than 3,000 adjacent islands including Okinawa.

7. What is Asia Minor?
A) A group of the smallest countries in Asia.
B) A western peninsula of Asia.
C) A term for Asian regions with high levels of poverty.
D) A low-lying strip of land that stretches across the Asian continent.

B: A bygone term, Asia Minor is most likely referred to as Anatolia: the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which is occupied by Turkey.

8. True or False. The last Ice Age was over 650,000 years ago.

False: Sort of. Mount Tambora erupted in Indonesia in 1815, causing what became known as the Little Ice Age. Volcanic ash in the atmosphere blocked out incoming solar radiation, and global temperatures plummeted. The following year was known as the Year without a Summer with reports of June and July frost and snow in New England and Northern Europe.

9. What is a Fjord?
A) A narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs.
B) A geographical anomaly resembling a popular automobile.
C) Shallow coastal waters containing a high level of biodiversity.
D) An extraordinary annual event when a river reverses its direction of flow.

A: A fjord is a steep-sided inlet cut into mountains by glaciers, creating spectacular scenery. Norway is famous for its fjords, but fjords also occur in Chile and New Zealand.

10. What is the world’s longest mountain range?
A) Andes
B) Rockies
C) Mid-Ocean Ridge
D) Appalachian
E) Himalayas

C: At 40,000 miles long, the undersea Mid-Ocean Ridge is the Earth’s longest mountain range which is four times longer than the Andes, Rockies, and Himalayas combined.

Copyright © 2011 Will Williams, author of I Used To Know That: Geography: Stuff You Forgot From School

About the Author

Will Williams, author of I Used to Know That: Geography: Stuff You Forgot From School, was born twenty-five yards from the Marston Brewery in Burton upon Trent. He always knew that places would be important in his life. After a good state school education at King Edward's, Lichfield, he went on to Hertford College, Oxford, where he read Geography. Though secretly harboring a desire to be a stuntman, he is currently entrenched as the Head ofGeography at St Paul's School, London. The place he calls home, though, is near the banks of the Garonne in South West France, with his wife Christelle and daughter Fleuve.

My Take on the Book
This was a great book that allowed me to reconnect with a lot of knowledge that I had not thought of in a very long time. We had a party last weekend and I left the book out and I was amazed to see the number of people that picked up the book and the conversations that I had afterward. The book was well laid out and broken down in a way that was easy to follow and find information that you were interested in. I really liked some of the tables within the book that placed items right next to one another. I found that I got through this book very quickly, but that I am already re-reading through the book to try and keep the new knowledge fresh in my mind. All-in-all this was a great book that you will all love!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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