Kori and Amanda Learn

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In the Trenches May 4, 2010

Filed under: Geography — Amanda @ 4:58 PM

Between Korilearns’ addiction to the Discovery Channel and Amandalearns’ addiction to the classic 90’s sci-fi television show Seaquest we should have known this answer immediately.

The Mariana Trench is the deepest known part of the world’s oceans, and the lowest elevation of the surface of the Earth’s crust. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, to the east of the Mariana Islands. The trench is about 2,550 kilometres long but has a mean width of only 69 kilometres. It reaches a maximum depth of about 10,916 metres at the Challenger Deep, a small slot-shaped valley in its floor, at its southern end.  If Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres tall, were set in the deepest part of the Mariana Trench, there would be 2,076 metres of water left above it.


What the Veldt?! April 27, 2010

Filed under: Crossword,Geography,Uncategorized,Vocabulary — Amanda @ 2:40 PM

Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa, United States

Today’s crossword threw us for a little loop with the clue “Open grassland.”  We had 4 of the 5 letters (_ELDT) and, for the life of us, could not figure out the first letter of the word.  Luckily, we deduced that the answer to “End of a Shakespeare play” should be “ACT V,” thus giving us the V for veldt!  

Turns out that Veldt (also commonly spelled Veld) refers primarily (but not exclusively) to the wide open rural spaces of South Africa or southern Africa and in particular to certain flatter areas or districts covered in grass or low scrub. The word veld (velt in Middle High German, and feld in Old High German) is preserved also in the Afrikaans and Dutch, literally meaning ‘field’.  Veldt can also be likened to “prairie,” “outback,” or my personal favorite: “boondocks.” 

For our musically inclined readers, you might know of an English band called The Veldt.  

Any video gamers out there might recall in the video game Final Fantasy VI, the Veldt is a large flatland in which the characters can fight most previously encountered enemies.


What river ends in Cairo? April 20, 2010

Filed under: Crossword,Geography — Kori Learns @ 2:10 PM

The Nile you say?  It seems simple doesn’t it.  Truth be told the Nile River ends in a large delta area that dumps into the Mediteranean Sea.  So what river ends in Cairo?

Well, it’s the (less) exotic Ohio River!  The Ohio River joins the Mississippi River in Cairo, Illinois.  While the Ohio River does not have the distinction of being the longest river in the world, it is the largest tributary, in terms of volume, of the Mighty Mississippi.

If you think Cairo, Illinois is a strange town name, then you should check out China, Maine (which claims to be the “friendliest town in Maine” so maybe you really should make the trip).

UPDATED: Amanda learns is apparently unhappy with the promotion of Maine (the way life should be) or more importantly, the exclusion of Colorado (the “Highest State”).  If you’re looking for a strangely named Colorado locale, look no further than Dinosaur, Colorado!  Where there are really (long dead and fossilized) dinosaurs!

Ohio River info here!