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November 30th, 2013

in which I earn my geography geek badge

Someone apparently asked Brits to label a map of US states. It’s pretty funny. To be fair, there are an awful lot of them, and many look entirely too alike.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/its-thanksgiving-so-we-asked-some-brits-to-label-the-us-stat

Curious at how well I would do, I hunted down a quiz on US states and took it myself. There were several, but on the one I attempted I got 98%. The one state I missed was Michigan, which I confused with Minnesota. I actually knew the state they were asking for as “the one with Detroit in it” and where I took Greyhound and visited a friend one New Year’s while I lived in Cleveland. I just have this thing where I swap similar sounding names or shapes that are close to each other. So in this case I knew what the state was and where it was on the map, but got the names switched in my head.

I can’t complain, though, because I lucked out and got New Hampshire/Vermont and Iowa/Wisconsin and Mississippi/Alabama correct. Which really, I shouldn’t have. Law of averages and all that. Still, I think I’m better at this than a lot of people, not because I’m a map geek (there’s that, too). Rather, I grew up with a Tandy Commodore computer, and one of the games was to match state names to a map. Incidentally, that’s the same reason I can type as quick as I can. Someone had to protect the skyline from those aliens, you know.

I’m not nearly so good on the Europe map - 67% at the point I gave up. I’d be curious how many of my European friends can pick their Slovenia from their Belarus, to say nothing of their San Marino from their Liechtenstein. You guys have a hard map. Although I suspect Wyoming and Colorado would be just as puzzling to many non-Americans.

How would you do on these quizzes? Any surprises?

And do check out the Buzzfeed post. The ones toward the bottom are pretty hilarious.

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

fannish share of the day: Sherlock fanart

I was all set to share some lovely, Christmas-themed Sherlock fanart to start the holiday season off. Maybe a lovely clip of Martin Freeman singing a song about an elf for a kid's show, or the clip from "A Study in Pink" where Sherlock thinks a gruesome murder is "Christmas." You know, to get the season started off right. But then I saw this piece of fanart:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/297167275383894313/
(spoilers for Reichenbach, and in the following description)

Occasionally fanworks make me get a lump in my chest. Very occasionally I get truly teary-eyed. (I'm setting aside the more common case where I'm upset about something else and the fanfic or art or whatever is the straw that breaks the camels back.) But this piece moved me past those stages into flat-out crying, hard enough that I had to set down the drink I had in my hand at the time because I was about to spill it all over my keyboard. There's something about it that just hits you at a visceral level. I think it's the combination of being prepared to take some degree of punishment and realizing there's no way he can take this own pain on himself, and the way Sherlock's deductive side drives home the true cost of what happened on the rooftop of St. Bart's.

Whatever the reason, this fanart literally hurts to think about, but in the best way possible. I think the fact that moments like this make sense for the BBC version of Sherlock (and I'm really not sure they would, or should have to, for Doyle!Sherlock) that drew me to this show from the beginning. There's a part of me that feels like I'm too logical, too divorced from the emotional reality most people live with, and seeing Sherlock trying to claw himself a bit toward that: it may not be how I always imagined Doyle's man of iron, but there's something very sympathetic about all that.

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Comments

  • 5 Dec 2020, 12:53
    PM me your address. I have a card set aside for you, but need name and address to get it going.

    - Erulisse (one L)
  • 5 Dec 2020, 12:04
    What a lovely idea!
  • 4 Dec 2020, 17:56
    Mmmm, ginger snapses!
  • 4 Dec 2020, 17:37
    I don't send out cards anymore, but I was drooling over all the pop-up ones Amazon had and wondering if it might not be time to resume the tradition (I decided no).

    Not much help in the Hallmark…
  • 25 Nov 2020, 14:52
    That's great! Happy Thanksgiving to you and thanks for the marching, musical cats. LOL

    - Erulisse (one L)
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