Become A More Educated Parent: Read the National Geographic

Years ago, my mother in law bought me a year’s subscription to the National Geographic. While I was so excited to read the magazine, I found myself shelving unopened issues. Whether it was because I just wasn’t interested in reading the magazine at the time, or in the middle of my MBA, I never really ended up reading the issues.

Then recently I was over at my in laws house and I noticed that my mother in law had once again signed herself up for a year’s subscription. Having nothing else to read I decided to grab the latest issue.

Well that was it for me. Once I started that issue, I decided that from that point on I would read almost nothing else except for National Geographic (except for the last Harry Potter book). These magazines are just packed with so much information about
our world.

Here is a partial list of the subjects covered in National Geographic:

Current events
History
Archeology
Biology
Geology
Nature
Space Science
Religion
Botany
Geography
Natural History
American History
Architecture

Learn about:

Rain Forests
Insects
Cultures
Volcanoes
Hurricanes
Earthquakes
Animals
Reptiles
Countries
Conflicts
Continents
Expeditions
Global Warming
Diseases
Terrorism

Here is just some of the interesting information that I gleaned off the last several issues of this magazine:

  • America, Found and Lost (May 2007 Issue)
    • Although European settlers created the first successful English colony in North America after arriving at Jamestown Virginia in 1607, almost half of the original 104 colonists died within just four months.
    • Conditions were so rough that colonists resorted to eating their own dead just to survive.
    • Between 1607 and 1624 more than 4,500 settlers died.
    • Pocahontas’s marriage to John Rolfe in 1613 created a sort of nonaggression treaty between the English colonist and the local natives thus saving the English colony.
    • Earthworms did not exist in North America until the English colonists brought them over from Europe possibly in the earth used in the ships ballasts.
    • The colonist had changed the landscape so much that barely any of it resembled the original Jamestown they discovered when they first arrived. “Four centuries ago, the English didn’t discover a New World – they created one.”[pg.53]

To see interactive maps, videos, photos, and illustrations of the settlement of Jamestown click here

  • China’s Instant Cities (June 2007 issue)
    • Once city in China, Wenzhou, makes seventy percent of all cigarette lighters manufactured in the world and manufactures just about everything else. In fact, neighborhoods in Wenzhou are defined by the products that are manufactured there. You’ll find whole neighborhoods of privately owned factories manufacturing light switches, fluorescent bulbs, faucets, plastic bags, buttons, playing cards (“more than one billion decks a year”) [pg. 96] and so on.
    • Everything manufactured in Wenzhou is sold at a mall in Yiwu containing 30,000 shops. This is where people from all over the world come to buy “made in China” wholesale products.
    • “If you spend one minute at each shop, eight hours a day, you’ll leave two months later.” [pg. 97]
    • Chinese travel thirty hours by train just to work a 40 cent an hour salary in Wezhou.
    • Chinese laborers get paid 40 cents an hour to build half a million dollar homes.
    • To accommodate the boom of manufacturing, the Chinese government has ousted families from their land (compensating them with insufficient funds to live elsewhere) in order to build bridges, highways and dams.

    To read an online version of the article click here.

  • Arlington National Cemetery
    • The cemetery was built during the Civil War in 1864 on land confiscated from General Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army, so that the Lee family could never re-occupy the land.
    • More than 300,000 people are buried at Arlington.
    • There are more than 6000 funerals a year at Arlington and an average of about 27 funerals takes place each day.
    • The flag at a funeral is folded thirteen times – one minute and fifty-four seconds. The time it takes the bugler to play Taps.
    • Arlington gained extreme popularity after the assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy
    • Sixty four victims of September 11, 2001 are buried there. Debris from Flight 77 were scattered over several hundred yards of the cemetery.
    • Following its current rate of interment the cemetery will reach capacity in about fifty years

To read the online version of the article click here.

To see a multimedia presentation on Arlington National Cemetery click here.

Explore Arlington with the online interactive map here

  • The Big Thaw (June 2007)
    • Depending on the research, due to global warming the seas could rise 3 to 10 feet in the next one hundred years
  • Bamboo can be converted into anti-bacterial fabric that is just as soft as silk. It might become as popular as cotton in the near future.
  • Bed bugs cases are on the rise. In New York City alone, 1,200 cases were reported in 2006.
  • New Orleans – A Perilous Future (August 2007)
    • Because the floodwalls and pumps will still take a few years to complete a Category 2 storm could easily reflood the city.
    • Major hurricanes and other floods have drowned the city 27 times in the past 289 years.
    • Some parts of New Orleans lie as much as 17 feet below sea level
    • The city sinks one inch a year.
    • If seas rise as expected (three – ten feet), New Orleans will be completely submerged under water by 2100.

Read the online version of the article on New Orleans here

  • Struggle for the Soul of Pakistan (September 2007)
    • The country was founded 60 years ago as a refuge for India’s Muslims.
    • The country is 97% muslim (majority are moderate) and yet during two weeks earlier in the year six cities were hit with several suicide bombings
    • To help Pakistan defeat the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 70s and early 80s, the U.S. helped create an Afghanistan Jihad by supplying weapons and training thousands of Muslims. Osama bin Laden was one of the leaders of the Afghan Jihad.
    • The country is plagued with lawlessness and corruption
    • Less than 3% of Government spending is spent on education and public health
    • Although they are a minority, radical Muslims are slowly gaining popularity due to the above two points
    • Students of religious Islamic schools in Pakistan are taught that “In any Muslim land that’s occupied, suicide bombing is allowed” [pg. 55]
  • Vesuvius Asleep For Now
    • This volcano that destroyed Pompeii in 79 A.D. now looms over 600,000 people living in the surrounding areas
    • A major eruption would desolate the surrounding area and destroy the city of Naples nine miles away.
    • Forty-five people were killed when Vesuvius had a minor eruption (the last one) in 1944.
    • When Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. it sent an over 200 mile an hour “pyroclastic surge that reached temperatures of 932 degrees F, vaporizing clothing and flesh within seconds.” [page 130]
    • The blast itself would send large rocks raining down at about 90 miles per hour.
    • Following the blast and surge, a major eruption would bury the area several feet deep in ash.

To read the online article click here

To see some great photos of this sleeping volcano including the photo taken by U.S. Bombers during its last eruption in 1944 click here.

As you can see there is so much information packed into these issues. Its good to know a bit about our world.

National Geographic now offers subscriptions for Kids (ages 6-14) and Little Kids (3-6). My wife and I agree that it would be a great idea to get one of these subscriptions for our kids. However, since I have one child in each age group I am not sure which one to subscribe to.

By the way, if anyone is interested National Geographic is having a Photography contest. Winners of the contest will have their photos published in National Geographic magazine. There is also a chance to win a Canon EOS 5D digital camera kit.

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11 Responses

  1. Dotty says:

    Smkda-cab what I was looking for-ty!

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  7. I am having trouble i made a facebookpage for my hairsalon through my personal.page..when i click on the buid an audience tab the only option i have is invite email contacts..how do i invite friends i am super fustrated..lol please help!

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  9. Then you should let your heart control you. Fly back to India, and enjoy a little time here. There’s always a new thing to find in the land you were born .

  10. not when they truly dont treatment about our survival which they dont it could be bullshit but when it does materialize it will most likely be somthing such as this . NO warning at all, thats why many of the important governments in the planet are already establishing underground bunkers which in all probability want do the job anyhow

  1. October 29, 2007

    […] Ellen presents Become A More Educated Parent: Read the National Geographic posted at […]

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