I’ve long thought that Twitter was one of the stupidest ideas in the world. But I had never tried it. I am, after all, not a 160 character kind of guy. But I finally got an account, and it is great.
What I didn’t understand is that twitter is not just a bunch of inane narcissists sending out tweets about what they had for lunch. It is also a bunch of smart narcissists sending out tweets about what they just read. Thus, it makes it much easier for people like me to keep up on what’s happening in the commentariat. It also provides links to some very cool stuff.
Take, for example, this great Know Your States game at Jim’s Pages. In it, you are asked to drag a state onto its correct place on a blank map of America. It’s actually a lot easier than you would think, as you can see from my first score:
The reason it is relatively easy is that you get the outlines of the states. So Maryland is really easy. But Colorado is not. Even still, I think this is an excellent game for learning American geography. It forced me to think through some things. For example, I knew that Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida form a line along the Gulf Coast. But I didn’t know that I knew it until having to think about it for the test. Similarly, this kind of thinking works for the Canadian boarder, the southern east coast, and many other less clearly named regions.
I highly recommend taking the test. In fact, it bears repeated games. After several attempts, I am starting to get a handle on American geography that American elementary school never did.
Update (1 October 2012 12:37 pm)
Brad Plumer claims the game is harder than it looks. He’s wrong.