Ken Jennings

Message Boards

Maphead

Ken is the author of Because I Said So!, Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac.

Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:56 pm

Some other people have told me that too. I REALLY wanted to read the book and the scheduling didn't work, the audiobook company said it had to be someone in-house or nothing. Alas.
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Postby grodney » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:29 pm

Paperback is on the shelves at B&N in Charlotte NC -- two days before the computer said it would be available.
grodney
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:31 am

Postby grodney » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:04 am

From Chapter 3: "...one in ten American college students can't find California or Texas on a map, ten times worse than the same numbers in Dr. Williams's 1950 study.".

For whatever reason, "one in ten" and "ten times worse" confuse me. Does that mean it was 1 in 100 in the 1950 study?
grodney
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:31 am

Postby Ken Jennings » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:53 am

grodney wrote:From Chapter 3: "...one in ten American college students can't find California or Texas on a map, ten times worse than the same numbers in Dr. Williams's 1950 study.".

For whatever reason, "one in ten" and "ten times worse" confuse me. Does that mean it was 1 in 100 in the 1950 study?


Yeah, it's unfortunate that both are ten-based. I think you are correct: it was 1% in 1950 and 10% decades later.
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Postby Ponch » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:38 am

Ken Jennings wrote:
grodney wrote:From Chapter 3: "...one in ten American college students can't find California or Texas on a map, ten times worse than the same numbers in Dr. Williams's 1950 study.".

For whatever reason, "one in ten" and "ten times worse" confuse me. Does that mean it was 1 in 100 in the 1950 study?


Yeah, it's unfortunate that both are ten-based. I think you are correct: it was 1% in 1950 and 10% decades later.

I think that it's just a case of bad statistics...

The phrase "ten times worse," in this context, leads me to believe that more students were able to find California or Texas on a map in the past than those today...

So if only 10% of students today could find them, ten times better than that in 1950 would mean perhaps 100% of students were able to find them then?

Very fuzzy math used here....
Ponch
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:59 pm

Postby ArtVark » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:20 am

Ponch wrote:[
Very fuzzy math used here....


It ain't the math that's fuzzy. It's the wording. 1% could not find the states in 1950, 10% cannot today. Express that in any way that makes you happy.
ArtVark
 
Posts: 1718
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:21 pm
Location: Pacific Palisades, Ca.

Postby Ken Jennings » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:51 am

I'm not going to defend the wording here to the death, but I'm having a hard time seeing the objection. On a test designed to measure geographic knowledge, how would more correct answers be a "ten time worse" result?
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Postby Ponch » Tue May 01, 2012 12:39 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:I'm not going to defend the wording here to the death, but I'm having a hard time seeing the objection. On a test designed to measure geographic knowledge, how would more correct answers be a "ten time worse" result?

That's what I was saying!

The article made it seem like fewer students could find the states today than in the past, but I have no idea how one would measure a percentage as ten times worse (when the current result is 10%)
Ponch
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:59 pm

Postby Ken Jennings » Tue May 01, 2012 2:56 pm

Oh, you're right. I was reading the excerpt above backward. Hmm, maybe that stat is wrong.
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Postby grodney » Wed May 16, 2012 8:40 am

Hey Ken and all, you may have seen this elsewhere, but the usgs is having a "Spring Sale", with tons maps priced at $1:
http://store.usgs.gov/b2c_usgs/usgs/zIn ... 0000000336)/.do

I have no commercial stake in this, and I'm mostly not a bot. Just passing along some info.
grodney
 
Posts: 1103
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:31 am

Re: Maphead

Postby Ken Jennings » Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:41 pm

Hope you enjoy! That CBC documentary turned out really well, I thought.
Ken Jennings
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4557
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:43 am

Re: Maphead

Postby Momma Snider » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:41 am

I have a really good sense of direction in almost all situations, but the only time I was ever in Dallas, I just couldn't work it out. We went from the airport to a hotel, and it was overcast, so I was disoriented and didn't have a frame of reference. That night the skies cleared, and I saw that the moon was rising IN THE WEST. Even though I knew that wasn't right, I never made my brain understand, and we flew out the next day with Dallas forevermore backwards in my head.

I also have a little quirk in that when I look at or think of a map of the United States, it's oriented with the top of the map to the south. I think I must have been facing south in my classroom when we studied the map in 3rd grade, and that was when my brain was coordinating my sense of direction. I have often thought that teachers should think of that and make adjustments accordingly.

That won't work here, though. The I-15 runs generally north and south, but right here in my town it's actually almost directly east and west. I can't even count the number of people who think they're facing south, even though the rising sun is directly in their eyes.
Momma Snider
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:17 am

Re: Maphead

Postby Momma Snider » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:48 pm

One of my kids got into an argument with his 7th grade teacher, who swore (almost literally) that east was south, etc. because of the freeway. My son was so frustrated! I sent him to school with a compass, but I don't think he convinced her.

The downtown streets are all designated N or S or E or W, starting at a center point. Main Street goes north and south, and the addresses are either N Main or S Main, for example. North Main runs directly perpendicular to the freeway. It's just not that hard. But then the founding fathers confused the issue way back in the 1880s: The house I grew up in is on East Hill Street, but it runs north and south. It's named for the actual hill it's on, in what was then the easternmost corner of the town.

Nevertheless, I got Maphead for Christmas and am enjoying it.
Momma Snider
 
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:17 am

Previous

Return to Books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron