I have a longstanding obsession with J.R.R. Tolkien’s 'The Hobbit,' starting with the great 1977 animated film that captured my young imagination. Hobbits are content to be intensely local and ignore the world beyond their neighborhood until Gandalf instills in Bilbo and subsequently Frodo to learn about the wider world. I’ve always seen that as push for all of us to get to know more about the world, and to experience it first-hand. Sometimes academic geography forgets the explorer component of geographic inquiry and discovery; it is these types geographic quotes from the movies and books that I wish to share.
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
"On Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America’s union is 'strong.' Is it?"
Politico Magazine rounded up 14 different state rankings from reputable sources like the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, and on important factors such as high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rate. Then we averaged out each state’s 14 rankings to come up with a master list—atop which sits none other than New Hampshire. The approach isn’t scientific or comprehensive (we also hold no grudges against the State of Mississippi), but given that eight of the lowest-ranking states on our list overlap with the bottom 10 on his, maybe less has changed in the past 83 years than you’d think.
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