Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Weird Geography of Jeopardy

So last night I relaxed after work by watching Jeopardy.  I was thrilled by the fact one of the categories was European Geography.  However, when the contestants began to pick geography questions the weirdness began.

First, apparently "the United Kingdom" is not a specific enough answer for a country in Europe.

See on why Scotland is not a country (sure it is a "country within the United Kingdom" but it is not a country as most people understand the term: a sovereign, independent state).

Then things got really odd when Jeopardy brought out the map. 

Transnistria (yellow oval in location where it would be on the map) does not get Jeopardy's recognition like Kosovo, Abkahzia, South Ossetia, and the now defunct Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast
Widely but not universally recognized Kosovo was shown on the map.  As were partially recognized by a handful countries Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  So was the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast... which was disbanded in 1991.  Jeopardy most likely wanted to show the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic which has different borders and is recognized by no other state.  I can understand showing de facto states if one is consistent.  However, Jeopardy did not show Transnistria on the map.

One who wants to see the "real" de facto borders of Europe should look past Jeopardy and use Geographic Travels' Atlas of True Borders

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