#1 They Love Us, They Love Us Not
We've seen news reports of anti-American demonstrations where presidents and flags are burned in effigy, but there are a number of countries that have a generally positive view of the U.S. and, astoundingly, Russia is one of those countries. On the other hand, the U.S. is none too popular in Egypt or Turkey.
The U.S. holds the distinction of being one of the few countries in the world that does not make companies give Mom a day off to have a baby. Technically, a company could make a new mother get up out of bed the same day she has a baby and get to her desk. In actuality, most companies have some sort of leave, but that is a benefit not required in federal law.
Putting the North Pole at the top of any globe or map is, of course, an arbitrary choice, made by Eurocentric mapmakers long ago. But it doesn't have to be this way. Viewing the world with south at the top puts things in a whole new perspective.
If you've ever been to Australia, you know it's Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and a lot of empty in between. The vast expanse of the outback contains Ayer's Rock, massive heat and about two percent of the country's total population.
It comes as no surprise that the U.S. is in the upper percentiles of coffee consumption in the world, but it drinks less than it's cold neighbor, Canada. And we don't hold a candle, or a coffee bean, to Scandanavia. Evidently they need lots of caffeine for those monthslong winter nights.
If you've ever been across the mighty Mississipp, you know it can take a while to drive across. The southern reaches of the estimable river are up to two miles wide because it is carrying the drainage of more than a third of the U.S., making it the world's third largest drainage basin.
They don't call it the Ring of Fire for nothing. The boundaries of the Pacific plate are ground zero for earthquakes, as this illustration of temblors since 1898 makes apparent.
We know America is a sports-mad country, but we may not have visualized the extent before we saw this graphic put together by the website Deadspin. New York, you let a medical department chair be your highest paid public employee? No wonder Syracuse stinks at football.
Quick! Where do people drink the most per capita? If you said Russia, here's all the proof you need. The World Health Organization puts the U.S. right in the middle of the road when it comes to alcohol abuse. Among the least risky? France. Evidently all that wine is good for you.
OK, this is all arbitrary. Driving on the right side of the road is not necessarily "right" as in correct. It's perfectly acceptable to drive on the left side of the road, but then you have to put the steering wheels on the wrong side of the car, and your significant other can only snuggle up on your left side, and that just doesn't seem "right" as in correct.
Most people know that China and India are the most populous countries on earth, but this map helps us comprehend just how heavily the earth's population distribution is tilted toward east Asia. More people live in the circle on the right of this map than live outside it.
Not being loved makes you blue, and these countries in blue are where the fewest people feel loved. While Americans are near the top in warm fuzzies, we've got nothing on Paraguay. But you have to feel for the lonely Mongolians where even an abundance of yaks apparently cannot stave off the blues.
Americans seem to wear their emotions on their sleeves and this map verifies that. And true to stereotype, Eastern Europeans and Russians report wading through the fewest emotions, positive and negative, on a daily basis.
The system of writing we use in the English world comes thanks to Rome and is therefore called the Latin system. But as anyone who has had random Chinese symbols tattooed on their body knows, not everyone uses that system. Here's a map of the various systems around the world.
It's not because the U.S. is so awesome. It is because that little island just to the west of Europe spent the last several hundred years building ships and using them to go to other countries and, if not take them over, at least to let them know who's boss. The countries in pink have, at some time in their history, been invaded by Great Britain.