I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there.

A new study by National Geographic explains a lot about the state of the world: Most US young people can't find Iraq on map: study Reuters WASHINGTON - Most American young people can't find Iraq on a map, even though U.S. troops have been there for more than three years, according to a new geographic literacy study released on Tuesday. Other exciting facts: - Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news. - While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia. - While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East. - Half of respondents said it was "absolutely necessary" to know how to read a map, but a large percentage lacked basic practical map-reading skills. For example, most young people were able to locate a port city on a fictitious map, but one-third would have gone in the wrong direction in the event of an evacuation. There were some positive signs: young people who use two or more different online news sources show a greater knowledge of geography. Indeed, the full report is actually more interesting and complex than the widely circulated factoids, and good reading for those of us interested in education, outreach, and better map making -- see it here: http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/pdf/RoperPoll2006.pdf And read about National Geographic's education program aimed at filling some of the gaps here: http://www.mywonderfulworld.org/ (you can even take the test yourself)