Don’t expect a lot from me the next two weeks. The Rio Summer Olympics have started and I am (and will continue to be) entranced. It’s one of my top three loves in life; my wife Beth (and very soon my son James), the Olympics, and Maps! I watch as much of the games as possible including every single sport. Yes, even race walking and table tennis. Table tennis is a lot of fun to watch, actually. I love all the sports but my absolute favorites are Beach Volleyball, Swimming, Badminton, Water Polo, Handball (okay, now I’m just naming all of them so I’ll stop) and Soccer (go Team USA!!).
I could spend hours writing about the Olympics but there just isn’t time right now as I watch the Opening Ceremony. Instead, I’ll share just one story of how I first became addicted to watching the Olympic Games. It was the year 2000 and Sydney was the host city. Just before the games, the family cat, Cody, broke his leg while in our backyard (he fell in our pond and freaked out trying to escape). I was 12 and out of school for the Summer, obviously, so I was in charge of tending to his needs while he was fairly immobile. I chose to spend that time watching the Olympics. I was a teenage boy and very interested in sports, so why not? Well, it turns out, I am a huge fan of international competition! I watched as much as I could find on our limited TV channels at the time and enjoyed every minute of it (Cody recovered fully and still lives with my parents). So like I said, I can’t promise I’ll write much during these or any Olympics, but I’ll do my best. Who knows, maybe I’ll write even more than usual given the awesome inspiration the Olympics provide. I have a lot to say (just check my Facebook). I coined the hashtag #OlympicsNerd several Olympiads ago and use it in every tweet and Facebook post during the 17 days of competition every two years.
Map 131 shows the percentage of each state’s population that is foreign born as of a few years ago, many of which are immigrants/emigrants from other nations. The states with the highest foreign born populations are California (27.1%), New York (22.6%), and New Jersey (21.2%). Florida (19.4%), Nevada (19.2%), and Hawaii (18.1%) are not far behind. The opposite end of the spectrum; West Virginia (1.4%), Montana (1.8%), and Mississippi (2.0%) have the smallest foreign born populations.
My state of Minnesota has 7.2% which is on the lower end but higher than any of our neighbors (and somehow the same percentage as Alaska). Illinois has the highest percentage in the Midwest. Where does your state rank?
Map 132 is of Brazil. Okay, so it’s top of mind right now! I didn’t even look very hard and just picked the first colorful option I found on Google Images. It’s in Portuguese and everything. I can read a bit of Portuguese, by the way. It’s very similar to Spanish which I studied for a semester in college (and technically attended Spanish class since 3rd grade). Apparently there are 26 states in Brazil. Neat!
I have no idea what most of this map says. My Spanish is quite rusty and not helpful in reading Proper Nouns in Portuguese. Okay, so I’ve already changed my mind. I’ll probably be writing a lot during these Olympics. You can read more about the Rio Olympics in a previous edition of Fun with Maps that I wrote in March (because I am always thinking about them): Fun with Maps 77&78. Good night for now. #OlympicsNerd