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Old 06-14-2018, 11:35 PM
ssgenius ssgenius is online now
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Conversation with a niece who is going into Grade 10 [inadvertent Avengers 3 spoiler]

I wonder if this is typical for a 15 year old girl. (Note that I am 40 and a single male)

This is a conversation I had with a 15 year old girl going into Grade 10. Of note, she lives in Alberta, Canada.

Me: Hello Emma
Emma: Hello Uncle
Me: How is school going?
Emma: Okay I guess ?
Emma: Wait a minute - texts on her phone and finds out that her soccer team had won the game they were playing
Emma: We won 6-5. That means we are going to the Provincial playoffs.
Me: Are you good at soccer?
Emma: Captain of my team and I coach as well.
Emma: I plan on going to the Olympics!!!
Me: Really ?
Emma But I am only 5 -2" and most of the other girls are a lot taller than me. Even my sister (who is 4 years younger) is taller and I have been this height for the last year.

Me: I used to work with a girl who went to the Olympics in field hockey and she wasn't much taller than you.
Emma: Really ? When
Me: It was the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Emma: That was a long time ago. Is she still alive ?
Me: I think so.

Me: The pants that you have on are ripped? Was that from soccer?
Emma : No, they come this way when I got them. That is the current style.

Me: What are you studying next year in school ?
Emma: Most of my girl classmates are going into Hairdressing but I want to play soccer and basketball.
Emma: I practice with the boys team but they won't let me play in the boy's league
Me: How are you doing academically?
Emma: Okay, but it is so hard in school not being able to to use my phone for my homework. I take math/science in the morning and soccer and basketball in the afternoon.
Me: Were you in French immersion? (She has a french speaking mother)
Emma: I was but it was too confusing so I dropped to English only classes.
Emma: I want to transfer to take my next year in New Zealand but I can't because the hole in the Ozone layer will cause me to burn up !!!

Emma: Another student and her mother/teacher are transfering to Australia next year. I want to go with them so bad.
Me: Where in Australia?
Emma: I don't remember but it was on the coast near this big coral reef.
Me: If you would burn up in New Zealand, Australia is a lot hotter and you would burn even more.
Emma: You are confusing me ??
Me: If the Ozone layer was that bad that people are burning up, it would be in the news a lot more.
Emma: That makes sense
Emma: Next year, I want to take auto mechanics instead of any academics since all my friends (who are mostly boys) are going into that. And play soccer but I still want to go Australia for school next year.
Me: Where in Australia would this be?
Emma: It was near this Coral reef:
Her mother comes in and says that the teacher in her school and her daughter were returning to Australia next year and she thinks that it was Brisbane.
Emma: Brisbane !! Yes that was it. Can I go with them ?
Her mother then says: I don't think they want you to come with them.
Me: (in a joking fashion): If you go to Austraila, you might come back pregnant.
Emma: I am never getting pregnant !!!!
Emma: Can we see a movie tonight ? Then texts on her phone to find the nearby theaters and says that the Avengers 3 are on at 9:40 pm and the theater is only 10 km away.
Emma I was so disapointed in the Avengers 3 as Spiderman died as well as several other superheros in the movie whom she rattles off.
Me: So you have seen it ?
Emma: Yes, but I want to see it again on a bigger screen. Can we go ?
Me: You realize that many of these heros are likely to return for next Avengers movie
Emma: But the Black Panther was just introduced in the last movie and now he is dead already. That is so unfair.
Her grandfather (who is overhearing this) then pipes in and says: I always liked Wonder Woman. Is she still alive?
Emma: Wonder women is part of the DC superheros. She is not in the avengers, that is a different series of movies. (She doesn't say it but it is obvious in her response that her Grandfather is clueless with SuperHero movies)
Can we go to this movie? I just got my licence (learners) and I will drive there.
Her mother: We will see. We might go to the Star Wars (Solo) movie.
Emma: (sounding disappointed) I suppose but Star Wars is so last century. I would rather see the Avengers.

In a matter of minutes.

The conversation jumped from Soccer to going to the Olympics to going to high school to Australia/New Zealand to the Ozone layer to Superhero movies.

She was very knowlegable about Superhero movies and soccer/basketball.

Clueless about Geography, any academics, or even mechanics aside from it involved fixing cars and trucks.

Later on that day, I asked her to name the 10 Canadian provinces without using her phone

She got 7 of the 10. (When I was the same age, I could easily rattle off all 10 provinces)

My conclusions:

She relies a LOT on her smartphone.
She has a very good sense of what is fair and what is not.
She is VERY GOOD in manipulating her parents and grandparents.
She has a very poor perception of geography.
Academically, she is very dependent on her smart phone.
  #2  
Old 06-14-2018, 11:59 PM
ssgenius ssgenius is online now
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Out of curiousity, I went to sporacle and challeged myself to see how many countries I could name.

I got 102 of 197 but ran out of time.

I doubt if my niece could name more than 20 (and that is being generous)
  #3  
Old 06-15-2018, 12:07 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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She's a high school kid.

The only thing that stood out to me, other than the fact that you managed to transcribe it, was the pregnancy comment. Unless I missed something or it's an inside joke, I'm not sure what it has to do with anything.

Having said that, if you're suggesting that she has ADD, don't. We couldn't possibly tell that from a single, typed conversation and I doubt her parents want you diagnosing her, suggesting it to them, bringing it up or in any other way telling them that something is off with their daughter that they aren't picking up on. It's really not your place.

Just to reiterate, I didn't see anything odd and had no idea what you were getting at until your final couple of questions, so:
Most kids are always playing with their phones...most adults are too.
Most kids can manipulate their parents, to some degree or another.
Most kids in high school probably couldn't tell you which coast the GBR is on, other than knowing it's in/near/around Australia.

In the end, I think you're overestimating the knowledge a HS kid has or even cares to have or possibly wants a grown up to know they have for fear of getting into a big conversation with them.
[Don't actually] go an have a similar conversation with other kids her age and I think you'll find plenty of them are staring at their phone the entire time, probably couldn't tell you where the GBR is WRT Australia and jump from topic to topic regularly.

PS, if you really want to create some distance between you and her, keep giving her a hard time about her clothing and insinuating that she's not smart and possibly has ADHD. I'm sure she'll love that.
Oh, and the pregnancy comment, keep doing that too.

On preview, I see the Sporcle comment. Maybe by the time she's your age she'll be able to do that too. You do have a headstart on her for gaining knowledge. Maybe she can do it now and all this is because you're making all kinds of assumptions about her.
  #4  
Old 06-15-2018, 12:09 AM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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I can only rely on memory because I haven't known any teenage girls since growing up with my sister (and I'm 68 now, so that tells you something). But she was very much like that in style and rapidity of conversation shifts, if not the actual content. To some extent she still is, so maybe it doesn't have to do with age as much as her built-in personality.

You seem to think that your niece is poorly educated and therefore ignorant for her age, and too reliant on her phone. I'd say give her a chance to grow up before making too many judgments.

As an aside, that was a pretty weird joke you made to a 15-year-old about her getting pregnant. I can't imagine a context where that would be appropriate from a 40-year-old uncle (or much of anyone else, for that matter).
  #5  
Old 06-15-2018, 12:19 AM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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I have an 18 year old. She knew geography at grade 10.
You may have caught her in a non-responsive moment or maybe she isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier. She is who she is. You are an uncle, you can't fix this at this late date into her development, if you ever could. Just love her as she is.

PS, why did you make the pregnancy statement?

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 06-15-2018 at 12:22 AM.
  #6  
Old 06-15-2018, 02:04 AM
UDS UDS is offline
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The skipping around from topic to topic is absolutely standard for a 15-year old (and always was).

Expressing an interest in studying mechanics whens she knows nothing about mechanics is also standard. At this age you spend a lot of time toying with different ideas about the kind of person you might be, or might become.

Being completely abreast of popular culture is, again, SOP for a 15-year old. And the hypersensitivity about fairness is classic.

The main thing that's changed since your day is her reliance on her smartphone, and that's because when you were 15 you didn't have a smartphone. If you had, you too would probably not have bothered to memorise lists like the provinces of Canada. I'm betting that, as a 40-year-old today, you don't carry around in your head the extensive list of phone numbers that 40-year-olds did a generation ago, when they didn't have phones that would do it for them.

The other thing that has changed is that, when you were 15, 40-year-olds didn't joke with you about you becoming pregnant.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:19 AM
jtur88 jtur88 is online now
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I wouldn't read too much into the pregnant comment. Judging by her emphatic response which had no suggestion of having taken offense, it may be some kind of a leitmotif that stems from some previous conversation, and she might have brought it up then herself. If he had brought it up here for the first time, her reply would have had more of a WTF tint. At that point, her mother was within earshot and would have heard it, and registered no reaction.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-15-2018 at 02:22 AM.
  #8  
Old 06-15-2018, 02:57 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Just a note but learning lists of things is not the purpose of education, so relying on your phone isn't really a problem if that's what you're using it for. The question is whether you have opinions, can back them up, and know how to do the research to verify or contradict the things you are told.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:58 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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So you're saying she's a bit immature and her thoughts are scattered? That's par-for-the-course for a 15 year old. Move on, nothing to see here...
  #10  
Old 06-15-2018, 04:31 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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I knew all the provinces and a lot of countries and their capitals (most of both) at that age.

I have a feeling her life is going to turn out better than mine has.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:43 AM
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Colour me impressed that you could tell her pants were ripped.....over the phone!

Otherwise there is nothing remarkable in the behaviour of this young women.
(Her uncle comes across a little judgey though! I can practically hear him saying, ‘Well, when I was your age...’ Consider the words of Bob Dylan and don’t criticize what you can’t understand.)
  #12  
Old 06-15-2018, 04:43 AM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Quote:
Her mother comes in and says that the teacher in her school and her daughter were returning to Australia next year and she thinks that it was Brisbane.
Emma: Brisbane !! Yes that was it. Can I go with them ?
Her mother then says: I don't think they want you to come with them.
Me: (in a joking fashion): If you go to Austraila, you might come back pregnant.
Emma: I am never getting pregnant !!!!
Really? Really?! Some people still ain't a-gettin' it.
  #13  
Old 06-15-2018, 04:54 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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When I was 15 I doubt that I could have named more than 20 or so countries.

I could name them all today, given enough time.

I don't think either statement proves anything significant.

And I have to say, that was one odd OP.



mmm
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:11 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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On the plus side, if you get pregnant in Australia you grow a pouch.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:48 AM
Grrr! Grrr! is offline
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FTR: When I was that age, I never liked being quizzed by anyone who wasn't my teacher . And I would do a big mental eye roll while not putting much effort into answering them.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:42 AM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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I better your niece knows not to put spoilers for current hit movies in her OPs.
  #17  
Old 06-15-2018, 06:48 AM
Musicat Musicat is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssgenius View Post
...She relies a LOT on her smartphone.
...
Academically, she is very dependent on her smart phone....
That's good. No need to clutter a brain with useless facts when you can access them instantly when needed. This leaves her brain with excess capacity useful for more important things, like the characteristics of superheroes.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:49 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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I'm pretty certain the ozone hole has repaired. In any case, the last place it would affect is New Zealand, where everything is constantly cold and damp.
  #19  
Old 06-15-2018, 06:53 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I'm pretty certain the ozone hole has repaired. In any case, the last place it would affect is New Zealand, where everything is constantly cold and damp.
The damage to the ozone was related to cases of skin cancer in Australia (and presumably NZ as well). You can still get skin cancer even if it's not warm.
  #20  
Old 06-15-2018, 07:43 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I wouldn't read too much into the pregnant comment. Judging by her emphatic response which had no suggestion of having taken offense, it may be some kind of a leitmotif that stems from some previous conversation, and she might have brought it up then herself.
Then why even type it here?


Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Colour me impressed that you could tell her pants were ripped.....over the phone!
They were talking in person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
Really? Really?! Some people still ain't a-gettin' it.
I mean, I guess, when you write it out like that. But a random pregnancy comment is almost better than a random cumming comment. I have friends who joke around like that with their kids, but it would be odd for them to post it on a message board.
I'm curious if the OP posted it because he thought it was funny or he posted it because he didn't realize that, at least without some context, a cum/pregnancy joke between an uncle and niece probably isn't appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I'm pretty certain the ozone hole has repaired. In any case, the last place it would affect is New Zealand, where everything is constantly cold and damp.
The ozone layer blocks UV, not heat.
  #21  
Old 06-15-2018, 07:57 AM
monstro monstro is online now
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I would really hate to see a transcribed conversation between 15-year-old me and my judgy 40-year-old uncle.

At least she spoke in complete sentences with some positive emotion.


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Old 06-15-2018, 08:57 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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The most surprising part of your conversation was this little bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssgenius View Post
Me: (in a joking fashion): If you go to Austraila, you might come back pregnant.
I don't get the joke, or even the context of the comment in relation to Australia. It makes you come across creepy.
  #23  
Old 06-15-2018, 10:35 AM
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Your niece sounds like an energetic, normal, lovely girl.

The problem with the gratuitous "pregnant" remark is that it lets everyone know that you are thinking of your 15-year-old niece sexually.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:30 AM
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The whole conversation seemed quite normal to me, except for the shocking pregnancy remark by the adult. That was way out of line. If I heard a family member say that to my 15 year old daughter, I'm not sure I'd let him be around her unsupervised any more.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:33 AM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Fwiw:

It's nice she would converse with you. Many high schoolers of my acquaintance are too self-absorbed or phone-absorbed to willingly hold up their end of a conversation with an adult.

The rapid context switching seems normal for a youth, even more so for one of the internet generation. It's been joked that attention span has been dropping steadily since the MTV generation. I am inclined to agree.

I'll also blame the geography thing (to a small extent) on the internet. People talk about the (never quite materialized) "end of history". The internet is the end of geography. Where something comes from rarely matters or is even easily evident. It's exceptional and weird when a national border gets in the way of something on the 'net.

Last edited by gnoitall; 06-15-2018 at 11:34 AM.
  #26  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:36 AM
ssgenius ssgenius is online now
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The pregnancy comment was actually brought up initially by her mother.

I just added a little bit more to it. IT WAS NOT INTENDED IN ANY OTHER WAY.

Of note, she was named after her great grandmother who did have her first child at the age of 16 which is common knowledge in the family.

It was in that context that this comment was made.

I was surprised at her reaction of "Never" as opposed to "Maybe in a few years"

I was also surprised that the pants she had on were purchased already pre ripped as opposed to being ripped from usage.


I just found it interesting listening to a 15 year old girl who I have known since she was an infant.

Thanks
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
When I was 15 I doubt that I could have named more than 20 or so countries.
Huh? I stopped geography lessons at 14 and was able to name far more.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:42 AM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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Huh? I stopped geography lessons at 14 and was able to name far more.
Our continent only has 3 countries. You can throw a rock at probably 6.
  #29  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:43 AM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Originally Posted by ssgenius View Post

I was also surprised that the pants she had on were purchased already pre ripped as opposed to being ripped from usage.
I find it very hard to believe that in 2018 you were unaware of the decades-old practice of retailing pre-ripped jeans.

Quote:
I just found it interesting listening to a 15 year old girl who I have known since she was an infant.
I don't mean to be rude here, but I found nothing particularly interesting or unusual about her comments.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:44 AM
ssgenius ssgenius is online now
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Also note that her father, and her mother. As well as the grandmother and grandfather of her father were also there.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
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My conclusions:

She relies a LOT on her smartphone.
She has a very good sense of what is fair and what is not.
She is VERY GOOD in manipulating her parents and grandparents.
She has a very poor perception of geography.
Academically, she is very dependent on her smart phone.
20 years ago, I knew a couple of elderly ladies who had both been school teachers.

They bemoaned the fact that "students these days" were so dependent on their calculators.

Do you see a potential pattern?
  #32  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:47 AM
ssgenius ssgenius is online now
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I am well aware of the marketing of pre ripped jeans. I am just surprised at the extent of it.
  #33  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:48 AM
Macca26 Macca26 is offline
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I think it's far more important to have the wherewithal to actually look up knowledge, than necessarily retaining that knowledge. So many people don't know anything, and they ALSO refuse to look it up, despite having a smartphone in their hand with the sum of the world's knowledge if you only bother to look. If she doesn't know, but says, "I don't know, but I can find out!" that's far better than "I dunno." as they stare at you and don't do anything. Eventually after looking things up, you retain the most important things to you. Geography, unless you have the funds or job to travel....really not that important to the average person's daily life. So I think she's doing just fine. At age 15 it's easy to believe whatever your friends tell you, and it's also easy to spread bad information because you heard it from a friend who was told a tall tale by their older brother as a joke, and nobody verified it. Encourage her looking things up on her phone even MORE, even, to verify facts. Tell her to look up the ozone layer and how NASA put out a report that it's doing better, for example. The ability to look things up, be flexible, and come up with solutions is how you get ahead in the world.

And if I knew MORE pop culture as a kid, I'd have fit in more. Nobody likes the kid who says their favorite music is Mozart and has never seen South Park. You need that small talk connection of pop culture to make friends. So don't hate for her knowing a lot about Marvel movies. It's how you make friends and don't grow up socially isolated.

Last edited by Macca26; 06-15-2018 at 11:49 AM.
  #34  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:53 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Huh? I stopped geography lessons at 14 and was able to name far more.
Some people are good in some subjects, some people are good in others.

I have known adult Canadians who could not state how many provinces Canada has. The number is 10, which you would think is more or less the easiest number one could be asked to remember. However, in no way were these people especially stupid. It's just not something everyone's got a firm grasp of.
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:38 PM
ssgenius ssgenius is online now
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Thanks for the comments.

Yes, she does look things up on her "Smart Phone". I have known her for most of her life.

I am just amazed how quick she can transition from texting to a conversation.

She is a splitting image of Susie from the Calvin and Hobbes comic in her actions and looks, if I had to describe her.
  #36  
Old 06-15-2018, 05:57 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
When I was 15 I doubt that I could have named more than 20 or so countries...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Huh? I stopped geography lessons at 14 and was able to name far more.
Well then you win.


mmm
  #37  
Old 06-15-2018, 07:38 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I'm pretty certain the ozone hole has repaired. In any case, the last place it would affect is New Zealand, where everything is constantly cold and damp.
The ozone hole has not repaired, it is hoped it will reach pre 1980 levels by 2075. New Zealand ozone levels drop by 10% each year after the Antarctic hole breaks up dispersing ozone depleted air outward from the pole.

Anecdotally, I get burnt far worse in NZ than I ever do in Australia. Itís not high temperatures that cause sunburn.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion
  #38  
Old 06-15-2018, 08:46 PM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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Seems I don't know diddly about the ozone hole. I have learned a couple of things today.

I've never had sunburn while living 30 years in New Zealand. I just got horizontal rain.

Last edited by GuanoLad; 06-15-2018 at 08:46 PM.
  #39  
Old 06-15-2018, 10:29 PM
Richard Pearse Richard Pearse is offline
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Seems I don't know diddly about the ozone hole. I have learned a couple of things today.

I've never had sunburn while living 30 years in New Zealand. I just got horizontal rain.
You were living in the wrong parts!
  #40  
Old 06-15-2018, 11:21 PM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
Some people are good in some subjects, some people are good in others.

I have known adult Canadians who could not state how many provinces Canada has. The number is 10, which you would think is more or less the easiest number one could be asked to remember. However, in no way were these people especially stupid. It's just not something everyone's got a firm grasp of.
Exactly. We all have our strong suits and our weaker ones. My wife has a master's degree in English and has taught at the college level. She probably knows less geography than the OP's niece. Somehow that shortcoming has not yet ruined her life. Marrying me, on the other hand...
  #41  
Old 06-16-2018, 12:11 AM
Desert Nomad Desert Nomad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssgenius View Post
Out of curiousity, I went to sporacle and challeged myself to see how many countries I could name.

I got 102 of 197 but ran out of time.

I doubt if my niece could name more than 20 (and that is being generous)
What a cool challenge. I got 173. I doubt my 12 year-old nephew could get 20 either. I have a bit of an advantage in that I have been to nearly 100 of them.

Last edited by Desert Nomad; 06-16-2018 at 12:12 AM.
  #42  
Old 06-16-2018, 04:05 AM
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Dude, if your niece has any problem, it's that she went and dropped a huge spoiler for Avengers 3 on you out of nowhere--that's just darn rude! And of course, you courteously passed along to us without a word of warning, ARGH.

(I've sent a heads-up to the mods to hopefully get a spoiler note added to the thread title. But next time, think!)

Also re: the sun & New Zealand -- by a weird coincidence, I was on Amtrak last week and happened to dine with a lovely couple from NZ (little boast: they were impressed I guessed their country of origin right off, since apparently most Americans guess the UK or, if they've got better ears, Australia). Anyway, point is, during our convo, they mentioned that skin cancer is really bad over there due to the ozone layer issue. So it does seem to be a thing, sadly.
  #43  
Old 06-16-2018, 09:01 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
Nope! I said stop!
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Title edited to indicate Avengers 3 spoiler
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