Invade Mali now

I wasn’t going to post this fill-in-the-country geography test for North Africa & the Middle East, for fear of insulting my erudite readership. Then I was left with countries that existed in my mental map “inside” Africa in no particular orientation: Mali, Niger, and Chad. I also managed to misplace Turkmenistan on my first try. I am certain you will all do much better.

When I was in second or third grade, we had to draw a map of each continent, filling in the borders and country names when given an outline of the continent. And now I can’t? Most tellingly, those countries that have been heavily covered in the press — from the obvious US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq to the ongoing tensions surrounding Israel to rising Islamicism in Algeria — came quickly to mind, while those we have not invaded become involved with took me a minute or two to locate. Without the list, my performance would have been even worse.

This, by the way, is a great use of Flash as a tool for education. Some have pushed the use of Flash without having a clear target for that use. Such uses are limited, and this is one of them.

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