Candles in the Darkness

26 May 2006

Bonny Jain Wins National Geography Bee

Americans, it is said, only learn geography right before they bomb a place. Were it not so serious, it would be funny because it is true. A noble and notable exception is a young man by the name of Bonny Jain, a 12-year-old from Moline, Illinois. He’s this year’s winner of the National Geographic Bee. Clever lad.

This contest is a bit more than “what’s the capital of Virginia?” Five examples from the press handout from the good people at the National Geographic Society are:

  1. Name the river that runs through these three cities: Mbandaka, Kinshasa, Matadi.
  2. Oil production in the United Arab Emirates is dominated by the country’s largest emirate. Name this emirate.
  3. The Guggenheim art museum on the Nervión River has increased tourism in what major Spanish port near the Bay of Biscay?
  4. One of the most heavily used mountain crossings in Europe, which links Austria and Italy south of Innsbruck, is the lowest of the major passes in the Alps. Name this pass.
  5. The Kuril Trench is an ocean depression that reaches a depth of about 34,000 feet. This trench extends northeast from Hokkaido and follows the east coast of which peninsula?
Young Mr. Jain won the contest by knowing where the Cambrian Mountains lie, a tricky question unless one lives in Wales. For his efforts, he has won a $25,000 scholarship. Those who didn’t quite make it are: Neeraj Sirdeshmukh, 14, from Nashua, New Hampshire, who finished in second and who won a $15,000 college scholarship. Third-place contestant, Yeshwanth Kandimalla, 13, of Marietta, Georgia, won a $10,000 college scholarship. There were seven other finalists who won $500 each.

Mr. Jain has been at this for four years. The first time out of the gate, he finished second in his school. Winning the national championship is quite an improvement. “It feels pretty cool to have gotten up to the top of the nation from second in the school,” he said to the media after his win. Yet there’s no time to celebrate because he has to prepare for the National Spelling Bee which starts on Wednesday.

The answers to the questions above are: 1) The Congo River, 2) Abu Dhabi, 3) Bilbao, 4) The Brenner Pass, and 5) The Kamchatka Peninsula.

© Copyright 2006 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.

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