When I was a child, my first exposure to the wider world was through the National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our World, which, in the classic National Geographic style that eschewed overt criticism of foreign countries, simple maps of countries were accompanied by photos and anecdotes that illustrated culture and daily life. In a, uh, nominally similar vein, I suppose, is the, um, 73rd edition of The Onion’s Our Dumb World, an atlas that, in the classic Onion style, well, um, takes the piss out of countries around the world and makes up fun facts and statistics about them. (From the sample pages: “Chile: Preventing Argentina from Enjoying the Pacific Ocean since 1918” or “Bahamas: This Luggage Isn’t Going to Move Itself.”) Lord knows what would have happened to me if I had been given Our Dumb World instead of Our World when I was eight. (Why, I might have ended up joining the foreign service or even worse.) Via Gadling.
Full disclosure: Our Dumb World is currently an advertiser on The Map Room’s RSS feed.
- Buy Our Dumb World at Amazon.com