The new winter CGSC class got off and running last week, with students from more than 40 countries. The email below came just after class started, and is pertinent to many countries represented at CGSC. Ergo, it is timely, as well as interesting (but not verified).
The Amazon River rainforest, which runs through several South American countries represented at the fort, produces more than 20 percent of the world's supply of oxygen. It pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that 100 miles at sea one can dip fresh water from the ocean. The volume of water from the Amazon is greater than that of the next eight rivers in the world combined, and three times more than the flow of all rivers in the U.S. And they say the Mississippi River is the "Father of Waters."
Antarctica, which is just miles and miles of ice, is the only place on earth not owned by any country. Some 90 percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica, which is the driest place on earth, with a humidity lower than the Gobi Desert.
Brazil was named for a nut, not the other way around.
Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Its name means Big Village.
Chicago has more Polish people living there than anywhere in the world except Warsaw.
Damascus, Syria, flourished 2,000 years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, and is the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. There is no CGSC student from Syria.
New York City has more Irish than Dublin, more Italians than Rome, and more Jews than Tel Aviv.
Pitcairn Island in Polynesia is the smallest island with country status. It is less than two square miles. There is not, nor ever has there been, a student from Pitcairn Island.
Rome became the first city with one million people, in 133 BC. There is a city named Rome on every continent.
Siberia, Russia, has more than 25 percent of the world's forests.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) in Rome is an area the size of only two tennis courts and has a population of 80.
In the Sahara Desert town of Tidikelt, Algeria, there was no rain for 10 years. But in Antarctic, there has been no rain for two million years.
Spain means Land of Rabbits.
Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.
The chances of a road being unpaved in the U.S. is one percent. In Canada it is 75 percent.
Russia has the largest hole ever drilled by man at 7.62 miles.
And to conclude this interesting quick visit around the world, Angel Falls, in Venezuela, drops 3,212 feet, 15 times higher than Niagara Falls on the U.S. and Canadian border.
Page 2 of 2 - There is, or has been, a CGSC student from almost all countries named above. I'll keep on the lookout for more world trivia in future emails. Until then, your conversation is set for the next several social gatherings. Provided, of course, that your wife will let you pontificate.
John Reichley is a retired Army officer.
and retired Department of the Army civilian employee.