With John McCain's appointment of Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate, the spotlight has been shone on Alaska, so I thought the time right to bring up one of my favourite quiz questions.
A great quiz question is to ask:
1) which American State is the most Northern
2) which American State is the most Eastern
3) which American State is the most Southern
4) which American State is the most Western
Virtually everyone plumps for Alaska as the most northern, California or Florida as the most Southern, Maine as the most Eastern and California or Hawaii (if being smart) as the most Western.
In fact the answer to Northern, Eastern and Western is the same - Alaska. Northern and Western, people will normally believe, but Eastern? It's all due to Alaska's Aleutian Islands which stretch right up to the edge of the Western Hemisphere at the 180º line of Longitude, thus making Alaska the most western state in the country; but they also stretch across the 180º line of Longitude, into the Eastern Hemisphere, and up the edge of the Russian Federation, making it the most Eastern state as well. The most Southern US State is Hawaii.
Just as interesting is if you just count the contiguous American States; then:
The most Northern State is Minnesota
The most Eastern State is Maine
The most Southern State is Florida
The most Western State is Washington State
Tomorrow I may blog about where the geographic centre of America is, or I may not...