In his wee speech at Live Earth
today make that yesterday, Al Gore said the concerts were being broadcast from all seven continents. Yay!
Excuse me, but when, exactly, did the Earth acquire a seventh continent?
I know that Geography was my worst subject at school, partly because my geog. teacher was suck a prick, but even so, I'm quite good at sums and that and I distinctly remember that back in those days there were only six continents.
A continent was defined as a fuckoff big chunk of land, pretty much surrounded by that wet, salty stuff - oh, yes, Ocean. Each continent had a name starting and ending with the letter 'A'. And there were six of them:
- North America
- South America
Europe was quite clearly part of Asia. There was no nonsense about mountain ranges counting as water. If that were allowed, Iberia (Spain and Portugal) could easily declare itself to be a separate continent. Not to mention the bits to the west of the Rockies/Andes, south of the Himalayas, west of the Quantocks etc.
I tried checking if the definition of a continent had perhaps subtly changed since I were a lad. Apparently so: I typed
define continentinto Google and guess what I got on my very first hit? Now that's just taking the piss.
Maybe they've found a new one under a melting ice sheet?