Farty's Fortunes

Sunday, 8 July 2007


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:

  1. North America
  2. South America
  3. Africa
  4. Asia
  5. Australia
  6. Antarctica

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 continent into 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?


SpanishGoth said...

Oooooooooops - you'll be doing a Gore then.

5 Continents

and I'm not bothering to look this shit up either

Sewmouse said...

Using your criteria, I am counting only 4.


EurAsiafrica (as Europe, Asia and Africa are all "connected" with land masses - even if they are somewhat wonky ones like the Saudi peninsula)

America (only one, since the 2 large masses ARE still connected by a smaller "waist" type mass except for the man-made and therefore non-counting Panama Canal)

and Antartica.

Z said...

When I was at school (longer ago than you, of course), a continent was defined as a major landmass. The ocean wasn't mentioned, except to point out that Australia was only called a continent because of its size, as it was really just an island.

I did look up 'define continent'. Heh heh.

Anonymous said...

z - Hey! We're a continent...sort of.

I've always thought there were 6 - and I agree asia/europe count as one.

john.g. said...

Farty, I just googled continents, and Europe is one!

john.g. said...

North America and South America do not start and end with 'A' ! One starts with 'N', the other with 'S'.

Mr Farty said...

S - I'm hardly in a position to bang on about Global Warming with my carbon emissions record. Innit?

Sew - I'm sure I said "pretty much surrounded". Anyway, give it a couple of years for the Antarctic Ice Sheets to melt and the connections will submerge, along with Norfolk.

Talking of which...

Z - Hello. Folks, say "Hi" to Z. From Norfolk.

Yep, Oz doesn't really count as a proper continent, what with being only three timezones across and that. Can't believe how much other shit I've had to unlearn over the years.

*looks around in case Misssy is watching*

Bloody teachers!

Yoffi - Since you don't say where you live, I'll pass.

John - So if it's on t'internet then it must be true?

I googled "twelve continents" and found "Among these twelve continents, the first one is the land of Tigertooth".

Hardcopy is no better. According to The Hackenthorpe Book of Lies, you can see all eight continents from the top of the Prudential building in Norwich. I've been there and - Z, back me up here - the Pru building is (or was in 1978) completely hemmed in by taller buildings.

And John - see the dotted line under "starting and ending"? If you don't, I apologise, but if you do, hover your pointer over it. I'm just saying.

lady macleod said...

I find the data says four to seven! So are we doing "the eye of the beholder" now for geography? Talk about your political correctness getting out of hand.

Mr Farty said...

Lady M - Next thing you know, TPTB will be saying that Pluto isn't a planet, or some such nonsense. Is nothing sacred?

btw have they found the God particle yet?

Misssy M said...

" *looks around in case Misssy is watching* Bloody teachers!"

Oh, I'm always watching...

*writes out punishment exercise*

Mr Farty said...

I will not diss teechers.
I will not diss teechers.
I will not diss teechers.
I will not diss teechers.
I will not diss teechers.
I will not diss teechers.

Sorry Misssy.

Z said...

Come to think about it, that teacher was adamant that Britain wasn't part of Europe. I have a feeling that she had a few slight prejudices.

Hi, everyone! *waves*

SpanishGoth said...

It's just 5 ok - and I'm still not looking the shit up

Anonymous said...

I live in Aust! Yay we're a continent!

Mr Farty said...

Z - Waves? Yikes! Norfolk is sinking faster than I thought!

S - Ok, you win. 5 it is.

Yoffi - Oh there...is the French patisserie the one on the corner of George St with the pink roof?

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Gore. What a bore!

rattln along said...

Didn't you know that there are 8?

Gore invented the eighth one with the internet.

Honey said...

I loved the next part down in the definitions of continent:

the European mainland; "Englishmen like to visit the Continent but they wouldn't like to live there"

Mr Farty said...

JJ - I don't think I could sit through his movie.

Ratty - But Gore DID invent t'internet. He DID, he DID!

Just like Jerry Hall made up that quote two posts up.

I like your scientist joke.

Honey - Doesn't that apply to abroad in general?

And welcome all three. Make yourself at home, y'all.