Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Up with U.S. Geography: Pennsylvania

State Name:


Date of Entry:
December 12, 1787


Map of the USA. Pennsylvania shaded dark & tagged.

A close-up of Pennsylvania & its neighbors.

Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia

Water Borders:
Lake Erie

Total Area:
46,055 square miles

Five Largest Cities:
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading

Famous Geographical Point:
Appalachian Mountains

State Nickname:
The Keystone State, because it was the middle state of the original 13 colonies & because it was a major "key" to the development of the USA.

Famous Person:
David McCullough, author & historian (The Johnstown Flood, which I've read, it's excellent, John Adams, 1776, etc.)

Book Set In/About:
Rabbit, Run by John Updike

A man, missing his high school heyday and bored with life, has a quarter-life crisis. I know it's famous. I've never read it. Based on its Wikipedia synopsis, it sounds pretty brutal and bleak.

Movie Set In/About:
"Silver Linings Playbook" (2012), directed by David O. Russell

A man with bipolar disorder, recently released from a psychiatric hospital, slowly begins to stabilize with the help of a young widow, who has mental health issues of her own. I considered choosing the more famous "Rocky" or even a perennial Christmas favorite of mine, "Trading Places," but I went with this lovely, touching film & its great performances instead.

Headline of the Day:
"Budget Battle: Pennsylvania School Districts May Lose Ability to Borrow" by Pittsburgh's Action News 4 (wtae.com)

It's depressing how many of Pennsylvania's recent headlines were about gun violence.


Patricia said...

I've driven through Pennsylvania, and found it to be lovely in that rambly highway Appalachian way. It's also the state with my favorite tourist attraction ever: Roadside America (http://roadsideamericainc.com/) We stopped because we thought it would be odd a kitschy and I was blown away by how incredibly cool it was.

I was not aware that Trading Places was your favorite Christmas movie. It played in revival in December and I was confused as to why it was chosen. I didn't know it was a Christmas Movie. They also had Elf, which I've not seen, but I couldn't make it with my schedule.

Thanks to your map, I now know that part of PA boarders Lake Erie. That will help in my mental picture of the Great Lakes.

balyien said...

Actually, my favorite Christmas movie is Home Alone, but Trading Places is in my top 10 (although there are certainly a few things about it that are considered rather inappropriate by modern standards). Also, it's not so much a Christmas movie as it is a movie that takes place over Christmas and New Year's, but I'll allow it. :)

I, too, have driven through Pennsylvania and thought that much of it was lovely. The only place I recall going to while we were there is Gettysburg, which was a good experience. I wish we'd gone to Roadside America though because that looks awesome!

I was at a holiday party a couple of weekends ago and two people from Pennsylvania were there. They couldn't name the five largest cities, but I don't think I could name the top 5 in Michigan myself. I can definitely do the top 5 of California and Texas. Maybe Oregon? I don't know, I feel like Oregon would get tricky pretty fast.

Patricia said...


Let's see what the internet says.

Grrr. Stupid Gresham. For some reason I consider that Portland II (which I know the Greshamites hate)


balyien said...

See, that's why I figured Oregon would be tricky, because of all the Portland suburbs. That's also why I assume that Michigan would be tricky. After Detroit and Grand Rapids, it's hard to guess . . . Ann Arbor and a bunch of Detroit suburbs is probably the correct answer (correct answer: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren [Detroit suburb], Sterling Heights [Detroit suburb], Lansing. Ann Arbor is #6). California & Texas are easy because they have so many big cities.