January 29 – Kansas Celebrates the Anniversary of its Statehood

Posted on January 29, 2016

By the numbers, out of the 50 states Kansas is:

  • the 34th state in the U.S.
  • the 34th largest state, by population
  • the 15th largest state, by area
  • the 43rd best economy
  • the 35th best quality of life (according to CNBC)
  • the 1st in average number of F3 to F5 tornadoes!

Named for the Kansa Native American tribe, Kansas was home of a lot of different Native American groups. It was such a battleground between slaveholders and abolitionists, it was called Bleeding Kansas during the Civil War.

Kansas is known for agriculture, The Wizard of Oz, Brown v. Board of Education, evolution hearings, the birth of Pastafarianism (aka the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), cowboys, and of course tornadoes.

Also, Kansas is known for being flat. Supposedly, scientists determined that Kansas is flatter than an IHOP pancake.

Luckily, flat can be beautiful:

Now, about that science-saying-Kansas-is-flatter-than-a-pancake thing. Apparently, the “study” done by three scientists showed that the pancake was 130 millimeters wide, and the relief (the difference between the highest and lowest places on the pancake) was 2 millimeters. Now we have to compare the 130-to-2 ratio to Kansas: the state is 644 kilometers wide, and so it would need to have a mountain that is at least 9,908 meters tall in order to NOT be flatter than a pancake. But the very highest mountain in the entire world, Mount Everest, is only 8,848 meters tall. So – given the way the scientists did the study – everywhere on Earth is actually flatter than a pancake!

I think it's wise to point out that the scientists WERE doing their study with their tongues firmly in their cheeks!

Here are a couple of photos that show that Kansas is not, indeed, totally flat!

Did you know...?

  • According to multiple sources on the internet, it is illegal to hunt whales in Kansas.
  • It's probably really hard to break that law, since Kansas is as pretty much as far from an ocean as you can get, in the U.S.! Kansas is the very center of the “lower 48” states.
  • Apparently, it is ALSO illegal to hunt whales in Nebraska and Oklahoma (two more states with no contact with the ocean).
  • It turns out, there is no specific mention of whales in those states' laws. Instead, Kansas, like most states, has a law against hunting threatened species. Quoting from Oklahoma's code, “'Threatened' refers to any wildlife species or subspecies in the wild or in captivity that, although not presently threatened with extinction, are in such small numbers throughout their range that they may become an endangered species within the foreseeable future or that they may be endangered if their environment deteriorates.”
    It seems that someone realized that that could pertain to whales (there are, in fact, very few whales in that state), and that someone started the whole “it's illegal to hunt whales in Oklahoma” thing, which of course soon spread to other states.
  • You can't believe everything you read on the internet!

One more thing about Kansas...

I think that the Kansas City main library is one of the most interesting and beautiful libraries I've ever seen photos of...

...both inside...

...and out!

Also on this date:

Thomas Paine Day

Flight pioneer Lawrence Hargrave's birthday

Geologist Frederick Mohs's birthday

Plan ahead:

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