All countries shall have prizes

January 15, 2014 • 3:30 pm

Reader David sent me this map from Business Insider showing what each country leads the world in. A lot of it will be visible by clicking the image below to enlarge it, but go to the original map to read everything and see how some things were measured.

As Michael Kelly at BI notes:

A wonderful map created by William Samari, Ray Yamartino, and Rafaan Anvari of DogHouseDiaries illustrates what every country does better than every other country.

They collected the information from various sources and sprinkled in some quirkier rankings since many countries led the world in multiple things.

“Myanmar leads the world in ‘Speaking Burmese.’  That’s kind of a silly thing but still true,” Anvari told BI. “UK leads in fascist movements, but that’s all movements in history, not active movements.”

Most interesting to me: Nepal, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Rwanda, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, and. . . SWEDEN!


90 thoughts on “All countries shall have prizes

  1. I didn’t even have to open the map to know Canada was going to be maple syrup. The jokes st customs continue. Except for the US who don’t know what we do, who we are and think we are probably a developing country with a commie coloured flag so we are there to sneak in! LOL!

    The Kiwis will be sad about the sheep reference. More jokes WI be made by the Aussies!

      1. Damn, you beat me to it.

        Unfortunately, ‘Sheep and Rugby’ about sums it up. I loathe and detest both. 🙁

    1. Maple syrup is yummy, and better that than melanoma like Australia! Does the sweetness of the syrup explain the niceness of so many Canadians? My only visit ever to Canada was on a day trip across the border into Alberta, welcomed by the nicest customs official I have ever met, who was quite enthusiastic about us visiting. Not so much the US official on the way back south later that day, who openly scowled at my weird Yorropean passport and casually threatened to tear up my visa and send me back to Canada. I almost said yes, please.

    1. Censorship, of all things. Judging by this map, North Korea looks like a healthier option than Australia…

      1. And South Korea leads for workaholics?

        Perhaps it has changed in recent years but when I visited there in the early ’80s, the Koreans may have been spending a lot of time in the office but they mostly just sat around and smoked.

      1. According to that list, Honduras leads in “Homocides” and Iceland in “penetrating the internet”, whatever that means…

    1. I had to google it because I vaguely recall this being discussed in the past in the news.

      I went here & it seems that “All the fatalities from lawn mowing resulted from cardiac arrest. All were male and aged between 40 and 79.”

      All men – maybe cutting the grass excited them too much.

      Take a look at the link I included. It has gems like, “A 16 year-old male was racing his souped-up lawn mower and fell off while going 40mph; he suffered abrasions and bruising.” That’s right, there is such a thing as a “souped up lawn mower”.

          1. Oh yes, racing lawnmowers is indeed real. People will race anything that moves. At Test & Tune nights at drag racing tracks I have seen everything from mopeds running nitrous to school buses to lawnmowers.

      1. There are even companies that dedicate a design and prototype team to producing a custom riding ‘lawnmower’ for racing.

        However, when I tried to find that particular YouTube video, it was buried under so many clips by proud backyard grease monkeys and their gofast machines that I didn’t find it.

      2. The lesson being that men over 40 should not mow the lawn if they want to live. Actually the 70 year old father of a friend of mine died while mowing the lawn. Clearly a very hazardous chore.

    2. There was a fascinating documentary on precisely this topic back in 1990 called “Frankenhooker”.

      The relevant portion (if the link doesn’t work properly) is at 4:20. If you have the time for it, I highly recommend watching the entire movie. It is clearly one of the most important films of our time.

    3. Possibly excess stupidity boozing then riding the machine:

      (Plus the risk of getting shot by the cops for stealing their car.

      Does he really say “I’m telling god” at the point of arrest? 🙂

      ‘Steve’ seems to be a repeat offender, known to the police, and is by no means unique:

      I also recall having seen, a few years ago, a video of some lunatic getting arrested for riding a lawnmower while drunk *and* high on PCP.

      But then, without folk like these, we wouldn’t have the Darwin Awards.

  2. Highest risk of dying by gunshot as an audience member at a movie theatre goes to (fill in the spaces) _ _ _

      1. Fortunately guns aren’t freely available in the UK; shooting people misbehaving in cinemas is an urge I have often nursed

          1. In case the NSA are reading this (Hi guys!) I was exaggerating. I would be satisfied with putting them in stocks.

            1. Putting them in stocks is far too good for them. The entire NSA should be thrown into an oubliette and throw away the key…

        1. The Swedish Chef was truly awesome.

          “Da bouncy bouncy meat-a-balls!”

          He and Animal were easily my two favorites.

          “I wouldn’t stand there if I were you.”

          “Why not?”

          “See that line? Animal’s chain reaches that far.”

        1. The community I grew up in was very divided on this, with a lot of the worst sects.

          A duet of sad trombones.

      1. You are welcome to the prize!

        I am glad that there are several nations notably competing for this particular prize.

  3. Regarding China leading in CO2 production, that’s of course the sum total. I wonder how China’s per capita production compares with that of the U.S.

    I also wonder what pct. of Chinese CO2 production is attributable to U.S. companies off-shoring their manufacturing/production to China.

    How much lawn mowing is there, how many vehicles are there, in China, compared to the U.S.? Are these CO2 production sources included in total production figures?

    For sure, the Associated Press won’t offer such distinctions for the average news media consumer’s consideration.

    Regarding Russia leading in nuclear warheads, how many does the U.S. have? Fewer enough to presume to claim that there’s a meaningful difference between the two?

  4. The Czech Republic does have some very good beers. Unfortunately the really good brown beers are nowhere near as widely available in the UK as the pilsners.


    PS. When you’re in CZ, do check out [ha!] the Pilsner Urquell brewery. A fascinating tour.

  5. As far as Finland, when I arrived in Sweden it was explained to me that, “In the US, coffee is a drink. Here, it is a medicine.” From all I know about Finland, I expect it’s even more so there.

    And with Poland, there’s the old story about the guy who lands in Warsaw and asks a cabbie to take him to wherever they sell the best Polish sausage. Cabbie says that would be difficult, because that is in Chicago.

    I have recently become a huge fan of Scott Petersen (since 1926) Polish Kielbasa, and only after becoming a fan did I find that it’s from Chicago. But never having been to the motherland, I have no idea how they compare, and our hotdog-fanatic host maintains he doesn’t eat the stuff in Chicago. So, does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  6. “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes”- spoken by the Dodo in “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” (chapter three: “The caucus race”).

  7. Notice that Venezuela is first in Miss Universes. First time I went to the field station in Calabozo, Venezuela friend told me I would enjoy it, because the most beautiful women in Venezuela come from Calabozo. When I got back, I complained that I had not seen a single beautiful woman. My friend explained that they all come from Calabozo, but are now in Caracas.

  8. Hmm – Not sure I’m happy in the UK being associated with fascist movements. Couldn’t they have thought of something else? Such as: Number of different denomination faith schools, political correctness, inventing comfortable new words (“challenged”…) to describe minorities, ailments etc.

        1. Here in South East London it seems the most-heard language is Russian; so I have to ask, what happened to the legendary queuing skills of the USSR?

    1. I assume its number of distinct fascist organisations, because we have several very very small ones rather than one large one.

      A British fascist movement usually consists two men and a dog, but splinters after a few years when the dog defects and sets up its own group.

      1. Quite. It makes the UK *seem* a horribly right-wing country when actually it’s significantly more liberal than most – even with the Tories currently in change.

        According the BI website it’s based on the total number of independent fascist orgs over history. This is dubious as fascist traditions go back at least to the Puritans and possibly back as far as the medieval code.

        I too find this a little unfair because no fascist party has ever seized power in GB/the UK (unlike many European, Middle Eastern and South American countries), nor have any of them even been particularly popular.

        Probably the most popular was Oswald Mosley’s group of black-shirted knobends – but even they weren’t *that* popular (they claimed 50,000 members at most but could only squeeze 8,000 actual votes). Mainly they were beloved of the Daily Mail’s Lord Rothemere; they became pariahs within a couple of years.

        Surely there was something better to put up about the UK? Not that I’m some sort of terrible, tub-thumping nationalist.

        How about, flippantly, the most varieties of licorice…?

        Retail? (horrible, but true)

        More seriously, energy produced from offshore wind?

        Free healthcare?

        Safest roads of any large nation?

        Or – if we’re being dicks here, and seeing as this is done over history – world’s biggest Empire ever?

        My dad would love that last one…

        1. “…no fascist party has ever seized power in GB/the UK…”

          Well, Cromwell is often credited as a model for fascists so maybe that’s not quite true.

          The extent to which Cromwell was a fascist is somewhat debatable though. At most we could say that a possible fascist took power once, 360 years ago.

        2. Well the UK is second only to the USA in number of Nobel Laureates, with a much smaller population, we should be able to squeeze something out of that. And we have more hurricanes per square mile than any other country

  9. Brazil does not lead in Brazil nuts? That’s crazy!

    I can imagine Ireland leading in Guinness, potato consumption, religion or rain but, with all due respect, how that adds up to quality of life I’m not too sure. Maybe the survey was done at closing time.

    On a serious note, is it bad news from an atheist perspective that such a religious country supposedly leads the way? Harder to point to the happiness of the secular Scandanavians when Norway only manages 3rd place.

    1. Ireland leading on quality of life is an odd one, maybe they based it on a survey of all the expatriates saying how great it is back home?

      1. I always hear the Scandi countries as being top of the quality of life index in the UK press.

        Occasionally they’ll say that an African country has the highest ‘happiness index’ (however one measures such a nebulous thing as ‘happiness’ – or indeed ‘quality of life’…)

  10. Kind of strange to label my country Singapore with the word “Science” when we have never won a single Nobel prize, and the people are so religious and superstitious.

  11. Borat got it wrong! It’s not Potassium, It’s uranium!

    Time to change the national Anthem Lyrics:

    Kazakhstan greatest country in the world all other countrys are run by little girls.
    Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium!
    Other countries have inferior potassium.


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