1. First of all, he’s tracing it. Second of all, he is probably one of the few senators who can name all of the states. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he has heard of the Constitution, either. On the other hand, I would never vote for him.

  2. @1 – Kansas isn’t even one of the perfectly rectangular states. The Missouri river lops off the northeast corner. For rectangles, you need Colorado or Wyoming. Utah is also rectilinear, but six-sided.

  3. Audio please.

    Was his talk more interesting than his drawing?

    If he drew it freehand I’m impressed.
    If he drew if from tracing paper or the indentations from a drawing done on a previous page on the flip chart, not so impressive.

    Al is smart and funny. I wish him well in the Senate.

  4. @MacCrocodile–oops, I meant Wyoming. (Colorado has a small hiccup in its western border about a third of the way up from its southwest corner, making Wyoming the only truly rectangular state) Not the most useful trivia, but good bar-bet material if you happen to be in a bar with a good atlas.

  5. i’ve heard he does it freehand, and that he only recently started including alaska and hawaii. personally, his hawaii needs some work….

  6. If the map is traced, why isn’t it perfect? Why are the states warped just slightly. Sure, we won’t mistake Texas for another state but Florida is a wonky little triangle.

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn2ofGwDd4A&feature=related

    This is a video of Al Franken (with Tom Davis) on David Letterman in 1987 (when he was still host of ‘Late Night’), drawing a map of the contiguous 48 in under 2 minutes. It’s introduced around 6:35 and said right up front it’s not traced. Dave asks,”Why did you learn to do this?” and Al replies, “Uh, bar bet.”

    So, practice for 22+ years. I did this once but it took a lot longer and wasn’t nearly so neatly drawn.

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