April 4th, 2006



While reading something on Tribe this morning, my eye caught an ad that asked you to identify the Easternmost U.S. state. I already knew this was a semi-trick question (the answer is at the bottom of this post for those who don't know), and couldn't resist clicking on it to prove my trivial knowledge. I found myself on Tickle, where I got roped into taking an IQ test which gave me a mild headache, forced me to register a free account to get my test results (no surprise), and resulted in me being rather later for work that I would have liked. In any case, I got a 138.

I only remember taking two IQ tests before in my lifetime. The first was around kindergarten age, and I scored 141. I don't know how they figure out the IQ of a kid by asking them to put blocks in the correct-shaped holes, but that was the score I remember carrying with me through high school. This became significant because at that time the Pittsburgh Public Schools required an IQ of 115 to get into the "Pittsburgh Scholars Program" classes and of 125 to get into the "Center for Advanced Studies" classes. The CAS classes were the clear preference of all my geeky friends, including outright geniuses like opiniatrety, as they had much smaller numbers of students per class in addition to teaching at a more advanced level.

Speaking of geniuses, at one point in elementary school I had read that an IQ of 150 or above was "genius" level. Later I read that it was 140. I wasn't sure which, if either of these, was the Mensa cutoff. Not that I cared to get into a geeky exclusive group like Mensa, but I was just curious. Later I worked with a Psychology grad student who told me that IQ tests she'd taken and administered asked ridiculously culturally-specific questions like "How many miles is it from New York to London". I had been under the mistaken impression that IQ measured your capacity to learn. Here's what the Wikipedia has to say for what it's worth.

I took an IQ test I found online around '95 and got 153. I don't know how official it was. If that could be directly compared to the Tickle test, I'm not at all surprised that my IQ has gone down, as I'm not exercising my brain as much as I could be, current overwork hell notwithstanding. Math and logic puzzles starting out with "Two people drive six miles in opposite directions on a freeway" are not my idea of fun.

And the Easternmost state is: Alaska. The Aleutian Islands cross over the 180th Meridian.