Size comparisons flatter North Dakota

Most North Dakotans don’t think about the size of the state in relation to anything, really. We just know it’s about a five-and-a-half hour drive east to west, and about three and a half hours north to south.

According to the geography website NetState (, North Dakota is roughly 340 miles long and 211 miles wide. It covers just under 71,000 square miles. (Pick up other interesting facts about North Dakota at

We’re among the 20 largest states in the U.S. — 19th, to be specific.

The website SelfStorage ( put together an interesting infographic examining what countries in the world could fit inside North Dakota if the state were a storage unit.

If North Dakota were a country, it would be the 88th largest in the world in terms of total area. Given there are about 200 recognized countries in the world, that means there are at least 112 nations that are smaller than the Peace Garden State.

It’s best if you view the infographic at to get a good idea of the interesting size comparisons.

What I found most fascinating is that, in terms of driving time, there are a lot of countries you could cross in only a few hours. And in North Dakota, a few hours of driving is practically nothing.

For example, driving across the widest part of Switzerland is like driving from Fargo to Steele. Driving from the top to the bottom of the Netherlands is the same as driving from Bismarck to Minot. Cutting across Iceland would be the same as driving from Williston to Grand Forks.

It’s a clever exercise in comparisons put together by SelfStorage — check it out. It’s entertaining and educational.


Gullible millennials?

First, the bad news: According to a recent Ipsos Public Affairs international poll (, about two-thirds of those surveyed said they had experienced some form of a tech support scam in the past year.

The good news is that, globally, only 20 percent of those polled took the scams seriously, with only 9 percent actually losing money to the scams.

The bad news is that the percentages are higher in the United States, where 33 percent of those surveyed fell for the scams and 21 percent lost money.

The good news is that the elderly — people 66 and older — were among the least likely to fall for tech support scams. Only 3 percent of that group actually lost money in the deals.

The bad news is the group most likely to fall for the scams is the one you’d expect to be the most tech savvy: millennials.

About 32 percent of those 24 to 44 years of age fell for tech support scams, while 27 percent of those 18 to 24 years of age fell for them.

You can read more on the story at

Keith Darnay is the Tribune’s online manager and has worked in the online world for more than two decades. His site is at


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