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The North America Portal

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent in the Earth's northern hemisphere and western hemisphere. It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean; South America lies to the southeast. It covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 4.8% of the planet's surface or about 16.5% of its land area. As of July 2008, its population was estimated at nearly 529 million people. It is the third-largest continent in area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth in population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. North America and South America are collectively known as the Americas or simply America.

Satellite imagery of North America

North and South America are generally accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, and was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies. Scientists have several theories as to the origins of the early human population of North America. The indigenous peoples of North America themselves have many creation myths, by which they assert that they have been present on the land since its creation. Before contact with Europeans, the natives of North America were divided into many different polities, from small bands of a few families to large empires. They lived in several "culture areas", which roughly correspond to geographic and biological zones and give a good indication of the main lifeway or occupation of the people who lived there.

Countries and territories

Territories, dependencies, and subnational entities of a country not located primarily in North America are italicized.

Featured article

scout wood badge bead and neckerchief
Wood Badge is a Scouting leadership program and the related award for adult leaders in the programs of Scout associations around the world. Wood Badge courses aim to make Scouters better leaders by teaching advanced leadership skills, and by creating a bond and commitment to the Scout movement. Courses generally have a combined classroom and practical outdoors-based phase followed by a Wood Badge ticket, also known as the project phase. By "working the ticket", participants put their newly gained experience into practice to attain ticket goals aiding the Scouting movement. The first Wood Badge training was organized by Francis "Skipper" Gidney and lectured at by Robert Baden-Powell and others at Gilwell Park (United Kingdom) in September 1919. Wood Badge training has since spread across the world with international variations.

On completion of the course, participants are awarded the Wood Badge beads to recognize significant achievement in leadership and direct service to young people. The pair of small wooden beads, one on each end of a leather thong (string), is worn around the neck as part of the Scout uniform. The beads are presented together with a taupe neckerchief bearing a tartan patch of the Maclaren clan, honoring William De Bois Maclaren. Recipients of the Wood Badge are known as Wood Badgers or Gilwellians.

Featured picture

Territorial evolution of Mexico
Credit: Golbez
An animated image showing the territorial evolution of Mexico, showing each change to the internal and external borders of the country. The animation begins with the 1824 Constitution of Mexico and continues to the present-day configuration. Note that many of the borders of states and territories in northern Mexico remain unclear and minor border adjustments with the United States, including the several Rio Grande border disputes, are not shown.

Did you know...

Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro

  • ... that the Chontal Maya of Tabasco consider themselves the direct descendants of the Olmec civilization?

Selected biography

Hilary Putnam
Hilary Whitehall Putnam (born July 31, 1926) is an American philosopher who has been a central figure in Western philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science. He is known for his willingness to apply an equal degree of scrutiny to his own philosophical positions as to those of others, subjecting each position to rigorous analysis until he exposes its flaws. As a result, he has acquired a reputation for frequently changing his own position.

In philosophy of mind, Putnam is known for his argument against the type-identity of mental and physical states based on his hypothesis of the multiple realizability of the mental, and for the concept of functionalism, an influential theory regarding the mind-body problem. In philosophy of language, along with Saul Kripke and others, he developed the causal theory of reference, and formulated an original theory of meaning, inventing the notion of semantic externalism based on a famous thought experiment called Twin Earth.

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Who could conquer Tenochitlán? Who could shake the foundation of heaven?
— Unknown Aztec poet, 1500

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Fox Dives Headfirst Into Snow | North America

A red fox pinpoints field mice buried deep beneath the snow, using his sensitive hearing and the magnetic field of the North Pole to plot his trajectory. | F...

Don't Mess With a Chipmunk's Nuts | North America

A chipmunk gathers nuts, but he needs to keep an eye out for pickpockets. | Watch NORTH AMERICA Sundays 9|8c on Discovery. | http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-show...

National Parks of North America IMAX HD by husky40

National Parks of North America IMAX HD by husky40.

Brave Prairie Dog Confronts Snake | North America

A brave prairie dog puts her life on the line to lead a deadly rattlesnake away from her babies and the colony. | For more North America, visit http://dsc.di...

North American Ice Age : Documentary on How North America was Shaped by Ice

North American Ice Age : Documentary on How North America was Shaped by Ice . 2013 This documentary as well as all of the rest of these documentaries shown h...

Assassin’s Creed Unity Presents: Rob Zombie’s French Revolution [North America]

Assassin's Creed Unity teams up with famed musician and Master of Horror Rob Zombie to depict the chaotic and brutal events behind the French Revolution. Illustrated by The Walking Dead co-creato...

Countdown to catastrophe: Earthquake in North America

Visit: http://www.world-earthquakes.com VERY IMPORTANT: This video is for education purpose only! Countdown to catastrophe: Earthquake in North America Sourc...

North America - Wonderland of Nature Travel Video Guide (episode 1)

Travel video about the destiny Wonderland of Nature, North America. Episode 1 - The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, Zion, Joshua Tree and Canyonla...

North America- Location and Boundaries

This animation describes the continent of North America in terms location and boundaries. This is a product of Mexus Education Pvt. Ltd., an education innova...

#SELFIE Tour North America - "That Time" w/ The Chainsmokers #003

A look back at 6 months that changed our lives forever! The #SELFIE Tour North America! Vote The Chainsmokers for DJ Mag Top 100: http://bitly.com/VoteTCSTop100 Video by Joe Zohar / Moving...

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