I consider myself to be somewhat knowledgeable about what is happening in the world. I go to all the news sites and scan the headlines and if something is intriguing I read the story. I also watch two different versions of the nightly news (well Dan does and I'm in the room so that means I watch too). So you would think I would know where things are happening. But alas the news media seems to all get fixated on the same story and then move on to something else.
For example, we all know about the unrest in Syria. But did you know that the Republic of Maldives just had a coup? Most of us haven't even heard of Maldives. It is a string of islands in the Indian Ocean. The only reason I know any of this is because we have a very expensive piece of equipment there for an experiment by another university. And we need it back so we can do an experiment this summer. And now there is a coup and the equipment is in the middle of it. Its not something you can just put on a plane, it is a big truck that has to go on a boat. And it has lots of shiny objects that people might want to take.
The good news is that everyone was safe. We think they are going to be able to get the truck back.
The moral of this story is just because we think we know about the world, we really don't. We only know what the media decides is important. And that is a sad commentary on all of us.