Natural beauty on display at the Atlantis this summer

No, I’m not talking about the beaches and ocean and trees and such. This summer, the 2009 Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants are being held on Paradise Island in the Bahamas this year – the former on July 31, 2009 and the later on August 23, 2009. So, if you think nature’s wonder comes in the female form, book your tickets immediately. The has put some packages together around these pageants so you can combine a great vacation with a rare opportunity to see in person what we know you DVR to watch twice at home.

Rates start at $299 a night for a three-night stay, but the perks stretch far beyond a relatively inexpensive stay at this hot resort. You’ll have access to special passes and tickets to both the preliminary presentations and finals for each pagent (i.e., you can get solid discounts). You can also pick up passes to a viewing party on the resort’s Royal Deck and the post-pageant Coronation Ball. Food, beverages and excitement are served up as part of these events. And, you may run into some of the contestants around the resort. For the Miss Teen USA package, you’ll have to travel between July 23 and August 4 (so, get moving!), while you have a bit more time to plan for the Miss Universe event (August 15 to August 31).

Tickets for the Miss Teen USA Presentation Show start at $30, with the finals starting at $50. The Miss Universe festivities are a bit pricier, which is to be expected. The presentation round are $50, with the finals $175. The viewing party is $165, and the coronation comes in at $125.

When the winners have been crowned, you can wander through waterslides, river rides and check out animals in 14 exhibit lagoons. Or, you can try your luck (at the casino, you gump). There are more than 100 table games where you can try to win big and impress the new Miss Universe. Good luck with that.

The reason why Americans are so bad at geography as explained by a 19-year old beauty queen

So, why can’t 20% of Americans find the United States on a world map?

I’ve been asked this question a number of times while traveling, usually by Aussies or Kiwis who normally quote a much higher percentage when subtly mocking my fellow countrymen.

Frankly, I don’t know the reason why some Americans can’t find their own country on a map. It’s embarrassing.

Miss South Carolina has no idea either. She was recently asked this very same question by a judge at the Miss Teen USA contest and her baffling, Bushism-filled answer pretty much affirmed that she’s part of that ignorant 20% minority. Wow.

If you want a good laugh at the expense of a very pretty young woman, spend two minutes to check out the video above.

And to all you Aussies and Kiwis out there, you may now rest your case; I’ve no defense against this type of irrefutable evidence.