Author & Speaker - Lynn Garthwaite

Originator and co-host of the cable tv show “That’s Odd,” and author of eight books that encourage exploring the quirky side of life, speaker Lynn Garthwaite admits to having a personal radar for things that are slightly off kilter. What happens when cows accidentally ingest pieces of metal? Lynn looked that up! Why did the U.S. government update all of our paper money EXCEPT the one dollar bill? She found out, and the answer turned out to be fascinating. Did you know that “Rhode Island” isn’t actually that state’s real name? It’s true!

Lynn Garthwaite’s talk called “Our States Have Crazy Shapes” provides an interesting and entertaining “Lunch and Learn” for your business. It is the perfect antidote to stress in the workplace, and provides an environment for your employees to take a breather. One hour of fun and entertainment –  and they’ll accidentally learn a little American history along the way, such as the answers to these questions:

  • Why is the Upper Peninsula part of Michigan instead of Wisconsin?
  • How did Missouri get that bootheel?
  • How did the advent of railroads change the shape of some states?
  • Why does Minnesota have a bump on its northern border?
  • Who decided where one state started and the other one ended?


Our States Have Crazy Shapes: Panhandles, Bootheels, Knobs and Points looks behind-the-scenes at the decisions that caused our leaders to carve odd shapes on our map. For example:

  • Who decided that Michigan should have the Upper Peninsula when that landmass is actually attached to Wisconsin?
  • What’s up with that bootheel, Missouri?
  • Why did the shapes of our states get noticeably square as we moved west? And furthermore…
  • Why are some of our states so big and others so small?