Within the context of the social sciences, the physical features of a country matter a great deal more than most people realize. Physical features are a country's geography and climate, and these have a bearing on the history, culture, and collective behavior of a people. Even the mythology of a people is influenced by its geography, as, for example, the ocean features prominently in Japanese myths. How people get their food, how and what they build, how they worship, and how they raise their children are inevitably influenced by the terrain and the weather. Malcolm Gladwell offers an excellent example of this in The Outliers, in which he discusses how growing rice in China has produced generations of hard-working, problem-solving, math-savvy students. This culture is to some degree a consequence of the physical terrain in many parts of China. Sociologists take note of how different cultures are in warmer climates as opposed to colder climates and how people who live at the shore are different in many ways from those who live inland. In my own city, which comprises mostly hills and valleys, neighborhoods preserve their separate identities and cultures more than in other cities because of the physical features. Geography and climate are powerful influences on people, and the social sciences need to take this into account.