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On the evening of September 2, 1859, after the sun went down on the western hemisphere, a spectacular show of light began on the skies above. Streams of luminous cloud in blue, green, purple and sometimes red shot upwards from the horizon in the north and filled the entire sky. Many people thought that there was a large fire burning somewhere. Others took it as a sign from the heavens of some gr Read More »
South of the great Sahara Desert in North Africa, there lives a bird called the greater honeyguide (Indicator indicator) that has developed a special symbiotic relationship with the local honey hunters. The honeyguide eats beeswax, and although it is excellent at finding bees’ nests, it’s unable to sneak past the stinging bees alone. Instead, it approaches humans and makes a loud chirping noise Read More »
Just off the southeastern coast of mainland China, lies a group of two islands collectively called Kinmen. For over seventy years, these islands have occupied a unique position in the delicate relationship between China and Taiwan. Kinmen Islands’ location is the most peculiar. The islands sit in a small bay practically surrounded by the Chinese mainland, yet it is governed by Taiwan, which lies Read More »
About thirty kilometers off the coast of Chile is a small teardrop-shaped island called Mocha, inhabited by the indigenous Mapuche people. The island was well known among sailors, especially pirates and privateers, who used the island as their supply base, exchanging steel and manufactured goods for livestock, corn and potatoes. English and Dutch privateers would often stop at the island, load t Read More »
On the shores of Lake Erie, in Cleveland, the United States, there once stood a giant steel sphere sixty-four feet tall. Inside the sphere were 38 rooms where Dr. Cunningham’s patients spent up to two weeks at a time breathing air at twice the atmospheric pressure. Dr. Cunningham believed that the higher air pressure introduced oxygen in abundance into the body system and aided in the therapy of Read More »
Iceland has many geysers but none is stranger than Vellir, also known as Árhver, because it is located smack in the middle of a flowing river. Located not far from the town of Reykholt, Vellir consist of a cone of cemented clay and gravel which can be clearly seen when the water level in the Reykjadalsá river is low, but at high water levels, the cone usually remains submerged. There are several Read More »
When cell phones were first introduced, they were unattractive, brick-like devices that could do nothing more than make voice calls and send and receive text messages. In order to entice customers to this new technology, network operators offered subscribers various value-added services, such as the ability to get news updates, infotainment, match scores, weather updates, and so on, on their pho Read More »
This innovative pastel-colored postmodern apartment complex is a popular landmark in the coastal town of Calpe, Spain. It is called Muralla Roja, which means “the red wall”, although it is mostly pink with a bit of baby blue. Muralla Roja was designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, and built in the early 1970s. The building was built like a fortress drawing inspiration from the architectur Read More »
In the towns of Jawor and Świdnica, in the Silesia neighborhood of Wroclaw, Poland, stand two magnificent timber-framed churches. The Holy Roman Emperor who ordered them built never expected to see them completed. In fact, he never wanted them built in the first place, for they were Protestant churches. But against all odds and under tremendous political and physical constraints, the Protestants Read More »
1991 was a notable year in the geopolitical history of the world. It was the year the Gulf War started marking the beginning of America’s constant military presence in the Middle East. That same year Cambodia made peace with Vietnam bringing an end to a decade-long war. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia collapsed, and clashes between Serbia and the other Yugoslav republics launched another war which ran thr Read More »
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