Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Delhi, India

Brahman cattle have proven their usefulness to Indian society.  They give milk in large quantities.  They can be yoked to plow the fields.  They yield one of the best natural fertilizers.  They are a source of fuel.  They are equipped to tolerate high temperatures.  And, they have a quiet temperament.  One more thing:  they aren't eaten!  [2011]

Monday, April 29, 2013

London, England, UK

It's been two years, and what do the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have to show for it?  A baby on the way.  Happy anniversary Will and Kate!  Here's something else to celebrate:  the 1000th photo on Geographically Yours.  [2011]

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Athens, Greece

Interpretation of the moment:  Greece is getting ready for the Olympics and improving its infrastructure.  Good.  Interpretation of the decade:  Greece spent so much money on the Olympics, and the sovereign debt crisis was the result.  Bad.  Interpretation of the century:  Stick around and find out.  Good or bad?  [2004]

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rotorua, New Zealand

My ancestors were the warriors who fought to keep these island theirs.  My contemporaries suffer from the social inequities imposed on us by the colonizers.  With my culture, I strongly identify, but only a bit of te reo can I speak.  Inside I am very traditional, but outside I want to be like young people everywhere.  Who am I?  [2006]

Friday, April 26, 2013

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Charles River divides Boston from Cambridge, but the student cohort seems hardly divided at all.  In the Greater Boston area, students are everywhere, and some use the river bank as a study hall. [2008]

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lineboro, Maryland, USA

For four score years, the Penns and the Calverts argued over the boundary between their colonial land grants. Finally, in 1760, the issue was resolved. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon were sent to America to demarcate the line. It is probably the most well-known interstate boundary in the entire country today. [2007]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Recognize the flag? It will be seen all over the world today as Armenians of the diaspora call attention to their plight in the early 20th century. April 24 is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The flag itself was adopted as the emblem of the Republic of Armenia after it emerged from the Soviet Union. [2005]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sea of Galilee, Israel

The Sea of Galilee (a.k.a. Lake Tiberias) lies almost 700 feet below sea level.  Yet, it's a fresh water lake.  Like its southerly partner, the highly saline Dead Sea (almost 1400 ft below sea level), it occupies a rift valley.  The two share the same geology but have very dissimilar hydrology.  Why?  By the way, the horst on the other side is the Golan Heights.  [1997]

Monday, April 22, 2013

Yehliu, Taiwan

Today, many Taiwanese will celebrate Earth Day at Yeliu GeoPark.  What a perfect name for a tract of natural sculptures designed to highlight one of Mother Earth's unique environments.  The landscape here is a combination of structural geology, coastal geomorphology, subtropical climatology, tectonic orogeny, and teaming humanity.  [2012]

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Needles, Isle of Wight, England, UK

Be a bird for a few minutes.  Take The Needles chairlift to the beach and back.  From the expressions on these flyers' faces, you can tell they are spellbound.  Actually, the view of the Isle of Wight's western-most point is magnificent.  [2011]

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse used to sit in the open water close to the mouth of the Patapsco River. Amazingly, it was staffed by a lighthouse keeper and his family! Now, it's a visual reminder of the maritime past in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. [1995]

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blanco, Texas, USA

It's National Library Week! Are there parking spaces reserved for book worms at your local library? Do you qualify to use them? Remember the pace we (of a certain generation) were encouraged to read books back in high school? We bored through at least one book every two weeks. [2011]

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Jacksonville, Alabama, USA

It's National Library Week! Go to the Internet to find out who is behind this quote. His name is J. W. Eagan. But, you will have to go to the library and get professional help to find out who he is. There is no biographical information available anywhere in the digital universe. Who is J. W. Eagan? Please post a response! [2007]

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand

It's National Library Week!  But, this year the World Book Capital is not in the United States.  It's in Thailand, thanks to UNESCO.  In fact, no U.S. city has ever been designated World Book Capital.  By and large, the U.S. ignores UNESCO, and UNESCO ignores the U.S.  It's political geography at work.  [2011]

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ephesus, Turkey

It's National Library Week!  Every library has roots in the ancient world.  The Library of Celsus in Ephesus is a reminder of Roman civilization, but its roots are even deeper:  from Syria, the library at Ebla; from Egypt, the library of Alexandria; and from Greece, the library at Pergamum.  [2007]

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hillsboro, Texas, USA

It's National Library Week! Public libraries are in the business of recycling books, so it seems appropriate that the Hillsboro Library is in a recycled building (the old post office). Maybe also appropriate: a new sculpture that memorializes how wisdom is recycled from one generation to the next. [2012]

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Racine, Wisconsin, USA

It's National Library Week! What book are you in the middle of right now? I'm reading The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World by geographer Gary Fuller. My book looks just like this boy's book: It exists in the material world. There may come a day, however, when children will need someone to explain ensembles like this. [2006]

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Delhi, India

In India, the coconut palm is called "the tree which provides all the necessities of life." On the streets of Karol Bagh, however, these drupes are going to serve only one purpose:  slaking thirst. Green coconuts are sold all over Asia, usually from bicycle or push-cart vendors.  Guess what's cutting into their market. Think:  international conglomerates. [2011]

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sillery, Quebec, Canada

If they can be used to shelter cars, they can be used to shelter pedestrians, too.  Walkway tents are almost as common as driveway tents in the residential neighborhoods of urban Quebec.  What are the alternatives?  Shoveling the snow or heating your sidewalk.  [2005]

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sillery, Quebec, Canada

It's probably time to take the Tempo down. All over Quebec, driveway tents (made by a company called Tempo) are erected every winter to shelter les voitures.  Who really needs a garage if you can depend on something less expensive and equally functional?  [2005]

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Francisco Madero was a democrat.  He stood against Porfirio Díaz, Mexico's strongman.  It was around Madero that the Mexican Revolution coalesced in 1910.  The dominoes of the dictatorship fell and Madero was elected President.  These jovencitos are the beneficiaries.  [2007]

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Luxor, Egypt

Kemet was the ancient name of Egypt.  It meant Black Earth and referred to the productive soils along the Nile, soils so rich they begged to be farmed.  Beyond Kemet was Deshret.  It meant Red Earth and referred to the desert.  Do you see the natural boundary between the two zones here in Upper Egypt?  [2000]

Monday, April 8, 2013

La Condamine, Monaco

What do you like better:  the gnarled olive or the empurpled azalea? Put them together and you have a gnarly challenge to the emblued empyrean. [2008]

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

In 2011, Bloomberg ranked Honolulu the 3rd best city in the United States. Number 1? Raleigh.  Number 2? Arlington. Raise your hand if you would rather live in Raleigh or Arlington than Honolulu.  Just think: these two could be kayaking on the Potomac River instead of the Ala Wai Canal. [2011]

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Taipei, Taiwan

Chiang Kai-Shek died in 1975, and his very own 'Lincoln Memorial' opened in 1980.  Democracy came later that decade when opposition parties were permitted to field candidates for election.  Now, the Taiwanese are revising the history of their one-party past.  What began as Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall became National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.  [2012]

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand

The Thonburi Canal in Bangkok is still a source of victuals for the locals.  It's also a source of trans-generational bonding and memories for a lifetime.  [2011]

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

It can't be said often enough:  art needs to get out of the gallery and onto the landscape.  This photograph is called "Where Cows Go on Holiday," and, thanks to the National Trust, everyone can enjoy it.  [2009]

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Macau, China

Your choice: (a) What would the mid-day sun and a rainbow look like if there were no light or color in the world? (b) What would a half-buried Möbius strip look like if it were in the middle of a hiccup? (c) What would Sister Moon look like if she had just stolen a glance at Medusa? [2011]

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jerusalem, Israel

The plaza in front of Jerusalem's Western Wall functions as an outdoor synagogue.  Thursday is an especially popular day for bar mitzvah celebrations.  A smaller section of the plaza is also reserved for women, and there you can find bat mitzvahs going on.  These ceremonies mark the 'coming of age' of a Jewish boy at age 13, or a Jewish girl at age 12.  [1995]

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nassawadox, Virginia, USA

Jump in the cockpit and take off. Don't expect a macadam runway, though. At the Eastern Shore's Campbell Field, their motto is "Come roll on the grass." No foolin'. [2007]