Geo-Joint: The Temporary World of a Vernal Pool

The Earth presents challenges, and life responds. No matter what the extremes, living things find a way to tolerate whatever levels of temperature, rainfall, sunshine, wind, slope, and soil chemistry a habitat may provide. Occasionally, even a generally moderate region will feature a certain corner that presents difficulty as well as opportunity, and plants and animals find a way to … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Woodsy World of Japan

What’s the first thing you think of when somebody mentions Japan? Very likely it’s the modern, urban face of Tokyo, brimming with cutting-edge electronics, bright lights, and super-fast trains. There’s more of the same in Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya, and Japan has many smaller cities and towns with millions of buildings and people and miles of roads. But despite the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Recognizing the Red Sea

Maybe you remember the old riddle from your childhood: What happens if you drop a white hat in the Red Sea? Aside from the answer, which never fails to get a disappointed groan out of kids, what is there to know about the Red Sea? Where is it, and how did it get there? The Saudi Peninsula, home to Saudi … Read More

Geo-Joint: Where does Liechtenstein Lie?

You’ve heard of it, and yes, you know it’s in Europe, but it’s so small, where does it sit, really? Tiny Liechtenstein comprises less than 62 square miles, tucked along the eastern border of Switzerland. For comparison, that’s a little short of the size of Washington, DC. If you are familiar with the shape of Austria, Liechtenstein is at the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Keeping the Nutria from Getting Dug In

Lots of mammals like water. Humans, for one, although we don’t generally use it as a habitat. Beaver are more integrally involved with the water, damming it, swimming in it, slapping their tails on it. Beaver are important to their natural habitat and have been reintroduced at some effort in places where they had been hunted out by trappers. Their … Read More

Ending Slavery in the United States

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1865. This amendment abolished slavery in the United States. The language of the amendment is clear: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Wide World of Weird Sports

Life is filled with so much work, duty, and obligation. In the little stretches of free time we get, there are innumerable physical activities to keep us amused and exercised. No one needs to be told what sports are tops in America, and worldwide, soccer (the real football) is king. Despite the availability of these and many other mainstream sporty … Read More

Why Americans Celebrate Memorial Day

  This Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day. This day is one of ten U.S. federal holidays celebrated each year. Two of these holidays are set aside to honor people who served in the U.S. armed forces: Memorial Day and Veterans Day. However, many people confuse the purposes of the two holidays. Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11. … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Neolithic Neighborhood of Skara Brae

The massive slabs of rock that form Stonehenge seem impossibly arranged, tons of weight seemingly placed on high by a giant’s hand. Nothing else compares with the pure volume of the stoneworks there. However, southern England wasn’t the only place big rocks were being moved around, and some of the best examples of the Neolithic cultures who created these displays … Read More