Keenan’s Trip to Japan – Sendai

Update #4 Hello, Sendai was quite a change from the other places we have been. Instead of a backwater, Sendai is a large cosmopolitan city. It seemed more grounded than the other cities we have been to. Sendai, unlike any of the previous cities, felt like it was fairly wealthy with its large extravagant buildings and expensive stores. Sendai seemed … Read More

Geo-Joint: Taking the Measure of the Mountain

As Maps.com’s editor, I have to check a lot of map data for accuracy. Though names for streets and buildings often change, the currently accepted form is usually a settled affair. What you might think of as less variable are figures given for mountain heights. Of course, an earthquake here, or an eruption there might add a few inches or … Read More

Geo-Joint: Mt. Fuji—Symbol of Japan

Half Dome, the Matterhorn, the Grand Canyon, Kilimanjaro, Uluru—these names bring up an instant mental image, invariably tied to their general location. Mt. Fuji is also in that company, and goes a step further—the serenely snow-covered peak is the essential symbol of the country of Japan. Revered by all Japanese citizens, it is woven into the national religion of Shinto, … Read More

Keenan’s Trip to Japan – Nikko

Update #3 Hello again, Going through the town of Nikko was a far different experience than any other we’ve had so far in Japan. A tourist town through and through, Nikko is quite a beautiful place to visit. The town is nestled in the mountains and forests of the northern Kanto region and has an incredible array of things to … Read More

Keenan’s Trip to Japan – Yudanaka

Update #1 We flew into Japan two days ago and I have only really had a chance to catch my bearings in the last day. So far, we have mostly been in transit from Tokyo to Nagano. Right now, we’re about an hour out of Nagano, in a small village based around a hot spring called Yudanaka. People have been … Read More

Keenan’s Trip to Japan – Toyama

Update #2 The next place we visited on our trip was the city of Toyama. Once again, we took a train a little out of the city and happened to stay in a town called Etchu Yatsuo. While there, we stayed in a house called Oyatsu. It was very nice to be in a larger and more convenient place than … Read More

Geo-Joint: Avery Island’s Hottest Seller

The Geo-Joint has been focusing on foodstuffs lately, and that’s not un-geographical. The nature of the land (or sea) has an effect upon what kind of chow comes up out of the ground or water. So continuing in that vein, our nose for geography today leads to a special bump in a very flat place. The Gulf Coast of the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Digging into Coober Pedy

Sometimes the most stunning treasures can be pulled out of the Earth from some pretty desolate areas. Those prizes are usually remnants created by the conditions at those places a long, long time ago. And so it was, that a long, long time ago, the sea and the land in what we today call Australia went through a dance that … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Great Sardine Crash

Nature is messy. There are a billion sub-systems within an ecosystem, and there are so many variables that things don’t run like clockwork. However, the wonder of nature is that while excesses and scarcities of resources and populations continually occur, the overall function is to pull the operation back toward balance. The concept of homeostasis in a population says that … Read More

Geo-Joint: Hawaiian Taro Rises Again

A while back, the Geo-Joint looked at the end of the sugar industry in Hawai’i. Though sugar cane had been carried to the islands on canoes with the earliest settlers, it wasn’t a major crop until the arrival of European and American businessmen. They brought the concept of capital-A agriculture, as opposed to subsistence farming. In their eyes, Hawai’i was … Read More