Texas’ History: The Lone Star State

In 1519, the recorded history of Texas began with the arrival of Spanish conquistadors. This was a mere 27 years after Columbus discovered the Americas. However, Texas was largely ignored until 1685 when French colonization threatened Spain’s control of the area. Texas was already populated with native tribes whose own history dated back thousands of years. The hostility of these … Read More

Geo-Joint: Celebration, Florida – The Happiest Town on Earth, sort of.

Life is messy. It’s hard to keep things organized, and when a whole bunch of people live nearby each other (as we usually do), all sorts of inefficient, unsightly, poorly maintained situations develop. For proof of this notion, have a look at just about any urban area. Maybe it’s human nature, or entropy, or some other immutable universal law, but … Read More

Election Day

Election Day in the United States takes place on the Tuesday that follows the first Monday in November. This day can fall between November 2 and November 8. Congress passed a federal law in 1845 to officially name this day in November as Election Day. This year’s presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 6th. Before Congress designated Election … Read More

Geo-Joint: Staying Dry in the Netherlands

Water covers about three quarters of the Earth, so it doesn’t seem too greedy that folks in Netherlands wanted to convert some of that to dry land. But before we get to that undertaking, how did that area evolve to where it became necessary to dry out land in the first place? The Netherlands, sometimes called Holland, have always been … Read More

Geo-Joint: Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway

When the National Parks Service began to set aside America’s natural wonders, the first lands that were so honored were all out west. Of the initial ten parks, established between 1872 and 1916, the farthest east was in South Dakota. Understandably, the eastern half of the country wanted some of this action. Two of the earliest parks in that region … Read More

Geo-Joint: Civita di Bagnoregio – On Shaky Footing for a Long Time

Not long ago, the Geo-Joint went to Meteora, Greece, where some very daring monks took up residence on top of broad, tall pinnacles of limestone and sandstone, back in the 1300s. They built some impressive structures on high, which are still there for us to marvel at, and probably will be for some time to come. The limestone they built … Read More

Geo-Joint: El Salar de Uyuni and Bonneville – Worth Their Salt

When it comes to flatness on Earth, the surface of a calm lake is probably the optimal setting. You can witness the scene, and paddle a canoe across it, but you can’t go for a walk on it. Many landscapes in the Plains States or in Australia’s interior, or the deserts of Ethiopia, among others, feature some vast stretches of … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Hala’ib Triangle and the Land Nobody Wants

International borders often separate territory of great value and strategic importance between countries. Other times, they just run across vast stretches of wasteland. That doesn’t mean the lines aren’t still argued over. As with so many border disputes, the problem can start when an outside power sticks its nose into local business and declares an arbitrary boundary. Though all this … Read More

Geo-Joint: Clearcutting in the Kelp Forest

People don’t go to the beach to see the kelp. The sun, the sand, the cool water, the people-watching, and a host of sports and games are what they came for. The kelp is just in the way. In some coastal towns, the Beach Dept. does “beach grooming,” to rake up all that nasty, fly-attracting, funny green/brown stuff so you … Read More

9/11: America’s Heartache

September 11, 2001, started like any other day. Those with jobs went off to work. Children went to day care or headed off to school. People settled into their normal routines. Then, shortly after the start of the workday, news of what was happening live in New York City began to spread. People all over the country turned on their … Read More