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

Keenan’s Trip to Japan – Tokyo

Update #6 We have just recently returned from our trip to Japan, and I will tell you a bit about Tokyo. Tokyo is an amazingly huge city whose metropolitan area houses the equivalent of the population of California. It has a large assortment of things to do, and we did not even scratch the surface. On our first day in … Read More

Keenan’s Trip to Japan – Hakodate

Update #5 Hello, We have just recently left Hakodate, in Hokkaido, and plan to skip Sapporo due to the fact that it seems like there is not much to do there. However, Hakodate has been a wonderful place to stay and is quite an interesting city. Hakodate was the first Japanese-controlled city on the island of Hokkaido and thus has … Read More

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