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

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

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