Geo-Joint: Taking the Measure of the Mountain

As’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

Geo-Joint: Only a Mirage

Seeing is believing. Or is it? The information we take in with our eyes is entirely dependent upon the light rays that arrive at the lenses and retinas of our eyes—and those light rays can play some complicated tricks on us. It doesn’t take a lot of shadow, smoke, and mirrors to confuse our perceptions. Even an unobstructed tableau in … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Reign of Purple

Color is everywhere, at least for the 91 percent of us who are not colorblind. Even for those who can’t discern all the variations of the spectrum, there is some color available. It results from the different wavelengths of light reflecting off of surfaces. Colors of all kinds occur in nature, though some, like the green of plants and the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Lusi the Mud Volcano

Not too terribly far beneath our feet, the Earth is a very different place from the pleasant zone we live in. The deepest mines, which can reach down to depths of a mere two and a half miles, are very hot jobsites. Just another handful of miles deeper (depending upon your location) puts you at the outermost zone of the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Where the Streets Have No Cars

 When you imagine a cityscape, or even a suburban scene, it’s quite likely that your mind’s eye would envision buildings large and small, streets running along those buildings, maybe some trees or parks, streetlights, traffic signs, and inevitably, traffic. Whether the occasional car in a quiet neighborhood, or bumper-to-bumper madness on downtown streets or the freeway, cars are just a … Read More