Geo-Joint: A Fiendish Stay on Devil’s Island

Island life is generally thought of as desirable, being distant, scenic, and peacefully isolated. Throw in a tropical location, and the notion becomes dreamlike. Unfortunately for a lot of unlucky individuals over the course of about a hundred years, such a location was a living nightmare. In 1852, the government of French Emperor Napoleon III needed a place to send … Read More

Geo-Joint: Pretty Lakes in Pink

There are some lakes, like Tahoe, that can be crystal clear. Even those rare bodies are increasingly plagued by incursions of pollution or sediment that mar the clarity to some extent. And most lakes don’t come close to that kind of visibility, especially in summer when warmer water is so conducive to the growth of algae. Green, then, is a … Read More

Geo-Joint: Making Yourself at Home on Mars

There are a thousand and one places to go on this planet, and each dictates its own set of preparations for a successful trip. Even so, terrestrial destinations all have some similarity when compared to leaving this planet entirely and heading for another. That kind of excursion will require a good bit of time cooped up in a tin can … Read More

Geo-Joint: Proving the Depths of Hranicka Propast

Snorkelers can see a lot of great stuff, because the water over coral reefs often isn’t that deep. But to really get down into what the undersea has to offer, it’s going to take some scuba gear and the know-how to utilize it properly and safely. If you’re just in it for recreation, 130 feet is about the limit. Technical … Read More

Geo-Joint: Drawing the Karman Line

If you live on the coast, the air is thick. It doesn’t feel like that, but at sea level you’re at the bottom of a sea of air. The gases of the atmosphere there are under the weight of the maximum column of overlying air. Thus they are pressed together more densely than at higher elevation. This barometric pressure is … Read More

Geo-Joint: Mysteries and Danger on the Plain of Jars

There must have been something in the minds of all early peoples. You just know they sat around the campfire, trading stories and plotting, scheming, and planning on how to create sizeable stone displays that would drive their distant progeny nuts trying to figure out just exactly what the heck they were up to. The Easter Island moai, the pyramids, … Read More

Geo-Joint: Gaining Ground in the Maldives

The Maldive Islands are a string of tropical beauty southwest of India, stretching for over 500 miles. The ridge that forms the base of the country’s 22 atolls was built up from the ocean floor in much the same way as were the Hawaiian Islands. A hotspot that now rests far away under Reunion Island, east of Madagascar, fed enough … Read More

Geo-Joint: Capital Cities and their Travels

Some people think studying geography just means learning where all the capital cities are. Geographers bristle at such a narrow definition, but capital cities are indeed important. They are often the biggest and most prosperous locations in a country, their fame coming from the power and history they contain. Capitals represent the face of the government and are usually filled … Read More

Geo-Joint: Sandy Beaches Going with the Flow

Who doesn’t love a beach? Some people find the sand to be a bother, and the sun and wind uncomfortable, but they have to be in the minority. How else to explain the huge popularity of a seaside vacation, or the high cost of living coastally due to it being the place everyone wants to move to? The generally milder … 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