The Anniversary of a National Park: The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon became a national park on February 26, 1919. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that established the park under the National Park Service (NPS). The canyon was not the first park to receive this honor. As early as 1872, Congress made Yellowstone the nation’s first national park. At that time, however, the National Park Service (NPS) did … Read More

The Growth of United States Presidential Power

  BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT The United States has three branches of government: legislative, judicial, and executive. Each branch plays a different role in American democracy. The legislative branch includes the Senate and the House of Representatives. These two houses of Congress make the country’s laws. The judicial branch includes the Supreme Court. The Court’s nine justices interpret and make rulings … Read More

Copernicus’s Cosmic Revolution

In his study of the heavens, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle placed Earth at the center of the universe. Since then, his geocentric model became the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Most scientists at that time used a geocentric model to explain a planet’s apparent backward, or retrograde, motion. However, a geocentric view made retrograde motion extremely complicated … Read More

Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” Arrested over twenty times, stabbed in the chest, his house firebombed and, ultimately shot and killed, King embodied the idea that equality and the African American Civil Rights Movement were worth dying for. He was a husband and father to four … 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

Thanksgiving: The Holiday and the Feast

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. Most families and friends eat turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, squash, or pumpkin as part of their celebration. Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Why do we eat these foods? President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, but the celebration began with the Pilgrims. Their ship, … Read More