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

Geo-Joint: A Boiling River in the Amazon

You’ve heard about Paul Bunyan, and probably the Chupacabra, and the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Cultures make up stories that become legends, in order to entertain, amuse, teach lessons, and to say something about the people who pass them on. They are told and retold countless times until they help define a culture’s personality and history. But by and large, … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Badlands of South Dakota

Sitting in a state that most people have probably not been to is a region that doesn’t necessarily sound inviting. The state is South Dakota, and in its southwestern stretches is the ominously named Badlands. They didn’t pick up the moniker from the quick judgment of explorers or pioneers just passing through, but from the Lakota people, who had lived … Read More

Geo-Joint: Lake Michigan’s Overdeveloped Mussels

Some lakes are known for their stunning clarity, while others are as green as grass, from bright green to dull olive. Lake Tahoe has long been extolled for its deep blue color due to the clearness of its water, although over time it has diminished, and the pressures of development, sedimentation, fire, and more, mean trouble for its future. Most … Read More

Geo-Joint: Lunar Origins

 Everybody knows that people get crazier when the moon is full. And more babies get born then. And the moon is hollow, and full of aliens. OK, maybe none of that is true. But the moon surely makes the tides go in and out and helps birds and moths navigate, and tells grunion when to spawn, and encourages sweethearts to … Read More

Geo-Joint: Iceland’s Cool Story

The Geo-Joint recently prattled on about the grand phenomenon that built the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Though it would be quite a sight, most of its very long, sinuous outline is well undersea and out of viewing range for tourists. A striking exception to this is the little country on the sizeable island called Iceland. Iceland is built of the magma rising … Read More