Odds and Ends: A Continent Full of Feathers; Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre

A couple of tidbits for the first weekend of November. 1909 National Geographic Map of Africa Click to expand (3347 x 4264). This National Geographic map of Africa dating from 1909 has been featured rather prominently in Wikipedia’s Africa article for quite some time now. Not only a political geography map, the map also intended…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part III: South America and Europe

Today is Part III, the final instalment of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. South America – Sechin Bajo (3500 BCE) View Larger Map A rather recent addition to the list, the oldest building in the Peruvian ruins of Sechin Bajo…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part II: North America, Africa, and Asia

Today is Part II of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. North America – Cuicuilco Circular Pyramid, 800-600 BCE View of Cuicuilco’s main circular pyramid looking south from the Anillo Periférico freeway in Mexico City. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CuicuilcoPerifericoDF.JPG. View Larger Map…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part I: Antarctica and Australia

For any building to make it past 100 years old, let alone be thousands of years old, it’s actually quite an accomplishment when you think about it. A building has to be constantly maintained in order to ensure its continued integrity. Aesthetic tastes change, land uses change, and disasters both natural and manmade occur; all…

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How to Lose World Heritage Site Status

A swath of desert just inland from the Arabian Sea coast and a meandering stretch of a major central European river framed by 18th and 19th-century architecture may not seem as though they would have anything in common, but they very much do. Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary and Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley are the only two…

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Teapot Dome: How a Presidential Scandal Led to a Teapot-Shaped Service Station

The Teapot Dome scandal of 1922-23 tarnished an entire US presidency and resulted in the first instance of a US Cabinet member being sent to prison for actions committed in office. It also resulted in the construction of an incredibly unique service station in the middle of the state of Washington that became a rather…

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Google Sightseeing: Top 10 Crazy European Buildings; Sanzhi’s UFO Houses

In my latest article for Google Sightseeing, I decided to take a look at some of Europe’s wackier buildings as caught on Street View and Yandex Maps Panorama. In it, you’ll see such oddities as a building with walls shaped like bar codes, a house that looks likes it’s melting, and the most famous building…

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Odds and Ends: Landlocked Lighthouses, Fun With AutoStitch

The Lone Lighthouse in Alberta There was an interesting story in the news this morning about the condemnation of Alberta’s only lighthouse. A landlocked prairie-and-plains landscape such as Alberta isn’t exactly laden with lighthouses and other nautical beacons, so the loss of this unique is seen as tragic by many. This is not the most…

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The Great Wall of Gorgan

The Great Wall of China is the longest defensive wall ever constructed in history, as most people are likely aware.  To find the next longest wall, you have to travel across Central Asia to the Caspian Sea and Iran’s province of Golestan near the Turkmen border, where the (at least) 195 km (121 mi)-long, 6-10…

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A Short Look at Potentially Bridging the Strait of Gibraltar

In the existence of this website, we’ve looked at the feasibility and costs of building bridges across the Bering Strait and the Red Sea, as well as the pitfalls of joining North and South America by road over the Darién Gap.  Inevitably, when potentially bridging gaps between continents by road, one must look at the…

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