Five Fascinating Micronations, Part II

It’s the second half of our look at five fascinating ‘micronations’: creations of a single person or small group wishing to declare themselves sovereign over an extremely small piece of territory: perhaps a building, a farm, a island, or a small village. After all, who wouldn’t want to rule their own country? Most micronation projects are frivolous,…

Continue Reading →

Five Fascinating Micronations, Part I

There are microstates, and then there are micronations. While a microstate is an internationally recognised sovereign entity (e.g., Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City), micronations are a bit fuzzier in their definition (as Micronation Central states it, ‘a micronation is any entity which purports to be or has the appearance of being a sovereign state but…

Continue Reading →

Following Up: A September 2013 Update on Previous Articles

It’s been quite a while since our last follow-up post, so here are a few mini-updates and additional tidbits on some topics from previous articles here at The Basement Geographer: UVB-76: 30 Years of Radio Mystery (originally posted 26 December 2011): On 24 January of this year, the mysterious Russian shortwave radio ‘numbers’ station known of UVB-76…

Continue Reading →

Norfolking Way: Counterinituitive Pronuniciation Clusters in England

The English language is in many ways a victim of its own success.  Being standardised in writing at such an early stage meant that centuries of changes in pronunciation in the Anglosphere have have gone unrepresented in modern English spelling. Centuries of pilfering and absorbing words from a myriad of languages have resulted in speakers…

Continue Reading →

Centres of the World and Centres of the Universe

This article will alternate between using ‘Centre’ and ‘Center’ in location names depending upon the locales referenced. Forget your preconceptions that the centre of the Earth lies inside an incredibly dense, ultra-hot core thousands of kilometres below the planet’s surface, or that the universe is a giant homogeneic expanse with no discernable central point. The…

Continue Reading →

Aokigahara: The Suicide Forest

WARNING: Some may find the content of this post disturbing. Source: Thien V, http://www.flickr.com/photos/thienv/8014133231/. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic licence. In the year 864, Mount Fuji erupted continuously for ten days, throwing huge amounts of cinder and ash into the sky and coating its slopes with lava. One lava flow was so…

Continue Reading →

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…

Continue Reading →

No More Kicks on Route 666

The north end of US Route 666 in Monticello, Utah, May 2001. Source: K. Lund, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenlund/2518892303/.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. In Ancient Greek, it literally translates to ‘fear of six-hundred-sixty-six’ (not to be confused with triskaidekaphobia, which is ‘fear of thirteen’). Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is a rather ancient phobia dating…

Continue Reading →

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…

Continue Reading →