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…

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Sugarcane Railways

If you live in a large country, a ‘developed’ country, or in a country with continental connections, then you probably take the idea of having rail service at least somewhere in your homeland around as a given. There are quite a few countries, however, that don’t have rail service. Most of these are SIDS (Small…

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Bridges to Nowhere in Glasgow, Southern California, and New Zealand

Around the world, there are many structures nicknamed ‘bridges to nowhere’ – bridges that are abandoned during construction; bridges that have been partially destroyed and are left hanging in the air; bridges that are no longer used but remain standing; bridges that are built to service negligible populations and become settings for political bickering. Certainly…

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2012 Vancouver SkyTrain Anagram Map

Surely by now in your Internet journeys you’ve come across the fantastic London Underground anagram map, the hilarious parody of Harry Beck’s iconic London Underground map that has been kicking around since at least 2006.  The concept is simply: all of the tube station and line names on the map have been replaced with anagrams. …

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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…

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Revisiting Brasilia

The Basement Geographer is back again with another article on Google Sightseeing. This week, thanks to the new Street View and 45° imagery released at the end of July throughout Brazil, we decided to revisit one of the greatest civil engineering projects of all time – the city of Brasilia. You can read the article…

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The Maritime Flags of the International Code of Signals: A Primer

Above are the flags of the International Code of Signals (ICS), the system of signals and codes used by ships and other maritime vessels to communicate with one another. Every letter and numeral in the Latin alphabet and Western Arabic numeral system has an assigned code flag to go with their International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet…

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Flags of Convenience

Have you ever looked closely at an advertisement for a cruise ship line and noticed that the ports of registry are always the same handful of countries no matter where the cruise is located?  How, for example, can the entire fleet of Carnival Cruise lines be registered in Panama if most of the ships are…

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The Tarim Desert Highway: Growing Bushes in the Desert

One of the most curious highways in the world is the Tarim Desert Highway.  Completed in 1995 across the heart of Xinjiang, China’s Taklamakan, the desert region that occupies the bulk of the Tarim Basin, the 552 km (343 mi) road is the longest road in the world built across a shifting-sand desert, with four-fifths…

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