The Ever-Changing Route of the Dakar Rally

This time of year marks the annual appearance of one of the most arduous tests in sport, the two-week-long Dakar Rally (for those who aren’t fans of motorsport, perhaps the closest sporting equivalent to the Dakar might be cycling’s Tour de France).  A 14-stage race for the world’s top off-road racers of cars, quads, motorcycles,…

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The Highest of Low Points: The 15 Most Elevated Countries on Earth

There is a special place reserved in respective national consciousnesses for the highest point in a country. Everest, McKinley, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Fuji, Olympus, Ben Nevis – the towering peaks that can be seen for miles across the countryside and are held up as national symbols. They form the basis for religious myths (and political…

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Lake Chad: Where Did It Go?

When it comes to globally-significant bodies of water disappearing before our eyes, the Aral Sea seems to hog the international spotlight. It’s a very glamorous story with lots of intriguing subplots: large-scale irrigation diversion, failed Soviet economic models, environmental contamination, health crises, horrendous dust storms, regional climate change. But by no means is the Aral Sea the…

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