Galatia: Asia’s Celtic Outpost

For pretty well all of the past 1 500 years, Celtic cultures have been confined to the western margins of Europe.  Yet, prior to the rise of the Roman Empire, Celts were present throughout western and central Europe; indeed, the first fully Celtic culture arose in Austria (the Hallstatt culture, named for the village where…

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Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part IV: Southern and Eastern Europe)

Tyrol (Austria/Italy) How the German-speaking province of South Tyrol (German/Ladin Südtirol; Italian Alto Adige or Sudtirolo) came to be part of Italy rather than part of Austria like the rest of Tyrol is a consequence of the result of World War I.  Between 1140 and 1919, the land that comprises the modern Austrian state of…

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Elements Named for Places

As schoolchildren, we are all exposed to the periodic table of the elements in our science textbooks and on the walls of our chemistry classrooms.  This organised display of the chemical elements – the pure chemical substances that are the building blocks of all molecules – ingrains the names, symbols, and atomic weights of the…

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Panathinaiko Stadium: Birthplace of the Modern Olympics

The word ‘stadium’ is derived from the Greek stadion, a measurement unit of approximately 200 metres. The athletic competitions at the ancient Olympic Games originally featured foot races conducted along a stadion-long track, particularly at the oldest known stadium at Olympia. The term ‘stadium’ came to be used for any open-air facility where people gathered…

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An Ode to Donair

(A little culinary geography lesson inspired yet again by a post at the always great Twelve Mile Circle. Go read it, already!) Once upon a time on a research trip in the Cariboo in and around Williams Lake, my colleague and I were stuck as to what we should eat for dinner that night. There…

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