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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More Lines of Largest Settlements

Following up on Wednesday’s post regarding lines of largest settlement (a way to put the bed the issue of what constitutes the northernmost and southernmost (or westernmost/easternmost) cities in a region), here are examples from six more regions. This was originally going to be a much larger post, but some of the examples in this…

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Anagramming the World, Part I

The masses have spoken: visitors to this site really like anagrams (as well as giant fungi, and heavily polluted lakes). Last week’s anagram map of the Vancouver SkyTrain metro system garnered a huge amount of views over the past week-and-a-half (as well as those other two articles, particularly the latter which has already become the…

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Pan-African Colours

Having previously looked at the Nordic Cross, flags based on geographic representations, and even the Newfoundland tricolour, this article looks on one of the most-widely spread colour sets among national flags of the world: the green-yellow-red arrangement known as the Pan-African colours. Or is that the red-black-green arrangement known as the Pan-African colours? How exactly…

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J.H. Colton’s 1855 Maps of Africa

Joseph Hutchins (J.H.) Colton was one of the major cartographic publishers of the 19th century. Based in New York from 1831 to 1893, Colton was instrumental in pushing high-quality, colourful, and detailed maps and atlases into the mass market as well as helping to raise US cartography to the standard being set in Europe at…

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The Zanclean Flood: Refilling the Mediterranean

While the Mediterranean Sea is one of the cradles of ancient human civilisation, the water body is rather young geologically, approximately 5.33 million years old.  Researchers have found that this figure marks the date of the Zanclean flood, an epic breach of the Strait of Gibraltar that turned the desiccated Mediterranean basin into a sprawling…

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Why the Nile is the World’s Longest River (And Why It Isn’t)

The Amazon is the world largest river; of that there is no doubt.  One-fifth of the world’s entire freshwater flow is contained within the Amazon Basin.  By most accounts, however, it is not the longest.  That honour belongs to the Nile, at a generally accepted length of 6 650 km (4 152 mi) as compared…

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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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