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,…

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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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The Aurora Australis

Source: A. Sparrow, http://www.flickr.com/photos/49937157@N03/7574363700/. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic licence. The vast majority of people on Earth (around 88 to 90 percent) live in the Northern Hemisphere. As such, when it comes to natural light displays in the atmosphere, the northern lights or aurora borealis (named after the Greek name for the…

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California City and Environa: Invisible Metropolises

At the intersection of geographical curiosity and failed urban planning lies California City.  Anyone who’s browsed Google Maps in the Mojave Desert just north of Los Angeles has likely noticed the massive street grid lying in the middle of nowhere, producing the illusion of a city of hundreds of thousands of people that quickly fades…

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New Holland and Geographic Synecdoche

In the other article posted here today about the ghost town of Smeerenburg, we learnt that the remote 17th-century whaling station was located on the remote Svalbard island of Amsterdamøya.  Dutch seafarers and merchants would carry the ‘Amsterdam’ around the world during this period of history, including to other remote islands such as Île Amsterdam…

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A Collection of Geography-Related Films and Shorts, Part III

Every few months, The Basement Geographer brings you an assemblage of short films from around the Internet featuring geography and landscape in a prominent manner.  For the previous instalments of films, click here and here. A Newfoundland Language Lesson A humorous look at the complex world of language in Newfoundland featuring prominent Canadian comedian Mark…

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Vintage Road Map Week 2012, Part I

It’s time once again for our annual Vintage Road Map Week at The Basement Geographer.   If you, like me, are a map freak, then you’ve probably tracked down your fair share of old road maps over the Internet, where good cartographic Samaritans have uploaded hundreds of images of old road maps that one can lose…

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The Dingo Fence

Australia is divided by sport (the Barassi Line) and by topography (the Great Dividing Range), but perhaps its most iconic division is a basic two-metre-high fence.  Basic, perhaps, by its construction (wire mesh extending 180 cm/6 ft high and 30 cm/1 ft deep), but certainly not by length: at 5 614 km (3 488 mi) in length,…

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A Unfortunate Turn of Phrase

Here’s a pithy thing I found while on a Google Street View hunt.  One can only imagine how many people have, at some point, driven along northern New South Wales’ bucolic Bruxner Highway west of Tenterfield for the first time only to perform a double take when coming across the signs at this road junction:…

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British Home Children

Note: There is a very insightful presentation (38:26) at the UK National Archives on the subject of British child migration that is of much relevance to this article and can be listened to in accompaniment (you can also read the presentation transcript here). There’s a fair chance that if you live in Australia or Canada,…

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