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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The Top 8 Best-Selling Music Singles Featuring Place Names

Music and place are inseparable. So many songs have been written about landscapes, countries, buildings, and cities that it’s impossible to look at a record sales chart without finding at least a handful of toponyms. As a geography site, it’s time we examine which toponomically-themed songs have embedded themselves into popular culture by looking at…

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Norfolking Way: Counterinituitive Pronuniciation Clusters in England

The English language is in many ways a victim of its own success.  Being standardised in writing at such an early stage meant that centuries of changes in pronunciation in the Anglosphere have have gone unrepresented in modern English spelling. Centuries of pilfering and absorbing words from a myriad of languages have resulted in speakers…

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The Flannan Isles

Marooned all alone in the Atlantic Ocean are Scotland’s Flannan Isles, a very small and profoundly lonely archipelago that is isloated evey by the standard of the Outer Hebrides with which they are associated. The ‘isles’ are more like islets: seven small islands surrounded by a dozen or so outcrops of breccia rocks poking above…

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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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A Gallery of Ghost Signs

Grandma’s Boy, Vancouver, British Columbia. This old advertisement for Harold Lloyd’s 1922 classic silent comedy was rediscovered in February 2012 when the building next to it, built in 1923, was torn down. Sadly, this building was also scheduled to be demolished, and indeed it was just a couple of weeks later, taking the advert with…

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Elevation Extreme Midpoints

While doing Southern California-themed map browsing for an upcoming article on the geography of U2’s The Joshua Tree album cover, it struck me just how remarkable it is that the highest (Mount Whitney) and lowest (Badwater Basin) points of elevation in the contiguous United States are a mere 136 km (85 mi) apart.  Not only…

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Doggerland: Ancient Europe Underwater

Ideas of a ‘lost continent’ where humans used to dwell that became submerged underwater such as Atlantis have long permeated myth and fables, but there actually are submerged lands where humans previously lived for thousands of years.  Take, for example, Doggerland, the land mass that occupied the southern half of the North Sea for thousands…

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Some Brief Notes on the 2012 Summer Olympics

Yes, it’s time once again for the Summer Olympics in just a few weeks, with coverage and hype already operating at full bore.  Having previously looked at failed Olympic candidate cities, the performances of now-defunct nations at the games, and the all-time least-successful countries in Olympic country, here are a few more notes heading into…

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