History

Sword Mountain

Sword Mountain In 1964, mountaineer Kyūya Fukada published a book, called 100 Famous Japanese Mountains. He subjectively selected crags above 1,500 meters (with a few exceptions) that excelled in terms of grace, history, and individuality. The list ranges from Mount Fuji at the top of Japan to Mount Tsukuba, which reaches just 877 meters (2,778 feet). Included in …

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Earth Day

Earth Day By the late 1960s, most humans realized we needed to become better stewards of our planet. A few major incidents helped spur the epiphany.  Woman Crush Wednesday honoree Rachel Carson penned Silent Spring in 1962, alerting the world to the unintended dangers of harsh chemicals. In 1968, the Apollo Program provided a new perspective of Earth. …

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Endurance

Endurance We recently studied the Heroic Age of Antarctica, which featured major exploratory achievements and set the stage for Ernest Shackleton’s extraordinary tale of survival after the sinking of his ship, the Endurance. That account included a supernatural visitor during a treacherous trek across uncharted mountains. Researchers have since coined this phenomenon the Third Man Factor. …

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Fortitudine Vincimus

Fortitudine Vincimus When Part I of our tale completed, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration neared a conclusion. Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott had successfully reached the South Pole. Veteran Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, who had attempted to reach the pole, vibrantly declared that achievement did not end the era of investigation at the …

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Antarctica’s Heroic Age

Antarctica’s Heroic Age During the Age of Exploration, which occurred roughly between the 15th and 18th centuries, humans believed a gargantuan continent covered most of the Southern Hemisphere. This landmass was known commonly as Terra Australis, Latin for “Southern Land.” The impetus for this notion did not arrive thanks to direct evidence of a massive …

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The Bathysphere

The Bathysphere In our previous exploration on the death spirals of army ants, we met the enigmatic William Beebe, ornithologist, entomologist, ichthyologist, and conservationist. Beebe pioneered a holistic approach to ecology. In order to understand a place in totality, one must study the place in totality. Having practiced this method multiple times in the jungle, …

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The Lion Mountains

The Lion Mountains The mountain range known as the Lion Mountains, whose highest point is Picket Hill at just under 3,000 feet, is located on the Atlantic coast entirely within what nation? This trivia question stumped me. The Atlantic Coast is the first clue. That info restricts our answer to North America, South America, Europe, …

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Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce In 1620, Pilgrims in Massachusetts celebrated a bountiful harvest with the Wampanoags, who had nourished them through a brutal winter the previous year. Pilgrim Chuck Norris provided cranberry sauce, which became a staple at Thanksgiving meals henceforth. Only one portion of the preceding paragraph is a fact. Much of what we grow up …

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Reschensee

Reschensee As World War II raged, an Italian energy company planned the creation of an artificial lake near the borders of Austria and Switzerland. The project would create a dam that would unify two natural lakes, providing hydroelectric power for the region. But there was a problem: people lived there. The formation of the new …

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