Nicholas Weir-Williams

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The Lorenbahn

A tiny island is connected to the mainland by a private railway that residents travel in their own personal wagons.<p>Just off the northwest coast of …

National Parks

Good Old Gib

Defending the Rock: How Gibraltar Defeated Hitler<p>by Nicholas Rankin<p>London: Faber and Faber, 660 pp., £20.00<p>1.<p>In his final days, trying to figure out …

Singapore will stop adding cars to the roads in 2018

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore, one of the world's most expensive places to own a vehicle, will not allow any growth in its car population from February, citing the small city-state's land scarcity and billions of dollars in planned public transport investments.<p>The Land Transport Authority (LTA) …

Roads

The tiny island the British traded for Manhattan

Banda Run is a place where history meets legend, where traditional ships still sail past live volcanoes to a forgotten island that once changed the world.<p>We sailed out of the Arafura Sea, through the Timor Sea and into the Savu Sea. Soon we'd be in the Flores Sea and then the Banda Sea – home of …

Photographing the Incredible Costumes of Japan’s Supernatural Festivals

Bringing folklore to life with capes and masks.<p>Photographer Charles Fréger’s new book <i>Yokainoshima: Island of Monsters</i> might be named after an …

Festivals

Explore the Secret Lives of Animals With These Marvelous Maps

Tens of thousands of dots speckle the map's surface, each marking the death of a whale. Bowheads, right whales, humpbacks and more dapple the miles …

Mysterious Amazon Animal Seen Alive for First Time in 80 Years

The cowl-haired creature was first spotted in the 1930s but has eluded scientists ever since.<p>If anyone was going to find the elusive monkey with gold-colored legs, it would be Laura Marsh. She's the director of the Global Conservation Institute and one of the world's leading experts on saki …

The Trial of John Peter Zenger

7c. The Trial of John Peter Zenger<p>John Peter Zenger became a symbol for the freedom of the press in the young American colonies. Seen above is a …

Articles tagged as Geography

Why Did Greenland’s Vikings Vanish?

On the grassy slope of a fjord near the southernmost tip of Greenland stand the ruins of a church built by Viking settlers more than a century before …

Britain’s Futile Attempt to Keep American Colonists From Taking Tribal Land

British surveyors and Native American leaders drew a border along the Appalachians. Then the Revolutionary War happened.<p>Picture this: In the 1760s, a …

Charles Dickens And Copyright Law: Five Things You Should Know

One hundred and seventy five years ago, on January 22, 1842, Charles Dickens first set foot in America, specifically in Boston, after a twenty day …

Pheasant Island

This tiny river island switches sovereignty every six months—a rare agreement that's lasted 400 years.<p>On the western border between France and Spain, …

The absurd history of British-Spanish rivalry, from Henry VIII to Gibraltar

The war of words over the rocky outcrop is only the latest spat in 500 years of squabbling between the two countries<p>Brexit began in 1527. It was, in essence, a spat with Spain. The man responsible for this dramatic and deeply unsettling change in Britain’s constitution was a fat, childish and …

Maps: How Ukraine became Ukraine

For the past year, Ukraine has been plunged into chaos. Mass protests against pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych led to his ouster in February 2014. That sparked a spiraling crisis: a fledgling interim government in Kiev looked on as Russia first seized and then annexed the territory of Crimea, …

Underwater Ancient Cities and Ruins

Mysterious and strange, these ancient cities and buildings survived during sometimes more than 1000 years, protected by water. Deeply hidden in the …

On this day in 1819: To supplant the Dutch, Britain founds a new Malacca Strait base – Singapore

Thomas Stamford Raffles was born on 6 July 1781 on board a ship off the coast of Jamaica. His father was a merchant captain, and at age 14 Raffles entered the service of the East India Company as a clerk.<p>He educated himself in science and languages, and aged 25 was appointed Assistant Secretary to …

Gregor MacGregor: History’s Greatest Conman Who Sold Off An Imaginary Country

In 1820, a young, confident soldier returned from war in South America to his homeland of Great Britain. In London, he spoke of his bravery and how …

19 Stunning Staircases Transformed by Artists Around the World

Street art is best known as murals that cover entire walls—and sometimes even the buildings themselves. It has the incredible ability to turn the world into an outdoor gallery, but there's one surface that's often ignored: staircases. When painted, public stair art is a stunning and unexpected …

Art

What Nutmeg Can Tell Us About Nafta

GOA, India — For many years the word “globalization” was used as shorthand for a promised utopia of free trade powered by the world’s great centers of technological and financial innovation. But the celebratory note has worn thin. The word is now increasingly invoked to explain a widespread …

Glacier Republic

An unrecognized micronation declared by Greenpeace to protect the glaciers of Chile.<p>As climate change progresses, glaciers worldwide continue to …

The ancient place where history began

The idea of Mesopotamia has intoxicated the West for centuries. Alastair Sooke takes a look at a civilisation where much of modern culture took form.<p>“Everybody has heard of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Tower of Babel, Nebuchadnezzar, and the Flood,” says Ariane Thomas, a curator in the …

Banned Books and Blockbusters

How the publishing industry took on the taboo.<p>Contrary to what, Googling around, you might assume, obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. “There is a bone in my prick six inches long. I will ream out every wrinkle in your cunt.” Those sentences are from the opening pages of Henry …

Literature

Atlantis

Atlantis is a legendary city which is described in the work of the Greek philosopher Plato (c. 429 – 347 BCE). The story of Atlantis with its …

Delos: Mythical Island in the Mediterranean

When you think of Ancient Greek sites, for sure you will have heard of the Acropolis in Athens, you may have heard of the Oracle of Delphi - Sanctuary to the God Apollo. You might have even heard of Meteora; a UNESCO World Heritage site with gigantic rock pinnacles, atop which site magnificentally …

Ancient History

Four Great African Empires That Astonished the World

Who ruled Africa while Rome ruled Europe? How did they come to be forgotten?<p>A quick scan of online message boards will tell you that worldwide …

Gojoseon

Gojoseon (Gochoson or Old Choson) was an ancient kingdom which ruled northern Korea in the second half of the first millennium BCE. Gojoseon …

The Con Man Who Invented His Own Country

Beginning in 1821, the city of London was overrun with reports of a previously unknown nation nestled on the Caribbean coastline of what is now …

Central America

The First Encyclopedia by a Woman Contains The First Image of a Pretzel

In the 12th century, pretzels were for kings apparently.<p>Can you find the very first pretzel? (Photo: Christian Maurice Engelhardt/Public …