11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… how history’s most prolific explorer felt his way around the world. Read of the week!

By his death at 70 in 1857, James Holman, ”the Blind Traveller,” had walked, climbed, ridden, hiked, and sailed a total distance equal to traveling to the moon. In terms of mileage and the number of cultures he encountered, Holman died as the most well-traveled explorer in world history.
Lithograph by Maxim Gauci, printed by Graf & Soret, published by Andrews & Co, courtesy the National Portrait Gallery (UK)

Where in the world are our explorers?


… the Hurricane Harvey Book Club is comforting students—and teachers, and parents.

Coast Guardsmen fly displaced residents to a collection point following severe flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland

How did Harvey become the rainiest storm in U.S. history?


… the world’s most valuable resource is not oil. It’s data, and that needs to inform how we think about monopolies and trusts.

The trust buster himself, President Theodore Roosevelt, looks on as a trust is squeezed by Treasury Secretary George B. Cortelyou. Who is this generation’s “trust buster”?
Illustration by Udo J. Keppler, courtesy Library of Congress

Is there “trust busting” Silicon Valley firms?


… children are probably more fair than selfish.

There’s enough NG for everyone!
Photograph by Richard Hewitt Stewart, National Geographic

What’s fair?



… why innovative ecology needs old-fashioned natural history.

Over the course of the last century, natural historians were increasingly regarded as old-fashioned in style and out of touch with modern methodologies.
Photograph by Robert Clark, National Geographic

What is ecology? What is natural history?



… using a plastic bag in Kenya could cost you $40,000 or four years in jail.

What are the “perils of plastic”?



… a lot of our ideas about bilingual children are total myths.

Boys pledge allegiance at Raphael Weill Public School in San Francisco in 1942. Soon after this picture was taken, students with Japanese ancestry were evacuated with their parents to internment camps.
Photograph by Dorothea Lange, courtesy National Archives and Records Administration

How do students plan a website in a bilingual classroom?



fantasy maps are awesome, and fantasy maps are awful.

Does this map make geographic sense to you?
Oz, by L. Frank Baum

What does our “guerrilla geographer” think of fantasy maps?



… West Africa may be closer to introducing a single currency.

Nigeria, where these people are celebrating a wedding, is the largest economy in West Africa.
Photograph by Robin Hammond, National Geographic

Will a single currency eliminate hyperinflation like this?



… you can travel through deep time with this interactive Earth.

Interactive by International Mapping; Paleogeographic maps by Ron Blakey

You can travel to Mars with our interactive globe!



… the literal translation of place-names in Canada and the United States.

You know you’re an academic when your favorite thing about this fun map is that they cited their sources.
Map courtesy Expedia.ca

What are the politics of place-naming?

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