"To the world of today the men of medieval Christendom already seem remote and unfamiliar. Their names and deeds are recorded in our history-books, their monuments still adorn our cities, but our kinship with them is a thing unreal, which costs an effort of imagination. How much more must this apply to the great Islamic civilization, that stood over against medieval Europe, menacing its existence and yet linked to it by a hundred ties that even war and fear could not sever. Its monuments too abide, for those who may have the fortunate to visit them, but its men and manners are to most of us utterly unknown, or dimly conceived in the romantic image of the Arabian Nights. Even for the specialist it is difficult to reconstruct their lives and see them as they were. Histories and biographies there are in quantity, but the historians for all their picturesque details, seldom show the ability to select the essential and to give their figures that touch of the intimate which makes them live again for the reader. It is in this faculty that Ibn Battuta excels."
Thus begins the book, "Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354" published by Routledge and Kegan Paul
. Step into the world
of "the first tourist
" who made his mark as the world's greatest traveler
before the age of steam. [more inside]
posted by infini
on Jan 12, 2013 -
Is human history every bit as important and worth saving as natural history?
William Cronon explained that the 1964 Wilderness Act and National Park Service policy separates "nature" and "culture" as two very distinct things. This attitude means that, in lots of places, the Park Service has actually torn down historic buildings and removed traces of past human habitation in order to make National Parks more "natural."
The Apostle Islands, the northernmost part of Wisconsin, appears to be totally wild. But less than 100 years ago, it was thriving stone quarry that supplied building materials to NY, Chicago and other major metropolitan cities.
posted by Kokopuff
on Aug 11, 2011 -
: a man-made archipelago of 300 islands
constructed to approximate the land masses of Earth, located 4 kilometers off the coast of Dubai. Claim part of The World for your own, or as an investment. Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt bought Ethiopia
, Tommy Lee bought Greece for ex-wife Pamela Anderson
, David Beckham and Rod Stewart
were each rumored to have bought an island, joining other celebrities
who had purchased part of The World. The environmental impact of World-creation was raised
, and Sir Richard Branson warned that the islands would be submerged in 50 years
if global governments did not address climate change. The warning in 2007 did not dissuade the developers, and the final rock was placed in the breakwater
in January 2008. The end of The World has not been brought about by rising tides, but financial woes have put the development on long-term hold
, potentially ending the project. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Oct 2, 2009 -
was first observed on November 14, 1963, as a pillar of smoke
on the water some ways south of Iceland. The very next day lava and tephra broke the surface of the Atlantic and by May, 1964 the formation had grown to 2.4 km². Over the next three years lava eruptions continued, coating the loose debris in a hard shell and protecting it from erosion. An island born
. Naturally, Surtsey has been under close scientific observation since its emergence, and courtesy The Surtsey Research Society
you can read published reports on the geology
and biological colonization
of this new earth.
posted by carsonb
on Jul 17, 2008 -
"...will future climate change refugees become a new caste of service sector workers inhabiting a sort of Floating Hotel & Duty Free Mall ... ?" Small island states
are on the front line.
posted by nthdegx
on Jun 19, 2008 -
are the names of four artificial islands immediately off the Southern California port of Long Beach. From the shore
, they each look like an inhabited island paradise
, complete with waterfalls, interesting buildings, many palm trees and crazy nighttime party lighting
. In fact, they are offshore oil wells
, built on 10 acre Dubai-esque man-made islands created for the purpose of housing the oil wells
, and disguised so as to comply with local aesthetic standards.
posted by jonson
on Apr 11, 2007 -
Thinking of using that spare $75mil. to purchase that apartment on top of the Pierre hotel? Wouldn't you really be happier here...
posted by vronsky
on Sep 29, 2006 -
The tiny island nation of Nauru
(pop 12,329) once had one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world. Recently, though, the "poor little rich kid of the Pacific
" has dissolved into political chaos. In an address three weeks ago, just before the country's telecommunications network collapsed, President Bernard Dowiyogo said, “You are all aware and conscious of our critical situation.” Since then – silence
. (via boingboing)
posted by gottabefunky
on Feb 21, 2003 -
Do you dream of living on a secluded island surrounded by all of the ice cream
you could eat? Here is your chance!
And have you ever heard of anyone actually winning one of these essay contests?
posted by Dinzie
on Dec 13, 2001 -
Barry Weaver from the University of Oklahoma has a neat Web site on the islands Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
. These islands belong to Britain and are in the South Atlantic, a few thousand miles from Africa. Weaver's pages may not be the prettiest, but the content is interesting, especially the photo-tour of each island.
posted by tdecius
on Nov 2, 1999 -