geography

What's the deal with controlled burns?

Starting a fire to prevent fire seems counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense once you understand it. But controlled burns aren't just to help prevent forest fires. They're also a vital part of keeping the local ecosystem healthy and thriving. Learn all about how controlled burns work right here, right now.

Who Gets to Name Continents?

America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, right? Maybe not. And who named Australia? Find out the unusually uncertain origins of the continents and other interesting stuff in this episode.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Articles on mysterious laws, evil dummies, kids causing trainwrecks and much more.

A co-worker just sent me the most recent quality of life survey conducted by the consulting/staffing/HR giant Mercer. Looks like Europe is the place to be when it comes to living well in 2009, with Vienna booting Zurich from the top spot in the "overall living" category. I've been to Vienna and I've got to say, it was pretty dang nice - clean, friendly and easy to get around. I had a blast, but enough of that. Geneva came in third place with Vancouver and Auckland tied for fourth place. There was also a list for infrastructure only with the top five shaping up as follows: Singapore, Munich, Copenhagen, Tsukuba and Yokohama (both in Japan). London scored eighth on the infrastructure list (38th overall) and the city that rated lowest overall was... wait for it... Baghdad. Big shock on that one.