Monthly Archives: August 2011

East Berlin: Walled Up in Your Own Home

The rapid construction of the Berlin Wall on 13 August 1961 (fifty years ago this month) ended freedom of movement for thousands of citizens of Soviet-controlled East Berlin to other sections of the city. But nowhere would the restriction have been felt more acutely than for one group of people suddenly and irreversibly denied the right to walk out of their own front door. Continue reading

Archived under History

A Shift in Time

What time of day do you normally get out of bed? Around six or seven am (or later if you’re lucky)? How about getting up every day at twelve or one o-clock? Some people do, and usually they’re shift workers. But can you imagine a country where almost the entire population starts their day at 1am, or perhaps even earlier? And not a small country, but a nation of more than 80 million people? Continue reading

Archived under Geography

How to Mispronounce at 29,000 Feet

Tibetans call this mountain Jomolungma, or ‘Holy Mother’. Most of the rest of the world knows it as Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world. It’s named after George Everest, British Surveyor-General of India. Or is it? Continue reading

Archived under Geography

Would vineyards on the moon look like this?

This amazing, pock-marked volcanic terrain looks like a landscape from the moon or another planet. It’s hard to imagine a stranger place to find a vineyard. This is La GerĂ­a, on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, and grapes are cultivated here in a very unusual way. Continue reading

Archived under Man-Made

Coming Up Hedda

Film actress and notorious Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper nicknamed her Beverly Hills home ‘the house that Fear built.’ It’s hard to imagine she would have inspired the same kind of fear if she had stuck with her own birth name: Elda Furry. Continue reading

Archived under People