In 1939 some ranchers in the West proposed taking parts out of Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana and creating a new state, called Absaroka. It never won approval from Congress but it did have its own license plates and beauty pageant. Plus: how come a spot in Tulsa is known as the center of the universe?
It's What's In A Name Week, where we're telling the stories of some of the most memorable names in the world. Today we look at a town in the Texas Hill Country that wanted a post office but couldn't get the feds to agree to any of their suggested names, until they said, let it be nameless! Plus: the story of how Lizard Lick, NC ended up with its one-of-a-kind name.
Change is in the air in the border region between Spain and France. A small island there called Pheasant Island is about to change countries, as it does twice a year. Plus: some enterprising race fans in Poland use construction cranes to help them get a good view of their favorite drivers even while physical distancing.
Vivid Maps released a map of the U.S. by demonym, which is the term for a word that describes people from a certain place. Some are straightforward, but there are also plenty of surprises. Plus: you've heard of Four Corners, but did you know there's also a Tri-State Marker where you could stand in the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Utah all at once?
Today is Canada Day, marking the 1867 confederation of three provinces then known as Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. But Canada was only one name out of many that were suggested for the new country. Plus: this week got weird at several Canadian Tire stores, thanks to a computer glitch that made every item show up in the scanner as a Mr. Potato Head.
Eight years ago Samoa skipped a day on the calendar, owing to the International Date Line and some business involving its key trading partners. There just wasn't a December 30th, 2011 there! Plus: why break your back shoveling snow when you can design a radio-controlled snowplow to do the work for you?
This is Geography Awareness Week, and on our fascinating planet Mount Everest is the tallest mountain - but it's not actually the highest point on earth. That's actually Mount Chimborazo, in Ecuador. Plus: the community of New Baltimore, NY gets a spooky purple makeover thanks to Google Maps.
Randal S. Olson developed a computer algorithm to find the shortest, most efficient way to drive through all 48 contiguous United States - 13,699 miles and around 224 hours of driving. Plus: the Race Across America is a more than 3,000 mile road race from Los Angeles to New York on bicycles.
The app what3words breaks down all the spaces on earth into 3 meter by 3 meter squares and assigns each of those squares a unique set of three words. Anyone who knows the three words for a square can pinpoint it with GPS - just ask the group of lost hikers in a UK forest who got help in about a minute thanks to the system.
The website and book Sad Topographies teaches us that our planet is home to some unusually-named places, like Gloomy Lake in Ontario, Divorce Beach in Mexico, New Jersey’s Shades of Death Road (!) and a spot in Washington state known as Point No Point.