Today in 1858 Minnesota became the 32nd state in the Union. There's a part of the state that's on the other side of a lake from the rest, which means anyone who wants to drive from the Northwest Angle to the rest of Minnesota has to drive through Canada.
Today in 2021, the BBC reported on a very unusual happening: a farmer in Belgium accidentally redrew the country’s border with France.
The new 3D printing project called To Grow A Building is working on a method to 3D print the components of structures out of dirt, with the goal of reducing the significant amount of emissions that come from using standard building materials.
For mountaineers, success and safety can depend on good communication. A piece in Outside magazine featured two Deaf climbers who have their own communication system when they’re climbing, and they plan to use that system in climbing the highest peaks on each continent.
Today in 1863, West Virginia became a state - though back in the 18th Century, there were several efforts to meld this land with parts of Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Maryland and create an entirely different entity called Vandalia or Westsylvania.
It's Geography Awareness Week, so we wanted to find the furthest points in each direction that are part of the United States, along with the geographical center. Plus: the story of a boundary with Morocco that just sort of popped up one day.
The National Geographic Society has recognized a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, on earth. How the oceans got their names - and why we don't think of them as one big ocean, which is what it is - is a long and fascinating story. Plus: a designer in South Korea has invented a "third eye" to warn people looking at their phones while walking before they collide with someone or something (or, maybe, to get them to look up more often).
A Spanish tech startup called Bioo has built an installation in which plants serve as the keys of a kind of "green piano." Plus: for International Mountain Day, a look at some of the peaks with more down-to-earth names.
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.