Right between Chile and Peru rests a relatively unknown desert known as the Atacama. Although it’s not exactly what you would call tiny (its area is over 41,000 square miles), it is not as well known as the Mojave or the Sahara. Even so, the Atacama has a certain claim to fame which often gets mistakenly attributed to the Sahara – it is the driest desert in the world.
The world is full of enormous caves, but China’s Miao Room cavern just earned itself the title of the world’s largest cave chamber by volume. This supercave was first documented in 1989…
Following a series of scandals that devastated a vulnerable nation along with the ambitions of a less-than saintly presidential administration, Richard Nixon said sayonara to the Oval Office on August 9, 1974.
Straight from the pages of future President George H.W. Bush’s journal:
“There is no way to really describe the emotion of the day. Bar [Bush’s wife, Barbara] and I went down and had breakfast at the White House. Dean and Pat Burch and the Buchanans were there in the Conference Mess. There was an aura of sadness, like somebody died. Grief. Saw Tricia and Eddie Cox [President Nixon's daughter and her husband] in the Rose Garden – talked to them on the way to the ceremony.
President Nixon looked just awful. He used glasses – the first time I ever saw them. Close to breaking down – understandably. Everyone in the room in tears.
The speech was vintage Nixon – a kick or two at the press – enormous strains. One couldn’t help but look at the family and the whole thing and think of his accomplishments and then think of the shame and wonder kind of man is this really. No morality – kicking his friends in those tapes – all of them. Gratuitous abuse. Caring for no one yet doing so much. When he used the word ‘plumbers’ [in his speech] meaning it [as] ‘laboring with his hands’, the connotation was a shock to me.”
The world’s earliest gardens were planted to reap medicinal benefits and celebrate the gods. Over time, the purpose of gardens has expanded dramatically, with people growing gardens for a number of functional and not-so-functional reasons. Take a trip with us as we explore six mesmerizing gardens around the world, landing on almost every continent but Antarctica. (And keep your bucket list handy—you will be needing it.)
Canada: Butchart Gardens
Brentwood Bay, British Columbia is home to one of world’s most beautiful expanses of plants and trees—the Butchart Gardens. Featuring uninterrupted bloom from more than one million bedding plants, the site has since been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. Each year, nearly a million visitors gape at the various gardens that contain more than 900 varieties of colorful blooms.
Artists Take A Stand For The Hong Kong Protesters
In case you missed it, a series of student-led protests have rocked the streets of Hong Kong this week regarding Beijing’s authoritative creep over the island of Hong Kong. In 1997, when Hong Kong was “transferred” back to China, the area was to maintain a high degree of autonomy except for matters of defense and foreign affairs. So with Beijing’s recent election-related actions–saying that voters can only choose from those that Beijing has approved–people in Hong Kong are rightly concerned. To express solidarity with the thousands in Hong Kong’s streets, these artists have created a number of powerful works of art, and we encourage you to check them out.