GNN Podcast: THE ‘QUIET CHERNOBYL’: THE ARAL SEA

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Original Image: kvitlauk Prior to the 1960s, the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest lake and approximately the size of Ireland. Fed by both the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers carrying snowmelt from the mountains to the southeast, the Aral Sea moderated the climate and provided a robust fishing industry that straddled the present-day border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. …

GNN Podcast: JULIUS CAESAR AND THE RISE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

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Image: Yuliya Nemova  The rise and fall of Julius Caesar is sometimes packaged like a cautionary tale for would-be dictators, the moral of the story asserting that one tyrant cannot replace democracy without getting a well-deserved stab in the back. While Caesar was indisputably a dictator, Rome suffered from a weak central government and self-interested senators prior to and during Caesar’s …

GNN Podcast: HAWAII’S ORIGINS

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Among the most famous of island paradises, the Hawaiian Islands have a long, and in many respects, a tragic history. Peopled by seafarers from Polynesia, the unique flora and fauna that had developed over millions of years began to degrade with their arrival and the introduction of non-native species. Centuries later, the descendants of those early inhabitants, the Hawaiian people, …

GNN Podcast: THE YEAR OF THE CHARLES W. MORGAN

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Summer 2014 brought a sight that had not been seen since 1941: the Charles W. Morgan leaving the Mystic River for the Atlantic Ocean, stopping at several New England harbors before eventually arriving in New Bedford, Massachusetts where the ship was built in 1841. The Charles W. Morgan is the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the world, and a …

GNN Podcast: TRANSYLVANIA

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Even if you’re not sure where Transylvania is, you probably have a picture in your mind’s eye, inspired by Hollywood, that is a dark and brooding landscape, cold and rainy and sinister. Transylvanian nights are as dark as any others, and they do get a fair amount of rain and cool temperatures, but the reputation for scary evil is nothing …

GNN Podcast: NICARAGUA CANAL

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It’s an old idea – dreamers have made plans to dig a canal across Nicaragua utilizing enormous Lake Nicaragua (also called Lake Cocibolca), the largest in Central America, for centuries. As far back as the early Spanish explorers in the 1500s, the concept has been considered. More concrete plans cropped up in the late 1800s and by the early 1900s …

GNN Podcast: 2050: HOW TO FEED 9 BILLION PEOPLE

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The United Nations estimates that by 2050 the planet will be home to 9.6 billion people—2 billion more than our current population. Many experts insist that crop production must double to keep pace, yet agriculture is one of the greatest contributors to global warming and water pollution. Entire ecosystems have disappeared more…

GNN Podcast: FOSSILS

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Billons of animals and plants die every day. Almost all of them decay through natural processes back into the elements that their bodies were made of. Of course, after they break down, they don’t look like the things they once were. But a very small number of them will die in just the right environment to preserve their bodies, or …

GNN Podcast: MONTEREY CANYON

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Our national landscape features a number of impressive canyons. Perhaps most famous among them is the Grand Canyon, but they also include Zion, Bryce, Palo Duro, Glen and many others. There’s another that is plenty big – in fact deeper and about as long as the Grand Canyon – and you’ve probably never seen it, even if you’ve been close …