Gasherbrum II and the 1956 Austrian Karakoram Expedition

Gasherbrum II (گاشر برم -2‬‎ in Urdu); surveyed as K4, is the 13th highest mountain in the world at 26,362 feet (8,035 meters) above sea level, located in the Karakoram — the world’s second highest mountain range which spans the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, extending to Afghanistan and Tajikistan in its northwest extremity. The mountain was first climbed on July 7, 1956, by an … Continue reading Gasherbrum II and the 1956 Austrian Karakoram Expedition

Hong Kong’s Basalt Island

Basalt Island (火石洲)  is an island of Hong Kong, administratively part of the Sai Kung District. Together with Wang Chau and Bluff Island, it forms the Ung Kong Group and is part of the Hong Kong Global Geopark. It is located south of Town Island and Wang Chau, east of Bluff Island and north of the Ninepin Group. Its highest elevation is 174 m. On … Continue reading Hong Kong’s Basalt Island

Phang Nga: Province, Town & Bay

Since the beginning of November, I have been working at a school in the provincial capital of Phang Nga, about two hours north of my home on Phuket island. This was to be a temporary assignment while awaiting the arrival of the permanent teacher and I spent the past two weeks commuting back and forth each day (four-hour round-trip). As so often happens here in … Continue reading Phang Nga: Province, Town & Bay

National Stamp Collecting Month: U.S. National Postal Museum

This is the final stamp collecting-themed article for October’s National Stamp Collecting Month this year (tomorrow’s post will be about Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”). I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at a place where collectors and others interested in stamps and postal history can go every day of the year. Unfortunately, I have yet to visit the Smithsonian’s … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: U.S. National Postal Museum

FIDES and a History of Tahiti

In 1956, many French colonies around the world participated in what is known as an omnibus issue to commemorate the 10th anniversary of an organization identified on the stamps as FIDES. In philately, an omnibus is an issue of stamps by several countries with a common subject and which may share a uniform design. Omnibus issues have often been made by countries under common political … Continue reading FIDES and a History of Tahiti

The Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni

The Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni is a Neolithic subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase (3300 – 3000 BC) in Maltese prehistory, located in Paola, Malta. It is often simply referred to as the Hypogeum (Ipoġew in Maltese), literally meaning “underground” in Greek. The Hypogeum is thought to have been a sanctuary and necropolis, with the remains of more than 7,000 individuals documented by archeologists, and … Continue reading The Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni

Vienna Burgtheater

The Burgtheater (Imperial Court Theatre), originally known as K.K. Theater an der Burg, then until 1918 as the K.K. Hofburgtheater, is the Austrian National Theatre in Vienna and one of the most important German language theatres in the world. The Burgtheater was created in 1741 and has become known as “die Burg” by the Viennese population; its theatre company of more or less regular members … Continue reading Vienna Burgtheater