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After decades of a tumultuous relationship, American-Cuban exchanges have finally taken a positive step forward. This change brings an unlikely ray of hope to the medical field – for America. [read more...]
The history of ancient Greece is very interesting. Ancient Greek people told stories to help each other learn about the world around them. They had ideas about their food that seem weird to us today they also invented theatre as we know it and the Olympic games. [read more...]
A circle of volcanoes marks the boundaries of the Pacific tectonic plate. Scientists call it a Ring of Fire. [read more...]
You probably didn’t know that elephants are very social and intelligent, or that they can weigh up to seven tons. There are so many fascinating facts about elephants. [read more...]
Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, a famous painter during the 1780s and 1790s, was the kind of person every painter dreams of becoming–even today. She was not only one of the most famous, highly-paid painters but also one of the first women accepted into one of the most prestigious art academies in the world. [read more...]
Recently, Simpson Street Free Press reporters ventured out of the City of Madison to Hubertus, WI. Excited and a little nervous, we headed out of the office on a horseback riding mission. We were a little uncertain about the weather, but we were determined to have an unforgettable field trip. [read more...]
The New Kingdom of ancient Egypt started in 1550 B.C.E when the nation’s capital moved to Thebes. During this time, the Egyptians also created the famous underground burial site called the Valley of the Kings. In this valley, tombs surrounded by pyramids held many kinds of treasures. Some tombs even contained food, royal clothing, gilded furniture, jewelery, weapons and chariots, which were all buried with the kings, or pharaohs, to be used during their afterlife. [read more...]
El Canal de Panamá es una de las mayores obras de ingeniería en Panamá, y une el Océano Pacífico con el Mar Caribe, acelerando el comercio marítimo. La magnífica obra terminó con la inauguración de la vía interoceánica el 15 de agosto de 1914. Aunque el canal fue un logro grande para Panamá, la manera como se construyó esa obra fue muy peligrosa e injusta. La mayoría de los obreros que construyeron esa vía fueron negros y el tratamiento que recibieron fue especialmente cruel. [read more...]
Eastern Asia is a large part of the world that includes China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. Much of these areas are covered by harsh terrain, including distant mountains, massive deserts, and parched grasslands. Eastern Asia also has many valleys, plains, and fast flowing rivers. [read more...]
The Arctic Ocean is home to a diverse collection of animals including belugas, walruses, narwhals, and jellyfish. [read more...]
South America, the fourth biggest continent, contains about 12 percent of the Earth’s land area. Populated by over 355 million people, this continent is unique and filled with incredible biodiversity. [read more...]
Geronimo was a great Native American leader. He was born in the Apache tribe in 1829 near Clifton, Arizona. Throughout his life, Geronimo gained a reputation as a leader who challenged anyone who threatened his tribe’s way of life. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press student reporters recently had the opportunity to meet and interview potters from the rural Mexican village of Mata Ortiz at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). Each artist has a unique story—some began the trade at age 17, while others started at only four years old. All of the artists, young and old, share a deep passion for the ceramic arts and their village. [read more...]
The grizzly is one of the most well known bears. In fact, it is nicknamed the “mighty bear.” [read more...]
The “Great Migration” was a significant time in America. During this time, which spanned the late 1800's through the early 1900's, many African American people moved from the South to the North hoping to make better lives for themselves. [read more...]
Most dolphins are gentle aquatic playmates, but it’s a different story when it comes to dolphins trained by Russia. Training these dolphins takes place in Sevastopol, Crimea, at one of only two combat-dolphin training centers in the world. [read more...]
One might not think that penguins can live in warm places. However, a variety of penguin species actually live in South America, Australia, New Zealand, and even South Africa. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of the Macedonian dynasty in Egypt. She is probably most known from the 1963 film, “Cleopatra,” Shakespeare's “Antony and Cleopatra,” and museum exhibits about her family's rich history. [read more...]
Tony the Tiger is a magnificent Siberian-Bengal mix, tipping the scales at 550 pounds. Descended from great hunters in the wild, this stunning animal has lived in a cage in a Louisiana truck stop for more than 10 years. Currently, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to move him to Big Cat Rescue sanctuary, but Tony’s owner and the “Keep Tony Where He Is” Facebook group are opposed to the idea. [read more...]
Water is an important factor in cave formation. It finds its way through cracks, dissolves, and melts, creating caves all over the world. [read more...]
En toda la Unión Europea sólo hay tres países que tienen el mismo número de mujeres que de hombres trabajando en las ciencias y en la ingeniería. Estos tres países son Letonia, Lituania y Polonia. Esto no parece justo, pero ahora, ¿es mejor que en el pasado? [read more...]
A limestone masterpiece, the Great Barrier Reef is constructed entirely of coral. [read more...]
Hace muchos años nuestro planeta se veía distinto a como lo conocemos ahora. Todos los continentes eran parte de uno solo, conocido como Pangea. ¿Cómo fue que el supercontinente Pangea se convirtió en los siete continentes que conocemos hoy en día? [read more...]
Koalas are also called koala bears, even though koalas and bears are very different. Inhabiting Eastern Australia, Koalas are one of the most well-known animals on the continent. [read more...]
About 3,000 years ago, ancient Greeks roamed the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean. Many independent states, each with their own identities, comprised the greater ancient Greek civilization. [read more...]
Language is remarkable. Today, there are over six thousand known languages spoken throughout the world. In the remote territories of northern Australia, natives of the small village of Lajamanu have even invented their own language. [read more...]
One of Earth's oldest nations and Western Europe’s largest country by landmass, France supports a population of more than 66 million people. Covering more than 210,026 square miles, this nation has much more to offer than its most iconic landmark—the Eiffel Tower. [read more...]
You might not know that the country sitting directly above us is the second largest country in the world. In fact, Canada contains one fourth of all freshwater on Earth, is home to over 30 national parks, and includes the 4,350-mile long Trans-Canada highway—a stretch longer than many entire countries! [read more...]
The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is also known as the world’s highest dump. For 60 years, climbers have been hiking this Nepali mountain and leaving their trash behind. [read more...]
The Arctic can be a cold and desolate place. But with the help of new technological advances and the diligent migrant workers labor, the opportunity for more people to work and live there is expanding. [read more...]
Every summer at Bracken Cave in Texas, a spooky ritual takes place. Twenty million hungry bats swarm out of the cave. Lucky for us, they feed on insects. [read more...]
Did you know that beavers are the largest rodents, or gnawing animals, in North America? Though beavers used to inhabit many places throughout North America including Mexico and the North Artic Regions, they now live primarily in northern-forested regions around the world. [read more...]
The Matterhorn, a mountain formed by glaciers, is one of the most magnificent mountains in the Swiss Alps. A dangerous yet frequently climbed mountain, the Matterhorn spans Switzerland and Italy. Many people have tried and failed to reach its peak. [read more...]
Many people are aware of the recent wars in Afghanistan, but some might not know about this country's wildlife, people, and history. [read more...]
The East African Rift Valley is a beautiful but perilous place. Partially surrounding Lake Victoria, the Rift Valley extends from Tanzania to Ethiopia. The western arm of the rift is 1,900 miles long, while the eastern arm is about 1,600 miles long. This area, marked by constant earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, is also known as the Afar Triangle. [read more...]
A jar of sweet peas might be the key to determining the seasonal conditions that led to the “Atlantis” volcanic eruption on the island of Santorini, Greece. A recent evaluation of evidence found at the eruption site, published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, re-opened this cold case. [read more...]
Brazil is a tropical country with a rich culture – and a lot of rain. Because the equator lies across the northern part of the country, Brazil has a hot climate. The temperature generally stays above 68 degrees. January is the wettest month, with nearly 11 inches of rain falling all across the country. [read more...]
In the Black Hills of South Dakota, there is a curious looking mountain. [read more...]
On the main Japanese island of Honshu, about 60 miles southeast of the capital Tokyo, lies Mount Fuji. Rising to 12,388 feet, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. [read more...]
Near the Black Sea, in the small town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, residents once practiced a method of vampire extermination, which involves skewering bodies of the deceased with sharp objects. [read more...]
President Ortega of Nicaragua has a vision of creating a cross-country shipping canal much like the Panama Canal. In June, Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company was given approval to build the $40-billion structure. [read more...]
In 1974, outside the city of Xi’an, China, a group of well diggers came across one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of all time: a life-size clay soldier. Chinese authorities were later notified and dispatched to the site, where they uncovered thousands of these clay soldiers. [read more...]
As a full-blooded African, everything in my genes leads me to cringe at the thought of anything related to cold. Recently, however, something fascinating happened in my adopted home state of Wisconsin. This year’s harsh winter allowed for spectacular ice caves to emerge along the shores of Lake Superior. Even someone of my heritage can appreciate the allure of these natural wonders. [read more...]
Back in the 12th century, the Cambodian godking Suyarvarman II constructed an enormous temple he named as Angkor Wat. Today, the temple is still one of the world’s most stunning specimens of Hindu architecture. [read more...]
Because of Iceland's unique position atop the mid-Atlantic ridge, the island nation is continuously being re-built by nature. [read more...]
There is nothing more intimidating and frightful than the unknown. [read more...]
The remains of a palace steamer, shipwrecked in the Great Lakes in 1861, was recently recovered in Lake Huron. [read more...]
The Eiffel Tower is known for its height and beauty. Now Paris’s most iconic structure, the “Tour d’Eiffel” was quite the controversy at the time of its construction. [read more...]
The naturally gorgeous Yosemite National Park area was a mystery to Westerners until 1851. Volunteers of the Mariposa Battalion uncovered it accidentally during an attempt to capture Ahwahneechee Native Americans and move them to a reservation. The name of the park, Yosemite, is a corruption of the Native American word for grizzly bear, uzumati. [read more...]
Without seeing it themselves, people might think the Dead Sea is an actual sea. But in fact it is actually a very long lake made up of two basins located in Jordan, Israel. [read more...]
In 1631, Arjuman Banu Began died giving birth to her fourteenth child. Her husband, Shah Jehan, the Moghul Emperor in India, was devastated. He sought to build a tomb in her memory that was like nothing else in the world. “The Taj Mahal” would symbolize his great love for her. And after 22 years, with the help of 20,000 workers, his desire was realized. [read more...]
With more than seven billion people living on Earth, things can get pretty crowded. [read more...]
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the oldest rock art in North America. Etched as long as 14,800 years ago, these carvings, or petroglyphs, were found at Winnemucca Lake in Nevada. [read more...]
Pickling is an interesting and ancient process. Pickles come in many different types, shapes and sizes. [read more...]
Do you know the difference between a swamp and a marsh? There is one main difference: swamps contain trees and shrubbery, while marshes are waterlogged areas without trees. More land dwelling animals live in swamps, while marshes are home to a variety of birds. [read more...]
First oxen were wild beasts, but now they are tamed cattle. This phenomenon didn’t happen overnight. New research pinpoints when in history cows were domesticated. [read more...]
The lost island Atlantis is the stuff of legend. It’s been that way for centuries, despite the fact that there is no scientific proof of its location. Still, Greek and Egyptian cultures have cultivated their own stories of the island’s origin. [read more...]
The Kalahari is a huge desert located in southern Africa. Because of the dry climate nothing really grows. The things that do grow are small plants such as are thorn bushes, and a few small trees. [read more...]
Fifty-eight million years ago, a 50-foot creature, weighing a little over a ton, roamed the lowland tropics of Cerrejón, Colombia. This vicious, cold-blooded predator is thought to be the Titanoboa cerrejones snake. The discovery of its existence leaves scientists astounded, and causes them to reconsider the nature of archaic life. [read more...]
In a recent article, I wrote about a UW-Madison researcher, Charles Bentley, who drilled through Antarctic ice sheets in search clues about the Earth’s ancient weather patterns. A team of Russian scientists used a similar strategy to learn which organisms inhabit this unique subglacial environment. [read more...]
The average meteor enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed between 22,000 and 44,000 miles per hour. Meteors are faster than the speed of sound and create a sonic boom as they enter the atmosphere. These spectacular events are fascinating, but do not occur often. [read more...]
On a clear fall day almost 80 years ago, an amateur fossil hunter was exploring the remote hills of eastern New Mexico. Near the small town of Clovis he found something very exciting. By the 1930s researchers from around the world were investigating human artifacts found at the site. [read more...]
Fifty thousand years ago was ice age time in Madison. The region we live in now was covered with glaciers. These glaciers reached a height equal to five of our state capitol buildings on top of each other. As temperatures warmed and the ice began to melt, the glaciers slowly started to move, gouging holes into the land. The holes filled up with the melted water and became Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. [read more...]
The Amazon River, located in South America, is home to hundreds of creatures and people. The earliest inhabitants of the Amazonia region arrived 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, following the great migration across the Bering Strait. [read more...]
In November of 1855, explorer David Livingstone became the first European to visit Victoria Falls. What he didn’t know at the time is that he was looking at the largest waterfall on Planet Earth. Livingstone was a missionary and adventurer from Scotland. He found this waterfall while visiting Africa on a missionary venture, hoping to open up this landlocked region to other Christian missionaries. [read more...]
Recently, fellow reporters Rosalinda, Patricia, Alexis, Aarushi, Claire and I visited a museum rich in ancient fossils and animal artifacts. Unlike other museums, this one was located cozily between the kitchen and living room of David Wandel’s house. [read more...]
A Mustang is a free roaming horse that lives in North America. The Spaniards originally brought these animals to North America when they conquered Mexico. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt, ruled a land that was powerful, glamorous, and full of life. It’s no wonder that Roman emperor Octavian wanted to steal Egypt for himself. [read more...]
Early on a Saturday Morning, fellow Free Press teen editor Annie Shao and I set out for the Milwaukee Public Museum. It was a nice day and this was a trip we were looking forward to very much. The exhibit we wanted to see is called, “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” We loved it. The exhibit transported us back to Cleopatra’s world to fully understand her life and death. [read more...]
The twisting body of a serpent uncoils across a summit, revealing its black skin rising above ground. The name “Serpent Mound” reflects the mound’s physical features. Preserved by the Ohio Historical Society, Serpent Mound lies in Adams County, Ohio. It sits on top of a plateau that sprouts from a 150-foot hill, rising above the Brush Creek River. Tall trees are scattered about, surrounding the mound, as the winding river adds to the beauty of the sight. [read more...]
The words “biggest” and “smallest” are used often when you’re talking about geography. But these words can also be quite ambiguous. The world’s geography exists in three dimensions, and has been irrevocably influenced by human culture and human migration. [read more...]
“To live in a land of opportunity for both us and our children is all we want,” my parents told me when I asked about why they came to America. [read more...]
The barn owl and the long-eared owl are two very similar birds. Both are native to Wisconsin. These owls hunt small rodents and birds at night and rest during the day. Individuals of both are about the same size – 13 to 16 inches tall. [read more...]
A team of Simpson Street Free Press reporters recently took a trip to the Madison Children’s Museum. In its new location, 100 N. Hamilton Street, this new building is one of the eco-friendliest places in Madison. [read more...]
The Earth’s crust is made up of tectonic plates that continuously shift. Between those plates are fault lines, or fractures, that are created when adjoining plates move against to each other. [read more...]
The regions of South and East Asia, which include China, India and Indonesia, are experiencing enormous economic and industrial growth. These developments are not without consequences. [read more...]
I moved to Madison, with my family seven and a half years ago. I am very glad my parents decided to move here, but it took a while to settle in. [read more...]
Though cougars are not native to Wisconsin, sightings in the state have been reported since the 1940s. The cougar is very rare and mysterious; occasionally these big cats appear quickly, then disappear with a ghostly exit back into the forest. [read more...]
According to a recent Wisconsin State Journal article by Ron Seely, groundwater experts and waterfront property owners are lobbying for a new bill that would regulate high-capacity wells. These wells pump about 100,000 gallons of water per day. The bill would create new management areas in places where pumping groundwater could negatively impact the quality and availability of water. [read more...]
Just south of Verona, where county highway PB meets state highway 69, lies the adorable little town of Paoli. Over the years Free Press reporters have visited Paoli several times to get ice cream, snack on delicious cheese, and study local history. [read more...]
The Earth’s tectonic plates are always shifting, colliding, and floating above our planet’s molten interior. The massive forces created by these huge plates shape our world. They can also be very destructive. [read more...]
An enormous sinkhole recently formed in the middle of Guatemala’s capital city. Because it caused massive destruction to the city, Guatemala’s huge sinkhole is considered among the most tragic events in the history of that Central American country. [read more...]
New research shows that a common herbicide called atrazine certain species of amphibians. In the United States atrazine is a common weed-killing chemical. It is also a contaminate found in well water and drinking water. Scientists now know that this chemical causes some unusual changes in the sex genes of male amphibians, in particular––frogs. [read more...]
Is the water we drink safe? According to Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is some cause for concern. [read more...]
Bar-tailed godwits, bristled-thighed curlews, and artic terns are three examples of birds that make amazing migrations. They travel thousands of miles over vast expanses of ocean in one big stretch. It may seem an impossible feat, but through millions of years of evolution these various bird species have adapted well for their long journeys. [read more...]
Steve Kramer spent an hour and a half swimming in the ocean off the coast of Maine last August. It was the longest he has ever been in Maine’s coastal waters. In past years it was too cold to do more than jump quickly in and out. [read more...]
For a long time scientists believed that Neanderthals were incapable of symbolic thinking. But new research suggests that seashells were used by these early humans for representative reasons. [read more...]
The gray wolf recently returned to the federal endangered species list for the third time in the last two years. This change marks a continued battle between those who want the wolf to remain protected, and those who believe it should be permanently removed from the list. [read more...]
A famous archeological site known as Hadar is located in Ethiopia’s Afar desert in East Africa. The sun-baked landscape is extremely harsh and temperatures routinely reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit. [read more...]
A commonly quoted prediction regarding Himalayan glacial melt is now being criticized as an extreme overestimate. [read more...]
On a recent sunny Saturday, Free Press reporters took a short trip from Madison to Cross Plains. This is a cute little town just west of Middleton on Highway 14. Cross Plains also happens to be where Wisconsin’s first ever “green library” is located. The Rosemary Garfoot Public Library is built to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). [read more...]