Wisconsin Effigy Mounds Tell the Story of Pre-Columbian Civilizations

by Yoanna Hoskins, age 12

The Midwest harbors many fascinating many mounds, burial sites, and historical landmarks - some are even located in Wisconsin.

One mound site in Wisconsin is located in the small town of Aztalan. Aztalan was discovered as a historical landmark in the 19th century when charred bones were found in several locations. Scientists hypothesize that these charred bones are evidence of cannibalistic rituals or the remains of long-forgotten mortuary practices. However, at the time, archeologists did not believe ancient Native Americans had the technical skills to build complex mounds and dismissed the discovery. Today, site caretakers have built a wooden wall the mimics one that existed in pre-Columbian times. Visitors can now get a sense of the ancient city’s size and learn about its rich history. [read more]

Human Migration Discovery May Prove Beringian Standstill Model

by Felicia Zheng, age 13

Scientists have always believed that there was one mass migration of people across the land bridge between Asia and the Americas. This group of people then split in two, forming the northern and southern groups, which are the ancestors of modern day Native Americans. This belief was mostly based on DNA from bodies and remains found in settlements. However, a new discovery might completely change the theories about these people and their paths.

In 2010, a group of archaeologists, led by Dr. Ben A. Potter, explored a temporary settlement in Alaska and uncovered three bodies in an ancient burial site. A three-year-old boy was buried alongside two infant girls. The remains were found to be 11,500 years old. When DNA was recovered from one of the infants and analyzed, it was discovered that they were not related to the two main groups of Native Americans. This means that there is an undiscovered third branch of Native Americans, changing the previous timeline that scientists had established for migration to the Americas. [read more]

The Great Sphinx Guards the Pyramids of Giza

by Destany Jackson, age 13

Ancient Egyptians were skilled mathematicians and architects who built huge stone monuments in honor of their rulers. One type of monument they built for their pharaohs was the pyramid. The most impressive of the ancient monuments were the Egyptian pyramids which were built in Giza.

The Pyramids were built for the pharaohs of the Old Kingdom who ruled from 2686 to 2134 BC. The tombs inside the pyramids were huge and had four walls. The first Egyptian pyramid had stepped sides and was built in Saqqara around 2650 B.C.E. The pyramids built over 100 years later, in Giza, had flat sides. Inside the pyramids were burial chambers and secret passageways. No one really knows why the tombs were built in a pyramid shape. One theory is that the sides were viewed as a stairway to heaven to help pharaohs achieve eternal life. [read more]

Like “Thundering Smoke,” Mist Rises at Victoria Falls

by Kara Nicholas, age 14

Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. It is also known as Mosi-oa-tunya, meaning “smoke that thunders.”

Scottish explorer and scientist David Livingstone discovered Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in the fall of 1855—or at least he was the first European to witness its powerful beauty. Very impressed by the massive waterfall, Livingstone described its mist like “thundering smoke.” He then named the waterfall after Queen Victoria of England. [read more]

Recent Geography Articles

A volcano is an opening in the surface of the Earth. Gas and hot smoke, along with magma and ash, can come out of its opening. [read more...]
Native plants are an important part of our ecosystem due to their many benefits, but their numbers are quickly dwindling. A new program by the Land and Water Resources Department aims to encourage more native gardens around Dane County. The program, called Plant Dane, is growing and offering free native plants to schools and community centers. Native plant gardens can be quite costly due to the high price of native plants. By offering free plants from the county, schools and communities that previously didn't have the money to create a garden now can. [read more...]
Blue-green algae is a problem that plagues many beaches in Dane County. Too much exposure to this bacterium can lead to high risks of health issues such as sore throats and rashes. The toxic algae flourish in Dane County’s phosphorus-rich lakes decreasing water quality and resulting in beach closings. John Reimer, a civil engineer and assistant director of the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, is using new technology to keep the beaches clean and closings at bay while Dane County and local partners work towards long-term water quality improvement. [read more...]
California es un lugar muy deseable para vivir, pero también es uno de los mas difíciles para obtener agua. California está en problemas por esto, ya que es un recurso que todos necesitamos para vivir, pero su escasez ha provocado que tenga un precio muy elevado. [read more...]
The Midwest harbors many fascinating many mounds, burial sites, and historical landmarks - some are even located in Wisconsin. [read more...]
Scientists have always believed that there was one mass migration of people across the land bridge between Asia and the Americas. This group of people then split in two, forming the northern and southern groups, which are the ancestors of modern day Native Americans. This belief was mostly based on DNA from bodies and remains found in settlements. However, a new discovery might completely change the theories about these people and their paths. [read more...]
Ancient Egyptians were skilled mathematicians and architects who built huge stone monuments in honor of their rulers. One type of monument they built for their pharaohs was the pyramid. The most impressive of the ancient monuments were the Egyptian pyramids which were built in Giza. [read more...]
Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. It is also known as Mosi-oa-tunya, meaning “smoke that thunders.” [read more...]
For years, scientists have recorded volcanic eruptions. One such explosion, the biggest in recorded history, is known as “The Big Bang at Krakatoa.” [read more...]
Death Valley is a desert located between California and Nevada. It is the hottest place on planet Earth, the highest temperatures in Death Valley can reach up to 134 degrees Fahrenheit. [read more...]
Coastal sand crumbles at the human touch but is powerful enough to form barrier islands. Have you ever wondered how this is possible? [read more...]
Historians call the process of African colonization “The Scramble for Africa.” It began with an agreement at the Berlin conference, which lasted from 1884 to 1885. There, representatives from 15 European countries met to decide on the process to colonize the continent. [read more...]
In the cold, far east of Europe, there is a country that borders Poland and Russia. Its history of Varangian tribes, Viking rule, and Russian occupation has made for a unique country. This nation, Ukraine, is also home to many revolutionaries. [read more...]
The forests of Madagascar, an island located off the east coast of Africa, are host to many unique plants and animals. Madagascar was first discovered by humans approximately two thousand years ago. Now, less than ten percent of the lush forest remains – the sole habitat of many indigenous animals. [read more...]
During the fall semester of 2017, the students of Badger Rock Middle School made books for students in Guinea. The teacher who began this project, Maya Kadakia, is the English-Language Arts teacher at Badger Rock. [read more...]
What are tsunamis? In Japanese, tsunami means “great harbor waves” Tsunamis happen when the earth’s crust moves and the tectonic plates rub together. This causes the ocean to send shock waves near cities and land. They are powerful, destructive, and can reach up to 100 feet high. [read more...]
“Derecho” is a Spanish word meaning “straight ahead”. It is also the name for severe thunderstorms with winds up to 150miles per hour. [read more...]
The fourth largest island in the world Madagascar has many different climates. [read more...]
Mudslides, a sub-category of landslides, occur when piles of rock, soil, and other debris soaked in water forge an uncontrollable path. They can wash away entire cities and leave hundreds of people dead, injured, or missing. [read more...]
What happens when warm, moist air from Mexico and cool dry air from Canada collide? A tornado occurs. A tornado is a strong rotation of storm wind that reaches the ground. Tornadoes can destroy buildings, knock over trees, and move cars. Each year, there are around 1,000 tornadoes reported nationwide in the U.S. [read more...]
With wind whipping through the sails of her ship, Laura Dekker set off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. She had a dream of sailing around the world, and she wanted badly to accomplish it. At the age of 14, Dekker set out to achieve her dream and began to sail around the world by herself. [read more...]
The Everglades region is a great natural wonder of the world. Located in the southern part of Florida, this sub-tropical marshland provides a home to thousands of fascinating plants and animals. [read more...]
Earlier this year, scientists stumbled upon a specimen they claim to be the oldest fossil ever discovered – dating back at least 3.77 billion years. In a recent study, researchers Mattew S. Dodd, Dr. Dominic Papineau, and their colleagues at the University College London examined rocks from a formation in Canada called Nuvvuagittuq. [read more...]
Algae, mollusks, and sea anemones all live on coastlines. While wetlands have still waters, coastlines alternate between wet and dry terrain. Perhaps surprisingly, a plethora of interesting species thrive in both of these aquatic environments. [read more...]
You probably know the legend of the majestic, antlered deer that live in the North Pole. You may even know that reindeer exist outside of Christmas stories. But did you know that there are actually people who live among reindeer? [read more...]
Did you know that 90 percent of the people who live in Thailand are Buddhist and about three million people there are Muslims? The lifestyle in Thailand is probably very different than yours. [read more...]
Scandinavia is a beautiful region located in northern Europe. Scandinavian countries include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Many people consider Scandinavia an ideal place to live. [read more...]
Have you ever seen a bird doing something weird? Many birds have questionable traditions. Three North American birds with especially odd and unique routines are the Tufted Titmice, the Killdeer, and the Great Blue Heron. [read more...]
In 2004, scientists unearthed evidence of the oldest tiger ever discovered. Found in northwestern China, the skull of the extinct, jaguar-sized tiger dates back 2.16 to 2.55 million years. [read more...]
In Ancient Greece, the world was different than it is in many places now. There, people regularly killed domestic animals such as oxen, sheep, and goats and offered them as sacrifices to their gods. In fact, sacrifice was part of the Ancient Greeks' religion. [read more...]
The Great Barrier Reef, the biggest reef in the world, is currently facing extinction. Before addressing this problem, scientists must first answer one question: what's causing this extinction? Today, they propose a number of different answers. [read more...]
The lava lizard gets its name because it is found in groups that sit under the sun and on top of hardened lava. In addition to their common name, the lava lizards' scientific name is Microlphus and its Spanish name is lagartija de lava [read more...]
From housecats to deadly striped tigers, cats are everywhere. But most cats can’t hear like a Lynx can. The fluff on the tip of this animal's ears serves as a megaphone that amplifies the sound of its prey in the distance. [read more...]
The world's biggest ocean holds many secrets. Rich with wildlife, minerals, and volcanic islands, the Pacific Ocean is the deepest and biggest ocean on Earth. The Pacific Ocean is about twice as big as the Atlantic Ocean and contains three times as much water. This ocean has islands everywhere and is surrounded by many of the world’s most highly-populated nations. In fact, more than half of all people currently on Earth live along the Pacific Ocean’s coast. [read more...]
When you think of penguins, you probably picture Antarctic penguins living among snow and ice. But there’s also a lesser-known penguin species called the African penguin. Like its name suggests, this animal lives in southern Africa, where the climate is hot and dry. [read more...]
California’s Yosemite National Park is a very large and beautiful place. Home to thousands of animal and plant species, the park boasts awesome mountains, scenic valleys, and clear rivers. [read more...]
Two years ago I visited the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico with my parents. This was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about the Pyramid. [read more...]
The pyramids of Giza are wonderful, historical monuments and the oldest of the Seven Great Wonders of the World. They leave all other pyramids behind in terms of size, architecture, and legacy. [read more...]
The Golden Gate Bridge is a stunning entry-way to the city of San Francisco. But it never would have become one of the 100 Wonders of the World without the determination of architect Joseph B. Strauss. [read more...]
Hundreds of individuals were arrested in Moscow during an opposition rally Sunday. Alec Luhn, a journalist working in Russia for The Guardian, was among the arrested. [read more...]
The Black Death, also known as the “bubonic plague,” was a horrible illness that affected Europe and Asia from the 14th through the 15th century. During this period, known today as the Middle Ages, 25 million people died from the Black Death. [read more...]
A new exhibit recently opened to the public at Henry Vilas Zoo. The exhibit celebrates Wisconsin history and the creatures who are the face behind it all—badgers. [read more...]
The marine iguana is an animal with an interesting life. For example, this critter has a complex body structure that helps it survive its environment. [read more...]
All my life, I have left my home in America every year to fly across the Atlantic and spend my summers in Hungary. [read more...]
Mountain gorillas are disappearing; scientists estimate that roughly 700 mountain gorillas are left, putting them in the “critically endangered” category. The remaining mountain gorillas are scattered around the volcanic slopes of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching. [read more...]
Back in the 1800s, many Irish people emigrated to Wisconsin. To this day, their descendants continue to live throughout the state and influence its culture. [read more...]
One of the most fearsome leaders of the early 5th century was not a war general or a dictator. No, he was the short, illegitimate son of an Irish king. His story is often overlooked in history books and little is known about his personal life, but his legacy lives on along with his name: he is Niall of the Nine Hostages. [read more...]
Did you know that the four lakes of Wisconsin were created by glaciers? Glaciers are huge sheets of ice. Madison was once covered by a glacier as tall as five Capitol buildings stacked on top of each other. Each year, the glacier moved forward, pushing tons of sand and gravel, changing the landscape as it moved. [read more...]
A famous symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was originally a gift to the United States from France in admiration of our nation's democracy. [read more...]
When one thinks about Egypt, gold-hued visions of pyramids, mummies, and ancient structures might come to mind. But what people do these treasures honor and why? [read more...]
Cries of victory echoed from Standing Rock North Dakota as protestors celebrated news of a planned rerouting of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineering announced recently that it would not allow the pipeline to follow the current planned route and will look for alternatives. [read more...]
Did you know that the largest and heaviest reptile is the Komodo dragon? The only place you can find this wild beast is on Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands. [read more...]
Genghis Khan, infamous warrior of central Asia, was born in 1167. Originally born “Temujin,” he was the son of a tribal chief. [read more...]
The ocean is home to many different animals from big to small. Leafy sea dragons, one aquatic species, are fish that look a lot like seaweed. They are not strong swimmers, which is why they float with the current of the ocean. They are found in shallow coastal waters around Australia and feed on sea lice and other tiny creatures. They can also lay up to 250 eggs at a time. [read more...]
One of the most well-known wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, has existed for nearly 10,000 years and lies on the Canadian-U.S. border. [read more...]
In 1631, while giving birth to her 14th child, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife passed away. When the Emperor lost his beloved wife, his hair grew white from grief and he vowed to build a tomb worthy of his wife’s memory. The Emperor wanted something unique, something unequaled anywhere else in the world. [read more...]
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced recently that local benefactor Stephen Morton donated 114 acres of forestland to Dane County Parks. Located in the Black Earth/Mazomanie area, the newly-unveiled Morton Forest illuminates many scenic views including the Blue Mound, which is the biggest hill in southern Wisconsin. [read more...]
About 100,000 years ago tigers roamed the Indochinese region. Thus deemed “Indochinese Tigers,” these powerful beasts are said to be the ancestors of all other tiger subspecies. [read more...]
For years, African American history and culture has been downplayed in literature, films, and the media. However, with the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the African-American narrative will finally become accessible to everyone, creating a richer story of America. [read more...]
Organisms as different as penguins, cacti and zebras all share planet earth based on rainfall and temperature, they each occupy different habitats. The habitats that make up planet earth are oceans, wetlands, forest, grasslands, deserts, mountains, and polar habitats. [read more...]
The Blue Mosque is located in Istanbul, Turkey, but it wasn’t always a mosque. Before becoming a mosque, it was the mother church of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, the church fell under the Turkish and at that point it became a mosque. It attracts large numbers of visitors each year. The temple houses various exhibits and museums. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered if there are such things as magical rabbits? Well the answer is no, but there is an animal called the “Magic Rabbit.” The “Magic Rabbit”, also known as the Ili pika, is a tiny creature that looks like a teddy bear. They live in the northwestern mountains of China. The Ili pika has to retreat to cold heights to keep cool. It was discovered by a Chinese conservationist, Li Weidong, in remote northwestern China and he named it after his hometown Ili, and by its family name pika. In June 2014, a group of volunteers took a photo of the Ili pika and dubbed it the “Magic Rabbit.” [read more...]
Yellowstone National Park is home to many different types of plants and animals. From birds like osprey to trees like the lodgepole pine, it is truly a shelter and sanctuary for many species. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how some animals survive extreme desert heat? The species who inhabit desert regions use various tactics to survive. The desert has lethal surface temperatures reaching up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To combat the deadly heat, some animals are constantly on the prowl for water. Consuming water helps these animals maintain low body temperatures. [read more...]
The Great Wall of China is one of the most spectacular architectural structures of all time. With a length of about 3,946 miles, the Great Wall was originally built in the 1600s to keep Mongolian horsemen from invading China. The wall was also constructed to showcase the Emperor's power and glory. [read more...]
By land area, the Mongolian empire was the largest-ever empire. Its first ruler was Temujin, who later became infamous under the name, Genghis Khan. The Mongolian Empire lasted through the early 13th and early 15th century. [read more...]
Visualize a thumbtack without the bottom. Now imagine that as a building, but way taller. [read more...]
Capitalism is an economic system wherein private owners control industry, and trade goods and services to make a profit. Capitalism originated in Western Europe and spread for years until it engulfed the whole continent. In the early modern world (1500-1800), Europe dominated the globe economically due to colonialist exploration of western lands and eastern trade routes. Those European traders were merchant capitalists. [read more...]
Does the language one think in or speak in determine how one perceived events? Does it affect how one notices things? A debate has raged on for over 70 years about whether language affects how people think. [read more...]
The Printing Press, a very important invention, initiated an “information revolution” on par with the Internet today. In fact, the Printing Press changed the world. [read more...]
There are 3,400 snake species in the world. These slithering reptiles live everywhere except Antarctica. Twenty-one of these species, two of which are poisonous, live in Wisconsin. These are the timber rattlesnake and the massasauga rattler. [read more...]
The Arctic is not a place many humans would call home, however, but it's just that for some birds. Though most birds live in warm climates and migrate elsewhere when it gets cold, Arctic birds stick it out through each freezing winter. Arctic birds live in the treeless tundra. [read more...]
Three men stranded on a deserted island were rescued when an overhead U.S. Navy plane saw the word "help" written on the shore of the small island last April. [read more...]
Chad is a land in Africa of the unknown and forgotten. Life in Chad is unlike any other, with an amazing spectrum of wildlife and numerous ethnic groups. [read more...]
Egyptian mummies are the stuff of legends, cryptic video games and adventure films. But why did the Egyptians make mummies in first place? [read more...]
Marianne Winkler was walking on a German beach with her husband when she saw an object that had washed up on the shore. She investigated further to find the object was a message in a bottle. The bottle was sealed shut, so Winkler and her husband decided to break it to get the message [read more...]
Japan is an archipelago of islands found off the Eastern side of Russia. The country places 18th in total land area in the world. Its largest island is called Honshu, second largest is Hokkaido, then Kyushu and Shikoku are runner-ups before the smallest of them all, the Ryukyu islands. [read more...]
The longest river in the world, the Nile flows in many countries. Every year, the Nile rises from July to October despite the fact that it hardly rains in Egypt. This is known as “the riddle of the Nile river.” [read more...]
Siberian Tigers, also known as Panthera Tigris Altica, are the biggest of the big cats. These creatures are among the most ferocious predators in the animal kingdom. They live in north-eastern China and North and South Korea. Like the closely related Snow leopard, Unicia unicia, Siberian Tigers thrive in extremely cold weather. [read more...]
America owes its riches to African slaves. The institution of slavery started during the 17th and 18th centuries in the United States. The country had plenty of natural resources, but it did not have enough labor to farm the land. To the rich white plantation owners, African slaves seemed to be a perfect solution. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Puma and a Cougar? That was a trick question. "Puma" and "Cougar" are actually just nicknames for the Mountain Lion, which is not really a lion at all. The name was given to this cat relative because it resembles a female lioness. Another cat relative with a trick in its name is the Bobcat. [read more...]
Giraffes are like snowflakes – no two look alike. But giraffes share characteristics; they have huge hearts and tongues, to they only give birth to one calf and their “vulnerable” status. On average, giraffes tend to live 20-25 years. Like any other mammal, they have vertebrae. [read more...]
A sovereign state located right outside of Australia, Fiji has a population of 887,027 people who inhabit the 7,054 square mile island. Fiji gained its independence from Britain in 1970. Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, a former coup leader elected in Fiji’s first election in eight years, announced in 2014 that it was “time to dispense with the colonial symbols.” [read more...]
The Himalayas form the largest mountain range in the world. They also host the tallest mountain on the planet: Mt. Everest. In Nepal, the Himalayan mountain range is called “Chomolungma,” meaning Goddess of Mother Snows. [read more...]
Do you know what is the longest river in the whole world? It’s the Nile, Egypt’s most important river. The most important characteristics of the Nile for Egypt’s people, from the prehistoric period up to today, is its annual flood. This gift of the Nile came from African rains and snow on their highlands, which brought large amounts of water into Egypt. [read more...]
Kangaroos, platypuses and many types of exotic fish greet those who visit Australia, also known as The Land Down Under. [read more...]
Meteorologists are people who study the maps of the weather to predict what is to come. [read more...]
The Arctic, a frigid area with few trees and vegetation, is where the tundra lies. During the dark winter, the temperature lowers to -76 degrees Fahrenheit, thus making the tundra one of the most unlivable places on earth. [read more...]
Sixty years ago on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks changed the course of history by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Today, she is remembered as an iconic figure in the Civil Rights movement. Some people believe Parks stayed in her seat because she was physically tired. Parks herself would later explain, “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” [read more...]
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...]