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Karlsruhe, Germany

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Karlsruhe is the third-largest city of the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg after its capital of Stuttgart, and Mannheim. Its 308,436 inhabitants make it the 21st largest city of Germany. On the right bank of the Rhine, the city lies near the French-German border, between the Mannheim/Ludwigshafen conurbation to the north, and the Strasbourg/Kehl conurbation to the south. It is the largest city of Baden, a historic region named after Hohenbaden Castle in the city of Baden-Baden. Karlsruhe is also the largest city in the South Franconian dialect area (transitional dialects between Central and Upper German), the only other larger city in that area being Heilbronn. The city is the seat of the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), as well as of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) and the Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice (Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof).

Karlsruhe was the capital of the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach (Durlach: 1565–1718; Karlsruhe: 1718–1771), the Margraviate of Baden (1771–1803), the Electorate of Baden (1803–1806), the Grand Duchy of Baden (1806–1918), and the Republic of Baden (1918–1945). Its most remarkable building is Karlsruhe Palace, which was built in 1715. There are nine institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie). Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport (Flughafen Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden) is the second-busiest airport of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart Airport, and the 17th-busiest airport of Germany.

In 2019 the UNESCO announced that Karlsruhe will join its network of “Creative Cities” as “City of Media Arts”.

Karlsruhe lies completely to the east of the Rhine, and almost completely on the Upper Rhine Plain. It contains the Turmberg in the east, and also lies on the borders of the Kraichgau leading to the Northern Black Forest. Wikipedia

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Maasai Mara National Reserve

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Maasai Mara, also sometimes spelled Masai Mara and locally known simply as The Mara, is a large national game reserve in Narok, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area, who migrated to the area from the Nile Basin. Their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara” means “spotted” in the local Maasai language, due to the many short bushy trees which dot the landscape.

Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of lion, African leopard, cheetah, and African bush elephant. It also hosts the Great Migration, which secured it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the Ten Wonders of the World.

The Greater Mara ecosystem encompasses areas known as the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Triangle, and several Maasai Conservancies, including Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Mara North, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.

When it was originally established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary the Mara covered only 520 km2 (200 sq mi) of the current area, including the Mara Triangle. The area was extended to the east in 1961 to cover 1,821 km2 (703 sq mi) and converted to a Game Reserve. The Narok County Council (NCC) took over management of the reserve at this time. Part of the reserve was given National Reserve status in 1974, and the remaining area of 159 km2 (61 sq mi) was returned to local communities. An additional 162 km2 (63 sq mi) were removed from the reserve in 1976, and the park was reduced to 1,510 km2 (580 sq mi) in 1984. Wikipedia

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Banff National Park Canada

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Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park, established in 1885. Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, 110–180 kilometers (68–112 mi) west of Calgary, Banff encompasses 6,641 square kilometers (2,564 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with many glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise, connecting to Jasper National Park in the north. Provincial forests and Yoho National Park are neighbors to the west, while Kootenay National Park is located to the south and Kananaskis Country to the southeast. The main commercial center of the park is the town of Banff, in the Bow River valley.

The Canadian Pacific Railway was instrumental in Banff’s early years, building the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise, and attracting tourists through extensive advertising. In the early 20th century, roads were built in Banff, at times by war internees from World War I, and through Great Depression-era public works projects. Since the 1960s, park accommodations have been open all year, with annual tourism visits to Banff increasing to over 5 million in the 1990s. Millions more pass through the park on the Trans-Canada Highway. As Banff has over three million visitors annually, the health of its ecosystem has been threatened. In the mid-1990s, Parks Canada responded by initiating a two-year study which resulted in management recommendations and new policies that aim to preserve ecological integrity.

Banff National Park has a subarctic climate with three ecoregions, including montane, subalpine, and alpine. The forests are dominated by Lodgepole pine at lower elevations and Engelmann spruce in higher ones below the treeline, above which is primarily rocks and ice. Mammal species such as the grizzly bear, cougar, wolverine, elk, bighorn sheep, and moose are found, along with hundreds of bird species. Reptiles and amphibians are also found but only a limited number of species have been recorded. The mountains are formed from sedimentary rocks which were pushed east over newer rock strata, between 80 and 55 million years ago. Over the past few million years, glaciers have at times covered most of the park, but today are found only on the mountain slopes though they include the Columbia Icefield, the largest uninterrupted glacial mass in the Rockies. Erosion from water and ice have carved the mountains into their current shapes. Wikipedia

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kalamazoo, MI, USA

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Kalamazoo is a city in the southwest region of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Kalamazoo County. As of the 2010 census, Kalamazoo had a population of 74,262. Kalamazoo is the major city of the Kalamazoo-Portage Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of 335,340 as of 2015. Kalamazoo is equidistant from the major American cities of Chicago and Detroit, each less than 150 miles (240 kilometers) away.

One of Kalamazoo’s most notable features is the Kalamazoo Mall, an outdoor pedestrian shopping mall. The city created the mall in 1959 by closing part of Burdick Street to auto traffic, although two of the mall’s four blocks have been reopened to auto traffic since 1999. Kalamazoo is home to Western Michigan University, a large public university, Kalamazoo College, a private liberal arts college, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a two-year community college.

Originally known as Bronson (after founder Titus Bronson) in the township of Arcadia, the names of both the city and the township were changed to “Kalamazoo” in 1836 and 1837, respectively. The name “Kalamazoo” comes from a Potawatomi word, first found in a British report in 1772. The Kalamazoo River, which passes through the modern city of Kalamazoo, was located on the route between Detroit and Fort Saint-Joseph (nowadays Niles, Michigan). French-Canadian traders, missionaries, and military personnel were quite familiar with this area during the French era and thereafter. The Kalamazoo River was then known by Canadians and French as La rivière Kikanamaso. The name “Kikanamaso” was also recorded by Father Pierre Potier, a Jesuit missionary for the Huron-Wendats at the Assumption mission (south shore of Detroit), while en route to Fort Saint-Joseph during the fall of 1760. Legend has it that “Ki-ka-ma-sung”, meaning “boiling water”, referred to a footrace held each fall by local Native Americans, in which participants had to run to the river and back before a pot boiled. The word negikanamazo, purported to mean “otter tail” or “stones like otters”, has also been cited as a possible origin of the name. Another theory is that it means “the mirage or reflecting river”. Another legend is that the image of “boiling water” referred to fog on the river as seen from the hills above the current downtown. The name was also given to the river that flows almost all the way across the state.

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Cathedral Rock Sedona

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Cathedral Rock is a natural sandstone butte on the Sedona skyline and one of the most-photographed sights in Arizona, United States. The rock formation is located in the Coconino National Forest in Yavapai County, about a mile (1.6 km) west of Arizona Route 179, and about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of the “Y” intersection of Routes 179 and 89A in uptown Sedona. The summit elevation of Cathedral Rock is 4,967 feet (1,514 m).

The Cathedral Rock trail (USFS Trail #170) is a popular short, steep ascent from the Back O’ Beyond trailhead to the saddle points or “gaps” in Cathedral Rock.

Geologically, Cathedral Rock is carved from the Permian Schnebly Hill formation, a redbed sandstone formed from coastal sand dunes near the shoreline of the ancient Pedregosa Sea. Ripple marks are prominent along the lower Cathedral Rock trail, and a black basalt dike may be seen in the first saddle.

Cathedral Rock was called “Court House Rock” on some early maps, and Courthouse Butte was called “Church House Rock”, which has caused endless confusion ever since.

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Kansas City, MO, USA

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Kansas City (abbreviated KC or KCMO) is the largest city in Missouri by population and area. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had a population of 508,090 in 2020 and was the 36th most populous city in the United States as of the 2020 census. It is the most populated municipality and historic core city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri state line and has a population of 2,192,035. Most of the city lies within Jackson County, but portions spill into Clay, Cass, and Platte counties. Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a Missouri River port at its confluence with the Kansas River coming in from the west. On June 1, 1850, the town of Kansas was incorporated; shortly after came the establishment of the Kansas Territory. Confusion between the two ensued, and the name Kansas City was assigned to distinguish them soon after.

Sitting on Missouri’s western boundary with Kansas, with Downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the city encompasses about 319.03 square miles (826.3 km2), making it the 23rd largest city by total area in the United States. It serves as one of the two county seats of Jackson County, along with major suburb Independence. Other major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit and the Kansas cities of Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City, Kansas.

The city is composed of several neighborhoods, including the River Market District in the north, the 18th and Vine District in the east, and the Country Club Plaza in the south. Celebrated cultural traditions include Kansas City jazz, theater which was the center of the Vaudevillian Orpheum circuit in the 1920s, the Chiefs and Royals sports franchises, and famous cuisine based on Kansas City-style barbecue, Kansas City strip steak, and craft breweries. The city was ranked as a gamma-global city in 2020 by GaWC.

Kansas City, Missouri, was incorporated as a town on June 1, 1850, and as a city on March 28, 1853. The territory, straddling the border between Missouri and Kansas at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, was considered a good place to build settlements.

The Antioch Christian Church, Dr. James Compton House, and Woodneath are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Wikipedia

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Coconino National Forest

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The Coconino National Forest is a 1.856-million acre (751,000 ha) United States National Forest located in northern Arizona in the vicinity of Flagstaff. Originally established in 1898 as the “San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve”, the area was designated a U.S. National Forest in 1908 when the San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve was merged with lands from other surrounding forest reserves to create the Coconino National Forest. Today, the Coconino National Forest contains diverse landscapes, including deserts, ponderosa pine forests, flatlands, mesas, alpine tundra, and ancient volcanic peaks. The forest surrounds the towns of Sedona and Flagstaff and borders four other national forests; the Kaibab National Forest to the west and northwest, the Prescott National Forest to the southwest, the Tonto National Forest to the south, and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest to the southeast. The forest contains all or parts of ten designated wilderness areas, including the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, which includes the summit of the San Francisco Peaks. The headquarters are in Flagstaff. There are local ranger district offices in Flagstaff, Happy Jack, and Sedona.

Coconino is the word the Hopi use for Havasupai and Yavapai Indians. The Coconino National Forest was so named because it is located in the central portion of Coconino County.

The elevation in the forest ranges from 2,600 feet (800 m) in the southern part of the forest near the Verde River to 12,633 feet (3,851 m) at the summit of Humphreys Peak, the highest point in the state of Arizona. Much of the forest is a high altitude plateau (average elevation is roughly 7,000 feet (2,100 m) on the plateau) that is located in the midst of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in North America. The southern border of this plateau is the Mogollon Rim, a nearly 400 mile (640 km) long escarpment running across central Arizona that also marks the southern boundary of the Colorado Plateau. The Coconino National Forest is divided into three districts that each possess their own distinct geography and environments. Wikipedia

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Jakarta, Indonesia

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Jakarta, officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (Indonesian: Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Lying on the northwest coast of Java (the world’s most populous island), it is the largest city in Southeast Asia, and also serves as the diplomatic capital of ASEAN. Jakarta is the center of the economy, culture, and politics of Indonesia. It has a province-level status which had a population of 10,562,088 as of 2020. Although Jakarta extends over only 664.01 square kilometers (256.38 sq mi), and thus has the smallest area of any Indonesian province, its metropolitan area covers 9,957.08 square kilometers (3,844.45 sq mi), which includes the satellite cities Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, South Tangerang, and Bekasi, and has an estimated population of 35 million as of 2021, making it the largest urban area in Indonesia and Southeast Asia and the second-largest in the world (after Tokyo), with a current population of 33,718,269 as of 2020. Jakarta ranks first among the Indonesian states in human development index. Jakarta’s business opportunities, and its ability to offer a potentially higher standard of living than is available in other parts of the country, have attracted migrants from across the Indonesian archipelago, making it a melting pot of numerous cultures.

Jakarta is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Southeast Asia. Established in the fourth century as Sunda Kelapa, the city became an important trading port for the Sunda Kingdom. At one time, it was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies, when it was known as Batavia. Jakarta was officially a city within West Java until 1960 when its official status was changed to a province with special capital region distinction. As a province, its government consists of five administrative cities and one administrative regency. Jakarta is an alpha world city and is the seat of the ASEAN secretariat, Financial institutions such as the Bank of Indonesia, Indonesia Stock Exchange, and corporate headquarters of numerous Indonesian companies and multinational corporations are located in the city. In 2017, the city’s GRP PPP was estimated at US$483.4 billion.

Jakarta’s primary challenges include rapid urban growth, ecological breakdown, gridlocked traffic, congestion, and flooding. Jakarta is sinking up to 17 cm (6.7 inches) per year, which, coupled with the rising of sea levels, has made the city more prone to flooding. It is one of the fastest-sinking capitals in the world. In August 2019, as a result of these challenges, President Joko Widodo announced that the capital of Indonesia would be moved from Jakarta to the province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. The city has over 35 colleges and universities, including University of Indonesia, State University of Jakarta, and the University of National Development “Veteran” Jakarta. Wikipedia

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Huasteca Potosina

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La Huasteca is a geographical and cultural region located partially along the Gulf of Mexico and including parts of the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro and Guanajuato. It is roughly defined as the area in which the Huastec people had influence when their civilization was at its height during the Mesoamerican period. Today, the Huastecs occupy only a fraction of this region with the Nahua people now the most numerous indigenous group. However, those who live in the region share a number of cultural traits such as a style of music and dance, along with religious festivals such as Xantolo.

Historically and ethnically, the Huasteca region is defined by the area dominated by the Huastecs at their height. The actual extension of the region is somewhat disputed as well as how it should be sub-divided. Geographically it has been defined as from the Sierra Madre Oriental to the Gulf of Mexico with the Sierra de Tamaulipas as the north border and the Cazones River as the south. It extends over the south of Tamaulipas, the southeast of San Luis Potosí, the northeast of Querétaro and Hidalgo, and the extreme north of Veracruz and Puebla and a very small portion of Guanajuato over an area of about 32,000km2. Wikipedia

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Jamestown, VA, USA

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The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the northeast bank of the James (Powhatan) River about 2.5 mi (4 km) southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. It was established by the Virginia Company of London as “James Fort” on May 4, 1607, O.S. (May 14, 1607, N.S.), and was considered permanent after a brief abandonment in 1610. It followed several failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, established in 1585 on Roanoke Island, later part of North Carolina. Jamestown served as the colonial capital from 1616 until 1699. Despite the dispatch of more settlers and supplies, including the 1608 arrival of eight Polish and German colonists and the first two European women, more than 80 percent of the colonists died in 1609–10, mostly from starvation and disease. In mid-1610, the survivors abandoned Jamestown, though they returned after meeting a resupply convoy in the James River.

In August 1619, the first recorded slaves from Africa to British North America arrived in what is now Old Point Comfort near the Jamestown colony, on a British privateer ship flying a Dutch flag. The approximately 20 Africans from the present-day Angola had been removed by the British crew from a Portuguese slave ship, the “São João Bautista”. They most likely worked in the tobacco fields as slaves under a system of race-based indentured servitude. One of their number included Angela, who was purchased by William Peirce. The modern conception of slavery in the colonial United States was formalized in 1640 (the John Punch hearing) and was fully entrenched in Virginia by 1660.

The London Company’s second settlement in Bermuda claims to be the site of the oldest town in the English New World, as St. George’s, Bermuda, was officially established in 1612 as New London, whereas James Fort in Virginia was not converted into James Towne until 1619, and further did not survive to the present day.

In 1676, Jamestown was deliberately burned during Bacon’s Rebellion, though it was quickly rebuilt. In 1699, the colonial capital was moved to what is today Williamsburg, Virginia; Jamestown ceased to exist as a settlement and remains today only as an archaeological site, Jamestown Rediscovery.

Today, Jamestown is one of three locations composing the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, along with Williamsburg and Yorktown, with two primary heritage sites. Historic Jamestowne is the archaeological site on Jamestown Island and is a cooperative effort by Jamestown National Historic Site (part of Colonial National Historical Park) and Preservation Virginia. Jamestown Settlement, a living history interpretive site, is operated by the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, a state agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wikipedia

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