Neal Lineback

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM and Maps.com SHAKESPEAREAN ENGLAND Summertime brings dozens of Shakespeare festivals to cities and towns around the United States. During the festivals, actors perform both Shakespeare’s most famous plays and some of his more obscure work. While festivals occur in states from Alabama to Utah,...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM & Maps.com AQUAMARINE AND DIAMONDS  A new gem at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is upstaging what is likely the world’s most popular gem exhibit—the Hope Diamond. The Dom Pedro Aquamarine, at 10,363 carats (2.1 kg), is the largest cut and polished...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM  and Maps.com A little more than 100 years ago, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. While the feat was an amazing story in itself, the races that preceded it to reach the southernmost point on the Earth are even more fascinating—and heartbreaking....

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University Pandemic Influenza Threats Influenza outbreaks cause real concern for world leaders who fear a global pandemic. The most recent flu virus is raging through 47 of the 50 U.S. states. Although it has peaked in a few states, it is important for the American public...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University In March 2012, members of Mali’s military staged a successful coup d’état in the capital, Bamako. As the situation for the ruling government disintegrated, Tuareg rebels immediately rushed to take advantage of the country’s instability and secure towns in Mali’s northern region. The Tuareg and...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University Raging Australian Wildfires Australia is under siege by raging out-of-control wildfires. The fires are being blamed on the continent’s long droughts. Most of its climates are relatively dry ones anyway, but Australia’s long series of droughts has created dry conditions even in its humid climatic...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University  Shell Oil’s Grounded Platform Confirms Worries About Arctic Oil The Arctic Ocean is a formidable foe to ships, even in the summer. Nonetheless, oil exploration continues despite the dangerous conditions created by wind and ice floes, particularly in the winter. Concerns by Alaskans and Canadians...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University  DID CLIMATE CHANGE DESTROY THE MAYA? A recent article in the journal Science sheds new light on the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization. Scientists have argued for decades over what caused the Maya culture to disappear. The new study points to large-scale climate change...

Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University Lake-effect snow has arrived around the Great Lakes as winter has finally come to the Midwest. During a single 1995 December storm, Buffalo, N.Y., received 40 inches of snow. Although this was a heavy snow, it was not a record for Buffalo. Buffalo’s geographic location places...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University RUDOLPH AND HIS REINDEER FRIENDS Across the United States, children and adults alike recognize Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as the leader of Santa Claus’ sleigh at Christmas. Reindeer first pulled St. Nicholas’ sleigh in a poem by Clement Clarke Moore appearing in a Troy, New...

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University Superstorm Sandy sent a storm surge of 13 feet (4 m) onto New Jersey’s and New York’s fragile shorelines, creating chaos and widespread misery for coastal inhabitants. Examining experiences with hurricanes Katrina and more recently Irene, storm surges clearly create more damage than wind and...

By Neal G. Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Appalachian State University With average gas prices in the United States hovering around $4 a gallon in October, 2012, the Obama administration briefly considered releasing some of the oil held in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). While it was unlikely the administration would do so and...