Archive for March, 2006

Visit New Ephemera

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Brochures for the lovely-sounding island were passed out to New York commuters. Dozens of people called for more information.

What’s not to like about a place whose “original motto, in Latin, was ‘populus quisnam operor non lego non exsisto inquisitor,’ which translates roughly to ‘people who don’t read can’t be trusted.'”

Alas, the island lacks so-called “existence.” (Via Boing Boing)

Buy a (virtual) island

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

For the less wealthy, the virtual world Second Life offers islands, beginning at $1,250 for 16 acres.  Sixty-four acres can be had for $5,000.

The new owner can choose from “six different topologies,” name his island, and choose the rating (PG or M).  Unlike most real islands, the new island can be moved, for a fee.

Of course, for about the same price as a small virtual island, you can rent Ranguana Caye, Belize, for a week.

Manhattan as an Island

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Two items reiterated that Manhattan is in fact an island and thus somewhat isolated.

In article on beard fashion, of all things, a salon magnate asked of the trend, “It will be interesting to see over the next six to eight months what mainland America is going to do with it.”

Meanwhile, the mainland manages occasionally to reach the island: a coyote was captured in Central Park.  People speculate that he swam a river, or came across a railroad bridge, though presumably not by commuter rail.

Forming your own country: one method

Saturday, March 18th, 2006

A report on a “notorious conman” who has proclaimed his own kingdom on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, taking advantage of that country’s weak government.

Police fear a self-proclaimed king in rebel-held territory is plotting to overthrow the island’s government with a private army trained by former Fijian soldiers.

Most extinction risk hotspots are on islands

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

A new study of areas of high risk of future mammal extinction places 15 of the top 20 areas on the world’s islands, principally in the tropics.

The largest island of Lithuania

Tuesday, March 14th, 2006

A reader suggests an addition to the list of largest islands by country:

There we can find a lot of small lake islands but as the biggest island of Brazil is Marajó then also Rusne Island (Rusnės sala in Lithuanian) must be counted. Its territory is 55,56 sq km and it lies between Atmata (Athmath in German) and Skirvytė (Skirwieth in German, Severnaja in Russian, it is the border river between Russian Kaliningradskaya oblast and Lithuania) rivers and Baltic Sea.

The world’s most isolated islanders

Monday, March 13th, 2006

Two Indian fishermen who drifted onto North Sentinel Island in the Andamans have been killed by the Sentinelese, who are the world’s most isolated islanders.

The Sentinelese, thought to number between 50 and 200, have rebuffed all contact with the modern world, firing a shower of arrows at anyone who comes within range.  They are believed to be the last pre-Neolithic tribe in the world to remain isolated.

DNA suggests they have been isolated for a very long time indeed:

DNA analysis of another tribe, the Jarawa, whose members made first contact with the outside world in 1997, suggest that the tribesmen migrated from Africa around 60,000 years ago.  


Remembering prison on the Andamans

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Indian survivors of exile by the British colonial authorities go back to the Andaman Islands.

“The youngest island in the Seychelles”

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Bancs de Sable, Farquhar Atoll, has been slowly growing for decades, and is “around 50 years old or to put this in perspective, less than one millionth of the age of the granite islands” of this Indian Ocean nation.  Seabirds have taken up residence.

Still manning the island lighthouse

Monday, March 6th, 2006

Manned lighthouses are a thing of the past in the United States and most of the developed world, but a crew still serves on a small island in Vietnam.

It does not sound easy: they battle monsoon storms and snakes, grow their own food, and only get to see their families every six months.