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It’s cheesy, unrealistic, and predictable. But the plot’s underlying geography means Hollywood’s latest disaster blockbuster offers more than just fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled excitement
Simon Ingram is madly in love with mountains. They can be ‘hostile, barren, [and] bereft of comfort’ but spending time in places where ‘life is dangerously simple ‘ has its perks
Though now the subject of heated moral debate, in the 19th century, whaling was a necessity. It’s important, in a book devoted to the topic, to get that point across first
The story of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim is a textbook case of how small countries stand no chance against big powers
Paul Bowles dubbed it ‘the baptism of solitude’ – the sensation that the desert provokes; a source of well-being for the soul
If Heraclitus was right when he said, ‘Geography is fate,’ Syria might be said to have the misfortune to be sitting in a place that guarantees periodic instability
Europeans took many photographs of Palestine during the 19th century but, according to Elias Sanbar, real life was almost always missing. Pictures of buildings and archaeological sites stoked arguments about Biblical accuracy
In a rundown, ancient palace in the heart of Kathmandu a young, pre-pubescent girl is worshipped as a living goddess, sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists and believed to have the power to bestow blessings on those she favours

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