The Seven Churches of Antarctica, the Appalachian Trail, Top 10 Grammar Myths

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The Seven Churches of Antarctica

Antarctica is officially considered a desert, thus making it the largest desert in the world. But even in this icy barren landscape, the explorers and scientists braving the harshest of climates have still found time for religion. With at least seven churches used for religious practice in Antarctica, these are the Southernmost places of worship in the world…

1. Chapel of the Snows

chapel of the snows

Located on an American science station on Ross Island, this is not the luckiest of churches. Despite being built in an isolated frozen landscape, the church was destroyed by fire twice. The original church was devastated in a blaze that started in the heater room while its replacement burnt down after it had been abandoned for several years and caught fire during a severe storm.

The current church, also built by the seasonal residents of the station, features custom stained glass featuring the Antarctica continent. During winter, the station is host to around 200 people, while summer sometimes sees up to 1,000 visitors. The non-denominational church also does its best to cater to worshippers of all religions, and Father Michael Smith has even been known to conduct Buddhist and Bahai ceremonies.

2. Trinity Chapel

trinity chapel

This orthodox church was built in Russia in the 1990s with Siberian pine and then transported on a supply ship all the way to the Russian (formerly Soviet) Antarctic station, Bellingshausen on King George Island. Two monks from a Russian monastery first volunteered to man the church year-round and since then, the monastery has rotated priests annually.

Defying the destructive power of the polar winds, the wooden structure with Russian carvings stands 15 meters tall. The Orthodox church can accomodate up to 30 visitors and caters to the spiritual needs of the personnel from the nearby Russian, Chilean Polish and Korean Stations. Some services are actually conducted in Spanish. The priests’ duties also include praying for the souls of the 64 Russians who lost their lives in various expeditions. Although rarely filled to capacity, the church has performed a wedding ceremony between Russian and Chilean researchers, as well as the occasional baptism.

So many more pictures and churches at the LEENKS.


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Trail Savior: How an Aging Grandma Changed The Fate of the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail: you’ve likely heard of it. After all, each year countless hikers set foot on its paths, while thousands opt to hike the whole thing – all 2,000 miles of it. However, back in 1955, few even knew that this historic trail existed, never mind that it was possible to make it from end to end. That all changed after Emma Gatewood, a 67-year-old grandmother from Ohio, slipped on a simple pair of sneakers, grabbed a modest bag of supplies, and set out on the longest walk of her life.

Grandma Gatewood, as the media would later call her, became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (AT) alone, and the first person of any gender to do it not once, but three times. That’s right, after her momentous accomplishment back in September 1955, she did it again, and then again one more time, at the ripe old age of 75.

And while those facts alone make Grandma Gatewood an awe-inspiring person, what makes her really special is that her “stroll” along the AT saved the trail from the disuse and abandonment it had been facing only decades before.

That’s at least according to Ben Montgomery, a narrative journalist who had set out to discover just what made Emma take that walk. The resulting story practically told itself, evolving into the award-winning book and New York Times best seller, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.

Montgomery recently told Nature World News that his interest in Gatewood’s story was actually piqued at a young age, when his mother regaled him with tales she had inherited from her mother, about a hardy old lady who had set out on an incredible adventure.

“My mother is a really good storyteller, and they were so vivid that the Emma that existed in my head was… well, if not a hero, something close,” he said.

Montgomery isn’t exactly alone in his admiration for Grandma Gatewood. After first grabbing the attention of local papers along the East Coast, and eventually making national headlines, she became something of a celebrity – an indomitable reminder of an age just-gone-by where people eschewed the automobile in favor of their own feet. She inspired people, first by the handful, and then by the busload, to try hiking the AT for themselves.

More to read HERE.

Top 10 Grammar Myths

Before you argue with me, read the whole explanation about why each of these is a myth.


Wrong! They can actually be quite short. In a run-on sentence, independent clauses are squished together without the help of punctuation or a conjunction. If you write “I am short he is tall,” as one sentence without a semicolon, colon, or dash between the two independent clauses, it’s a run-on sentence even though it only has six words.


Wrong! It’s fine to start a sentence with “however” so long as you use a comma after it when it means “nevertheless.”


Wrong! “Irregardless” is a bad word and a word you shouldn’t use, but it is a word. “Floogetyflop” isn’t a word—I just made it up and you have no idea what it means.  “Irregardless,” on the other hand, is in almost every dictionary labeled as nonstandard. You shouldn’t use it if you want to be taken seriously, but it has gained wide enough use to qualify as a word.


Wrong! It’s a style choice. For example, in the phrase “Kansas’s statute,” you can put just an apostrophe at the end of “Kansas” or you can put an apostrophe “s” at the end of “Kansas.” Both ways are acceptable.


Wrong! Passive voice is when you don’t name the person who’s responsible for the action. An example is the sentence “Mistakes were made,” because it doesn’t say who made the mistakes. If you don’t know who is responsible for an action, passive voice can be the best choice.

Get the rest HERE.

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Affordable housing didn’t cause the financial crisis

Irresponsible lending might have been one of the many causes of the financial crisis — but not just irresponsible lending to poor people, according to a new study.

“The large majority of mortgage dollars originated between 2002 and 2006 are obtained by middle- and high-income borrowers (not the poor),” the authors write. “In addition, borrowers in the middle and top of the distribution are the ones that contributed most significantly to the increase in mortgages in default after 2007.” Rich people tend to take out larger mortgages, of course, but the fact is that the amount of money poor borrowers failed to pay back was just never that significant, as this chartfrom the paper shows. In case you have a hard time believing that so many larger mortgages could have gone into default, The Washington Post just published a series of stories on subprime, sometimes predatory lending in relatively affluent places such as Prince George’s County, Md., outside Washington, D.C.

The findings undermine criticism of recent modest efforts by the Obama administration to make housing more affordable for low-income borrowers by loosening federal credit standards. It’s important to lend responsibly, even for the federal government, but the risks in this case might be exaggerated.

Go for much more HERE.

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