With their majestic peaks, imposing canyons, and lofty designation, America’s national parks seem inviolate, places of natural grandeur far from the vagaries of money or politics. But over the years, 26 sites have lost their national park status. In a slideshow at National Geographic, Brian Handwerk explores why.
A few parks were less-than-ideal candidates to begin with (the National Park Service running the Kennedy Center? huh?). But more often than not, the decision to jettison a park from the list came down to economics: Several parks, like Montana’s Lewis and Clark Caverns, above, were too remote to attract enough visitors; the caverns are now part of the state’s park system. Other ex-parks, however, are no longer open to the public: a Palm Beach retreat that proved too expensive for the government to maintain was bought by Donald Trump—and made into a swanky, exclusive club.
Read the rest at National Geographic.
Image courtesy of Montana State Parks
Finally! After teasers released in March whetted our appetites, this maker’s dream is now airing: This week National Geographic’s DIY show “How Hard Can It Be?”, the team satisfies your hunger to see Carl Fredricksen’s balloon-propelled house in the flesh—using around 300 technicolor weather balloons and a lightweight cottage that the team was still stapling together just hours before it rose into the sky, to bob along at 10,000 feet. You can’t not root for this spunky bunch (even though this first video ends in a cliffhanger):
Luckily, with a bit of searching on the NatGeo site, you can find the clincher:
When they launched the balloon a few months ago, Wired did some back-of-the-envelope calculations on the physics involved here. Though Wired didn’t address this, we suspect that one reason they couldn’t use party balloons is that the pressure from balloons on the outside of the cluster pushing in on the ones in the center would cause them to burst. What do you think?