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Amber Fort of Jaipur the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber

Angkor Wat a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city

Arctic Circle line of latitude near but to the south of the North Pole; it marks the northernmost point at which the sun is visible on the northern winter solstice and the southernmost point at which the midnight sun can be seen on the northern summer solstice

astrocytoma cancer of the brain that originates in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes. This type of tumor does not usually spread outside the brain and spinal cord and it does not usually affect other organs

Ayers Rock a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia

Balto Siberian Husky sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska to Nenana, Alaska by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease

bunco a parlor game played in teams with three dice

cacophony disagreeable sound

Captain Bligh a British admiral who captained the H.M.S. Bounty in 1789 when part of the crew mutinied and set him afloat in an open boat

cenotaph a monument built to honor people whose remains are interred elsewhere or whose remains cannot be recovered

conquistadores Spanish adventurers, especially those who led the conquest of Mexico and Peru

draconian very severe, oppressive or strict

elusive hard to express or define

epiphany a sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something

FEMA the Federal Emergency Management Agency: an independent agency of the United States government that provides a single point of accountability for all federal emergency preparedness

glioblastoma multiforme the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumor in humans

gulag a Soviet prison camp for political prisoners

Half Dome a granite dome in Yosemite National Park

Hiram Bingham an academic, explorer, treasure hunter and politician from the United States who made public the existence of the Quechua citadel of Machu Picchu in 1911

hypogeum an underground, pre-Christian temple or a tomb

Incan related to the culture of a tribe of South American Indians found in Peru during the Spanish conquest

Japanese Zeros a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940-45

Khmer Rouge a Communist organization formed in Cambodia in 1970 that became a terrorist organization in 1975 when it captured Phnom Penh and created a government that killed an estimated three million people

Killing Fields a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime

La Niña a sustained sea-surface temperature anomaly of magnitude greater than 0.5°C across the central tropical Pacific Ocean, producing predictable variations in local and regional weather patterns

Lalibela, Ethiopia a town in northern Ethiopia; one of Ethiopia's holiest cities and a center of pilgrimage for much of the country

Maharaja a great raja; a Hindu prince or king in India ranking above a raja

manic-depressive suffering from a disorder characterized by alternating mania and depression

marauder someone who attacks in search of booty

Mayan related to the culture of a tribe of Central American Indians having an advanced civilization in parts now known as Guatemala and British Honduras

mayhem a situation characterized by confusion and noise

Moai monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island, Chile between the years 1250 and 1500

Northern lights the common name for a natural light display in the sky, particularly in the Polar Regions, caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field

oligodendroglioma a rare slow-growing type of brain tumor that begins in cells called oligodendrocytes, which provide support and nourishment for cells that transmit nerve impulses

palatable agreeable

peruse to look at closely

Petén a department (region) of the nation of Guatemala. It is geographically the northernmost department of Guatemala, as well as the largest in size

Phnom Penh, Cambodia capital city of Cambodia

Pol Pot the leader of the infamous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. He was responsible for the deaths of almost 3 million people — almost half the population of Cambodia

Polynesian Cook Islands an archipelago (group of islands) southwest of Samoa near New Zealand

Richter Scale a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10 used to express the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of the size of seismograph oscillations

Spitfires a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries through the Second World War

strewn scattered

surreptitiously acquired through improper means

Taj Mahal a beautiful mausoleum at Agra built by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan (completed in 1649) in memory of his favorite wife

topography the configuration of a surface and the relations among its man-made and natural features

UNESCO the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization: an agency of the United Nations that promotes education and communication and the arts

Urubamba Valley the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Andes of Peru

Yosemite a national park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States

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