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News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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Feb. 16 2017 - Outpost Magazine
 
Thank you to Outpost Magazine for naming my African overland adventure their "Trip of the Week."
 
This is a rare opportunity for YOU to come and join me on an amazing trip through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe this coming June.
 
Learn more about the details of the trip here.
 
Also, Outpost has re-published the story of when I set foot on a brand-new volcanic island near Tonga. That was a bizarre experience.

Outpost Magazine

Outpost Magazine - Trip Of The Week


Feb. 15 2017 - Come Join Me in Africa!
 
Who wants to come with me on an overland adventure in Africa?
Yep. We'll start off in South Africa, then travel north across Namibia, to Botswana and end up in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls.

Some highlights include:
- Wildlife game drives.
- Seeing (and climbing) the largest sand dunes on Earth.
- We've timed it so that we arrive at Victoria Falls during a full moon, so that we maximize our opportunity to see and photograph night-time lunar rainbows (moon-bows) in the spray from the waterfall.

I've teamed up with Exodus Travels to create this amazing road-trip across southern Africa that will take us to some of the most photogenic places on the continent.
It's not often that I get the opportunity to bring others along on my international adventures... Until now.
 
Learn More about this awesome opportunity.

Africa Lunar Photo Safari with George Kourounis

Exodus Travel

Feb. 14 2017 - Fading Bloodlines Expedition - The Tatooed Women of Myanmar
 
At the end of February, I will be teaming up with Robin Brooks and Jessica Lindsay Phillips to travel to remote areas of the northern Chin and Rakhine states in Myanmar.
Once considered a sign of great beauty, the women of the Chin tribes of Myanmar had their faces tattooed upon coming of age. This was practiced for an unknown number of centuries. These markings represented gender, age, spiritual beliefs, race and identity.

The arrival of colonial rule and Christian missionaries to Burma in the 19th century instrumented a decline of this female cultural tradition in villages and towns. Burma became a democratic nation in 1948 and after 1962’s coup which lead to a military dictatorship,” the Burmese Revolutionary Council placed a ban on the tattoos. The tattoos, the women that bore them and this traditional practice represented a way of life and beliefs that were from a regime that those in charge were trying to get people to leave behind. With the practice banned, fines and other reasons undetermined led to the complete termination of this sparsely documented lost art.

Today, after a lifetime of wars and dictatorship, an unknown number of these tattooed women, now in their 60s, 70s, 80s and older, live in the remote areas of the northern Chin and Rakhine states.

Knowing that they are the last of their kind, a small number of these women have been using their rare looks to draw tourism as a way of earning money for the betterment of their impoverished communities. However, many more tattooed “grannies” live in areas unmapped and relatively untouched by the modern world.

Few westerners except a small handful of academics, photographers, missionaries and intrepid explorers have gone beyond these tourist villages to meet the tattooed women living in more remote areas.

The Fading Bloodlines expedition team will travel deep into this remote region of Myanmar, an area where no post-colonial government surveys or mapping has taken place. These time-locked states house small populations of these tattooed women who’s lives were once threatened to the point that this cultural tradition of facial tattooing is literally a couple decades from extinction.

The remoteness, absence of roads, and its unavailability to tourists, has kept the area undisturbed by development, and ripe for exploration and discovery. During the first three weeks of March 2017, a passionate and skilled team of adventurers will embark on the first cultural census and mapping expedition of its kind. They will trek, bike, climb, cruise, crawl and navigate miles of arid mountains, jungles, rivers, and unknown trails.
Some of the
goals of the expedition are to:

Document this vanishing cultural art and traditional way of life.

Carry out the first ever census of the remaining living tattooed Chin women in the region as well as villages with families whose previous generation practiced this cultural tradition.

Fading Bloodlines Expedition

Myanmar Map

Feb. 13 2017 - Announcement
 
News & Blog 2017 I am very proud to announce that I am now on the board of directors for Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants. An educational initiative to bring science into classrooms via live Google Hangouts with explorers, scientists and researchers worldwide.

exploringbytheseat.com

EBTSOYP is partnered with National Geographic Education, as was the grand prize winner at the Canadian Scholarship Trust: Inspired Minds Learning Project.

Founder, Joe Grabowski has done a tremendous job at building an amazing platform for connecting students with inspiring individuals who are helping today's youth to learn more about the world around us. I'm grateful to be involved in helping them to foster scientific literacy.

Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants

Feb. 03 2017 - Chasing Lake Effect Snow Squalls in a Small Plane
 
Since I live in Toronto, it is easy for me to chase lake effect snow squalls since I'm surrounded by several of the Great Lakes. Snow squalls form when cold air passes over the relatively warm lake water and picks up moisture from the lake. This moisture then gets dumped as snow. Sometimes a LOT of snow. After years of chasing these events on the ground, we (Mark Robinson from The Weather Network) and I arranged to take a small plane up and "chase" them from the air.
 
Many thanks to pilot Steve Thorne ( @Flightchops ) for his tremendous help.

Chasing Lake Effect Snow Squalls in a Small Plane

Feb. 02 2017 - Canadian Catastrophe Conference
 
Thank you to everyone at the CatIQ's Canadian Catastrophe Conference. I was invited to be the lunchtime keynote speaker today as part of the 3 day conference.
 
2016 was the costliest year in Canadian history for natural disasters... Largely because of the Fort McMurray wildfire. One of the conference highlights for me was listening to Fort McMurray fire chief, Darby Allen, tell his personal tale of trying to protect the community amidst the chaos of the raging fire.
 
It was a great group, and I had so much fun sharing my own personal stories from a variety of natural disasters, both domestic and international.

Canadian Catastrophe Conference

Feb. 01 2017 - British Airways Magazine In-Flight Magazine
 
I am featured in the February issue of British Airways' in-flight magazine High Life.
The article "What I Pack" showcases many of the interesting and unique items I travel with when I'm jetting around the world, heading towards storms and other natural disasters.

British Airways - In-Flight Magazine "High Life"

Jan. 31 2017 - Discovery Channel: Daily Planet
 
Discovery Channel Canada's flagship daily science/tech news show, Daily Planet is featuring a story on our expedition to the Nyiragongo lava lake in eastern Congo from last year.
 
Depending on where you live, you might be able to watch the segment here. Just go to the Jan 31st episode.

Discovery Channel Canada - Daily Planet

Jan. 25 2017 - Chicago Tribune Q&A
 
Chicago Tribune: Jan, 2017 - The lifestyle/travel section featured a Q&A with me about my global explorations and adventures: "'Angry Planet' adventurer George Kourounis on his volcano-top wedding and eating snakes."

Chicago Tribune

Jan. 14 2017 - National Geographic: Hidden Earth
 
My Darvaza flaming gas crater descent expedition in Turkmenistan was given a shout-out in the National Geographic special publication Hidden Earth.
 
"In 2013 National Geographic Explorer and storm chaser George Kourounis was the first person to descend into the searing crater. After about 18 months of training, an expedition team on the ground lowered him - clad in a heat suit and Kevlar harness - into the torrid depths, where he collected soil samples for scientific study.

National Geographic - Hidden Earth

Jan. 01 2017 - Happy New Year!
 
I'm really looking forward to what 2017 has in store. I guarantee there will be plenty of new exciting adventures, exotic travel and proably a bunch of things I couldn't possibly imagine right now. Have a great year!
 
Also...

The 2017 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledges my Darvaza, Turkmenistan expedition with a 2-page spread. The goal of the expedition, which I led for National Geographic was to gather soil samples from the bottom of the world's longest-burning methane crater.

Learn more about the
flaming gas crater expedition.

Guinness Book of World Records 2017


An Archive of Previous Year's News Items Can Be Found Here

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

 

Any Questions/Comments?

Send E-Mail To George Kourounis

george@stormchaser.ca


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