This article presents a map created that divides America into new political boundaries where there is far less of a gerrymandering presence. The map was made by math PhD Warren Smith and engineer Jan Kok by using something called the shortest split line algorithm. The shortest split line algorithm is used to cut the state in to two halves with roughly equal populations and then the process is repeated on each half until the proper number of districts is created. This process, designed only by computer algorithm creates far more fair districts that are not influenced by gerrymandering. The main problem with the countrywide map projection is that almost all of the districts cross state borders so this radically different map would not be acceptable. The most interesting part of the article is when you compare current political divisions of states to the shortest spilt line projections of the individual states. The comparison is almost indisputable proof of the effects gerrymandering has had on the United States.
This article relates to our class as we extensively discuss gerrymandering and it’s effects. Gerrymandering is the practice of manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to favour one party or class. We learned about how difficult it could be to gerrymander threw the online game gerrymandering, and we discussed how Toronto’s political districts are gerrymandered as they are wider than they should be and shorter as well. Compared to the crazy maps of North Carolina and Pennsylvania. We have to keep in mind that the maps purely use numbers and do not take into account anything else like historical boundaries.
As dusk falls in Mallinckrodt Road, a shabby street in the gritty German city of Dortmund, two young men in hoodies are touting for work. “We are labourers,” says one, miming a bit of shovelling. “We can dig. Carry stuff.” The would-be workers have
Charlie Osler's insight:
Summary: This article weighs both the advantages and consequences of migrant workers in Germany. As Europe’s largest economy, every year hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers come to Germany looking for jobs. In many ways this is advantageous, the migrant workers bring skills that Germany needs and the German population is getting older. The downsides to this however are that most migrants come from Bulgaria and Romania, the poorest countries in the European Union, and because of this they are seen as only qualified for the simplest of jobs. Fear that the migrant worker are being taken advantage of and that Germany’s economy could be hurt by them, have sparked some debate as to weather or not the EU’s open border policy is useful.
Analysis: This article relates to our class as it talks about migration and the problems and advantages that come with migration. First this article address both push factors, reasons to leave, and pull factors, reasons to come. Germany is attractive as it has many available jobs and a stable economy (pull factors) while Romania and Bulgaria do not (push factor). These German pull factor have also lead to chain migration, an event in which migrants follow a migration path, as many Romanians and Bulgarians see the advantages to moving. This article also touches on population pyramids, implying that immigrant workers are helping combat the top-heavy German pyramid. All in all, I though this article was very relevant to what we talked about in class and it also was very interesting.
There's still much complaining left to do about the insidious spread of TD Banks and Subway sandwicheries, but there's also a third, equally nefarious sleeper scourge silently devouring our beloved bookstores and well-worn bars: Fro-yo.
Charlie Osler's insight:
This article talks about a tumbler blog called “Now It’s A F*cking Froyo Place” that illiterates the mass takeover of the frozen yogurt industry, by showing all the different places in New York City that have become frozen yogurt shops. It talks about the popularity of frozen yogurt since it’s newfound popularity around 2006. It compares this increase in New York locations to that of other business is like TD Banks and Subway sandwich shops. The blog itself is very anti-frozen yogurt saying that this increase is creating a monoculture in New York and destroying old cultural businesses. The article calls this new yogurt trend a form of gentrification stating that these new pop up shops are prefect examples of how the face of New York changes based on what is hip and trendy right now.
This article relates mainly to two major topics we discussed monoculture and gentrification. Monoculture is a negative effect that can come out of globalization and it causes culture to die and be lost. These frozen yogurt stands are definitely and example of a popular monoculture. The drawback of this is that other types of food are lost, but we must keep in mind that popular culture is very fickle, it goes in and out on a whim, and very soon there will be some new popular food. Another big topic that came up was gentrification. Gentrification is the urban revitalization of a less than desirable neighbourhood. There are many examples of this in Toronto, but this article argues that an increase in frozen yogurt places help create and add momentum to gentrification. Arguably there is a coloration between the increase in frozen yogurt shops and the up and coming-ness of a neighbourhood, but I doubt that gentrification is entirely dependant on frozen yogurt.
The basic question the Supreme Court must answer is whether Quebec can secularize the teaching of religion within the very walls of a private Catholic school
Charlie Osler's insight:
This article reports on a conflict in Quebec over weather or not a private, catholic high school should be allowed to teach a course on ethics and religious culture in a Jesuit style. The outcome of this case could help determine weather of not it is the governments right to decide the curriculum inside of a private, catholic institution. This is an example of Quebec and Catholicism trying to find a place for themselves in a newer multicultural Canada. Another question brought up is weather or not religious freedom is the right of an institution or just of an individual. Comparisons have been drawn between this court case and the case of the sikh kirpin daggers in school as both are clashes of church and state.
This article relates to our class in many ways. First it brings up the topic or religion, specifically Catholicism, a religion we learned quite a bit about through the power point presentations. Catholicism is an example of a monotheistic, universalizing religion. Another topic this article brings up is culture. In the case of this particular school the religion is similar to more folk culture, as they are trying to battle against a more popular, government imposed, culture. These people are trying to stick to their roots and keep their folk culture in their school while the government is trying to assimilate them into their popular culture.
Commuter Hell, Suits & Ties, Evil ‘LRT’ Here, and Times Square Wannabe are just some of the crude attempts at renaming TTC stations.
Charlie Osler's insight:
The article “Parody maps rename Toronto’s neighbourhoods, TTC stations,” published on October 16, 2013 by Global Toronto, reports on the creation of two maps that give parody names to Toronto Neighbourhoods and TTC stations. This is an article addressing parody maps that have been appearing on websites such as Reddit. This article focuses on two specific maps one renaming TTC stations and one renaming Toronto neighbourhoods. Both maps were made as jokes and they do touch on real issues such as economic issues and views on the TTC plan. The “neighbourhoods map” explores economic issues by naming areas like Cabbagetown and Regent Park things like “Rich and Poor, at the same time” and “Canada’s Unfortunate” respectively. The “neighbourhoods map” was created by a company called Urbane, a San Francisco based company, while the TTC Map was made by a Reddit user named “TXTCLA55”. The TTC Map sends its own messages using things like Rob Ford’s criticism of streetcars on St. Clair to rename the station “Evil LRT Here”. Both maps are made as a bit of a joke but in being jokes they also both present issues.
This article relates to the unit we covered in many was. It is a perfect example of a mental map, a map that separates areas in to certain regions based on an individual’s point of view, as it takes a person’s opinion of the city of Toronto and applies it to the map. It also is an example of globalization, an international exchange of goods and abilities, and special diffusion, the way in which and idea or product is spread, as these maps have used the Internet to spread an idea internationally. The neighbourhood map is an example of hierarchal diffusion, the spread of an idea or trend from one major hub, like a city, to another, as it spread from San Francisco, to Toronto.
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