House Chamber Illinois State Capitol Springfield, Illinois 1:03 P.M. CST
Courtney Barrowman's insight:
Unit 4 Gerrymandering
About two thirds of the way into the speech:
"The fact is, today technology allows parties in power to precision-draw constituencies so that the opposition’s supporters are packed into as few districts as possible. That’s why our districts are shaped like earmuffs or spaghetti. (Laughter.) It’s also how one party can get more seats even when it gets fewer votes."
"Ok…we’ll admit it. Jerry Mandering isn’t a real political candidate. We created this video to highlight the absurdity of the process behind having elected officials draw their own lines to their advantage – a manipulative practice known as 'gerrymandering.' Public officials like Del. Jerry Mandering wish you wouldn’t worry about the fact that he can pick and choose his own voters, but you can let your legislators know that you support a non-partisan effort for fairer, more competitive elections."
The world is increasingly going hi-tech. Many people in our high consumption society want the latest and the greatest; last year’s much anticipated laptops and cell phones are miles behind the newest models that are coming out. So what happens with the old models? Even thrift stores are politely not accepting them as donations. Even some workable machines that were highly valuable 10 years ago are now functionally trash in our society. We can’t put it to the curb to end up in the landfill because of the lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials that can leak into the environment. This type of trash is what we call e-waste. The geography of e-waste is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem that we rarely think about but need to due to the ecological impacts of our collective consumption.
While researching a book on ‘Why the Dutch are Different’, Ben Coates realised that an amazingly large number of the things which an outsider might think of as ‘typically Dutch’ could be explained at least in part by a single factor: water.
According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, the number of women-operated farms increased from 5 percent to 14 percent between 1978 and 2007. Today, counting principal operators and secondary operators, women account for 30 percent of all farmers in the United States, or just under 1 million.Some women regard themselves less as entrepreneurs and more as gentle stewards of the land, or bulwarks against corporations overtaking family farms and developers sweeping in with seductive offers. Others are drawn to the farm-to-fork movement, where locally grown produce and meat hold much greater appeal. Also, more women are inheriting farms and ranches.
"In my post last week I cited a few ways in which English is unsuitable as a global language, and mentioned that its being one anyway is attributable at least in part to undeserved luck. Of course, it wasn’t all luck."
"SOMALILAND, a slim slice of Somali-inhabited territory on the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden, ticks almost all the boxes of statehood. It has its own currency, a reasonably effective bureaucracy and a trained army and police force. But it has yet to receive official recognition from a single foreign government in the years since it declared independence in 1991. To the outside world, it is an autonomous region of Somalia, subject to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Mogadishu. Why is it not a state? Throughout the post-independence era, geopolitics in Africa has tended to respect 'colonial borders', i.e. the borders laid down by European colonial powers in the 19th century. Across the continent, there have been only two significant alterations to the colonial map since the 1960s: the division of Eritrea from Ethiopia, in 1993; and South Sudan from Sudan, in 2011."
"Examinations, tests, assessments—whatever the nomenclature, it’s hard to imagine schooling without them. Testing is the most popular method of quantifying individuals’ knowledge, often with the intention of objectively measuring aptitude and ability. Test-taking is a dreaded experience that the country’s kids and young adults share with their counterparts across the globe. The ritual at its core doesn’t vary much: Students sit at a table or a computer desk (or sometimes, as shown below, on the floor), pencil and/or mouse in hand, the clock ticking away mercilessly."
This fabulous 1927 map shows some of the key reasons why the movie industry flourished in Los Angeles–California’s physical geography is incredibly diverse. As the industry was emerging in the first half of the 20th century, they didn’t have massive budgets to travel the world to give their locations a great degree of geographic accuracy it their set locations. Southern California was the ideal home base for a wide range of locations that could physically approximate so many environments and ecosystems. This cost saving strategy had more than economic ramifications; this strategy reinforced many spatial (and cultural) stereotypes in the movies that powerfully influenced how people conceptualized what these places were like. These geographies of cinematic imagination, created for economic purposes, shape our regional perceptions.
Tags: place, California, landscape, popular culture, industry.
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