AP Human Geography Finnegan
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A New Way to Illuminate Inequality Around the World

A New Way to Illuminate Inequality Around the World | AP Human Geography Finnegan | Scoop.it

Want to know where the poor live? Look at where the light isn’t.

 

"Satellite photos of Earth’s artificial lights at night form a luminescent landscape. But researcher Chris Elvidge of NOAA and colleagues from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver realized that they could also illuminate something much darker: the magnitude of human poverty. By comparing the amount of light in a particular area and its known population, they realized that they could infer the percentage of people who are able to afford electricity and the level of government spending on infrastructure development. This allowed them to extrapolate levels of human development—a measure of well-being that includes such factors as income, life expectancy and literacy."


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Unnatural Landscapes

Unnatural Landscapes | AP Human Geography Finnegan | Scoop.it

In a world where photoshop has made the unreal seem ordinary, these unearthly seemingly landscapes might seem likely fakes.  The world can be that extraordinary.  Pictured above is the "Door to Hell" in Turkmenistan.  Rich with natural gas, Soviets were drilling in 1971 when the drilling rig collapsed and left a huge (230 feet wide) hole.  In an attempt to stop gas leaks they hoped a fire would burn off any discharge, but it is still burning today.  Enjoy this gallery of 25 'unnatural' images.   


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Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 12, 2015 4:58 PM

Unnatural landscapes. Amongst all the new technology and graphics, the world still holds phenomena’s that can leave any persons jaw dropped. This article on buzzfeed shows 25 images that can amaze you. In Mt. Roraima, Venezuela there is a slab of land that seems to be suspended in the clouds. The Metro in Stockholm, Sweden resembles a space station in the rocks. The tunnel of love in the Ukraine looks like a path carved out of bush and also a romantic place for a date. The tulip Fields in Lisse, Netherlands looks like a grounded rainbow. Lapland, Finland is home to massive natural snow creatures. The mountains of Zhangye, China resembles the colors and look of Zebra stripe gum. Lake Rebta in Senegal looks like your floating in tomato soup.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 11:43 AM

Physical geography and landforms are something that have amazed people for millennia. The world's tallest mountains, deepest oceans, widest rivers, and largest deserts have, at various times, astounded, baffled, and hindered human beings. Some physical features are helpful to human progress (cities built on hills are more defensible, rivers allow for irrigation for agriculture) and others delay it (mountains are difficult to traverse, oceans are large and treacherous to navigate). And then there are landforms or geographic features that are just downright strange or unusual, like the ones listed in this article. 

 

While looking at pictures of these places or visiting them may be fun, they also provide us with a valuable lesson about nature. Nature is a force to be reckoned with, as it can produce some pretty amazing and unusual things. People sometimes do not stop to think what nature can do and as a result, suffer the consequences (Napoleon, and later Hitler's ill-fated invasions of Russia, for instance). Geography and natural landforms can be invaluable tools in human progress, but it should also be kept in mind that they are part of nature, and that nature is an unpredictable and sometimes violent force. As with anything, then, nature and geography must be respected and feared to avoid making the same mistakes that others have made in the past. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 11:34 AM

Another interesting failure of the Soviets during the Cold War. One really begins to question their competence when reading about this, Chernobyl and the Aral Sea. I honestly don't see how anyone would consider lighting a major gas leak on fire would help the situation either. Regardless this site stands as a testament to the influence we have on the geography of area through our reshaping for society. The incident also now helps Turkmenistan economically because it offers tourist attraction revenue. Additionally while the gallery had many fascinating images from around the world this one captivated me due to its historical nature and affect it would have had on the region. Hopefully the site doesn't ever become too dangerous do to the flammable substances because I would imagine that is a possibility (also hopefully there is not too much environmental damage from it either).