The inevitability of China's rise has become apropos in the current geo-political climate, but that's not to say it's a priori. The cycle has repeated itself ad infinitum since before the industrial revolution, and since has only quickened it's pace. Looking at a country where labor costs were controlled and the health and safety of the workers were "seen to" by a almost absent government gave the West a perfect area to exploit, but any smart historian would have told them it was folly to base entire segments of the world economy on flat labor rates and lack of care for workers. It's never worked, and continues not to work. As the goods they manufacture continue to rise in terms of demand, so will their ideas of quality of life and meaningful wage. Those from the hinterlands made eventually replace them, and India or SriLanka after that, but the same pattern will emerge - these supranational firms will need to finally understand that the current Economic systems are anachronistic and need to evolve as we, as humans, continue to do so.
The size and overall distribution of the U.S. population has changed over time, as some states--especially those in the South and West--have grown faster than others. This series of cartograms shows the distribution of the population in 1890, 1950, and 2010. A cartogram is a map that represents the size of geographic units by a statistic such as population count instead of by actual land area. In each cartogram below, one square represents 50,000 people.
SOURCE: Census 2010 tables showing historical populations for states based on current boundaries.
NOTE: Population counts for 1890 do not include "Indians not taxed." The number of squares per state was calculated by dividing the state population by 50,000 and then rounding to the nearest whole number.
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.
The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal. Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era. While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.
Even though I lived through the dissolution of the USSR, it's hard to imagine a world where the government would create an entire industry, whiunjust has no means of sustainability without the government feeding supplies and consuming the products.
This when coupled with the environmental damage done by simply using the lake as a dumping ground shows that while the "short game" mig have looked rosy to outsiders, the "long game" wasn't even an afterthought for those in charge.
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.
This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever.
Can we ever really say that apartheid or other racist forms of discriminatory government are ever really gone? While on paper it's been 18 years since the democratic elections heralded he beginning of “equality” can it be said that there has been a true sea change? The rules of apartheid didn’t simply dissolve overnight – the teachers that are currently educating the newly “equal” were themselves educated under a system that promoted “black African” or “coloured” people as best suited to hard labour and service industries.
When the educators are not all “engaged” in the school and students, it will have a negative impact on the quality of education. The statistic where many teachers come in late or simply don’t show up at all shows that the students themselves, while suffering, have a solution: teach it themselves. In the education system that we are indoctrinated into would a student be held accountable for educating his or her peers in lieu of a teacher? Of course not.
There is another shocking statistic: less that 50% graduate high school and a smaller minority ever goes on to higher education. In Rhode Island, Central Falls is often seen as the “worst” performing school district, but if InfoWorks 2012 is correct 70.3% of students graduate high school, with a further 1.2% completing a GED program. What would our country look like if only 50% of our students graduated? Would they feel that they had "won freedom?"
So, I'm of two minds about this - and I feel that each has it's merits in modern society:
On the one hand, I've a fierce belief in the individual's right to choose (anything and everything) and determining one's Religion epitomizes that ideal.
However, there ideas and practices that tend to marginalize women or children which might need to be addressed to ensure equal participation in modern society. How can a woman, who cannot show her face, contribute to society equally? Can a child enrolled in a western school still answer the call to prayer without it impacting his or her educational progress?
Devil's advocacy aside, the real question is how far down that slippery slope can you travel and still claim to be "educated" or "enlightened?"
Via Seth Dixon
APR: What I can't understand is how Apple screwed up TomTom map data. I think that TomTom has some of the better standalone GPS navigators out there - so Apple's inability to parse the map data must be at fault.
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.
Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs. The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.
Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe? What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity? What are some negative impacts? Are these impacts the same in all places? Explain.
"McDonald's has culturally diverse menus everywhere, even in the US.
The real difference is that we feel that without meat it's "not the same place." Outside the US, McDonald's is more of an icon than a food.
But, there is a common notion that we live "life on a bun" in the USA"
Green power has a far wider impact than just "promoting" the preservation of the planet - due to the fact that many, if not all, of the methods of green power generation and delivery leverage locally sourced power channels.
This is truly democratizing who "can have" power, and the impact it will have on them. In the past, generators used dirty sources of power such as fossil fuels, which not only cost money, but would ruin already impoverished areas with unchecked pollution.
By harnessing what they have access to, the Bangladeshi people are gaining the benefits of the power (longer hours of useable time) but also not damaging the one resource they did have: the Earth.
Internet services were down across Syria on Thursday as rebels and government troops waged fierce battles near the Damascus airport, wounding two Austrian peacekeepers and forcing international airlines to suspend flights.
APR- In a nation where a constant connection to the Internet is nearly expected, it's hard to imagine what it would be like if the government could truly "flip the switch" and cut us off.
Seeing this may signal a major strike against "rebels" as certianly was seen in Egypt two years ago.
Major CDN (content distribution network) Akamai confirms that no traffic at all from Syria has accessed their services since early this morning. Akamai hosts content for many popular services, such as the iTunes store. (engt.co/SsWgUJ)
If freedom fighters or rebels know this is being done, it will simply embolden them, making them search for a back channel to get their message out to the world. search twitter for #syria to keep updated
Taking Root tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement ...
Community, agriculture, gender, politics and the environment... it's all here in this inspiring clip.
APR: It's good to see that, despite the repression, Wangari Maathai maintained her vision - and contributed to reforms in the government. Her goal of "reforesting" will also benefit the entire planet, and truly survive as a legacy to her country and people.
Looking for an easy online method of sharing and using powerpoint presentations? Slideshare is made just for that. Here is one I made of Middle Eastern flags a while back, showing the cultural patterns and similarities among the flags. Students are quick to note that the Israeli flag sticks out and "doesn't fit in well visually."
APR: I think that the cultural similarities are evident in most of these flags, although the proposed Iraqi flag seems discordant with their cultural heritage, at least according to my limited understanding of Iraq.
Via Seth Dixon
Urban Agriculture Sprouts in Brazil’s Favelas - Organic agriculture is a growing trend in big cities around the world, including Latin America, and no...
This article nicely ties two commonly taught issues in human geography that aren't the the typical combination: 1) the growth of organic farming and 2) the spread of squatter settlements and slums in the developing world.
A.P.R.: It's important to give the impoverished residents of the favelas a resource that can feed them as well as provide a modest secondary income stream. Also of importance is that they are educating these urban farmers in the methods of organic production - in a dense urban sprawl like the favelas, the last thing you'd want to do is poullute the already meager supply of clean water with potentially carcinogenic pesticides.
Tags: agriculture, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities.
Humans have always tried to interpret and understand the world through maps, and digital and mobile technology has made locating ourselves easier than ever. Anyone with access to the internet, a smartphone or Sat-Nav ...
Syria is destined to fragment into three separate sectarian states after the regime of Bashar al-Assad is extirpated, according to Mohammad Yaghi, a Syrian jour...
"It no longer matters whether what is happening in Syria is a revolution or a conspiracy that preempted a potential revolution — or even a conspiracy targeting the 'non-aligned' countries. The substance of the matter is: Is it possible to save Syria from imminent disintegration?" This article that originally came from a Palestinian news agency serves as a good material to start a discussion about centripetal and centrifugal forces.
Tags: Middle East, devolution, political, unit 4 political and war.