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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Using Humor to Learn

Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani takes to the TEDxSummit stage in Doha, Qatar to take on serious issues in the Middle East -- like how many kisses to give when saying “Hi,” and what not to say on an American airplane.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This comedian is very funny and he is right middle easterners are not seen t be funny in western media.  It is important to see that everyone like to laugh and that we are all the same.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 30, 2014 10:25 PM

This man is brilliant in getting some pretty serious points across.  Talking about a very serious issue with people can be really difficult to do, but Jobrani uses humor to get his point across.  He talks about the differences in greeting people in countries, and about how even in Qatar he couldn't find any Qataris that worked there.  Everyone seemed to be from another country that he encountered.  He also discussed the fear that Americans had for 'brown' people, not just Muslim's but just people who may appear to maybe look like a Muslim.  That's hard to hear, for anybody but with the use of his humor and talking about how you should throw random fun English words into your Arabic conversations and you'll be all set, it makes the whole situation a little bit easier to handle.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 4, 2014 1:45 PM

Maz Jobrani uses population geography, political geography and cultural geography in his comedy. In Doha, Qatar there are massive influxes of workers leads to many of the workers in Qatar not being Qatari, he jokes about many different ethnicities greeting him when he got into Doha all of which are not Doha. This reflects real population geography changes taking place in Doha, because of its growing economy more people are going to Doha to work. He touches upon cultural differences in regards to the number of kisses each country in the Middle East is customary. As Westerners we tend to generalize the Middle East, Maz Jobrani challenges those stereotypes in his stand up and shed light on the predujices that Americans have with regards to people from the Middle East. His Hi-jack joke highlights just that.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 9, 2014 9:27 PM

This video is interesting, in that, this comedian is tackling the subject of multiple cultures in the Middle East. Maz Jobrani illustrates the cultural differences between countries and how the Middle East is portrayed in the Western media, as a very serious society who never has any fun, but it shows the entire crowd (which was diverse) laughing and not fitting into that media stereotype.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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The true cost of oil

TED Talks What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

 

This is a visually stunning portrayal of Canadian landscapes.   He shows incredibly gorgeous photographs of the ecosystems of the boreal forest, indigenous cultural landscapes and natural scenery.  This is unfortunately the backdrop for the impacts of industrial extraction of oil from the tar sands of the Athabasca in Canada.  Collectively, this makes for a jarring justaposition of environmental landscapes.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This presentation is very moving on the emotional side of the plight of Canada’s natural resources.  When it comes to oil production no matter where it is it will be dirty, messy and fraught with problems that impact the environment.  The idea that everyone wants oil but they don’t want to mess up their own country to get it is an interesting problem.  Frankly the more developed countries like Canada are more likely to mine the resources responsibly then a country that has little or no environmental protections.  This speaker gives a very impassioned presentation but he offers no alternatives to oil.  Getting oil from a country that has environmental protection laws is cleaner and better then getting it from a country that cares nothing for the environment; it is less accountable and more environmentally damaging to get it from somewhere else.  Pipelines are cleaner ways of moving oil as they seldom leak and don’t crash and spill.  The debate over oil and environmental responsibility will continue until a viable source of clean energy is created. 

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Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:37 PM

this video shows the beauties to be found in world, and the negative effects that mining for oil can do to these areas. in one region it was home to a type of deer but all they could be found was the deers antlers. that showed that mining for oil was killing all the deer. all these regions are under threat. the largest toxic wastelands on the planet are being created.

Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Sustainable Urbanism

"Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.  From building opera houses with wire to mapping the connection between the automobile and your mother-in-law, Jaime Lerner delights in discovering eccentric solutions to vexing urban problems. In the process he has transformed the face of cities worldwide."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video is enlightening.  The speaker uses the city as a model for fixing problems in the world.  Instead of seeing the city as an enemy to environmentalism, he purposes changing the cities and reworking old sites like quarries into something that is useable today.  He also advocates the integration of the transportation systems to make commuting more feasible as well as less pollution generating. 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 15, 2014 8:02 AM

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  Click here to see the trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil.