"For Regional Geography, I ask that all my students take an online quizzes before coming to class because it is very difficult to intelligently discuss European issues if you don’t know the countries of Europe, where they are and what other countries are on their borders. Quizzes and knowing places doesn’t define geography, but if geography were English literature, knowing about places could be described as the alphabet–before you write a sonnet or critique an essay, you better know your ABC’s and basic grammar. Given that, I like the Lizard Point Geography quizzes, Sheppard Software quizzes and those from Click that ‘Hood; they are simple, straightforward and comprehensive."
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...
Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth. The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited. Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale. This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents. In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.'
This article freeked me out at first. The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck! But after reading the article I found it very interesting. That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world. The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.
In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question. The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it. Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.
When I read something like this all I can think is maybe this is what happened to Atlantis. What if Atlantis was an island like this that existed just long enough for people to build a society on and then it sank beneath the sea. Another think this makes me think of is the novel “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, in it an island rises from the sea and leads to a war over which country owns it. This is just an interesting phenomenon that leads to world arguments.
This article points out the political and cultural geography of Australia. The legislation that the indigenous people sees as raciest and painting a picture of them as bad people may lead to their closing off on of Australia’s tourist attractions.
This video presentation gives a good description of why islands have a varied and different forms of species on the islands. The isolation gives them a strong hold in their particular environment but this is a double edged sword because they lack predation or stronger comparators so they become very adapted to their place but cannot compete when a stronger adaptor for generalized environment comes to the island. Like cats that are brought to the isolated island and then proceed to cause mass extinctions.
Lack of progress on a global programme to reward developing countries for avoiding deforestation has made little headway, officials and conservationists say.
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:
This article discusses the program that was intended to preserve forest not working as planed. The problem is that the forest in the developing world are a resource to the people living there and unless an alternative way for them to develop is presented the best and fasted way for them is to use the resources of their forests.
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.
The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network. This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable.
This video was interesting. It shows that with increased urbanization come the problem of increased traffic congestion. Government that are growing need to be aware of this and build their cities accordingly to have transportation that can accommodate all the people swelling the city.
Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.
This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands. This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.
This video shows a positive side to globalization. The Australian organization that worked with the people in these rural villages to get them access to clean water. The quality of life when up hugely when the people could access water in their homes. The hours needed to trek to the wells was eliminated and the water have created jobs and better quality of life for the villages.
"Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day."
The Philippines which experiences monsoon weather is imperiled by the deforestation and clogged water ways due to increased population. This country must do something to fix these issues or more large scale floods will likely be in its future.
cIn September, China stopped shipping rare earths, minerals crucial to military, cell phone and green technologies, to countries around the world. A report from the Bureau for International Reporting.
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:
This video raises the points that in order to go green we need to mine rear earths. We have relied on China to do it and now that China is using the materials domestically, the rest of the world will have to find new places to exploit these minerals. The video pointed out that people who think mining is evil must realize that in order to go green the minerals are needed if the mining doesn’t happen then the green tech doesn’t happen either. It’s easy to preach going green but when faced with the impact on the environment, such as mining, people balk and say not in my backyard.
Northeast Asia is just as important in this region in relation to energy and geography. Most notably, Japan and China are the world’s largest ...
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:
As the countries that have exported fuel to the developed countries of East Asia begin to develop and continue to become more energy dependent the fuel shipped abroad to East Asia will go down. Countries like Japan who have no resources of their own will be forced to pay higher prices for less fuel and have to turn to their countries or forms of energy production.
Finding Materials: This site is designed for geography students and teachers to find interesting, current supplemental materials. To search for place-specific posts, browse this interactive map. To search for thematic posts, see http://geographyeducation.org/thematic/ (organized by the APHG curriculum). Also you can search for a keyword by clicking on the filter tab above.
The coconut is playing a vital role in helping remote parts of Tonga to move on from the destructive Cyclone Ian.
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:
this video shows a positive aspect of globalization. the people in remote villages on small isolated islands can now earn a wage to help support their families because of world wide demand for coconuts and coconut products.
High-resolution imaging has allowed scientists to produce the first full count of Antarctica's emperor penguins...
Before this, there was no way to to gather reliable penguin statistics. Geospatial technologies are now providing us the tools to teach us more about the biogeography of penguins. The applications of geospatial technologies are endless.
The use of modern technology to better understand nature is fascinating. The ability to count penguins from space in a way that could not happen without satellites because of the harsh environment. Maybe someday they will find bigfoot with a satellite or maybe not.
Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.
This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.
"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes. People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."
Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?
Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.
This pod cast shows the dichotomy of old and new. The villagers earn a living being a living museum of their past culture. But to do that they need to keep all modern influences away from the tourist village which leads to them living in a separate village nearby.
Volcanic islands can seem to appear out of nowhere, emerging from the ocean like breaching monsters of the deep. Below, Mika McKinnon explains how these odd geological formations are born, how they evolve, and how they eventually vanish back beneath the waves.
Asia Times Online. The Asia News Hub providing the latest news and analysis regarding economics, events and trends in business, economy and politics throughout Asia.
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:
The conflict over China’s aggression in claiming territory within other countries 200 miles territorial water boarders in the south china sea could be a cause for world conflict. If china doesn’t abide by past treaties and with the decision that is being asked for from the un there could be a conflict within this area of the world. I wonder if China is trying to follow in Putian’s footsteps in seizing territory.
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?
Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world. We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all. Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons. Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia. Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?
I found this video disturbing. Maybe because we have train safety taught to us were they stress that you need to stay away from the tracks, here the people are sitting next to a train track and even have goods for sale that the train drives over. I think it is interesting how they reclaim the space but the mom in me worries about kids getting run over by the train.
The article discusses how China’s wish to build a rail road through southeast Asia will most likely incur a high cost from the country of Laos that the rail road will go through. China is anxious to regain its power in the area and its terms for the rail road will leave Laos severely indebted to China to such an extent that many see it as China trying to make Laos a vessel state.
"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"
This article pointed out that while Vietnam does not drink much coffee it has become a large exporter of the bean. The article also talked about the ramifications of coffee farming on the economy as well as he geography of this country. I also found it interesting that a country that no one ever trained to grow coffee has reached the heights it has with just farmers figuring out what needed to be done.
Experts say that both Japan and South Korea have the same goal: cajoling Washington into pressuring the other to make concessions in their bitter rivalry over history and geography.
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:
South Korea and Japan have had a rocky past with each other steaming from WW II; the two countries are now battling for public opinion in the USA. Events of the first half of the twentieth century are still affecting politics today and will most likely continue to do so for a long time to come.
This is disturbing to me. These apartments are smaller than prison cells. I find it awful that families have to squeezes into such small spaces. I cannot imagine being able to live is such a small space without feeling trapped. I felt trapped and claustrophobic just looking at the pictures!
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