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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
The Mekong River was once a wild and primitive backwater. Today, growing demands for electricity and rapid economic growth are changing the character of what is the world's 12th-longest river.

 

Economic progress for some often entails job loss and environmental degradation for others.  The once isolated and remote Mekong is experiences some impacts of globalization with residents having mixed feelings about the prospects. 

 

The technological resources from the Mekong River are needed to keep up with population demands suchs as electricity.  However in building dams, the wildlife and naturalness on the river is being stolen.  Farmers and fishermen fear that fish will be destroyed and blocked by the dams.  They are already noticing effects from upstream- the work China has done on the river is effecting Laos' societies.  Elizabeth Allen


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Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:04 PM

There must be a better way to transport items and in return save the Mekong river from being degredated. Technological innovations are affecting the life in the river as local fishermen are seeing less and less fish traveling in the river. This is impacting them in the sense that they use these fish for their survival as well as for selling. They fear that in building dams and creating advanced roads over the Mekong will change their enviroment altogether and will hinder their livelihood. This is a beautiful river and I personally feel there could be a better way but there is always something sacrficed when the government choses a location to build on. - M. Carvajal

Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 8:03 PM

It seems to be a theme that across the bored, people are building things that directly and negatively impact the environment and the local people. There are always two sides to the problem. On one hand, the dam can help with the development of Laos because it will bring in money, but it will also destroy the fish population and therefore many fishermen will lose their jobs and people will lose a food source. It is a difficult problem because Laos needs money because there is a lot of poverty in this rural country and the fishermen do not add a whole lot to the economy, but the people need a way to survive and make money for their families as well. It's a problem that I think will be around for generation to come.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

Seems the price of modernizing will be the local economy that as existed here for centuries.  It is not a small industy either, it is according to the report a billion dollar fishing industry.  However with a growing population and a demand for electricity the river is the perfect source for this power.  This globalization, like all globalization, will help some and will hurt some.  What you have to ask yourself is will it help more than it hurts?  Will it help in the long run, over time?  For everyone involoved in globalization these answeres are never the same everywhere.

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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.

 

The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 

 

This certainly is a life revealed. Between the pictures and the years you can get a sense of what her life was like and what it lacked. An affectuous story, it is always amazing to see proof of history's changes. And how a picture can tell a thousand words.  Not only has Sharbat Gula's skin withered, but so has her soul.   Elizabeth Allen


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megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 1:08 AM
But by looking at the photo we can see the beauty out of all the pain.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:49 AM

This photo is in Rome, where there is an exhibit based on NGS photos, and in Las Vegas as well. In both places the lines were long to get in.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 10:00 AM

This is basically a publicity stunt. When someone puts a specific cover on a magazine, they are looking for a certain kind of attention. Yes, this woman has faced some hardships in her life but not the brutal and intense things that this magazine may have stirred up.

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South African township's solar-powered cafe

South African township's solar-powered cafe | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Entrepreneur converts shipping container into mobile internet shop powered entirely by the sun.

This 2-minute video shows how a an enterpreneur has made his business (an internet cafe) self-sufficient, not relying much on external infrastruture.  Modern Africa has advanced beyond what many in the developed world acknowledge and is beyond some the old stereotypes of that characterize how people view the 'Dark Continent.' 

 

 

Another way of finding use for shipping containers.  Elizabeth Allen

Tags: Africa, technology, development, video.


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:36 PM
This shop is awesome. Good for him opening this up randomly, from security guard to owning a solar powered cafe. It gives children the opportunity to become more familiar with the internet and how to use it. What a great idea.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 5:59 PM

In South Africa, a shipping container is transformed into a mobile internet shop reliant on solar power. While the rest of the world is much more advanced in technology, this shows how non-advanced countries are trying to catch up!

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Rise of solar panel energy in Bangladesh


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Elizabeth Allen's insight:

This reminds me of the power issues in the Phillipines.  The use of soda bottles and water provide light for many villages in the Phillipines....  Here in Bangladesh they rely on green power- solar power.  I am sure now that children can study better at night (because they have light)  they have better progess at school.  Pehaps people in Bangladesh without solar power should adopt the soda bottle technique from the Phillipines.  Elizabeth Allen

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 11, 2012 7:18 PM
This reminds me of the power issues in the Phillipines. The use of soda bottles and water provide light for many villages in the Phillipines.... Here in Bangladesh they rely on green power- solar power. I am sure now that children can study better at night (because they have light) they have better progess at school. Pehaps people in Bangladesh without solar power should adopt the soda bottle technique from the Phillipines.
Mr. Rodrigues's curator insight, December 12, 2012 12:53 PM

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.

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BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest

BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
A simple initiative in the Philippines is bringing a bit of brightness into the lives of the country's poorest people.

 

This clip is brimming with classroom potential.  Development is a key component to this clip, but it could also become a service learning project as students adopt a great project to help others in more difficult financial situations.  Learn more about the project at: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/

 

This technique using an empty soda bottle, piece of metal, water, and a little bleach is affording communities to have light.  Of course it is a great recycling practice as well.  60 watts for under a dollar is priceless in most Phillipine neighborhoods.  More importantly,this new technique is being used in schools as well. This is truly amazing to see how innovative cultures can be. While they cannot afford electricity due to the high prices, they still have found an inexpensive alternative. Now with the mimicked lighting, people in poor areas of the Phillipines can still go on with their daily life uninterrupted.  Elizabeth Allen


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Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:51 PM

This is absolutely amazing...to see how people think of new innovative ways to create simple gadgets that will serve as a source for them to live by. The fact that prices for certain services push people to find new ways of receiving the same service is sad but at the same time it stimulates people to try. I am fascinated at how much a person can do with their two hands. Very nice. - M. Carvajal

Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 25, 2013 9:20 PM

This clip is brimming with classroom potential.  Development is a key component to this clip, but it could also become a service learning project as students adopt a great project to help others in more difficult financial situations.  Learn more about the project at: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 5, 2013 10:31 AM

This is another source about the use of recycled soda bottles as light sources in the Philippines.  This idea amazes me because it shows what people are capable of doing to help themselves and others in impoverished places.  It is such a simple yet amazingly important initiative.

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India's Census: Lots Of Cellphones, Too Few Toilets

The results of India's once-in-a-decade census reveal a country of 1.2 billion people where millions have access to the latest technology, but millions more lack sanitation and drinking water.

 

More Indians are entering the middle class as personal wealth is transforming South Asia's economy in the private sector.  Yet the government's ability to provide public services to match that growth still lags behind.  Why would it be that it is easier to get a cell phone than a toilet in India?  What will that mean for development?

 

What a difference between luxury and necessity. Yes, everyone feels that cellphones are a necessity. However, in a region that lacks working sanitation and plumbing, cellphones are a luxury. Clearly India is in desperate need of "the basics". With its never-ending growing population, the statisitcs of people lacking proper plumbing will surely rise. It is sad to think of a country where over 60% are without what we take for granted.   Elizabeth Allen


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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 17, 1:41 PM

India's economy is transforming, but only for individuals, who are quickly becoming rich or, more commonly, part of the growing middle class.  This change, mixed with a corrupt, non-incentivized  government is creating a picture of uneven development in India.  The government is not supplying basic needs to the growing population, which mainly effects the poor.  Half of the population are lacking basic sanitation and access to clean water.  These needs can only be met with a strong infrastructure, which the government has neither the money nor the motivation to rebuild.  However, Indians do have the access to things like cellphones and televisions.  This is due to the fact that these goods are privatized and easy to obtain (as opposed to ripping apart a city to put infrastructure in place).  So, uneven development is seen not only in the general economy, but also in access to resources and material goods. 

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 17, 6:42 AM

Consequences of urbanisation

Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 30, 10:36 PM

More Indians are entering the middle class as personal wealth is transforming South Asia's economy in the private sector.  Yet the government's ability to provide public services to match that growth still lags behind.  Why would it be that it is easier to get a cell phone than a toilet in India?  What will that mean for development in India?  These comedians are seeking to use humor to bring this issue to light.

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U.S. Obesity Trends

U.S. Obesity Trends | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

It's pretty widely known that Americans are becoming increasingly more obese...but there is a geographic context to this phenomenon.  These maps help students explore these factors.  Elizabeth A.  #geog400ric 


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Joshua Choiniere's comment, September 18, 2012 3:01 PM
According to this map obesity occurs all over but is more highly concentrated in the South and Mid West area such as Illinios and Michican. While states in the heartland have no "recorded data" and thus there trying to say they are not obese. I think this map is biased and not accurate because it's implied message is that Americans are not truly obese.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, September 15, 2013 9:15 PM

The section about obesity and socioeconomic status was the most interesting to me, specifically that richer non-Hispanic blacks are more likely to be obese than their poorer counterparts while wealtheir women tend to be skinnier than poorer women. I've always understood obesity to be a problem largely driven by the nutrition of low-cost foods (McDonalds, KFC, etc.) yet these two statistics seem to contradict each other and require I take a more nuanced look at the epidemic. The fact that the South and the Midwest are leading the data in most obese does not come as a surprise to me. Stereotypes of Southern fried chicken and biscuits are coming to mind while my own experience of the Minnesota State Fair (everything on a stick!) makes the statistics jive with my own mindset.