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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 

 

I have always felt that Iraq is very complex. And it is. However the videos shed some light on clarifying what most of the turmoil is about.  A valid question is why not divide Iraq into three seperate countries? One for the Kurdish, one for the Sunnis, and one for the Shiite? The video explains that it is not that easy.  Iraq has been unstable since it formed after WWI.The Sunnis feel that the Shiite stole their power and they want to reclaim it.  The three ethnicities are quarrelling for control and it has to do with more than religion.  Resources play an important role in the dispute.  The country cannot divide into three regions, because the Sunni (about 20% of Iraq's population) are in a region where they are not close to water and they have no oil.  The Sunni and Kurdish are close to natural resources- water and oil.  If the country divides, the Sunni will not last. 

Elizabeth Allen


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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Daily Infographic: If Everyone Lived Like An American, How Many Earths Would We Need?

Daily Infographic: If Everyone Lived Like An American, How Many Earths Would We Need? | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
You're probably already aware that Americans consume a disproportional amount of the world's stuff. You may even have bumped into some of the statistics:
Elizabeth Allen's insight:

The world would be in trouble if everyone lived like Americans.  Just look at how much garbage we produce-- 40%.  Not too mention what the environment would be like with the extra pollutions.   Elizabeth Allen

 

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The Voices of China's Workers

TED Talks In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world.


Our collective understanding of modern industrialization and globalization needs to go beyond the binary of "oppressors" and "victims."  This lecture explores the voices and lives of Chinese workers that we so often simply see as simply victims of a system, but are full of ambition and agency. 

 

Tags: industry, globalization, labor, China, TED. 


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Elizabeth Allen's insight:

This is an interesting video.  Leslie Chang was able to gain such perspective from the girls who work in China's factories.  Learning about how the girls are optimistic about their future.  They don't want the Coach Bag or IPhone they are making- it would take months for them to afford it...  They want an education and social mobility.  It was uplifiting to hear that factory workers want education and more out of life, however as mentioned- they are "invisible"  We (Westerners) avoid the idea that people in China working for next to nothing in response to our lifestyle and demands. This also makes you think about when you see a product that is considered an 'American Classic'  it does not mean made in America.        Elizabeth Allen  

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Ryli Smith's comment, May 5, 2013 2:55 PM
In these Chinese factories, they don't view these jobs as harsh or poor treatment because this is better than how they would be doing back in their villages. They want these jobs so bad because they will give them a better life. Also, you have to remember that not all of these Chinese factory workers want to have an iPhone or a Coach purse or Nike shoes, because those things don't have any worth in their culture.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 5:26 PM

The plight of Chinese workers today is incredibly great. This TED talks explains the situations many in China find themselves in the terrible conditions they must work in. While us in the west see this as unthinkable China's model for success and expansion comes at the cost of their workforce who are subjugated to poor working conditions as very low pay. The real hope for this to change is for the nation as a whole to become wealthy enough that these workers will be able to demand fair wages and work environments. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 11:08 PM

These workers do see their jobs as opportunities. This video is a great eye opener for people who tend to fall into the trap of looking at globalization as a system of haves and have nots. 

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North Korea News - Breaking World North Korea News - The New York Times

North Korea News - Breaking World North Korea News - The New York Times | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
World news about North Korea. Breaking news and archival information about its people, politics and economy from The New York Times.
Elizabeth Allen's insight:

As mentioned in class, North and South Korea would be better off united.  By the looks of things, that will not be happening.  Scary to think that North Korea is "testing" missiles could endanger its close neighbors. But, maybe that was the intention.  I thought a new, younger president would bring a modern way of thinking to North Korea, instead it sounds like they are spiralling downhill.  High unemployment, high fuel and food prices.  Hopefully South Korea is prepared for any wrongdoing on North Korea's part....  The Peace Dam may keep flooding away, however it is no match for nuclear weapons...

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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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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.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 9:21 PM

The Mekong river is a river that many fisherman in Laos depend on for food and income. Plans to build dams that will cause the fish to seek an alternate route to migrate upstream. Critics of the dams say that the dams will cause the fish to abandon the Mekong river and go through their neighboring rivers, leaving the residents without a source of income. Many in favor of the dams say the reverse, that building the dams will boost economy and cause the area to flourish.

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Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
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. 

 

Traffic. Just waiting for your turn to move a few feet. I can only imagine the frustration of commuters in Jakarta. The governemnt needs to make improvements, quikly. If they provided more public transport and better infrastrucure, traffic conditions would greatly improve.  Many other countries have faced this issue.  Without the government's help, Jakarta may be congested for a long time.  Carool regulations in a poor community provoke crime.  If people can make a living helping others commute into the city, they will.  The "jockeys" see an opportunity to provide for their families, while it is illegal- they are desperate enough to try an evade police and help the commuters.  Elizabeth Allen


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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 1:12 PM

As urban population growth rises, transportation systems will be put under greater strain. Jakarta's transportation crisis is one of the worst in the world, and people sit in traffic for hours traveling to work or to do errands. Due to incompetencies in the system, people are finding different ways to make travel easier. Motorbike cabs as well as people standing on street corners offering to be passengers in order for cars to travel in the car-pool lanes are two ways people are getting around. These underground transportation services are illegal, but their extent cannot be contained by law enforcement. 

 

Jakarta, as well as many other cities, are continuing to grow due to the global trend of people moving into urban areas. With more people than ever choosing to reside in cities instead of rural areas, new transportation systems will need to be developed in order to accommodate for growth.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:35 PM

The amount of traffic in Jakarta is staggering and the traffic itself has built up a business of making commuting to work easier. What is troubling is that the government hasn't made enough of an effort to fix the problem of traffic in its largest and most economically viable city. If Jakarta wants to keep growing the government has to step in and find a way to make getting to work realistic for Indonesians.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 9:38 PM

The traffic in Jakarta is insane, to be in a constant standstill on your way to work is unreal. The reporter in the video says that if the city of Jakarta continues on its current path, it could be "in a state of Paralysis" which for an entire city is not good. The traffic has, for some, become a way to make money, illegally but money nonetheless.

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Myanmar's Isolation Gives Way To A Flood Of Visitors

The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.

 

So many tourists want to see the change come to the democratic institutions of Myanmar to become a politically just Burma.  And yet, they also nostalgically want to keep Myanmar in a non-globalized state.  In what can be called the paradox of progress, many westerners want an idealized pre-modern state. 

 

What a transition. Burma is now free. After suffocating under military rule, Myanmar now has the chance of progressing politically and economically. With better government practices in place, under the pro democracy leader- Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar is able to prosper financially.  Hotels are a big boost to the economy.  Because tourists are interested in the transition of Burma, many are flocking there.  Hotels are able to raise prices and hire more workers. Myanmar is able to open its doors and allow others in.  It appears to be a sense of an awakening for Burma- politically and economically.

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Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:40 PM

This article touches on something I've always thought about when considering tourism and development. Many of the cities and places I like to visit I go to because of there charm and lack of robust tourism culture. This is a bit of a dual edged sword. Cities and countries stand to gain considerable wealth from the expansion of their tourism industry. But, part of me wonders if something else is also lost. 

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 10, 2013 8:03 PM

Due to rapid pace of political change in the last year tourists and foriegn investors are flooding into Myanmar. The country went through 50 years of brutal military rule and isolation that has left them stuck in time. What has been so heartbreaking for the people of Myanmar has is they same thing that makes it attractive and appealing to tourists and brings them now pouring in. Many of the tourists like it there because it hasnt been "ruined" by corporations and fast food chains yet.  

James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 9:02 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 9 [independent topic 1])

Myanmar (aka Burma) might end up being the next 'hidden gem' that ends up being scratched by over-visitation and over-westernization. However, this is by no means set in stone (no pun intended...).  Just as locals don't want to spread word about their favorite swimming hole, many past visitors and some locals hope that they can maintain that which keeps Myanmar unique. On the other hand, the welcoming of change offers the lure of increased tourism revenue and further globalization to an area recovering from isolationism. In my opinion a balance should be reached, in which local culture is properly maintained while modest introduction of foreign culturals is done in an as-necessary, beneficial-majority-proven basis.

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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     

 

My heart was in my throat watching this video. Is that the procedure for demolishing the entire building? Ironically this was to clear way because the Olympics were being held in Bejing. There is some irony here, representatives from other travelling down that main road would be appalled to see these working conditions. And for little pay on top of risking their lives.   According to the National.ae.com, close to 80,000 people died in 2010 due to unsafe working conditions.

Elizabeth Allen


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James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 9:11 PM

(East Asia topic 6)
This video signifies two distinct characteristics of labor in China. First and most obviously is the disregard of safety. One could argue in the past that risks such as these were accepted by workers since China was a largely less-developed country with fewer employment opportunities; however, being a recent video and China  currently making exponential economic and developmental ground, this is definitely one of those 'things which shouldn't be happening'. With all of the nation's so-called "improvements," why are none discernible  here?

  Secondly, traits such as subservient respect are valued more in nations such as China. It is possible that if these workers hadn't have taken the risk and not completed the job, they would've been fired and had a somewhat 'tainted' reputation for not following their orders to demolish the building.

  Though it seems that all industrializing nations have gone through issues of workers' safety and reasonable expectations, China should use it's late-coming as a plus by learning from others which have gone before it, and avoiding the personal, legal, and even some social issues which have been faced before.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 1:52 PM

China's ability to sweep unjust working conditions under the rug has allowed it to grow economically at an impressive rate. Although I disagree with unsafe working conditions it is important to note the hypocrisy that developed countries display when advocating fro workers rights. In the US for example, our economic growth was contingent on slavery, child labor, and immigrant exploitation. Unfortunately if any developing country wants to compete with countries that are at the top of the global economic hegemony, they must cut the same corners those countries cut centuries ago. What needs to be done is find a way to show developing countries that growth is possible without abusing workers. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.

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NYTimes video: Turkey's E.U. application

NYTimes video: Turkey's E.U. application | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
David Cameron, the British prime minister, pledged full support for Turkish membership to the European Union during a visit to Ankara.

 

Turkey's application to the European Union challenges the very definition of "Europe" as various constituencies disagree on whether Turkey should be admitted in the E.U. or not. 

 

Turkey has made changes that should make her more attractive to the European Union. Turkey has done away with the death penalty and is more generous with women's rights. While it is not geographically in Europe, its location is profitable for commerce etc.  I think Turkey will be accepted into the EU soon.  It is better for the EU to have her ally with them and the EU is involved with Turkey in trade.  France and its former President, Sarkozy, has been one the biggest opposers to Turkey's admission to the Union. Now that a new President, Francois Hollande, is in charge,Turkey is hoping that Hollande will see what a strong player Turkey can be.  

Elizabeth Allen

 

 


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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 11:58 PM
Turkey has made changes that should make her more attractive to the European Union. Turkey has done away with the death penalty and is more generous with women's rights. While it is not geographically in Europe, its location is profitable for commerce etc.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 9, 2013 5:48 PM

Could this be just a matter of what it means to be European and that some Europeans feel that Turkey just doesn't fit??  Turkey has long been an ally of the West since its admission in NATO.  It fact along with the US, UK and Greece it sent major forces to Korea during the Korean War.  It helped stop the USSR from spreading, during the cold war, when it joined NATO and toady it has the second largest standing army in NATO, behind the US.   It has also been a help to the US and Europe in conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan.  To be part of the European Union only makes logical sense and economic sense.  Access to Asian markets given its geographical location and just the opening of the Turkish domestic markets to free trade.  Seems that old prejudices of what it means to be European is rearing its ugly head..last time this prejudice gained momentum of what it means to be something in Europe...Hitler!

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 11:47 AM

Turkey wanting to join the EU will change political geography drastically. Turkey would provide the EU with a border town with the middle east as well as add power and span of the European Union. With some countries like Greece showing that EU economies are dependent on one another and I'm not sure that makes Turkey an attractive or unattractive prospect.

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Religious Pilgrimage: the Hajj

Religious Pilgrimage: the Hajj | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

This is a beautiful photoessay of the Hajj, with excellent captions that shows many of the cultural customs that are associated with the massive pilgrimage.  The tremendous influx of tourists/pilgrims into the Mecca area, there is a huge economic industry that supports and depends on the tourists.  For a BBC article about the market impacts of the Hajj, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11777483

 

The photos show what an immense congregation this event really is. If a picture is worth a thoudsand words, than this collection is a jackpot. The colors are captivating, green costumes of participants in the military parade, the hands holding the beads for sale. In the article from bbc.co.uk it is interesting to learn that such a religious event is an opportunity for economic gains. From merchants selling beads and rugs to visitors all the way to hotels capitalizing on the religious pilgrimage. It is amazing to know that every Muslim should make this trip as long as he/she is healthy and can afford to ( finances of the family are a higher priority).  This truly is the ultimate worship practice.  Elizabeth Allen


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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 11:21 PM
The photos show what an immense congregation this event really is. If a picture is worth a thoudsand words, than this collection is a jackpot. The colors are captivating, green costumes of participants in the military parade, the hands holding the beads for sale. In the article from bbc.co.uk it is interesting to learn that such a religious event is an opportunity for economic gains. From merchants selling beads and rugs to visitors all the way to hotels capitalizing on the religious pilgrimage. It is amazing to know that every Muslim should make this trip as long as he/she is healthy and can afford to.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:55 PM

These photo’s are amazing! Number 12 with the crowd of people and the ambulance in the middle shows the massive amount of people. Their heads look like dots in a sea of white. These pictures show what words just cannot describe. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 1:23 PM

One of the five pillars of Islam is the Hajj. A pilgrimage to mecca that has the byproduct of being economically prosperous. Every year droves of people flock to Mecca. Where they stay, what they eat, what they buy all pump money in the local economy. Although it was not meant to be an economic cash cow, the Hajj definatley provides businesses with an influx of money. This shows how religion definatley has economic repercussion and that all facets of geography are interconnected.

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 

 

The eerieness of the photographs is so alarming. To see the shoe of a child, or the ferris wheel he or she never got to ride... firefighters who did not now what they were up against, who lost their lives. Many people died and the unknown consequences will be everlasting. Not only did this horrific event take the lives of people, but it effected wildlife, forests, and water resources.  Elizabeth Allen


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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:51 PM

Absolutely frightening to see a city so empty.  To only imgine what could have been in Chernobyl today if this nuclear disaster didn't happen.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 3:03 PM

The pictures are breathtaking.  What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come.  In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced.  There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl.  Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was.  Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:51 AM

These photo's are rather gripping.  Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years.  The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.

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In Honduras, Police Accused Of Corruption, Killings

The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.

 

Corruption is inflicting Honduras. There are many factors causing this. High drug trafficking, poor governemnt system, and high murder rates. to hear that anywhere has a higher murde rate than Mexico- is astounding. And further, to know that many murders at at the hands of police is disturbing. Affiliation in gangs and gang warfare is costing lives. The police seem crooked, so I cannot imagine crime rate will decline anytime soon. It must be bad if the Peace Corp has vacated. According to BBC News, a politician running for office is offering free burials for those that cannot afford them.  Honduras violent death rate is 1 every 74 minutes. And the police do not punish criminals....   Elizabeth Allen


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Albert Jordan's curator insight, February 4, 6:31 PM

Although this is dated approximately two years ago, the issue is still relevant. Honduras is geographically located in the middle of heavy drug trafficking routes. A poor economy and a history of political corruption, as well as a history of United States involvement in paramilitary training and aid has created a country that is not set up for stability. The issues in Honduras are very similar to the issues of many third world nations that deal heavily with drug trafficking and political corruption. Those in power, receiving aid from the U.S. use those assets against their political foes while the common people find themselves turning to illegal means to make a living. The police, being corrupt themselves since corruption is a trickle down disease, probably have a number of officers working for various gangs, cartels, and other nefarious groups. Because they can hide behind the authority of the “law,” they are able to use their force to further the agendas for whoever is putting money in their pocket. Whether it be for greed or unfortunate economic necessity, or out of fear of reprisal for not conforming it is the locals who suffer from the overwhelming police presence. These are issues that are found across the globe in countries and regions that have unstable politics that are fueled by conflict, whether it be resources, illicit substances, or other illegal trade.As the police pressure continues to mount, it is only a matter of time before serious reform takes place or violent revolution transforms the political landscape.

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 1:36 PM

Honduras' role in the drug trafficking industry has increased immensely which does not mix well with their already corrupt government and police force.  However, a history of U.S. aid and security "support" is what rooted this country in violence.  Honduras' situation is spiraling out of control because the drug trafficking industry has taken advantage of its already weak state.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 10:55 PM

In the news we sometimes hear about violence taking place at the border of the US and Mexico, but you never hear of the violence in Honduras. With a mix of drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and history has led to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico., which is pretty hard to think of since there Mexico already has a high muder right. The situation has gotten so bad that the Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers.

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Saudi Women Drive on Anniversary of Campaign to End Ban

Saudi Women Drive on Anniversary of Campaign to End Ban | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

Aziza al-Yousef said she took a 15- minute drive in the Saudi capital today to mark the first anniversary of a campaign to end the ban on women drivers in the kingdom.

 

Saudi women are not allowed to drive.  Saudi women have restrictions on banking, education, going to the library.  Their rights are extremely limited. They just received the right to vote! Many women are throwing caution to the wind and driving.  There are activist groups fighting for the right to drive.  Hopefully this move of defiance will help Saudi women reach new heights. 

 Elizabeth Allen 

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Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor

Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.

 

Why do societies collapse?  Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system.  Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology.  Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed.  What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?   

 

Societies can collapse if they fall victim to poor economics, poor political systems, and poor geographical reasons. In this case a major factor in Angkor's collapse was due to the change in climate. The drought was severe enough to crumble the city.  Considering the times, Angkor had sufficiant modern technology to gain water resources; however it just was not enough.  Here is an example of how drastic climate changes can effect a society.  The image of Angkor Wat can be seen as a symbol of pride for Cambodia.  The depiction is on Cambodia's flag.   Elizabeth Allen


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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:29 PM

It's easy to forget that for most of history, even the greatest of empires were subject to the whims of the climate. The ability to survive in places where humans really shouldn't thrive is only a recent development thanks to technology, but a drought is something the mightiest army can't fight, and all the wealth in the world will not stop, without the right technology.

James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 9:12 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 10 [independent topic 2])

Naturally, that which fails to adapt to its environment will not survive. Such was the likely fate of Angkor. But was this early industrial area the cause of its own drought demise? I'll answer this question with another modern one: Are booming metropolises of today having an impact on their environment? Look at the American Southwest, where the booming populations of Las Vegas and Phoenix, and the water use that goes along with it, are slowly sucking dry Lake Mead. Though in both cases the climate is becoming drier itself, adaptations could be the remedy. Just as the inhabitants of Easter Island caused their own demise as well, it truly pays to learn from the past and take proactive precautions to prevent such worse-case scenarios. Luckily today there is knowledge to do such that, and now the issue goes to getting that message acknowledged and acted upon.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:37 PM

This reminds me of the theories as to why Easter Island fell. Although what many people know of Easter Island is the giant heads, there was once a flourishing civilization in the area but many scholars theorize that they deforested the island to a point that they ran out of resources and had to flee to survive.

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An Interactive Map of the Blitz: Where and When the Bombs Fell on London

An Interactive Map of the Blitz: Where and When the Bombs Fell on London | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
The extent of the campaign is shocking.

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Elizabeth Allen's insight:

Amazing how this image can have such an impact.  Seeing pics like this add the element of realness.  Reading about history in books, gives the reader an understanding, but a map such as this is more telling.  During the 8 months of bombing, London lost over 40,000 people, this map has a way of getting the message across     Elizabeth Allen

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:46 PM

This is one of my favorite maps that I have seen. How devastating it must have been to live in London at the time, never knowing where the next one would land to destroy the city.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 7:50 AM

This map shows the locations for the nearly 2000 bombs which were dropped on London during the Blitz in WWII. The bombs were dropped entirely inside the ring of M25 London Orbital Motorway which encircles London. The bombs are most concentrated in the center of the ring, likely to do the most damage, to either infrastructure or the people.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 2, 8:30 PM

This map shows just how devastating the bombs were on London. At first glance, this does not look like a map of the bombs dropped. It would not be until it was labeled as such would it show the results of the war on London. Very few areas were unaffected and the majority of London was hit.

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China's 'Mountain-Moving' Project

A promotional video shows planned development of a state-level development zone by government of Lanzhou, a provincial capital in China's arid northwest...


The Lanzhou province is lightly populated mainly due to it's semi-arid climate and rugged topography.  The goal is make a 500 square mile area (currently with 100,000 people) into a city with over 1 million people by 2030.  To make this new metropolis, developers are planning to literally remove mountains to create a more 'ideal' urban environment.  This makes some of the most ambitious environmental modification projects seem tame.  For more read, the accompanying article from the Guardian.  


Questions to Ponder: What potential environmental impacts come from this scale of modification?  How will this massive influx of the population impact the region?  Could this type of project happen in other part of the world? 


Tags: environment, urban ecology, planning, environment modify, China.


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Elizabeth Allen's insight:

The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that.  They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc...  And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things)..  Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost.   Elizabeth Allen

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 11, 2012 11:51 PM
The developer is claiming this will be "protective development." I am not sure if I buy that. They are moving mountains- which means everything that comes with that, wildlife, trees, etc... And they are building an airport and an oil refinery (amongst other things).. Urbanizing can be great for the economy- but at what cost.
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Rise of solar panel energy in Bangladesh


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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.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 1:32 AM

The fact that a Nation like Bangladesh which has such a high population and with it a high poverty rate is is turning to renewable energy is fantastic. While the production and implementation of these panels will be costly initially over time they will pay for themselves. To transport and distribute other forms of energy to so many people is not only logistically a nightmare but also incredibly expensive. By using solar energy their is a far greater chance a wider audience of people will have access to power. 

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Planting Rice

Thailand...

Feel free to mute the commentary...this video demonstrates the truly 'back-breaking' work that is a part of paddy rice farming. 

 

To watch these women break their backs(and their fingers must be shriveled from going in and out of water) for rice paddys, helps us recognize how important rice is. These women know they have to perform this work- Rice is a staple crop for Thailand; they need rice commodity to live.  Not only do most of thai societies eat rice, it is also valuable as an export.   Elizabeth Allen


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James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 2:01 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 4)

I think this goes to show that certain people just don't realize how easy parts of their lives are until they've either experienced or come to understand the lives of others. But then again, that could be a matter of stance. What to many business people, for example, may seem as back-breaking labor might be the polar opposite to outdoor lovers. Though obviously ricing is a labor-intensive task, I'm sure some people would prefer picking the crop to being stuck in an office all day.

    On a slightly different topic, it's extremely ironic how those who make basic life necessities possible (such as rice farmers) are paid (and even valued) so little compared to those in other occupations. Life can exist without luxury cars and fine jewelry, but not without staple foods like rice. In this way, these farmers are who really keep the populations fed.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 4:46 PM

This video truly highlights how some forms of agriculture today are still without mechanization and require incredible labor to harvest. Where we make use of massive machines that render planting and harvesting of crops incredibly easy the farmers of Thailand must rely solely on man power. Rice is already a difficult crop to grow as it must be dry at some points of it's growth and wet at others. This is just something to consider when eating ones rice at dinner. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 10:41 PM

Doing this all day must be exhausting. To imagine women and men who do this for their entire lives makes me respect their dedication and work ethic. It also makes me think of the toll it must take on your body doing that day in and day out.

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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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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.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 12:32 PM

The term "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is brought to new light with this video. Increased urbanization in the Philippines is creating a landscape of small, wall-to-wall huts with no windows. The lack of natural light coupled with limited energy resources makes these houses incredibly dark on the inside. One man figured out an ingenious  way to battle this issue while also reusing materials that otherwise would be considered trash. By using plastic soda bottles and a bleach solution, this man has created a type of skylight, providing light to those living in the slums of Philippines. 

 

This project has incredible potential not just in the Philippines, but on a global scale. Self-help housing all over the world could benefit from a light source while decreasing local problems with plastic waste.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 11:31 PM

This is very innovative as people in the Philippines have found a way to light their homes with just a plastic bottle. Using bleach and water and a piece of metal, there is temporary light for many people who would otherwise live in darkness. Starting with just 1 bottle in 1 home, this homemade product's total is now 15,000 units. I was very impressed that something as simple as a bottle filled with water can cost just $1 to make and give off even more light than an average light-bulb. I predict that this mini invention will become even more widespread as more poor countries catch on to this new, resourceful idea. 

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Incredible Shrinking Country

Incredible Shrinking Country | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
There are “babyloids” and relatives-for-rent in an increasingly childless Japan.

 

While many parts of the world are concerned with population growth, Japan is struggling to find ways to slow down the demographic decline.  What economic and cultural forces are leading the the changing nature of Japanese demographics?  A video that explains the changing nature of modern Japanese relationships and gender norms can be accessed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/japan-population-decline-youth-no-sex_n_1242014.html

 

This article helps to see why population is declining so rapidly in Japan. There is not just one contributing factor, but many factors. There is a high suicide rate and low birth rate. Many single Japanese women decide not to have children, while countries such as the US, many single women choose to have children. Japan's high divorce rate will also cause decline in population(women do not tend to have babies out of wedlock) . Al of these factors that contribute to the decline in Japan's population is hurting the economy. If the population does not start to increase, Japan will be further in trouble.  however, there is not much physical decline, most of Japan's population is enjoying a high life expectancy.  Elizabeth Allen


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 20, 2013 6:30 PM


Japan in the future will have a great economy because there will be more people working than being retired collecting a monthly check. Which means they have more taxes coming in than being given out and they can use that extra money to help create better things for their society.  It also could mean they wont have so much of a deficit like the United States does.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:21 PM

Japan's shrinking population poses many challenges to the state, namely a shrinking work force. While Japan is a very developed country, it still needs people to continue its growth. Perhaps the government should subsidize families with more than one child? a la reverse One Child policy. As I'm sure Japan would not welcome an influx of Han Chinese.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:14 PM

In Japanese culture older generation are taken care of by their decedents. With more and more people not having children it is going at odds with long standing cultural traditions. What will happen when these people are no longer able to take care of themselves and have no one to turn to for assistance. Japan will  have to adapt and consider solutions that go against their norms regarding familial structure.

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South Asian floods take economic toll

Environmental degradation, seasonally high rainfall, a low elevation profile and climate change combine in a very bad way for Bangladesh.  Flooding, given these geographic characteristics, is essentially a regular occurence.   For a more in-depth look at these issues from the same media outlet, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0iZiivYJc&feature=player_embedded#!

 

In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages.  The villages are left without drinking water, agriculture is destroyed, and economic activity is no where to be found.  As Dr. Rouf explains, if the contaminated water is consumed people will be struck with sickness and disease.  Nurses fear that dehydration levels will continue to increase if people are not provided claen drinking water.

Elizabeth Allen

 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:41 PM
The people that live here understand that they will have flooding every year. They're smart to build elevated roads so they have some way of transportation over flooded areas. It's weird to think that this is a normal thing for them and for us we close everything down and wait in our houses.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 12:17 AM
In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 4:55 PM

The "socio-economics of flooding" is a side of the natural disaster we don't normally think about. People most affected by floods tend to live in areas with poor infrastructure and large populations. Their displacement to cities, like Dhaka, has incredible cost. For both the family and the new place they relocate to. 

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Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay

Fighting for Iraq: A regional powerplay | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.

 

This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era.   The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment. 

 

I have always felt that Iraq is very complex. And it is. However the videos shed some light on clarifying what most of the turmoil is about.  A valid question is why not divide Iraq into three seperate countries? One for the Kurdish, one for the Sunnis, and one for the Shiite? The video explains that it is not that easy.  Iraq has been unstable since it formed after WWI.The Sunnis feel that the Shiite stole their power and they want to reclaim it.  The three ethnicities are quarrelling for control and it has to do with more than religion.  Resources play an important role in the dispute.  The country cannot divide into three regions, because the Sunni (about 20% of Iraq's population) are in a region where they are not close to water and they have no oil.  The Sunni and Kurdish are close to natural resources- water and oil.  If the country divides, the Sunni will not last. 

Elizabeth Allen


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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:33 PM

I enjoyed this video. I never really understood why these groups were fighting. It was an easy video to understand and I learned that the fighting is not just about religious but cultural differences as well. 

Stacey Jackson's curator insight, March 22, 2013 11:03 PM

Although I try to keep up with world events, Iraq has puzzled me. This was spectacularly helpful, although I still don't feel like I have the full picture. For instance, I understand that three ethnic groups were forced in to a new country, Iraq, after World War I and that the country has been in turmoil ever since. However, these ethnic groups were all a part of the Ottoman Empire before there was an Iraq, so why did the trouble start after the formation of Iraq?

 

These ethnic groups had their own provinces within the Ottoman Empire. I'm assuming these groups thought they'd establish their own separate nations after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but were not given the chance to decide for themselves since Iraq was a product of "European powers." If this is accurate, then European nations have a horrible track record when it comes to dictating foreign boundaries that lead to unrest abroad. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 12:55 PM

Iraq is a complicated country. The current differences and disparities in culture, ethnicity and resources has led to some harsh rivalry between people within the borders of the country. This shows how borders can be artificial and just because a map shows a region as one unit, it is not always the case. After the Ottoman Empire fell many groups of people were thrust together and this is why we see these divisions so clearly.

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Tajik Remittances From Russia up 30%

Tajik Remittances From Russia up 30% | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Tajik migrants working in Russia sent to $2.96 billion in remittances to their families in Tajikistan in 2011, over 30 percent more than the previous year, National Bank Deputy Chairman Malokhat Kholikzoda said on Thursday.

 

The higher the national dependence on remittances, the worse off the country is essentially at being economically independent and viable. 

 

Yes the remittance work will hurt Tajikstan's chances of economic success. But, the workers have to provide for their families. The workers need to self-preserve, with that in mind, it is natural for them  not be concerned about their home country's economics. With more than half of the population below poverty level, I doubt this labor pattern will change soon.

Elizabeth Allen


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:23 AM
Tajikstan's plight symbolizes the problems most former Soviet Republics face in a post Soviet world. Almost all of these nations have an enormous reliance upon Russia in their day to day activities. As this article states, over $2.96 billion have been sent to Tajikstan from Tajiks working in Russia. Tajikstan's economy is going to tank if it's citizens continue to be so reliant on Russia.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 11:03 PM
Yes the remittance work will hurt Tajikstan's chances of economic success. But, the workers have to provide for their families. The workers need to self-preserve, with that in mind, it is natural for them not be concerned about their home country's economics.
Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 22, 2:01 PM

I can see where the Tajik migrants would feel compelled to go to Russia and work. After they are done working they would send money home to their families in Tajikistan. This dependence on another country does not benefit their own economy. When their economy does not benefit nothing will improve for the relatives they have living in Tajikistan. This is a vicious cycle.

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Colombia's gold rush

Colombia's gold rush | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Gold fever is sweeping across South America and is at its most lethal in Colombia where it is fuelling the civil war.

 

 Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.

Elizabeth Allen


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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 10:30 PM
Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 29, 2013 4:58 PM

The war has now shifted from Cocaine to Gold.  Seems that alot of the planters when from planting cocaine to mining for gold...illegally according to the Columbian government.  The government is taking land from the native people and taking for themselves in order to get big business, especially foregin owned ones, to invest in their country.  Does it south familar.  It should.  1874, Black Hills in the then Dakota territory of the US.  Seems gold was found on Native American land..an expedition led by George Armstrong Custer confirmed gold was there...which led to..native Americans being forefully moved from their land into the Montana territory..which eventully led to the 1876 Great Sioux War in which Custer was killed and eventaully the Sioux and the Lakota and the Cheyenne being defeated by 1877.  Seems there is a parallel going on in South America.  Looks like the old axiom of those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it proves itself correct again.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 11:58 AM

In countries where the government is not as stable as most, the demand for gold makes people willing to literally go to war over mines in Colombia. In the 1990s there was a large outrage about "blood diamonds" out of Africa. This reminds me of that. In the developing world we are seeing horrible circumstances arising to gain wealth and provide a valuable commodity to the highest bidders. 

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"From Chinatown to Chinaland"

"From Chinatown to Chinaland" | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.

 

Globalization has changed North American ethnic patterns as fewer European immigrants are migrating to Canada, and more are coming for Asia.  Not surprisingly, the urban areas are the regions were this pattern is most pronounced. 

 

Asians have been affiliated with Canada for many years. Many immigrant workers in the 1800s helped Canada build their railroads. Many Vietnamese refugees escaped to Canada during the Vietnam war. Today Asians are still migrating to Canada forming a multi-cultural society. In the 90s most immigrants were able to get cheap land, but now modern prices have inflated. Estimates show that migration patterns of Asians to Canada will continue. 

Elizabeth Allen


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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 9:45 PM
Asians have been affiliated with Canada for many years. Many immigrant workers in the 1800s helped Canade build their railroads. Many Vietnamese refugees escaped to Canada during the Vietnam war. Today Asians are still migrating to Canada forming a multi-cultural society. In the 90s most immigrants were able to get cheap land, but now modern prices have inflated.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 9, 2013 11:36 AM

This is what is happening in the U.S. also.  As globalization continues more immigrants from non-European countries are heading to the US.  The old ethic neighboors, the little Italy for example, are still there but there are not many Italians left.  Most left the inner cities for the suburbs, much like in Canada.  Amazing to see similar patterns in different countries.

Cam E's curator insight, January 29, 1:39 PM

The idea of ethnic enclaves themselves have an interesting commentary of sorts on the current political climate. It's been said time and time again in recent years that diversity is to be celebrated and encouraged, but we can see very clearly that some people do not wish to live in diverse neighborhoods and would rather live with people very similar to themselves. Even the capital of Rhode Island, Providence, is segregated in this sort of way.

 

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Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars?

Why is King Abdullah willing to let Saudi women vote but not drive cars? | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
King Abdullah announced on Sunday that  Saudi women will be allowed to vote and run for office in municipal elections beginning in 2015.

 

Driving a car as simple as it may sound, is a method of enhancing mobility and that means freedom of spatial expression.  This decision to allow women to vote has only demonstrated the cultural constraints of gender roles and how much more progress is needed.  

 

To maintain power the government keeps strong restrictions on it's Saudi women. So frustrating in this day and age. I respect the preservation of cultures and religions; however Saudi women cannot drive and basic priveleges such as going to the library are restricted. It is similar to countries that dominated in colonial times- oppress a society and keep them far from an education, or else they will catch on to ideas of freedom, equal rights and so on. Of course I had to check other headlines for this issue. I found http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-28/saudi-women-urged-to-drive-on-anniversary-of-campaign-to-end-ban.html , which provides details of some rebellious young ladies who ignore the "ban". Many have to drive for necessity, the story speaks about a woman who had to drive her son to the hospital because of his severe asthma attack. I hope these rebellious ladies continue their crusade!  Elizabeth Allen


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 7:54 PM

It seems odd that women can vote but not drive an automobile. It appears the King does not want women to explore the country freely. He may not want to give women all that freedom at one time… Also, he must not want women traveling and exploring areas alone in a car. Although the entire situation in Saudi Arabia is sad, this appears to be a small step forward for women. 

James Hobson's curator insight, October 21, 7:04 PM

(Central Asia topic 5 [independent topic])

The decrees made by Saudi Arabia's King regarding women's future rights are being viewed as empty promises. On top of that, this topic is at the convergence of not just political, but also social and religious topics. Political, social, economic, and religious interests are all tugging issues such as women's rights to vote and drive in different directions.

I am surprised this article did not mention something which I had heard before: the Saudi government still does not allow women to drive not only out of social custom, but also because their highways are facing a congestion problem. Giving women drivers licenses could roughly double the number of cars on the already-gridlocked roads, making commuting and transportation even more of a hassle.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 12:51 PM

What I find interesting is that allowing women to vote seems like a big step towards equality but it may be more superficial at addressing the real issue at hand. Women in this country are living with so much constraint, letting them vote may not be the giant step forward it seems to be. There are still cultural and institutional barriers that restraint the freedom and natural rights of women.