Geography 400 Blog
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Geography 400 Blog
Geography, History, Economics, World
Curated by Derek Ethier
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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

The news that the Burmese have had their most fair elections since the era shortly after independence is very encouraging. Burma must work to remove the title of Myannmar which represents an authoritive reign that denied citizens basic human rights. With the news that this once political refugee's democratic party won every seat but two in Parliament, Burma finally becomes relevant on the world stage. With an era of democracy looming, this country can finally look forward to a potential bright future.


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James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 2014 1:36 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 2)

The oppressive government of Myanmar (aka Burma) may finally be realizing that they are in a sense their own enemy. Since free elections seem to have taken place (and apparently were not 'faked' like other reforming nations have done), it seems as if the government of the time is admitting a type of defeat by showing that more citizens are against it than for it. This also implies that despite giving up political power, those previously in charge of the government see potentially better lives for themselves by not being the only ones in control. If this holds true, then it can serve as a powerful example to oppressive governments that in order to fulfill your own best interests, you have to let others vie for their own. This can also serve as an argument for pro-Democratic activists.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:19 PM

Burma is an area where the identity of the people has been muddled. This is an election that signals the people of Burma acting to clarify their needs through free and fair elections. Democracy is a powerful tool in regards to expressing the voices of the people. Aung San Suu Kyi is now the face of that voice.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:37 PM

This video explains that today the nation of Burma is at the cusp of change. This nation long oppressed by its government now stands to usher in a system of democracy and bring with it a hope of improving the lives of it's citizens. Sadly uplifting events are far and few between today but also long as people such as this aspire to bring change and better things for themselves and their families change can happen. Hopefully the people actually are able to achieve this level of freedom they seek and won't simply end up with a new brand of oppression.  

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Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao

Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

Manny Pacquiao has become the face of the Philippines. He is an international superstar and renowned throughout the globe as one of the greatest fighters of his time. There is no question why young Filipino youth want to grow up to be like him. In this case, many young men get into rings and take punches for very few more dollars than they earn as farmers. However, the quest for glory, fame and an escape from poverty is a compelling force when compared to mundane lives as farmers.


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:01 PM

For those who live in poverty access to skills that allow for upward mobility and prosperity are limited. So even though the odds of becoming a world class boxer are slim, it seems more attractive than being a poor farmer for the rest of your life. In poor areas like the Philippines young people hope to become more wealthy and the opportunity to do is so small that they will train for that one in a million chance of making it as a professional boxer.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 2015 5:41 PM

Inspirational video, as i see a group of young men who inspire to be one of the greatest fighters to come out of the Philippines. Its a very good story and for them to have this dream to make it out with boxing its very aspiring to anyone who has a dream to become a doctor,  scientists, basketball player or anything. Its all about hope and this young men have that. Escaping poverty is difficult and very tough and one day we hope to see many more good fighters from all across the globe to represent their countries just like Manny Pacquiao did.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:57 PM

i think this a great for a whole country of young men can have a great roll model like manny to model themselves after, what is best about this is that he got great doing somthing that is still important to their culture. he also never forgot where he came from and still have great influence in culture and politics of his home.

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A Burmese spring?

A Burmese spring? | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

In Burma, and other nations throughout Southeast Asia, authoritarian regimes backed by China run rampant. The Chinese governments allows these authoritarian regimes to exist because they serve China's own interest. This new sort of neocolonialism almost mirrors the policies practiced by the Untied States in the Western Hemisphere during the late 19th and early 20th century. It is encouraging to see that signs of basic human rights do appear to be on their way however. With the former resistance leader meeting with figures from national and international governments is a good start. 


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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:10 PM

This is interesting and hopefully turns out to be a good thing for Myanmar.  After being under so much oppression from not only its own government but from other countries as well.  Having this improved more relaxed government that works more for the people is a definite improvement for Myanmar.  Standing up to China about closing the dam because the people that live in Myanmar aren't benefiting from it and are still poor.  Stepping up and listening to the people that live in the country and standing up to others that are taking advantage of the country is a huge step in the right direction on improving the lives of those in the country.

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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

The Mekong Rivers and its powerful waters provide industrial opportunities. This river was primitive and very untouched by civilization even as recently as when the United States was present in the region during the Vietnam War. This 5,000 km river can employ many citizens in industrial sectors as they build over 70 dams in Laos alone, but there is also collateral damage. Many fisherman are unhappy, claiming that the dam will block channels crucial for migratory fish, damaging the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. However, even village leaders are in support of dams which will greatly advance the area and improve the economy.


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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, 2014 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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Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor

Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

While it is very unfortunate that this ancient kingdom eventually fell, it still remains a sense of pride in Cambodians from Cambodia to America. Many decorate their body with Angkor Wat as a symble of national pride. It is very interesting that this symbol of urban success lies in an area that is today very agrarian and sparsely settled. The collapse of Angkor Wat has me drawing similarities to ancient Mayan ruins, as sprawling metropolis exist, but we have no record of a collapse.


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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 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.