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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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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:52 PM

Wow I think this guy may have drank way to much coffee before making this video J  He is very excited about the changes in Burma although he should be it sounds as though this country is pretty much changing overnight

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 8:02 AM

It is amazing to see the kind of changes he has mentioned especially after military rule for about 50 years.  But you have to be careful as in all things.  Look at this article from BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12990563 Even though the changes have been made the military still holds some significant power.  It holds the most powerful ministires in the country and well as having 25%of the seats of both chambers of the parliament reserved for themselves.  In time if these restricitions are removed I think that sanctions could be removed a little at a time.

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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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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 28, 2012 7:38 AM
It's going to be hard to get noticed after a great boxer Manny Pacquiao already made it. Boxing is a tough sport and it's growing to be less and less popular over the decades. I understand what the men are doing to make money, but I don't know if getting hit in the head for a living would be a great career choice.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 12:51 PM

This guy is super quick, he has seen his day but he is surely a legend especially in the Philippines.  When it is hard for people in poverty to have in interest in something, due to lack accessibility or other reasons, it is good to have someone to look up to.  Pacquiao can act as role model to not only people in poverty, but for anyone who is willing to work hard to succeed.  I have always believed that sport can bring anyone together, but resources such as a ball or equipment may be hard to come by.  Boxing is great in this situation, all you essentially need is your body and something to hit.

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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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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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Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 6:04 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 5:03 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 8:35 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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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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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 5:50 PM

Scientists have found that the ancient city of Angkor failed do to drought. Angkor has a system of moats, channels, and reservoirs, so with such a system in place how could they have such a drought? Simply there water system was unable to to handle the change in climate.  

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 2:38 PM

This new study shows that even back in time people struggled with environmental challenges. We normally think of people in the past as being much more adaptive to their environments and that only in the modern age nature and humans have come into conflict. The surrender of Angkor Wat to drought shows that even though we have amazing technology today, water is still a staple of life. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 9:29 AM

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.