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Geography 400 Blog
Geography, History, Economics, World
Curated by Derek Ethier
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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

  These five men very literally went on the adventure of their lives. While watching this video and seeing them experience so many fun and interesting things, I wonder whether or not they would wish to return to their old lives. And if they did, would they miss America? When they returned home, they did not adorn the traditional dress, but instead wore Western style suits in front of their kin. This video shows that although globalization is occurring very rapidly, there are still societies nearly untouched by "civilization." The South Pacific is one of the last "Garden of Eden" type places left in the world, and we must be careful not to destroy it.


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Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 10, 2015 7:14 PM

This reminds me of what we learned in class about American people or white folks in general go to a native island and want to see the natives uncivilized and not up with the times of technology, clothes, homes made of up to date material. They want to see grass skirts, old tools, tribal living. The white folks see modern times already they want to see old things.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:19 PM

I think exercises like this are really cool, there are a lot of these experiments that go on with culture swaps and I always find the reactions when returning home to be probably the most interesting, just like in this video it is a large celebrations and it helps to put things in perspective

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:42 PM

This is a show that is based on how we see and view daily life of native people as compared to our own. How ever I feel as though this show is more based on the how these people actually live rather then adapting and learning to the area that they are in. It does show how globalization plays an important role in the show.

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

Schools in South Africa remain as deeply divided as ever. Although Apartheid is over, blacks and whites are still segregated in schools based on where they grow up/income inequality/etc. This very situation still occurs in America today as well. Although Jim Crow laws in the South are long gone, the segregated school system remains today. Entire urban neighborhood are occupied by black residents and so school patterns are reflected by this. White flight has left many whites in suburban areas and better funded schools. In a way, post-Aparthied South Africa and post-Jim Crow America have many things in common.


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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.

 

Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:28 PM

Watching this video makes me glad that I live where I do, it also makes me feel bad for those that are not as lucky as myself and other students of colleges and universities. these students in South Africa's schools are not getting a proper education, the teachers sometimes do not show up, so in some cases the students will assume position and teach those who do not understand the material. It is also sad to know that there are so many out there with great ambitions for their lives and because of their poor education and understanding of subjects, they are failing and might not be able to reach their goals for life. It is good to see though there is a teacher that gets the kids engaged everyday  as a morning warm up to sing. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

what i dont understand is how south africa can be on such an upward trend which motivation and nationalism but the rest of africa just refuses to get on the same track. the success of south africa and their constantly improving country should be motivation and a model for the rest of the continent.

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Worker safety in China

The worker safety in China, or lackthereof, shows why they are allowed to advance to newfound heights economically. They cut corners on workers safety, environmental regulations and other codes to meet capitalist interests. The workers risk their lives daily for meager wages that are often below sustenance levels. Hopefully they will modify their system of codes soon.


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 2015 9:45 PM

China has one of the strongest economies in the world. However, I think sometimes, China takes that for granted. They think that just because they have a strong economy, they don't have to worry about safe working environments and they have nothing to lose if something happens to someone. As much as I'm sure China gives good paychecks to manufactured workers because of its wealth, there are some jobs, such as this one, that they think they don't have to pay enough. However at the same time, it's not China's fault. Sometimes, it's the workers faults for not using common sense while working, I'm a firm believer in "work smarter, not harder."

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:32 PM

Well nobody ever accused China of being a Union favoring country.  These people are risking their lives because its their job.  This is a country where you have very little leeway to argue for benefits.  If they want to do this, then come to the US.  Although I wonder why they don't just use dynamite?  Faster and few people are involved.  

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:37 PM

Based on the video and the safety of the Chinese workers they tame no precautions to staying safe. If they have this much lack of safety for themselves then how do they regard the safety of the people around them. As China is and has cities up and coming to mega cities with high rises and exponential expanding then how do they create their buildings? As fast as they went up and the city was created then how stable are their buildings?

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Geography 400 Blog | Scoop.it

Russia's struggle to transition from Communist to Capitalist society is being put on display on the shores of Lake Baikal. Due to the one factory towns created under Communism, Russia's economy is heavily reliant on industry. One town along the shores of the planet's last truly primordial lake struggle as environmentalists pressure their paper mill company. Due to continued environmental violations committed by the company, they recently shut their doors. This resulted in massive unemployment followed by strike due to job loss and back pay. Communism, the workers argued, at least stabilized their lives. The tumultuous times of a new era in Russia has literally left millions homeless, starving and even dead. 


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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 2015 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities.