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Islamist killed in Tunisia clash

Islamist killed in Tunisia clash | Geography 400 Blog |

The violence that continues to break out in this part of the world is terrible. In the U.S., we have little to worry about in terms of political and religious violence, but in the Middle East and North Africa, this has become an everyday occurrence. Not only are militants killed, but innocent people are often victims of terrorist attacks and other sorts of violence. The democratic process is very uncommon in this part of the world, so violence and terror is used to achieve their means.

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Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting | Geography 400 Blog |

It is amazing how valuable land is across the globe. Countries rush and battle for submerged areas of land that have yet to reach sea level. The benefits to claiming these lands, however, are endless. Perhaps the nation can sell the real estate to speculators who could build luxury homes. Maybe the island will be rich in natural resorces ripe for plunder. Plus, the ownership of a 200 nautical mile radius is not bad either. In a world where untapped resources and unexplored land is no longer plentiful, islands like these provide endless opportunities.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 8:23 PM

When I read something like this all I can think is maybe this is what happened to Atlantis.  What if Atlantis was an island like this that existed just long enough for people to build a society on and then it sank beneath the sea.  Another think this makes me think of is the novel “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, in it an island rises from the sea and leads to a war over which country owns it.  This is just an interesting phenomenon that leads to world arguments.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:29 PM

The EEZ policy that exist has made every space up for contentious conflict. The miles off the coast of Surtsey and other small islands have become valuable because of EEZ and conflict exist over islands that are uninhabited and useless. Economic geography can influence political geography when it comes to these small island and their exclusive economic zone.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 12, 10:46 AM

You have to be joking with me!!!!!!!!


Claims for a volcanic-induced mass of land?  In this day and age, one would hope that something like this would not lead to a long and drawn-out dispute.  There is much more pertinent issues present in this world.

 How about this for an idea?  Let's leave the "island" neutral and allow it it to be used as a temporary destination for whomever visits it.  It should be protected and preserved by everyone interested but not so much that visitors cannot temporarily explore and enjoy the island.  

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Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed?

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Geography 400 Blog |

This model shows how interconnected the world is now. Acid raid caused by factories in Michigan used to land in Canadian lakes, ruining the ecosystem. Today, debris from Asia washes ashore on America's West coast, dirtying its beautfiful beaches and likely harming its ecosystem as well. It is unreal to think that over 900,000 metric tons of debris is floating throughout the vast Pacific as a result of the 2011 tsunami. I would guess that in island nations throughout the Pacific, massive amounts of debris have washed ashore. This is an unintended consquence of globalization and urbanization. Weather phenomenons and mother nature are unpredictable and also very deadly.

Via Seth Dixon
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:09 PM

Hopefully none of the wreckage that reaches the US is radioactive.... But the projected travel of the debris shows how ocean currents create, almost, a "natural" globalization of natural disasters. 

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:43 AM

Although it's important to know where all of this trash is headed, this just makes me think of how we might prevent this. We can't prevent these catastrophic natural disasters, but how might we lessen it's effects on our cities and settlements? Furthermore, how might we lessen our impact on ecosystems during these times of catastrophe? 

It's only called a catastrophe when it hits human populations for a reason, it's not just devastating to us. Remnants of our lifestyle are carried far and wide, able to cause harm on many other species. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:37 PM

An example of how even without considering globalization the world is interconnected. The debris from the 2011 tsunami was never disposed of effectively and the United States may be effected more than they ever expected. If this pile of debris reaches US shores it will make many Americans consider how a tsunami across the globe will eventually hurt them at home. 

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Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors

Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors | Geography 400 Blog |

Geospatial technology has allowed scientists to accurately measure Antarctica's Emperor Penguin population for the first time. The results blew their minds as they accounted for 595,000 penguins in over 46 herds. This is far more than they believed existed after conducting previous studies. This just goes to show just how a lack of human presence allows a species to grow and flourish. The vast ice sheets of Anarctica allow these penguins to grow at astronimical rates. However, with these polar ice sheets gradually melting, these penguins may be in danger very soon. Scientists will have to monitor the situation closely.

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 2014 7:48 AM

In the beginning of the semester we talked about how geography is always changing. Our understanding of geography does as well. This new technology helps people have a clearer picture of the wildlife that exists on Antarctica. Because of its harsh environment the amount we know about this barren continent has been limited. As technology improves we will be able to gain more accurate information about Antarctica.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 12:58 PM

Using this new technology, animal can be monitored and helped by the satellites. Having a way to accurately know the population of a species is incredible,  because now we can know which species are in danger of extinction and we can take steps to help them. Before the use of the satellite,  the population of Emperor penguins was found to be 595, 000 and the colonies of penguins was found to be 46 instead of the previous 38, so without this technology there have been penguins that may have needed help, but now they will get proper attention.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:27 PM

Technology never ceases to amaze me. As the article described, the use of satellite imagining recently showed that the “population count” of the emperor penguin is “found nearly twice as did previous studies.” Prior to the use of satellite imaging, the method to obtain this type of data was done by people actually being around the area. As the new numbers showed this was inaccurate because so much of the artic can’t be reached by the human population. I think this brings up an interesting notion. We define our landscape based on what we see. Yet, what we see doesn’t always capture what is actually on earth. As such, I wonder if more penguin colonies have disappeared then the one the British intuition noticed. We won’t know, but at least now thanks to technology a better grasp of the situation can happen. Maybe with more concrete data about the effects of global warming on Antarctic more non-believers could be swayed. All in all, I think the technology is beneficial. The only down side about this technology is the possibility for misuse. If we can now figure out the penguin population down to which ones are adults, imagine just what else this technology can due in the name of “geographic research.”      

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Turbulence on the Mekong River

Turbulence on the Mekong River | Geography 400 Blog |

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.

Via Seth Dixon
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 |

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.

Via Seth Dixon
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.

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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.

Via Seth Dixon
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 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.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 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, 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.  

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Protests, Self-Immolation Signs Of A Desperate Tibet : NPR

Chinese renewed efforts to crack down on Tibet, refusing to give them basic freedoms only worsens the cause. Tibetans will only fight harder as more and more of their rights are taken away by the Chinese. These beliefs are deeply entrenched in the religion of the Tibetans who offer their lives as signs of protest. Self-immolation is not a new practice, but goes back years and years with other very famous instances such as Thich Quan Duc's display in protest of the Vietnam War. While not so logical, this practice is a very strong symbol that oppressed people can only take so much subjection.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 1:39 PM

China has tightened their security around the Tibetan monestary and the monasteries seem to be emptying out. Monks have been setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese repression. This is a sign of desperation from the monks.  

James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 7:52 PM

(East Asia topic 5)

What I gather from this video is that China sees all political resistance as being specifically aimed at its own demise, but I believe this to be false. Rather, it seems in this sense that the country's judgment has gone blind in a power rage. Never will an entire country agree on everything (or even one thing for that matter). This resistance seems to stem from diversity and the desire to maintain it, and examining historical geography proves diversity to in fact be a desirable trait and major strength. Just as the famous 13-sectioned snake cartoon from the American colonies shows, success lies in diversity. "You can't have cities without farms to feed them." I mention phrases such as this because they show the yin-yang struggle for equality and balance for greater good, which  hopefully China (especially since it is an Oriental concept and symbol) will learn from and apply in its policies towards minority groups within its borders.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:47 PM

China's efforts to control an area that identifies itself as a separate entity from China has been met with some extreme examples of protests. Dozens have monks have committed suicide to protest China's forced control over Tibet. Although this is causing international support from the US and others it seems like China will not change its ways. Another thing to keep in mind is China's position in the UN. As a permanent member of the security council China has the right to veto an UN resolution that could address the issues in Tibet.

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Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010

Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010 | Geography 400 Blog |

Shanghai has turned into a global city very literally right before our eyes. With the collapse of the USSR, the elimination of trade barriers and the free flow of goods brought a great deal of business to China and the rest of East Asia. In a mere 20 years, Shanghai has transformed from a city on the periphery to one of the most important cities in our entire world. Skyscrapers that once only existed in the West now soar high across the East Asian skyline.

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:25 PM

100 years ago this type of development would have taken generations to complete. In the post industrial age we can see that in a mere 20 years a city can be completely transformed.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 9:41 PM

Shanghai is one of the smallest counties in China but has one of the most, if not the most, successful cities in China. Also, because China has one of the strongest economies in the world, they help build even their smallest counties to create big cities. According to, Shanghai is the second best cities for tourists to visit and it is China's strongest economic urban city. Throughout a 20 year time period, Shanghai was assisted by the Chinese economy to help grow it's urbanization lifestyle.

WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, April 27, 12:01 PM

It is almost unbelievable how fast, in just 20 years, the city of Shanghai was transfromed from a relative small city to a mega city just comparable in size and importance to world cities like New York or London. This is a good example of how globalization has change the landscape of many china's cities.

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

Following its decolonization, India has become a major spot were outsourcing of the telecommunications business has become common. An emerging middle class has managed to throw off many of the ancient yokes of Hinduism and caste beliefs. Many middle class Indians have access to the internet, computers and cell phones. However, the government has had a hard time keeping up with the nation's booming population. Poor sanitation and lack of things as simple as toilets have become serious problems in this industrializing nation.

Via Seth Dixon
Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:10 AM

Government in India may be ill equipped to handle the need for sewage, sanitation and clean water. These items are harder to come by than cell phones and televisions. Over 1/2 of the country lacks basic sanitation, but yet, have cell phones. This dystopia is leading to even people climbing out of poverty from having some of the basics needed for a healthy life.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 29, 2014 3:41 PM

Its interesting in a country as large as India, its number one problem is waste management. Its telling of the priorities of the country's leader and it also speaks on the country's reception of first world waste. While more than half of Indians have access to a cell phone device, television and other electronic products, its also embarrassing on the country's behalf that less than half of the country's population have access to toilets.

I believe the case for this is Indian government not have the proper equipment to be able to establish properly install proper sanitation in the land. In order for the government to put in place they would need to establish a proper pipelines throughout the land to ensure that once toilets are set in place, waste is properly disposed of.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:59 AM

This sound clip highlights an interesting issue today in India, as the population has exploded the logistics to support these people is nonexistent while access to modern technology is present. Its an odd concept that one can readily find cheap accessible technology such as cell phones or TVs yet something as basic as a toilet or running water is out of reach for many. This is the problem when a population expands faster than it is possible to increase its logistical capacity.

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History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | Geography 400 Blog |

India-Pakistani conflicts have deep rooted causes that go as far back as colonialism. British India was a largely Hindu nation, but also had a large minority Muslim population. Following the decolonization of the colony, different leaders held different ideals on how the nation should be controlled. Many Hindu leaders called for an Indian state for Hindus only. As a result, the former British colony fragmented into several nations. While India was formed, so were the Islamic nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Hostile neighbors always result in border wars and this is just another example of this. As people with different cultural and religious ideologies clash, it is impossible to tell how gruesome the outcome. In fact, I recently read that in 1947 after decolonization, as many as 1 million were killed in clashes between Hindus and Muslims.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 9:07 PM

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:41 PM

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

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

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.

Via Seth Dixon
Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 12:27 PM

It is a fight for South African children to make it through school. The loss in their lives, the lack of dedicated teachers, and a broken public school system all bring these kids down. The hope and promise seen in the eyes of these kids, who want to achieve great things, is a beacon of better things to come for this nation, if they are willing to invest in the future.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 2014 8:06 AM

Race is definitely a determining factor in the quality and division of South Africa's public schools. Discrimination is definitely  a problem that is hard to get rid of because it is institutionalized even after public policy may change. This also has happened in the United States. Our school systems are also racially segregated even though the US has passed laws against it. After the Apartheid government took such drastic measures to strip the rights of its Black citizens, the institutions that were formed around those ideas still exist. 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 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!

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South Sudan Expels U.N. Rights Officer

South Sudan Expels U.N. Rights Officer | Geography 400 Blog |

South Sudan expelled a U.N. officer after he argued the nation was failing to provide basic civil rights for all of its citizens as it had promised. Unfortunately, the nation has a long history of violence and civil rights abuses which has left a legacy in the nation. Sexual assault, harrassment and other crimes have become commonplace across the year old country and have led to numerous deats.

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Islamist killed in Tunisia clash

Islamist killed in Tunisia clash | Geography 400 Blog |

The violence that continues to break out in this part of the world is terrible. In the U.S., we have little to worry about in terms of political and religious violence, but in the Middle East and North Africa, this has become an everyday occurrence. Not only are militants killed, but innocent people are often victims of terrorist attacks and other sorts of violence. The democratic process is very uncommon in this part of the world, so violence and terror is used to achieve their means.

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Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | Geography 400 Blog |

This carpet shark has to be one of the most incredible creatures I have ever seen. It shows just how great the biodiversity is in areas mostly untouched by civilization. The Great Barrier Reef, though very delicate, has a variety of species found nowhere else in the world. This shark appears to be perfectly adapted to its environment because not only does it literally blend in with the ocean floor, but if it can swallow other sharks whole, it must be the king of the ocean. It is very sad to think of how many species once existed on our planet. In the Amazon, we wipe out species before they are even discovered. Let us hope that the South Pacific does not suffer the same fate.

Via Seth Dixon
Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:38 AM

This article reminds me of another video i've seen recently of a grouper fish swallowing a 4-foot black tip shark whole. A fisherman caught that on camera while trying to reel in the shark. Time and time again I'm reminded that not everything in nature is as it seems and that the unexpected should be expected. 

This makes me want to buy some scuba gear and take some diving classes, I ought to conquer my fear of sharks by safely observing them with a research team! 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:36 PM

Amazing photos, there are so many different kinds of life that exists in the Ocean. As the Great Barrier Reef falls victim to climate change and pollution, the number of species at risk is almost calculable. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:26 PM

Australia's marine life is amazing, being able to hide by blending in to their environment is a testament to the waters that Australia has. The diverse wildlife of Australia waters is shown to be an adaptive bunch and begs the question: How many more animals are out there that we do not know of?

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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.

Via Seth Dixon
Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 9, 11:16 PM

Not only Vanuatuan individuals, but we see many different cultured people visit america to experience technological lives that poor economic nations wouldn't be able to experience. Vanuatuan homes are not as fancy, strongly built or even as big as buildings that you'll find in the United States and I think it was a good opportunity for people of Vanuatu to witness how other people live especially when it's more advanced than their cultures. Vanuatu won't find roller coasters, concerts or many other entertainment experiences in their region like they would in America. I live in a region full of technology and entertainment and I could only imagine if I was visiting an area that had more like what Vanuatu was experiencing. Since, America and Vanuatu was experiencing each other's culture styles, it helps them even out their living conditions and what the higher economic region (United States) can do to help the lower economic region. (Vanuatu)

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 4:34 PM

This is an interesting concept because it switches who the anthropologists are in essence.  The United States becomes the foreign and exotic land being studied by people who are not native to its ways or customs.  It also lets the villagers address globalization in their own way, they get to go to America and see how the civilization lives compared to their own.  Although this sounds like a funny, reality tv show it was pulled from the air because some people didn't like what it was really doing, Americans were getting a laugh from people  "less sophisticated" than us coming to the US.  In the show, the natives also reinforce many regional stereotypes that exist in the US' own borders.  Geographical inspired tv can be a controversial place at times.  

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 1, 6:59 PM

This is a very interesting as both men travel to America from a place where they have lived all their lives. A cross cultural experiment that shows globalization and modernization and how it takes effect. its pretty interesting as i know multiple people who have had to adjust to the lives in the western worlds, and try to find a place within the society and try to blend in, but end up hating it and moving back to their roots so its a very interesting take on modernization, global culture with the culture they are used to.

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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.

Via Seth Dixon
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.  

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Regional Geography!

Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao

Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao | Geography 400 Blog |

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.

Via Seth Dixon
James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 2014 1:26 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 1)

For a growing number of Filipinos, boxing has become not only a hobby, but also a source of income and an opportunity for a better life. Despite the sacrifice, obstacles, and training that they must face, the determination still exists, meaning that their current occupations as farmers is not enough. This is true not only in the monetary sense, but also at a personal level. To me it seems as if many of these aspiring boxers are relatively surprised at the concept of doing something that you deeply enjoy to bring in an income. In this way, boxing may be one of those factors which can help to ease the cycle of poverty in the region.

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, 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.

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geography Education!

A Burmese spring?

A Burmese spring? | Geography 400 Blog |

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. 

Via Seth Dixon
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.

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geogaphy 400!

Incredible Shrinking Country

Incredible Shrinking Country | Geography 400 Blog |

While it is evident that Japan's population is definitely shrinking, I do not believe this to be a major problem. A shrinking population can welcome more skilled immigrants from other parts of the world such as the United States and even those from developing nations looking for better opportunities. I think it is even important that some nations like Japan and those in Western Europe continue to shrink to counter the opposite phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the globe where populations are growing in unsustaiable numbers. 

Via Seth Dixon, Joshua Choiniere
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, 2014 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.

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geography Education!

Hiroshima After the Atomic Bomb

Hiroshima After the Atomic Bomb | Geography 400 Blog |

This haunting image shows me two things. One, it shows how World War II proved that conflicts could no longer be contained regionally. In a global world, one nation's fight can spread to the globe's farthest corners. It also showed how deadly warfare had become. One atom bomb killed over 100,000 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki while destroying everything in its past. Only years later, the development of the H bomb had the potential to spread even more death and destruction. The second thing this shows me is just how quickly things can change. Today, Japan is not only rebuilt and a sprawling urban center (only 70 years later) but it is also one of the United States closest allies. Over the past seventy years, developments have completely changed the fabric of the global stage.

Via Seth Dixon
Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 11:26 AM

The thing that always stumps me about pictures after bombings and other disasters is the reason why some things are left standing. Here we see buildings destroyed and utterly annihilated as far as the eye can see, yet the telephone poles are still standing in some areas. The picture can't capture the true scope of the destruction, but it also shows how destruction is a bit random in its own way.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2014 6:32 PM

This panoramic photograph shows the devastation of Hiroshima after the Atomic Bomb. Everything in sight is destroyed. Houses and poles that were lucky enough to still be standing are even lost causes. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:10 PM

These images are chilling and sad. The United States is the only country to ever use the Atomic Bomb on another country, a status I am not proud of. We can see why for 60 years people lived in constant fear during the Cold War. Also some would argue that the Atom Bomb has prevented world wars since WWII. It makes you fearful of the one leader who has access to A bombs and chooses to use them.

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geography Education!

Rise of solar panel energy in Bangladesh

The use of solar panel energy in Bangladesh is an example of using good green energy in a developing country. It is ridiculous to conceive Bangaldesh would build power plants, but solar energy is in abundance in Bangaldesh. It is important that we take new initiatives to alternate energy sources to creater a greener and more sustainable planet. Even developed nations like the United States could take lessons from Bangadesh.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Allen's curator insight, 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.  Elizabeth Allen

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, 2014 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. 

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geography Education!

How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Geography 400 Blog |

It is very uncommon for a nation with so many different ethnic groups to be so divided. The dividing factor in this case is Islam, pulling together people from different homelands. I think the most amazing part about this article is that Pakistanis allowed their country to be named by Western students from Cambridge. I believe that a name with deeper historical roots tied to their Islamic faith would have been more appropriate. Either way, this relatively new nation with its booming new capital of Islamabad is much more united than nations, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, with this many ethnic groups.

Via Seth Dixon
James Hobson's curator insight, November 11, 2014 12:55 PM

(South Asia topic 5)

The name "Pakistan" can be thought of as more of a "Mexicali" or "Calexico" than an "Afghanistan" or "Turkmenistan." In other words, it is an acronym, which I was surprised to learn. Though is can also be translated as "land of the Paks", there is no specific group by that name. Relating back to a previous Scoop, this shows the importance of validation and reasoning, as opposed to 'blind belief.'

I think the use of an acronym for the new nation's name (a toponym) was a very intuitive option to choose; no ethnic group could complain that their name didn't make it into the name of their nation while others' did. This seems to be a form of equal representation.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:28 AM

This article is very interesting as it explains the origin of the name Pakistan. Like many people I assumed that the name had to do with some old ethnic group but in reality its something of an acronym. Interestingly enough Pakistan is incredibly diverse and really only held together by the common Islamic religion. Names which are acronyms are more common place in government plans or cheesy infomercial products rather than the names of countries.     

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geography Education!

South Asian floods take economic toll

Seasonal monsoons have devastationg effects across South Asia. While these rainstorms are essential for growing rice, they also have very negative effects as well. Damage to homes, crops and infrastructure as well as disease, malnutrition and death come in masses due to these storms. In countries like Nepal and Bangladesh at the foothills of the Himalayas, the steep slope leads to fast erosion and all fertile soil is deposited downriver. Half the farmland has been abandoned due to this accompanied with high flooding.


Via Seth Dixon
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. 

Rescooped by Derek Ethier from Geography Education!

God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | Geography 400 Blog |

In the 1980s, Sudan and South Sudan waged a terrible war based solely on religion. It's terrible that over 25,000 boys in South Sudan had to flee for their lives in fear that they would be murdered just because they were Catholic. The three young boys had to travel thousands of miles to flee to Ethiopia to avoid persecution and eminent death. By escaping their country, they also escaped bomb raids, dehydration, starvation and genocide. Eventually, these boys manage to make it to America, surviving their valiant journey.

Via Seth Dixon
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Scooped by Derek Ethier!

Nigeria Accounts for 30 Percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s Exports, Articles | THISDAY LIVE

Nigeria Accounts for 30 Percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s Exports, Articles | THISDAY LIVE | Geography 400 Blog |

Although sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the world's 10 quickest developing nations, this ignores the fact that these five nations are putting out most of the continent's output. In fact, Nigeria alone accounts for 30% while South Africa and Angola make up another 40% combined. That makes 3 nations accounting for 70% of the continent's output. While these nations are blossoming, others are stuggling mightily and have no say on the world stage at all.

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