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In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less

In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countries’ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have...

 

Demographic facts: 1) China has more men than women. 2) Russian has more women than men. While these two facts are rather straightforward, their impact on society, gender roles, politics, economics and culture are quite complicated. This article chronicles how this 'shortage' of men in Russia has led to an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships, altering cultural gender norms.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This article is digusting and shocking.  The feminist in me flew at my screen when I read that domestic violence is "not only rampant...but accepted."  I feel indescribable pity for women who live in a country where they are required to live under the rule of a man, even when there are not enough to go around, so they are forced to settle for brutes who know how much power they wield over the women.  If it were acceptable for a woman to live as a single, independent individual, things would be much different but these girls who are held to lesser standards by their own culture have to suffer domestic violence and infidelity due to a shortage of men. 

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:57 AM

This could be a reason that Russia has been pushing an anti-Homosexual agenda.  It certainly is not right, and has been enforced too extremely, but perhaps they feel that there are not enough heterosexual relationships  due to the uneven ratio of men and women, and that an increase in the amount of homosexual couples will add to the issue.  

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 18, 2014 10:02 PM

When hearing of Russia's imbalance of men vs. women I did not think further into how much this fact could affect not only hetero relationships, but the relationships amongst the sexes themselves as well.  Morality is altered in this society where men are so scarce and are "shared" by the women.  It is known that Putin, a married man is married and has had a long term affair, and child with another  women.  The article states "no one really cares."  With our fair share of presidential affairs both in the far past and fairly recent, we see how unacceptable society finds such behavior.  But would the game change if all of sudden men were so scarce?  It is also disheartening that the female population is not united due to the lack of men.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:14 PM

This is a great example of population geography shifting cultural geography. The altering of gender norms in Russia due to the shortage of men shows how all types of geography are intertwined and cultural and population are related deeply. This is a contemporary example of that.

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Maldives

Maldives | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

The photos we viewed in class have inspired me to add this to the list of places to visit over the course of my lifetime. The accomplishment of building up such a small piece of land on this scale is somewhat rare and often reserved for megacities on the larger continents. 

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:48 PM

Boy would I love to visit the Maldives. What an interesting and beautiful island it is.

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:36 PM

Volcanic activity created the formation of coral reefs, which have sustained the development of larger Islands, including the Maldives. Due to pollution, the westernized Maldives have lost much of their bio-diversity, so indigenous people who always rely on fish for basic  survival are having problems. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 2014 10:21 PM

With sea levels rising the Maldives will be under water relatively soon. This will leave all those people either dead or as refugees. There needs to be an effort to find out what to do with all those people because it is too late to stop the seas from rising.

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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.

 

This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This is a sweet and inspirational video out of Cambodia that portrays an ex gang member using his break dancing skills to reach out to youth in the area.  KK instructs them on their break dancing skills but also teaches them the value of an education and to stay away from drugs and violence.  He alerts them to be cautious to avoid contracting HIV and helps them to pursue bigger goals than most people in that area achieve.  

This video portrays globalization because KK brought the very American break dancing to Cambodia and he has mixed it with some traditional Camobodian moves and music.  He's teaching the kids about an American custom and helping them aspire to maybe even go to America in the future.  He has taken his two culture, the one he grew up in and the one he came from and brought them together for a great cause.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 4:40 PM

Very similar to the previous cricket article this video shows another way those in areas of poverty and crime are pulled together and united. In this case instead of a sport it is break dancing. This dancing amongst former gang members helps to relieve tension form the area and also hopefully lead them to achieve better and loftier things. By shifting the priorities of people away from harm to themselves and others and replacing it with an activity which focuses on self improvement and community.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2:39 PM

It's crazy to think this gang member was deported back to his country that he had never been before.  It's nice to hear a positive story where the gang member used his experience to make a positive contribution to today's youth.  We don't need more gang bangers, but we definitely need more positive influences.  

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 5:30 PM

Globalization is a major role in this video, as a former gang member this young man was moved back to a place where he had no previous contact with a place where his family was born. Themes of globalization is evident in this video as this gang member is using what he learned in California to teach the youth around his area in Cambodia. Cultural geography plays into this video and its being used in a way to influence other children to escape their situations around them and just enjoy themselves and be informed about life decisions very good video.

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Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010

Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010 | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Globalization has hit...hard and fast. 


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

Shanghai could arguably be the best example of globalization in the world today. In the span of 20 years, it has gone from a sparse city with some commerce on the river to a major urban center with the skyscrapers and neon lights. The transformation between the two images is staggering and it's easy to see the resemblance between current day Shanghai and it's partner globalized cities like New York and Seoul.

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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 www.chinahighlights.com, 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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Tsunami in Japan 2011

"This video captures some amazing footage of the 2011 tsunami in Japan."


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

Watching this in class, I could feel my heart start racing a little as the river spilled over with such magnificent force when only a few minutes before, it had been completely calm.  This tsunami devasted Japan back in 2011 and this video was taken miles inland from the area of initial impact. The force of the wave swept boats up onto the shore and poured muddy water into the park and building in this video with no mercy.

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 7:17 PM

Most people do not realize the sheer power of a tsunami. It has the force of the entire ocean depth behind each wave. It also pours onto land for hours until it stops then pours back into the ocean for another hour or so. Most people killed are killed by objects such as cars and buildings crushing them. Seeing videos such as these can help people get a better idea of the forces actually involved and maybe save lives.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:33 PM

I hope something like this never happens again. Tsunamis are unreal. They are literally horrifying and to see something like this captured on camera is actually really scary. Damn plate tectonics and people living on the water front.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 1:52 PM

So, I will never forget this morning because my brother was living in Japan at the time and I remember getting a text from him saying "we are ok."  My brother is a bit of a jokester so I figured he had something up his sleeve, however, when I woke up and heard of the destruction, I was so relieved to know he and his family were safe.  For the next month my brother flew rescue missions and brought water and food to the survivors.  He had taken hundred of pictures, and I was able to witness first hand how devastating the tsunami had been.  My heart still goes out to those people, and I am forever grateful that my brother is alive and well.

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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

The most shocking feature in the video is the sharp contrast in Dhaka between the upscale side of the river where the richer reside and the other side of the river that is dark slums bleeding into the polluted water. The government is so fractured that it does nothing at all to help all of the illegal citizens who suffer in the slums and don't have access to any safe water or homes. I have never understood peoples' ability to turn a blind eye to such intense poverty that in places like Dhaka, makes up more than half of the population.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:21 PM

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

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Typhoon Haiyan Before & After

Typhoon Haiyan Before & After | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
View interactive before and after images showing the devastation Typhoon Haiyan has caused in Tacloban City, Philippines.

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

The damage that nature can do is absolutely appalling. I can't imagine living through such a terrifying storm that turns the ocean and winds into something equivalent to a nuclear bomb that flattened an entire city. 

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 19, 2014 10:50 PM

By viewing the before and after images, one can see how destructive this typhoon was. Almost every building was absolutely destroyed and the damage looks overwhelming. Disaster's such as this can really set a country back, as the damage appears to be costly. Although sad to look at, these images were informational. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 7:01 PM

A great set of photos to show the great destructive force of a storm on coastlines. The Philippines are a bunch of small islands made up of primarily coastlines so this typhoon destroyed huge amounts of the country.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 8, 2014 1:16 PM

We know that natural disasters cause a lot of damage and personal loss but we don't really ever know how much damage is caused until we see it.  Even when we do see it if we don't know what it looked like before it really doesn't mean anything to us.  Using these before and after maps you can really understand how much destruction happened when the typhoon hit the Philippines.  You can see the loss of property, infrastructure and natural resources that were once there.  The loss of not only peoples homes, but entire neighborhoods wiped right off the map.  The remnants of roads can be seen but that is all they are, remnants.  The ability to see the before as well as the after really strikes a toll and makes people realize that this is serious and not just another storm for the people that live here.

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The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan

The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
In a country this battered, fractured, dysfunctional – how much can she really hope to achieve?

 

The issue of female education in Pakistan has exploded after Malala Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban for publicly advocating for girls to receive more schooling.  This attack has lead several media outlets to take a more serious look at the gendered cultural and economic opportunities (or lack thereof) for girls within Pakistan.  This NPR podcast also speaks of the real options in front of so many girls like Malala and the cultural and political contexts within which they navigate their lives.

 

Tags: gender, South Asia, podcast, culture, Islam, development, unit 3 culture, education.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

I really love this article because the young girl being interviewed is angry and has had enough of the sexism in Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai has definitely become a role model for girls in her homeland and she has advanced girl's education by a large margin during her fight. The school systems in Pakistan are lacking because of the environments and the materials teachers focus on and Pakistani boys get a very different education in their religious schools but the girls have begun to work harder to equal up to them and make it to universities.  There are still many restrictions on the jobs women can take but girls are beginning to fight that too.  Pakistan has now had female political officials which has shown the generations of schoolgirls that they can truly do anything they set their minds too and Malala has helped prove that the movement can't be stopped by surviving her assassination attempt and continuing to campaign. 

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Daishon Redden's curator insight, April 22, 2014 10:00 AM

I chose this article because it talks about limit of freedom in LDC's and how girls are not allowed to get an education. This was the main idea of what Half The Sky was. Girls no being given the same rights as boy.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 1:40 PM

Starting this article response off with a quote seems only appropriate. This article follows Malala Yousafzai through her horrific experience being victimized by the Talaiban. She is an inspiring girl with all the set backs she has had to endure and she wants the right for an education for Women in her country and society. She is determined in order to create a better life for herself and her people. “The peasants had a very difficult situation, but they didn’t give up,” Aroosa says in English. “They fought back, and got power. Girls can fight back and can get an education. A girl can bring a big change.”

Kendra King's curator insight, March 28, 8:45 PM

It would make sense for the immediate well-being of the girls for the family to just leave Pakistan. As the article mentioned, the economy is horrible for graduates (especially women) and the country lives in a dangerous military state. Yet, the family (excluding the father) continues to stay in Pakistan. I wonder, since their father is a doctor and can afford private schooling, if they stay because of the wealth advantage. As the author alluded to, girls can be more than teachers if they have the resources like Prime Minster Buhtto did. Still though, with the danger so high and better jobs available I really think there is more to the story. The explanation that makes most sense to me came from Mahrukh’s statement regarding Prime Minster Buhtto when she said, “Everyone has to go from this world, why not be famous? Why not make a name and leave your name on people’s lips.” This quote shows just how dedicated Mahrukh is to her country. It is so high that she is willing to die doing something important (provided it makes her famous).  In some ways, I find that misguided. I think the attention girls like her and Malala can bring to people who are donating to the politically broken school is of immense value. This attention wakes more people up to the issues of Pakistan and the issues of the Taliban to one day put more pressure on the nation. Yet, I know Malala doesn’t want to continue to raise awareness among the Western world her whole life. Her autobiography ends with her dreaming of returning to Pakistan. Like Mahrukh, she will die for her country too (308-311). A part deep down can see though, that for a revolution to happen the girls need to actually stay within the country. For one, the west can only interfere with the politics of another country for so long. Furthermore, I am still a legitimate believe in sovereignty despite the increasing globalization. By this I mean that it is the countries issue and it is through the pressure and convictions of the people against the government and the Taliban that will have the most impact. I hope that by staying these girls will one day have an immense impact on the social culture in Pakistan. 

 

*Yousafzai, Malala, and Christina Lamb. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. First ed. New York: Little, Brown, 2013. 308-311. Print.
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Awaiting Tomorrow - People Living with HIV/AIDS in Africa

From http://www.witness.org | "Awaiting Tomorrow" tells the story people living with HIV/AIDS in the war-torn Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo...

 

This video provides a chilling glimpse into the struggle of Africans with AIDS/HIV without sufficient medical care.  


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This video is so sad because HIV/AIDS  in the DRC and other African countries is definitely preventable and treatable but due to the immense amounts of poverty and the lack of information about contraceptives and protection, millions are infected every year.

The man featured in this video mentions that the government does nothing to help fund medical centers or any other assistance and it is truly shameful.

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kmendez's comment, November 22, 2011 8:50 PM
i think this video is very important to aware people of the lack of medical attention these people of congo have. she also made a point that the government isn't doing much, that if they would she could be an example of getting the word out that they too can get help and medical support for the disease.
Lisa Fonseca's comment, December 5, 2011 12:49 AM
Many more people should be aware of this clip. Here is a twenty five year old with four children, and now has been dealing with aids for one year. The likely chance of him surviving being that he is living in such poverty, is very low. It is awful to see his four children watching their father slowly die of aids, but it also can be seen as a lesson to the children to learn and become aware of aids and learn how to avoid them. This young adult not only wanted to survive but also wanted to survive to be a spokesperson to the world. I think more and more people need to be aware of situations like these. Yes, many people know Africa has a high percentage of aids but 2.6 million people in just Democratic Republic of Congo are living with aids. If people became more aware of this situation by watching videos like these and seeing how they could make an impact I think this number could be lowered. Possibly we can start by showing videos like this to adolescents and getting them knowledged in this area at a young age.
Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 16, 2014 12:17 PM

Unit 2

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Invisible Children: Kony 2012

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

 

This needs to be included for many reasons.  1) The geopolitical problem of child soldiers and endemic warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa needs to be analyzed from a spatial and geographic perspective.  2) The social media aspects of this campaign highlight many of the traits of globalization and is a major online movement right now. 3) This would be a perfect opportunity to have a political activist moment in your class (seriously, who isn't opposed to mass murder?).  4) We can teach our classes that geographers are not just going to learn about all the crap that is wrong with our Earth...we are going to fix it and use our resources to improve the human condition. 

 

For a cultural analysis of the this video, see this NPR article. Yes the video is filled with oversimplifications and a poor cultural lens, but it has started a conversation and a conversation with students that I feel is worth having.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/08/148235430/while-controversial-kony-2012-has-put-focus-on-atrocities

 

The site mentioned in the video is:  http://www.invisiblechildren.com

 

For my cultural musings on the video, see the comments section. 

Maegan Connor's insight:

I was really glad to find this video on Professor Dixon's scoop it page because even after all that happened concerning the facts behind the video, it was still a very important part of 2012.  This video was not truthful as many later discovered and the man who led the movement was later arrested for indecency, bashing some of his credibility, but this video still drew uncountable amounts of attention to the poor people of Africa and the genocide and suffering of child soldiers. 

It is important for people to be aware of the problems in other parts of the world, especially senseless violence that has taken place in several African countries so this video did the world a service by alerting teens and adults to the horrors that take place on a continent that looks hopeless to the foreign eye.

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Saudia Arabia To Build Women-Only City

Saudia Arabia To Build Women-Only City | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
In a bid to reconcile strict gender-segregation laws with a desire to increase employment opportunities for women, Saudi Arabia is planning to construct a new industrial "city" exclusively for female workers, Russian news agency RT reports.

 

The idea is mind-blowing to say the least.  More women would be able to be a part of the workforce and move freely about women-only cities in Saudi Arabia than they could in 'regular' cities. 

Question to ponder: would the implementation of this idea represent a cultural step forward for Saudi Arabia towards gender equality or would it be a step that further isolated women and is repressive?  What do you think of the idea given the ingrained gender norms of Saudi Arabia? 


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

We discussed this briefly in class and I stand by my statement that if done right, a women only city could be a magnificent idea. However, there are many other cultural variables to take into consideration in this particular situation. I believe that if Saudi Arabia built a women only city, it would be a much safer place for the women of the country, many of whom suffer at the hands of controlling men.  However, they would become even further isolated from the outside world because women in Saudi Arabian cities are not allowed to leave the home and therefore, these women would not be allowed to venture outside of their city.  

It would be a safe place for women to build lives and advance in education and the workforce, but they would be just as trapped, with a little more space to move. A women only city sounds like a terrific idea, but it would need to be executed correctly in the correct place and I do not believe Saudi Arabia is that place.

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Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 29, 2014 4:30 PM

UPDATE on 8/15/2012 at 3:20 pm ET: Al Arabiya English reported on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is not building a women-only industrial city.Contrary to reports by the Guardian, ABC News, and the Russian news agency RT, among others, Al Arabiya English writes that the new municipality will be open to both men and women.-Huffington Post

 

I am very happy to know that this city was not created. I do believe that it would have been nice to have women able to come and go as they please in Saudi Arabia (without the accompanying of a man) ,however I do not feel that this was the answer. I believe a city like this might only further the divide of genders. I understand different cultures have different beliefs however when the cost is the suppression of another living thing then there is an issue.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 2:32 AM

Like many the topic of this article can be taken two ways. First that this is a good thing as it will allow for a place for the oppressed women of Saudi Arabia to act as they wish without the gaze and guidance of men. Giving them a sense of freedom rarely found in their country. On the other hand what this does is by placing them within their own city it further marginalizes women by pushing them into their own receptive roles and accepted locations. This could very well further drive home the idea women don't quite belong in this "Man's" country.  

Kendra King's curator insight, February 27, 1:09 AM

I can see how this might sound appealing, but this isn't the right solution. On the one hand, the women would be able to enter the work force more so as to close the disparity between women who are unemployed. That gap is actually huge since the article mentioned the number of Saudi women who work is somewhere in the low teens despite the fact that "60%" of college graduates are women. At the same time, this environment might prove to be more freeing for women in regards to their movement as well. As the article mentioned women always have to be "accompanied by a male," which is just ridiculously restricting.

 

Yet all of these benefits come at the price of isolation. That whole "separate, but equal" thing played out in the US and it wasn't actually equality. Nor did it actually make for a harmonious environment. In order to actually change people's minds, the government can't just push the women workers out of site in a corner.Without men being around women workers, they will continue to treat them poorly as second class citizens. Furthermore,separating them almost makes it seem like they are second class thereby exacerbating the gender norms within the country even more. 

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Daily Life in Afghanistan

Daily Life in Afghanistan | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
We tend to look at Afghanistan through the lens of conflict, with good reason. Deaths of American forces recently reached 2000 in the 11 years since US involvement in the country began.

 

Yes, Afghanistan is a war-ravaged country; but it is also a place that families call home and where children play.  This photo essay is a nice glimpse into ordinary lives in Central Asia.

 

Tags: Afghanistan, images, culture, Central Asia. 


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

These photos are beautiful in their own way because they show the simplicity of life in Afghanistan for the common people who were not Taliban extremists, but rather peaceful Muslims living day to day.  The landscape and housing on hills is similar to the favelas in Brazil as most of the Afghan population lives below the poverty line but this photo essay exemplifies the lives of the average people.

There is a photograph of a woman during a protest for violence against women which is still a very common problem in this region but the photo also exhibits that people are fighting it and it is no longer being covered up and quietly accepted.

Afghanistan is not just desert with U.S. soldiers riding through it heavily armed, it is home to people who want nothing more than live in peace.

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Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 22, 2014 1:35 PM

These images of everyday life speak to what we don't know about this country.As Americans we often think of only the bad that could be taking place and do not think that there are people living normal lives here.Work,play,prayer things we do here in the United States are also being done in Afghanistan. I think we need to stop seeing people from different countries as so polar to our country. Basically we are all humans and we are all the same.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:04 PM

In this photo essay you will see many pictures of the normal lives of afghan people. There is one of two young boys riding a donkey and one about a boxing wearing his best suit after hi won a fight the last night. He wanted to show his friends how happy he felt.

 

Good post.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 3, 1:09 PM

It appears that Afghanistan has a poor economy. It's lifestyle is definitely different from the way we live in the United States. The buildings are not as well-developed as the buildings in New York City and Chicago. Also, Afghanistan seems to lack cleanliness which allows diseases to spread throughout the country, and perhaps throughout small parts of other countries that border it.

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Chechnya: 200 years of background in four minutes


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This was a very enlightening video on what is going on in a part of the world that is neglected by many on this side of the globe.  The boundaries of Russia, the former Soviet Union, have always been somewhat hazy to me because of the complicated areas like Chechnya.  The areas in the North Caucases do not have independence although that is what the Chechens in this video are fighting for, yet they act as separate nations and have leaders and armies that run the area; they are just not sanctioned by the Russian government. 

It is unfortunate that this region full of terrorism and violence is only now receiving attention because the attacks reached American soil because the area has obviously needed either help or guidance or at least needed people to be more aware for a long time.

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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 18, 2014 3:55 PM
The video gives a cohesive background of Chechnya. The background of those in Chechnya and Russia, and their tactics raise major red flags as such acts of violence are all they have ever known.   
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:56 PM

The video accurately details Chechnya's long history and how it has come to be today. By understanding this one can see why exactly the they have been such a thorn in Russia's side in their quest for independence. After the deportation of the entire Chechen nation by the Soviets it is no wonder that they would be displeased with their current position especially considering other nation got their freedom with the Fall of the USSR.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, April 21, 1:24 PM

Chechnya, why so much has been made about Chechnya, the nationality of the Boston Bombers. Since then much talk about Chechnya. Around 200 years ago Russians came to conquer Chechnya. The entire Chechnya population was shipped to Cyberia by joseph Stalin, now recognized as a genocide. This is where the term send them to Cyberia developed. A second war in 1999 brought even more chaos to Chechnya. This morphed a radical religious feeling in the Chechnya people. It can be seen among attacks on Russia from Chechenia’s terrorists.

 

the new leader has a firm grip on the country and it has become a more silent nation

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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This video was insightful because it can be really challenging to classify a region in certain parts of the world. Having a simple eastern and western Europe made a tiny amount of sense at the time of WWII but it hasn't made any sense since then.  The boundaries in the southeastern part of Europe have changed on more than one occasion over the past 70 years and there are still border disputes between religious and ethnic groups that could result in new countries any day.  I found the narrator's ideas funny but still better than the traditional region that already exist.  

I personally group regions by the types of people that live in them and share very similar characteristics. Grouping parts of Europe is very hard because of the major cultural differences all over and because I am not highly educated on all of them.  I find it hard to consider Greece a part of Europe at times but it is also hard to consider it a part of anywhere else.  The countries that border Russia all seem similar to me because I don't have extensive knowledge of their cultures, although it is unfair that they are assumed to be completely impoverished countries. 

With the constantly shifting boundaries and movement of people, Europe is very hard to group into regions and that is okay because regions do not have huge effects on the way the world is run, they only make it easier to break down into pieces.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:00 PM

Even though the Iron Curtain has long fallen, the practice of still describing the ex-Soviet countries as "Eastern Europe" still remains, and those same countries wish to change it. No longer are these countries part of the Soviet Block, and they feel that this characterization still defines them in this way. "Eastern Europe" denotes struggling economies, unhappy populations, marginalized lands, and an overall lack of development. While some countries are still recovering from Soviet rule, others have become important world powers with powerful economies. They no longer wish to be associated with Russia.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:58 PM

The old way of lumping all Countries east of Germany as simply "Eastern European" is not only wrong but can lead to negativity and conflict. These are nations which differ greatly in terms of language, ethnicity, and political affiliation should definitely not be lumped together within one identity. The fact is the Cold War has ended and instead of holding on to these out dated terms we should instead look forward and embrace these countries for what they are, unique countries with unique things to offer.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 7:37 PM

I don’t really see the big deal of the map categorization based on the author’s argument. I agree the Cold War labeling is “outdated,” but saying the grouping is “damaging” because people just think of those countries as “poor” is an incredibly weak argument. Anyone who wants to do business with the area will know who is fiscally sound and any country that believes this is an obstacle can easily show the notion false given the facts of the video in regards to wealth and EU membership. However, just because a country is in the EU doesn’t mean they are completely well off. Much of that area is still politically unstable, which is a whole economic value of its own. Furthermore, that wasn’t my connotation of those countries. When I think Cold War, I think of an area that is repressive and still under Russian influence. If anything, I think that is a bigger deal because Russia shouldn’t speak for a whole area.

 

I also don’t think many of the groupings really help the authors cause. If the author wants there to be less negative connotations related to the Cold War, then the area probably should make mentioned of “countries scared of Russia” as it was the major Cold War player. Nor should there be a mention of “free” economies, since the economic divide of each country played a major hand in the tension between each ideology.  So one really needs to be careful about the terms used when re-labeling an area.

 

I don’t see a huge push for renaming the area. We still live in an outdated cold war society given how the United States still looks at Russia. So I doubt, renaming will happen anytime soon. Guess the author will have to wait for the next big political crisis or war. 

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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

I find the island biogeography to be really awesome because it's as if the small South Pacific islands are a completely separate world in terms of the creatures that live in the isolated environments.  Growing up, the idea of the Komodo Dragon was terrifying and amazing because lizards are just supposed to be little, ugly reptiles and the existence of one large enough to eat us and named after the beasts in fairytales was fascinating.  In Rhode Island, there isn't much in terms of exotic wildlife but even the species throughtout the rest of the U.S. don't completely compare to the rare creatures on the islands that have adapted to the conditions of living on small pieces of land.

The land bridge is something I don't recall ever hearing of before and the way that it influences the animals' evolution and expansion is fascinating.  I think of it in terms of humans because when immigrants cross seas to go to different countries, they are forced to adapt and they're families evolve differently than they would have in their homeland. The land bridge provided similar challenges for the marsupials and reptiles that are/were located on the secluded islands.

Once again, I also find myself extremely annoyed with man's habit of killing off rare species for the selfish reasons of owning land and not being hunted by the animals whose land they've encroached upon.

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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:27 PM

Like World Regional Geography, Bio-geography is closely related to that of World Regional Geography. Species that live on islands are prone to extinction.  While this so, they is very little competition of survival as there are on mainlands. With the Sunda Shelf in Asia, some species that can be found on one side of the continent can also be found in Australia. While we are separated by sea, rivers, and oceans, animals that can be found in one area of the world, can also be found on another land. Respectively, animals that were exclusive to one country are appearing on other lands where they aren't known to dwell on.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:35 PM

There are times where I wish certain species don't spread.  Other times I understand the migration and think it's great.  If humans died out then I believe all species would flourish just as Sir Ken Robinson says.  

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Flexible Urban Planning

mixed used train-tracks/market place...

 


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This video is unlike anything I've ever seen outside of a cartoon before. It does a complete transformation in less than twenty seconds.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:15 PM

On the one hand this disturbed me. All I kept thinking when I saw the people go back on the tracks is that they could easily be killed.In fact, I wonder how many accidents have ever occurred near this area. All it would take is some sort of malfunction on the train in which the horn wasn’t sounding to provide ample warning or someone gets in another person’s way so there isn’t enough time to close down the shop. On the other hand, this made me realize just how efficient a population could become at using space. Everything was timed so that the entire area moved out of the way without an issue. So rather than let any land go to waste, the area uses it despite the risk to its population. Though it really isn't like the population has a choice though. So in instances where there is such overpopulation, it is interesting to see how well the society can adapt to the phenomenon. I do wonder what would happen if the country becomes more developed and the population declines. Would this type of land continue in the future or be disband? I know that in our country there are many laws that would make this illegal, but our country also has the space avoid developing the land in such a manner. When comparing it to the laws of the United States, I would think the country would eventually drift away from this use of land when possible. However, now that I watch the video, I have a new appreciation for maximizing land and I hope that the efficient could continue. Just in a less scary manner. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2:51 PM

Talk about using every inch of space available to you.  I find this video crazy not only because of the safety hazards, but just how people seem to go about this like it is normal.  This would never take place in America!

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 1:29 PM

An absolute amazing dynamic is seen in this video.  To say that Bangkok is trying to use most of its open space up would be an understatement.  In developed countries, you would not only never see this happen but you would not even see a thought of doing something like this.  There are violations every where you look.  

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What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline

What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Picture this: Tourists visiting one of your city's most prominent attractions are unable to see it because of smog, haze and a bevy of other airborne pollutants. What's the solution?

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

While this is a kind of comical fascade for tourists, it draws attention to the insane amounts of pollution present in Hong Kong.  The ships that dock in one of the world's largest ports are a great contributor to the thick smog that hovers over the city in addition to the normal urban pollutants like traffic, smoking and industry.  Pollution is a major problem in all urban cities and government regulation needs to crack down on the subject because the dense smog that citizens are inhaling all day is slowly killing them. 

Pollution leads to various cancers and other health problems which in China may help decrease the population but it will cause many more problems than it will solve.  Hong Kong is an urban megacity center where thousands of corporations have their headquarters and important offices and pollution may get bad enough to drive certain companies out.  Pollution can also destroy the value of any raw goods that come from the areas or perhaps even poison certain factory made products. With smog this thick, the pollutants are everywhere and can do serious damage to the environement and those who inhabit it.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 7:43 PM

In the short term this might be a workable solution, but definitely not a long term one. To be clear, I think posing in front of a large representation of what the city should look like is ridiculous. There are still harmful pollutants surrounding the area and all the other pictures will show the reality of the situation. Honestly, one doesn’t need to stand in front of a poster showing what the city looked like, one could just superimpose the image of themselves from the comfort of their own home. Yet, tourists seem to be taking their pictures in front of the poster anyways without any regard for the environmental harm occurring the area. So on the other hand, I give points to the country for being creative enough to try and appease the tourist. I am not quite sure how much of their economy depends on tourism, but the fact that the country is dealing with a long term issue and still thought about how to make the most of it economically was a smart move on their part. Now, I will only continue to respect what Hong Kong does if their government actually steps up to the plate and starts regulating the boats that are causing “more pollution than… anticipated.” Also, I will actually say the solution is horrible if the use of this backdrop acts as an enabler (i.e. without pressure from a decrease in tourist, the country then decides not to regulate for the long term benefit of the country until later). It will be something interesting to watch over the next couple years. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 13, 11:55 AM

This article is a little sad. If you're traveling across the world and want to take pictures for memories, using a backdrop would not be the first thing that comes to mind. Tourists use a backdrop to show the Hong Kong skyline on a clear and sunny day because you have trouble seeing it most days due to all of the pollution. It's crazy that you cannot even take a picture of the actual skyline because the pollution is so bad. This temporary fix has overlooked that actual problem here. People are fascinated that they are being provided with an alternative of what it would look like but something should be done so that people can actually experience the real thing. This backdrop is putting a band-aid on the issue in the mean time but all of this pollution is not safe and something needs to be done to start fixing it. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 7:17 PM

Major cities in the world should take a deeper look into controlling pollution problems in their cities.  At some point, these places will no longer attract people to live in these areas, thus lowering the impact that these industries may have.  But as long as people are still living here by the millions and there is tourism, and buisness is booming, nothing will be done about the issue.

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The World Religions Tree

The World Religions Tree | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Dynamic infographic on world religions (don't be intimidated by the page being in Russian... The graphic is not).


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This is incredible.  All the religions of the world have branched off from the few stems and to think of all the turmoil religious wars have caused throughout the world's history is amazing when looking at this tree. They all came from the same ideas and ideals and yet the different branches and twigs that have been twisted and flipped around over time have torn families and countries apart. All of these religions are worshipped in different places across the world and it's just mindblowing to see where they all came from and what they have morphed into.

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Olivia G Torres's curator insight, November 30, 2014 6:18 PM

This was super awesome!! It's a diagram that lets you zoom into the branches that are religion. Its really cool to see how different religions derived and how some are connected. I think it's really cool to see how many different branches have been made through out the years and just how far back religions went. I really like that you can see the long and sometimes lost roots of the religion.

Abby Laybourn's curator insight, December 10, 2014 1:25 PM

Although this was kind of hard to read it was interesting to see how different religions are related and where they stem from. 

Marita Viitanen's curator insight, January 31, 6:48 PM

Tämä puu jotakuinkin hämmentää...

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The Living Bridge

In North East India just north of Bangladesh is the province of Meghalaya. 

 

This is an astounding video that shows a (literally) natural way that local people have adapted to an incredibly flood-prone environment.  The organic building materials prevent erosion and keep people in contact during times of flood.  The living bridges are truly a sight to behold. 

 

Tags: environment, environment adapt, SouthAsia, water, weather climate, indigenous.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This is so, so awesome.  These people have suffered at the hands of nature for generations and now they have figured out how to use nature to solve the problem.  They have constructed bridges with trees that takes hundreds of years to fully form so they pass it through their family generations to make life easier.  India endures a harrowing monsoon season with many floods and landslides every year and these bridges will help the people to carry on with their lives above the river's reach. These people indigeous to the region deserve so much credit for the innovative ways they have discovered to deal with nature in it's angriest forms.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 7:51 PM

The people of North East India have found an amazing response to bridge destruction during the annual monsoons. Instead of building bridges year after year, they turn to a more resilient and natural building medium. By spending generations entwining and weaving roots into a specific growth pattern, living bridges span the rivers. A living bridge takes years to accomplish, and families and villages dedicate their lives to taking care of them. The future of the bridges is dependent on the dedication of the youth. As the world's population increasingly moves to urban areas, the fate of the small villages and their natural traditions could be lost. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 7:46 PM

This video is fascinating. not only does it show the ingenuity of man, but also its care for nature. when Monsoon season comes to the province of Meghalaya, the people use the roots, planted years ago, to form a bridge that allows them to travel back and forth over the river that was caused by the monsoon. If only the entire world could see this video and realize that there are many ways to coexist with nature and that if we take care of nature then it will help take care of us.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:30 AM

This is truly an amazing video. It shows the old traditions of the country and how close many of the people are to nature. It seems almost like a fantasy with the growing of these multi-generational living bridges. Especially when compared to many western nations who seem t prefer to keep nature to itself and build up human utilized lands.

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Travel

Travel | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

As funny as these quotes are, it's also slightly infuriating how ignorant some people can be when visiting a foreign place. Personally, I'm envious of their general experience of leaving their homes to experience a more exotic place and it's a shame that travelling is so commercialized and the concept of the "Ugly American" is just laughed off.  The point of travelling is to experience something new, not the same normal thing just with different scenery.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:35 PM

These quotes are actual complaints received by a travel agency; some tourists were shocked to discover that their foreign excursion would actually have foreign experiences.  I think all of these tourists need just a little more global awareness before they leave their front porch next time.  


  • "On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”
  • “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
  • “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England . It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”
  • “There were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”
  • “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”
  • “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”
Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 7, 2013 1:27 AM

It seems that people bring their own comforts and cultural expectation and bring it to other countries getting upset because things are not the same as they are back home.  This article also displays an air of igornace on behalf of the travelers as they appear that they do not know what there getting into before travel. One should study and learn extensively about what to expect on all levels including travel times this brings realistic expectations for the traveler himself. One should understand travel distance, whether they are a developing country with slower internet, customs traditons, language, popular foods, finding information online that will help you prepare for the trip ahead to create a clear expectation. This article shows that people do prepare sometimes and bring an unrealistic expecation to places they visit other than there own country. God forbid they are in any way inconvienienced.

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.

 

This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

In this video, it is inspiring to see the South African children have big dreams regardless of the situation in their country.  Even though they are impoverished and the public school system remains segragated and insufficient, they have hope.  Apartheid left deep scars on the country of South Africa and the kids in this video quite obviously still have hard times but they strive for education that is now available to them, continuing to work in the absence of teachers and struggling home lives.

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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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‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

If I was to create my own country, the first thing I'd do is make sure not to shoot down any U.N. helicopters. This video does show the very hard process of creating a country from scratch.  I particularly enjoy the piece in which a government official attempts to explain taxes to folks at the marketplace because I probably had the same expression when taxes were first explained to me. "Why should I pay the government my hard earned money? They didn't do anything to earn it from me."

 

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Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:46 AM

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.

 

After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

 

To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.  

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Israel and Palestine

Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This video is a really helpful, simplified explanation of the fighting in Israel that is fiercely complicated and has gone on for decades now with one repressed group repressing another. If I ever need to explain the struggle to students, this video would be an excellent introduction.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 28, 2014 9:58 AM

(Africa topic 1)

{{Note: Some topics and locations pertain to multiple geographic regions (i.e. northern Africa, the Middle East, and southwestern Asia, and topics in different regions may refer to the same country or location because of this.}}

I found it interesting to watch a video that comes from an implied anti-Israel standpoint, especially since the organization which made this video is called the Jewish Voice for Peace. Though there has always been disagreement as to who should occupy some of the most hallowed land in the world, it seems that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems more out of the UN repartitioning plan. Regardless of clashing religions and cultures, it does seem unfair that a minority of people control the majority of land and resources. This makes me wonder why exactly the UN made the Israeli state there: was is purely because of the Jewish religion associations?, or because no other country wanted to absorb the increasing number of refugees?, or because the UN wanted to gain a stronghold in the Middle East?, or perhaps a combination of all of the above?

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 8:40 PM

From 1946 to 2000, Palestine (Islamic individuals) have been at war with Israel (Jewish individuals) over land in Israel/Palestine. In 1946, Palestine took over most of Israel but throughout the decades up until 2000, Israel slowly won over almost every piece of Israel and now, Palestine barely has any land in Israel. From 1949 to 1967, Palestine took over a specific area of Israel known as the West Bank and another small part of Israel known as Gaza. There was a lot of war going on between Israel and Palestine because Israel discriminated against non-Jews. Palestinians became refugees but that didn't stop Israel from fighting to take over Palestinian land.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 30, 1:03 AM

The video was informative, but bias. I have a stronger understanding of how Israel is exploiting, how the borders were re-drawn, and how the make up of the original border mattered. However, the author gave me these facts in a very pro-Palestinian manner. The narrator sees the Palatines as refugees instead of the Jews, who as the narrator said, were "refugees living where people already lived." This similar identity clearly resonated with the narrator who almost 2 minutes of the video speaking about how the treatment of the new refugees was wrong. While a fair amount of the rest of the video advocated a solution to help Palestinian, hence the negative portrayals of the United States backed peace talks.  

 

What was missing from this video was Israeli's story. The Jewish community had become a large force within Palestinian, but was not being aptly recognized. In fact, the Palestinian's prior to the UN offer weren't treating the Jews fair. When this offer came along, it was the Palestinian's who started the fight, a point that was down played in this video as the narrator rushed to point the finger at Israeli's wrong doings. Yet, another portrayal of this conflict mentioned in class, showed the Israeli's feel threatened because they are a minority surrounded by enemies within the region. All of this information means that the Palestinian's and other neighbors play more of a negative hand in the land dispute than what the narrator says.    

 

To be honest, I don't know enough about either side to really say who I support. However, from what I gather, neither side is a bushel of roses. As learned in class their were a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that caused the fighting and their is still a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that factor into the fighting today. Thus, the bias of this video acts as a reminder that a person looking to understand a heated conflict, such as this one between neighbors, must view the information with causation. 

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Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

The destruction that man can cause is sickening and will be our ultimate downfall as all the major resources of the world are used up for industry. The shrinking of the Aral Sea has had harsh consequences on the region making it much harder to sustain the populations in the area because agriculture and fishing industries have been ruined. Health problems and drought are now rampant in the area and it is all because of humankind.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 20, 2014 9:49 PM

This is a sad reality humans must live with forever and something we as people must learn from. A man made disaster that occurred many years ago has a negative impact on areas surrounding the shrinking Aral Sea to this day. People cannot exploit an area of water this large, as this is not only harming the environment, but many human beings, as well

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 9:24 AM

This startling picture from space of the Aral Sea is heartbreaking.  The destruction of this inland sea is a terrible thing to behold.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:36 PM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

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The United States in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan War has become one of the longest in U.S. history. United States military forces entered Afghanistan in late 2001, a few months after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

 

Associated with this video clip is a set of seven lesson plans in a unit about the United States War in Afghanistan.  Find the lesson plans with supplemental materials (graphic organizers, maps, photos, etc.) for a unit on The Afghanistan War at the Choices Program webpage.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

I think the most interesting question asked was whether or not America will continue to care about wartorn, impoverished Afghanistan now that Bin Laden is dead.  The answer is conflicted.  Obama brought home large numbers of troops after being voted in for his second term but now that America is well aware of the country and its problems, there are still people who care about what is happening to it.

I always advocate for taking care of the U.S. before going out to fight someone else's war and the U.S. certainly needs plenty of help right now. But humanitarian assistance is also needed in Afghanistan and considering it was America that contributed to the problems, we should probably also contribute to the solution (although we should back out before forcing too much of our own flawed system onto their government.)

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Amanda Morgan's comment, October 18, 2014 3:39 PM
I find this video along with the lessons for the Unit on teaching the War in Afghanistan useful. By the time I become a teacher, we will be teaching 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan. The aftermath of bring home troops is what we are waiting to see as the video suggests, will it change our relationship with the region now that we have said enough is enough? I am eager to teach students about this because it is history in the making that is directly affecting their lives as Americans.
Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 11:22 AM

There's a reason that Afghanistan is called "the Graveyard of Empires". It's a centrally located country and one that has been the center of a lot of political and military turmoil over the course of its lengthy history. Great Britain, Russia, and the U.S. have all conducted campaigns of some sort within Afghanistan's borders and they have all been long, costly, and/or unsuccessful. Some of those campaigns were launched simply in the interest of empire building, others with the intention of providing assistance (or at least under that guise, anyway). Whatever the case may be, Afghanistan is a country constantly experiencing turmoil and strife as a result of other countries' interests and intentions. 

 

In many ways, Afghanistan has always served as a proxy in the same way that the Balkans, and later Vietnam and Korea, did for Russia in the beginning and middle of the 20th century. It has almost never been allowed to exist unhindered on its own and to work towards its own interests and issues. Instead, Afghanistan has served as a waypoint for larger, wealthier, and more powerful nations throughout history. Oftentimes, these countries are so far geographically removed from Afghanistan that it begs the question: why are these other countries getting involved? The simple answer is imperialism. Though it may not exist today in the same sense that it once did, the desire of nations to build empires and be a part of globalization is still a very real one, and one that affects smaller and poorer countries around the globe. 

Rescooped by Maegan Connor from Geography Education
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In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less

In Russia, a lack of men forces women to settle for less | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countries’ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have...

 

Demographic facts: 1) China has more men than women. 2) Russian has more women than men. While these two facts are rather straightforward, their impact on society, gender roles, politics, economics and culture are quite complicated. This article chronicles how this 'shortage' of men in Russia has led to an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships, altering cultural gender norms.


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

This article is digusting and shocking.  The feminist in me flew at my screen when I read that domestic violence is "not only rampant...but accepted."  I feel indescribable pity for women who live in a country where they are required to live under the rule of a man, even when there are not enough to go around, so they are forced to settle for brutes who know how much power they wield over the women.  If it were acceptable for a woman to live as a single, independent individual, things would be much different but these girls who are held to lesser standards by their own culture have to suffer domestic violence and infidelity due to a shortage of men. 

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:57 AM

This could be a reason that Russia has been pushing an anti-Homosexual agenda.  It certainly is not right, and has been enforced too extremely, but perhaps they feel that there are not enough heterosexual relationships  due to the uneven ratio of men and women, and that an increase in the amount of homosexual couples will add to the issue.  

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 18, 2014 10:02 PM

When hearing of Russia's imbalance of men vs. women I did not think further into how much this fact could affect not only hetero relationships, but the relationships amongst the sexes themselves as well.  Morality is altered in this society where men are so scarce and are "shared" by the women.  It is known that Putin, a married man is married and has had a long term affair, and child with another  women.  The article states "no one really cares."  With our fair share of presidential affairs both in the far past and fairly recent, we see how unacceptable society finds such behavior.  But would the game change if all of sudden men were so scarce?  It is also disheartening that the female population is not united due to the lack of men.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:14 PM

This is a great example of population geography shifting cultural geography. The altering of gender norms in Russia due to the shortage of men shows how all types of geography are intertwined and cultural and population are related deeply. This is a contemporary example of that.