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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, 2015 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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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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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:54 PM

The creation of the Maldives was a evolutionary process that was created with hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. However most of the 1200 or so islands are disappearing. As many of these islands have been created and built upon, the soils are losing their strength. Now we have a process of erosion not only from rain but also from the sea waves. As this eats away at the islands they are getting smaller and smaller and unless they start bringing in artificial land area they will someday disappear.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:39 PM

The Maldives Islands were created by Hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. Many of the one thousand islands that are there are slowly disappearing. The islands are being destroyed by rain and from sea waves that crash onto the island itself. Soon the land, just like Kiribati will disappear because they just keep shrinking in size more and more. Their economy revolves mostly around tourist money and parts of the islands have been highly developed for high end tourist marketing.  

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:33 AM

Honestly a nation like the Maldives would only be possible with today's technology. the lack of resources, land and linking landmass would have made it stuck in an era with villages at best. The modern country if you ask me is also a disaster waiting to happen. Their cities are right on sea level. A single tsunami or storm would devastate them never mind rising sea levels. I just think they are acting unsustainable and their growth without lack of native resources will lead to their nations ultimate failure. While I wish these people success their islands are also eroding due to reefs so geography is pretty much against them at every turn. In the future hopefully a solution to these problems can be found but until then this will likely be an area that will have to be evacuated in the future like many others.

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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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Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:15 PM

I thought this was a good video because it talks about a person who was probably living in the u.s. all his life and got hooked on the wrong side of the track and now forced to leave the u.s. The good news is he is seeing a country he was probably born in and never saw. he is able to bring with him some American culture such as breakdancing, music, his tattoos his English language. At the same time he is going to learn his culture.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:08 PM

this is a wonderful example of someone giving back to their adoptive [if ancestral] home. this is a good way to keep kids out of trouble while also introducing them to a new culture and style of dance.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:03 PM

this is great, making the best of a bad situation and working with kids to make sure that they do not make the same mistakes as you did is a great thing. also the examples of cultural diffusion or great as well. everyone knows that there is nothign better for kids growing up than to be a part of after school programs where they can continue to learn different things.

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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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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:19 PM

Shanghai China, a global transportatio hub has grown tremendously into a megaity within 20 years. This is due to the high imports and the location on the river. This created a high import rate and a low wage rate. Because of this they were able to build this city into a megacity.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:22 PM
Wow! All I can say is Wow! Shanghai overall in every way is highly indistinguishable from what it was in 1990. On the far side it is minimally developed and on the close side it has what looks to be a fairly modern city for the 90s. Take a jump twenty years and it is as if it was built the way it looks currently Even the side closest that was developed in the 90s, looks like it was scrapped and rebuilt to be even more modern, a mega city. Because of its strategic location and has a river for transportation, it is a transportation hub, which is why it has the money to do what it does.
Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:46 AM

These two images are perhaps a goo example of how globalization has developed over Shanghai in just 20 years. The images show how once greener and more spacious the region looked before in 1990, and the other image shows how technology has developed and become an important priority to the people. There are huge tall buildings located in the area and the other natural source seen is the body of water surrounding some of the tallest buildings in the area. There is no longer any trees which is also a sign of how un-important or how simple to was for the Shanghai to knock them down to simply make more buildings. The concept shows how business has developed in the region but also shows the potentially jobs located here as well. Overall, this part of Shanghai is very economically stable but it is also important to see outside of the heart of the buildings. 

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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.

more...
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, 2015 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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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.   

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:48 AM

There is a lot of poverty and pollution in Dhaka. The demands for energy and water are high in Dhaka as well. I personally don't see how these people and migrants can live in such a polluted and dirty place and the reason why I can't imagine living in such a place is because I never have. I'm lucky enough to not experience poverty and I greatly appreciate  my life and home. Hopefully things improve in Dhaka and places like Dhaka. Hopefully there will be less pollution and poverty in the future any where in the world.

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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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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.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 2:51 PM

Such powerful imagery. I was tinkering around with the pictures and moving the scroller from right to left, keeping my eye on a particular house that stood before the typhoon. To keep scrolling to the left and to watch that image of the house completely disappear was absolutely surreal. It made the news of the devastation wrought by the storm seem so much more real; here I was, sitting in class and watching a home- a place where a family once lived, where lives had been and were continuing to be forged- completely disappear from the face of the map, never to return. I have lived in the same home for 15 years, and I could never imagine watching my home disappear in such a manner. The psychological impact of this devastation on such a massive scale is unimaginable, something that must be endured in order to truly understand- and, unfortunately for the people living in these areas, they now understand it all too well. The financial recovery from this storm will eventually come- perhaps not as fast as hoped, but it will, as always- but the recovery in human costs will take much longer. For those affected, many will believe that there can never be a recovery. Watching that home disappear in the blink of an eye makes me feel that they are probably right.

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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, 2015 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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Kendra King's curator insight, February 27, 2015 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. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:49 AM

This women only city policy, has a lot in common with the racial segregation polices in the United States. In 1896, in Plessy v Ferguson the Supreme Court ruled that as long as the facilities for whites and blacks were equal, segregation was constitutionally permissible. The idea that facilities can be separate and equal is a fallacy. The dominate group will always be provided with the better facilities , because they have the economic and the social means to build a better facility. The less group will suffer do to a lack of political and economic means. This women only city will likely pale in comparison to the other cities of Saudi Arabia. True equality comes through integration, not separation.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:20 PM

this would 100% be a step back, that is the worst kind of segregation and "equality" did we not have this in the united states and it was scrapped shortly after because "separate is inherently not equal"

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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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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 3, 2015 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.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 19, 2015 12:34 AM

It is important to remember that, besides all the problems, attacks, and battles/wars that are occurring in countries such as Afghanistan, people are still living there daily lives. The people of Afganistan still work, children play in the streets, and there is still laughter amongst the chaos. Through over a decade of war, thousands of people have died from both the US and Afghan soldiers. It is very concerning that nothing stops even if a disaster occurs. These people live there lives everyday perhaps not knowing what will happen next. Especially now, with the ISIS issues and Al Qaida issues, thousands of people are suffering. These images show daily lives of Afghans, carrying on in the face of bitter warfare and economic hardship. These images show people living in this region and one can easily compare to other regions that Afghans have it a lot harder than many other regions around the world. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:06 PM

Daily life in Kabul is a daily struggle as one of the most impoverished places in the world. They suffer from a lack of infrastructure to the lack of medicine in the hospitals. Many of the invasions that have occued have weakened a already weak country. That has led to many deaths and much fighting on the area. These images show many of the struggles that pepople go through on a daily basis. This was not just the people being in poverty but with the wars and stuff that have happened there has to led them to be even more worse off. 

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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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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 16, 2015 1:20 PM

Chechnya may not be a country that one hears much about, but it is a country who has suffered the most from its powerful reigning neighboring countries. Chechnya has important oil deposits, as well as natural gas and others. Overall, Oil is a resource a lot of countries fight for and this is why Chechnya suffers from Russia. Russia wants to have territorial denomination of Chechnya. Russia throughout the years has fought and bombed over Chechnya for territory. It is similar to the situation in Africa, where small nations have been trying to break free from their regional superpowers and colonial rulers. The resulting anarchy in Chechnya strengthened Russian belief that the region should not become independent and undermine its territorial integrity. Overall, this is a problem all over the world and Chechnya still stands strong as an independent country. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:40 PM

Clearly, Chechnya has a very violent past. It is nothing but a place of death and heavy conflict. You can even say it had a genocide going on, when the citizens of Chechnya was sent to Siberia to pretty much be killed off by the extreme cold. It is also important to understand that Chechnya wants to be it's own country. It is sad to hear about this country in such  negative way with all the fighting going on and the fact that the Boston Marathon bombers came from there... Why could we not hear of it in a better way better way? For example, they want to be a country of their own. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:47 PM

first off i would like to say that i am pretty sure half of the world did not even know Chechnya existed until the marathon bombing happened. also this stuff is really important to know because it give you background and insight into what these people were thinking and how what goes on on the other side of the world can twist people in such a way that it effects us here at home.

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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, 2015 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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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 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.  

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:19 PM

Island biogeography operates on different principles than we see on the continents.  Soem extraordinary creatures such as the komodo dragon and thylacine can be found in isolated places removed interactions with more generalist species.  Alfred Russel Wallace made some extraordinary discoveries combining biology and spatial thinking. 

 

Island biogeography is pertinent today since habitat fragmentation (from urbanization and argicultural land uses) has rendered 'islands' out of the wilderness that isn't being used by humanity.  Some animals such as the cougar are locally extinct from their historic ranges (extirpation).


Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:06 PM
Island Biogeography is the theoretical explanations as to why species occurs, it also studies the species composition and species richness on an island.. it is not specific to land masses around water. Isolation gives species a strong place in their environment. The fact that new species and things show up are amazing, but sometimes new species are not properly adapted because there is no other general force against them and they do not ever learn to defend themselves.
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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, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2015 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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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 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.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:08 PM

Summer reading KQ4: pollution, smog, megacity, sustainability

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:22 AM

Pollution is a huge issue facing both Hong Kong, and the rest of China in general. So far the government  has done little to actually combat the problem. The Chinese governments response has been to pretend that the problem does not really exist. A fake skyline can just erase the problem. In reality dealing with the pollution issue would actually help the Chinese economy. When people seek to go on a vacation, they are seeking a destination that is clean and safe. Who wants to visit a place were, you have to ware a mask to prevent the breathing in of armful chemicals. A cleaner less polluted china would lead to an expanded tourism industry.

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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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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, 2015 6:48 PM

Tämä puu jotakuinkin hämmentää...

Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 9:16 PM

Unit 1 Geography: Its nature and perspectives

Although the article relating to this diagram is in Russian, the diagram is not, and I found it to be a very interesting visual to not only show world religions developing on a time scale, but also because it does a very good job of showing just how many little divisions of each religion they are, and how they are all intertwined. Zooming in on the diagram, you are able to see each divide, each new branch, and each date for hundreds of sets of information.

 

This illustrates the theme of identification of major world religions because it simply shows the mass amounts of tiny divisions that occur in the major world religions in a simple format. This is very helpful because this would be pages of writing if you tried to write it all out. 

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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.

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.”
  • “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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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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‘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, 2015 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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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 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, 2015 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. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:30 PM

first off, this video is very pro isrelis which must be kept in mind. also i dont know what the palestinians and surrounding countries expected. the jews had nowhere to go and were sent there by england. where else where they to go? instead of accepting this the palestinians started to attack them and when they lost they wanted to come back and live there, of course the jews were not going to let them back in. neither side is completely right or wrong but i can see the jewish side more than the palestinians.

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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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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.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 3:30 PM

Here is a question. Do you think perhaps in the future this could happen to lake Mead in Nevada/Arizona? With all the non-stop building and no rain perhaps one day could it run dry or do we have a way to stop it.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:17 PM

Once there is less water in a lake there is less water in the air therefore less rain. The long term consequences is that the fishing industry is destroyed where once upon a time there were 61000 workers and now there are under 2000. The water is more saltier. The lands are now ill suited and unbuildable. Also the people there are prone to health problems.

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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, 2015 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. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:43 AM

The United States continues to be bogged down in Afghanistan. Last week President Obama announced that we will be keeping troops in Afghanistan past 2016. This means that Obama will hand this war off to his successor in January 2017. That successor will become the third president to oversee this war effort. In recent years, this war has slowly dripped out of the headlines. In a twenty four hour news cycle, the war has become old news. However, we should not forget that American soldiers are still being placed in harms ways everyday in this nation.

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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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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.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 3:38 PM

Russia: where the men are men. And too many women are nervous wrecks

A great article about how huge an impact unequal gender proportions can have on society norms. With Russia's male population outnumbering women 100 to 40 men have a monopoly. This has increased male infidelity, domestic violence against women, and problems with female friendships.