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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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Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 13, 2013 6:35 AM

I caould never imagine being in something like this, let alone filiming it. It is mind blowing that it can progress at such a fast rate. you really don't know how powerful water can be. 

megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 7:47 PM
this video blew my mind! i cannot believe that these people saw the whole thing coming and just stayed at their house on the rooftop taping the whole thing. The footage was pretty cool though seeing a first hand account of the horrible devastation that it caused.
Marcelle Searles's curator insight, January 25, 1:38 AM

useful when studying natural hazards in Year 11 Geography.

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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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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 9:53 AM

Maldives might be hard to keep for many years due to the fact that it is in the middle of the ocean. Eventually overtime the waves would ruin whatever is on that land. It does not seem like a pratical place to live. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 6:11 AM

This island country has a strange duality that is not uncommon for poor countries with beautiful natural resources like sandy beaches.  On one hand, it is a place with resorts, which cater to wealthy tourists that are kept separated from the inhabitants of the islands.  On the other hand, they are a poor Muslim society that relies on fishing and tourism for its economic growth.  The precarious nature of their low islands leaves them open to flooding and tsunamis. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 1:19 AM

The Maldives are an extremely interesting case of physical geography. They are made of coral and sands which the oceans have deposited on the coral skeleton of the islands. The ringed shape of the islands suggests there was once something in the center of the them which either receded into the ocean or eroded away leaving only the hardened coral rings behind.

 

Economically, the fairly unique nature of these tropical islands makes them an excellent tourist destination and Maldives has a significant tourist industry. Unfortunately, the unique physical geography of the islands makes them extremely vulnerable to tsunami and rising sea levels. If global warming raises the ocean levels a few feet, the majority of the islands will be flooded permanently.

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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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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 9:12 AM

This gives hope to youth that get into trouble. Both those kids and this former gang member are helping to decrease all the violence in the world. Also it helps the former gang member avoid going to jail. Know there are all these new dances that the Cambodian culture are exposed to which can show them new moves that they can use. The kids that get into trouble can also avoid going to jail or even be killed by an enemy or someone that does not want anything to deal with him.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 5, 2013 7:37 AM

This video posted by the New York times focuses on a former gang member from Long Beach, California who teaches break dancing and other lessons to at-risk children in Cambodia.  This shows the impact that globalization has on the world.  Certain types of music and dancing spread and become popular worldwide and the lessons taught by the music and culture also spread internationally.  The man from California uses dancing to teach children across the globe in a world that is different but also similar to his own.  Geography is being reshaped by cultural interests such as music and dancing in order to teach important lessons to children.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 1:05 PM

Off subject, but I recently started watching "My Name is Earl", a tv show which is based around karma and redoing wrongs in life.  On a serious note, people who have done wrong in their lives to turn around and try bettering themselves and others around them is very admirable.  When people normally think of helping the poor, its ship them some food and clothes and that's that.  It's much more than that though, you have to help them help themselves.  What "KK" has done has brought something he loves, and shares it with youth that can gain interest from it.  Breakdancing acts as a foundation to further learning such as books and computers, this leads to improvement and long-term effects.

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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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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:08 PM

It looks like a completely different city. Sadly you can no longer see any green.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 8:23 AM

Apart from what can be said about the process of Globalization, this is just impressive under the lens of what can be done in 20 years to change the skylines and landscapes of an area. Notice the lack of vegetation in the second picture, and while it may just be an effect of the different time of day or season, they sky seems a lot more fogged in the second picture, possibly due to pollution.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:35 PM

Shanghai has transformed and globalized so quickly in the last twenty years that it doesn't even look like that same place. Skies that were once seen are now blocked by skyscrapers. Buildings that still remain are overpowered and do not stand out like they once did.

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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...
Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 13, 2013 6:35 AM

I caould never imagine being in something like this, let alone filiming it. It is mind blowing that it can progress at such a fast rate. you really don't know how powerful water can be. 

megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 7:47 PM
this video blew my mind! i cannot believe that these people saw the whole thing coming and just stayed at their house on the rooftop taping the whole thing. The footage was pretty cool though seeing a first hand account of the horrible devastation that it caused.
Marcelle Searles's curator insight, January 25, 1:38 AM

useful when studying natural hazards in Year 11 Geography.

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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 11:21 AM

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 8:43 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, 8:23 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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HG Académie de Rennes's curator insight, November 15, 2013 3:28 PM

Un outil très simple pour comparer deux images avant-après le passage du typhon au Philippines.

lyn chatfield's curator insight, November 17, 2013 3:16 PM

A wonderful tool to introduce or use on the topic of typhoons and/or disasters. 

megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 8:35 PM
Looking upfront at the before and after the typhoon hit the Philipines right on the coast line. The coast was completly wiped out and destructed it looked as though nothing was ever there. Not only were homes and businesses destructed but over 2500 people were killed in this natural disaster.
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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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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 8:12 AM

How much can one girl really do in trying to gain education for women in Pakistan? Well for starters, she has brought them hope. Hope for a better future, and hope for education in the future. She has started a revolution for her people and is not afraid to stand for what she believes should be allowed in her country. Knowledge is power, and she is fighting for every woman to gain knowledge and become a powerful member of their society. 

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 2:03 AM

Malala surely deserves every accolade she has received from her efforts to improve the education of women in Pakistan.  Not only did she stand up to the powers that kept her down, but she continued to do so even after those powers put a bullet in her head. She's an inspiration for all girls not only in Pakistan, but in every place where this is still an issue. 

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 16, 2013 3:44 PM

These girls are being deprived an education because they are females- crazy. And when Malala was trying to make change she was gunned down on the school bus, in front of other kids. I feel sorry for those children, they are the future, why not have them all educated.  I couldn't imagine leaving in a society that my future would be limited. 

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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 5:50 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 4, 2011 9:49 PM
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.
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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. 


Via Seth Dixon
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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Seth Dixon's comment, March 9, 2012 7:31 AM
The video is full of "white man's burden" motifs and (admittedly) the cultural representations of Africans as helpless victims that American's as the sole agents of change is more than just annoying but reinforces bad stereotypes. So I'm deeply ambivalent about the video since it truly is a mixed bag. I was visiting I middle school this morning and students are telling the teachers that they want to learn about Uganda and understand the situation better. What I love about the video is that it has started a discussion where there previously was not (I’ve never heard this by middle school students in Rhode Island). True there were discussions elsewhere, but not between middle school students—and asking for MORE African content to be infused into the curriculum and the teacher obliged. The teacher was smart enough to know that the video is propaganda for an NGO (no bracelets or 'Action kits' here!), that was advocating particular military policies (which we both repudiated). The Political action as outlined in the video is lame. But that is the rub. The “everyone join us and the movement” component is hokey and condescending, but the “do something” and “be aware” portion is the true take home message for me. This video, in isolation isn’t enough...but I see it as a starting point, since all the college student is my class heard about it, what better portal for discussing the historical concept of 'white man's burden' (which would've been covered either way) with the relevant topic of the moment?
This literally gives educators the chance to educate as students are interested in learning. While there certainly are oversimplifications of the ethnic and geopolitical situation in the video with paternalistic overtones, I think it has enough merit to take the good with the bad. The single “bad man” narrative is also ridiculously problematic, since the economic and political landscape creates the environment that has allowed Joseph Kony to operate in that manner. All in all, I’m grateful that there is more awareness of the issue and am hoping to use it as a teaching moment to essentially correct the misconception that could be perpetuated with that type of discourse. While it is tough to isolate the good from the bad, the message from the messenger, these are the raw materials with which we must work, and I’m glad for these flawed materials to be on the table.
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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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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 5:40 PM

This idea is mind-blowing. Women in Saudi Arabia have few rights and life appears to be difficult for them. Building a city such as this one appears to be sad reality, but it may have positives and negatives. Women could have more individual freedoms and more job opportunities. On the other hand they may be away from their family and only be allowed to live freely within this city. It is disheartening how some countries treat women today in the twenty first century. 

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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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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, March 28, 2013 11:38 AM

Whenever we get a glimpse of Afghanistan in the news or in a movie, all we see are pictures of war. These photos show a different side of Afghanistan, a more real Afghanistan. Many people live in Afghanistan and many children call it home. Not everyone in the country are fighting in wars, some are just trying to live a peaceful life. It is good to see ordinary life of an ordinary person from a country like this, because we so often know nothing of it, and assume that all people in a war-ravaged country are constantly fighting and running. Assumptions like this make it hard to have good relations with other countries, because if we assume the worst, we can never learn and understand the people of another country. These pictures are a good way to get a small glimpse of what life is like in Afghanistan.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 22, 2013 6:08 AM

Photo essays are so interesting because they consist of photos that tell a story of their own.  This one is especially interesting because we learn about the daily lives of average, ordinary citizens living in Afghanistan.  We get to see pieces of their day-to-day lives, which we do not get to see in any news broadcasts where the focus is only on war.

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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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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 12:13 PM

Chechnya is an area of terror, death and conflict. The best way to understand a country such as Chechnya is to look into their background. This YouTube clip shows a brief summary of Chechnya's background and why things have gotten so bad.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 19, 3:15 PM

It appears Russia and Chechnya have a violent past. Chechnya, although small in size, wants to be a country. As a result, some people of Chechnya perform acts of terror to show they are serious about becoming a country. Even today tensions between the two areas remain high.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 6:33 AM

This video gives a good background to understand Chechnya.  The dislocation and genocide that the people had to suffer under Soviet Russia certainly has led to the violence in the region.  We are not separate from our pasts and if anything this video explains where that violence and hatred comes from.  It doesn't excuse the violence but it does explain it.

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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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Kloo C. Hansen's curator insight, March 28, 2013 6:43 AM

Watch this! 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 8:46 AM

This video makes a good point about where we arbitrarily draw lines on a map.  He uses different groupings to show how silly this can be.  His point is that Eastern Europe no longer really exists and we should no longer use the term.  He then suggests a few different terms to use to group countries in Europe.  My favorite was the grouping called Scared of Russia.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 4:17 AM

This video shows how difficult it is to categorize and group regions together. We tend categorize Eastern Europe as a group due to former political affiliations with the Soviet Union, but this is unfair as these nations are varied ethnically, economically, and politically. Plus, most, if not all, of these nations resented Soviet rule and grouping them due to it is somewhat insulting. Other groupings are not as neat on a map. For example, grouping Europe economically shows a couple Eastern European countries in the upper half and a number of Western European countries like Italy, Spain, and Greece in the lower half.

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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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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 6, 2013 9:09 AM

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, environmentecology, Australia, Oceania.

Christian Allié's curator insight, December 7, 2013 5:17 AM

........""....

... Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context..


....Part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 7, 2013 7:56 AM

I really could see the idea of island biogeography when looking at islands and the ocean and how they species could develop that way.  Until I saw this video I do not think I could have made that cross over to continents.  Now I do see it.  If we build something across an open plain it will effect how species roam the area.  I remeber seeing pictures of the Alaskan pipeline raised in certain area and could not until now figure out why.  Now I know it was done, at least partly for, environmental reasons. So animals could still travel under it in order to move about.  If not Alaska would have been cut in half and prevented the animals form moving across the pipeline.  So as nature effected the developement of species with the rising and falling of ocean levels and islands, human effect the developmentof species with roads, farms and cities to name just a few.

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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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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 6:14 AM
this video is incredible. the way people in this area of the world utilize the land to its maximum is unbelievable. the way they immediately rearranged the market place once the train went by shows not only do they do this every day probably several times a day but that they know just how to be safe while doing so. again amazing use of space.
Shelby Porter's curator insight, December 11, 2013 6:23 PM

The first time I saw this, my jaw dropped. The fact that this city is so used to just setting up market around when a train comes right through the middle of it is just crazy. But this just shows how this overpopulated city has had to adjust. To them, moving their market to fit the train schedule is a part if everyday life in this "megacity". Living in an urban city like this one is what these people are used to, and this type of market is how they remain sustainable. 

megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 8:46 PM
The video starts off with a market and people throughout the market buying and selling products. A little into the video the whole market shuts down and clears out within second as a train passes through. It shows how places utilize every aspect of life. Taking a market that is also a train track at the same time.
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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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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 9:26 PM

If the pollution is getting worse in Hong Kong why is it not being addresed? What are the people in charge focusing on? To me pollution would be a very important thing to fix because it could cause deaths if it is not fixed and just continues to get worse. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:46 AM

Well this is certainly one way of ‘solving’ their pollution problem.  Tourists upset, no problem, give them a backdrop to pose in front of.  I find this just crazy; rather than trying to clean up the air the government is instead covering over the problem.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2:45 PM

That is sick! Pollution is a major problem in Hong Kong due to its busy urban environment. However, setting up a fake skyline for tourists to pose in front of is not the solution. The solution is taking precautions and finding ways to cut back on the pollution so that the haze and pollution does not escalate.

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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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Juliette Norwood's curator insight, January 6, 8:57 AM

This shows the different branches of religions that people adhere to. This scoop was chosen to be the first on the page as a reference of each religion that mainly exists on Earth.

Ryan Randomname's curator insight, January 16, 9:32 AM

Khanh Fleshman's insight: This relates to Key Issue #1 because it shows the origins of each religion. Also, it shows the various relationships between religions. 

 

Vinay Penmetsa: This shows how a lot of religions are interconnected, and even if people think two religions are completely different, they might have similar roots, just like languages.

 

Graham Shroyer's religion: This relates to key issue 1 because it shows where religions originated and how they are all connected, like judaism and christianity.

 

Zahida Ashroff's Insight: This is relevant to Key Issue # 1 because it identifies the origions and relationships of the major world religions of today. These religious branches clearly show the relationships between majorly and minorly practiced religions.


Rishi Suresh:  This shows how, similiar to languages, many religions come in families and have distinct connections between them. 

Marcelle Searles's curator insight, January 25, 1:42 AM

fascinating infographic on world religions.

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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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Shelby Porter's curator insight, December 11, 2013 6:46 PM

An amazing use of the surroundings these people have! These people have been dealt a hand that may seem hard to deal with, but they have figured out a way to adapt and work with and use the environment instead of trying to go around it. To avoid building a new bridge every year because of the monsoons, this man has worked with nature to build something incredible and sustainble. He is not afraid of the weather any longer, he actually seeks its help in the aide of his growing bridge. This truely is an amazing sight to see!

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 9:38 AM

This video is so cool. It shows the indigenous people using the enviroment to the fullest. THese resourceful people do not even kill the tree when they use it to build the living bridges to cross over the rough waters. They actually have a community of living bridges that help the people to get from point a to point b safely. They keep the bridges alives by intertwinning them with one another to hold them up across the water. THe video itself is too cool, especially that people even thought of this!

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 8:01 PM

This video shows how innovative people can be due to physical geography. In Northeast India, monsoon season creates raging rivers and floods which destroy the banks and wash away any normal bridges. The people of the Meghalaya province have devised a creative solution which solves both problems. By planting strangling fig plants, the roots reinforce the river banks and are then coaxed across the river creating a living bridge which can last for centuries.

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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 6:35 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 6, 2013 10:27 PM

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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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 12:06 PM
It's nice to see kids in Africa so motivated to become doctors, engineers, etc. The problem is the education they're getting.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 29, 2013 3:54 PM

Apartheid still has an influce in South Africa even after its end in 1994.  Much like after slavery was ended at the end of the US Civil War it was many decades, actually 89 years, in 1954 when it finally deceided in Brown vs. Board of Education that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." History shows that a major change in stauts will not give immediate results.  It is going to take decades to come out of the effects apartheid had on the people of South Africa.  This new generation that is being taught, many times unsuecssfully, will hopefully be the new teachers in a new South Africa.  When they teach another generation, that much more removed from apartheid, is when the real change is going to happen.

Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 9:44 AM

With apartheid having just recently ended in the scope of history, this is not surprising. Tensions will always exist after conflicts, segregation, or wars for many in the generations that experienced it. Time will tell how South Africa handles this situation, but as it is now many of these children's parents were deeply involved or effected by the apartheid system.

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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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Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 8:48 AM

I think if that if you're building a country from scratch, then you're going to have to include the following:

*Political Constitution

*Picking a Name

*An Anthem

*A Capitol

*You have to welcome your people.

*Invite the secretary general

*Honoring the flag.

*Cherishing the past (anything historical or ancient)

*Collection of first taxes.

*Training the police.

*The country would have to refrain from invading its neighbor.

*Governance is key!!!! You need to have a political constitution and come up with ways to enforce the law, also have boarders aroound the country so you can define the territory, have a cultural identity, among common interests and goal, but most importantly have recognition. If nobody recognizes that you're a country then who would take your country serious? it'll be insignificant to the rest of the world.

Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 9:51 AM

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, 7:46 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.

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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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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 29, 2012 9:32 AM

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth.  In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.   

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.

Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2012 6:51 PM
I must admit, I did struggle on whether to post it or not. In the video the use of term 'indigenous people' to refer to the Palestinians bothered me as did a few other references, but I did feel it tried to be accurate even if their political perspective was obvious.
I would most certainly be open to posting something more pro-Israeli since I'm not trying to advocate a particular point or push a perspective, but I did think it was a good, is somewhat flawed resource. It's near impossible to find anything without bias so I decided that sharing some flawed sources is better than not sharing any on a pretty weighty topic.
Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, January 8, 2013 10:16 AM

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth.  In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.   

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.

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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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Izzy Bennett's comment, October 7, 2013 1:19 PM
This is quite interesting but also very sad to see. The amount that the Aral Sea has shrunken in the past decades is shocking.
Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 20, 6:49 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, 6:24 AM

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

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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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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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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 10:27 AM

Dare writes about how the gender imbalance in Russia has created a culture in which patriarchy is the norm and that men have a significant advantage in social relations with women. She also writes that, demographically, China has an opposite gender balance. It would be interesting to see how the gender imbalance in China affects the relations between men and women and if it is inverse with Russia. Also, it would be interesting to look at the relationships of people who live on the border in between Russia and China. Also, how many Russians and Chinese are in relationships?

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:57 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.