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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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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:16 PM

This picture alone is worth a thousand words, I mean how bad does the pollution have to be that there are actually stands with what the skyline should look like as opposed to the poluted REAL skyline behind it. This is insane that this is an actual exhibit. Thats like putting a cardboard cut out of the Effile Tower or Big Ben and saying it is the same thing, when next to eachother their is a real clear difference.  It has me thinking is this what we all will have to resort to when pollution and other drastic changes happen, to recreate an image?

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 6:38 PM

This is just wrong in so many ways. Instead of acknowledging that there is a serious problem causing untold health problems for the population of Hong Kong, they just put up a pretty picture to distract everyone. How is that going to help the city?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:29 PM

This is cool. Why not take a fake picture of the beautiful background? Maybe because the background is actually filled with so much smog you can barely see it.

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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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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 4:19 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.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 6:51 PM

Although they are a country that relies on tourism for their economy, they still limit the number of tourists in respect for the Muslim population of the islands. Unfortunately, geology of the islands puts them in danger of rising sea levels without much of a solution for protection.

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

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

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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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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 5:43 PM

This man was originally from California, but was kicked out of America and now lives in Cambodia. “KK” introduces break dancing, rapping and even taught basic computer skills to the at risk children of Cambodia. The children are some of the best break-dancers I have ever seen. A man by the name of "KK" inspired and gave the youth of Cambodia hope. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 11:00 AM

Bringing different cultures into different lifestyles is an important part of cultural history. Every culture is linked in some way to another one. What this break dancer does to help these kids is awesome. As a former Cambodian refugee he had never been to Cambodia but was sent back there. His L.A./past gang influences have helped many kids to stay away from gangs and to take up schooling and break dancing instead.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 2, 3:05 PM

Urban United States culture has been introduced to Cambodia's youth by K.K.  K.K., who lived in California his whole life as the child of Cambodian refugees, was deported to Cambodia, a place he had never even visited before, due to a felony charge.  K.K created an organization which taught Cambodia's youth about HIV protection, computers, and drugs.  He made his organization attractive to Cambodian youth by introducing them break-dancing and rapping.  In the U.S. these activities are often viewed in a negative light, but K.K. used them positively by introducing them to a population with no prior knowledge of them.  He also recreated his own identity by mixing his new, vastly unknown Cambodian experience with his life experiences from the U.S.   He is an example of the many people who struggle with forming a more global identity in our global world.  This organization targets at-risk kids and K.K. is probably trying to direct their lives the way he may wish someone had done for him. 

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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 11:08 PM

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

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 11:23 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, 6:35 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.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:05 PM

This shocking video makes me so glad I live where I live, granted we have blizzards but I would definitely take the snow any day over a tsunami or a hurricane. In this video it was like a bad car accident I waanted to stare at the horrific site oof mother nature taking her course but that was just it it was too scary! Can't believe this is normal for some people in the regions that they choose to live in.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 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, 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.

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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

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

 

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


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Typhoon Haiyan Before & After

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

Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

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

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megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 11:35 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.
Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 19, 10:50 PM

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

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 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.

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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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Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 16, 2013 6:44 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. 

Daishon Redden's curator insight, April 22, 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, 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.”

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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.
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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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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 8:40 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 2:38 PM

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 9:08 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, 3:13 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, 6:15 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, 9:33 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 9:43 AM

Watch this! 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 11:46 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, 7:17 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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Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 7, 2013 10:56 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.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 8:04 PM

This video presentation gives a good description of why islands have a varied and different forms of species on the islands.  The isolation gives them a strong hold in their particular environment but this is a double edged sword because they lack predation or stronger comparators so they become very adapted to their place but cannot compete when a stronger adaptor for generalized environment comes to the island.  Like cats that are brought to the isolated island and then proceed to cause mass extinctions.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 10:03 PM

Just because the world island is in island biogeography doesn't mean it is only to be discussed and looked at on islands. There is great importance of exploring this specific part of geography on land that is not solely surrounded by water.

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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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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2:38 PM

I found this video disturbing.  Maybe because we have train safety taught to us were they stress that you need to stay away from the tracks, here the people are sitting next to a train track and even have goods for sale that the train drives over.  I think it is interesting how they reclaim the space but the mom in me worries about kids getting run over by the train.

David Week's curator insight, August 12, 6:04 PM

I love this video. Never think that the "third world" is not more dynamic and innovative than the first!

Jeffrey Ing's curator insight, August 13, 5:12 AM

people are not giving up with inflated price of urban land. They adapt and live with it :)

 

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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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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:16 PM

This picture alone is worth a thousand words, I mean how bad does the pollution have to be that there are actually stands with what the skyline should look like as opposed to the poluted REAL skyline behind it. This is insane that this is an actual exhibit. Thats like putting a cardboard cut out of the Effile Tower or Big Ben and saying it is the same thing, when next to eachother their is a real clear difference.  It has me thinking is this what we all will have to resort to when pollution and other drastic changes happen, to recreate an image?

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 6:38 PM

This is just wrong in so many ways. Instead of acknowledging that there is a serious problem causing untold health problems for the population of Hong Kong, they just put up a pretty picture to distract everyone. How is that going to help the city?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:29 PM

This is cool. Why not take a fake picture of the beautiful background? Maybe because the background is actually filled with so much smog you can barely see it.

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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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Ryan Randomname's curator insight, January 16, 12:32 PM

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, 4:42 AM

fascinating infographic on world religions.

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 12:06 PM

The immense tree of world religions is presented as a graphic to tell connections of world religions and how far they've broken and changed.

The movement of ideas and people have helped caused these breaks in the religion by bringing ideas to new people, mixing with the present culture, and going further from the hearth of the religion.

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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 9:46 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 12:38 PM

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, 11:01 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 9:35 PM

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


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

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

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

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

 

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


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

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

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 29, 2013 6:54 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, 12:44 PM

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.

Ido Lifshitz's curator insight, April 21, 6:40 PM

most of the whites study in private school which they get there better education , and it's very expensive so only few  of the black get the money to study there, however the blacks have Affirmative Action to get to the university after the school

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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 11:48 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, 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, 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.

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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 12:32 PM

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 9:51 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 1:16 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The United States in Afghanistan

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

 

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


Via Seth Dixon
Maegan Connor's insight:

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

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

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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 1:27 PM

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 3:57 AM

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