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Maldives

Maldives | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

The Maldives is an interesting country located in the Indian Ocean.  It was not originally made up of the 1200 islands that it has now.  Many of those islands are uninhabited and miniscule on a map.  The country is dominated by tourism which is important for the country.  What is also important to the country is its geographical future.  Many of the islands might vanish in years to come because of rising sea levels.  New islands can form as well as so many already have.  The future of this country merely relies on what is happening underwater.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.

Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This is an interesting BBC news source and even though it is from 2008, it is still important to the topic of initiating government policies, especially those that may have a racial component.  Aborigines threatened to shut  down access to the Australian landmark, Uluru (previously named Ayer's Rock by European explorers).  Australian government leaders imposed laws banning alcohol and pornography from Aborigines in hopes to lower the incidents of child abuse.  While child abuse is a more prevalent issue among indigenous groups rather than those who are not Aborigines, I do not think it is fair to impose particular bans against certain groups.  Child abuse is most likely an issue among Australians other than Aborigines, but just because it might be more prevalent among Aborigines, it is not a reason to punish one group of people and not all.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:50 PM

This is a very strange article. After police and troops were sent into more than 70 indigenous communities after a report of wide spread child abuse tribal leaders threatened to ban tourists from being allowed to climb Uluru. TO me this sounds like they are trying to hid what is really going on in their communities. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 5:35 PM

 Australia is one of my most racially discriminated places in the world because of this there are alot of factors that play into these problems. "The so-called "intervention" in the Northern Territory was introduced by former Prime Minster John Howard's conservative government.Chronic disadvantage had led to Aboriginal life expectancy being 17 years below that of other Australians."

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 8:15 PM

This article points out the political and cultural geography of Australia.  The legislation that the indigenous people sees as raciest and painting a picture of them as bad people may lead to their closing off on of Australia’s tourist attractions.

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Australia's tough anti-gang laws target tattooists

Australia's tough anti-gang laws target tattooists | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
In Sydney's trendy eastern suburbs, tattoo parlors are almost as ubiquitous as hairdressers.
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

While looking for interesting news sources relating to Australia, I came across this source that reveals that many tattoo artists are involved gang members.  I find this to be interesting because for some reason I would never associate gang activity with Australia.  Surprisingly to me, there are very tough anti-gang laws that now specfically target tattoo artists.  Some of these gangs are the same as those that exist in the United States, such as the Hells Angels.  How do these gangs spread globally?  This is a rather strange example of globalization.

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Maldives

Maldives | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

The Maldives is an interesting country located in the Indian Ocean.  It was not originally made up of the 1200 islands that it has now.  Many of those islands are uninhabited and miniscule on a map.  The country is dominated by tourism which is important for the country.  What is also important to the country is its geographical future.  Many of the islands might vanish in years to come because of rising sea levels.  New islands can form as well as so many already have.  The future of this country merely relies on what is happening underwater.

more...
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.

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

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

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

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

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Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.

 

This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.

 

"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes.  People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."

 

Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?

 

Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This NPR audio source reveals two totally different lives in Papua New Guinea.  There is one side that caters to tourism by showing the "old" Papua New Guinea.  This village promotes tourism and it has tours that show old, sort of primitive traditions in Papua New Guinea.  It is still important to the natives because it does preserve their past culture.  The villagers feel that the world is becoming so westernized that they cannot go back to the old ways of traditions such as cannibalism, wearing little clothing, etc., but when tourists travel to this village, those are the things they want to see.  The man in the audio source then traveled to another village where he witnessed how people of Papua New Guinea actually live, which is westernized.  I think that both villages are authentic.  One village represents their past culture and traditions and origins which is still important, and the other village represents globalization and the changes that the people of Papua New Guinea adapt to.  Culture can be a commodity because people such as westerners buy into what they think a country's particular culture is, even though that culture existed centuries ago and the culture has drastically changed since.

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Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, December 16, 7:30 PM

The different villages that represent different times in which Papua New Guinea lived in is great for tourism. The one town is like the developed and tourist town where people stay. The other town right next door to the tourist town represents the present day traditional town that tourists expect what Papua New Guinea is like. It’s almost like it is a planned out set up attract tourists to that town to get the full cultural Papua New Guinea experience. 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 17, 1:27 AM

Having two villages in one in Papua New Guinea is an interesting concept.  One village has people living in the present and the other has people living in the past, the village that tourists want to see.  They come to this village and see half naked natives carving canoes, cooking over open fires, and other things that happened in the past.  This is beneficial because they are able to keep the culture alive, the language is able to still be used and traditions are kept from disappearing.  Unfortunately for these people they have seen western more modern life and don't like living in this past for the pleasure of tourists.  First we come in and take away their traditions, clothes and languages and now we come back begging for them to not leave any of it behind, well except the cannibalism. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 7:54 PM

It frustrates me sometimes when Europeans, and Westerners travel to an uncommon land and expect the inhabitant of the land to act in barbaric ways. With the tourist who visit the land of Papua New Guinea, they are often times expecting the natives to act in an uncivilized manner, such as being cannibalistic. Yet, the natives have made great stride to keep up with the ever changing world in which they are a part of. One of the concerns that the elders have with the upcoming generation is how long will it be before their native language vanishes completely. One thing I can appreciate about the native people of this land is their capability to cast tourist from entering or engaging with the natives while they are in their native clothing. 

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Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.

 

The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network.  This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable. 


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

Because of the extreme traffic in Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, people find interesting ways to manage the situation.  There is a law that requires cars traveling into the central business district to have three or more passengers.  The requirement aims to have as many people entering the district as possible but in a lesser amount of vehicles to hopefully reduce traffic.  Interestingly enough, people sort of "hitchhike" and go in people's cars to make the cars able to enter the business district and the people make money doing this although it is illegal.  Many people are finding other ways to manage the traffic situation in this growing city.  Some suggest that the city should invest in a public transportation network that cities such as Bangkok and Singapore have in order to lessen the vehicle traffic.  This video really shows how globalization and urbanization impacts particular cities that are growing larger and larger in population and industry everyday.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 1:12 PM

As urban population growth rises, transportation systems will be put under greater strain. Jakarta's transportation crisis is one of the worst in the world, and people sit in traffic for hours traveling to work or to do errands. Due to incompetencies in the system, people are finding different ways to make travel easier. Motorbike cabs as well as people standing on street corners offering to be passengers in order for cars to travel in the car-pool lanes are two ways people are getting around. These underground transportation services are illegal, but their extent cannot be contained by law enforcement. 

 

Jakarta, as well as many other cities, are continuing to grow due to the global trend of people moving into urban areas. With more people than ever choosing to reside in cities instead of rural areas, new transportation systems will need to be developed in order to accommodate for growth.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:35 PM

The amount of traffic in Jakarta is staggering and the traffic itself has built up a business of making commuting to work easier. What is troubling is that the government hasn't made enough of an effort to fix the problem of traffic in its largest and most economically viable city. If Jakarta wants to keep growing the government has to step in and find a way to make getting to work realistic for Indonesians.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 9:38 PM

The traffic in Jakarta is insane, to be in a constant standstill on your way to work is unreal. The reporter in the video says that if the city of Jakarta continues on its current path, it could be "in a state of Paralysis" which for an entire city is not good. The traffic has, for some, become a way to make money, illegally but money nonetheless.

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BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest

BBC: Development-How bottles bring light to world's poorest | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
A simple initiative in the Philippines is bringing a bit of brightness into the lives of the country's poorest people.

 


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This is another source about the use of recycled soda bottles as light sources in the Philippines.  This idea amazes me because it shows what people are capable of doing to help themselves and others in impoverished places.  It is such a simple yet amazingly important initiative.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 25, 2013 9:20 PM

This clip is brimming with classroom potential.  Development is a key component to this clip, but it could also become a service learning project as students adopt a great project to help others in more difficult financial situations.  Learn more about the project at: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 12:32 PM

The term "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is brought to new light with this video. Increased urbanization in the Philippines is creating a landscape of small, wall-to-wall huts with no windows. The lack of natural light coupled with limited energy resources makes these houses incredibly dark on the inside. One man figured out an ingenious  way to battle this issue while also reusing materials that otherwise would be considered trash. By using plastic soda bottles and a bleach solution, this man has created a type of skylight, providing light to those living in the slums of Philippines. 

 

This project has incredible potential not just in the Philippines, but on a global scale. Self-help housing all over the world could benefit from a light source while decreasing local problems with plastic waste.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 11:31 PM

This is very innovative as people in the Philippines have found a way to light their homes with just a plastic bottle. Using bleach and water and a piece of metal, there is temporary light for many people who would otherwise live in darkness. Starting with just 1 bottle in 1 home, this homemade product's total is now 15,000 units. I was very impressed that something as simple as a bottle filled with water can cost just $1 to make and give off even more light than an average light-bulb. I predict that this mini invention will become even more widespread as more poor countries catch on to this new, resourceful idea. 

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Planting Rice

Thailand...

Feel free to mute the commentary...this video demonstrates the truly 'back-breaking' work that is a part of paddy rice farming. 


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This video shows the amount of work that goes into rice farming in Asian countries.  People of Asian countries heavily rely on rice as a staple in their diets.  These people take part in immense manual labor on small farms and farm rice for their own local consumption.  It is 'back-breaking' work and it shows what many people must do in order to get their food.  It is not as easy as driving down the street to the grocery store, as we take for granted in the United States and other nations.

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James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 2:01 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 4)

I think this goes to show that certain people just don't realize how easy parts of their lives are until they've either experienced or come to understand the lives of others. But then again, that could be a matter of stance. What to many business people, for example, may seem as back-breaking labor might be the polar opposite to outdoor lovers. Though obviously ricing is a labor-intensive task, I'm sure some people would prefer picking the crop to being stuck in an office all day.

    On a slightly different topic, it's extremely ironic how those who make basic life necessities possible (such as rice farmers) are paid (and even valued) so little compared to those in other occupations. Life can exist without luxury cars and fine jewelry, but not without staple foods like rice. In this way, these farmers are who really keep the populations fed.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 4:46 PM

This video truly highlights how some forms of agriculture today are still without mechanization and require incredible labor to harvest. Where we make use of massive machines that render planting and harvesting of crops incredibly easy the farmers of Thailand must rely solely on man power. Rice is already a difficult crop to grow as it must be dry at some points of it's growth and wet at others. This is just something to consider when eating ones rice at dinner. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 10:41 PM

Doing this all day must be exhausting. To imagine women and men who do this for their entire lives makes me respect their dedication and work ethic. It also makes me think of the toll it must take on your body doing that day in and day out.

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Flexible Urban Planning

mixed used train-tracks/market place...

 


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This short video is pretty shocking and quite interesting.  It shows how megacities use every space possible to do business.  This shows the importance of urban planning and using space very efficiently.  The existence of megacities have been and still are on the rise and flexible urban planning must be considered when studying megacities.

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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 :)

 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 10:42 PM

Seeing the vendors prepared for the arrival of the train is impressive. They have grown accustomed to knowing how to avoid the train and then set up shop once again, as if the train never crossed their path. It shows how the residents use their countries entire space, it is using the land to your advantage and may even speak on crowded the city is.

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Over 27 and unmarried? In China, you’re an old maid

Over 27 and unmarried? In China, you’re an old maid | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
January and February are sweet times for most Chinese — they enjoy family reunions during the spring festival, which this year fell on January 23, and they celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is well-liked in China.

 

Gender roles in cultural norms change from country to country.  What also needs to be understood is how the demographic situation of a given country influences these patterns. 


Via Seth Dixon, Meagan Harpin
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This article is interesting as it discusses one example of how gender roles and cultural norms differ from country to country.  Chinese women who are around 30 years old and single are referred to as "leftover girls".  Similar to a growing trend in the United States, Chinese women are focusing on their careers and their own goals and waiting to marry until they find the right person and have their own lives in order.  However, in the United States, this way of life for women is more socially acceptable whereas in China, it is not as acceptable for these "leftover girls".

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 5, 2013 1:32 PM

It is interesting to see this as in American culture, marrying in your 20s is not a necessity anymore, it's almost unexpected. With so many men to choose from, these girls have time to find a man. The culture is going to shift as these ladies get married later in life.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 14, 9:13 PM

Being 27 years old and unmarried in China considers you to be an old maid? I had to do a double take when I saw this. In the United States, 27 years old is around the average age a couple decides to get married. In China, Valentine's day is a really well liked holiday. Therefore, you would think that there would be excessive amounts of marriages, especially around this time. However, we know about the one child policy put into place at China. I can imagine that this might play a role because of the gender imbalances. As horrible as this sounds, in China, they call the women who are thirty and single "leftovers". During the season of the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day, the "leftovers" just get questioned about their relationship status or go to matchmaking parties. However, the "leftovers" are said to have three good things; good career, good education and good looks. This is interesting because if they had all these good qualities, why would they still be single at 30 years old? As the article continues, we talk about true love and believe it or not, some "leftovers" still believe in true love and that they may experience that one day.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, December 15, 4:14 PM

The fact that success relatively young women are seen as leftovers in China is a completely foreign idea to me.  n the United States we are seeing that more and more women are marrying later in life after they have received an education, higher education and have been established in a career.  Emily Liang is an extremely successful women who should be proud of her accomplishments, yet has to declare herself as "divorced" in order for men to think something isn't "wrong" with her.  It is extremely obvious that the role and view of women in China is significantly distorted. 

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India and Pakistan Reunited

"It’s rare that a video from a brand will spark any real emotion--but a new spot from Google India is so powerful, and so honest to the product, that it’s a testament not only to the deft touch of the ad team that put it together, but to the strength of Google’s current offering."--Forbes


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

Even though this video is an advertisement for Google, it is so cool.  The video is an indirect lesson of history.  That is, it teaches the long term effects of the India and Pakistan partition on people of these countries.  The partition sadly separated people who were very close to one another and this video/advertisement shows the effect that the partition had.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2:36 PM

This ad not only demonstrates how Google is allowing for people all over the world to come together, it is also an expertly devised commentary on a real life event that happened in this part of the world, and the emotional implications that it caused. The video shows how the grandchildren of two men were able to utilize Google in order to bring the two friends together after years apart. The two gentlemen were once good friends, but had not seen each other since the Pakistani-Indian conflict. The conflict tore families and friends apart, and remains today as a sensitive topic to those affected by the event. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 7:33 PM

This video is a perfect example of ho, especially in this day and age, the world can be brought closer together. In the video, two childhood friends are reunited after years of being apart, due to the conflicts go on their country. This shows one of the positive of the technology we have access to today, being able to bring together old friends by using new ways is great. This video also goes to show that even though the world is an enormous place, it can be made smaller.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2:38 AM

This video is reminiscent of the families separated during the Korean war recently being allowed to visit one another. While tensions still exist between India and Pakistan many have begun to come to peace with the concept their nations won't be unified under either's rule. Because of this cooling of tensions families and friends are now able to see each other again after years without seeing them. Of course this is a Google commercial so the sincerity is somewhat diminished because of it's origins.

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Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs

Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Documented by an aid worker, millions of spiders took to the trees to spin their webs after heavy floods inundated Pakistan in 2010.

 

Besides being an aesthetic wonder, this image is a great way to start a discussion about so many distinct issues. The floods of 2010 devastated the human population, killing over 2,000. These same floods also altered the ecosystem as spiders have needed to adapt to their new inundated landscape as well. For the human population, this has had the shocking benefit of lowering the incidents of malaria since the spiders have more effectively limited the mosquito population. Interconnections...geographic information are a spider web of interconnections between nature and humanity.


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This National Geographic photo is interesting as it shows spider webs wrapped around trees during the 2010 floods in Pakistan.  While it may seem weird or gross to some, the fact that there were spider webs in the trees is actually very important in a geographical context because spiders eat mosquitos, meaning the incidents of malaria were lowered during this time.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 11:07 AM

As cool as it is creepy. I'm reminded of entire fields of spider webs after similar heavy flooding in Australia. I certainty would get nowhere near those trees if this were to happen locally.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2:29 PM

Intense flooding occurring in December 2010 left 2,000 people dead in Pakistan. The flood waters left both the people, and the insects, with no where to go. Spiders, trying to escape from the flood waters, climbed into trees and bushes in order to avoid drowning. Almost every type of vegetation was covered in webs, making the landscape appear as though it was planed in cotton candy trees. While definitely peculiar, the massive amounts of spider webbing averted a mosquito crisis. While something positive did come from this occurrence, most of the trees were killed since their leaves were smothered by the webbing and unable to collect sunlight. Now the landscape contains little to know shade for the people living their. 

 

When observing geographies, it is important to understand not just the people, but the other organisms that affect a place, and how they too can make an effect. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 8:19 AM

These floods damaged the ecosystems in Pakistan. It also manipulated the natural order of things. With he heavy floods lots of mosquito were attracted by the water and then millions of spiders followed for food. What resulted are these remarkable images. For those who suffer from arachnophobia this may their worst nightmare but it has an odd beauty to it.

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Selective Abortions Blamed For Girl Shortage In India

Selective Abortions Blamed For Girl Shortage In  India | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Much of Indian culture regards boys as assets to families and girls as liabilities.
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This is an NPR article about female feticide.  Female feticide has been a growing trend in India.  Families who are expecting a child undergo ultrasounds to learn the gender of the fetus, and if it is a girl, the mothers abort the fetus.  Families would rather have boys because they are less expensive to care for than girls and because boys are culturally seen as a bigger asset to the Indian family.  Female feticide is a problem in India because it creates a disproportion between girls and  boys.  For every 1,000 boys under age 6, there are only 940 girls, while the worldwide average is 986 girls for every 1,000 boys.  This causes a problem when it comes time for boys to get married because there is a shortage of girls.  Also, if girls are not born, then reproduction will slow down to the point where it could end.

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'Absolute Bedlam' In The Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan

'Absolute Bedlam' In The Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan | Geography 400 | Scoop.it

The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week’s powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn’t getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.

 

"Its absolute bedlam right now," says Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross.  “There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction.”

 

According to the BBC, a huge international relief effort is underway, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm.

 

Tags: physical, environment, water, disasters, Philippines.


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

Even though the death toll resulting from Typhoon Haiyan is around 1,000, it is expected to reach 10,000.  International aid will hopefully help cities such as Tacloban City recover from this storm.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 13, 2013 10:00 PM

Just the remoteness of the area is going to hinder the relief efforts.  Even though the supplies are getting through it is getting through to the areas that need it the most is the problem.  When the infrastructure is not that good to begin with, the damage done by this kind of disaster is multiplied.  Look at New Orleans when Katrina hit.  It still took days for relief and just water to get where it was needed.  Imagine what that would have been like if the infrastructure was like like that of the Philippines.  The country is overwhelmed by this disaster and needs the help.  Its getting it but the problem still exists of how to distrbute it now that it is there.  Makes you wonder if Subic Bay was still open as a US military base if it would have made it easier.  Sometimes having a military base is not a bad thing.

Jack Born's curator insight, November 14, 2013 9:16 PM

This is insane. It has affected millions of people and and even killed people. Its good that so many people are going to help though.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 7:05 PM

With so many of the citizens living on the coast, a large typhoon like this completely destroys most of the country. When this much devastation happens all at one time it takes a very long time to recover.

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Pink Lakes

Pink Lakes | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News (via Exposing the Truth   Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands a...

Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This is such a cool photo and interesting phenomenon.  The photo is of Lake Hillier, a pink-colored lake located on Middle Island, one of 105 islands that make up an archipelago off the coast of Western Australia.  There are many scientific speculations as to why the lake is pink.  I find it to be very interesting and wonder more about the lake, such as if it effects the marine life in the lake and if its color effects the ability or inability to use the water as a natural resource.

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Jennifer Brown's curator insight, December 10, 6:37 PM

Lake Hillier seems like one of those bucket list must see types of places. I would however not swim in it since no one know what the cause is. Its a horror movie waiting to happen!

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 11:44 PM

The pink lake, Lake Hillier,  located in Western Australia is stunning. The aerial view of the lake makes the lake seem unreal that is was is fascinating. What gives the lake its pink color is a mystery, but it may be from bacteria, but it shows how some places in the world are affected differently than others and it produces remarkable results.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 17, 1:48 AM

Now this is bizarre.  A pink lake and no one is really sure as to why it is pink.  It is not on the top of my list of places to go swimming, that is for sure.  Although scientists don't seem too concerned about the safety of the lake for people but are curious as to what is causing the lake to be pink.  Thoughts on algea and bacteria levels or the amount of salt are included in the potential reasoning for the pink color.  Even on google earth you can see that the lake is in fact pink.  Even when scientists come to a conclusion as to what is causing the pink colored lake, as far as it isn't causing any environmental issues, I think that the lake should be left pink as a type of wonder of the world attraction for people to see.

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Bye-bye Bora Bora -- 15 other islands in French Polynesia

Bye-bye Bora Bora -- 15 other islands in French Polynesia | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
From Fakarava to Rangiroa, French Polynesia's "other" islands are great fun to say, even better to visit.
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This CNN link explores Polynesian islands that many people have never even heard of.  Many choose the popular, well-known Polynesian islands, such as Bora Bora, as vacationing destinations, but there are many "other" islands that might be even better destination spots that so many do not know about.  I wonder what makes a particular island more well known than another.  How do people choose which island to vacation on?  Is the popularity of Bora Bora over other "better" Polynesian islands a coincidence or is that done on purpose?

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The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
The story behind the the International Date Line.

 

Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This is an interesting article.  I knew of the International Date Line, but I did not know anything about it or what it meant.  It is a line that is roughly opposite the Prime Meridian that when crossed, the day advances forward, from Monday to Tuesday for example.  The line is interesting because it is meant to not stir any problems.  It goes through Siberia and the North Pacific Ocean since virtually no one lives in those areas.  Even though less people live in the Pacific and South Pacific Islands than say, Europe and Africa or North and South America, people still do live here and they are negatively affected by the date line.  American Samoa and Samoa, two islands made up of the same ethnic groups, are separated by the date line.  Being separated by time zones affecting people by a few hours seems bad enough, but being separated by an entire day just does not work for many people.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 5:57 PM

This article covers an example of a border being drawn for seemingly little reason. This International Date Line is drawn without a straight path swerving around nations. This has lead to some people living with in these bulges to in turn lose time itself. These arbitrary lines can have unseen effects upon people and nations. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 8:22 PM

I'm a bit confused at this article. Are the people who lost their birthdays a cause of a new border creation or a time zone?

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 10:18 PM

Makes you think about the political and economic influences on just about anything. What time or day it is is an important element to a global economy. Know when business deals can be made in an instance knowing what standards are most efficient can alter systems of dating. That is why instead of having a straight line the line is jutting out in spots. Usually we think of our time zones being dependent on where the sun in relation to our location but in this instance we see that it is merely a man made line that can be altered. 

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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."

 

This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.  Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.     


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This video is a trailer for a television show called Meet the Natives, which not surprisingly did not have many episodes.  The show featured five men from a Pacific island and their visit to the United States where they experienced American culture for the first time.  It is evident in just the trailer that the show reinforced many stereotypes of Pacific islanders and Americans that are obviously not necessarily true.  The video shows Pacific islanders living very primitively which is not at all the case.  It is important to view these stereotypes with a critical eye so that we do not simply believe everything we see and think everything we see is the truth.

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Jennifer Lopez's curator insight, December 15, 11:26 PM

This is great I also viewed a little of the other videosprovided. I believe this can be a mix of pop culture and Folk cultur mix together if that makes any sense. For example this is coming from a point of view of Folk people that live in rural areas. We as people living in the USA see different vidos of citizens going to these areas and experiencing  a once in a  life time momment. But its amazing to see how they view our Urban area our pop culture gives you a different prospective in your life, a snse to look at things a bit different for once.  

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 4:24 PM

The beauty of this video is not that it shows a group of people coming from a remote area but instead provides a outside view of western culture. These men come from a life so different culturally and materially form our own that their unbiased view is fascinating to see. This mixing of cultures is almost a kin to when young Amish leave their communities to see the world and then decided to remain or return to their homes. While the show may focus on the differences between those in the USA and those living in their village I'm sure many innate human qualities remain the same between both groups. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 7:36 PM

I always find it amazing when people who are from different parts of the world visit America for the first time and experience the things that people here experience on a day to day basis. With their visit here, their misconception about seeing America as the land flowing with milk and honey is usually thrown out the window one they start facing hardship and difficulty. With these video these people from Australia, get a first site of how New Yorkers live their life. One thing that struct me was how they regarded poverty and homelessness here. As the world's most powerful country, USA has yet to combat and overcome its poverty issue. Those who were visiting, regarded homelessness as people who are unloved. Its sad because as a community, we are responsible for those who are less fortune, yet people in our very backyard are dying of hunger on a day to day basis. 

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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
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
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

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.

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James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 8:34 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 7)

A gang member who gets deported and ends up being a positive role model for kids? I didn't see that coming!

This video is similar to the Scoop of the introduction of skateboarding to the Afghanistan. Both offer something foreign as a tool for both betterment and enjoyment, and this seems to be exactly what kids in these regions need. Though perhaps on a micro-scale, this can be argued as an example of globalization. And in this case, it seems pretty obvious that its impacts are for the better.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 4:10 PM

In Cambodia, this previous gang member has found a way of taking kids off the street and teaching them how to break dance. This is interesting because it is a cultural solution to crime. This man was deported to Cambodia and with him brought break dancing. In doing so this cultural mixing is used as a way to teach at risk youth a hobby that keeps them away from crime and drugs.

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

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

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Video: Fighting Poverty with Ingenuity

I absolutely love creative, out-of-the-box, innovative people! People who use their creativity to make a difference in the World.... Incredible! "We want to ...

 


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This video is truly amazing and so interesting.  I wonder how people come up with the idea to put the water and bleach in a soda bottle to create light in very dark homes.  Just getting people in the United States to properly recycle their soda bottles is difficult enough, nevermind getting people to think outside of the box and create new innovations that save money and really work.  The man who created these light sources is seen as a true hero in this area because he has helped so many.  This video is incredible and is really telling of what people are able to do to help others if they just put in the time.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 9:29 PM

It is people like the man in this video that help many people and their families fight off poverty , if even by a little. He says that his electric bill has gone down significantly since he installed the water bottle bulb. While we think nothing of the empty soda bottles we throw away, we never realize that it could brighten up a families house and allow them to save  some money to perhaps buy themselves or their children clothes or shoes, or more importantly food to eat. This is a truly genius way of help out your community and give the world ideas on how to reduce using large amount of electricity.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 4:31 PM

This another fantastic example of people in areas of little and poverty making due with that they have on hand. While many in America can imagine life without our modern necessities in fact both historically and contemporary people have always determined ways to get the fullest extent out of the materials at hand. This video shows how innovation and some common good is able to help the whole community. We in the Western World can definitely learn a few things from situations such as this.   

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 17, 10:49 PM

Poverty stricken areas are filled with very intelligent and skilled people who are trapped in their economic status. These solar bottles show how creative people can be no matter where they come from. Furthermore, these types of innovations show how the sadness of living in poverty can be lifted a small amount with recycling and creativity.

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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This video is so shocking.  It shows the disregard for worker safety in China.  Chinese companies cut corners and do not spend money on things such as wages and worker safety policies and organizations.  Yes, this might boost the Chinese economy and allow China to save money and produce as much as possible for cheap, but this is not okay for workers.  Imagine if OSHA saw this video.

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James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 9:11 PM

(East Asia topic 6)
This video signifies two distinct characteristics of labor in China. First and most obviously is the disregard of safety. One could argue in the past that risks such as these were accepted by workers since China was a largely less-developed country with fewer employment opportunities; however, being a recent video and China  currently making exponential economic and developmental ground, this is definitely one of those 'things which shouldn't be happening'. With all of the nation's so-called "improvements," why are none discernible  here?

  Secondly, traits such as subservient respect are valued more in nations such as China. It is possible that if these workers hadn't have taken the risk and not completed the job, they would've been fired and had a somewhat 'tainted' reputation for not following their orders to demolish the building.

  Though it seems that all industrializing nations have gone through issues of workers' safety and reasonable expectations, China should use it's late-coming as a plus by learning from others which have gone before it, and avoiding the personal, legal, and even some social issues which have been faced before.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 1:52 PM

China's ability to sweep unjust working conditions under the rug has allowed it to grow economically at an impressive rate. Although I disagree with unsafe working conditions it is important to note the hypocrisy that developed countries display when advocating fro workers rights. In the US for example, our economic growth was contingent on slavery, child labor, and immigrant exploitation. Unfortunately if any developing country wants to compete with countries that are at the top of the global economic hegemony, they must cut the same corners those countries cut centuries ago. What needs to be done is find a way to show developing countries that growth is possible without abusing workers. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.

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China to ease one-child policy, abolish labor camps, report says

China to ease one-child policy, abolish labor camps, report says | Geography 400 | Scoop.it
China announces it will relax its one-child policy and abolish labor camps, the state-run Xinhua news agency reports.

Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

For people with absolutely no education on China or Chinese history, they most likely have at least heard of the One Child Policy.  Even if they do not know the policy's details or its many exceptions, they do know that the policy exists in China.  This article is interesting in that it describes more changes that are being made to the policy to hopefully promote human rights in China.  Even though the One Child Policy lowered China's population, many Chinese believe that the policy hurts their families because it creates loneliness and it leads to abortions and heavy fines for having a second child.  Now, if one parent was an only child, that family may have a second child to ease loneliness.  There are many other exceptions to the policy, but hopefully new changes promote human rights and allow families to live better.

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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:26 AM

Throughout many years China has always had strict laws on how many children families should have. They recently started to ease their laws to allow people to have more than one child. I could see why they had their laws be only one child because they have such a big population. I also disagree with it because families should be able to have as many children as they want. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 5:09 PM

The one-child policy has caused more problems than it has solved. China now has a larger male population than its female population and competition for brides is rampant. The labor camps were not actually training people in the way they wanted to, it was just an excuse to lock up people for petty crime and get free labor out of them. Hopefully, China will continue analyzing their social policies and making changes to better the country

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:32 PM

The one-child labor law is one that should be extinct now. China needs to up their standards of living and allow people their freedom of choice. Who cares if the living situations are crammed to begin with? People need to have their right to choose how many children they do or don't have.

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Once a Producer, China is now a Consumer

China is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies. Chinese consumers bought 18.5 million vehicles last year, and foreigners, especially Americans, have played a key role in developing the industry.

 

China now is the world's largest auto market as China is no longer simply a place where things are produced.  China has become a major consumer of goods as their workers wages allow them to consume more goods. 

 


Via Seth Dixon, Meagan Harpin
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This is an interesting headline and topic because so many Americans blame China for job loss, when in reality, China is no longer at the forefront of manufacturing and industry.  China is consuming from foreign markets, such as the United States, just as it has been producing and manufacturing goods.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 1:00 PM

China has become the worlds largest car market and General motors planned to open another 600 dealerships because it sells more cars in China then it does in the US. China have even become a bigger consumer in of goods, when this atricle was released they were purchasing 18.5 million worth of goods. That has alot to do with the increased pay they are now recieving as well.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2:07 PM

The car culture in the United States has made us a very lucrative customer for foreign auto industries. Our infrastructure is build around the automobile, we built our highway system, suburban communities and other support systems to encourage auto use. In China, they may need to consider the way their countries is structured and whether or not heavy automobile use will be functional. In Jakarta we see massive traffic jams because they are not equipped to handle more people driving to work.

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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
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This video is incredibly interesting in that it describes just what it means to be the fastest growing megacity in the world.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh from smaller towns outside the capital city.  The current population of Dhaka is 15 million but people are migrating to the city so quickly that it does not take very long for the census data to become outdated.  People are moving to Dhaka with hopes of a better life for themselves and their families.  Their situation upon moving goes from worst to bad.  People move out of slums and squatter settlements in their hometowns into other slums and squatter settlements in Dhaka, but they still believe they are beginning a better life.  There are many interesting aspects of this video.  For one, there is a girl who is happy because she works in a fabric factory and she might receive a $4/month increase in pay.  To us in the United States, this is nothing, but to her, it is a huge help to her and her family.  Also, there is a girl who could rarely afford fish or meats but she can now buy one good piece of meat each week because she can afford it in Dhaka.  While there are many glimpses of hope and opportunities to live better lives in Dhaka as seen in this video, there are many geographical implications for Dhaka as it becomes larger and larger each day.  The government is very informal and people who move to Dhaka do not have any land to build homes on, so they build illegally on someone else's land.  Also, traffic on Dhaka's streets is, for lack of a better term, insane.  The city just cannot handle all of the migration from elsewhere.  Resources such as clean water and food are very slim.  Even though Dhaka might suffer as a city due to its rapid growth and inability to support everyone, newcomers still choose Dhaka as the gateway to a better life.

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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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How did Pakistan get it's name?

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

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

It is interesting to learn how particular countries got their names.  Pakistan was a British colony until 1947 and it was given the name Pakistan as an acronym for the 8 homelands in the country.  Pakistan is so ethnically divided that religion is really important for the country to stay together.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:27 PM

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.

James Hobson's curator insight, November 11, 12:55 PM

(South Asia topic 5)

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

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

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

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

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

The results of India's once-in-a-decade census reveal a country of 1.2 billion people where millions have access to the latest technology, but millions more lack sanitation and drinking water.

 

More Indians are entering the middle class as personal wealth is transforming South Asia's economy in the private sector.  Yet the government's ability to provide public services to match that growth still lags behind.  Why would it be that it is easier to get a cell phone than a toilet in India?  What will that mean for development?  


Via Seth Dixon
Rebecca Farrea's insight:

This article explains that while more than half of the Indian population has access to technology such as cell phones, televisions, and DVD players, less than half has a toilet in their home.  I could not wrap my head around that statement when I first heard it in class, but after reading the article on my own, it is a little bit clearer.  Individuals in India are able to support themselves economically as the middle class is growing, which is a positive statement, but the Indian government cannot keep up with the growth.  Therefore, an individual may have a cell phone, but no toilet because the government cannot supply enough clean water for the people.  It seems like the individual is stronger and more sufficient than the government.  What might this mean for the future of the Indian government?

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Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 10:10 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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