As Americans celebrate the Fourth of July each year with cookouts, concerts, and fireworks, it is almost easy to forget the holiday’s connection with the nation’s independence and the struggles to achieve it.
For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study.
Interestingly, this is not due to the rise of a new religious group, but the rise of secularism in the United States. The fastest growing group in the United States is the religiously unaffliliated. Click here for a simplified AP news story on the report.
Questions to ponder: What are some causal factors that might explain why there is an increase in the non-religious population in the United States today? How does this impact American culture and politics?
Our modern society depends on greater connectivity between places. Regionalized economies, politics and transportation networks are increasingly integrated with far-flung places now more than ever before. Our biosphere and natural environments are exceptions to this pattern. Wilderness areas are 'islands' in an ocean of human controlled environments. We create transportation linkages that unite people economies and cities, but separate herds from there extended habitat.
We've all seen road kill on major highways. Species like deer, elk, and grizzly bears and other large-bodied animals need a wide range for numerous ecological reasons. These bridges are an attempt to ameliorate some of the problems that our roads pose for the non-human species that still call Earth home. From a purely economic standpoint, many argue that these bridges save society money given the accidents and property damage that can be avoided.
Tags: biogeography, transportation, environment, land use, sustainability, environment adapt.
Heavily armed platoons of rangers at Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo wage war against elephant poachers. This is important because soon enough there will be no elephants left, also this is significant because the Ugandan army has been linked to the poaching. It is related to geography in the aspect that it is an international issue with the ivory recovered from the slain elephants being distributed internationally.
The green dots on this map representing Starbucks locations which are obviously clustered in major metropolitan centers. Cross-referencing this Starbucks address location with population data, Davenport explains his mapping technique: "By counting the number of people who live within a given distance to each Starbucks, we can measure how well centered Frappuccinos are to the US citizenry. In other words: draw a 1-mile circle around every store, then add up the % of the population living within the circles. Repeat for 2, 3, 4....100 miles." The result of this data is a fabulous logrithmic S-curve which explains much about the American population distribution.
The Gangnam Style! sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original. This first video is the original, which in a few short months received well ove...
The following link has the video, parodies and infographics to help student explore the meaning behind the cultural phenomenon.
Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon? What cultural combinations are seen in this? How has the technological innovations changed how cultures interact, spread and are replicated?
Tags: popular culture, video, diffusion, globalization, culture, place, technology, unit 3 culture.
Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.
Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it. Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms. Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting. The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues. The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive.
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