Geography 400 RIC
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Geography 400 RIC
Geopolitical and Historical Topics
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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it

I thought this article was great in speaking for the importance of biodiversity, something I touched on previously. Returning to the topic, the preservation of geographically unique plants and animals cannot be understated. Many organisms found nowhere else on Earth have gone extinct through their interaction with man, whether it is the introduction of an invasive species or hunting, we now live in a time of great extinction. The breeding program for the Dryococelus australis has been wildly successful, which supports the idea of rehabilitating other thought to be extinct creatures. The article also raises an interesting idea for the removal of rat populations on Lord Howe Island, after nearly 100 years of invasive activity. The restoration of biologically diverse creatures especially in geographically unique locations must be a topic at the forefront for Australia and Oceania populations.


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 2014 10:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:40 PM

Isolation can lead to some remarkable examples of evolution. This "tree lobster" is an example of that. On an island cut off from many predators and hold little resources, the tree lobster has found a way to survive.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 9:52 PM

A truly remarkable story.  A prehistoric 'stick' insect that lived on an island off the coast of Australia was obliterated by rats that came to the island on English ships.  Everyone thought they were extinct until one day some researchers found 24 of them living on a remote piece of land not too far from the insect's homeland.  This was an uninhabited piece of rock, essentially, with very little to offer any life form but the stick insects found just enough to survive.  How they got here is unknown but after the find and a sleepless zoo worker, this insect is flourishing in captivity.  The move to release them back into the wild is ongoing.

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Gaza Strip conflict

Gaza Strip conflict | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
Tensions rise as Israel continues its airstrikes against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, who continue to fire back with rockets; a bus bomb strikes Tel Aviv.
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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

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

 

The country of Bangladesh supports one of the most rapidly growing megacities, possibly more interesting however is that Dhaka’s population has approximately 1 million people migrating to the city each week. The scale of influx can only be supported for so long; already many new residents live in the slums and do not have access to clean water. In fact the city experiences regular water shortages. A correlation can easily be made between Dhaka’s sprawling informal housing sectors and other highly populated cities in the developing world. I found the contrast of high rise affluent residencies and multi-family slum homes coexisting in the same area similar to Favela in Brazil.


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

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

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

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

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

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

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FARM-Africa Cassava project

A short film showing the work of FARM-Africa's Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund (MATF) in Uganda. The National Farmers Union (NFU) is working with FARM...

 

The Cassava plant appears to be thriving on the marginal lands of Sub-Sahara Africa, and through production, has provided a viable food source for the local famers and those in the developing world. Unlike other carbohydrates the Cassava plant is resilient and cheap enough to sustain the population. Similar to cultivation throughout history the work is labor intensive but interestingly the video depicts woman harvesting and processing the plant. The Cassava plant also has many industrial uses that rivals even the cannabis plant for its numerous uses.


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 2:29 PM
Wow not just the men in the video are working this hard, but women and children as well. It makes you think how much we have as Americans and how much we take everything for granted. These African people are tough, they have to do so much more to survive than we do.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 7, 2012 10:46 AM
This video helps us to see the innovative ways African farmers use Cassava. Cassava is a market crop that many African people are dependent on. They know in order to achieve an income from the crop they need to market it in different varieties, for example- to turn it in to flour. Cassava is labor intensive crop that can take up to a year to be at it's full potential, but the people, women and children included, know that they need to tend to the crop in every stage to insure its success. With the income from the crop, families are able to send their children to school.
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NYT's little problem in big China

NYT's little problem in big China | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
China's internet censorship is symbolic and ineffective, as Google found when it launched in the world's largest market...

 

I found this article particularly interesting for its relation to the discussion in class on the disruption of social media outlets. I believe Chinese censorship and their ability to control telecommunications throughout the region is a kin to the actions taken by governments in MENA last year. While at this time no uprising of equal magnitude is taking place - it remains an interesting discussion in terms of the United States possibly developing a "kill switch" for the internet. Along with the ongoing struggle that is the Arab Spring.

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Horrific Scenes In Syrian Field Hospital (WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE)

Horrific Scenes In Syrian Field Hospital (WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE) | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it

This is an extremely disturbing piece that depicts the horrors taking place in Syria. War is graphic in nature but having the ability to see this footage should put a new perspective on the issues in Syria, and MENA moreover. As stated this is a total war disaster, taking life without regard. World leaders need to take action now - In the wake of the Presidential Debates, I feel as though neither party outlined a specific plan to deal with this very real problem which has already spilled over to surrounding regions.

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Could Asia really go to war over these?

Could Asia really go to war over these? | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
THE countries of Asia do not exactly see the world in a grain of sand, but they have identified grave threats to the national interest in the tiny outcrops and...

 

"One Chinese newspaper has helpfully suggested skipping the pointless diplomacy and moving straight to the main course by serving up Japan with an atom bomb."

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Benjamin DeRita's comment, October 5, 2012 3:24 PM
At first I was drawn to this article because the correlation made to the British Isles discussion we had in class. As in Europe, parties on both sides are seemingly prepared for militaristic interaction in the coming years. However both Japanese and Chinese governments have downplayed theses extreme positions at this time. Of course both Japan and China have historical claims to the uninhabited islands. More important than the territory, it is the climate of international relations between the two major powers that is the cause of concern. Both sides are refusing to back down for fear of “setting a precedent” meaning if a concession is made on either side, the other would take advantage of the rivals weakness and “scheme against it.”
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World Military Spending — Global Issues

World Military Spending — Global Issues | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
US and world military spending and budgets are very high, almost back to Cold War levels.
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The New World

The New World | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
An interactive series of maps show possible new additions to the world’s list of independent nations.

 

This is great way to show examples of devolution and political instability.  Included are 11 potential scenarios where further fragmentation/disintegration might occur or even greater regional integration that would redraw the map.  These case studies include: Somalia, Korea, Azerbaijan, Belgium and the Arabian Gulf Union.

 

Tags: political, devolution, supranationalism, war, autonomy, unit 4 political.


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Benjamin DeRita's comment, September 23, 2012 9:36 PM
Very interesting and informative piece, I found slide (10) especially intriguing with its discussion on the possibility of China claiming parts of Siberia.
Anna Sasaki's curator insight, March 24, 2015 8:53 AM

This article is probably one of my favorites I have read so far. It describes perfectly the political instability still present in the world, and that the globe and its boundaries are constantly changing, never staying put for too long. It surprised me at the new borders which most likely are going to happen, such as the unification of parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, the fact that South Korea is subtly getting ready for the reunification of North and South Korea. Also, there may be devolution in Mali and splintering devolution in the Congo's.

This shows devolution as the power in these nations in which are breaking up, such as Belgium and the Flemish peoples. It shows the centrifugal forces behind the breakup of nations, such as ethnicities which vary, or the centripetal forces which bring nations together such as the combination of South and North Korea. 

Caroline Ivy's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:12 AM

Devolution/Fragmentation

 

This article is about nations that could become potentially independent in the near Future, whether due to chronic ethnic incoherence, redrawn governemnt policies, or a growing stateless nation group. Some examples given are an independent Khurdistan, a larger Azerbaijan, and the split of Belgium. 

 

Centrifugal forces are the root of conflict in many countries. These forces include ethnic variety, lack of common language, political instability. These are what may be causing a split in both Belgium (developed country) and Somalia (developing country). There may also be a unification of countries—the map gives an example of the Saudia Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, and other melding into one Arabian Gulf Union, of China absorbing Siberia. This does not necessarily herald the presence of centripetal forces, as these countries may be the result of military conquest. 

 

 

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Myanmar's Isolation Gives Way To A Flood Of Visitors

The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.

 

Throughout Myanmar, gentrification taking place is quickly transforming the country into a culturally western outpost. The recent election of moderate Aung San Suu Kyi has served to greatly open the region to foreign travelers. After decades of isolation the relatively undiscovered location has seemingly limitless tourism possibilities. As a result investors are rapidly building the service industry in the region. This growth will surely help those in the ethnic population who have struggled before tourism reached Myanmar. Conversely, some worry the addition of the common fast food restaurants and new hotels will replace the rich and cultured history in Burma.


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Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:40 PM

This article touches on something I've always thought about when considering tourism and development. Many of the cities and places I like to visit I go to because of there charm and lack of robust tourism culture. This is a bit of a dual edged sword. Cities and countries stand to gain considerable wealth from the expansion of their tourism industry. But, part of me wonders if something else is also lost. 

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 10, 2013 8:03 PM

Due to rapid pace of political change in the last year tourists and foriegn investors are flooding into Myanmar. The country went through 50 years of brutal military rule and isolation that has left them stuck in time. What has been so heartbreaking for the people of Myanmar has is they same thing that makes it attractive and appealing to tourists and brings them now pouring in. Many of the tourists like it there because it hasnt been "ruined" by corporations and fast food chains yet.  

James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 2014 9:02 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 9 [independent topic 1])

Myanmar (aka Burma) might end up being the next 'hidden gem' that ends up being scratched by over-visitation and over-westernization. However, this is by no means set in stone (no pun intended...).  Just as locals don't want to spread word about their favorite swimming hole, many past visitors and some locals hope that they can maintain that which keeps Myanmar unique. On the other hand, the welcoming of change offers the lure of increased tourism revenue and further globalization to an area recovering from isolationism. In my opinion a balance should be reached, in which local culture is properly maintained while modest introduction of foreign culturals is done in an as-necessary, beneficial-majority-proven basis.

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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.

 

Similarly to much of the developing world, those inhabiting non-traditional housing neighborhoods receive almost no support from their government in dealing with human waste and clean water. In India the problem is even more widespread, those living in rural areas have it worse off it would seem. Rural or outlying areas are being neglected by the Indian government some speculate. Over the past decade the emergence of the middle class and their purchase of more consumer goods has not reflected upon the poor in terms basic services. Shockingly half of the population does not have access to sanitation, while more than half have access to the latest in telecommunications. State organization needs to improve to collect revenue for public services; the fact is millions can afford the purchase of amenities such as refrigeration should translate to backing by the Indian government.

 


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 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.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:18 PM

With the lack of toilets and the uprising in the use of cell phones in India, the sanitation and living standards of the people of the country are lacking which in turn comes to a place of hazard. With more people moving into the country and from other areas it is causing a massive uprise in the use of technology but government funding and jobs do not create enough money to continuously keep up with the upgrades needed in sanitation and public safety.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:27 PM

there is a constantly recurring theme here, mass population growth and the government of said country not being able to grow at the same rate to provide simple services to its people

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God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it

The film "God Grew Tired of Us" tells the story of the thousands of struggling refugees of South Sudan who were displaced by the Civil War. Beginning in 1980s the Muslim north turned on the Christian south which forced many young boys eventually to refugee camps in Kenya. This film is especially interesting because it follows a few men who have been selected to relocate to the United States. The men are exposed to the world outside of the refugee camps in Africa for the first time and their questions and reactions are fascinating for someone who has grown to rely on these amenities. I also found it interesting that after a year in America’s northeast cities the men have noticed people are not friendly, as someone as traveled extensively and raised in the northeast I would definitely agree with their observation, compared to the Midwest and Pacific regions of the United States. More specifically I really appreciated the personal growth that "John" exhibited. John elected to further his education and continue his journey away from the oppression of his youth. This is in comparison to the lost boy who was cited for erratic behavior after going missing. These boys have often seen their entire families murdered and experienced prolonged starvation, the film is a great source to gain a better understanding of the issues across the Sub-Saharan Africa.


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China announces new proposal on Syria

China announces new proposal on Syria | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it

I have been following the crisis in Syria extensively the past few weeks; this is the first detailed plan a foreign entity has had to combat the conflict and killing taking place in Syria. Of course this four point plan could be expound upon I agree, I was encouraged by its preliminary steps. While some of the language is rather vague I believe the work outlined by Lakhdar Brahimi could provide a means to an end for this ongoing struggle. More to come.

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Syria’s war spills into Lebanon

Syria’s war spills into Lebanon | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
Dictator Bashar al-Assad, he told us, still had a chance to outlast the rebellion against him, though “it will take a couple of years and more than 100,000 killed.”

 

This is an interesting article from The Washington Post; it outlines the spread of the Arab Spring with a key quote from Assad seen above. Possibly most important is the Post's statement on the actions of the President of the United States and his administration. I have stated before, world leaders need to step in and take action to counter act the total warfare. The Obama administration continues to take a “soft-line” approach to the issues in Syria, “(Obama administration) is pursuing the shortsighted policy of seeking to restrain anti-Assad forces. That strategy has had no effect in either country other than to empower U.S. enemies and jihadist groups”

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Catherine Shabo's curator insight, March 8, 2013 7:45 PM

With my heritage from the Middle East, specifically Syria, I found this to be a very interesting and sad situation. Many people know of the violence that goes on in the Middle East, but not what causes it or how it affects its neighboring countries, causing the widespread of violence in this part of the world. Lebanon is catching a carry over of rebellion from the Syrian civil war and acts of violece. This is a perfect example of how Geography plays an important role on the act of civilians or the peace in an area.

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Europe's failure to integrate Muslims

Europe's failure to integrate Muslims | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
Laws restricting Islamic symbols in the public sphere are fuelling political distrust and a shared sense of injustice.

 

Primarily I found this to be an interesting and well written article. Europe is facing an evolving issue that has targeted Muslims, just as other ethnic groups have been targeted in the past. Recently passed laws In Europe which restrict the Muslim minority are disproportionately affecting this demographic. Laurence argues this method of ostracizing an ethnic group has failed in the past, his correlation made to “The wind and the Sun” is especially insightful. If restrictions to Muslims are to continue, it is clear a different method is needed.


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Geography Jordan & Danielle's curator insight, February 7, 2014 1:18 PM

Religion: freedom of religion is not a law is some parts of Europe 

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 8:59 PM

The Muslim community was never really accepted in Europe looking back in history. Now more and emigrating and in mass numbers in certain areas.  While the European Union is a stronghold keeping Europe together, the argument can be made that the countries are falling apart in terms of identity, economy and production. A new wave of immigrants will not help increase their national identity and strength.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:58 PM

I feel that the rejection of any attempt to integrate Islam into European society is, at least in part, a reaction to the declining native population of most of the major Western European nations. They are attempting to keep anyone they cant assimilate out, while insuring that any Muslims that they can assimilate are dressing and acting close enough to the existing culture so as to blend into their native population.

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Dwindling biodiversity raises disease risk in humans

Dwindling biodiversity raises disease risk in humans | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it

"the first species to go extinct in an ecosystem tend to be the ones that reduce disease transmission. "The species that persist or even thrive when diversity is lost tend to be the ones that amplify the disease"

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Track The Spread Of AIDS Across The Globe : NPR

Track The Spread Of AIDS Across The Globe : NPR | Geography 400 RIC | Scoop.it
A handful of AIDS cases were first recognized in the U.S. at the beginning of the 1980s. By 1990, there was a pandemic. In 1997, more than 3 million people became newly infected with HIV.
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