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This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal

This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The tug-of-war for Ukraine.

Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This infographic gives an idea of why Russia is so invested in Ukraine. The energy infrastructure built during the Soviet era runs almost entirely through Ukraine. A significant amount of gasoline consumed in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, while over 2/3rds of all the gas Russia exports to the EU goes through Ukraine. This puts Ukraine in a position of power, but the country itself is divided between the East and West making siding with the EU or Russia difficult. These are lasting effects of the Soviet era.

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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, December 27, 2013 12:11 PM

O lugar da Ucrânia...

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 12:04 PM

With gas being the key factor to the Russia-Eu tug of war over Ukraine, Russia fights hard to win this battle. Russia needs Ukraine as their own due to all the pipelines that transport the gas to Europe. Who will win this tug-of-war?

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 8:28 AM

Besides the very intense cultural and political split that exists in Ukraine and the conflict as a whole, one of the key factors in this situation is gas.  This infographic shows that both Ukraine and the EU gets their gas from Russia, and Ukraine is the area which the gas lines flow through.  As soon as many people in Ukraine showed interest in joining the EU, Russia reminded Ukrainians and the world of this fact

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Online Quizzes for Regional Geography

Online Quizzes for Regional Geography | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"For Regional Geography, I ask that all my students take an online quizzes before coming to class because it is very difficult to intelligently discuss European issues if you don’t know the countries of Europe, where they are and what other countries are on their borders.  Quizzes and knowing places doesn’t define geography, but if geography were English literature, knowing about places could be described as the alphabet–before you write a sonnet or critique an essay, you better know your ABC’s and basic grammar.  Given that, I like the Lizard Point Geography quizzes, Sheppard Software quizzes and those from Click that ‘Hood; they are simple, straightforward and comprehensive."


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This is where the geography quizes live! Get'chu one!

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AckerbauHalle's curator insight, January 23, 9:44 PM

Kleiner Beitrag zur Geographie: Ein online Spiel um regionale Kenntnisse zu erweitern 

Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, February 2, 3:52 PM

Exámenes en línea para Geografía.

SFDSLibrary's curator insight, May 13, 5:16 AM

Quizzes to test a students knowledge of places and countries.

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Australia Adopts Tough Measures to Curb Asylum Seekers

Australia Adopts Tough Measures to Curb Asylum Seekers | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
A policy to deal with a record number of asylum seekers would deny permission to settle in the country to anyone who arrived by boat without a visa.
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This article is about refugees from dangerous Arab countries like Iran and Afghanistan traveling to Indonesia with intent to seek asylum in Australia. This is an example of migration patterns being connected by culture. The refugees are able to travel to Muslim Indonesia and then attempt a dangerous sea voyage with the help of people smugglers to Australia to seek asylum because of that Islamic connection. Australia is now turning the refugees away to be resettled in Papua New Guinea to discourage the often fatal journey.

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Pink Lakes

Pink Lakes | Geography 200 | 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
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These photos of Lake Hillier and the other pink lakes are very interesting. I had never heard of this particular geological/geographic event and the vivid pink water quite beautifully contrasts with the green forests and blue ocean. It is also surprising that the nature of this particular pink lake is still a mystery, probably because it has not been thoroughly tested. I imagine the reasons for its pink hue are similar to the other pink lakes around the world. It is unfortunate that in one of the photos, a road was built right through one of the pink lakes.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 3:01 PM

This lake is so majestic and beautiful but how does it have this pink color? Well it gets the pink color from the sand it is surrounded by and is one of the largest Middle islands in Australia. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 5:13 PM

This beautiful lake is a phenomenon the reason for its color is still unknown but it makes a very memorable lake!

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 7:44 AM

The cause of the pink lake is still a mystery. Scientists believe the pink could be due to lack of nutrients or other substances. I think this is truly remarkable! Its beautiful to say the least. 

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Disputed Isles

Disputed Isles | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.

 

This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   

 

Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 


Via Seth Dixon
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This map shows a number of disputed islands off the coast of East Asia. These ownership of these islands would allow countries to extend their territory further into the ocean and grant them rights to any resources which may be under the ocean waters nearby. This political issue is one which driven by economics. Though the claims on these islands are not currently worth fighting over, if significant resources are found they could be, and a more powerful nation like China could flex military muscle to solidify their claim and other claimants would have to back down.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 3:20 PM

This interactive map discusses the current disputes between the islands and why the land is being disputed. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 11:40 AM

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

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Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad

Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos.

Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This article is about a railroad that is being built through Laos to connect China to Thailand. China has resource interests throughout South East Asia and trade interests in India and the Middle East. China had an agreement in place which had Laos footing most of the costs for the railway but it would see hardly none of the profits. The economic power of China holds a lot of sway, as there is a political desire within Laos to appease China at the expense of the Laotian people.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 19, 4:12 PM

The Chinese-financed railroad is being built to pass thru Laos into the mega-city of Bangkok. China wants this railroad built to further expand its trading with Southeast Asia. Laos, a very poor and rural country may see small profits from this project. The most powerful country in this area, China, should have no problem building this railroad in its weak and poor neighboring country, Laos.  

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 1:53 PM

This article depicts the major problem between trade route going through Laos. Laos is upset because they have no input in anything even though the railways will intersect through their country by the Chinese and their railways for imports and exports. "China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos". China wants to link to  Bangkok and then on to the Bay of Bengal in Maymar expanding China’s  enormous trade with Southeast Asia. Creating no way for Laos to get out of this deal though there has been some hesitation there will not be any stopping the maintenance of the soon to be power railways suffocating Laos. 

 
Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 11:18 AM

The article discusses how China’s wish to build a rail road through southeast Asia will most likely incur a high cost from the country of Laos that the rail road will go through.  China is anxious to regain its power in the area and its terms for the rail road will leave Laos severely indebted to China to such an extent that many see it as China trying to make Laos a vessel state.

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Highly concentrated population distribution

Highly concentrated population distribution | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Only 2% of Australia's population lives in the yellow area. "


Via Seth Dixon
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While the rainfall map offers a lot of explanation for why Australia's population is concentrated in areas of significant rainfall, it is not a complete picture. There could be a number of other factors contributing to the clustered population of Australia. Northern Australia receives significant rainfall, but is sparsely populated so there must be other reasons. A map with more topography would help as it could show mountainous barriers which would hinder expansion or major rivers on which civilizations thrive. Similarly, a climatic map could reveal areas which are tropical and less conducive to large populations of a more temperate climate.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 3:06 PM

Only 2% of Australia's population lives in the yellow area which is very surprising because who is living in the rest of the area in Australia. What is happening to the natural sources and the resources that help the economy and where do they fit in especially in this map. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 7:02 PM

Coastal living is what Australia's all about. Why go to Australia to live away from the ocean? The major cities are all located on the coasts so thats where people want to be. Thats where every major event is taking place and where they can get all their resources needed to live.

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 28, 4:16 PM

This article shows how population distribution is uneven. 

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China's reliance on coal reduces life expectancy by 5.5 years, says study

China's reliance on coal reduces life expectancy by 5.5 years, says study | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

........"Linking the Chinese pollution data to mortality statistics from 1991 to 2000, the researchers found a sharp difference in mortality rates on either side of the border formed by the Huai River. They also found the variation to be attributable to cardiorespiratory illness, and not to other causes of death."

 

High levels of air pollution in northern China – much of it caused by an over-reliance on burning coal for heat – will cause 500 million people to lose an aggregate 2.5 billion years from their lives, the authors predict in the study, published in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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Nathan Chasse's insight:

This article and the accompanying resources describe the damage the pollution problem China has in its cities. China's economic desire to do things as cheaply as possible for the best profit margins has done significant damage to the air and now to its own people. By burning cheap coal to meet energy needs China has created a fairly toxic atmosphere in its Northern cities. The pollution is causing high rates of cardiorespiratory illness and even the government-controlled news can't keep quiet about the issue.

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Leoncio Lopez-Ocon's curator insight, July 23, 2013 11:34 AM

Estudios sobre los graves efectos de la polución en la salud pública china

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:44 PM

We talked in class about how certain poor working conditions or pollution emissions are permissible in countries whose laws allow for such situations, and how countries like the US arrange for certain work to be done in those countries.  This 'work' stuff all centers around an ever-necessary "profit" that exists as a carrot being dangled in front of a horse as it runs all of its life, blinded to everything else.  It is almost cartoonish, that for a percentage increase in profit due to minimalized expenses, a moral businessman might yield and give in to the temptation of exposing workers to dangerous conditions... or that all businesses might do the same thing... It is socially dangerous; a hazard like bullying, or cheating, using others as human shields to collect the damage while someone else collects the benefits.  I don't think that any life form should be exposed to such unfairness, because it just does not resonate with my philosophical consciousness that any individual should have a better life than another (or worse).  And why make it worse for someone?  Why pollute their areas?  Why steal their natural resources?  Why... Capitalism at all?  I do not think greed is innate to human nature, because selflessness does occur, and is often leaned towards in conventional modern morality/ethics.  I think that the vicious cycle that capitalism puts us in causes us to self-servingly run around like angry rats trying to feed ourselves, which causes us to take out risks on other people, and polluting other people's living space.  It really is sad, because this planet is alive... there is so much life on this planet, assumedly and debateably from this planet, this planet that we consider our home.  To be killing ourselves by not keeping our home clean and healthy is like a very bad habit- it's like smoking.  And it is taking a toll on the planet, as well as its inhabitants

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 2:28 PM

This article explains how China is burning an abundance of coal for heating. The Chinese population is over 1 billion; image the amount of coal that must be burned in order to supply heat for the people of northern China. Unfortunately, the burning coal is polluting the air and causing the Chinese to have lower life expectancies. China, along with other countries should start to find other ways to heat their homes. 

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China’s Embrace of Foreign Cars

China’s Embrace of Foreign Cars | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Multinational corporations are clawing market share from Chinese brands in their home market. In response, China’s automakers are pushing to preserve protectionist policies.
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This article reveals surprising effects of economics and globalization. Chinese auto manufacturers, like most Chinese industries, are not known for their measures of quality. Surprisingly, American brands are becoming more popular in China. As the Chinese economy matures and more citizens have the money to buy cars, they are becoming increasingly interested in brands like Ford because the American car is seen as reliable, safe, affordable, and even trendy. This is an odd reversal as most Americans would apply those labels to Japanese brands or VW. The reversal could be a product of political or cultural stigma related to Japanese brands, but not American brands.

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In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms

In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
In an era when the United States has been focused on new forms of conflict, the dangerous contest suddenly erupting in the East China Sea seems almost like a throwback to the Cold War.

Via Seth Dixon
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This article details a conflict over ownership of a small chain of islands in the East China Sea. Claimed by both Japan and China, there is a South Korean interest as well. The Islands themselves apparently have little value, but extending further into the Pacific is a means of testing the international community for China. The Islands allow those who own them to have a military presence in the area and, potentially for China, keep the American military further from its coast.

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 10:48 AM

None of the other countries that participate in trade in the South China Sea want China to have control over this area. It is obvious that they would not play fair and restrict access to all other countries.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:29 PM

There will always be problems with every country. China needs to focus on their new issues and deal with them properly.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:38 PM

There will always be problems with every country. China needs to focus on their new issues and deal with them properly.

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NYTimes Video: China Halts Shipments of Rare Earths

In September, China stopped shipping rare earths, minerals crucial to military, cell phone and green technologies, to countries around the world. A report from the Bureau for International Reporting.

 

This 2010 video shows how a primary sector economic activity is reshaping global industry.  Green technologies are dependent on these mining resources and China is the world's rare earth 'superpower.'  Many factories have relocated in China in part because of cheap labor, but also to gain access to these rare earths.   


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This New York Times video discusses China limiting rare earths exports. Rare earths are the heavy elements which are important components in many technologies as they are the best permanent magnets. By limiting the exports, or just completely denying a country like Japan, China sees two benefits. The first, the country gets to keep most of its rare earth resources for itself. China is on the verge of needing massive amounts of rare earths for its own people as the standard of living rises. Secondly, China is forcing many industries to open their factories in China if they want access to the rare earths China has a monopoly on, opening them up to Chinese taxes and tariffs.

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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 11, 11:25 AM

There are many reasons why manufacturing has moved to places like China.  One relatively unknown piece of this trend is to gain access to rare earths, a crucial component in most of today's technologies, especially of the growing "green" industry, due to their magnetism.  China, who currently creates 95% of the world's supply, has cornered the market of these raw materials through the cessation of exporting them.  With a quickly growing population, China wants to reserve their supply for their own citizens.  Rare earths' role in the green technological revolution is extremely important and China needs as much as they can get if they plan on going down this road in order to decrease pollution.  Around the globe, mining companies are trying to get up and running so they too can insure a steady supply of rare earths for their citizens.  This shift in where such an important raw material sourced from may change the current state of manufacturing greatly.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 10:57 AM

This video discusses how rare earths are important for a green future. China has halted its shipments of rare earths, which are used in cellphones, laptops and electric cars. China has the largest population in the world and is wise for not exporting an abundance of its rare earths. It is important that the U.S. starts to mine in places such as California for these minerals. Mining may not be good for the environment, but the path to a green future starts in a mine. 

 

Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 17, 10:05 AM

As the video states, China is now realizing its own domestic needs outweighs the desire to export. China needs to go "green" and fast as well as be able to supply its own domestic corporations with the resources they need to supply their own people. An interesting by product of this internalization though, is that it puts its international competitors at a disadvantage. Almost a win-win for them. Japan is a regional competitor and by lowering the amount available to America and Europe, it forces them to speed time and money looking elsewhere. It is both an economic and strategic move, as the civilian needs are important but so are the military needs of rare earths.

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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
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This video shows a complete lack of concern for worker safety in China. The workers use the backhoe as a makeshift platform so one of them can cut the rebar suspending a massive piece of concrete from the side of the building. These kinds of shortcuts are the ways which China is able to keep a competitive edge in the world market. With hardly any regard for fair wages, worker safety, or worker rights, China is able to manufacture goods for prices no one else can compete with. Eventually, China will face opposition from its workforce as its industry matures and the government can either appease them or face revolution.

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:01 PM


This is incredible I am very surprised that none of those workers fell because they are pretty up high from the ground. The person on the digger must be really desperate for money because that is something that many people would not do. It seems that the people of Beijing do not care about their lives. I wonder why none of these people care for there safety. In china it seems that people would do anything for a paycheck. I understand that they have to support their families but there are many different ways to do that. But it is incredible how good the economy is in china but these are the reason why because they do not have these groups that protect the workers like the United States. It is good but at the same time it is risky because your life is at risk.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 2:13 PM

This video is jaw-dropping proof of how China cuts corners in their quest for growing their economy. With such a large population looking for work China does not really need to protect their workers. I wonder if China will experience a labor movement similar to the one in the US that introduced protective legislation.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:47 PM

In Beijing, workers safety is not a top priority. This video may shock viewers to the extreme levels workers will go to for such a small paycheck. This worker, many stories up climbs onto an excavator to be lowered down to a area that could not be reached. It is insane how these unsafe conditions compare to Americas. It makes you wonder how China has such a growing economy and a global leader when when things like this are happening on a day to day basis.

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Inside India’s pop-up city

Inside India’s pop-up city | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Every 12 years, the Kumbh Mela, a centuries-old Hindu pilgrimage, temporarily transforms an empty floodplain in India into one of the biggest cities in the world.

Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This article is about the sacred gathering which occurs every 12 years at the merging point of the sacred Hindu rivers. Millions of people bathe in the waters daily during the Kumbh Mela. This sacred physical geography causes a massive human migration and creates a temporary mega-city. The temporary city is an excellent way to experiment with the planning of mega cities which, as evidenced by the problematic physical and human geography of Mexico City, are often not planned so much as just they just expand to meet the needs of the time. Urban planning should be particularly interesting for the people of India as the rapid population growth will cause significant expansion in its cities.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 4, 2013 6:43 PM

Hindu pilgrims from all over India flock to bathe where it the Yamuna Saraswati Rivers join with the Ganges River for a religious experience.  This is a massive undertaking where the cultural practices create migratory patterns that reshape cities because of a sacred physical geography

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 13, 10:43 AM

Every 12 years Hindus come together for a religious gathering, which results in the creation of a temporary mega city. The millions of people who attend this Hindu pilgrimage create this mega city for 55 days. It is impressive to see a temporary city supply housing, electricity, food and clean drinking water for millions of people. 

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The world’s biggest election starts Monday

The world’s biggest election starts Monday | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
In India, more than 800 million people will vote over a 6-week period.
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This infographic and the associated article give an idea of the scale of India's elections. There are so many people voting, the elections take place on 9 days spread out over a month. The organization of elections on this scale must be incredible.

 

India likely faces a number of problems other than the gigantic scale of the elections. There are issues with illiteracy which must be addressed on its ballots. There are likely logistical issues for voters as well. I imagine many of the more remote rural regions have voters quite a distance away from the nearest polling station and for true democratic process, India should ensure that some of its poorest citizens have an opportunity to cast their vote.

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Ancestral Remedies to the Rescue

Ancestral Remedies to the Rescue | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Ethnobotanists help Micronesian communities preserve medicinal plant knowledge and resources for future generations.
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This post is about preserving the cultural medical traditions of Micronesian islands. The article discusses how globalization, and the introduction of western culture to these islands is causing the centuries old cultural traditions to fade. Principally, the medicinal remedies derived from plants which were discovered over the many centuries by the inhabitants. There is a new effort to consolidate all this information, which was only passed down orally, into manuals so it may be studied scientifically. Many medicines are developed from plants, and the unique ecology of these islands could reveal a number of new medicines.

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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 200 | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 


Via Seth Dixon
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This article is an example of how the geographic isolation of islands provides allows for incredibly unique ecology. Additionally, it is an example of how globalization can have a damaging effect on these small islands. When rats were inadvertently introduced to Lord Howe Island in 1918, they wiped out the giant stick bug native to only that island, but somehow a small colony of the insect were still living on the small remnant of a volcanic island nearby. Rescued from extinction, ecologists must now find a way to reintroduce the insect into the wild, but will be met with resistance, not only from the rats, but from the people living on Lord Howe who understandably do not want a ton of gigantic insects climbing all over their homes.

 

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:56 PM

When reading I found out that they call it "Ball's Pyramid"because that is what is left from the last volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago."British naval officer named Ball was the first European to see it in 1788. It sits off Australia, in the South Pacific. It is extremely narrow, 1,844 feet high, and it sits alone.

What's more, for years this place had a secret. At 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a small, spindly little bush, and under that bush, a few years ago, two climbers, working in the dark, found something totally improbable hiding in the soil below. How it got there, we still don't know."

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 5:33 PM

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 7:35 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.    

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Environment, Energy and Resilience

Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles.

 

Mangroves play a key role of acting as an ecological buffer in coastal region that provide the area with resilience against tsunamis, hurricanes and other forms of coastal flooding.  Their role in carbon sequestration is also vital as energy emissions globally continue to rise.  So let's jump scales: how are global issues locally important?  How is the local deeply global?  How can stakeholders at either scale find common ground with the other?  


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

The NPR report discusses how valuable the mangrove forests of Indonesia are not just locally important, but globally important as well. Locally, they provide protection from flooding and tsunami as well as being incredibly significant in the overall ecology of the area. Globally, the mangroves are incredibly efficient at reducing carbon dioxide compared to most other types of forests. The Indonesian people have an interest in protecting the mangroves for their own local benefits, but there is interest internationally in the mangroves as buying and protecting them allows for a country to earn carbon credits. The dilemma lies in that clearing the mangroves for agriculture is a large economic advantage, but ruins the environmental benefits. A balance needs to be struck with the international community to protect the mangroves for the world while providing significant economic benefits to Indonesia.

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 30, 2013 4:51 PM

It's nice to see that people are trying to save these forests and are experiencing some success. Deforestation has many bad consequences including flooding, an increase in carbon emissions, and a decrease in biodiversity. People everywhere need to learn that even though we can gain some money by using the land for something other than forest, it is more beneficial to leave the forest because it not only saves the environment, forests also directly helps humans because of the health and safety benefits. There are a lot of people around the world trying to save the forests, but sadly it is not an easy task.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 5:34 PM

Indonesia is home to 1/4 of the worlds mangrove trees. These trees are salt tolerant and grow along the coastlines. They provide protection from tidal floods and erosion and provide homes for the islands biodiversity. The most important thing they do however is provide the villagers with wood  to make shrimp ponds and fire wood. They also protect the mangroves ecosystem. These trees are so very important to Indonesia, their economy and their life style. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 9:45 AM

Mangroves are a natural barrier to hurricanes, tsunamis, and the flooding that come with it in a very important way. It's often suggested that there is a battle between opposing sides of the environment and business, but in a situation like this, and in many others, the natural environment exists for a reason and protects the land against severe damage. In this way there's an economic incentive to protect natural environments as well as an ecological one.

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What is a Hotspot?

1) What is a hotspot? A volcanic "hotspot" is an area in the upper mantle from which heat rises in a plume from deep in the Earth. High heat and lower pressure at the base of the mantle facilitates melting of the rock. This melt, called magma, rises through cracks to the surface and forms volcanoes. As the tectonic plate moves over the stationary hot spot, the volcanoes are rafted away and new ones form in their place.


Via Seth Dixon
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This video explains the geology of hotspots which are how many of the islands in the Pacific Ocean are formed. Convection of solid, hot material rises to the tectonic plate where it is trapped, heating the rock above to its melting point. The heat then forces the molten rock to the surface where it cools and creates volcanoes. Over millions of years, the tectonic plate drifts, but the hot spot does not, causing a series of volcanoes on the surface. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by this process, which is why the islands progress from large to small, with the smallest islands being the oldest, in the process of eroding completely away.

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Moisés González Pérez's curator insight, May 29, 2013 12:02 PM

It is a good video which explain how can be formed a group of islands under a hot spot. This example is valid not only for Hawaii but for the Canary Islands.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 2:10 PM

Never really understood how island chains were made until now.  As the plate moves the iland is no longer growing and it begins to erode as a new island is created for the hotspot doesn't move the plate does.  That explains why the island of Hawaii is the largest island in the Hawaiian Island Chain..it is the yourgest island and the one the is currently under the hotspot...until it moves along the plate..which I do not believe will be in anyones life time.  It also helps explain how atolls were formed.  The plate moved so the island was no longer growing and though erosion of hundreds of thousands of years the center of the large island is gone while the ring is being supported by a coral reef.  Great site that really makes it easy to understand.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 3:23 PM

This video entails that mantel and where a hotspot for a volcanic eruption will take place. This video depicts the way at which a hot spot is located and what makes it erupt and cause an eruption in the firt place. It goes step by step ways to see the many different forms of volcanoes and where they start and end up at.

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How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"

 


Via Seth Dixon
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This article explains how coffee helped take Vietnam from a nation with over 60% poverty to below 10%. The economic benefits are significant, but a lot of damage is being done to the environment. Large amounts of forest has been cleared to make room to plant coffee, but the Vietnamese coffee farmers are still figuring out how to properly cultivate the crop introduced by French colonists. The farmers are overusing fertilizer and using too much water, damaging the land. In an example of economic drive influencing demographics, coffee is also causing forced migration of some ethnic minorities to make more room for coffee farms.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 11:09 AM

This article pointed out that while Vietnam does not drink much coffee it has become a large exporter of the bean.  The article also talked about the ramifications of coffee farming on the economy as well as he geography of this country.  I also found it interesting that a country that no one ever trained to grow coffee has reached the heights it has with just farmers figuring out what needed to be done.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 8:05 AM

Coffee is in high demand. When any product is in high demand, countries want to rapidly be able to produce it before other countries. Vietnam has made its way to the top of the list of coffee producing/marketing countries. This has greatly affected the country in political/economic and financial ways.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 12:13 PM

This is a tough predicament, coffee growing is providing a stable income for many Vietnamese but land clearing is ruining the environment. Land mines are still in the soil in many places and could cause severe injury or loss of life. How long before the country cannot produce enough coffee and farmers start to suffer again?

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Teaching about Racism in Japan

Is there racism and discrimination in Japan? I was surprised to find out that almost all of my high school students (about 1000 students) were not aware of t...

Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

The video was made by an American who taught English in Japan. He explains there exists racism and discrimination in Japan. The Japanese tend to consider these as American problems, not ones which exist across the entire globe, including Japan. A sense of national pride and a fairly homogenous population mask any overt sense of discrimination which is why the teacher was targeted by nationalist Japanese who would rather deny the existence of the problems than acknowledge them.

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Nathan Soh's curator insight, July 13, 3:55 AM

I feel that racism and discrimination is a very redundant thing and not many people know about its existence in their own country. Be it against Koreans, or blacks, it is still a problem. It enrages me when i think of being discriminated just because i am different. It just isn't fair. 

huang junyi's curator insight, July 13, 5:19 AM

After watching this video, I realised that many Japanese people were oblivious about their country's racist nature. I think it is because the Japanese government had censored most of racist issues thus,  Compared to the Germans I don’t think the Japanese sense of racial superiority is that specific. There is a sense of Japan’s superiority politically speaking. I think the sense of Japan’s superiority fundamentally comes from the fact that Japan is a unique country because of its emperor system, it’s a divine country, that kind of thing. That is why Japanese dislike foreigners coming to their country as they are afraid that foreigners might ruined their traditional ways and culture. The Japanese people want to preserve their culture very badly. In another words, I dare to say that Japanese people are rigid and narrow-minded, I think ten years down the road if japan is still like that, it's economy will go down hill. 

Emily Lai Yin's curator insight, July 13, 6:57 AM

It first surprised me to know that students in Japan are not aware of racism and discrimination in their own country. but I came to realised that they were most probably influenced by the older generation when they were young. such discrimination to people with different races and origins such as Koreans, Okinawans and burakumins are quite severe and for most students to not realise it must mean that they were mostly likely raised in a way that they were being taught to discriminate people for their origins naturally. this situation certainly needs to be changed as the discrimination will only get from ad to worse as time passes if nothing is done to stop this "natural discrimination".

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Hardy Divers in Korea Strait, ‘Sea Women’ Are Dwindling

Hardy Divers in Korea Strait, ‘Sea Women’ Are Dwindling | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
For ages, the sea women of Jeju, off the southern coast of South Korea, have braved treacherous waters for their harvest.
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This article describes the lives of haenyeo, or "sea women." These sea women, live on a small island called Jeju south of South Korea. On this island developed a tradition of women-led families where the mother was the primary breadwinner through "fishing" by free diving into the ocean to collect abalone, conch, and octopus. Globalization is having an effect on this cultural tradition which goes against the typically patriarchal Korean society. Jeju has become a popular tourist destination in the past few decades, and the daughters of the haenyeo are more interested in getting into the tourist service industry than continuing the practices of their mothers and grandmothers.

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For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price'

For Chinese Women, Marriage Depends On Right 'Bride Price' | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"China's one-child only policy and historic preference for boys has led to a surplus of marriageable Chinese men. Young women are holding out for better apartments, cars and the like from potential spouses...30 to 48 percent of the real estate appreciation in 35 major Chinese cities is directly linked to a man's need to acquire wealth — in the form of property — to attract a wife."

 

Tags: gender, folk culture, China, podcast, culture, population.


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This article shows how the One Child Policy has skewed the gender balance in China. There is a shortage of young women and, in order to attract a wife, young Chinese men feel the need to acquire more wealth to gain a competitive advantage in a China with a surplus of men. This wealth grab is possibly fueling the housing market in China, but Chinese women are not seeing many benefits for themselves. The wealth of their husbands tends to be left in the husband's name, leaving women out of the growing economy of China.

 

There is another potential issue as well. The Chinese men are taking out loans to pay for inflated housing prices. If the housing market crashes, these marriage seeking men are left with significant debt for apartments which were overvalued to begin with.

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 5, 2013 10:15 AM

This article makes an argument for having a girl rather than a boy in China. With all of the males, brides are in high demand. Their demands for gifts are also high, as they can be picky with so many grooms looking for husbands. Parents of boys must pay for the apartment for the couple as a wedding gift and this puts a heavy financial strain on the family, especially when there are multiple boys.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:54 AM

With the new gender imbalance, it is interesting that Chinese families now see boys as the gender that will cost them more money in the long run, it used to be the girl that was a finical burden.  This is a big change in thinking from just a generation ago, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in china over time.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:34 PM

This article is recent too which is scary. Men should be able to pick their own brides and money shouldn't be involved. Women shouldn't have to marry someone for the sake of her family but if thats what she wants to do then fine. Different countries operate different ways and in China, this is how they work.

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Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style

Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
At a new restaurant, expats find a taste of home and locals try foreign treats like fortune cookies.

 

Imagine living in China and missing Chinese food. It happens. American expatriates who grew up with popular takeout dishes like General Tso's chicken can't find it in China because it essentially doesn't exist here. Much of the Chinese food we grew up with isn't really Chinese. It's an American version of Chinese food. Chinese immigrants created it over time, adapting recipes with U.S. ingredients to appeal to American palates.  Now, Americans living in Shanghai can get a fix of their beloved Chinatown cuisine at a new restaurant.


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This NPR article is an excellent example of how migration and globalization affect food culture. The "Chinese Food" we think of in the United States is actually not what people eat in China. The food was modified significantly by Chinese immigrants to be more palatable for Americans and over time it became its own entity. Now, since there are enough Americans living in China, one restaurant owner is importing American-Chinese food back to China. This odd situation has Chinese people trying a foreign version of Chinese food.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:28 PM

This just gives people a bit of the American lifestyle. The Americans think its regular Chinese food, although it clearly isn't. Chinese think its American food but what would you know; its our spin on Chinese food or at least what we thought it was.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 12:17 PM

Not what most people think about in the US when they order Chinese food. I always tell my friends that if actual Chinese people ate American Chinese food everyday they would have all the obesity and heart disease issues that Americans have. The amount of sugar, fats, and cholesterol in American Chinese food is outrageous and definitely not part of a healthy diet. I can see why the Chinese public might be amused but not in love with this food.

http://yzenith.com's curator insight, June 30, 10:39 PM

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NYTimes Video: Transforming Gulou

NYTimes Video: Transforming Gulou | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
A government-initiated redevelopment plan will transform one of the oldest neighborhoods in Beijing into a polished tourist attraction.

 

This 2010 video showcases one of China's urban transformation projects.  Urban revitalization plans are not without critics, especially those who see the cultural transformation of a neighborhood they deem worthy of historical preservation. 


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This video explains how gentrification is alive and well in Beijing. The government has been tearing down old neighborhoods and redeveloping them into expensive touristy areas. The locals obviously hate the redevelopment since it has destroyed old historical parts of the city and forced their relocation. The government redevelopment is understandable because this is prime real estate near downtown Beijing and maximizing the economics of this area makes sense. Gulou is one of these neighborhoods and highly historic. Fortunately, it appears Gulou has been granted a reprieve from remodeling, but the gentrification of high value property in Beijing will likely never be done.

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 27, 2011 7:15 PM
I am not quite sure I believe this transformation in going to be a good decision. Currently there are residents living in poverty with a life lived in public setting. They now are thinking about building "homes for the rich" Well, if there are poor residents living in this area now how will they be able to maintain a lifestyle in these "high-rise buildings"? This transformation seems to be benefiting Beijing for a gain more tourists not bettering the life of those current residents. It is also sacrificing the heritage and taking away its historic value.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 2:48 PM
This is a an example of "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 17, 10:20 AM

Progression or destruction? Out with the old and in with the new or the selling of ones soul? Of course those that are affected or disagree will say one thing and those that wish to develop will say another. While many will see this as a desecration of the past; at some point at a larger scale change must come. It is important to realize that China needs to do something with its people, whom are only multiplying. Much of the old towns and structures are not up to modern day standards of safety. As more people need to support themselves and their dependents, they will need jobs. The main, larger cities, can only support so much. 

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Tea for Two

"We came to Sri Lanka with every intention of filming a video about an organic, fair trade tea farmer. That is exactly what we were planning when we set foot on the small tea farm of Piyasena and his wife Ariyawatha. What we didnt expect was to be so taken with the relationship between the two of them. What started as a farm story quickly turned into a story about love and dedication amongst the Ceylon tea fields."

 


Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This video is about a tea farming couple whose arranged marriage has been very successful. The cultural tradition of arranged marriage may seem oppressive to us, but there are a great number of them where the couple stays happy. In these cultures with arranged marriage, divorce is usually not a realistic option, so these couples are possibly more willing to cooperate to make their marriage work than in the United States, but undoubtedly many remain unhappily married.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 18, 2013 8:08 PM

The beginning of their love story is rooted in cultural traditions that many would find oppressive (arranged marriage), and yet there is much about their sweet relationship that is near-universally admired. 

James Matthews's curator insight, May 21, 2013 8:16 AM

Definitely a case of oppression versus admiration - what a wonderful story.

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Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs

Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Facing religious discrimination in the Hindu-dominated job market, many are forced to assume fake identities.

Via Seth Dixon
Nathan Chasse's insight:

This article is about Muslims in India masquerading as Hindu to get jobs. This is a little surprising considering how tolerant Hinduism is of other religions, but this is not so much a religious issue as much as it is a political issue. There is still a Hindu nationalist sentiment among many Indians dating back to the partition which is a part of why this religious discrimination exists.

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 11:16 AM

It is sad that this kind of discrimination exists in the world. I will never understand how the religion you follow affects how you wash the dishes or cook the food while you are at work.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 5:46 PM

In the marketplace, one of a different religion has to mask her true identity to be able to sell the food there. Not only is this woman facing pure discrimination she is facing it because of what she believes in. Nothing is more horrible than being stripped away from something you believe in. In order for her to sell food in this marketplace, she must do so to survive.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:11 PM

In the marketplace, one of a different religion has to mask her true identity to be able to sell the food there. Not only is this woman facing pure discrimination she is facing it because of what she believes in. Nothing is more horrible than being stripped away from something you believe in. In order for her to sell food in this marketplace, she must do so to survive.

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Mount Everest is overcrowded, polluted and nearing a crossroads, 60 years after first climb

Mount Everest is overcrowded, polluted and nearing a crossroads, 60 years after first climb | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Climbers of the world's tallest mountain report passing mounds of litter on the path and waiting more than two hours in "traffic jams" of inexperienced tourists.
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This article details the effects globalization has had on the world's highest mountain. Mt. Everest has become an improbably tourist destination since it was first scaled sixty years ago. The ease of travel along with other technological advancements and the popularization of the mountain has seen the area become crowded with people. The people are leaving behind trash and deforesting the area to burn the wood for warmth. Worse are the effects global warming is having on the mountain. The glaciers which feed the major rivers of India and Bangladesh are shrinking.

 

Despite the economic benefits of the tourism, the Nepali government plans to limit the amount of tourists who want to ascend the mountain to protect its environment.

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