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Regional Geogaphy
Curated by Matt Mallinson
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Does democracy stifle economic growth?

TED Talks Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back?

 

This compelling TedTalk explores the links between economic development and governmental style, oversight and influence.  While the speaker mainly discusses politics and economics in the context of China and India, Pakistan, Russia, North and South Korea are all mentioned.      


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 21, 2012 11:11 AM
Democracy can stifle economic growth. War will definitely stifle economic growth. North Korea doesn't look like they're going to stop fighting South Korea, if only they would combine their lands, they would probably be a much better nation as one.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:17 PM

For Americans the idea that democracy can be anything but sunshine and rainbows is a hard pill to swallow. There is evidence that supports the contrary. Although democracy has the moral high ground, authoritative governments can grow at a faster rate because it does not have to address resistance where democracy fosters debate and dissent. In India, millions of people will not agree on everything and therefore progress can be slow going. 

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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.


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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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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Classwork Portfolio | 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.   


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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.
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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


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Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:51 AM

McDonald's going vegetarian, would be a unimaginable concept in the United States. The United States like most western nations, is addicted to meat. The United States prefers hamburgers over salads. Our culture has been raised on that addiction. India is a far more vegetarian society. Twenty to forty two percent of the population of India classifies themselves as vegetarians. While not a majority, they are a sizeable minority within India. McDonalds is adapting its menu to fit with the culture of its consumers. For the Indian business model, this move makes sense. McDonalds presence in India speaks to increased global connectivity. The forces of globalization have brought the world closer together. There are few isolated areas of the world left to ponder. We are now living in an age of connectivity. Almost every major business is now located across the glove. The positive impacts of this trend are that we as westerners are exposed to diverse cultures and influences. The negative impacts are there are few unexplored regions of the world still remaining. The frontiers have all but disappeared.

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South Asian floods take economic toll

Environmental degradation, seasonally high rainfall, a low elevation profile and climate change combine in a very bad way for Bangladesh.  Flooding, given these geographic characteristics, is essentially a regular occurence.   For a more in-depth look at these issues from the same media outlet, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0iZiivYJc&feature=player_embedded#!


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:41 PM
The people that live here understand that they will have flooding every year. They're smart to build elevated roads so they have some way of transportation over flooded areas. It's weird to think that this is a normal thing for them and for us we close everything down and wait in our houses.
Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 12:17 AM
In an area already stricken with poverty, the floods manifest the problems. High rains and low elevations cause massive floods in areas such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Most areas do not receive aid, especially the remote areas of the villages.
Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 4:55 PM

The "socio-economics of flooding" is a side of the natural disaster we don't normally think about. People most affected by floods tend to live in areas with poor infrastructure and large populations. Their displacement to cities, like Dhaka, has incredible cost. For both the family and the new place they relocate to. 

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Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs

Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs | Classwork Portfolio | 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.


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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 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, 2014 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.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:37 PM

After floods devastated Pakistan many of the animals and people had to adapt to some new surroundings. Spiders took to the trees and made webs of massive size. The spiders created a better environment because not only were the spiders eating the mosqitos and the bugs but they were also eating the disease malaria contributing to a more healthy and stable environment.

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The Golden Temple of Amritsar

The Golden Temple of Amritsar | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world.

 

This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent.   While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions.  This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and demystify unfamiliar cultural practices. 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 7, 2012 3:25 PM
I like that the Sikh religion allows people of all religions to visit their holy temple. These people seem like good people.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:18 AM

I was impressed by the fact that the people of the Sikh religion are very accepting of people who remain outside their system of beliefs.  They acknowledge the fact that there are other religions and don't see any reason to treat them with anything but respect.  These people are most definitely good people.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:46 AM

This temple is amazing because it is not only a place of worship but also a huge free eatery. This temple plays a role in the poor relief of the area because all poor people are welcome to come and eat. The fact they welcome those of different faiths as well into this temple of worship is something that is really remarkable because of the fear and distrust many faiths seem to have of one another. If only more places of worship acts as this one.