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A Keyhole into Burma

A Keyhole into Burma | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
On my last afternoon in Bagan, I went in search of a meal that would serve as both lunch and dinner, before boarding my flight...

 

As a notoriously closed society, glimpses into Burma become all the more important as Burma shows signs of (possibly) opening up politically for the first time in decades.


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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 12:23 PM

Yet another collection of pictures I'm scooping, but this time there's over 100 of them! Getting a western view into the insulated society of Burma is a rare opportunity, this shows some interesting pastimes such as Water buffalo surfing, but also things of major cultural significance, such as the importance of Buddhism.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 4:41 PM

This article depicts the differences and the little things that we in the USA take for granted for instance in this case it is a cd that is known as the "Western" type of misc and mass media culture that has been transported in this Burmese society.  It truly is the little things such as the Robbie Williams CD that is being depicted as not only the Western musical society but also being grouped with Bob Marley songs that would depict from the Burmese translation the Western society. And even though the people in this society don't know what the lyrics mean they can still be moved by the melody.  

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 10:51 PM

I found the fact that the government of Burma banned certain music, it seems like an odd thing to refuse the people of the country, but we forget that it is the small things that we take for granted in the US, that are seen as luxuries in other parts of the world and that is an interesting idea to wrap your mind around.

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God Grew Tired of Us

God Grew Tired of Us | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

The story of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan is a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of youth caught in cultural and geopolitical conflicts and fored to leave their homes. The film God Grew Tired of Us " tells a moving story of young people overcoming incredible challenges and struggling to improve their own lives and those of family and friends left behind."  Linked here is a lsson plan from National Geographic "to teach students about concepts of migration, cultural mosaics, sense of place, and forces of cooperation and conflict among communities" using this 90 minute documentary.  The film can be viewed online on HULU as well as other media outlets.  

 

Tags: culture, Africa, political, conflict, war, migration, development, APHG. 


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Ghosts Of Rwanda

This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death.  To learn more about the documentary, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/


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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 31, 2012 12:30 PM
In this situation I look at America and I can't help but ask "Why didn't you help?" These people were getting killed for no good reason, and we as a nation knew this and did nothing. I'm ashamed that we didn't aid them, my heart goes out for the Rwandan people.
Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:08 PM

while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle.  The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area.  It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem. 

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The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:10 AM

A great and entertaining way to explain this part of Europe.  I know I have in the past used the terms England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom to all refer to the same thing. It was also amazing to see that people are the same everywhere in that the people in Wales do not consider themselves British, much the same way the people in Sicily consider themselves Sicilain and not Italian. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:09 PM

As an outsider looking in the concept of the United Kingdom is a little confusing. We are taught to view Scotland as its own country, but they are countries within a larger structure. This video makes what would confuse many Americans and condenses it into a clear video that is just about 5 mins.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:38 PM

Many people often interchange the UK, Great Britain, and England, but in reality, they all describe different different things. The UK is a country of four countries, each with equal power, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales but they are all considered British citizens.UK is a political term, describing a country. Great Britain is a physical geographical term describing the land mass containing Scotland, Wales, and England.  The British Isles refers to both Great Britain and the Island of Ireland. All of these terms describe different things, being characterized by either political affiliation or geographic characteristics. 

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Zetas Mexico's 'biggest cartel'

Zetas Mexico's 'biggest cartel' | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The Zetas are now the largest cartel in Mexico, overtaking their bitter rival, the Sinaloa cartel, a report by US security firm Stratfor suggests. 

 

When the Sinaloa cartel was the 'big dog,' they had a tacit understanding with the government and the government would target other drug syndicates and basically leave the important members of 'La Federacion' alone.  The Sinaloans operate primarily through bribery and corruption while the Zetas specialize in horrific brutality.  Now that the Zetas have muscled their way into more turf and more influential networks, how will that reshape the geopolitical paradigm?  What with the effect be for Mexican citizens and for those on both sides of the border?   This is not a good turn of events.


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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 12:21 PM

(Mexico topic 5)

It seems to me that as Mexico's economy evolves, so do its drug cartels. Just as businesses expand and take monopoly over smaller ones, it looks like the same process is occurring with cartels. My educated guess would be that this is not just a coincidence, but rather the two are strongly correlated and interconnected. Though I  am not an expect on the topic and there is surely much to be researched, I believe that advances in infrastructure such as the Internet, telecom, and freeways (to name just a few) benefit both the legal economy and illegal cartels by being utilized and exploited in the same manner.

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, October 16, 2014 9:01 PM

This is an interesting piece. My question is :since it was written over 2 years ago have things made a turn for the better? Has violence decreased ?Has there been a decrease in the amount of drugs being smuggled? This article talks about the decrease in the US ,what about  Europe or Australia?  Is the government doing everything it can? So many questions I feel this article left me with more uncertainty then information.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 7:16 PM

I've often wondered why the government can't get things under control in Mexico.  These cartels are awful!  Mexico will never get better till the Zetas are put out of operation.  Its also come down to supply and demand.  Until we stop demanding drugs then I guess they will keep supplying them to the US.  Legalizing pot has to put some sort of crimp into the supply/demand of it in the US.  I wonder what the dollar amount is?  The news out of Mexico about the brutality of the cartels scares me into not visiting Mexico.  It has to have some impact on tourism.  

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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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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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James Hobson's curator insight, November 11, 2014 12:55 PM

(South Asia topic 5)

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

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

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:28 AM

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

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 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."

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Despite Restrictions, Gaza Finds A Way To Build

The Palestinian territory is in the midst of a construction boom, more than three years after a major Israeli assault that left much of the territory in ruins.

 

There has been a formal ban on building materials entering Gaza since 2007 (when Hamas took over the territory) since the Israeli government fears they could be weaponized or aid the military efforts.  Still, if the demand is high enough, some of the supply will still enter as we goods entering Gaza through smuggling tunnels from the Egyptian city of Rafah. 


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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 22, 2012 12:22 PM
I understand the Israeli government fears Gaza could be weaponized or aid military efforts, but these people need to rebuild after the major assault that left it in ruins. If there's been a ban for 5 years though, I doubt much will change.
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:49 PM

I find it frustrating that there is a ban on rebuilding materials after Israel bombs and destroys the homes and communities of Palestinians. Although their fears may be justified it is no excuse to tell people they can not have access to materials they need to rebuild their homes. This construction boom is a credit to the perseverance of the people in Palestine who just want to be able to rebuild.

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In Honduras, Police Accused Of Corruption, Killings

The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, February 4, 2014 6:31 PM

Although this is dated approximately two years ago, the issue is still relevant. Honduras is geographically located in the middle of heavy drug trafficking routes. A poor economy and a history of political corruption, as well as a history of United States involvement in paramilitary training and aid has created a country that is not set up for stability. The issues in Honduras are very similar to the issues of many third world nations that deal heavily with drug trafficking and political corruption. Those in power, receiving aid from the U.S. use those assets against their political foes while the common people find themselves turning to illegal means to make a living. The police, being corrupt themselves since corruption is a trickle down disease, probably have a number of officers working for various gangs, cartels, and other nefarious groups. Because they can hide behind the authority of the “law,” they are able to use their force to further the agendas for whoever is putting money in their pocket. Whether it be for greed or unfortunate economic necessity, or out of fear of reprisal for not conforming it is the locals who suffer from the overwhelming police presence. These are issues that are found across the globe in countries and regions that have unstable politics that are fueled by conflict, whether it be resources, illicit substances, or other illegal trade.As the police pressure continues to mount, it is only a matter of time before serious reform takes place or violent revolution transforms the political landscape.

Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:36 PM

Honduras' role in the drug trafficking industry has increased immensely which does not mix well with their already corrupt government and police force.  However, a history of U.S. aid and security "support" is what rooted this country in violence.  Honduras' situation is spiraling out of control because the drug trafficking industry has taken advantage of its already weak state.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 10:55 PM

In the news we sometimes hear about violence taking place at the border of the US and Mexico, but you never hear of the violence in Honduras. With a mix of drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and history has led to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico., which is pretty hard to think of since there Mexico already has a high muder right. The situation has gotten so bad that the Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers.

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The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine

The Archipelago of Eastern Palestine | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

The shape of a state can greatly impact the political cohesion of a country as well as it's economic viability.  While this is obviously a fictitious map, it draws our attention to the logistic difficulties that confront Palestine with the Israelis controlling crucial transportation access points and corridors.   

 

Questions to Ponder:  How is the a 'persuasive map?' What are some of the geographic impacts of this fragmentation on Palestine? For Israel?

 

Tags: cartography, MiddleEast, political, states, territoriality, unit 4 political.


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Melissa Burr's comment, October 10, 2012 10:13 AM
This map is persuasive because it does not show the usual Palestine. This map is fragmented and the geographic impacts it shows are the routes taken in at leisure for maritime activity and also shows the urban and popluated areas in the past and how how the sraelites impact those areas.
Matthew Jones's comment, October 10, 2012 10:16 AM
The reason this is a persuasive map in my opinion is that this map does a very good job of allowing the reader to understand the focus in which it intends to present. information key which it offers is crucial to the map b/ it help the reader better understand and analyze this map in its entirety. as far As the second question unfortunately I am not very knowledgeable as far as the impact his map as on palestiine or isreal.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 10, 2012 11:24 AM
This map is unique and not typical. The way that Palestine's land is severed and each transportation access point is clearly shown and highlighted, makes this map's data very persuasive and impactful. This map examines the Israelis' control of the land.