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Global news with a spatial perspective: resources for educators and the inherently inquisitive. http://geographyeducation.org
This list is a combination of two types of posts. Some represent the best posts of Geography Education during 2012 as voted by you the viewers (measured by page views) and I've added a few that I feel where my 'favorite finds' of the year. For more favorites, you can see the best of 2011.
Tags: best of 2012, zbestofzbest, geo-inspiration.
What can you learn by looking at these sites?
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"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements. The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics." This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).
Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.
The South Bay Power Plant was imploded Saturday Feb 2, 2013to clear the way for development along Chula Vista's bayfront.
This powerplant was demolished primarily because of location (watch the cool videos of the implosion). The electrical powerplant provided energy for the region, but it's location right on the San Diego Bay doesn't line up with current land uses. When the area's economy was focused more on manufacturing, this was seen an ideal way to use the wetlands on the bay. Today our city planning priorites has shifted. First, how we view wetlands has changed and we no longer see them as "wasted" space. Second, an attractive waterfront that can be used to generate tourism is seen as a greater economic priority today than it was 50 years ago.
Tags: location, planning, economic, space, industry, California.
The idea of flash mobs has spread quickly, diffusing at a time when online video sharing can immortalize the moment in time and social media can amplify the audience beyond just one place.
I LOVE this particular flashmob (as a bonus, 'read' the cultural landscape to try to identify where this took place). While there are many types of successful flash mobs, all share one characteristic: place matters. The place where a flash mob performs is not simply a stage; place is a crucial part of the meaning of the flash mob. An incredibly prominent place with open spaces and many sight lines is a prime location for a flash mob. Beyond these tangible characteristics, if a site has some importance cultural significance, those qualities can be meshed with the meanings of the flash mob. For more of my musings on flashmobs (and extra clips) you can continue reading here: http://geographyeducation.org/whats-new/articles/place-and-flash-mobs/
Tags: place, space, diffusion, popular culture.
Flash mob in the school by Drama Class?
Geography, by the strictest of definitions is Earthbound because of its name; but all geographers have had a spirit of exploration that spurs them to make new discoveries about exotic places and unopened frontiers. Who hasn't dreamed of putting on a spacesuit and exploring the great unknown of space? This interactive feature is about as close as 99.99% of us will ever get to strapping on a spacesuit and making and enjoying an extraterrestrial voyage.
The Hubble Space Telescope has produced one of its most extraordinary views of the Universe to date.
The Earth is an amazing place to study...but this makes it feel remarkably small.
Tags: geospatial, space, remote sensing, scale, perspective.
Zoom from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of spacetime and learn about everything in between.
Click "Start," and then use the slider across the bottom, or the wheel on your mouse, to zoom in -- and in and in and in... or out and out and out... It will take you from the very smallest features postulated by scientists (the strings in string theory) to the very largest (the observable universe). This really is a fabulous visual demonstration of scale at micro and macro levels. This is an excellent way to bring spatial thinking into the math curriculum as well.
Tags: Scale, perspective, space, spatial, Unit 1 GeoPrinciples.
Using newts, coyotes and mice, Jason Munshi-South shows how animals develop genetic differences in evolution, even within an urban city. "Evolution in a Big ...
Humanity has obviously had an enormous impact on the environment and our sprawling metropolitan areas are the primary example. However, we often fail to think about how urbanization is impacting other species inhabiting the planet. Our cities have essentially created 'islands' of livable habitat for many species and the same evolutionary processes of divergence and extinction are now seen in our urban areas. Island biogeography is becoming increasingly important as we continue to fracture and fragment the environment within which other species can live. This incredible Ted Talk can be seen (and flipped) on the new TED-ED site at: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/evolution-in-a-big-city
In geography, the antipodes of any place on Earth is its antipodal point; that is, the region on the Earth's surface which is diametrically opposite t...
I know that most Americans have learned at an early age that if you dig a hole through the center of the Earth, you'll end up in China. Geologic and impossibilities aside, most Americans would actually end up in the Indian Ocean as displayed by this clever pairing up maps that shows the user the Antipode of any given place on Earth. Try it out! http://www.antipodemap.com/
Everything in the known universe, created by 14-year-old twins.
After you follow the link, click "Start," and then use the slider across the bottom, or the wheel on your mouse, to zoom in -- and in and in and in... or out and out and out... It will take you from the very smallest features postulated by scientists (the strings in string theory) to the very largest (the observable universe). This really is a fabulous visual demonstration of scale at micro and macro levels. This is an excellent way to bring spatial thinking into the math curriculum as well. See this on the twins website at: http://htwins.net/scale2/
http://www.thegreatrepublican.com Illinois' Rep. Bobby Rush (D) was removed from the House floor Wednesday morning after donning the hood of his sweater — an...
The 'rules' about clothing, place and social context are culturally and politically institutionalized. Where can you wear what clothes, and when does that change? Should it change? The clothes literally made this particular speech, since it was about the criminalization of cultural clothing norms within racial and economic groups. Should he have been thrown off the floor? What would you have done?
Even the three little pigs need to know the basic tenets of geography.
Besides being an incredible production, I'd like to ask us to reconsider flash mobs within their geographic context. What spatial and technological components make them go viral? How do they subvert cultural norms of behavior in public? How is the public or banal nature of the places chosen change the message or meaning of the flash mob?
This is also my sincere "Merry Christmas" to my readers; I'm so thankful your engagement with my website.
Partly just because I love this highly quotable movie with an incredible soundtrack, but this short clip can start be a good conversation starter. I'm hoping to use it when discussing relative location (or isolation) as well as the space-time compression. I ask my student how far away they live from campus and invariably they answer with a unit of time (even though distance was implied in the question). Why answer with time when discussing distance? What technologies are dependent on our temporal analysis of distance? How would our perception of distance change based on our access to transportation and communication technologies?
The current rise or durability of the economies of the Global South do not signal that economic geography does not matter, but that current investment has simply shifted.
In an era where globalization has rendered distances a minor barrier to diffusion, some have erroneously concluded that geography is no longer relevant to economic development and urban planning. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but that doesn't mean that the 'old rules' of space and place aren't be re-written. This is a nice article that discusses the continued importance of spatial thinking and geography for urban planning.
Tags: urban, planning, economic, urbanism, globalization, unit 7 cities.
Flashmob en Madrid (España) organizado por el programa de radio CARNE CRUDA 2.0 Martes y jueves, 16:00, http://www.carnecruda20.es Lunes, miércoles y viernes...
I have previously posted on how successful flashmobs often times use public places in a way that symbolically merges the meaning of that space with the message of the that place. This is a fabulous example of that and I find it incredibly moving and poignant, given the recent economic woes of southern Europe.
As Jordan Weismmann said about this flashmob in the Atlantic, "I'm not sure if this video is more heartbreaking or heartwarming, but it pretty well captures what's going on in Europe's economy right now. While the day-to-day drama of the continent's debt crisis has subsided, painful austerity measures have helped leave huge swaths of the population jobless. In Spain, unemployment is at 25 percent."
We never know when we will make a difference in people's lives. Spain has undergone a very difficult time the last couple years...this is short video reminds us we all need to smile and enjoy no matter what!
Big fan of flashmob here.
I guess those who attended that day had a bit of sun.
During the holiday season, online sales shoot up as distant relatives seek to ship gifts in time for Christmas. Some have noted that online shoppers can stay at home and completely render the tradition physical storefront redundant. Online shoppers, whether they think about it or not, hoping that the physical logistics behind the scenes will work efficiently and quickly. This collection of images is a reminder that while it might appear that geography and location are eliminated with online communications, these virtual interactions in cyberspace are dependent on actual physical locations.
Tags: location, economic, space, industry, technology.
Must be a mighty difficult place to work in.
TED Talks How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.
This talk is relevant not just because it focuses on many urban issues; it also is a fantastic demonstration of how to use spatial thinking to solve problems.
Tags: density, urban, spatial, planning, TED.
Here are some seemingly eclectic topics. All of them center around the appropriateness of the body being displayed publicly and the cultural norms that shape how we think about the issue. I've included a sensational restroom, public nursing, top-free protests, and of course, the Kate Middleton scandal.
Tags: culture, popular culture, gender, place, space.
Rick Reilly tells the story of a woman's efforts to swim topless after a double mastectomy.
We have deeply ingrained social norms about what is and is not acceptable within public spaces. Certain cases come along that show that these norms often treat the world as though it is black and white without varying shades of gray. In this case, a woman who has had both of her breasts completely removed after breast cancer, discovered that conventional swimsuits physically pained her and she wanted to swim topless in a public pool. Controversy predictably ensued. What do you think? Big deal? Non-issue? Acceptable in public or not? Why?
The most successful investors in restaurants consider how a style fits an area and track who their customers are, said Hudson Riehle of the National Restaurant Association.
A successful business model for restaurants is about much more than quality food at an affordable price. Ask your students: what geographic factors are important in starting a restaurant? What variables might make an otherwise attractive location less appealing? What would ensure a return on your investment?
A new study suggests vehicular travel affects children's ability to navigate their neighborhood and connect to their community.
We learn about the places around us by exploring. Literally our mental map is formed by making choices (in part through trial and error) and that process strengthens our spatial perception of the neighborhood. Research is showing that kids with a 'windshield perspective' from being driven everywhere are not able to draw as accurate maps as children for who walk and bike their neighborhood. The built environment and the transportation infrastructure in place play a role in developing spatial thinking skills for young minds.
This is a compelling article with some important implications. What are the ramifications for geographers? City planners? Educators? Families moving to a new neighborhood?
Amazing design and stylish furniture...
While I typically focus on the geospatial, this is an excellent example of (non-geo) spatial thinking. The design in this furniture reminds me of the work of urban planners--mixed use areas to satisfy the needs of many populations.
Artist John Locke is converting obsolete Manhattan phone booths into mini libraries. Now if only people would stop stealing his entire book collection.
The pay phone has become an obsolete part of the urban infrastructure in the cell phone era, and the question of what to do with these has become a real issue. Leaving them in their current form is essentially conceding that the city is technologically outdated and some fear that is the wrong message to be visually transmitting in the landscape. As thousands of geographers are set to desend on New York City for the AAG conference, this is another example of appropriating public space for a communal project that deserves some firsthand investigation (I really want to see one!).
These three issues are deeply interconnected in many parts of the world and in this news report from Israel, ultra-Orthodox from the town of Beit Shemesh are seeking to enforce their vision of a religiously appropriated gendered partition of space. This particular news clip has caused a firestorm, and the Israeli PM has publicly states that gender segregation will not be tolerated.
On Monday, as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, "about 300 ultra-Orthodox men attacked police officers, hurling stones at the officers after they removed a sign ordering women not to walk past a synagogue in Beit Shemesh." Obviously they are not indicative of all Jews, but this raises many questions. Why do we see a rise in of religious extremism (a loaded word, but I'll listen to alternatives) in this era of globalization? Why is equality in where and how people can act in public such an important political freedom? Why is there such strong cultural reactions to diverse gender norms in public?
http://www.ted.com In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good....
Kunstler impassionedly argues that American architecture and urban planning are not creating public places that encourage interaction and communal engagement. We should create more distinct places that foster a sense of place that is 'worth fighting for,' as opposed to suburbia which he sees as emblematic of these problems. How should we design cities to create a strong sense of place? What elements are necessary? Warning: He uses some strong language.