Share ideas that matter on the social web and experience
the benefits of curating the world's best content.
I don't have a Facebook, a Twitter or a LinkedIn account
A handful of AIDS cases were first recognized in the U.S. at the beginning of the 1980s. By 1990, there was a pandemic. In 1997, more than 3 million people became newly infected with HIV.
The spread of AIDS/HIV since the 1980s has varied greatly over time and space. The red lines represent Sub-Saharan countries and the dark blue line on this interactive is the regional average of Sub-Saharan African countries. The regional trend was on the rise at the end of the 20th century, but is now on a slight decline (but still an major impact on the continent). Countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe have made some significant strides in limiting the spread of AIDS (Zimbabwe is the country that 'peaked' in 1997 and has had the steepest decline).
Tags: Africa, medical, development, infographic, diffusion.
Are you sure you want to delete this scoop?
"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."
This is a painful page in world history, but it needs retelling. The Soviet era profoundly reshaped the cultural, political and economic geographies of the region.
Tags: Russia, migration, Central Asia, historical, war, ethnicity, political, gerrymandering.
Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...
"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B. Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."
Even if only a small fraction of strays have figured out how to navigate the subway system, it represents another example of how animals have adapted to the urban ecosystem in a way that human did not intend. The dogs get on the subway in the morning and go downtown searching for food and return to the suburbs to sleep. This has been circulating on social media sites, and I find it endlessly fascinating.
Tags: urban ecology, Russia, environment adapt, biogeography.
This just shows how smart dogs really are. They see humans doing it, so they learn how to get around using the subways as well. They probably even get a free snack along the way! Just proves yet again why dogs are so much better than cats. You wouldn't find a cat taking the subway. They would think they're too good for that.
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
After this weekend it has become glaringly obvious that many are painfully ignorant of the geography of Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus Mountain region. This article from GeoCurrents discusses the linguistic diversity of the region and this Geography in the News article outlines the contentious geopolitical situation of Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Also, the Washington Post published an article entitled, 9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarassed to ask.
I do not post these materials to lay blame to an entire ethnic group, religion or region for the terrorists acts of two individuals. On the contrary, I post these articles because I find this to be a teaching moment where we as educators can clarify the geographic context of an unknown part of the world to our students. As we teach this context, quick labels and lazy narratives become harder to maintain and our students can become less prejudiced and critically think about the situation with greater depth and clarity.
This article is timely given the need for the ambassador of the Czech Republic to release a statement to explain that the Czech Republic & Chechnya are in fact different places.
I had an idea that this area of the world is complex in its linguistic, cultural & political make up. I must admit though I had no idea it was as complicated as it is. Absolutely fascinating!
Given the recent meteor in Russia, interest has been high on the subject. Have you every wanted to simulate a the impact of a meteorite? Then this is just what you've always wanted. If you would rather to see an incredibly entertaining clip from the Daily Show, then knock yourself out (disclaimer: it's a VERY irreverant look at the the dash-cam footage from Russia that many just discovered after the meteor hit last week).
¡¡Realmente, acongoja un poquito!!
In the Caucasus, culinary nationalism is an extension of the region's long-simmering disputes.
"There is perhaps nothing more closely bound up with one's national identity than food. Specific local dishes are often seen as the embodiment of various cultures and many nations promote their food as a celebration of national identity. Sometimes, however, a country's cuisine can also be used to highlight national rivalries."
This opening paragraph nicely shows how cultural traditions from a similar cultural hearth may have much in common. However, since these groups are neighbors, the geopolitical relationship may be strained despite the cultural commonalities.
Tags: food, culture, unit 3 culture.
" "There is perhaps nothing more closely bound up with one's national identity than food. Specific local dishes are often seen as the embodiment of various cultures and many nations promote their food as a celebration of national identity. Sometimes, however, a country's cuisine can also be used to highlight national rivalries."
This opening paragraph nicely shows how cultural traditions from a similar cultural hearth may have much in common. However, since these groups are neighbors, the geopolitical relationship may be strained despite the cultural commonalities. "
This is a great addition to include for my World Food Problems course this semester.
At the dacha, the soul of Russia--and its cultural divide--is on display. In vacation cottages the women are in housedresses. The men, Speedos and rubber boots. They brood, plant, party, and restore their souls.
The dacha (a seasonal second home or a vacation spot) is incredibly important in Russia. It is is estimated that over 50% of city residences in Russia own a dacha as a way to culturally connect with the countryside. This is a nice glimpse into that life.
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.
The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal. Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era. While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.
Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.
Even though I lived through the dissolution of the USSR, it's hard to imagine a world where the government would create an entire industry, whiunjust has no means of sustainability without the government feeding supplies and consuming the products.
This when coupled with the environmental damage done by simply using the lake as a dumping ground shows that while the "short game" mig have looked rosy to outsiders, the "long game" wasn't even an afterthought for those in charge.
Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan capital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.
Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan? This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul. This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.
Photojournalist Diana Markosian spent the last year and half covering Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.
These 33 photos are arranged to tell the cultural story of life in Chechnya, especially the life of young women coming of age in the aftermath of the war. As the architecture of this mosque suggests, the influence of traditional Islamic values and Russian political authority have greatly shaped the lives of the Chechen people.
Like a detective at a crime scene, chief language inspector Antons Kursitis scans the lobby of a hotel in downtown Riga. He spots a brochure that lists hotel services in Russian only, a flagrant violation of Latvia's language laws.
"Protecting the Latvian language — that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian — has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language." What historical, political and demographic factors shape this cultural issue of language? Why is language often seen as so crucial to cultural identity?
The Latvian voters have spoken: in a massive voter turn-out, they struck down the referendum that sought to make Russian an official language. "Latvia is the only place throughout the world where Latvian is spoken, so we have to protect it," said Martins Dzerve, 37, in Riga, Latvia's capital. "But Russian is everywhere." For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countries’ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have...
Demographic facts: 1) China has more men than women. 2) Russian has more women than men. While these two facts are rather straightforward, their impact on society, gender roles, politics, economics and culture are quite complicated. This article chronicles how this 'shortage' of men in Russia has led to an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships, altering cultural gender norms.
Tajik migrants working in Russia sent to $2.96 billion in remittances to their families in Tajikistan in 2011, over 30 percent more than the previous year, National Bank Deputy Chairman Malokhat Kholikzoda said on Thursday.
The higher the national dependence on remittances, the worse off the country is essentially at being economically independent and viable.
The economic and social turmoil after the fall of the Soviet Union was profound enough to be seen in the demographic statistics. Birth rates dropped as the death rates went up. Typically when birth rates drop it is presented as an indicator of social development, but it clearly is not in this instance. What explains these statistics?
This certainly says a lot about the state of the nation. It is clear that the collapse of the old government may have been to the disadvantage of the population. I'm not sure if this has to do with the change from an authoritarian regime to a more capitalistic system, but it certainly could. The numbers do speak for themselves. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union deaths have risen while births and natural growth have dropped off considerably. Undoubtedly, social developement is playing a role in the drop off. The switch in regimes should have been the beginning a a large social developement.
"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."
The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century and 21st century has seen the continuation of the desertification set in motion. Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined. The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates. Compare the differences with some historical images of the Aral Sea on Google Earth or on ArcGIS Online (also see this article from GeoCurrents)
Tags: environment, Central Asia, environment modify.
A wonderful resource to boost the EFL students' skills.
This image taken from the International Space Station is just one of hundreds taken by @Cmdr_Hadfield that can be used in the geography classroom. See image gallery http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp
I wish I had seen this video from the Washington Post when I was preparing last week's Geography of Chechnya post.
This is a marvelous four-minute piece on the North Caucasus region's storied geography and history.
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.
Some folk cultures, such as the Samaritans, have historically intermarried and have been plagued by genetic diseases. Recently, they have turned to global solutions to their local demographic woes. "Five young women from Russia and Ukraine have moved to this hilltop village in recent years to marry local men, breathing new life into the community."
Tags: folk culture, gender, population, Russia, religion, culture, Middle East.
This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original.
"Maps are not merely distilled representations of geographic realities. Over time, they come to represent an organic bundling of history: reconstructed, imagined, and manipulated. Historically, they have been the tools with which expanding empires have legitimized their conquests, imposed identities, and created administrative order, and with which victims have constructed alternative narratives and salvaged their own national memories. Never was this truer than in the period in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when a burgeoning Romanov empire joined Austria and Prussia in wiping Poland-Lithuania from the map and absorbing it into their swelling realms. Seegel intricately analyzes the cartography of imperial Russia and Poland-Lithuania as the science evolved and historical demands were placed on it. This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original. Seegel should be congratulated for creating it, and the University of Chicago Press, for producing it." You may also see this title on Amazon.
Tags: book reviews, Russia, cartography, historical.
Historically, they have been the tools with which expanding empires have legitimized their conquests, imposed identities, and created administrative order, and with which victims have constructed alternative narratives and salvaged their own national memories.
Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany on January 19 with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the...
Some of the photography and photo galleries of this cultural event are breathtaking--literally for those taking the plunge. Russians cut the ice in the shape of a cross and bath in water that is blessed and considered holy. This appears to be a religious tradition that is particularly adapted to the environmental conditions of the religious adherents (since it appears that the extreme climate plays a critical role in the activity). Part of the practice involves sacrifice; the colder the swim, the greater the manifestation of religious devotion.
Tags: Russia, religion, culture.
Over a bottle of vodka and a traditional Russian salad of pickles, sausage and potatoes tossed in mayonnaise, a group of friends raised their glasses and wished Igor Irtenyev and his family a happy journey to Israel.
My regional class has been learning about Russia this week and when I first started teaching a few years ago, I would teach that Russia had a population of 145 million. Today it is 141 million and part of that is due to migrants leaving a country that they see as lacking in economic opportunities and political freedoms (another part of the story is that birth rates plummeted after the collapse of the Soviet Union in what demographers have called the "Russian Cross"). In the last few years the population appears to have stabilized, but there are still many who do not see a vibrant future from themselves within Russia.
Tags: Russia, migration, Demographics, immigration, unit 2 population.
By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.
This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990. This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time. Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.
Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.
As I sat in class, and Professor Dixon began to tell us about humans changing the world around them I was not surprised, after all I have heard about how we caused global warming by destroying the ozone layer and we cut down trees ect. However what I was not prepared for was the speed with which we reshape the world. In a span of about 20 years we have destroyed entire ecosystems, and it is to late to do anything about it. The Aral Sea is dead, and it would be very difficult to nearly impossible to fix it now.
On top of all that damage, we also learned in class that the area where sea water used to be, but is now land because of the receding water is so salty and baron that it is wasteland and not fit for any type of use. When that water dries up, there will be none left for the nearby countries to utilize.
Afghanistan supplies virtually all of the world's illegal opium. For Afghans themselves, however, feelings about poppy are conflicted: It's harmful to their ...
Part 1 of an 8 part series on youtube documenting the opium-growing process and how the Taliban manages it. Agricultural production and rural land use can absolutely play a huge role in geopolitics and cultural patterns and processes, as evidenced by this example. For more resources on the Afghanistan drug issue, see: www.scoop.it/t/funding-the-taliban-with-opium
For some time now, Brazil, Russia, India, and China have been grouped together under the acronym BRIC.
What are the demographic profiles of these "BRIC" countries that are increasingly looming large in the global consciousness? While they to not quite fit the profile of more developed countries (MDCs), the BRIC countries are notable for how rapidly they are closing the gap in many metrics.
The European country where Skype was born made a conscious decision to embrace the web after shaking off Soviet shackles Eesti keel | Estonian language version...
Can you imagine walking over 100 miles without losing your internet connection? Estonia has done it by making internet access a public service along the lines of water and electricity. The impacts and effects or profound considering that 9 in 10 Estonians have a computerized ID card that they can use to vote, transfer money and access all the information the state has on them. Although this may sound very dystopian and authoritarian to many, Estonians argue that it actually empowers citizens to keep the state in check.
I actually like the idea of the computerized ID card. Yes, undoubtedly from the outside looking in this does appear to have some big brother qualities but I think it's brilliant. The card allows people to transfer money and vote. It's also nice to see a country that doesn't just treat their internet use like a toy. They use it to benefit their society, making it accessible to everyone in the country and not just those who can afford it.
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...
A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement.
Kazakhstan may not be ripe for revolution, but the West is making the same mistakes it made in the Arab world.
It bothers me that this is being over looked by our government. If they are going to stand up and back the resurgance in Syria and Egypt then why are we not doing it here to? All it would take would take is a backing from our government, but due to the ties that the have with the West, we are not stepping in. This shows complete hypocrisy on our part.