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For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century.
As the climate began to cool the diet of the Greenland settlers changed dramatically. Originally their diets consisted of about 20-30% seafood, but as farming became nearly impossible on this increasingly marginal land, it jumped up to about 80%. The economic livelihood of the settlements was in danger and the solution lay in a cultural transition, but one that they didn't want to make. "They saw themselves as farmers and ranchers rather than fishermen and hunters...[and were] worried about the increasing loss of their Scandinavian identity." In essence they abandoned Greenland in part because they chose not abandon their Viking heritage to embrace a culture that would have be more like that of the Inuits. Cultural factors may have mattered more than economic limitations.
Tags: Greenland, folk culture, historical.
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Infographics showing the distribution of the Roman Catholic population in the world, where it has risen and fallen in recent years.
As mentioned earlier, a South American pope was a symbolic recognition of the demographic shift in the Church's population away from Europe.
Tags: culture, religion, Christianity.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Look at most maps of Rio de Janeiro. The beaches are easy to spot, as are the iconic ocean-front neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema. In the middle is a vast forest.
A nonprofit organization run by current and former favela residents called Redes da Mare has started the first mapping program to systematically chart out the favelas for municipal governments. We take for granted what having an address on a named street means in a modern society; it is a portal to public utilities, recognition with businesses and countless other social benefits. Being left 'off the map' is synonymous with being left behind. By finding their way on the city maps they are removing some of the social stigma that sought to treat them as if they did not exist.
Tags: Brazil, urban, squatter, mapping.
Being left off the map is ludicrous. It should be surprising how many there are,what they pick for addresses, and population statistics. Hopefully this will also help them to get aid for poverty relief.
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.
Wal-Mart officials worked hard to ensure that zoning regulations were changed so that they could bring a store to a coveted location. They built a Wal-Mart in the shadows of arguably Mexico's most important world heritage site--the pyramids of Teotihuacán. This investigative report uncovers the illegal steps that Wal-Mart took to force through their agenda.
Questions to Ponder: Why would Wal-Mart be so keen on this particular location? Why would some in Mexico oppose this project so fiercely? Would Wal-Mart behave in such a manner in the United States?
Tags: Mexico, industry, planning, culture, location, place.
I knew that Wal-Mart was rather devious in its uses of force, using both bribery and elbow rubbing to get exactly what they want. That being said the extent of the misdoings in Mexico was shocking. In my opinion Wal-Mart is ruining a national landmark and a great tourist attraction. The question I ask myself is, is there any chance that Egypt would ever allow a Wal-Mart to be built next to their Great Pyramids?
This video shows that the human spirit of beauty and joy can come shining through from the poorest of places. Slums are not new, but rapid population growth coupled with rural-to-urban migration patterns have led to an increasing amount of slums. Despite all the stereotypical images of destitute poverty, slums can also be places with a strong vibrant communities with residents filled with innovation, hope and ambition. For more on this organization, see their Facebook page.
Tags: urban, squatter, poverty, South America, community, Paraguay.
Another example of frugal innovation and what we can learn from people who are often times discounted.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Ricans faced a fundamental question on Election Day: Should they change their ties with the United States?
Lost in the election day enthusiasm throught much of the United Statees was coverage about Puerto Rico. A 'non-binding referendum' was on the ballot to reconsider the 114-relationship with the United States as a territory. 54% voted for a change, while 46% favored the status quo. The second question was asking how to change that relationship: 61% voted for statehood, 33% endorsed a sovereign free association, and 5% for independence. President Obama has gone on record stating that he'll support the will of a clear majority. We'll see what this means, but we are a lot closer to 51 states than we've ever been before. For more information, see Matt Rosenberg's assessment.
Tags: USA, political, states, autonomy.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — South American engineers are trying to tackle one of the continent's greatest natural challenges: the towering Andes mountain chain that creates a costly physical barrier for...
At the NCGE conference, noted author Harm De Blij mentioned a daring project that would link Eastern South America with the Pacific as engineers were planning to tunnel under the Andes mountains. Here is a link to an article on this intermodal transportation project that would lower the shipping costs from East Asia to the Southern Atlantic. Government officials in both Argentina and Brazil have described the project as a matter of "national interest."
Tags: transportation, LatinAmerica, globalization, industry, economic, development, unit 6 industry.
Photographer Anthony Suau documents the surging influence of the drug cartels in Northern Mexico and the efforts by police to maintain law and order...
The issus connected to drug trafficking are intense in Mexico for a variety of geogaphic factors. This is not something we typically see as a part of the the new global economy, but it certainly has been connected to the processes of globalization. Visit this topic on scoop.it for more sources on the Mexican Drug Trade.
Some four decades after welcoming foreign assembly plants and factories, known as maquiladoras, Mexico has seen only a trickle of its industrial and factory workers join the ranks of those who even slightly resemble a middle class.
Despite making such consumer goods like BlackBerry smartphones, plasma TVs, appliances and cars that most people in the US, for instance, consider necessities, Mexican workers in these factories seldom get to enjoy these items because, as this article argues, the labor system keeps them in poverty. Foreign investment in these businesses keep unions out and attracts workers from poorer areas, allowing low-cost labor to prevail. Less than $8 a day is the going wage - great for the bottom line and consumer prices but very bleak for those who toil in this system.
this reminds me of a topic discussed in a previouse class. That is when the GM company destroyed the economy in Flint Michigan by closing the factories in the city (wich relied on GM). They decided to move the company too Mexico where they could pay thier workers less money and then ship the product out.
Some U.S. politians complain that they can't live on $400,000 a year and these workers are living on $7.50 a day that's only $2,737.50 a year if they work every day.
Amsterdam, eat your heart out. This South American country has big plans for marijuana fans.
The distribution of narcotics impacts virtually every country in the world; there are incredibly divergent strategies on how to mitigate these problems that are a result of sophisticated distribution networks. What is the best way to stop the flow of dangerous drugs and the illegal activities that accompany the drug trade? If you were in charge, what strategies would you recommend?
I like how they feel that the prohibition on marijuana just made the use of it worse. I feel like that is a problem in many countries, people only want to do it because it's illegal and it makes them look like a rebel. Also it's only marijuana I mean thats barely a drug anyway, it's not like they legalized cocaine or heroin something that can cause harmful damage to a person's body.
Ambitious development plans for the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2014 soccer World Cup, involve large-scale evictions from numerous slums, whose residents are refusing to leave.
The urban revitalization issues in Rio de Janiero are not new, but they will intensify in global importance (or at least coverage) as the time for the World Cup and Olympics approaches. What are the aesthetics and economics behind revitalization? What are the social issues that should be addressed?
I think it's good for these people to stand their ground on the olympic building. There country gave up on them so why should they be forced to move and supposrt their government. I think when this happened in 2008 in Beijing it was wrong. They were showing the tourists only a portion of what their country is like and not letting them see just how bad it can be at times. The popel in brazil are not letting that happen so easily.
Methane from a landfill will flow to a power plant, helping to keep the lights on in the city.
When Mexico City’s government shut down the giant Bordo Poniente landfill last December, officials announced that they had a full-blown plan for the site...the city aims to capture the methane gas produced by the landfill to fuel a power plant that could supply electricity to as many as 35,000 homes.
Over the past 18 months thousands of Haitians have flocked to a small town in rural North Carolina.
This video is filled with geographic content. How does immigration change the cultural and economic profile? While large cities are typically the destinations for migrants why are these Haitians coming to this small town?
BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war.
Belize has a much higher Human Development Index ranking that its Central American neighbors such as Guatemala. That fact alone makes Belize a likely destination for migrants. Given that Belize was 'British Honduras' during colonial times, English is (still) the official language, but that is changing as increasingly Spanish-speaking immigrants are changing the cultural profile of Belize.
South America is a land of natural exotic beauty that will leave you speechless, a land of mystery and great historic importance. If you make a trip to the southern hemisphere, be sure to include these precious gems.
Per treballar sobre itineraris de viaatge amb Google Earth
This is an amazing grouping of photos that fully reveal and display what a diverse place South America really is. From beautiful waterfalls to snowcapped mountains, this is a place with a rich geographic landscape.
Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.
Quick facts about the "new" Mexico:
Does that help in explaining why Mexicans aren't leaving to go to the United States anymore? In fact, more Mexicans are leaving the United States than entering in a clear example of changing push and pull factors.
Er zijn meer Mexicanen die de VS verlaten dan er binnen komen. Het gaat goed met Mexico. De economische groei is groter dan die van de VS en Brazilië!
You know the economy is bad in the U.S. when Mexicans don't even want in anymore. In fact, more Mexicans are now leaving the U.S. for Mexico than vice versa. Mexico is the 4th largest producer of cars in the world and their GDP is growing by 4%, twice as fast as Brazil and even the U.S. Maybe Americans should start heading down to Mexico for work. I know a lot of Rhode Islanders that could use jobs.
Miren esto, ya no somos los burros de la clase: Does that help in explaining why Mexicans aren't leaving to go to the United States anymore? In fact, more Mexicans are leaving the United States than entering in a clear example of changing push and pull factors.
Tags: Brazil, urban, squatter, images, urban ecology.
Amazing images to bring this to life for kids who have no concept what the favela looks like.
ESPN Video: With the FIFA World Cup two years away, will Brazil be ready to host soccers premiere event?
This short sports documentary (12 minutes) looks at some of the socioeconomic and urban planning issues that are a part of the logistics for a country to prepare for a sporting event on the magnitude of the World Cup. The discussion of demolitions in the favelas (squatter settlements) is especially intriguing. Major sporting events of this magnitude that last for two weeks can reshape local geographic patterns for decades.
Tags: sport, Brazil, planning, squatter.
There is a massive amount of prep work that is going to hosting the FIFA world cup and the next Olympic games. I wonder what will happen to these beautiful stadiums after the games are over. My bet would be a slowly worsening level of disrepair.
This map of Cuba, National Geographic's first map of Cuba in over 100 years, has an incredible backstory.
While touring the National Geographic headquarters, the cartographer Juan Valdés (pictured here with me) told me the story of his early days living in Cuba before Castro, Pictured is one of his 36 meticulous drafts produced to create this cartographic masterpiece of his home country. To hear it in his own words, embedded in this link is a 18 minute video of his talk at National Geographic on Cuba and the production of the map. The last 7 minutes are especially helpful for mapping students to see all the decisions and stages involved in creating a professional reference map.
Tags: cartography, mapping, National Geographic, Latin America, Unit 1 GeoPrinciples.
Below street level in Mexico City, archaeologists have found a jumble of bones dating to the 1480s.
In the 1970s, construction workers unearthed numerous archaeological finds as the subway was being constructed. The Mexican government decided to clear the several block of old colonial buildings to reveal the Templo Mayor, the ancient Aztec religious center. Not coincidentally, the Spaniards built their religious center in the same place. During the colonial era, the indigenous residents who spoke Spanish in Mexico City still referred to this portion of the city as la pirámide. Today more finds such as this one are continuing to help us piece together the past of this immensely rich, multi-layered place filled with symbolic value.
Tags: Mexico, LatinAmerica, historical, images, National Geographic, colonialism, place and culture.
I have a great interest in both history and anthropology, and how what happened in the past affects what is here today is very interesting to me. This article shows how the Spaniards affected the Aztecs when they first explored the area, and finding anything from the Aztecs today is very difficult because Mexico City was built right on top of the Aztec civilization. The sacrifice that they found here gives great insight into the beliefs and values of the Aztecs and the more evidence they have and the more artifacts they have help them o create a clearer picture. However, it is very difficult to have large arcaeological digs because of the major city siting right on top of this evidence.
Presidential candidate says Mexicans have voted for change of direction after exit polls project win for his PRI party.
For the first time in 12 years, Mexico's president will be from the PRI party (which dominated and led power from the 1920's to 2000). Enrique Peña Prieto won the election, in large part due to Mexico's dissatisfacation with the PAN's handling of the escalating drug violence. A few decades back, the PRI kept the violence out of the streets with some tacit agreements with the drug cartels to stay within particular territories.
Residents of hillside shanties above the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince protest against plans to clear their homes for a flood-protection project.
Even before the earthquake, Port-au-Prince was a city filled with slums. The earthquake exacerbated so many of the urban, economic and environmental issues. This eviction of the flood plains has class implications as the poor feel that they are being unfairly targeted in plans to improve the city.
TED Talks Eduardo Paes is the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling, complicated, beautiful city of 6.5 million.
What should city planners be doing to maintain a vibrant city? The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro explains his vision for cities and city management for the future.
Explore educational and professional development resources for teachers and classrooms on Annenberg Media's learner.org. Companion to the Annenberg Media series Power of Place.
Maquiladoras, outsourcing, migration and regional differences within Mexico are main themes in this video. This is a resource of videos that many are very familiar with, but this is worth repeating for those not familiar with the Annenberg Media's "Power of Place" video series. With 26 videos (roughly 30 minutes each) that are regionally organized, this be a great resource for teachers.
"Distilling ethanol from tropical sugarcane takes less land and uses less fossil fuel than starting with corn grown in temperate climes. That makes Brazilian ethanol, unlike the pampered and grotesquely wasteful American version, competitive with hydrocarbons and genuinely good for the environment."
Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial. This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable. For a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol, see: http://cei.org/studies-issue-analysis/brazilian-sugarcane-ethanol-experience
Police in Mexico arrested a man they say is one of the country's largest methamphetamine producers. The arrest comes as Mexican drug gangs are moving aggressively to try to dominate methamphetamine markets not just in the U.S.
The drug issue is often described as a border problem and though that one little line was the only space necessary for understanding the problems. This podcast highlights how many places are a part of the networks at play in this complex economic geography that causes political, demographic and cultural strife on both sides of the border.