Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans than Catholic Americans or mainline Protestant Americans.
Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
"We have a myth today that the ghettos in metropolitan areas around the country are what the Supreme Court calls 'de-facto' — just the accident of the fact that people have not enough income to move into middle class neighborhoods or because real estate agents steered black and white families to different neighborhoods or because there was white flight. It was not the unintended effect of benign policies, it was an explicit, racially purposeful policy that was pursued at all levels of government, and that's the reason we have these ghettos today and we are reaping the fruits of those policies."
We've grown good at making many things in the modern world - but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again.
While we can't objectively measure beauty, in this video from the School of Life, London-based Swiss writer Alain de Botton offers a cheeky, thought-provoking, six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design. Alain de Botton feels that tourism can be seen as helpful proxy variable for what the general public perceives as good urbanism that makes for beautiful cities. The six main points of this article are:
"The U.N. Security Council. What’s Up With That? And 9 other truly absurd features of contemporary geopolitics."
"Some of these absurdities persist because they’ve been around a long time, or because powerful interests defend them vigorously, or because they align with broader social prejudices. Some of them may in fact be defensible, but we should still bring such oddities out into the open air on occasion and ask ourselves if they really make sense."
The May 12 7.3 magnitude aftershock was one of many that followed the April 25 earthquake that shook Nepal. Why is this part of the world such a hotbed of tectonic activity?
A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right?
The U.S. Department of Defense’s latest assessment of the Chinese military provided new detail on China’s land reclamation efforts on several of the islets that it occupies in the South China Sea. These include Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef in the Spratly archipelago. By December 2014, the report estimated that China had reclaimed as much as 500 acres of new land, creating full-fledged islands where only coral reefs or sand spits existed before. Since then, China has only accelerated its efforts, expanding the total land area that it has reclaimed to 2,000 acres and building military facilities, ports, and at least one airstrip on the islands.
Kahoot! is a classroom response system which creates an engaging learning space, through a game-based digital pedagogy. Kahoot! is an easy-to-use blended learning platform which works on any device, making the classroom interactive, encouraging both educators and learners to ask great questions.
Here are resources to join the 166,000 students preparing to take the AP Human Geography Exam this Friday:
An interactive map showing nationwide migration patterns in the United States since 1900.
An oldie, but goodie. This incredible series of interactive charts from the New York Times show where the residents of every U.S. state were born and how that data has changed over time (update: now available as an interactive map). This graph of Florida shows that around 1900, most people living in Florida were from the South. Around the middle of the 20th century more people from other parts of the U.S. and from outside the U.S. started moving in. What changes in U.S. society led to these demographic shifts? How has demographics of your state changes over the last 114 years?
On the flip side, many people have been leaving California and this article charts the demographic impact of Californians on other states.
"LIVING IN THE AGE OF AIRPLANES is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Filmed in 18 countries across all 7 continents, it renews our appreciation for one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring aspects of the modern world." airplanesmovie.com
I was absolutely delighted to see this film on the big screen...it was as visually stunning as any film I'd ever seen. I and my young children were mesmerized. So much of the modern world that we take for granted is absolutely revolutionary. This is a great teacher's guide to teaching with this film.
"This video is from the BBC documentary film Earth: The Power Of The Planet. The clip is also embedded in this story map that tells the tale of Earth’s tectonic plates, their secret conspiracies, awe-inspiring exhibitions and subtle impacts on the maps and geospatial information we so often take for granted as unambiguous."
The more we slap concrete down all over the state, the more we trigger devestating consequences, like the million-dollar flooding in Cranston last September.
We often ignore the environmental impact of the cities we build. When we build a road, building or sidewalk, we usually cover the ecosystem's natural mechanisms for absorbing rainfall with impervious surfaces. This award-winning environmental article in RI Monthly was written by a geography professor with an eye on the human and environmental interactions between community land use choices and watershed quality. The RI governor announced for Earth Day that it will be investing funds to tackle the storm water pollution problem.
The entire population of Heimdal, North Dakota has been evacuated Wednesday morning after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded. A BNSF Railway oil train derailed around 7:30 am, setting at least 10 oil tanker cars on fire. The Bismarck Tribune spoke with emergency responders who "said the the sky was black with smoke near the derailment site."
Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers. As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market. Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.
Over 166,000 students are preparing to take the AP Human Geography test on May 15th. With that in mind, I went looking for resources so here's what I found.
Best of luck on the exam! Have something to add to the list? Let me know.
"London completely dominates the political, cultural and economic life of the U.K. to an extent rarely seen elsewhere. That imbalance has been an issue in the run-up to Thursday's election."
The problems with primate cities are hardly unique to London (see here resources for teaching about primate cities using the example of Mexico City). The lack of a balanced urban hierarchy that we would see in countries where the rank-size rule applies is a political problem as stated in this NPR podcast. This additional BBC article bemoans Britain’s lack of a true second city, arguing that London’s shadow looms too large for sustained national development outside of the primate city.
"A decades-old effort found that moving poor families to better neighborhoods did little to help them. A large new study is about to overturn the findings of Moving to Opportunity. Based on the earnings records of millions of families that moved with children, it finds that poor children who grow up in some cities and towns have sharply better odds of escaping poverty than similar poor children elsewhere."
"When a terrible earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, our correspondents quickly began to report from the battered capital, Katmandu. By the beginning of this week, we were still reporting on the quake’s aftermath, but under a slightly different dateline: Kathmandu. Why the switch?
There are many examples of foreign place names with more than one English rendering, especially if the local language uses a different alphabet, requiring the name to be transliterated for English. For Nepal’s capital, the 'Katmandu' spelling has long been widely used in English-language publications, and may still be more familiar to some American readers. But 'Kathmandu,' with an 'h' in the middle, has become more widespread in recent years, reflecting the preferred local usage."