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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 
Seth Dixon's insight:

What places belong in a region together?  What are the boundaries of that region?  How has this region changed over time?  Regional classification is inherently an exercise that relies on our geographic knowledge and requires some spatial thinking.  Each semester I have students divide the United States into the regions that explain how they conceptualize the different parts of the country.  This 2 minute video is a great example that argues that the regional category of Eastern Europe is less meaningful today mainly because of the changing political and economic geography that is blurring the regional borders of Europe.   


Tags:  Europe, regions.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:00 PM

Even though the Iron Curtain has long fallen, the practice of still describing the ex-Soviet countries as "Eastern Europe" still remains, and those same countries wish to change it. No longer are these countries part of the Soviet Block, and they feel that this characterization still defines them in this way. "Eastern Europe" denotes struggling economies, unhappy populations, marginalized lands, and an overall lack of development. While some countries are still recovering from Soviet rule, others have become important world powers with powerful economies. They no longer wish to be associated with Russia.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:58 PM

The old way of lumping all Countries east of Germany as simply "Eastern European" is not only wrong but can lead to negativity and conflict. These are nations which differ greatly in terms of language, ethnicity, and political affiliation should definitely not be lumped together within one identity. The fact is the Cold War has ended and instead of holding on to these out dated terms we should instead look forward and embrace these countries for what they are, unique countries with unique things to offer.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 2015 7:37 PM

I don’t really see the big deal of the map categorization based on the author’s argument. I agree the Cold War labeling is “outdated,” but saying the grouping is “damaging” because people just think of those countries as “poor” is an incredibly weak argument. Anyone who wants to do business with the area will know who is fiscally sound and any country that believes this is an obstacle can easily show the notion false given the facts of the video in regards to wealth and EU membership. However, just because a country is in the EU doesn’t mean they are completely well off. Much of that area is still politically unstable, which is a whole economic value of its own. Furthermore, that wasn’t my connotation of those countries. When I think Cold War, I think of an area that is repressive and still under Russian influence. If anything, I think that is a bigger deal because Russia shouldn’t speak for a whole area.

 

I also don’t think many of the groupings really help the authors cause. If the author wants there to be less negative connotations related to the Cold War, then the area probably should make mentioned of “countries scared of Russia” as it was the major Cold War player. Nor should there be a mention of “free” economies, since the economic divide of each country played a major hand in the tension between each ideology.  So one really needs to be careful about the terms used when re-labeling an area.

 

I don’t see a huge push for renaming the area. We still live in an outdated cold war society given how the United States still looks at Russia. So I doubt, renaming will happen anytime soon. Guess the author will have to wait for the next big political crisis or war. 

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Changing Ethnic patterns in London

Changing Ethnic patterns in London | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Of all the changes announced by the 2011 census, one of the most startling is the rapid change in the ethnic composition of London's population.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The fact the immigrants moving to the UK have flocked to London is not surprising (View a map of the census data).  Immigration isn't the only component to this situation.  White Britons are also leaving London in large number, prompting some to refer to this as "White Flight."  Today, white Britons are no longer the majority population within London (but still the largest ethnic group).  Some feel that this story has gone underreported and deserves more analysis.  What elements of human geography should an observer of this situation use in their analysis?  


Tags: ethnicity, London, migration, census, urban.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 28, 2013 3:39 PM

The most surprising piece of information in this article is that white Britons are leaving London because of the minorities that are moving in. As of 2013 only 59.9% of London was white, meaning that the miniorities are taking over Ethnic part of London much faster then first anticipated.   

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 2014 5:43 PM

Since immigrants have flocked into London, it appears some of the White population has left the city because of it. The ethnic change is happening very quickly in London and White British population is no longer the majority. As large numbers of immigrants enter London, large numbers of White people leave the city. London is becoming a melting pot rather quickly. 

 
Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 2:40 PM

If white flight is happening in Europe, where are all of its native migrating to? I know for years, there has been a large migrant population from the continent of Africa migrating to Europe, more specifically London, but where in the world could Britain's native be migrating to? Its common to hear of people migrating from rural areas to better neighborhoods, but with the influx of people looking for a better livelihood resemble that of the people living in countries such as India, China and Japan?

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Belgians divided by language barrier

Failure by Belgium's political parties to form a government since elections in June have prompted fears of a split in the tiny European country. Al Jazeera's...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 2007 video is dated, but many of the same issues are still seen today.  This video briefly lays out the cultural context for the political divisions between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish populations of Belgium.  For a longer video on the topic, see this half hour video.


Tags: language, culture, Belgium, unit 4 political, Europe, devolution, unit 3 culture.  

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BTC's comment, February 12, 2013 10:46 AM
Interesting, but the reality is much more complex....
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Britain's New Slogan: Don't Come to the U.K.!

Britain's New Slogan: Don't Come to the U.K.! | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An advertising campaign designed to illustrate the drawbacks of living in the U.K. is being planned to deter an expected surge of immigrants, according to reports
Seth Dixon's insight:

Immigration is a sensitive topic so I'll tread lightly.  There appears to be some support for a campaign that would target would-be migrants specifically from Romania and Bulgaria that life in the U.K. isn't as as grand as it may seem (ironic coming of the heels of the Olympics).  This obviously isn't something that is universally supported by the British, but it does highlight the fact that more and more European countries are seeking ways to deter migrants from crossing their borders as economic struggles continue. 


Tags: migration, UK, immigration, Europe, unit 2 population

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 2014 5:22 PM

It appears the U.K. is designing this campaign due to the fact they are struggling financially and they cannot afford to give benefits to some of the immigrants coming into the U.K., as immigrants are entering at a high rate.

When the Olympics games were hosted in London, the weather was beautiful and the sun was shining almost everyday, (which is rare in the U.K.) That made the U.K. even more attractive to foreigners and potential immigrants. This advertising campaign is displaying the drawbacks of living in the U.K., such as the rainy weather and constant grey skies.  

Flaviu Fesnic's curator insight, September 17, 2014 6:02 AM

UKIP launched an aggressive campaign against Romanians and Bulgarians by the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 which completely turned out to be a trick to gain some more votes.Not only this chauvinistic campaign showed a misleading message but it stirred an unjustified feeling of hatred toward Romanians&Bulgarians.Latest figures showed an influx of mostly high qualified persons , in fact !
Unlike the immmigration to Spain and Italy (1mill. to both of these countries) Romanians usually only work there and come back after a while,they don't settle there... It's probably, the Latin blood ! :)

Flaviu Fesnic's comment, September 17, 2014 6:14 AM
so, there was no influx but misleading UKIP politics... visit Cultural Geography on Facebook !
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Iconic Landscapes

Iconic Landscapes | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Time lapse video compilation Civilization: Part I - Europe by professional photographer Dominic Boudreault. Shot in England, France, Spain and Italy.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a gorgeous video that was very intelligently constructed.  The title 'civilization' coupled with the images of iconic architecture, makes me think differently and question how we conceptualize the ideas of civilization and society. 


Tags: landscape, historical, Europe, time lapse.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:11 PM

Europe is such a beautiful place where its landscapes, architecture, and waterways have shaped its future. This video shows the beauty of the towns and how everything in is has remembrances of the past. This video is a definite must see!

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 11:33 AM

I found this very stirring.  To see the old and new buildings side by side makes one think about what came before and how the past influences the future.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 29, 2014 6:03 PM

This video of iconic landscapes displays beautiful and historic architecture throughout Europe. This video allows the viewer to see these great areas of Europe. I have a great deal of respect for those who built things such as the Colosseum in Rome years ago, as it is amazing that some of these historic buildings are still standing today. 

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Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs'

Northern Ireland flag riots 'threatening jobs' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The riots linked to flag protests in Northern Ireland are causing "significant damage" to the economy, the secretary of state warns.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Flags are tangible symbols of communal identity and political power.  If the meaning behind these identities are unresolved, the symbols of these identities in public spaces becomes all the more there is contentious.  Currently, the Union Jack is a lightning rod for controversy in Northern Ireland and the riots stemming from this are harming the local economy. 


Tags: Ireland, political, conflict, devolution, autonomy, economic, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 11:39 AM

This article shows that no matter how small the world is becoming nationalism is still present and will cause issues between different factions and supporters of different national identities.  The issue over what flag will be flown in a country can spark outrage and anger not by people against the flag but the people for it as they feel it should be flown all the time as opposed to a limited amount of days in the year.

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An Interactive Map of the Blitz: Where and When the Bombs Fell on London

An Interactive Map of the Blitz: Where and When the Bombs Fell on London | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The extent of the campaign is shocking.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map is just overwhelming when you consider that each data point represents a bomb dropped on the city. 

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:46 PM

This is one of my favorite maps that I have seen. How devastating it must have been to live in London at the time, never knowing where the next one would land to destroy the city.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 7:50 AM

This map shows the locations for the nearly 2000 bombs which were dropped on London during the Blitz in WWII. The bombs were dropped entirely inside the ring of M25 London Orbital Motorway which encircles London. The bombs are most concentrated in the center of the ring, likely to do the most damage, to either infrastructure or the people.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 2, 2014 8:30 PM

This map shows just how devastating the bombs were on London. At first glance, this does not look like a map of the bombs dropped. It would not be until it was labeled as such would it show the results of the war on London. Very few areas were unaffected and the majority of London was hit.

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A Barrier to Peace

A Barrier to Peace | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Why would they want to pull down these walls?” asks William Boyd mildly as he offers me a cup of tea in his home at Cluan Place, a predominantly Loyalist area of east Belfast.


These walls, orginally installed in the late 60s to protect Belfast residents during "the Troubles."  Today, some argue that these walls are now barriers to the peace process as they continue defacto segregation.  Walls, as barriers to diffusion, stifle communication, cooperation and interaction.  Still, these walls are symbols of communal identity and icons in the cultural landscape.  For more academic work on this, see Peter Shirlow's Belfast: Segregation, Violence and the City.

 

Questions to Consider: How would a wall through an already culturally and politically divided city impact both sides of the wall?  Today, are the walls beneficial to peace in Northern Ireland?       


Tags: Ireland, states, borders, political

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, October 30, 2013 12:14 PM

The barrier in Belfast, Ireland is an impressive one. It has been there since the 1960s and having it there has become a security for the residence on both sides. Neither side wants it taken down, however, they have extremely different political/religious views. It seems strange to me that these people would prefer living in prison-like conditions just because that is the way it has been for so long. So long as the physical walls stay up, so will the cultural walls between these people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 8:13 AM

This article is about large walls which were constructed fifty years ago to separate a part Belfast, Northern Ireland to protect citizens from conflicts between loyalists and separatists. Q wall separating people could temporarily protect people from violent conflict, but it would undoubtedly ensure continued conflict and intensify the feeling of "Us vs. Them." Though the people interviewed from both sides of the wall in the article like the wall since it gives them a feeling of security, the wall is likely damaging to a peace process in Northern Ireland.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:56 PM

We have seen walls in our class on pictures and videos but it usually is dividing tourists from natives, rich and the poor, even racial reasons. One of the comments made in this article was it felt safe with a prison atmosphere which statistics show that a lot of inmates who are released end up as repeated offenders because they had no other life except prison life. They are accustomed to it and know the rules and know how to live. I guess that is how these people feel. Culturally though they will not expand and experience only what their culture has to offer what will happen when they get old and the birthrate does not keep up with the death rate? I couldn't live like this.

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Eurozone unemployment hits record high

Eurozone unemployment hits record high | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The 17-nation bloc had a jobless rate of 11.6 per cent in September, while inflation eased slightly in the last month.


Although some countries in the Eurozone have lower unemployment rates like Austria (4.4%) and Germany (5.4%), more are in the worst collective tailspin since the creation of the common currency.  Spain has the worst unemplyment rate at 25.8% of the adult population out of work.  It has taken a nasty cultural and political turn as resentments and frustrations are boiling over in the Eurozone.  Some are derisively referring to the struggling southern European countries as P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain). 


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, currency, labor, economic

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 9, 2013 12:20 PM

A big problem in the EU.  There are countries feeling the pinch becasue of the problems of other countries.  They feel why do we have to foot the bill of so many other countries that are just failing in their own economies through their own fault.  Sounds about the same as in the US when people say why do I have to pay for others mistakes and pay more in taxes.  One is on a macro scale, one is on a micro scale. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 18, 2015 7:48 PM

This article was interesting because unemployment is such a big topic discussed with many people today. Unemployment in the Eurozone has reached an all time high in September as their economy is falling into a recession. The highest rate was recorded in Spain where 25.8 adults are unemployed. Further layoffs are going to occur as their budget programs begin to kick in. Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany have the lowest recorded rates.

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Why leave the West for India?

Why leave the West for India? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.


Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India.  For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India.   Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries. 

 

Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:37 PM

As the article says, India is encouraging more people of Indian descent to return to India because of the opportunities that have become increasingly available within the country due to its  westernization . Aside from the corruption and poverty that are in India, the country has not seen any signs of these opportunities stopping.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 2014 4:42 PM

With the rise in globalization and the IT industry, it is obvious that there is opportunity for success.  Many traveled to the US for economic opportunity, however many companies and IT departments are being outsourced to India, thus taking jobs away from the US.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:16 AM

This phenomenon is a direct result of the rise of the Indian economy. Before the IT industry began to set up shop in India, returning to India was economically unfeasible. The development of the Indian economy has made India an attractive place to migrate to. If you are in the IT industry, there is more opportunity for you in India, than there is in the west. Culture is obviously another major pull for Indian immigrants. Throughout history populations have always sought to return to their native land. Especially first generation immigrants, who often never fully assimilate into the culture of their new nation.

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Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession

Spain's dismal economy has residents of the country's richest region, Catalonia, wondering if they'd be better off going it alone. With their own language and distinct culture, Catalans have long pushed for independence from Spain.


This podcast merges several geographic strands together as economic turmoil in the southern portion of the Euro Zone has fanned the flames of cultural resentment and put discussions for Catalonian independence on the agenda for local politicians. 


Questions to ponder: Will this internal devolution cause greater disintegration in the European Union or Spain?  Would an independent Catalan be a wise move for the Catalonians?  How would their independence impact Spain?    


Tags: political, autonomy, economic, Europe, devolution, sovereignty, unit 4 political.

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Iceland's Volcanic Rivers

Iceland's Volcanic Rivers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Time and time again, we're reminded of nature's beauty. It's hard to believe, but these photos of real landscapes, not abstract paintings.


Andre Ermolaev, through his photography has captured the beauty of Iceland's geomorphology.  Being on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland has abundant volcanic ash which adds rich color to the fluvial systems.  

 

Tags: geomorphology, physical, Europe, fluvial, water, landforms, images.

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Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:20 AM

Iceland is one of my favorite countries, and the place I most want to visit and would most likely move to if I had to leave the United States. The landscape is insanely beautiful and the population is extremely small, something I enjoy as I dislike cities and a high population density. Even the capital of Iceland looks akin to a relatively average fishing town in the Northern US or Canada, and the entire country has less people in it than any given state in the US.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 2:57 PM

Nature has an incredible way at depicting and displaying its true beauty to the rest of the world. These images captured by photographer Andre Ermolaev looks like something that would be captured at a museum opening displaying some remarkable pieces of abstract work. Though this may not be the case, it gives you the desire to want to travel and experience this for yourself.

Keone Sinnott-Suardana's curator insight, June 22, 9:39 PM
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La Tomatina 2012

La Tomatina 2012 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Bunol, located inland from the Mediterranean Sea, that brings together thousands of people for one big tomato fight – purely for fun!


La Tomatina is a cultural festival in Spain that is world renowned for it's exuberance and playfulness.  This gallery of 26 images shows some of the dynamism and appeal to this extraordinary event where more than 40,000 people engage in the world's largest foof fight using upwards of 100 tons of tomatoes in the yearly food fight known as 'La Tomatina.'


Notice the signs for storing backpacks and luggage that are now pastered with tomatoes on the store in the background of the image.  These hastily-composed, informal signs are written in three languages (Spanish, English and Japanese).  What does this tell us about the festival?  Also, notice how the comments section revolves around the concepts of waste, poverty and consumption. 


Tags: Europe, foodtourism, seasonal, culture, unit 3 culture, consumption.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 12, 2012 3:03 PM

I find myself caught between respecting the practices of other cultures as I can’t not help but acknowledge that this is still very extravagant and wasteful although we in America are no better. This use of food can be seen globally as just another example of the widening depravation as undeveloped countries may view food solely for consumption while developed countries grow food for commerce with the notion that once you pay for it, it does not matter how you use it.
Nicholas Rose's comment, September 13, 2012 9:59 AM
This article is very interesting to say the least. The reason why is because culturally even this is the largest food fight in the world involving only tomatoes but it has been a critical cultural tradition in Spain for many years and will still become a tradition to Spain.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 25, 2014 1:02 PM

Spaghetti anyone? La Tomatina is a large tomatoe fight held in Bunol. It is a cultural festival in Spain purely for fun. Thousands meet in the streets to throw tomatoes and through the pictures shown, one can only imagine how many tomatoes get thrown at this festival. The streets are flooded red!

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Flag wars

Flag wars | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Mr Füzes had voiced support for the Székler people, a group of ethnic Hungarians who live in Transylvania, after two Romanian counties banned the display of the Székler flag (pictured above with men in hussar uniform) on public buildings. Zsolt Nemeth, Hungary’s state secretary for foreign affairs, described the ban as an act of “symbolic aggression” and called for local councils in Hungary to show solidarity by flying the Székler flag from town halls. The Hungarian government then raised the Székler flag above Parliament, further enraging Bucharest..."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Flags are important symbols of cultural identity and displaying them can be a strong political statement.  For Hungarians, displaying symbols of a "Greater Hungary" shows some desire for irredentism--to redeem Hungarians of the 'wrong' side of the border.  For those Hungarians in Romania this is an act of defiance that show that they want greater autonomy. 


For sports fans, ESPN did a "30 for 30" documentary on the early 90's Yugoslavian basketball team that was a major talent (1990 World Champions) but was torn apart as devolutionary forces fractured the countries and the once-teammates were estranged after what some perceived as disrespectful acts to the Croatian national flag.  Vlade Divac (a Serbian) was pitted against some of his best friends from Croatia as the civil war was playing itself out on the court as well.  This is a great way to get a sports fan to learn about ethnic conflict and about the importance of cultural symbols ("Once Brothers"--$1.99, free for Amazon Prime users).   

Tagspolitical, conflict, devolution, autonomyEurope, culture.

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Conor McCloskey's comment, April 30, 2013 10:26 AM
The past is the past. Or is it? The past seems to mean more to the people of Hungary and Romania these days. The Treaty of Trianon of 1920 sectioned the region of Transylvania from Romania to Hungary. For the ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, this posed quite the issue. For many people around the world, the homeland does not always match up with geopolitical boundaries of the country that they live in. While this identity crisis causes conflict for many groups of people all over the world, in Hungary the fight to regain greater-Hungary continues today.
This article also poses interesting questions of voting and citizenship. The Hungarian government granted citizenship beyond its borders, and jurisdiction, to ethnic Hungarians in Romania. What does this say about those Hungarians in Romania? Does it bring Hungary any closer to regaining the borders of the once Greater Hungary? Regardless of the questions of citizenship, such public and federal efforts to expand their borders and regain their ethnic population and homeland is doing more then turning heads. Look to this region for future conflict because the failure of geopolitical nations to represent ethnic homelands rarely ends peacefully.
John Peterson's comment, April 30, 2013 10:37 AM
This article helps to illustrate tensions that can be caused by seemingly simple acts within a society that is home to two conflicting groups. While flags do not have any actual influence or power in society, they are a source of emotion, and pride in ones nation and heritage. Because of the emotion that is tied with flags, it can be a very tense situation when the use of these flags is banned, or if these flags are taken down or destroyed. It is amazing how something so simple as a flag can bring about so much anger, and be the source of such bad blood and violence between different nations or ethnic groups. In the example given, there has been conflict for years, which was recently fueled even more over the use of a flag. While the act of displaying a flag is simply a display of loyalty, the actions of the Romanian government against this practice shows how although it is not a violent act, it can lead to very hostile actions and interactions.
Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 4:12 PM
This article got me thinking. The tensions between Hungary and Romania seem trivial to me. The Romanians are the right ones in my opinion and the act of displaying the Székler flag about the Hungarian Parliament was plainly a theoretical middle finger to Romania. The more than a million Hungarians living in present day Romania relates to our unit on culture and nations/states. There is a Hungarian nation of people in Romania that the Hungarian government has now granted rights to, again purposely antagonizing Romania, and Romania is rightfully concerned of their dual-loyalty. Overall, the situation is taken way out of proportion by Hungary and what former piece of an empire wants that flag flown in their country. In Ireland do you see the Union Jack… that’d be a no.
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Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century

Top 10 Countries That Disappeared In The 20th Century | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New nations seem to pop up with alarming regularity. At the start of the 20th century, there were only a few dozen independent sovereign states on the planet; today, there are nearly 200!
Seth Dixon's insight:

This list of countries that no longer exist in their current form include Czechoslovakia, Tibet, Sikkim, the Ottoman Empire and the Soviet Union. 


Tags: unit 4 political, historical, devolution.  

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 2, 2013 11:38 AM

Amazing to see many of the countries and empires that are no longer around.  Also with the dissoution of many of the empires it lead's to many of the issues that were are dealiing with today.  Splitting the Austro-Hugaraian Empire after WWI along ethnic lines didn't really work and helped to lead to WWII.  The Germans in the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia fro example.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sudetendeutsche_gebiete.svg

 for the area of German population.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:01 PM

10 countries that have become nonexistent in the 20th century include Tibet, East Germany and Yugoslavia. These countries have died off because of ethic, religious and cultural falls that were quickly taken over by bigger and more powerful countries.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 9:13 PM

Essentially this article boils down to the issues of religion, ethnicity and nationalism.  People who are diverse and have different ideas generally cannot all live together under one rule and agree on everything, hence nations split and new ones form to cater to their own beliefs and similarities.

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Catalonia asks Spain for 9 Billion Euros

Catalonia asks Spain for 9 Billion Euros | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The independence-minded region of Catalonia asks the Spanish central government for an extra 9bn euros (£7.7bn) in bailout money.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Catalonia appears to want the benefits of independence AND of being politically connected to Spain.


Tags: Spain, Europe, devolution, autonomy.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:21 AM

This is sad news for an area that is trying to persuede the world it deserves to be independent. Unfortunately,  they still have to rely on the Spanish government to help their economy, something that does not help their case.  While other countries do take money from other powers, one that is trying to establish itself might want to have a more optimistic outlook on it's economy before it tries to go off on it's own.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 11:28 AM

This area seems to want it both ways.  To be independent from Spain, but also dependent economically on Spain.  This region should sort out its priorities and decided if independents is worth it and if so then they should not be asking Spain for help.  It’s like a twenty-something person that moves out of their parents’ house and then comes back again and again with their hand out.  Catalonia seems to be facing this same issue.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 30, 2014 9:00 PM

Catalonia, an independent region wants Spain to give them 9 billion euros in order to help them stay out of debt, but also want to keep themselves independent of Spain. The most interesting aspect of this article is how the region of Catalonia wants to be independent, but still seek help from the very place it wants to be independent from.

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What if Greece quits the euro?

What if Greece quits the euro? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A Greek exit from the euro has become a bomb fizzling at the heart of the eurozone. What could happen if it explodes?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is still all speculation, but this speculation is grounded in the very real possibility that Greece may leave the Eurozone.  This one possible scenario would have a profound ripple effect throughout the European Union and beyond.  This interactive explores each of these 8 possible results.  


Tags: Greece, Europe, supranationalism, currency, labor, economic



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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:05 PM

Money controls everything. Because parliament has to make some budget cuts, money must be spent elsewhere. Because of this, Greece leaving the euro could lead to a downward spiral including a sovereign debt crisis, a recession and political backlash. Should Greece keep the euro?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 8:02 AM

This article explains eight possible outcomes of Greece leaving the Euro Zone. None of them favorable for Europe, except maybe the UK which could possibly borrow more cheaply. For the rest of Europe, the results are either increased burdens for the more economically strong EZ nations like Germany, or a domino effect which accelerates the decline of the struggling economies of countries like Italy and Spain.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 2, 2014 8:09 PM

If Greek were to quit/ be forced out of the Euro, according to this article, would not bode well for the country. As the graph suggests, Greece would experience multiple consequences if their vote fail then Greece will possibly suffer a government shutdown due to the debt they find themselves in.

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Hope during Economic Crisis

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...
Seth Dixon's insight:

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."   

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Trisha Klancar's curator insight, January 13, 2013 2:15 PM

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!

Shelby Porter's comment, September 19, 2013 1:46 PM
This video is a great example of what a difference someone can make. Before this group started playing, you could see that most of the people on that room looked down, but they certainly got some sun and happiness brought to them. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, the littlest things can certainly make a difference.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:21 PM

Flashmobs bring so much positive energy to any environment. In Madrid, this video shows how positive vibes from music are contagious and transmitted into positive energy at an unemployment office. "Here comes the Sun" is a way of saying things are going to get better, just look at the bright side. 

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The Greek island of old age

The Greek island of old age | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The inhabitants of a small Greek island live on average 10 years longer than the rest of western Europe. So what's the secret to long life in Ikaria?
Seth Dixon's insight:

As more countries have entered the later stages of the Demographic Transition, we expect people to live longer than ever.  On this island and other "blue zones" they attribute their long life to a traditional diet and an unpolluted environment.  


Tags: aging population, medical, population, demographics, unit 2 population, Greece, Europe.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:09 PM

According to this article, The people of the small Greek Island of Ikaria have a life expectancy that is 10 years longer than any other part of the world. It is attributed  to the nutritious diet that the citizens have and the lack of influence that the outside world has on other places. With less environmental factors to harm it, Ikaria is one of the most geographically advantageous places to live a healthy life.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 11:07 AM

Scientists are always coming across new evidence proving that specific lifestyles, foods, and activities are what allow some to live longer than others, but maybe we need to look at life length at a geographic level. These places where people live longer, healthier lives must have some common threads linking them. It could be similar cultural constructs that are endemic to these places, promoting healthy habits, a sense of community, and overall peaceful lifestyles. 

 

Oddly enough, most of his daily routines, such as drinking tea, using local honey, drinking wine, and leading an active lifestyle, are touted by different scientists and salespeople as to keys to longevity. I think, that these routines combined with a great sense of community, lack of stress, and happiness lead to long life. The community on this island is very close knit, and many people live happily. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 12, 2015 11:06 AM

I really believe that the clean air of this island could have something to do with the life expectancy being higher.  The less toxins you breathe in the less of a chance you will have to developing cancers and other diseases.  

 

Now as to how this gentleman defeated lung cancer after moving from the U.S. to Ikaria is a whole other story.  Maybe the wine did help.  Maybe leaving a dirty and toxin-ridden environment helped kill the cancer.  Bare minimum, this article definitely shines the light on the air-quality in certain parts of the world.

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More than a club: FC Barcelona and Catalonia's road to independence

"As Catalonia goes to the polls, Sid Lowe looks at one of the region's great cultural sporting icons and its role in Catalan identity..."


Seth Dixon's insight:

Sports and cultural identity of a region are often intertwined. As Catalonia is poised to break from Spain, this video shows how the local teams (especially FC Barcelona) are at the center of political identity and part of the very fabric of the political movement that is pushing for independence.  For more, see this recent Geography in the News article.


Tags: sport, Spain, Europe, devolution, autonomy.

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Jessica Martel's curator insight, April 28, 2013 4:37 PM

its understood that catalonie has a completely different country from the rest of spain. In fact many people associate catalonia as a seperate country. It would be cool to see spain let them have thier independence. However that would mean spain would lose land and money. For the most part, atleast the catalonia poeple are expressing thier feelings and wishes in a humane manor, rather than with vilolence

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 30, 2014 9:10 PM

As a soccer fan and a fan of FC Barcelona, Whenever I watch FC Barcelona play against Real Madrid, the commentators always describe both clubs as a symbol of independence and the symbol of political identity. Both teams are embodiments of the struggle that Spain and Catalonia are going through.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 19, 2015 3:01 PM

As a soccer fan (although of CR7 in La Liga), I know that Barca has the saying "Mes que un club" which means more than a club in the Catalan language.  FCB's colors, in fact, represent the colors of Barcelona, which is the major force in the region of Catalonia.  The club allows the ethnic people to express pride in their heritage, and allowed them in the Franco era, a freedom of expression that was not otherwise granted to them.  However, as the video discusses, FCB cannot be the main force for the region's independence, that will have to come from the people pressing the people to the Spanish Government.  However, FCB represents for the Catalans a pride in having their own unique culture, and being a unique people different than ethnic Spaniards.  Barca being more than a club is far different from the BPL team of Manchester United or the La Liga club of Real Madrid.  While these clubs may represent regions within the countries, they do not represent regions who are different than the status quo.  Followers of Man U are not very different than the Southern English (they are not their own people).  I think it is highly interesting how sports teams can mean so much to certain regions.

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Old-School Library

Old-School Library | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This would be the perfect place to study.  Next time I'm at L'Istituto delle Scienze, Palazzo Poggi, Bologna, I will definitely find this spot.  

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Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves?

Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What is more likely to happen first: Greece will leave the eurozone, or Scotland will leave the UK?


Although there is currently only about 30% of Scotland that would support independence, this is something that will be gaining importance.  The United Kingdom is a complex political entity, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland connected with England.  The "divorce referendum" will be help on October 2014 to see if Scotland wishes to dissolve this union and many of the political and economic events throughout Europe will be seen through this prism, especially the Euro Zone crisis in southern European countries (e.g.-Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal).  The possibility that this might happen are small, but as the article stated, "not zero." 


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 7:27 PM

Good for Scotland... as anyone that has watched Braveheart knows, all they need is Mel Gibson to fight for their independence, and they will surely win!  I know some people that play the bagpies, and I like the Scottish music better than much English music.  I don't know much about the UK, so I have little to guide me in favor or against Scotland declaring independence, but aw heck, why not...  The US declared independence, and it seemed to work out for them until... whenever...? forever? it depends on what you use as criteria to look at it...  But live and let live, let people do what they want, the only advice to that is not to let people harm others.  That way, true peace can be achieved.  Harmony, instead of harm.  So I would advocate for Scotland to wear women's clothing with turtle shells in their crotches and dance to celebrate their independence if that's what they want, as long as there are no epic battle sequences that precede or follow their dancing.  Don't be an elitist, open your eyes, the governments own your brothers and their lives... We must work to change this.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 23, 2014 8:42 PM

I had the pleasure of actually meeting a couple from Scotland who was in favor of Scotland's independence. I asked them what they thought would happen to their relationship with England and the rest of the European union.  The woman told me that they were uncertain of what would happen exactly but it would still be worth the shot, that she was willing to risk it to just be Scotland, and the UK because she identified with Scotland.

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Ghosts of War

Ghosts of War | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The remarkable pictures show scenes from France today with atmospheric photographs taken in the same place during the war superimposed on top.


In this fastinating set of images, Dutch artist and historian Jo Teeuwisse merges her passions literally by superimposing World War II photographs on to modern pictures of the where the photos were originally taken.  This serves as a reminder that places are rich with history; to understand the geography of a place, one must also know it's history (and vice versa).   


Tags: Europe, war, images, historial, place

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Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:26 AM

I'm not even sure what to say about this set of pictures exactly, except that they're a very cool way to see history. I'm interesting in Social Studies and history because I'm captivated by seeing the world framed in a story, and these images do just that. To see the same places where the war was fought and what has changed is great, but these photos also give the impression of some stories of war. The idea of them being "ghosts" gives the impression of something left behind which marks the land even to this day.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, September 10, 2014 2:56 PM

Very interesting, I've seen similar things done with Russian cities and parts of the Ukaranian country side.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 2:47 PM

This Dutch historian does a great job at interweaving places that were ridden by the second world war to its modern reconstruct. As a child, I use to question a lot what a place looked like prior to it being destroyed. In the context of Europe a continent, ridden by war, the historian not only does a great job at depicting past and present, her photographs also show how the country's government went to great lengths to preserve some of its land's historic sites.

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Hiking Preikestolen in Norway

Hiking to the top of Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) near Stavanger, Norway. An amazing and wondrous hike.


Seth Dixon's insight:


For the inner explorer in all of us, this is a geographic dream. Click here to read more about this fantastic climb from a National Geographic explorer


Tags: Europe, landforms, NationalGeographic, Norway.

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 2014 10:09 PM

(Europe topic 2)

This video offers a quick glimpse into one of the many natural wonders one can experience throughout Norway. What surprised me is the many striking similarities between Pulpit Rock and a place I have climbed called Artists Bluff in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Both are giant overhanging slabs of bedrock carved out by glaciers overlooking deep valleys and lakes. Both are also similar in composition (granite) and are tourist and photographer hotspots of their regions. Though obviously each offers its own experience, it is something to ponder how the geographies of locations thousands of miles apart can be so alike. Aside form physical geography, many separate regions throughout the world share language, tradition, and knowledge. So perhaps this offers a little insight into how things are a little less "foreign" than one might first expect.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 7, 2015 1:43 PM

This is absolutely amazing.  I think that through all of what we learn and all of what we see and hear in geography and even just in our everyday lives, we forget that places like this exist. Despite all of the disasters and disease and pollution we talk about, there are still beautiful places and it is our job to preserve those.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 3:07 PM

Well I am afraid of heights and let me tell you I was scared just looking at the picture. I have been to Norway in 1980 and I stayed in a small town and it was snowing, it looked like a Christmas postcard. I stayed in a small hotel which looked like a beautiful home not like hotels we have here. There is only one major highway called route 1 that went from Oslo to Bodo. It is a beautiful country. I was there for military training and we had to snowshoe or cross country ski to get around. This was my first time on either. I wish I could have seen the spring or summer.

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Tiny Capital

Created by Eirik Evjen.  The production of this video was made out of 76,940 single photos.


"Norway has recently reached 5 million inhabitants and the capital is growing rapidly. The city scene in Oslo is steadily thickening with taller buildings, more people and the never-ending construction sites. Being by far the most populated city in Norway with 613 000 inhabitants, most Norwegians look to Oslo as a major capital. However, if one compares Oslo to other international capitals, Oslo only ranks as the 112th largest. Oslo is indeed a major capital, just a small one…"


Tags: art, urban, Europe, landscape, unit 7 cities.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:39 PM

Oslo may be small in size, but it is quickly growing and advancing. Norway's capital is now a place of constant travel and exploration. The 76,940 photos used to create this video embrace Oslo's city rush and functionality.