Watch the video Boontling: A Lost American Language on Yahoo! Screen
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Watch the video Boontling: A Lost American Language on Yahoo! Screen
In Booneville, CA, local residents literally created their own language over 150 years ago and had it was locally accepted enough to be taught within the school district. This language of Boontling (Boont Lingo) but one that the younger generation has not fully adopted, but is still spoken by the older residents.
China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos.
Economic analyst noted in this article, “Southeast Asia is geostrategically and economically important to China, an increasingly important partner from both the trade and investment perspectives.” As China expands its influence, the benefits will probably be one-sided for rural, less developed neighbors such as Laos.
|Suggested by C. Kevin Turner|
The riots linked to flag protests in Northern Ireland are causing "significant damage" to the economy, the secretary of state warns.
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.
France is ready to stop Islamist militants who control northern Mali, the French president says, following a plea for help by his Malian counterpart.
In April 2012, Islamist rebels seized power in Northern Mali and have declared independence, proclaiming this region The Islamic State of Azawad. Recently they have begun to amass armies on the southern limits of their territory and presumably are seeking to topple all of Mali. The former colonizer, France is being called upon to assist as is the United Nations. This area is part of a region known as the Sahel, the transition from a dry North Africa to tropical Sub-Saharan Africa, from a Muslim/Arab north to a Christian/Animist/Black region of Africa. The human and physical geographic divisions in this region plays a major role in this conflict.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
West Virginia aims to put its residents on the map
While this article does occasionally play off of the country bumpkin stereotypes we've all heard about West Virginians, there are some important concepts lying under the surface in the article. All places have a location (both absolute and relative), but not one that is easily discernible to an outsider unfamiliar with the area. Many emergency responders rely on geocoded addresses and GPS systems to location those in need, and the state of West Virginia is trying to ensure that even the most rural of residents is on the grid. Many location-based technologies lose their value as soon as you leave a named road, so these systematic campaign will strengthen the push for modernization and digital systems. How will this change the cultural landscape?
Their expense has so far made them rare, but with prices coming down, these glowing, programmable spheres are set to become more common.
Due to the expense, only science centers and major museums can afford these digital globes that we see in futuristic movies. However, as with all new technologies, the price will drop as it is refined and made available for larger market, even if that time is still a ways off. If this were available in your classroom, it would be splashy, but how much added value would it bring? What kind of lessons could you teach with this?
The winners have been named in the 2012 National Geographic Photography contest. As a leader in capturing the world through brilliant imagery, National Geographic sets the standard for photographic excellence.
This image of the Matterhorn was the 1st place winner in the "places" category in the National Geographic's 2012 competition. The winners are just as impressive as you would expect coming from National Geographic.
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?
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.
|Suggested by Tara Cohen|
On the Map author Simon Garfield speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about the history of maps, how they can be used as political tools, and how GPS and modern mapping applications are changing the way we see ourselves and our place in the world.
This NPR podcast is a review of the book On the Map that explores how our minds perceive maps and how maps influence or perception of the world we live in. Here is the NY Times review of the same book.
50% yes, 50% no. The raw statistics would tell you that the country is perfectly divided on this question of whether or not the University of Alabama has the greatest college football program of all time. Not surprising to geographers, in evenly split polls, elections, or other data results, there are oftentimes strong regional factors that influence variation in the data (in this case, local allegiances, media bias and general sport fanaticism).
Questions to Ponder: Alabama's voting pattern is obvious, what explains for some of the other poll results from particular states? Why is there a general East/West divide on this question? What are the regional factors that influence the voting patterns? Would the result be different on 6 months from now?
The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali, is a magnet for tourists, but it is increasingly difficult for locals to live a normal life around it.
This New York Times short video is an intriguing glimpse into some of the cultural pressures behind having the designation of being an official world heritage site. The grerat mosque combined with the traditional mud-brick feel to the whole city draws in tourists and is a source of communal pride, but many homeowners want to modernize and feel locked into traditional architecture by outside organizations that want them to preserve an 'authentic' cultural legacy.
Some of the best free professional development opportunities are found online as educators develop Personal Leaning Networks (PLN). This is a sampling of important voices from my PLN, with important links, updates and perspectives--so glad to be a part of your PLNs!
Focus (WILL) - listen online, on demand topics and episodes, location, contact, schedule and broadcast information
This is the audio archive of a 2007 radio interview with Jerome Dobson, Geography Professor at the University of Kansas and President of the American Geographical Society. In this interview he discusses many topics including the importance of geographic education, how to define geography and showing the relevance of the disciple in solving real-world problems. He gives historical context as to why geography became minimized within the United States.
More than 600 newcomers per day have arrived in Canada since 2006, and many of them have settled in neighbourhoods like Richmond, B.C.
Over 6 million of those living in Canada were born outside of Canada an migrated there. This infographic cleverly outlines both where migrants live in Canada and where they came from. Ethnic enclaves are an important part of Canada's rural and urban cultural landscapes. Since the 1960s, the majority of immigrants have come from Asia, changing some traditional neighborhoods.
Many teachers use Billy Joel's classic song and music video Allentown as a teaching tool to introduce the topic of deindustrialization in the Rust Belt of the United States. This alternative music video version adds some useful teaching images to help students contextualize the lyrics. Another song to consider using is Telegraph Road by Dire Straits; the song follows a town as it industrialized and as it later deindustrialized.
While city lights at night serve as a good proxy for population density, North Korea provides a dark exception.
This image is appears to be a regional inset of the classic Earth at Night composite image however this nighttime remote sensing image was taken from Sept. 2012. The Earth at Night image is typically used in classrooms to discuss what this actually means for human geography (Population density? Development? Consumption? Where? How come?). However, this particular portion of the global image focused on the Korean Peninsula highlights two other specific issues:
CIRES Fellow and NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati and CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem explain Remote Sensing and how it is used to study our planet. 'Like' CIRES…
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).
|Suggested by Elizabeth Allen|
World news about North Korea. Breaking news and archival information about its people, politics and economy from The New York Times.
EA: As mentioned in class, North and South Korea would be better off united. By the looks of things, that will not be happening. Scary to think that North Korea is "testing" missiles could endanger its close neighbors. But, maybe that was the intention. I thought a new, younger president would bring a modern way of thinking to North Korea, instead it sounds like they are spiralling downhill. High unemployment, high fuel and food prices. Hopefully South Korea is prepared for any wrongdoing on North Korea's part.... The Peace Dam may keep flooding away, however it is no match for nuclear weapons
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.
Through his Vanishing Cultures Project photographer Taylor Weidman documents threatened ways of life. About his work in Mongolia, he states: "Mongolian pastoral herders make up one of the world's largest remaining nomadic cultures. For millennia they have lived on the steppes, grazing their livestock on the lush grasslands. But today, their traditional way of life is at risk on multiple fronts. Alongside a rapidly changing economic landscape, climate change and desertification are also threatening nomadic life, killing both herds and grazing land."
In times of ecological hardships and global economic restructuring, many children of nomadic herders are seeking employment out of the rural areas and in the urban environment. The cultural change that this represents is for Mongolia enormous and is captured wonderfully in this photo gallery. Pictured above are the ger (yurt) camps that ring the capital city Ulaanbaatar. Ulaanbaatar houses a permanent population of displaced nomads. During the winter, Ulaanbaatar is the second most air-polluted capital in the world due largely to coal burning.
Jeffrey Gettleman, The Times’s Nairobi bureau chief, reports on how Kenya’s wildlife conservation corps is learning from a reformed poacher how to counter the growing threat to elephants.
In Somalia, former pirates are helping to patrol the coasts to prevent piracy. This idea of reforming and recruiting past criminals is also seen in Kenya as former poachers are trying to protect elephants that are essential to the local ecology as well as the tourism-driven economy. In addition to the attached video is this article which expands on these issues.
This interactive dot distribution map of the United States 2010 census data has many great applications. The conversation can focus on the symbology of the map (for example, this could lead to a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of dot distribution maps) or notice how certain physical landforms are visible for either their high or low population density. One of the advantages of this map is that it uses census data at the block level. This means that the user can visualize distinct scale-dependent patterns. Sharp divisions (e.g.-urban vs. rural) might have less of a distinct edge as you zoom in.
UPDATE: This map now includes Canadian and Mexican census data as well as the United States.