“The thing about football - the important thing about football -is that it is not just about football."
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
“The thing about football - the important thing about football -is that it is not just about football."
They eyes of the world will be turning to Brazil next month as the World Cup will be played in this South American country. This is a perfect opportunity to pounce on student interest and teach them about Brazil, the urban geography and politics of hosting a major event such as this. Follow the link for some lessons bound to garner student interest.
"Changes in relationships can be hard to take. The economic bond between Latin America and Spain, its biggest former colonial power, is shifting as the region’s economies mature. Despite some ruffled feathers, the evolution is positive. After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around."
I am hesitant to use the term post-colonial since there are theoretical constructs that use that term to embody cultural hegemonic power structures. I'm simply using it to mean "after colonialism" because the power paradigm is shifting to the former colonies.
Fury, anarchy, martyrdom: Why the youth of Brazil are (forever) protesting, and how their anger may consume the World Cup.
Protests in public spaces are colliding with the Brazil's World Cup/Olympic dreams. The government wants to show the world the best that the country has to offer and protestors are using this moment to highlight the social ills in their country and some of the collateral damages of these major sporting events. This may not seem like a sports issue per se, but one of social unrest that happens to be more highly publicized because of the coming international sporting events to Brazil. Many see the money that went to constructing massive stadiums as money that bypassed those that needed it most and the poor neighborhoods (favelas) that were demolished to make way for an 'ideal city' that the world would see. The world's eye is on Brazil and both sides know it.
The origins of the protests were based on hikes in public transit fares, but a movement of general discontent began, with many voices and multiple perspectives. While the World Cup is a rallying point, many argue that it isn't the World Cup they are angry about, but corruption and social inequality. FIFA is starting to think of contingency plans if protests continue and threaten the World Cup. The lack of clear leadership some feel is the reason why the protest have lost some steam in July as stated in this NPR podcast. This photo essay of the protest movement with a gallery of 39 photos is quite intriguing.
Infographics showing the distribution of the Roman Catholic population in the world, where it has risen and fallen in recent years.
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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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?
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.
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?
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.
"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.