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Why China Will Reclaim Siberia - NYTimes.com

Why China Will Reclaim Siberia - NYTimes.com | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Like love, a border is real only if both sides believe in it. And on both sides of the Sino-Russian border, that belief is wavering. By Frank Jacobs.

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7 parts of Russia that other countries could call theirs

7 parts of Russia that other countries could call theirs | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
If Crimea ‘historically’ belongs to Russia, these other regions ‘historically’ don’t.

 

The rise and fall of empires, two World Wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union mean the map of Europe has been redrawn more times than Russian President Vladimir Putin has posed shirtless. And anyone who claims they owned anywhere first would, if they were being entirely honest, probably have to admit that someone else got there before them.

That was Putin’s logic for the Russian annexation of Crimea. It used to be ours. Therefore it always was, therefore it still is.

Well, by the same token, several other countries could take bites out of Russia. The world’s largest country didn’t start off that way. Just like every other empire, it invaded, conquered, negotiated and seized the lands it now calls its own.

Some of those lands are fiercely disputed to this day, some are the subjects of uneasy settlements, and some have long ago been relinquished to Russia’s unchallenged control. But here’s a list of the most important Russian territories that other countries could, if they chose, try to claim back.

 


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Mr. Gresham's curator insight, April 11, 8:49 AM

Examples of irredentism?

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Russia recognises Crimea as nation

Russia recognises Crimea as nation | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree recognising Crimea as a sovereign state, paving the way for it to be absorbed into Russia. The decree said it had taken into account Sunday's referendum in Crimea, in which officials said 97% of voters backed breaking away from Ukraine."


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Allison Anthony's curator insight, March 17, 5:57 PM

Actually, it should say Russia recognizes Crimea as a STATE...

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Security Still A Major Concern In Sochi

ESPN Video: Jeremy Schaap details the threats to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2:14 PM

Security is a major concern in Sochi! There have been suicide bombers and many other forms of bomb threats. The athletes are under MAX security and in my opinion need to be because they are in danger because of the way their society is over there and the current issues they have been dealing or not dealing with.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2:57 PM

The Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia concern many across the globe. Located very close to neighboring terrorists, Olympic athletes question whether it is safe to go or not. ESPN discusses the concerns, threats and  increase of security at the games this year. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 8:29 PM

The Olympic games only come around every four years. From a spectators point of view, these games are a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people will be watching them from home and in attendance in Sochi. Threats against HUGE events like these need to be taken seriously. Whether or not they are realistic, with so many lives in potential danger Russia needs to take the threats seriously.

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This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal

This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The tug-of-war for Ukraine.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 3:04 PM

With gas being the key factor to the Russia-Eu tug of war over Ukraine, Russia fights hard to win this battle. Russia needs Ukraine as their own due to all the pipelines that transport the gas to Europe. Who will win this tug-of-war?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 12:26 AM

This infographic gives an idea of why Russia is so invested in Ukraine. The energy infrastructure built during the Soviet era runs almost entirely through Ukraine. A significant amount of gasoline consumed in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, while over 2/3rds of all the gas Russia exports to the EU goes through Ukraine. This puts Ukraine in a position of power, but the country itself is divided between the East and West making siding with the EU or Russia difficult. These are lasting effects of the Soviet era.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 11:28 AM

Besides the very intense cultural and political split that exists in Ukraine and the conflict as a whole, one of the key factors in this situation is gas.  This infographic shows that both Ukraine and the EU gets their gas from Russia, and Ukraine is the area which the gas lines flow through.  As soon as many people in Ukraine showed interest in joining the EU, Russia reminded Ukrainians and the world of this fact

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Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 20, 9:49 PM

This is a sad reality humans must live with forever and something we as people must learn from. A man made disaster that occurred many years ago has a negative impact on areas surrounding the shrinking Aral Sea to this day. People cannot exploit an area of water this large, as this is not only harming the environment, but many human beings, as well

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 9:24 AM

This startling picture from space of the Aral Sea is heartbreaking.  The destruction of this inland sea is a terrible thing to behold.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 8:36 PM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

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European women marry, give hope to Samaritans

European women marry, give hope to Samaritans | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:21 PM

I know a man who is Indian, and his grandparents came from India.  He tells me that their people do not formally or very much at all approve of interbreeding between their people and other cultures.  He says Indians stick with Indians, and that's how it's supposed to be.  I think in the future that the genetic diseases will be abolished by selective characteristic modification through reproductive alteration using technology- I think DNA modification will become a popular trick in both reproduction and everyday life that will allow for the end of illness.  This would allow people to marry into other cultures without fear of genetic complications, but they would still have that cultural barrier my Indian acquaintence referred to.  That same dude has some funny insight about Italians and other cultures, and noted that Italian-Americans are not really Italian at all.  We had a couple of interesting discussions regarding different cultures, and he told me that he is 100% Indian.  I don't mean to seem degrading AT ALL but the first thing that popped into my head was how people breed dogs to be purebreds, which are coveted and expensive, as well as pure.  I'm a blend of many different nationalities, and I'm proud of it... The universe is a blend of many nationalities, and I ever-ponder my connection with the Universe, and it's nice to know that I have a commonality with the Universe!

Cam E's curator insight, February 18, 12:00 PM

It's a very interesting and sad phenomenon when groups that thrived in the past begin to dwindle to a point where the acts of individuals can decide the entire future of the demographic. It brings in questions of tradition and if those people have a duty to propagate their genes to keep their group alive. I can only imagine how tense the environment could be when single accidents or deaths could mean the end of your people.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 12:14 PM

This article describes a how the small religious group, the Samaritans, have seen their numbers shrink to unsustainable levels and have been forced to turn outside to find wives. These men are importing brides from places like Ukraine because of a significant gender imbalance and heightened risk of birth defects due to genetic homogenization over the centuries. These circumstances present an fairly unique case of migration, one which should it become a standard practice, could have an effect on the culture of the Samaritan communities.

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Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire

Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original.

 

"Maps are not merely distilled representations of geographic realities. Over time, they come to represent an organic bundling of history: reconstructed, imagined, and manipulated. Historically, they have been the tools with which expanding empires have legitimized their conquests, imposed identities, and created administrative order, and with which victims have constructed alternative narratives and salvaged their own national memories. Never was this truer than in the period in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when a burgeoning Romanov empire joined Austria and Prussia in wiping Poland-Lithuania from the map and absorbing it into their swelling realms. Seegel intricately analyzes the cartography of imperial Russia and Poland-Lithuania as the science evolved and historical demands were placed on it. This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original. Seegel should be congratulated for creating it, and the University of Chicago Press, for producing it."  You may also see this title on Amazon. 

 

Tags: book reviews, Russia, cartography, historical.


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Russian Orthodox believers mark Epiphany with icy plunge

Russian Orthodox believers mark Epiphany with icy plunge | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany on January 19 with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the...

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 19, 6:03 PM

These photographs show how intense this purification process is. The members of this religion suffer, as they submerge themselves into ice-cold water. This epiphany the Russian Orthodox members go through seem to be painful, but it proves they are dedicated to their faith. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 1:14 AM

These photos are an excellent example of how geography influences culture. The extremely cold climate of Russia has led to this baptism-like ritual in the Russian Orthodox religion. The practitioners are cleansing themselves and showing dedication by bathing themselves in the freezing lakes of Russia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 8:45 PM

Ice plunges happen all over the world for many different reasons. Some do it on New Years day in honor of ringing in a new year. This ice plunge happened to be in honor of Epiphany for the Russian Orthodox Church. 

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 


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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:51 PM

Absolutely frightening to see a city so empty.  To only imgine what could have been in Chernobyl today if this nuclear disaster didn't happen.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 20, 2013 3:03 PM

The pictures are breathtaking.  What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come.  In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced.  There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl.  Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was.  Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:51 AM

These photo's are rather gripping.  Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years.  The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.

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Human/Environmental Interactions

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century.  Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.  The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates. 


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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:49 PM

I've read about the disaster of the Aral Sea before when I was taking a class on Eurasian history, but being able to visualize it made it even more striking. It was especially striking when, at the end, the man was talking about the great paradox he sees between people who are being threatened with rising ocean levels and then his people who are threatened by the drying of the Aral. It really does show how humans impact the environment, and demonstrates that areas in which people are manual laborers, working resources, health and environmental conditions tend to be worse. 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 1:11 PM

This has to be one of the most telling video of an environmental disaster I have even seen.  A whole sea, 26,000 square miles, bigger than the state of West Virginia, is bascially gone due to Soviet mismanagement.  This is an environmental disaster now that the Russians do not have to deal with as it is now located in the independant country of Kazakhstan.  It effects them as well as the new countries that have come to be withthe collapse of the USSR.  Seems Russian dodged this just like Chernobyl.  This is something we need to lean from, on how not to use a natural resource until it literally has dried up.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 12:24 PM

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia is a very important water source for the entire region.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union designated this water sources as one which would provide water to rice and cotton crops, which are both very water-intensive crops.  This has resulted in desertification of the area due to the cyclical shrinking volume of the lake.  Sands and chemicals are now free to blow around, affecting people's health.  This is one of the best examples on earth of environmental exploitation due to a lack of environmental planning.  When the lake dries up, the inhabitants of the surrounding countries will be in huge trouble.

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Russians are leaving the country in droves

Russians are leaving the country in droves | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Over a bottle of vodka and a traditional Russian salad of pickles, sausage and potatoes tossed in mayonnaise, a group of friends raised their glasses and wished Igor Irtenyev and his family a happy journey to Israel.

 


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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 28, 2013 11:44 PM

In the last 10 years about 1.25 million russians have emigrated out of Russia, but the way they do it is interesting. When they leave they dont sell their houses, or aparments, or cars they simply lock their doors and quietly slip away to the airports at night. The reasons for leaving are different thought, some are leaving because the prime minister is expected to return while some are leaving because of the awful econonmy. Either way the massive amounts of emigration is leading to a higher death rate then birth rate overall. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 1:23 AM

This article from a couple years ago is about Russian emigration. A large number of Russians were leaving the country for better economic opportunity. Some cite the overbearing rule of Putin, but the pay in other countries is just better than what Russia can offer. This was particularly the case for the more educated, another instance of "brain drain" hurting a nation which is already in trouble.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 12:00 PM

Migration occurs for many reasons. People move from country to country every day. Leaving Russia was this families choice and moving to Israel can have an impact on them greater than if they were to stay in Russia.

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Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine

Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
There have been a number of warnings from Kiev and Washington about the possibility of a direct and open Russian military intervention in Ukraine. But what could that look like?

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 27, 5:36 PM

I'm not saying any of these 3 scenarios are going to happen nor am I endorsing them either.  That said, this article/podcast provides a geopolitical analysis (with maps) of Russia's potential military options if they are planning on invading Ukraine. 


Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 11:51 AM

Everyone is awaiting Russia's next move in Ukraine.  Because of this, whatever Russia does next will be very important in shaping both local and foreign perceptions of the situation.  Although the first option seems theoretically unlikely, the current situation is spiraling downhill and is resembling full-out war on the surface, even though Russia believes they are completely in the right.

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This map shows what the loss of Crimea really means for Ukraine

This map shows what the loss of Crimea really means for Ukraine | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
In practical terms.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, March 25, 6:51 PM

There are stated reasons and underlying reasons for political decision s. 

Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 10:24 PM

Unit IV

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Why Sochi?

Why Sochi? | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Why would Vladimir Putin want to host the Olympics in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 1:46 PM

It comes at not shock that Russia has had it's share of bad rulers that exzibit totalitarianistic views. Russia has always been in a state of massacre or some time of bad war torn conflict happeening. Russia is also the type of place where you can drive in each way 45 minutes and be able to either swim in the black sea or ski on the snowy trails. I think this is one of the reasons why the winter olympics are hosted here.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2:52 PM

There are many reasons as to why the Olympics this year are held in Sochi, Russia i. Although it is an underdeveloped, terrorist driven area, it holds much potential and Vladimir Putin has reasons to why it is the perfect place.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 12:59 AM

This article explains why Putin wanted the Winter Olympic games to be in Sochi. The Olympics have historically been used as a way for a nation to showcase progress or power, and the case is no different here. By hosting the games in Sochi, Putin was drawing attention to his successful crushing of the Chechen rebels and Russia's reinvestment into the area. Through the games, Putin is trying to make an international statement about the security and progress in this war-torn area. Still, there are a number of Chechen rebel cells and Circassian protesters in the area with a grudge against Russia.

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9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask

9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

Watch a video that explains Ukraine's crisis in two minutes or read this quick article that covers the same material.  

 

Ukrainians have been protesting since Nov. 21, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal for closer integration with the European Union, instead drawing the country closer to Russia. They are still in the streets in huge numbers and have seized regional government buildings in several parts of the country. In Kiev, the capital, clashes between protesters and security forces have become violent, killing several people. On Tuesday, the prime minister resigned. No one is quite sure what will happen next.

 


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Cam E's curator insight, February 18, 11:55 AM

Ukraine is one of those countries on a fault line between two major regional powers, with it splitting the country almost neatly in half. Could Ukraine become a split country akin to Germany during the Cold War? The clean cut Russian influenced East and the pro-European west seem almost too divided to reach an agreement

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 1:08 PM

This two minute video perfectly explains where there is such a crisis in Ukraine. The country is literally divided. The people in areas closest to Russia speak Russian, and the farther west the less people are speaking Russian. It makes sense why the people who are Pro-Russian speak Russian and were most likely displaced during the years of the USSR and Soviet Russia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 8:44 PM

This article is somewhat humorous. It nails asking and answering questions that people are "to afraid" to ask. Ukraine has had its ups and downs and the division of land has been a huge problem for it. Ukraine is going to have to work harder to get the exact European ties that it wants to have. Protests are being a serious issue in Kiev and Ukraine needs to get a grip on whats happening to its country.

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Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."


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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:43 AM

Stalin probably did not have the outlook of his country's geography in mind when he deported all of these people.  It goes to show that ruthless dictatorships are never the way to go, as impulsive decisions and tyranny can have consequences for the long term.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 1:09 AM

This article details the ethnic deportation of peoples during the Soviet era. Many peoples were relocated under the guise of creating an ethnically unified Soviet Union but the truth was while some of the deportations were to simply move workers places of planned industry, many were to exile those deemed enemies of the state. The article estimates over 40% of those relocated died of diseases, malnutrition, or mistreatment. These forced migrations changed the demographics of Eastern Europe and Asia while causing major conflicts between various ethnic groups and Russia.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 9:22 AM

This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation.  This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia.  The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die.  The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today.  The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.

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The Geography of Chechnya

The Geography of Chechnya | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 17, 2013 3:01 PM

Using this article helps to teach ourselves, students, and others about particular places in the world that are unknown or very little known.  We can use articles such as this one to be less prejudiced and more apt to think about these places of the world in a different context rather than just a negative, terrorism-related one.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 19, 2013 10:16 AM

Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 9:27 AM

It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages.  The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.

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Impact: Earth!

Impact: Earth! | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 23, 2013 2:17 PM

Given the recent meteor in Russia, interest has been high on the subject.  Have you every wanted to simulate a the impact of a meteorite?  Then this is just what you've always wanted. If you would rather to see an incredibly entertaining clip from the Daily Show, then knock yourself out (disclaimer: it's a VERY irreverant look at the the dash-cam footage from Russia that many just discovered after the meteor hit last week).  

Ignacio Conejo Moreno's curator insight, February 25, 2013 5:56 AM

¡¡Realmente, acongoja un poquito!!

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Feuding Over Food

Feuding Over Food | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
In the Caucasus, culinary nationalism is an extension of the region's long-simmering disputes.

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Jamie Strickland's curator insight, January 29, 2013 2:36 PM

This is a great addition to include for my World Food Problems course this semester.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 30, 2013 11:25 AM

A nations food is often used to celebrate their national identity but it can also be used to highlight national rivalries. For example the Czechs reffer to their Slovak cousins as Halusky after one of their traditonal dishes. Culinary flashpoints can also arise when nations claim the same dishes as their own.  

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 3:30 PM

Azerbaijanis, Turks, and Armenian share a lot of the same foods. Instead of enjoying the similarities and cultural nationalism, they are disputing. Eat, drink and be  merry?

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Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too?

Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too? | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Like a detective at a crime scene, chief language inspector Antons Kursitis scans the lobby of a hotel in downtown Riga. He spots a brochure that lists hotel services in Russian only, a flagrant violation of Latvia's language laws.

 

"Protecting the Latvian language — that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian — has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language."  What historical, political and demographic factors shape this cultural issue of language?  Why is language often seen as so crucial to cultural identity?  

 

The Latvian voters have spoken: in a massive voter turn-out, they struck down the referendum that sought to make Russian an official language.  "Latvia is the only place throughout the world where Latvian is spoken, so we have to protect it," said Martins Dzerve, 37, in Riga, Latvia's capital. "But Russian is everywhere."  For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397    


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Nicholas Rose's comment, September 4, 2012 11:48 AM
This article is really interesting to read about. The reason why is because of the existence of the Soviet Union during World War II. Each Soviet Republic during that time had their own language and children were taught to speak Russian during school. Since the Soviet Union fell after the Cold War in 1991, all of the former Soviet Republics are free countries now and should be allowed to speak their official language instead of Russian.
Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:14 AM
It is definitely important for Latvians to hold on tightly to their culture. However, the Soviet Union caused Russian culture and language to spread throughout the USSR and countries are feeling the effects today. There are millions of Russians in former satellite nations who hold on to their Russian culture. At the same time, these nations wish to regain their national pride especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is a difficult conundrum, but I do agree with the Latvians' decision.
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Fiddler on the roof

The clip which starts a 2:15, and is an audiovisually rich cultural collage.  Folk cultures are often described as regionally based, nearly homogenous, rural cultures.  These societies are typically dominated by the older generation, traditional, family-based and slow to change. 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 26, 2013 8:53 AM

The clip which starts at 2:15, is an audiovisually rich cultural collage.  Folk cultures are often described as regionally based, nearly homogenous, rural cultures.  These societies are typically dominated by the older generation, traditional, family-based and slow to change. 

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 13, 2013 3:16 PM

This video is a good example of folk culture, because in folk culture, we see a culture of tradition, which beliefs and behavior as pasted on from generation to generation. For example; we see the girls cleaning, cooking, doing the house work, and the boys are working in the field etc. also we see in the video a very small community. They relative live isolation from other groups; in one part of the video the narrator said something like. “they don’t bother us and we don’t bother them” a good example of how folk culture work.

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Folk Cultures: Fiddler on the roof

Folk cultures are rural, religious, agricultural, family-based and in a word: traditional.  This classic movie's opening 10 minutes are a good primer for markers of folk cultures and struggles that folk cultures have to maintain there vitality in a globalizing world.  


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 26, 2013 8:55 AM

Folk cultures are rural, religious, agricultural, family-based and in a word: traditional.  This classic movie's opening 10 minutes are a good primer for markers of folk cultures and struggles that folk cultures have to maintain there vitality in a globalizing world.