Human Geography is Everything!
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Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain

Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
The Spanish region of Catalonia adopts a resolution supporting independence from Spain, but Spain's PM says his government will challenge it.


Tags: Catalonia, Spain, political, devolution, autonomy, Europe, culture.


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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:45 AM

I've never heard of this country until recently when I came across a video on youtube about it. In my opinion, Catalonia has the right to secede from Spain because there are many ethnic group wanting their own dependence around the world and it doesn't feel like it's a part of another country. However, it all comes down to politics and Spain wants as much territory as it can get. Plus Catalonia is doing pretty for itself and the Spanish definitely want a part of that.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 1:25 PM

the Catalonia independence movement is just a small part of a large number of regions which were once autonomous and wish to be again. with so many of these areas in Europe the independence movements are finding hard to get support from other nations.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:29 AM

Challenging succession is a difficult task. First of all, there has to be a vote by the people and there has to be a strong driving force to get a positive outcome on the vote. The Prime Minister of Spain claims he will try to block it by filing a suit with the Constitutional Court. Succession of a country faces many hurdles especially if it does not have a strong vote to succeed and the opposition vote is strong.

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What happened when Portugal decriminalized drugs?

"For 20 years The Economist has led calls for a rethink on drug prohibition. This film looks at new approaches to drugs policy, from Portugal to Colorado. 'Drugs: War or Store?' kicks off our new 'Global Compass' series, examining novel approaches to policy problems."

 

Tags: Portugal, Europe, political, popular culture, narcotics.


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Kevin Arboleda's curator insight, September 9, 2015 3:19 PM

It is crazy to think that Drugs such as Marijuana can create such a major market and a vast amount of money that can help out the economy. Governments should begin to control these certain drugs like Marijuana that are not as damaging as drugs like cocaine. They should then allow it to be sold to people, obviously with caution and restrictions. Colorado seems to be doing just perfectly fine.

Lon Woodbury's curator insight, September 9, 2015 9:15 PM

The other side of the war on drugs. -Lon

Penrith Farms's curator insight, September 11, 2015 1:21 PM

Very important insight

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Exclaves and Sovereignty

Exclaves and Sovereignty | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"Prime Minister David Cameron is 'seriously concerned' about the escalation of tensions on the border between Spain and the British territory of Gibraltar."


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megan b clement's curator insight, October 13, 2013 12:37 AM

"The video explains about Spain and Gibraltar and how they have feuded back and forth with one another and their borders for some time now. Gibraltar has made a articfical reef to mess with the Spainish fisherman and SPain has made travel to Gibraltar nearly impossible and dreadfully long for tourists. Spain understands how essential tourism is to their economy. Until they are able to come to an agreement thei matter is only going to intenisfy more and worsen."

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 10:55 AM

I was unaware that the UK owned this part of Gibraltar.  It seems like a throwback to the UK’s naval policies of the past that they would still to control this point of entry into the Mediterranean.  It will be interesting to see how this will be resolved.  As it is a dispute between two countries that are both part of the EU. 

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 11:59 AM
unit 4
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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 

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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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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...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 12, 2013 10:35 AM

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.  

BTC's comment, February 12, 2013 10:46 AM
Interesting, but the reality is much more complex....
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What if Greece quits the euro?

What if Greece quits the euro? | Human Geography is Everything! | 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?

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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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Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves?

Little England: What's Left If Scotland Leaves? | Human Geography is Everything! | 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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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. 

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Is it time to scrap "Eastern Europe"?

"Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging "


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Vermont Social Studies's curator insight, October 6, 2015 8:47 AM

Danube Europe? Roma Europe? Scared of Russia Europe? Solvent Europe? Could be a great learning exercise to have your students decide and justify the best new term.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 4, 2015 7:15 PM

I don't know what else you'd want to call the region. Western Asia? Western Russia? I understand that the culture isn't particularly what one would think of when they think "Europe". Regions are like nicknames, you don't get to pick your own (unless you're Howard Stern).

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:53 AM

It's true the term Eastern Europe is very outdated because borders are constantly changing. Also different ethnic groups and geographic differences that make up the region divide the west and east. However, some countries such as Greece wants to be more Europe and the countries surrounding it are not really "western". So by labeling countries by fixed region is not very accurate in terms of where they are located on the map.

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Italy is a 'dying country' says minister as birth rate plummets

Italy is a 'dying country' says minister as birth rate plummets | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
New figures show the lowest total number of births since the formation of the modern Italian state

 

Fewer babies were born in Italy in 2014 than in any other year since the modern Italian state was formed in 1861, new data show, highlighting the demographic challenge faced by the country’s chronically sluggish economy.  National statistics office ISTAT said on Thursday the number of live births last year was 509,000, or 5,000 fewer than in 2013, rounding off half a century of decline.  The number of babies born to both natives and foreigners living in Italy dropped as immigration, which used to support the overall birth rate, tumbled to its lowest level for five years.

 

Tag: Italy, Europe, declining populations, population, demographic transition model.


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Emma Conde's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:00 PM

Unit II: Population and Migration

 

As Italy becomes a highly developed country, it begins to experience a large population decline. Fertility rates are negative and continue to decline, and mortality rates are dropping as well. People are not having large families, and all of these factors contribute to the rapidly declining population of Italy. The prime minister of Italy hopes to simulate an economic and cultural recharge in hopes that this will help encourage people to make more babies so that the population does not continue to decline at this rate.

 

This relates to the demographic transition model, as Italy is in the last stage of it. Once countries are developed, fertility rates begin to slow as mortality rates continue to decline, causing a decline in the total overall population. This is clearly exemplified through this story about Italy. 

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:01 PM

The low birth rate in Italy is causing the country to think that its dying because there aren't enough new-born to replace the ones that passed away. As the article state, it mainly in the south where the economy is very poor and the average family is not making as much money as they should to support more children. This might lead people to migrate to other places  to find opportunities for their future generations. If Italy could find a way distribute wealth evenly across the countries they might be able to find a better result in birth rate. This is easier said than done however. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 3:44 PM

its fascinating that there may no longer be such a term as Italian outside of history books in fifty years. the low birth rate in European countries is a major concern, especially as the economies in those same countries start to suffer.

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Song: European Union

Song: European Union | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it

"Germany and France spent decades at each others' throats. Now, bound by a common currency, they're working together to save the euro zone. It's a story that's begging for a musical number — which, as it happens, we have right here."


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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:21 AM

Yet, they are both singing in the English man language, like wanted to be heard by glorious England. The European Union is strong, but at the same time fragile. It feel it can break by any politic different.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:03 PM

Looking at European history as a whole this recent unity between nations, especially Germany and France is an incredibly new and unusual concept. For centuries European countries have been at one another's throats only in the late 20th century has this changed. While this idea of a musical is humors it shows that because of globalization and economics these nations have bounded together and now are heavily reliant upon one another.   

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:04 PM

Its humorous how after years of being in conflict with one another, this song manages to highlight the ways in which France and Germany, along with other European countries have manged to over their differences. Along in this song highlights the things in which these countries are known for demonstrates the pure genius in all of this.

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Flag wars

Flag wars | Human Geography is Everything! | 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..."


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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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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...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 12, 2013 10:35 AM

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.  

BTC's comment, February 12, 2013 10:46 AM
Interesting, but the reality is much more complex....
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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 | Human Geography is Everything! | Scoop.it
The extent of the campaign is shocking.

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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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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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