"French is currently ranked sixth among world languages, after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic. But it is gaining speakers quickly and, the study reports, will be spoken by 750 million in 2050, up from 220 million today. A demographic boom in French-speaking African states could bump the percentage of global French speakers from 3 percent to 8 percent by 2050, but some skeptics think the predictions are overrated."
Ask any teenager for directions and he can pull up Google Maps quicker than you can recite an address. Pretty awesome, right? And I’ll be the first to admit that having a map in my phone that not only tells me where to turn but how long it will take me to get there is pretty amazing. I use it all the time, honestly. But even when I’m zoning out and listening to that soothing voice telling me where to turn, I have a mental picture in my head of her directions. And I never realized that my teenage daughter doesn’t have a map in her head, because she’s never really had to use one. Ever.
Maps. They’ve been around longer than photographs. They’ve defined empires,guided explorers, told stories, and captured the imagination of many a hopeful traveler for years. While most appreciate the beauty and power of a good map, few recognize the dynamic and vital applications they have today.
"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.
According to new Pew Research demographic projections, by 2050 there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%), possibly for the first time in history. Read more at http://pewrsr.ch/projections.
"Where have immigrants to the U.S. come from? Natalia Bronshtein, a professor and consultant who runs the blog Insightful Interaction, created this fascinating visualization of the number of immigrants to the U.S. since 1829 by country of origin. The graph hints at tragic events in world history. The first influx of Irish occurred during the potato famine in 1845, while the massive influx of Russians in the first decade of the 20th Century was driven by anti-Semitic violence of the Russian pogroms (riots). Meanwhile in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, army conscription and the forced assimilation of minority groups drove people to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Since WWII, Central and South America and Asia have replaced Europe as the largest source of immigrants to the U.S. Immigration shrunk to almost nothing as restrictions tightened during WWII, and then gradually expanded to reach its largest extent ever in the first decade of the 21st Century."
"Examinations, tests, assessments—whatever the nomenclature, it’s hard to imagine schooling without them. Testing is the most popular method of quantifying individuals’ knowledge, often with the intention of objectively measuring aptitude and ability. Test-taking is a dreaded experience that the country’s kids and young adults share with their counterparts across the globe. The ritual at its core doesn’t vary much: Students sit at a table or a computer desk (or sometimes, as shown below, on the floor), pencil and/or mouse in hand, the clock ticking away mercilessly."
To convey the lives of the people buried beneath them, and the expectations for what comes after death, symbolism has long been part of tombstones. Below is our guide to some of the most prevalent cemetery symbols. Take it along on your next wander through the necropolis!
"It’s a good time to reflect on what truly inspires us. What gives us, as individuals, our own sense of independence? And how can we apply that sense of joyful independence to help us engage more actively and participate more readily in the world—to make it a better place, even? Cultivating a better geographical and cultural appreciation for the world, in the next generation as well as in our own, is a pretty good place to start."
"In some ways, all 2D maps of Earth are interrupted at some point, even if it’s just along the antimeridian at 180°. Interruptions are often in areas of less interest e.g. oceans for a land-focused map."
It is that time of the year again. I hear the scurry of my colleagues sorting through old folders, re-organizing class notes.Alas, for too many of my fellow geographers the start of the teaching season is greeted with groans. It means less time for research.
"In which John Green discusses the Syrian refugee crisis and the growing number of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea crossing the sea with the help of smugglers to seek refuge in European Union nations. Also discussed: The difference between migrants and refugees, the rights of refugees as established by international law, the globalization of all regional crises, and how the death of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi galvanized the world." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1YS
The proposed Nicaragua Canal could be one of the largest engineering projects in history and promises to bring thousands of jobs to the impoverished country. But the government’s secretive deal with a Chinese-led firm has some Nicaraguans raising the alarm about displacement and environmental destruction in the canal’s path.
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