As a British expat who has lived and worked in the U.S. for over five years, I remain very much in favor of embracing the various wonderful nuances this country has to offer. However, there was one aspect of my move that—during the initial settling-in period—I secretly feared: the gradual Americanization of my vocabulary.
In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.
"The position [that belief in God is essential to morality] is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East. At least three-quarters in all six countries surveyed in Africa say that faith in God is essential to morality. People in richer nations tend to place less emphasis on the need to believe in God to have good values than people in poorer countries do."
"Self-taught Iranian photographer gains rare access to shoot religious buildings as they've never been seen. It's a side of Iran the rest of the world doesn't normally get to see -- the kaleidoscopically brilliant interiors of the country's intricately designed mosques.With beautiful mosaics and stained glass framed by powerful architecture, the buildings are astounding."
"Once a pit stop on the long, dangerous trail north to the U.S. border, Tenosique has become ground zero for a remarkably successful push to cut off the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States."
Grupo Beta [in Mexico] was established to provide food and medical assistance to migrants moving through the country to the United States. With facilities across the country along migratory routes, migrants have long become accustomed to seeking out the organization for help.
But since July, activists said that Grupo Beta workers in Tabasco and other border states have begun turning migrants into law enforcement. Several migrants in Tabasco said they had been targeted by law enforcement officials minutes after seeking out mobile Grupo Beta units providing food and water near the border. The plan had an almost immediate impact.
"Summer 2014 brought a sight that had not been seen since 1941: the Charles W. Morgan leaving the Mystic River for the Atlantic Ocean, stopping at several New England harbors before eventually arriving in New Bedford, Massachusetts where the ship was built in 1841. The Charles W. Morgan is the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the world, and a National Historic Landmark."
A sign urging environmental action during a United Nations summit meeting on climate change was placed near a 1,000-year-old geoglyph that is a cultural treasure in Peru. Officials are outraged over the trespassing and the disturbance of the ancient grounds.
"The ships, railroads, and trucks that transport containers worldwide form the backbone of the global economy. The pace of globalization over the last sixty years has accelerated due to containers; just like canals and railroads defined earlier phases in the development of a global economy. While distance used to be the largest obstacle to regional integration, these successive waves of transportation improvements have functionally made the world a smaller place. Geographers refer to this as the Space-Time Convergence."
"In the United States, there is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter. In recent years geneticists have been uncovering new evidence about our shared heritage, and last week a team of scientists published the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date, based on a study of 160,000 people."
"This map shows Human Development Index (HDI) for 169 countries in the World. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide. The HDI sets a minimum and a maximum for each dimension, called goalposts, and then shows where each country stands in relation to these goalposts, expressed as a value between 0 and 1, where greater is better. The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development: health, knowledge and standard of living."
"Mr. Tom is as much a chief technology officer as he is a farmer. Where his great-great-grandfather hitched a mule, 'we’ve got sensors on the combine, GPS data from satellites, cellular modems on self-driving tractors, apps for irrigation on iPhones,' he said.
The demise of the small family farm has been a long time coming. But for farmers like Mr. Tom, technology offers a lifeline, a way to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of making a living from the land. It is also helping them grow to compete with giant agribusinesses."
Too often, I find myself looking at this or that new map on the happiest places to live in the United States, the states with the most craft beer, or, more importantly, the least social mobility. I glance at where I live and think, well, it could be worse. At least I don’t live in Alabama. And then I move on.
Maps like these have become ubiquitous—indeed, some media outlets have entire sections devoted to them. But the 50-state map infographic is becoming the new pie chart—overused, often abused, and not always best suited for the task at hand.
"Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers. American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers. But a Los Angeles Times investigation found that for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the export boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship."