Some of these are awfully, some are unintentionally awesome, but I think the one above might be even better than that. It's as if the cartographer in this one is purposefully making that gives us no knew information in the least informative way possible on purpose to make a snarky critique on the abundance of ill-conceived maps out there.
Yes, the title is somewhat misleading (isn't that almost expected these days?), since humanity has been selectively breeding crops since the first agricultural revolution and genetic alteration can occur independent of human intervention. Humanity has always been using the best technologies available to improve agricultural practices. The term GMO though, is usually reserved for scientific, technological modifications that were unimaginable 100 years ago.
The four maps in this article highlight many of the demographic issues that are currently impacting Europe. See also this article showing where in Europe populations are declining and where they are growing.
"In 2006, Panamanians approved a referendum to expand the Panama Canal, doubling its capacity and allowing far larger ships to transit the 100-year-old waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific. Work began in 2007 to raise the capacity of Gatun Lake and build two new sets of locks, which would accommodate ships carrying up to 14,000 containers of freight, tripling the size limit. Sixteen massive steel gates, weighing an average of 3,100 tons each, were built in Italy and shipped to Panama to be installed in the new locks. Eight years and $5.2 billion later, the expansion project is nearing completion. The initial stages of flooding the canals have begun and the projected opening date has been set for April of 2016."
Saudi Arabia produces much of its electricity by burning oil, a practice that most countries abandoned long ago, reasoning that they could use coal and natural gas instead and save oil for transportation, an application for which there is no mainstream alternative. Most of Saudi Arabia’s power plants are colossally inefficient, as are its air conditioners, which consumed 70 percent of the kingdom’s electricity in 2013. Although the kingdom has just 30 million people, it is the world’s sixth-largest consumer of oil.Now, Saudi rulers say, things must change. Their motivation isn’t concern about global warming; the last thing they want is an end to the fossil-fuel era. Quite the contrary: they see investing in solar energy as a way to remain a global oil power. The Saudis burn about a quarter of the oil they produce—and their domestic consumption has been rising at an alarming 7 percent a year, nearly three times the rate of population growth.
Tags: Saudi Arabia, energy, resources, consumption, Middle East, sustainability.
The financially troubled island now says it is unable to pay an estimated $72 billion debt, casting a pall on bond markets and pension funds. On the surface, Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is one of run-away spending on public welfare, with a diminishing small tax and economic base to support it. However, the island’s troubles are also tied to its commonwealth status: Puerto Rico is part of the United States but it lacks the local autonomy afforded to other U.S. states and electoral representation in Congress.
It is finally time for Puerto Rico to break free. Independence would allow Puerto Ricans to directly address their economic woes, but, perhaps more important, it will grant the island’s 3.5 million inhabitants the right to determine their own destiny. On July 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that Puerto Rico couldn’t restructure its own debt. Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory bars the island from requesting bailout funds from other development banks. Independence, nationalists argue, would allow the commonwealth to make these and other autonomous choices.
Food waste is a tragedy that we all know happens, but the economic system does not work efficiently to maximize the global food production (Disclaimer: it is HBO's John Oliver, so there is some language and references that might not be appropriate for all audiences).
Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, video, unit 5 agriculture.
"Data is great, but working with numbers can be intimidating. We have more data than ever before that is available to us, and graphs, charts, and spreadsheets are ways that data can be shared. If that data has a spatial element to it, the best way to visualize a large dataset might just be a map."
The distribution of medals shows the existing Olympic inequalities: The overall patterns are a reflection of wealth distribution in the world, raising the question whether money can buy sporting success. Besides investment in sports by those countries who can afford it, the medal tables also reflect a battle for global supremacy in political terms.
Tags: sport, popular culture, mapping, historical, cartography.
"It’s not just a sausage in a bun; it’s a beautiful blank canvas. It’s a hot dog, which is a foodstuff eaten worldwide. Here are 40 distinctive varieties from around the globe — from iconic NYC 'dirty water dogs' to fully loaded South American street-cart dogs to Japanese octo-dogs. There is a tubesteak out there for every craving that ever was."
The 4th of July is the day of Coney Island's Hot Dog eating contest and the quintessential day to have a barbeque in the United States. Some see the hot dog as a mere symbol of the uniformity of globalized culture in the 21st century that diffused out from the United States. There is much more to be seen in the globalization of food. Yes, the global goes to the whole world, but distinct places make this global cultural trait intensely local. For example the hot dogs in Cincinnati are famous for being topped with chili and an obscene quantity of cheese, but in Costa Rica, I learned to love eating hot dogs deep fried, topped with cabbage, mayo and ketchup, just like the Ticos. Food is but one example of this phenomena known as glocalization, where diffusion and divergence keep the world both global and local.
Poverty happens all over the world, in the United States, in Africa, South America, you name a region and there is poverty in that area. There are many myths about poverty though, and myths about regions where poverty defines the region in many people's eyes. African economies are on the rise, but there is still many struggles ahead.
"Kind of fun. Branden Rishel mapped just the time zones. No borders or countries for context. In case you're confused and want to know where these lines come from, BBC News made an interactive that explains why time zones are the way they are."
On July 31st India and Bangladesh will exchange 162 parcels of land, each of which happens to lie on the wrong side of the Indo-Bangladesh border. The end of these enclaves follows an agreement made between India and Bangladesh on June 6th. The territories along the world’s craziest border include the pièce de résistance of strange geography: the world’s only “counter-counter-enclave”: a patch of India surrounded by Bangladeshi territory, inside an Indian enclave within Bangladesh. How did the enclaves come into existence?The enclaves are invisible on most maps; most are invisible on the ground too. But they became an evident problem for their 50,000-odd inhabitants with the emergence of passport and visa controls. Independent India and Bangladesh—part of Pakistan until 1971—each refused to let the other administer its exclaves, leaving their people effectively stateless.According to Reece Jones, a political geographer, the plots were cut from larger territories by treaties signed in 1711 and 1713 between the maharaja of Cooch Behar and the Mughal emperor in Delhi, bringing to an end a series of minor wars.It was partition, the division of India and Pakistan, that turned the enclaves into a no-man’s-land. The Hindu maharaja of Cooch Behar chose to join India in 1949 and he brought with him the ex-Mughal, ex-British possessions he inherited. Enclaves on the other side of the new border were swallowed (but not digested) by East Pakistan, which later became Bangladesh.
Tags: borders, geopolitics, political, India, South Asia, Bangladesh.
In an edited extract from his new book, Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at the University of Sheffield, argues that the idea of the population bomb is a fallacy and that the human population is checking its rise without the need for a grand plan
This essay is written by a critic of Thomas Malthus and could serve as a bridge to discuss issues in a population unit and an urban unit. In a nutshell, Dorling feels that that Malthusian-like fears and assumptions about the proliferation of slums are unfounded; this is a good reading that can spark some conversation in a college seminar.
Short, sweet and to the point--this video is a great way to show the historical geographies of major world religions. What are the cultural barriers to the diffusion of one of these particular religions? What geographic factors helped to facilitate the expansion of one of these world religions?
Take a tour through America's immigrant heritage — at its most and least welcoming
American politicians, and Americans themselves, love to call themselves "a nation of immigrants": a place where everyone's family has, at some point, chosen to come to seek freedom or a better life. America has managed to maintain that self-image through the forced migration of millions of African slaves, restrictive immigration laws based on fears of "inferior" races, and nativist movements that encouraged immigrants to assimilate or simply leave.
But while the reality of America's immigrant heritage is more complicated than the myth, it's still a fundamental truth of the country's history. It's impossible to understand the country today without knowing who's been kept out, who's been let in, and how they've been treated once they arrive.
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