Mrs. Watson's Class
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Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia'

Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia' | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The Czech Republic is expected to change its name to "Czechia" to make it easier for companies and sports teams to use it on products and clothing.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 15, 9:12 AM

That sound you hear is cartographers and database managers gasping at the joy and shock of need to updata all their data and maps.  Old maps still show Czechoslovakia, maybe on date in the future someone will be excited to find "The Czech Republic" on the map as much as I was fascinated to discover Hindustan on a 19th century globe. I also enjoyed this quote from the Czech foreign minister: “It is not good if a country does not have clearly defined symbols or if it even does not clearly say what its name is."  

 

Tag: Czechia, languagetoponyms, culture.

Laura Brown's curator insight, April 15, 11:22 AM

Marketing and media are the new gods. Can't imagine the power they have in order to cause a country to change it's name. Not so long ago battles and wars were fought over cultural identity, now it's for sale. 

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Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey

"The curriculum 'Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey' traces the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of the Turkish Republic, and contemporary issues in Turkey. Learn more at www.choices.edu/turkey "


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 9, 2015 4:49 PM

This video is a great introduction to the Choices Program's new unit on Turkey...a country that is truly a bridge between the Middle East and Europe, without being fully in either.   This unique global position makes Turkey a very important country to understand both culturally and politically.


Tags: politicalculture, Turkeyhistorical.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 23, 2015 2:24 PM

Turkey has always been a country that I find interesting. So many amazing architectural structures and landscapes. I have two friends from high school who work there in the peace corps. I asked them what it's like and they couldn't really describe it. They said it isn't really Arabic but it certainly isn't western either. This was a good introductory video on the area.

Patty B's curator insight, March 11, 12:32 PM
This video definitely demonstrates the importance of Turkey's role in the global community. In a period with so much animosity between the Middle East and the Western world, Turkey, in a way, represents the entirety of the struggle. As a country that is both literally and figuratively teetering between the Middle East and the West, it has significant symbolic meaning. The outcome of the political and social activity in Turkey could mean a great deal in the grand-scheme of Western-Middle Eastern relations. How it practices democracy is critical. It is one thing to hold general elections, but if proper checks and balances do not exists for the elected officials, then democracy really does not exist in its truest sense. 
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Generation Like – FRONTLINE

Generation Like – FRONTLINE | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
FRONTLINE explores how the perennial teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media – and how big brands are increasingly co-opting young consumers’ digital
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Culture. 

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Why eating insects makes sense

The world's population is projected to reach 11 billion by the end of the century. Feeding that many people will be a challenge, and it is further complicated by the impact of climate change on agriculture. That is why some people advocate an unusual way to boost the food supply and feed people sustainably: by eating less meat, and more insects.

http://econ.st/1sDYlfM


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Nancy Watson's insight:

Agriculture, Food security, sustainability, Culture - Yuck factor!

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2015 10:00 AM

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply engrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.


Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    


Tagsfoodculturediffusioncultural norms, economicfood production, agriculture.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, June 8, 2015 9:33 AM

When speaking of sustainability, many seek new options, new and more efficient—productively speaking—ways of exploiting resources, different types of energies to make up for the missing future expected quota. However, at not point do they seem to ask themselves what makes inefficiency be the norm, and scarcity the automatic reason to why we need more. The solution is right there, in front of our eyes, and not necessarily in the form of insects., though under the current monetary and economic paradigm, that may seem like a good option.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:31 PM

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply engrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.

 

Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    

 

Tagsfoodculturediffusioncultural norms, economic, food production, agriculture.

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Korean language shift causing North-South tension

Korean language shift causing North-South tension | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
The widening divide between North and South Korea’s shared language is leading to confusion, hurt feelings and suspicion.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Good for the Culture, Political inits 

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How a Buddhist shrine transformed a neighborhood

How a Buddhist shrine transformed a neighborhood | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"Sometimes, rehabilitating a rough neighborhood is a tough process. But in one West Coast American city, it was as simple as adding a Buddha statue.  Since the statue's installation, a street corner has been transformed from a notorious eyesore to a daily prayer spot for local Vietnamese Buddhists.  For this Geo Quiz, we're looking for the city where this shrine is located — can you name it?"


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 9, 2014 7:51 AM

This podcast is a great glimpse into an urban transformation that took place without any central planning nor can the changes be classified as gentrification. 


Tags: neighborhood, place, culture, economic, urban.

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The roots of Nigeria's religious and ethnic conflict

The roots of Nigeria's religious and ethnic conflict | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Analysis: A British colonial decision brought the northern and southern halves of modern Nigeria together. One hundred years later, they still don't get along.
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Lasting effects of colonialism and shatterbelt effects of religious conflict create economic and political conflict that divide .

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Isabelle McCreless's curator insight, March 13, 12:16 AM

Lasting effects of colonialism and shatterbelt effects of religious conflict create economic and political conflict that divide .

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How not to be ignorant about the world

How not to be ignorant about the world | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Ethnocentricism makes our impressions about the rest of the world wrong.

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13 amazing coming of age traditions from around the world

13 amazing coming of age traditions from around the world | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Flickr: Derek A., aka i Morpheus

After reading through, join the #showyourselfie campaign today and submit your visual petition for youth onto www.showyourselfie.org.

The transition from childhoo...
Nancy Watson's insight:

Great cross section of coming of age traditions

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Topography of Religion

Topography of Religion | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"The Pew survey sorts people into major groupings--Christians; other religions, including Jewish and Muslim; and 'unaffiliated,' which includes atheist, agnostic and 'nothing in particular.'  Roll your cursor over the map to see how faiths and traditions break down by state."


Via Seth Dixon
Nancy Watson's insight:

Great resource for the religion unit.

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Ignacio Quintana's curator insight, December 1, 2014 6:56 PM

Even though this is just an info-graphic, this is very interesting. What we can see from this map is the spatial organization of religion specifically in the U.S. It's interesting to see how protestant makes up the majority (but apparently not according to the article above this from Haak's page) and how drastically these views can change from coast to coast, and state to state. What I find particularly interesting is that you can clearly find hearths of many of these religions, for example, Utah has an extremely out-numbering amount of Mormons. For obvious reasons that is, but still very educational to see the centers of many of the big religions in the United States.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, January 28, 2015 8:46 PM

Looking at the map, it looks like the Northeast is predominately Catholic while the further South you go along the Eastern coast, you find more Protestants, mostly Evangelical, especially in the from Confederate States. The Mid and Northwest seems to hold a healthy mix of all the Christian denominations while places in the Southwest have a higher Catholic percentage, my guess would be from immigration from Mexico. The one odd ball out in the Southwest is Utah with its 58% of Mormons.

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:04 PM

Different cultural religions and senses of place in America. This graph shows the diversity of religion around the united states as it varies from place to place. 

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Gendered Cultural Narratives

Gendered Cultural Narratives | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"As a Muslim woman who chooses to wear hijab,I'd like to apologize for this poster, to my non-hijab wearing cohorts. http://pic.twitter.com/IoLfDPEGx7”;


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Interesting discussion

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:03 PM

This idea that women do not have human rights takes place in Saudi Arabia. What this poster is saying is that women are sweet creatures metaphorically just like candy. As you can see on the right, the candy is wrapped and covered just like the woman covered in a hijab and on the left, the candy is unwrapped and it shows the exposure of the woman and her features. Saudi Arabia has a strict rule about women being covered up and not exposing themselves to the outside world just like the image on the right.

David Lizotte's curator insight, March 25, 2015 8:19 PM

This poster/advertisement raises many questions. Having discussed it in detail during class it left me with a few questions and comments. One is whom created this poster? Two, where was this poster advertised? Three, its an extremely original piece of propaganda which passes judgement on woman and the way they are to live. Four, as discussed in class, the color green is a dominant "true" Islamic color. But what's also interesting is that the preferred character of women is on the east side of the poster while the scandalous-less preferred- woman is on the west side. Western influence in a middle eastern Islamic region is not quite received with open arms... Its almost saying Arab women should stay true to Islam and cover themselves. Women whom are influenced by western culture have lost there way and are damaged goods that no true man of Islam would want to pursue. 

This piece of propaganda has many layers to it. Although I personally am not too keen on the message it is an interesting and creative "piece" to say the least. Its too bad it is used to label and even dehumanize women.  

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 4:37 PM

Im sure this poster was highly offensive to many people in the middle east, both male and female.  There is a lot of meaning in each picture, but the basic point seems to be that the image on the right is the way that a lady is supposed to dress, the way that is more appropriate.  Conservative with the candy wrapped, it shows that a woman should dress and act a certain way, while the other image has a girl, who appears to be naked with her hair blowing around, who looks like she has no values, or respect for her religion.

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The Surprising Lessons of the 'Muslim Hipsters' Backlash

The Surprising Lessons of the 'Muslim Hipsters' Backlash | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
I made a music video to share my own story as a Muslim woman in America. In doing so, I was expected to share every other Muslim woman's story, too.
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World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think

World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
There are about 1.6 billion Muslims, or 23% of the world's population, making Islam the second-largest religion.

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Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:55 PM

Showing the distribution of Islam around the world. Outside of the middle east, Indonesia has the most Muslims. This religion is one of the fastest growing in the world. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:46 PM

This article was good to look at because the majority of people assume Muslims are only in the Middle East. There are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. Two-thirds of the Muslim population live in the Asia-Pacific region than in the middle east. More Muslims actually live in India and Pakistan. Muslims make up the majority of the population in 49 countries around the world. Islam has become the world's second largest religious tradition after Christianity. I would love to know some reasons behind why certain Muslims live in other areas. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 4:33 PM

This interesting map/infographic shows where Muslims are concentrated around the world. What I found most interesting and a little bit counterintuitive was that the highest number of Muslims is found in the Asia- Pacific region rather than in Northern Africa or the Middle East. When you consider how large Indonesia's population is, however, and the fact that more than three-quarters of it identify as Muslim, it makes a bit more sense. What is really staggering is the fact that there are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making nearly a quarter of the global population Muslim. 

 

What this map shows is the ability of religion to transcend political, economic, and cultural borders. Though Islam is a religion with its origins in the Middle East, it has grown and spread across the world to now have adherents on every continent. Of course, Islam is not the only major religion to have accomplished this feat, but it is particularly important to keep in mind considering the fear and criticism with which Islam has been met in recent years. People tend to think of Muslims as uniformly extremist advocates of violence who wage holy wars no matter the cost. This is, of course, untrue and characterizes the kind of dangerous stereotyping that occurs in regards to many different religions. While this map seeks to show numbers and percentages, it also shows that there are many, many more Muslims in the world than the extremists highlighted in the news and that Islam is not defined by these radicals. 

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Our World in Data — Visualising the Empirical Evidence on how the World is Changing

Our World in Data — Visualising the Empirical Evidence on how the World is Changing | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Visualised in graphs I am presenting the long-term data on how we are changing our world. This is the Empirical View on How We Are Making Our World a Better Place. Topic by topic I cover the decline of violence and the increase of tolerance and political rights. Improving living standards, health and well-being; population changes and associated success in preserving our environment. Increasing knowledge about our word and spreading education.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Data source for several units 

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Where The Hell Is Matt?

Where The Hell Is Matt? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Dancing 2012» Dancing 2012» Dancing 2008 » Dancing 2006 » More Videos »
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Love these videos to show how different the would cultures are and how they are not - everyone loves to dance - even if they are not always good at it.

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Whatever happened to Psy and K-pop’s bid to conquer the world?

Whatever happened to Psy and K-pop’s bid to conquer the world? | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"K-pop sensation Psy was everywhere once but little has been heard since. What happened to him?  Having earned an estimated $55m (£36m) from his work in the West, Psy is now racking up similar amounts from the lucrative Chinese market, where his collaboration with world-class pianist Lang Lang is currently producing a run of consecutive number ones. Psy's decision to focus on the Asian music market may be an indication of where the entertainment industry turns over the highest profits for musicians."


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Nancy Watson's insight:

Pop culture - after Gangnam Style

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 4, 2015 6:17 PM

In 2012, we were analyzing the cultural geography of a viral sensation, that seemed to fizzle out so we dismissed it as a one-hit wonder.  So often we assume that being culturally and economically viable in the West is of greatest importance, but truly savvy brands aren't sleeping on East Asian markets.  This "one-hit wonder" in the West strategically moved on to even larger markets. 


Tags: popular culture, diffusion, globalization, culture, music

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32 Mispronounced Places

32 Mispronounced Places | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"There’s nothing more irritating to a pedant’s ear and nothing more flabbergasting than realizing you’ve been pronouncing the name of so many places wrong, your entire life! Despite the judgment we exhibit toward people who err in enunciating, we all mispronounce a word from time to time, despite our best efforts. Well, now it’s time we can really stop mispronouncing the following places."


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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, February 20, 2015 11:37 AM

So interesting!  I knew Louisville, only because my husband of almost 18 years is from there and taught me very early in our relationship that it was "Luh-vull".  ha!  

Savannah Rains's curator insight, March 24, 2015 3:14 AM

This fun article is telling people about common places that we butcher the names of. Some of the reasons that we say them wrong is because they are in different languages so we shouldn't be pronouncing everything perfectly. But the ones that we say everyday like Colorado, is because we ALL mispronounce it so it becomes the norm. This article really sheds some light on the way that languages can be misinterpreted or changed because of people.

Claire Law's curator insight, April 26, 2015 2:16 AM

I love discovering I've mispronounced a word, particularly place names. Most of these are in the US but the few international examples are interesting (and the mispronounced variations are perplexing, perhaps we're blessed in Australia with journalists who can pronounce tricky foreign toponyms). I'm surprised Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Uluru (NT, Australia) don't make the list.

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Forget Midwest. We Are North: Repositioning Minnesota's National Identity for the 21st Century

Forget Midwest. We Are North: Repositioning Minnesota's National Identity for the 21st Century | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

“The Midwest is this big nebulous part of the country and it's kind of what's left over after all the other regions of the country are defined. Those regions have much stronger identities if you think of the East Coast or maybe New England or the Pacific Northwest or certainly the South. The Midwest is kind of the catchall for what's left.  We [Minnesota] should be called the North.”


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 9, 2014 1:48 PM

Whether I agree or not with the ideas being discussed, I simply love that this discussion is taking place and how intensely geographical the ideas and evidences being brought forward are.  


Questions to Ponder: So what region do you live in?  What defines that region?  Are there other regions that you can claim to be a part of also?  How would you divide the United States into various regions?  How come?


Tagsplaceregions, culture

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Seeing Seoul: Museums, temples, markets and excellent food

Seeing Seoul: Museums, temples, markets and excellent food | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Exploring the historic and old-fashioned side of Seoul along with the ultra-modern side of the South Korean capital.
Nancy Watson's insight:

Visiting Seoul is a cultural experience like no other. The food, the smells, the skyscraper buildings beside palaces, and centuries of history and pride in the long and beautiful history of S.Korea. The city (and the country) are surprising to Westerners for their modern, safe, and welcoming atmosphere

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We Are What We Eat: Documenting Dinners Around the World

We Are What We Eat: Documenting Dinners Around the World | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
National Geographic Photo Blog
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Culture and Agriculture Unit.

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Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 16, 2014 12:44 PM

Culture and agriculture unit

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This Is What Other Countries Pay For McDonald's

This Is What Other Countries Pay For McDonald's | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
Which country sells the cheapest Big Mac?
Nancy Watson's insight:

Comparison shopping for McDonalds

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Seeing Korea through his parents’ eyes

Seeing Korea through his parents’ eyes | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
A son visits his parents’ in their Korean homeland, and discovers that his father is quite the guide.
Nancy Watson's insight:

This story reflects so many things I saw and learned while in S Korea. 

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French Schools No Longer Allowed To Offer Special Lunches To Muslim Students

French Schools No Longer Allowed To Offer Special Lunches To Muslim Students | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it
PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) - Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said on Friday it would prevent schools from offering special lunches to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns it won in local elections, saying such arrangements were contrary to F...
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Are we going backwards in multiculturalism?

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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Mrs. Watson's Class | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:46 PM

This map is a simple but powerful one. Africa is the continent that contains the most nations (53), yet it uses only six languages for business. Not surprisingly, all of the languages (with the exception of Arabic) are European in origin. Clearly, the effects of colonialism are still felt around the world in former colonies. The languages that were forced upon various African countries by their colonizers have endured and become the main languages of business in their respective countries. What is just as unfortunate as the roots of colonialism holding fast, if not more so, is the absence of any indigenous languages being used as the language of business in any of the countries of Africa. While using a business language that is spoken by much of the world is surely a matter of practicality and logistics, it is still robbing African countries of their heritage and culture to some degree.

 

This brings up the issue of globalization and how it is constantly at odds with the preservation of culture and tradition. In order for Africa (or any continent or region or country) to function in the modern world, it must be capable of conducting business in a language that is spoken by its business partners. The ability to do business with virtually any person, company, or country in the world is an obviously invaluable one. At the same time, however, it allows for the subtle and gradual erasure of unique culture and traditions. So while it would be ideal for cultural preservation for countries to conduct business in their indigenous languages, it seems to be a necessary evil for smaller and less influential countries to adopt the languages of their more powerful and influential business partners if they wish to survive in today's world. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 29, 2015 4:24 PM

The lingering effects of colonialism, so strongly relevant in every aspect of African ways of life, are perhaps most evident in the "lingua franca" of African nations today. With a multitude of different ethnicities and languages in use in every African nation today, the result of the arbitrarily drawn national borders made by European colonizers, necessitates the use of the one language that's commonly spoken across every independent nation- a European tongue. This system, while a necessity in today's world, is a solution that no one is quite happy with. It reminds Africans of all ages of the power still held by their colonizers over their everyday lives, a stark reminder of the horrors of the previous century at every business meeting and every exchange of goods. This harms the national psyche of each nation, as well as undermining the importance and pride Africans deservedly maintain in their own native languages. European-made borders, however, make it difficult to find another, native language that every ethnic group can agree upon. As a result, the European languages are still in use in Africa, and will most likely still be in use for some time to come. It's a system that no one likes but, for the time being, everyone must accept as reality.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:26 AM

This map is a great resource in showing the diversity of language in Africa. Of course, this map discounts the many native African languages. It instead focuses on the language of business in the continent. That language, has been influence by the European colonization of Africa. The chosen language of business is often tied to the colonizer of the region. The diversity of language in Africa is staggering to say the least.