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Why caste still matters in India

Why caste still matters in India | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it

INDIA’S general election will take place before May. The front-runner to be the next prime minister is Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently chief  minister of Gujarat. A former tea-seller, he has previously attacked leaders of the ruling Congress party as elitist, corrupt and out of touch. Now he is emphasising his humble caste origins. In a speech in January he said 'high caste' Congress leaders were scared of taking on a rival from 'a backward caste'. If Mr Modi does win, he would be the first prime minister drawn from the 'other backward classes', or OBC, group. He is not the only politician to see electoral advantage in bringing up the subject: caste still matters enormously to most Indians."


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Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 12:11 PM

Caste will take more than a few generations to lose its social privilege/oppression. The verbal history passed from parent to child enforces the idea of caste, even when it has been done away with by law. This social hierarchy effects business, marriage, and politics.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM

While in some ways India has been quick to adapt to the 21st century such as in the technical industry and even in the loosening of ridged marriage practices this caste system has remained. This system of societal stratification has persisted and as this article explains plays a large role in the politics of India today. The castes also play a role in employment and marriage in determining who can do what work and who it is socially acceptable to marry.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 8, 9:18 PM

I agree that until there are more jobs created for the people of India, the slower the caste will fade out.  Over time it will fade out eventually, but the creation of jobs and more social interaction will help the process move along faster.  

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Aerial housing photographs show stark division between rich and poor in Mexico

Aerial housing photographs show stark division between rich and poor in Mexico | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
A new advertising campaign is seeking to draw attention to the gap between the wealthy and the poverty-stricken in Mexico by showing how they co-exist in disturbingly close proximity.

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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, June 17, 2014 8:35 AM

And again in Brazil

http://civitasinclusive.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/paraisopolis-brazil-by-tuca-vieira-2004/

Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 3, 2014 1:21 PM

The pictures show the deep divide between rich and poor in Mexico. These settlements are built to the point where luxurious condos share a wall with decaying slum housing. The roads do not connect the areas, showing how these places were constructed separately by to distinctly different communities. While the proximity between sections shows that sights, sounds, and smells most likely carry across the two sections, the rich area looks as if it has no idea what lies directly beyond their walls. The fact that the rich areas are literally walled off from the rest of the surrounding area says a lot about the deep economic divides found around the world today.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 9:02 AM

Right away from looking at this picture, you can tell which side is which. I didn't even have to read the article yet to find out where the wealthier people lived and where the not so wealthy lived. The colors stood out the most to me. In the picture on the left, it is clear that this is the not so wealthy part in Mexico. The color is just filled with dark and gloominess, mostly shown in gray. The houses are also pushed very closely together. On the right side, it appears that this is the richer side of Mexico. Although the houses are closer together like the picture on the left, they are colorful. They have firm built roofs and appear to be built and taken care of much better. Something else that gives you the sense of which community is more rich is the cars. There is a whole line of cars in the right picture while in the left picture we see a few here and there. The right picture also illustrates lawns. We slightly see some grass in the left, but it is clearly not as well taken care of as the lawns in the right picture. This picture was done as an advertisement to draw attention to the gap between the two different communities. The campaign goes by the name "Erase the Differences" and hopes to get people to realize the differences in poverty that are right in front of them.

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Dubai's Growth

Dubai's Growth | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it

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steve smith's curator insight, March 31, 2014 4:03 AM

Great for tourism development

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 10:48 AM

This series of pictures shows the extremely rapid growth of Dubai. An extremely wealthy city, the oil richness of Dubai has allowed for it to grow at an unprecedented rate from a desert to a sprawling metropolis. Such an impressive city springing up in a desolate desert speaks to how much resources can dictate where and how city growth occurs.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 14, 2014 5:13 PM

 Dubai has drastically changed throughtout it's time before the globalization boom and was one of the only cities to be impacted positively by globalization. As you can see from the depiction that Dubai in 1991 was a deserted place and then in 2005 it transformed into becoming somewhat of a city. In 2012 this city drastically transformed in order to help the globalization process and the whole city in general was trasformed into a mega city.

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T-Shirt Travels

When filmmaker Shantha Bloemen was stationed in a remote village in Zambia as a worker with an international aid organization, she had to adjust to living in a different culture. But one thing struck her as oddly familiar: almost everyone in the village wore secondhand clothing from the West. Bloemen began to imagine stories about the people who used to wear the clothing, wondering if the original owners had any idea that the castoffs they had given to charities ended up being sold to Africans half a world away.


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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, July 19, 2013 9:48 AM

It's fascinating to look at the effects of globalization, and a great look at how economies change.  When people in the Western world drop a bag of clothes off at a charity, I doubt we think they'd end up in a village in Africa. Warning:  it does get a little preachy at the end. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:44 PM

Is direct aid a good thing or not? How does secondhand clothing impact local economies?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:57 PM

Westernization is a popular theme thats happening in the East. Even though people don't know it, the clothes they give away may be some that are taken to places like Africa. Hand-me-downs are popular in the U.S. but even more so in Africa. The t-shirt you give away to someone might end up across the world. Who knows.

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The Permanence of Geography

The Permanence of Geography | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
The current rise or durability of the economies of the Global South do not signal that economic geography does not matter, but that current investment has simply shifted.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 16, 2013 12:23 PM

In an era where globalization has rendered distances a minor barrier to diffusion, some have erroneously concluded that geography is no longer relevant to economic development and urban planning.  Nothing could be farther from the truth, but that doesn't mean that the 'old rules' of space and place aren't be re-written.  This is a nice article that discusses the continued importance of spatial thinking and geography for urban planning.


Tags: urban, planning economic, urbanism, globalization, unit 7 cities.

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Hope during Economic Crisis

Flashmob en Madrid (España) organizado por el programa de radio CARNE CRUDA 2.0 Martes y jueves, 16:00, http://www.carnecruda20.es Lunes, miércoles y viernes...

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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, March 30, 2013 3:18 PM

A great video to show some hope in a hard time.

Shelby Porter's comment, September 19, 2013 1:46 PM
This video is a great example of what a difference someone can make. Before this group started playing, you could see that most of the people on that room looked down, but they certainly got some sun and happiness brought to them. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, the littlest things can certainly make a difference.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:21 PM

Flashmobs bring so much positive energy to any environment. In Madrid, this video shows how positive vibes from music are contagious and transmitted into positive energy at an unemployment office. "Here comes the Sun" is a way of saying things are going to get better, just look at the bright side. 

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Elderly Spur Japan Stores

Elderly Spur Japan Stores | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
Unicharm Corp.’s sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies for the first time last year. At Daiei Inc. supermarkets, customers can feel Japan aging -- literally: It has made shopping carts lighter.


Japan's demographic shifts are well-chronicled: the Japanese are having fewer children and the improvements in healthcare mean that the elderly are living longer than ever.  Combined this means that Japan's population pyramid is getting "top heavy."  This population change is having huge econmic impacts as the percentage of Japanese people is now over 23%.  Retailers and industries are heavily targeting this expanding demographic with financial clout that outspends all other cohorts.


Tags: Japan, declining population, economic, population, demographics, unit 2 population, East Asia, consumption.


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The Geography of a Pencil

A film from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, adapted from the 1958 essay by Leonard E. Read.


This year's Geography Awareness Week's theme was "Declare Your Interdependence!"  The GAW poster for 2012 focused on the Geography of a Pencil and this video works together nicely as a supplement to that poster.  You may see the economics of capitalism and globalization in a less optimistic light than Leonard Read, but the theme of interconnectedness makes this a great resource. 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 17, 2013 4:17 PM

This year's Geography Awareness Week's theme was "Declare Your Interdependence!"  The GAW poster for 2012 focused on the Geography of a Pencil and this video works together nicely as a supplement to that poster.  You may see the economics of capitalism and globalization in a less optimistic light than Leonard Read, but the theme of interconnectedness makes this a great resource.

Luke Walker's curator insight, October 5, 2014 9:12 AM

An interesting take on the pencil.

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Ten Ways Walmart Changed the World

Ten Ways Walmart Changed the World | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
On July 2, 1962 -- 50 years ago today -- Sam Walton opened the very first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.

 

The Walmart business model has profoundly reshaped the economic paradigm of retail these has 50 years.  Walmart is commonly cited as a business that exemplifies the processes of globalization.  How has Walmart reshaped aspects of society such as industrial production, environmental standards, labor, urban shopping locations, the outsourcing of manufacturing and consumption? 


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Jordan Simon's comment, August 17, 2012 12:12 PM
It is crazy to think that one store could change the world but this one has. Their effective ways of selling and buying products have made this store very well known. Walmart has more than 140 millions customers shop a week which is very impressive. Without Walmart where would we be?
Rj Ocampo's comment, August 24, 2012 7:11 PM
Its amazing to see how far Walmart has come in just 50 years! Sam Walton's philosophy "Always low prices," shaped Walmart to be so successful and could not be the same without it. It's crazy to know that one store could change the globe, I just wonder how much longer Walmart can keep their success going.
Matt Nardone's comment, September 2, 2012 3:19 PM
I have to say that Walmart is my mom's favorite store. I like going there because I know that things are cheaper and I can end up saving money when I get something I need. But I never realized that they put so many small companies out of business trying to make things cheaper for customers. It is a good thing for us but bad for small business guys. What is the right balance?
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Containerization Shaped Globalization

Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have massive impact across the world. Sir Harold Evans, the author of They Made America, describes how frustration drove...

 

The economies of scale that globalization depends on, relies on logistics and transportation networks that can handle this high-volume.  In a word, the container, as mundane as it may seem, facilitated the era within which we live today. 


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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 7, 2014 5:26 PM

I always enjoyed TED videos. What really struck me was the opening sentence of the video, "everything is everywhere these days." This is so true in so many ways. The video uses different examples that you can find in different stores from places all over the world. How many things can you could in your bedroom that says "Made in China" or some other place other than the US? This is very common as we all know. Products and goods come from all over the world and even over seas. This is a process that we call globalization. However, the video introduces a process called containerization. This process saves an ample amount of time for the workers. The process was a success. "shrinking the world and enlarging human choice."

Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 10, 2014 7:48 PM

Globalization has connected the world in such a way that we hadn't thought possible. This idea has created rising economies all over the world and has made transport of goods and services move faster and continues to increase this rate with advances in technology. Containerization is a staple of globalization and without it, none of these products would be able to get from country to country. In essence it has developed the world of import and exports. To add to this success, globalization has also created jobs and communities which revolve heavily around the transport of goods. It saves time by using massive containers to move goods and it creates opportunities in places where it had not been possible before. 

Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 27, 3:45 AM

I believe this video is very interesting. It tells us that everything we have today is thanks to globalization and the reason we have it so fast is because of shipping containers! In the video it told me that before my time it was impossible to get swordfish from Japan or cheeses from France, but now thanks to globalization it is all possible. Globalization is even behind the reason how our phones were made! 

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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     


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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 9:45 PM

China has one of the strongest economies in the world. However, I think sometimes, China takes that for granted. They think that just because they have a strong economy, they don't have to worry about safe working environments and they have nothing to lose if something happens to someone. As much as I'm sure China gives good paychecks to manufactured workers because of its wealth, there are some jobs, such as this one, that they think they don't have to pay enough. However at the same time, it's not China's fault. Sometimes, it's the workers faults for not using common sense while working, I'm a firm believer in "work smarter, not harder."

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 4:32 PM

Well nobody ever accused China of being a Union favoring country.  These people are risking their lives because its their job.  This is a country where you have very little leeway to argue for benefits.  If they want to do this, then come to the US.  Although I wonder why they don't just use dynamite?  Faster and few people are involved.  

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The Ship-Breakers

The Ship-Breakers | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
In Bangladesh men desperate for work perform one of the world’s most dangerous jobs.

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 8, 9:00 PM

I like the part of this article that asks "In the West you don’t let people pollute your countries by breaking up ships on your beaches. Why is it OK for poor workers to risk their lives to dispose of your unwanted ships here?”  This statement is so true and of course is related to the money that is saved by outsourcing the job of breaking down the ships.  Not only does it save the West money, but it saves the land by not bringing the pollution upon us.  There has to be a way to do this job more environmentally friendly and making it safer for the workers.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, April 22, 10:46 AM

I always wondered what happened to ships after they were taken out of service, I've seen images of airplane grave yards out west, filled with 747's and other planes just rotting away. Though some of those planes are huge, ships are definitely larger and take up more space. 

 

The waste of the ships is incredible. The hull may be the visible part of the vessel but on the inside, the ship is filled with toxic waste from its days of transporting oil. Asbestos is also laden within the older ships since health laws were not as strict in pre-1980 world.

 

It is easy to see how Bangladesh became the ship deconstruction capital of the world. Toxic material disposal in the Western world is incredibly expensive since it is done correctly. Bangladesh has cheap labour and the laws in regards to the disposal of toxic waste are loose. Where a company in the West may haul in less of a profit because of the cost of disposal, Bangladeshi companies are able to take in a one million dollar return on a five million dollar investment. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 6:53 PM

With the health risks and pollution that is ruining the soil aside, this seems like a great buiseness and way to make money for many people who are unqualified to do anything else.  Its almost like the people working in factories and in the steel mills during the beginning of the industrial revolution.  Many jobs were hazardous for your health and your surroundings, but it is a way to make a living.  I can see why it happens in this part of the world as apposed to others due to the low wages these people are working for, thus making this even more profitable to the people running the show.

 

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Qatar government admits almost 1,000 fatalities among migrant workers

Qatar government admits almost 1,000 fatalities among migrant workers | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
Report details deaths of 964 workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh from cardiac arrests, falls and suicide

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Jordan Schemmel's curator insight, May 21, 2014 1:03 PM

Do migrant workers have the same rights as native workers? This continuing set of issues from Qatar brings that question to the forefront as they prepare to host the 2022 World Cup.

Whitney Souery's curator insight, May 28, 2014 7:05 PM

Migrant workers often represent the minority group in a particular country, such as Qatar (in this example). As such, migrant workers often have little rights or worker securities that most often accompany other workers and protect their rights; however, with the current immigrant explosion in Qatar as a result of the booming oil industry, it is easy for these migrant workers to be exploited and unaccounted for. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:48 PM

While places like Qatar enjoy huge economic growth and are undertaking equally huge developments, worker exploitation has also risen. Of the nearly 1000 migrant worker deaths over a two year period, the fact that most of them were from either "sudden illnesses", falls, or suicide suggests that working conditions are abysmal. The article also outlines how the entire structure of recruiting and employing migrant workers has allowed these deaths to occur.

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Follow the Things

"Who makes the things that we buy?  Few of us know. They seem untouched by human hands. Occasionally there's a news story, a documentary film, or an artwork showing the hidden ingredients in our coffee, t-shirts, or iPads. They often 'expose' unpleasant working conditions to encourage more 'ethical' consumer or corporate behaviour. followthethings.com is this work's 'online store'. Here you can find out who has followed what, why and how; the techniques used to 'grab' its audiences; the discussions and impacts that this has provoked; and how to follow things yourself."
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Fran Martin's curator insight, September 10, 2013 3:37 AM

Great website by colleague Ian Cook at Exeter University

Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, September 10, 2013 3:56 AM

About Globalisation, flows and production today. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:32 PM

Where did your T-Shirt come from?   Where did the food your parents bought at the grocery store come from?  What's the origin of the components in your cell phone?  These questions all allude to what geographers call a commodity chain analysis.  Analyzing where the consumer goods that we use every day came from can make global issues hit a little closer to home and reinforce concepts such as globalization. The website Follow the Things is a great resource for learning  about commodity chains and mapping out your own personal geographies.

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'I was 14 when I was sold'

'I was 14 when I was sold' | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
Laxmi's story of being kidnapped and trafficked in Nepal is not an isolated case but, as this graphical account shows, things are not always what they seem.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 23, 2013 4:38 PM

Teaching about human trafficking and child slavery can be very disconcerting and uncomfortable.  How much of the details regarding these horrific situations is age-appropriate and suitable for the classroom?  The BBC is reporting on events with sensitive stories to both give a human face to the story, while protecting the identity of under-aged victims (to read about the production of this comic, read Drawing the News.)  I encourage you to use your own discretion, but I find this comicbook format an accessible, informative and tasteful way to teach about human trafficking in South Asia to minors.  It is a powerful way to teach about some hard (but important) aspects of globalization and economics. 


As geographer Shaunna Barnhart says concerning this comic, "It moves from trafficking to child labor to pressures for migration for wage labor and the resulting injustices that occur. There's differential access to education, gender inequality, land, jobs, and monetary resources that leads to inter- and intra-country trafficking of the vulnerable. In the search for improved quality of life, individuals become part of a global flow of indentured servitude which serves to exploit their vulnerabilities and exacerbate inequalities and injustice. Nepali children 'paid' in food and cell phones that play Hindi music in 'exchange' for work in textile factories - cell phones that are themselves a nexus of global resource chains and textiles which in turn enter a global market - colliding at the site of child labor which remains largely hidden and ignored by those in the Global North who may benefit from such labor."


Tags: Nepal, labor, industry, economic, poverty, globalization, India.


Ssekyewa Charles's curator insight, April 24, 2013 9:03 AM

Where is Human Rights Watch? Human trafficing is a crime to humanity!!

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:14 PM

It is sad to see the many different ways the poverty stricken and uneducated regions of the world are exploited, especially the children. Nepal is so poor that most of the recruiters for the predatory foreign networks are often locals who either take their relatives or abductees sent back to find a replacement. The animation helps add clarity and approachability to a bleak and difficult topic.

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Who buys all the flowers and jewelry on Valentine's Day?

Who buys all the flowers and jewelry on Valentine's Day? | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
Americans like to buy jewelry and flowers all year, not just for Valentine’s Day. How much do they spend annually, and who would probably spend the most?

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 14, 2013 1:22 PM

This is a fabulous set of maps that shows the value of GIS to assess the market feasiblity for any given commodity.  On this Valentine's Day, it is especially interesting to map out the zip codes that purchase the most flowers, jewelry and diamonds.    

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Climate Change Video Guide

Climate Change Video Guide | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
An in-depth, multimedia look at climate change, its global impact, and efforts to combat it.


This guide on climate change from the Council on Foreign Relations (independent think tank) covers many of the geopolitical, economic and environmental issues that confront the Earth as global temperatures rise.  Rather than produce a full length feature film, they have organized the this as an interactive video, allowing the user to get short (a couple of minutes) answer to specific questions about the science, foreign policy or economic ramifications of adapting to climate change. 


Tags: climate change, environmental adaption, economic, industry.


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Seth Dixon's comment, November 27, 2012 8:21 AM
Thanks for sharing this Giovanni!!
Giovanni Della Peruta's comment, November 27, 2012 8:38 AM
Thanks to you, Seth! :-)
Jose Sepulveda's comment, January 13, 2013 8:58 AM
Very good information, Thanks!
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Global food crisis

Global food crisis | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
Climate change, changing diets and a growing global population has pushed food security to the top of the international agenda.


Food problems are fundamentally geographic.  Understanding local economics, agriculture and development all play a critical role in contextualizing place-based shortages.  This interactive media guide highlights where these issues are the most problematic. 


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Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 10, 2013 12:39 PM

Neo-Malthusian point of view?

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Globalization

The world is becoming more and more interconnected. Globalization changes how people consume, work and live almost everywhere on the world. Today, many economic, political, cultural or ecological relationships are not explainable from a national perspective. At the same time, a controversial debate about the consequences of globalization has begun.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the driving forces behind globalization? What areas are most impacted by globalization?  How does globalization benefit some, and adversely impact others? Why?

 

Tags: Globalization, economic, industry, NGOs, political, scale, unit 6 industry.


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Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, May 3, 2013 11:39 AM

Globalización Globalization

Altaira Wallquist's curator insight, March 18, 4:47 PM

This article goes in depth to define and describe globalization.  It discusses globalization  through an economical, political, and cultural standpoint.

 

This connects to Unit 1 in that it discusses globalization and things from a global perspective. It all discusses the society we live in today.

Devyn Hantgin's curator insight, March 22, 10:18 PM

globalization

This video describes and really breaks down globalization. The video talks about how some countries benefit and some countries don't benefit from globalization. The video also separates globalization into three parts: economic, politics, and culture. It goes over the huge role that technology plays in globalization and covers it well.

This relates to our unit, because globalization is a huge factor in human geography as a whole. It is one of the main factors why our cultures are beginning to intertwine and have things in common.     

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A Third Industrial Revolution

A Third Industrial Revolution | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it
OUTSIDE THE SPRAWLING Frankfurt Messe, home of innumerable German trade fairs, stands the “Hammering Man”, a 21-metre kinetic statue that steadily raises and lowers its arm to bash a piece of metal with a...

 

This article argues that as manufacturing increasing becomes a digital production, more goods will be produced in the more developed countries.  If events unfold in this fashion, globalization and many other patterns with be significantly altered.  Would this make a better world?  For whom?    


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 27, 2013 9:54 AM

Seems to be that this might lead to further job loss by qualified individuals as machines are desigining and building machines and also with the advent of 3-D printing anyone at home can build a hammer as said in the article.  Also take a look at http://defdist.org/ now you can make your own 3-d gun.  Im not against gun ownership, but this opens the gate to too many people in my opinion.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:20 PM

manufacturing is becoming more and more machines rather than humans, this leaves people without jobs to support their families. It is cheaper to have a machine run the production line rather than a person. This also helps the amount of production that is completed, machines go a bit faster. But I think not every job should be a machine, there is always faulty machines but there isn't anything better than a human with common sense. 

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This week, Samoa will skip Friday

This week, Samoa will skip Friday | Ms. Postlethwaite's Human Geography Page | Scoop.it

"Just this once, Samoa is making Dec. 30 disappear."

 

I hope you enjoy your Friday, because they won't in Samoa.  It didn't even happen, since they've canceled Friday Dec. 30th and just skipped straight to Dec 31st.  This would make no sense without an understanding of the International Date Line and the regional economic networks of Oceania.  Since Samoa's economy in tightly connected to New Zealand and Australia (on the 'other' side of the IDL) it's financially beneficial to have their work weeks line up to faciliate same day communications and business interactions.   For more see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-29/samoa-time-zone-jump/3751254 and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/30/world/asia/samoa-to-skip-friday-and-switch-time-zones.html?ref=sethmydans


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 26, 2014 2:20 PM

I agree with the decision Samoa made to switch to the West side of the International Date Line. By doing this, the country completely skipped a day. Also, years ago Samoa switched from driving on the right side of the road (American style) to the left side (British style). They made these changes because their economy is connected to countries on the other side of the IDL, such as Australia and New Zealand.  

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:10 AM

Samoa and its neighbor Tokelau decided to undergo a time change that would align them with their Asian trading partners. With this new time zone, Samoa will be three hours ahead of eastern Australia as opposed to being 21 hours behind and 22 hours ahead of California, rather than the previous 2 hours it was behind it. In the Pacific, this tactic of shifting time is not unusual as many island nations have, at one point or another, shifted time zones, date lines, and daylight savings times. This move will make it much easier for Samoa to do business with Australia and New Zealand, which is important because their economies are linked closely to the rest of Asia, especially China. Samoa's prime minister explicitly stated that these economic factors were the driving forces behind this time change decision and the decision had nothing to do with trying to be the first country to enter the new year. I was surprised that a country could just decide this type of change at any point, but there seems to be no legal reason why a country could not do that. Whatever time zone a country feels it should enter it can, but telling the citizens about such a change seems like it would be hard to do. When everyone is accustomed to a certain time zone, I feel like making this change can have an effect on people especially those who travel. Getting used to a new time zone seems like it would take time to adjust to, but I guess for island nations in the Pacific, this is no new phenomenon as others have already engaged in these moves.

 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:41 PM

Samoa is making a lot of changes.  Just reading about the time zone switch called for the need to focus on the switches.  I understand they want to stay up with business times in Brisbane.  The PM switched the driving side from right to left to be inline with New Zealand and Australia.  Now the PM is going to try to change the flag.  Maybe Samoa is making a few too many changes.  Where's the cultural identity going?