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Now You See It

Now You See It | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
Inside North Korea’s tightly controlled society, the truth is rarely simple.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

It also makes you wonder what he is not reporting....

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Jew in the Box: 'I Don't Blame Germans for their Ignorance' - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Jew in the Box: 'I Don't Blame Germans for their Ignorance' - SPIEGEL ONLINE | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
After two decades of life in Germany, an American Jew reflects on the Berlin Jewish Museum's controversial "Jew in the Box" exhibition and her experiences in a country that still has a dearth of Jews, even decades after the war.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

I remember some of the same questions even in my metropolitan high school with a strong Jewish community. ("what do you do on Christmas?") thanks, Miriam Widman for your courage to educate.

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Epic map fail by MSNBC shows need for improved geography education in schools (Commentary)

Epic map fail by MSNBC shows need for improved geography education in schools (Commentary) | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
Now is a good time to reflect on the need for more geography education.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

MSNBC Map Fail - Syracuse - Thanks, Jacqueline Waite for the epic AP HuG reponse to this map!

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Nepal To Clamp Down On Everest Expeditions : NPR

Nepal To Clamp Down On Everest Expeditions : NPR | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
The government says it will more closely scrutinize climbing teams following an embarrassing brawl this year between European climbers and their Sherpa guides.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

how sad. Maybe permits should be denied to climbers/teams who have tried such stunts on other mountains. 

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How self-driving cars will change cities - Per Square Mile

How self-driving cars will change cities - Per Square Mile | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
Just as the automobile began reshaping cities a century ago, the self-driving car will change urban areas yet again.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

and we still thought it was important to teach our sons to drive a stick shift. I can't wait to say to my grandchildren, "and in my day, we had to drive ourselves and actually watch the road."

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The Netherlands Is Building A Country-Wide EV Charging Network

The Netherlands Is Building A Country-Wide EV Charging Network | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it

A dense, relatively small country, the Netherlands is well suited to electric vehicles, and the new Fastned scheme could be a "benchmark" for other places.


The distinctive yellow stations are about 100 feet across, and covered in solar panels to power things like lights and cameras. Each station, which is located at an existing gas stop, will have four to eight charging points. If all goes well, they could make vehicle charging as convenient as filling a tank, though drivers will still need to wait 15 to 30 minutes before the task is completed.

 

Find more details at the article link.


Via Lauren Moss
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Economic Inequality is Real, Personal, Expensive, and it was Created. We'll show you how.

Economic Inequality is Real, Personal, Expensive, and it was Created.  We'll show you how. | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
The fact that the United States has become increasingly unequal in terms of income, wages, wealth and opportunity has hit the mainstream and public demands for economic fairness have gone viral.

Via Jamie Strickland
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Jamie Strickland's curator insight, June 26, 2013 10:53 AM

This is a really neat set of visualizations on income inequality.  It allows the user to personalize a subject that always seems to involve "other people."  It also includes potential action steps that individuals can take to help address the problems.

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Zimbabwe 18% pass rate is 'progress'

Zimbabwe 18% pass rate is 'progress' | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
Zimbabwe's education minister deplores the fact that nearly 82% of students have failed their basic school leavers' exams, the Ordinary Level.

Via Tom Rees
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9 Essential Green Elements for the Development of Sustainable Cities

9 Essential Green Elements for the Development of Sustainable Cities | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it

Many cities are coming to the realization that creating a smart and sustainable city means ultimately attaining a high level of economic efficiency, a high quality of life, a highly desirable place in which to live and do business, and a meaningful commitment to environmental responsibility.

But what really makes for a green or sustainable city?  And how can sometimes highly diverse urban areas attain it?


LEED buildings and even LEED neighborhoods are surely a good thing, but they are not a sufficient thing to declare a municipality sustainable.  This is an overview of the essential elements (there are many more, but these are the most basic):

Committing to greenBuilding greenBuying greenPowering greenConserving nearby (and creating internal) green landscapesProtecting green:  both water quality and water quantityLocating green:  creating a compact, walkable, interconnected, mixed-use communityMoving green:  diversifying transportation and increasing accessibility(Not) wasting green:  getting to zero on the production of waste

 

Read the complete article for more on the green elements listed above...


Via Lauren Moss
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Noor Fatima's curator insight, April 12, 2013 1:05 PM

Exactly :)

Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, April 12, 2013 7:12 PM

100% Green is not fooling around.

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A Slice of London So Exclusive Even the Owners Are Visitors

A Slice of London So Exclusive Even the Owners Are Visitors | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
For many recent superwealthy foreign buyers, London is just a stop in a peripatetic international existence that might also include New York, Moscow and Monaco.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

kind of sad, really, all that wealth in empty houses...

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A Crazy But Rational Solution To Our Electoral College Problem : NPR

A Crazy But Rational Solution To Our Electoral College Problem : NPR | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
On three different occasions, the candidate with the most votes didn't become president of the United States. We call this "The Electoral College Problem." Here a solution. Simple. Mathematical. Rational.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

Love the names. But rather than redo, why not just propose a popular vote and bypass the states altogether.....

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How to 'Rightsize' a Street

How to 'Rightsize' a Street | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it

The concept of a "road diet” has become increasingly popular, though the phrase fails to capture the wide variety of ways in which streets planned and paved decades ago often awkwardly fit the needs of changing communities today.


In many cases, redesigning city streetscapes is not just (or not at all) about eliminating roadway. It may be about adding parking (to benefit new businesses), or building a new median (for pedestrians who were never present before), or simply painting new markings on the pavement (SCHOOL X-ING).


According to the Project for Public Spaces, we might do better to think of the task as “rightsizing” streets instead of starving them. This week, the nonprofit planning and design organization published a series of case studies from across the country illustrating exactly what this could look like in a variety of settings. The above image pair, from the collection, shows before-and-after scenes of Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. Starting in the summer of 2010, the New York City Department of Transportation began retrofitting the street to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians crossing into Prospect Park. The whole project wasn’t simply a matter of pruning traffic lanes, but of adding yield signs, new traffic signal timing, bike lanes and pedestrian islands.


Via Lauren Moss
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American Grove's comment, January 28, 2013 8:56 AM
Too often space for trees (6 feet minimum) are left off the plan in a road diet.
American Grove's curator insight, January 28, 2013 8:59 AM

Munciple Arborist Beware!  Too often sufficient space for trees are being left out of the plans in road diets.  The problem is competing space for paths, bikeways, parking squeeze out an 8ft planting strip to a 4 ft planting strip or less.  4 Strip planting strips is not enough soil for shade trees. Bulb outs into parking and root bridging are innovative ways to work with the lack of space but requires an arborist to help plan. 

Suzette Jackson's curator insight, September 10, 6:23 PM

Has your city 'rightsized' your streets? Slowing traffic and creating more engaging neighbourhoods

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The Top Ten Places to Visit in South America

The Top Ten Places to Visit in South America | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
South America is a land of natural exotic beauty that will leave you speechless, a land of mystery and great historic importance. If you make a trip to the southern hemisphere, be sure to include these precious gems.

Via Seth Dixon
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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 2:22 PM

South America hosts incredibly diverse environments and landscapes, with astonishing natural wonders. From snow topped mountains, to dense tropical rain forests, South America is a continent of contrasts. With so many differences between places, it is not hard to imagine how these natural forces also shaped the people and their differing cultures and traditions. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 6:56 PM

Unfortunately when many thing of South America the two paramount aspects happen to be crime and poverty. While these are undeniably present in this region this article shows some of South Americas offerings, it's beautiful landscapes. Long winding rivers ending in amazing water falls as well as dense rain forests which break to show colossal mountains and cliffs. These are truly sights worth taking in.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 12:32 AM

These top places to visit are my favorite types of articles to read. Of course I always want to visit all of them because I have never even been out of the country. The number one place to visit in South America is Inquitos, Peru. Here you can explore the rivers and the rainforest, and there is even a famous floating village. There is a huge diversity of wildlife, which always has fascinated me. There is also a butterfly farm to check out along with an animal rescue center. This differs from number ten on the list which is San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. This is not the rainforest scene, which is where I would prefer to be. Here, we have some of the most breathe-taking mountain views in the world. In addition to the mountains, it also provides bodies of water to see as well. Outdoor activities are mostly done in this area. That includes hiking, cycling, camping, and skiing. This place is definitely not one for me. I am more of a wildlife rainforest type of tourist.

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Comparing Urban Footprints

Comparing Urban Footprints | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it

"This is a series of infographics (or geo-infographics) created by Matthew Hartzell, a friend of mine that I met when we were both geography graduate students at Penn State in few years back..."


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Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 12:49 PM

The comparison of urban footprints certainly puts a lot of factors into perspective.  Whenever I am in highly populated areas such as Atlanta and New York, I feel like the area is so densely populated. But shift over to Sao Paulo which is so much smaller than New York, but just as populated.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 14, 3:25 PM

This is an interesting way to graph out the urban footprints of various cities from around the world. This also shows how the United States has a number of the largest urban centers in the world. Along the top, New York, Chicago, LA, and Miami are massive compared to cities like Hong Kong. This shows how in the United States there are massive amounts of urban growth. Even in China where their population is one of the worlds biggest, Hong Kong a major city only has 7.1 million. In the United States, for the past century cities have been growing and this graph shows that.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 6:40 PM

These visuals really help to show that the size of a city doesn't necessarily correspond with it's population. Many years ago the trend was the larger the city in turn it would posses a larger population than a physically smaller city. Today this no longer holds true, in fact many smaller cities vastly out populate large sprawling cities. Most of these mega-cities in Asia and Latin America are incredibly over build and densely packed surrounded by miles of slums. 

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10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countries

10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countries | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
  Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nations. In fact, many of the foods you eat are BANNED in ...
Betsy Smalley's insight:

can you guess the top 10?

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The Lewis Model Explains Every Culture In The World

The Lewis Model Explains Every Culture In The World | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
The Lewis Model identifies countries as Linear-actives, Multi-actives, and Reactives.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

How well does this model fit even our multi-cultural country? 

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New Zealand islands to be formally named - in English and Maori - Telegraph

New Zealand islands to be formally named - in English and Maori  - Telegraph | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
New Zealand's Geographic Board has recommended that the two islands be formally named for the first time – both in English and Maori.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

toponyms!

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What Makes Something A 'New' Language? : NPR

What Makes Something A 'New' Language? : NPR | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
What makes a language different enough from its predecessors to count as something more than a new dialect? Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers how the human mind's drive for clean categories shapes our understanding of linguistics and biology.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

in spite of our efforts to want to cleanly categorize, the boundaries are fuzzy in language and dialect

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Zimbabwe 18% pass rate is 'progress'

Zimbabwe 18% pass rate is 'progress' | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
Zimbabwe's education minister deplores the fact that nearly 82% of students have failed their basic school leavers' exams, the Ordinary Level.

Via Tom Rees
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graphing parking

graphing parking | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
accessible parking wonkery
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This shows space we dedicate to parking compared to office space, dining space, living space, etc.

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Why We Should Build Smart Highways

Why We Should Build Smart Highways | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
High-speed rail is still just a dream in America. But why then aren't smart roads a reality?

 

It is possible to imagine a world in which smart pavement, smart cars, and embedded monitoring and controls would turn highways from gulches that pollute a wide swath of land around them with both particles and noise would become more like rivers.

Read more at the article link...


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Why did 28,000 rivers in China suddenly disappear?

Why did 28,000 rivers in China suddenly disappear? | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50,000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.
Last week, China's Ministry of Water Resources announced the...
Betsy Smalley's insight:

pollution and overuse are causing drastic changes, including seasonal rivers

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How To Find A Food Desert Near You : NPR

How To Find A Food Desert Near You : NPR | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
A new clickable atlas shows just how far it is to the grocery store, everywhere in the United States. "Food deserts" are the focus of state, local, and federal anti-obesity efforts.
Betsy Smalley's insight:

Suburbs have such an incredible array of choices. For example, we just got a Whole Foods, and Sprouts to join our local Safeway, H-E-B, and Kroger stores.  Not everyone is so lucky, though. Rural and Urban centers have much less choice.

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Origami-Inspired Paper Sensor Could Test for Malaria and HIV for Less than 10 Cents, Report Chemists | News

Origami-Inspired Paper Sensor Could Test for Malaria and HIV for Less than 10 Cents, Report Chemists | News | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
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‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Ms. Smalley's Geography page | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.

Via Seth Dixon
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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:54 PM

If I was to create my own country, the first thing I'd do is make sure not to shoot down any U.N. helicopters. This video does show the very hard process of creating a country from scratch.  I particularly enjoy the piece in which a government official attempts to explain taxes to folks at the marketplace because I probably had the same expression when taxes were first explained to me. "Why should I pay the government my hard earned money? They didn't do anything to earn it from me."

 

Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 10:46 AM

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.