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Brazil's disappearing favelas

Brazil's disappearing favelas | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

Infrastructure demanded by the sporting world's most powerful corporate interests render families homeless in Brazil.


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Nick Flanagan's insight:

While I'm glad that they are dong something for their poor, it makes me wonder if they are only doing it for the upcoming world cup and olympics.  I just wonder if they are trying to hide some of what really goes on there from tourists so they will think everything in brazil is all good. 

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Matt Mallinson's comment, September 26, 2012 9:02 AM
Its good to see Brazil finally attempt to fix this mess, there are to many people living in poverty with no help. I hope things go well for the people of Rio.
Erica Tommarello's curator insight, October 2, 2013 9:52 AM

FIFA 2014 is being hosted in Brazil. This article details the completely flawed and inhumane plan that Brazil has to get ready for the madness of FIFA. They seem to be too caught up in artificial aesthetic and have lost focus on development, while displacing thousands of poor Brazilians on the way.

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The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
The story behind the the International Date Line.

 

Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 1:42 PM

It made sense for American Samoa to ask for the move even though it is US territory.  It is more closely linked with the economies of the China, Japan, Australia, New Zeland and South Korea.  For them to all be on the same day just makes sense.  You can coordinate things better if everyone is on the same day, financial markets and be in line when the trading day starts and ends.  Seems to me to make sense that they are on the same day as their main economic partners.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 2:42 AM

This line clearly needs to be redrawn.  It just does not make sense that it could be monday in one area and tuesday 50 miles directly south of it.  While the new dateline does not necessarily have to be perfectly straight, it should at least not go directly horizontal as it does now.  Whoever lies on the line must deal with whatever place they have been placed in, and not complain.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 11, 2013 8:05 AM

My class examined this and we agree that it makes sense that American Samoa would want to be those they do business with like Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  ALthough American Samoa is a US territory, it definately does more business with the countries who are nearby and therefore they should be pushed to the other side of the dateline.

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Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
Divers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef recently snapped rare pictures of a wobbegong, or carpet shark, swallowing a bamboo shark whole.

 

The diversity of life on this planet and the ecosystems which such creatures live in is something that continually leaves me in awe at the wonders of the natural world.


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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 10:18 AM

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, and the ecosystem that exists there is extremely delicate, as well as extremely fantastic, as seen in this article.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:41 PM

When I first saw this image I thought that this white shark was swimming into a chest or something anything except for another shark. Then when opening the article it was apparent that the shark was being eaten by another shark. 

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 23, 2:57 PM

A wobbegong, also known as the carpet shark, engulfs a bamboo shark in the Great Barrier Reef. This was a surprising and rare photo for Divers in Australia. It is crazy how animals so close in relativity can instantly become predators, and possibly a meal, to each other!

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Scientists observe 'tragic experiment' of tsunami debris

Scientists observe 'tragic experiment' of tsunami debris | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
Jeff Larson has seen just about everything wash up on the shores of Santa Cruz: bottles, toys, shotgun shells, busted surfboards and fishing floats that looked like they had bobbed across the Pacific.

 

This is just another long-term 'after-shock' of the tsunami that devasted Japan over 1 year ago. 


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The Cultural Geography of a Viral Sensation

The Cultural Geography of a Viral Sensation | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
The Gangnam Style! sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original.  This first video is the original, which in a few short months received well ove...


The following link has the video, parodies and infographics to help student explore the meaning behind the cultural phenomenon. 


Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon? What cultural combinations are seen in this? How has the technological innovations changed how cultures interact, spread and are replicated?


Tags: popular culture, video, diffusion, globalization, culture, place, technology, unit 3 culture. 


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Rich's comment, October 3, 2012 11:27 AM
When I first saw this music video and heard the song I remember myself saying "I have no idea what is going on, but the human race is a better place thanks to this guy." I may not know what he is saying but it puts me in a great mood. This guy is breaking cultural and geographical boundaries with music.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:07 PM

Culture and globalization has spread this song across the United States breaking records and trending on sites such as Twitter. Our exposure to different cultures is great. However, if you do not like songs that get stuck in your head, do not listen to this song . LOL

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Hong Kong and China: Growing apart?

Hong Kong and China: Growing apart? | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
The BBC's John Simpson reports from Hong Kong, where the former colony's increasing independent-mindedness is worrying Beijing.

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Steven Sutantro's curator insight, December 20, 2012 6:06 PM

Interesting facts...that's the interdependence concept of Geography..

Bill Chen's comment, December 22, 2012 6:20 AM
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Emma Lafleur's curator insight, April 23, 2013 5:34 PM

Hong Kong has a mix of Chinese heritage and culture and British ideals. They lived under the British rule for so long that they grew accustomed to the British government system and freedoms. When the UK handed Hong Kong over to China, the people of Hong Kong were afraid that the Chinese government would step in and put them under the same system as the rest of China. China decided to allow Hong Kong to have its own system, but Hong Kong still fears China stepping in and forcing them to change and conform to the rules of the rest of China. Hong Kong is now seeing some protesting and some tension from its people about becoming truly Chinese. They do not want to be Chinese, and they do not want to be British either. They want to form their own country. However, it is highly unlikely that China will let Hong Kong go, but I do wonder if the ideals of Hong Kong, like elections, will slowly spread to the rest of China and create tensions that will cause a change in the Chinese government altogether.

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.


Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.


Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 


Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 14, 8:21 PM

I believe this is a wise decision by McDonald's to adjust their menu for the people of India who are vegetarian. India's population is over one billion now; many of those people are vegetarian. McDonald's is one of the world's most successful fast food chains and they have a chance to lure millions of new customers into their restaurant. This is a great example of a global company making small changes in order to attract people with specific customs and cultural norms. 

Paige Therien's curator insight, April 24, 9:49 AM

When one thinks about huge brands like McDonalds, very specific food items may come to mind.  These items, like the Big Mac in the United States and other select countries, are very iconic in terms of representation to its consumers and competitors.  However, traveling to a different country would expose one to the fact that the cuisine at a restaurant owned by the same company may be quite different.  McDonalds is a master at globalization because they have created a huge reputation and have a lot of power in the global market.  At the same time, they have tuned in to the local cultures and their values and traditions.  In places like India, this is very neccesary if McDonalds is to maintain a strong market there because a large portion of the population is vegetarian.  Not only would they not enjoy eating a Big Mac, they may be insulted by its presence on the menu and feel generally ignored by the company in terms of their traditions and beliefs.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 29, 3:20 PM

I am impressed that McDonald's knows their clientele so well! This is a company that will last since it is very globally conscious and therefore can open a restaurant in any country.

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The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan

The limits of freedom for educated girls in Malala's Pakistan | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
In a country this battered, fractured, dysfunctional – how much can she really hope to achieve?


The issue of female education in Pakistan has exploded after Malala Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban for publicly advocating for girls to receive more schooling.  This attack has lead several media outlets to take a more serious look at the gendered cultural and economic opportunities (or lack thereof) for girls within Pakistan.  This NPR podcast also speaks of the real options in front of so many girls like Malala and the cultural and political contexts within which they navigate their lives.

 

Tags: gender, South Asia, podcast, culture, Islam, development, unit 3 culture, education.


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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:09 PM

I really love this article because the young girl being interviewed is angry and has had enough of the sexism in Pakistan. Malala Yousafzai has definitely become a role model for girls in her homeland and she has advanced girl's education by a large margin during her fight. The school systems in Pakistan are lacking because of the environments and the materials teachers focus on and Pakistani boys get a very different education in their religious schools but the girls have begun to work harder to equal up to them and make it to universities.  There are still many restrictions on the jobs women can take but girls are beginning to fight that too.  Pakistan has now had female political officials which has shown the generations of schoolgirls that they can truly do anything they set their minds too and Malala has helped prove that the movement can't be stopped by surviving her assassination attempt and continuing to campaign. 

Daishon Redden's curator insight, April 22, 7:00 AM

I chose this article because it talks about limit of freedom in LDC's and how girls are not allowed to get an education. This was the main idea of what Half The Sky was. Girls no being given the same rights as boy.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 10:40 AM

Starting this article response off with a quote seems only appropriate. This article follows Malala Yousafzai through her horrific experience being victimized by the Talaiban. She is an inspiring girl with all the set backs she has had to endure and she wants the right for an education for Women in her country and society. She is determined in order to create a better life for herself and her people. “The peasants had a very difficult situation, but they didn’t give up,” Aroosa says in English. “They fought back, and got power. Girls can fight back and can get an education. A girl can bring a big change.”

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NYTimes video: "Skateistan"

NYTimes video: "Skateistan" | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

"Afghan youth have very limited options for sports and recreation. An Australian man is trying to change that."  Issues of ethnicity, class and gender are right on the surface.  Globalization, cultural values and shifting norms make this a good discussion piece.  


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Jess Deady's curator insight, April 28, 11:16 AM

While visiting other countries, people get a glimpse of how others live. In Australia, children are allowed to play all sorts of games and sports for recreational fun. In Afghanistan however, this is not the case. What this Australian man is doing is helping out the Afghan youth. They need some inspiration and in order for them to get that they need outside sources (and people) like this man.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 7:35 AM

This one man is trying to give these children something of their own to hold onto. They don't have the activities and recreational opportunities that children do in Australia.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 9:18 AM

The Skateistan organization has provided Afghan boys and girls with the opportunity for recreation.  Recreation is important for children to make friends, but more importantly in a tense country with many different ethnic backgrounds, it fosters community building and exposure to other people.  This organization has given kids freedom and job opportunities that are actually rewarding.  The blending of cultural interests illustrates how very similar people are; the Afghan kids are just as willing to participate in the unknown sport of skateboarding as any kid would be from a society where it is a popular sport.

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Unnatural Landscapes

Unnatural Landscapes | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

In a world where photoshop has made the unreal seem ordinary, these unearthly seemingly landscapes might seem likely fakes.  The world can be that extraordinary.  Pictured above is the "Door to Hell" in Turkmenistan.  Rich with natural gas, Soviets were drilling in 1971 when the drilling rig collapsed and left a huge (230 feet wide) hole.  In an attempt to stop gas leaks they hoped a fire would burn off any discharge, but it is still burning today.  Enjoy this gallery of 25 'unnatural' images.   


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oliviersc's comment, November 13, 2012 2:50 PM
Shared in this Revue : Cheesecake et bonnets pour tenir chaud = http://blogoliviersc.org/?p=5974
Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 7:53 AM

Some of the best looking images I have ever seen! The picture I found most facinating was the "Door To Hell". The Door to Hell is filled with natural gas. "In an attempt to stop gas leaks they hoped a fire would burn off any discharge, but it is still burning today." The fire started in 1971 and it is still burning today!? CRAZY

 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 7:05 AM

Sometimes you really can't tell whether a picture is real or not. How do landscapes like this form on their own? In this particular picture, the cause of a drilling rig has left a giant hole. The fire is still burning and has left the world to see a beautiful, unnatural landscape.

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Can Europe Survive the Rise of the Rest?

Can Europe Survive the Rise of the Rest? | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
The European Union will never manage to compete with China and other rising powers unless it unites politically, scales up and becomes a genuine giant.


This author argues that the main driving forces that led towards European unification in the decades after WWII are now gone or are diminished in importance.  As many of the economies of Europe, especially southern Europe are struggling, it is time for the European Union to rediscover and restructure it's raison d'être--it's reason for being--if it wants to continue to compete on a global level.   


Tags: Supranationalism, Europe, political, unit 4 political and economic.


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Amy Marques's curator insight, July 29, 2013 6:05 AM

This is a great overview of what is truely happening in the world. How Europe is still seen as a travel destination and perhaps turism is one of its strengths in terms of keeping the economies going in European countries, but its true that much of the economic activity is starting to shift over to Asian countries and its something the "big three", China, the US, and Europe are going to have to look at. These three primarily relied on eachother, but maybe its time to start looking at buisness affairs with other nations like Singnapore and Japan.

Louis Culotta's curator insight, July 30, 2013 8:41 AM

In reviewing this change in economic power in the world would show how business in moving to other parts the world due to how cheaply they can be produced.

Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 8:10 AM

Many of Europe's initial reasons for uniting have disappeared, but there lies another reason to continue doing so, that being the ability to compete with the US and China as a major superpower. Of course Europe isn't united in the same way that those countries are, and are still individual countries, but a strong economic union might be in their best interest economically. This doesn't mean it would be a good thing though, as consolidating the many countries and identities into one governing body is potentially dangerous, both for the freedom of the people, and for the stability of the region. One could imagine a scenario in the future where former Croatians are being dictated to by a government based out of France or Germany, that have no local or ethnic connection to them.

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Deep Freeze Spreads Across Europe

Deep Freeze Spreads Across Europe | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
The frigid weather that plagued Eastern Europe much of last week spread westward over the weekend, grounding flights, snarling traffic, and causing hundreds of deaths...

 

This picture alone is a fantastic teaching resource.  I can see a great lesson structured around analyzing the physical and human geographic context within these landscapes (there are 39 additional images in the gallery).  


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Nick Flanagan's insight:

It's crazy how the cold effected this region.  I mean some of these pictures didnt een look they were real, they looked like something you would see on a postcard.  I think it would be cool at first to be there and see these images first hand, but with how cold it looks there i would probably be over it in about 10 minutes. 

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sdion's comment, February 9, 2012 3:01 PM
these images are really striking, especially the landscapes with the icy/snowy architecture, i heard in another class that Japan recently got hit with about ten feet of snow, makes me feel fortunate weve only gotten six inches so far this winter
Charles Matley's comment, February 10, 2012 6:06 PM
This is maddening. Global Warming is certainly not a myth, some of these places have never seen snow like this.
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Brazil's disappearing favelas

Brazil's disappearing favelas | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

Infrastructure demanded by the sporting world's most powerful corporate interests render families homeless in Brazil.


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Nick Flanagan's insight:

While I'm glad that they are dong something for their poor, it makes me wonder if they are only doing it for the upcoming world cup and olympics.  I just wonder if they are trying to hide some of what really goes on there from tourists so they will think everything in brazil is all good. 

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Matt Mallinson's comment, September 26, 2012 9:02 AM
Its good to see Brazil finally attempt to fix this mess, there are to many people living in poverty with no help. I hope things go well for the people of Rio.
Erica Tommarello's curator insight, October 2, 2013 9:52 AM

FIFA 2014 is being hosted in Brazil. This article details the completely flawed and inhumane plan that Brazil has to get ready for the madness of FIFA. They seem to be too caught up in artificial aesthetic and have lost focus on development, while displacing thousands of poor Brazilians on the way.

Investors Europe Stock Brokers's curator insight, July 15, 12:21 AM

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Uruguay’s government, new pot dealer on the block

Uruguay’s government, new pot dealer on the block | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
Amsterdam, eat your heart out. This South American country has big plans for marijuana fans.

 

The distribution of narcotics impacts virtually every country in the world; there are incredibly divergent strategies on how to mitigate these problems that are a result of sophisticated distribution networks.  What is the best way to stop the flow of dangerous drugs and the illegal activities that accompany the drug trade?  If you were in charge, what strategies would you recommend? 


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Nick Flanagan's insight:

I like how they feel that the prohibition on marijuana just made the use of it worse.  I feel like that is a problem in many countries, people only want to do it because it's illegal and it makes them look like a rebel.  Also it's only marijuana I mean thats barely a drug anyway, it's not like they legalized cocaine or heroin something that can cause harmful damage to a person's body.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 11:22 PM

Uruguay is definitely taking steps in the right direction here.  Instead of leaving drugs in the hands of street dealers and cartels, they are putting them in regulated establishments.  One could argue this is only going to promote drug use, but it will do the exact opposite.  Marijuana is proven to be safer than alcohol, and is wildly popular.  Uruaguay will soon see a decline, in crime, hard drug use, and an increase in social capital and most likey appetite.  

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 7:36 AM

This article is interesting in it is a different view of how a government should combat drug related violence.  The idea that to legalize lesser drugs will bring down the demand for harder illegal drugs is an interesting stance.  The hope is this will cut the feet out from under the dangerous and violent drug cartels and bring down the crime rate in Uruguay.  It will be interesting to see what comes of this move.

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Island shown in Google Maps doesn’t actually exist

Island shown in Google Maps doesn’t actually exist | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

There’s a South Pacific island positioned midway between Australia and New Caledonia featured on various marine charts, world maps, and has appeared in publications since at least the year 2000. It’s listed as Sandy Island on Google Maps and Google Earth, and yet Australian scientists have just discovered it doesn’t exist.


As part of a 25-day voyage, the group went to the area, only to find  a 1,400m (4,620ft) deep section of the Coral Sea. The team collected 197 different rock samples, more than 6800km of marine geophysical data, and mapped over 14,000 square kilometers of the ocean floor.  This is just a reminder that a map is only as reliable as the information used to compile that map (see BBC article as well).   For another reminder of this same idea see "The Republic of Null Island." 


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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 7:36 AM

Typical. How many times do we see information on the internet thats not totally accurate? Although maps such as Google Maps should be accurate enough for people to trust them this wasn't the case. Who knows why there is this random island that doesn't actually exist on the map?

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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 


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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:56 PM

When reading I found out that they call it "Ball's Pyramid"because that is what is left from the last volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago."British naval officer named Ball was the first European to see it in 1788. It sits off Australia, in the South Pacific. It is extremely narrow, 1,844 feet high, and it sits alone.

What's more, for years this place had a secret. At 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a small, spindly little bush, and under that bush, a few years ago, two climbers, working in the dark, found something totally improbable hiding in the soil below. How it got there, we still don't know."

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 5:33 PM

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 7:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

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Disputed Isles

Disputed Isles | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.


This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   


Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 


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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 3:20 PM

This interactive map discusses the current disputes between the islands and why the land is being disputed. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 11:40 AM

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 6:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

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Alarm as China Issues "Rules" for Disputed Area

Alarm as China Issues "Rules" for Disputed Area | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
New rules announced last week to allow interceptions of ships in the South China Sea are raising concerns in the region, and in Washington, that simmering disputes with Southeast Asian countries over the waters will escalate.


According to this new announcement, Chinese ships would be allowed to search and repel foreign ships if they were engaged in illegal activities (but that is open to interpretation) if the ships were within the 12-nautical-mile zone surrounding islands that China claims. This makes the disputed territorial claims of China all the more at the center of this geopolitical maneuverings.  Much of the South China Sea would then be under Chinese control if this announcement becomes the new reality. 


Questions to Ponder: Why is China making this announcement?  Is China within their rights to make this declaration?  Who might oppose this? 


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South Asia's smog 'getting worse'

South Asia's smog 'getting worse' | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
A rapid rise in air pollution from fossil fuels and biomass burnings worsens winter smog and extends its duration in many parts of South Asia.

 

The confluence of population growth, rapid urbanization and global economic restructuring combine with other geographic factors to adversely impact the environmental conditions in South Asia.  


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Catherine Shabo's curator insight, April 15, 2013 6:22 PM

With the pollution increasing in South Asia, I strongly believe that this is a cause for respiratory deaths. Especially if the citizens of this regions are inhaling it every single day. The article even says that some days in a row the temperature drops because no sunlight is getting through the smog. If this is the case, then that is very dangerous to inhale because no air is circulating and there is no fresh sunlight coming in. This could also cause long term respiratory illnesses for the children living here. Solutions to this problem can be tricky but cutting back on the amount of fuel being used is a good place to start. The pictures even say enough because it is clear that the air is not clear. I would not want to breathe that in. There has to be alternatives.

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Jodhpur - India's Blue City

Jodhpur - India's Blue City | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it

DB: The aesthetics of architecture within a society not only reveal the communities interpretation of what is considered beautiful or pleasing in appearance but also differentiates between what is considered sacred or important. The symbolic significance of aesthetics in colors, designs and a place of residence can be indicative of socioeconomic standing is within society and what the community values.  Jodhpur, India is well known for the beautiful wave of blue houses that dominate the landscape of a rather dry region. However, it is believed that these blue houses originally were the result of ancient caste traditions. 


Brahmins (who were at the very top of the caste system) housed themselves in these “Brahmin Blue” homes to distinguish themselves from the members of other castes. Now that the Indian government officially prohibits the caste system, the use of the color blue has become more widespread. Yet Jodhpur is one of the only cities in India that stands steadfast to its widespread aesthetics obsession with the color blue which is making it increasingly unique, creating a new sense of communal solidarity among its residence.

 

Questions to Consider: How has color influenced the cultural geography of this area?  How are the aesthetics of this community symbolic of India’s traditional past, present and possible future?


Tags: South Asia, culture, housing, landscape, unit 3 culture.


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ctoler geo 152's curator insight, July 21, 11:10 PM

never knew this city existed. Blue City!

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Interactive maps Mexico-USA migration channels

Interactive maps  Mexico-USA migration channels | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
In several previous posts we have looked at specific migration channels connecting Mexico to the USA: From Morelos to Minnesota; case study of a migrant...

 

An excellent way to show examples of chain migration and the gravity model...students will understand the concepts with concretes examples. These interactive maps have crisp geo-visualizations of the migratory flows.


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Benjamin DeRita's comment, September 24, 2012 10:28 AM
For the majority of regions the migration percentages are seemingly obvious and to be expected. However, am surprised to see a region such as Guerrero have a high concentration of relocation to Raleigh, NC. Also Guerrero seems unique where it has no clear dominant destination compared to many of its neighbors. Outside of Chicago (1) the next four cities are essentially receiving equal migration.
Blake Welborn's curator insight, November 11, 2013 7:35 PM

This map shows  some of the flows of migration out of Mexico into the US. Provides insight on the immigrant migration and where there are large concentrations of immigrants. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 24, 12:30 PM

These maps show where Mexicans are migrating to in the United States and their state of origin through consulate registration. Though there is an obvious large amount of migration to the border states of Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico, there is a significant amount of migration to other, more distant states, particularly from more Southern Mexican states. For example, the top three cities visited by Mexicans of Chiapas are Raleigh, SC; Atlanta, GA; and Orlando, FL. Additionally, large numbers of people from Guerrero and Puebla are heading to Chicago and New York City respectively.

 

These maps are interesting and it is likely that the high migratory numbers to far away American cities are an indication of family and community bonds established in these cities, there could be a number of other factors which contribute to these figures.

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Not all Olympic champions stand on the podium

Not all Olympic champions stand on the podium | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
Tahmina Kohistani’s Olympics lasted exactly 14 and 42/100ths of a second.

 

This is a great article that highlights the Olympic successes that are underreported.  Due to geographic circumstances, simply competing is a remarkable accomplishment.  The women participants from Afghanistan and Iran are highlighted in this article. 


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lelapin's comment, August 11, 2012 10:27 AM
great article indeed. Thanks for turning the spotlight away from the podium, for a change.
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 2, 2013 9:41 AM

The olympic games have become only about the podium winners in the media, if you dont win you dont matter. Tahmina Kohistani was the only female athlete from Afghanistan to compete in the games back in 2012. It is an amazing feat in itself that a female from Afghanistan even managed to get to the games never mind partacipate. She didnt win, she finished last, but it was her personal best time and the fastest she had ever run the 100 meter. But because she was not up on that podium none of that matter and many people did not even know she had run the race.  

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A Life Revealed

A Life Revealed | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.


The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes.  This is her story. 


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megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 10:08 PM
But by looking at the photo we can see the beauty out of all the pain.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 15, 2013 10:49 PM

This photo is in Rome, where there is an exhibit based on NGS photos, and in Las Vegas as well. In both places the lines were long to get in.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 7:00 AM

This is basically a publicity stunt. When someone puts a specific cover on a magazine, they are looking for a certain kind of attention. Yes, this woman has faced some hardships in her life but not the brutal and intense things that this magazine may have stirred up.

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Cold Snap Across Europe : Image of the Day

Cold Snap Across Europe : Image of the Day | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
A convoluted jet stream plunged Europe into a severe cold snap in late January and early February 2012.

 


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Europe according to Estonians

This video is not very educational, filled with bad stereotypes and some truly inaccurate (and potentially offensive) statements.  Still, I show it every semester as the rationale for why we need to study more about Europe (but mainly because my students LOVE watching it).    


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Nick Flanagan's insight:

while this realy wasnt geographicaly accurate, it was a very funny video.  it showed that possibly people from Estonia really do view the rest of Europe that way.  

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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 10, 2012 7:35 AM
Hilarious yet annoying in a way, very stereotypical but also educational. I liked this video.
chris tobin's comment, March 22, 2013 11:05 AM
Thanks for sharing this video......pretty funny
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Brazil Faces Obstacles in Preparations for Rio Olympics

Brazil Faces Obstacles in Preparations for Rio Olympics | n flanagan geography400 | Scoop.it
Ambitious development plans for the 2016 Summer Olympics, as well as the 2014 soccer World Cup, involve large-scale evictions from numerous slums, whose residents are refusing to leave.

 

The urban revitalization issues in Rio de Janiero are not new, but they will intensify in global importance (or at least coverage) as the time for the World Cup and Olympics approaches.  What are the aesthetics and economics behind revitalization?  What are the social issues that should be addressed?  


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I think it's good for these people to stand their ground on the olympic building.  There country gave up on them so why should they be forced to move and supposrt their government.  I think when this happened in 2008 in Beijing it was wrong.  They were showing the tourists only a portion of what their country is like and not letting them see just how bad it can be at times.  The popel in brazil are not letting that happen so easily.

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:24 PM

The people protesting the destruction of their homes in the slums of Brazil are right to do so.  The government wants to destroy homes that while they are shabby, have been host to more than one generation of some families strictly so they may host the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics.  I understand that government is glad to host these events because it will bring tourism to the country and bring in large profits but in doing this, they are neglecting their own people!

Brazil is not in a good financial state to take on the endeavors of building the stadiums and hosting the massive crowds that come to both events.  Rio de Janeiro also has a very high crime rate.  Destroying the favelas to clean up the city and make more space will only displace the poor and lead to further problems for the country because before a nation focuses on the rest of the world, it needs to secure and take care of itself and Brazil is not doing so. It is cruel politics to displace thousands of people and will not do any good after the few weeks of the Olympics comes to an end and Brazil is left with another mess to clean up.

Cam E's curator insight, February 11, 8:41 AM

With the Olympics comes countries trying to hide all their dirty secrets that they don't want the world to see. It's easy to say that money shouldn't be spent on creating a large stadium and instead to help the impoverished, but it should also be recognized that with the Olympics comes a huge boost in jobs and tourism for the country.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 7:33 AM

This article highlights the problem facing Brazil when the country needs to build new facilities to host the Olympics and World Cup.  The clash between the government and poor people who are squatting on land they do not own causes much stress and unrest.  How the country comes to resolve these issues are important for the people in the future.  The fact that people are being displaced is sad and perhaps not fair however, on the other hand, these people are squatters and built their homes on land they did not own and have no infrastructure which is also dangerous and a public safety issue.  The unrest over this issue will cause a pale over the games to be held in Brazil.