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Regional Geography
Global politics and foreign affairs from around the globe
Curated by Seth Dixon
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6 hours in Jakarta

Sure it's a camera commercial,but it provides a stunning look into life in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. 


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Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:52 PM

This commercial is a beautiful and authentic look at Jakarta. I love the detail you gather from the piece-- from the bicycles to the fish market to the man selling watches. It gives you a sense of the people who inhabit the city as well as the culture, economy and infrastructure of Jakarta.

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Burma: Motorcades and Dictator Disneyland

Burma: Motorcades and Dictator Disneyland | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Neil MacFarquhar, The Times's United Nations bureau chief, shares his ambivalence about covering the exotic global travels and diplomatic efforts of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, particularly in closed nations like Myanmar.

 

Times as April 2012 as seen the military junta of Myanmar open up towards representative form of governance, paving the way for the country to one day become Burma once again.  This video provides insights into the isolated make-believe world of the military junta.  Why would moving the capital to the interior to Naypyidaw be significant?  

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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years!

 

This is a current perspective on the many changes transforming Myanmar back into Burma.  For more by John Boyer, see: http://www.plaidavenger.com/

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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:52 PM

Wow I think this guy may have drank way to much coffee before making this video J  He is very excited about the changes in Burma although he should be it sounds as though this country is pretty much changing overnight

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:02 AM

It is amazing to see the kind of changes he has mentioned especially after military rule for about 50 years.  But you have to be careful as in all things.  Look at this article from BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12990563 Even though the changes have been made the military still holds some significant power.  It holds the most powerful ministires in the country and well as having 25%of the seats of both chambers of the parliament reserved for themselves.  In time if these restricitions are removed I think that sanctions could be removed a little at a time.

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Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor

Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.

 

Why do societies collapse?  Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system.  Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology.  Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed.  What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?   

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 8:50 PM

Scientists have found that the ancient city of Angkor failed do to drought. Angkor has a system of moats, channels, and reservoirs, so with such a system in place how could they have such a drought? Simply there water system was unable to to handle the change in climate.  

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:38 PM

This new study shows that even back in time people struggled with environmental challenges. We normally think of people in the past as being much more adaptive to their environments and that only in the modern age nature and humans have come into conflict. The surrender of Angkor Wat to drought shows that even though we have amazing technology today, water is still a staple of life. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:29 PM

It's easy to forget that for most of history, even the greatest of empires were subject to the whims of the climate. The ability to survive in places where humans really shouldn't thrive is only a recent development thanks to technology, but a drought is something the mightiest army can't fight, and all the wealth in the world will not stop, without the right technology.

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Video: Fighting Poverty with Ingenuity

I absolutely love creative, out-of-the-box, innovative people! People who use their creativity to make a difference in the World.... Incredible! "We want to ...

 

Find out more about this organization at: http://isanglitrongliwanag.org/

 

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 5, 2013 10:30 AM

This video is truly amazing and so interesting.  I wonder how people come up with the idea to put the water and bleach in a soda bottle to create light in very dark homes.  Just getting people in the United States to properly recycle their soda bottles is difficult enough, nevermind getting people to think outside of the box and create new innovations that save money and really work.  The man who created these light sources is seen as a true hero in this area because he has helped so many.  This video is incredible and is really telling of what people are able to do to help others if they just put in the time.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 6:13 PM

Turning trash into treasure is the simplest way to describe this phenomenon.  Soda bottles are easily turned into light bulbs in areas that do not receive much natural light. This alternative to electricity is perfect for an area of low income. They are able to get more done and keep costs down low while getting rid of water bottles at the same time.

Paige Therien's curator insight, April 24, 1:09 PM

Manila is one of the largest cities in the Phillippines, an archipelago consisting of more than 7,000 islands.  In terms of infrastructure, one huge problem that an archipelago like the Phillippines has to deal with is getting electricity to span over the entrie country and reach all of it's citizens.  One way of "solving" this is by not doing anything at all; as a result,  millions in Manila live in darkness.  This probably has negative effects in terms of mental health and limits people to doing things outside and in times of daylight.  One man is turning this around by installing plastic water bottles filled with water and bleach into people's ceilings.  They offer quite a bit of illumination and they are changing people's lives.  This idea would be laughed at in places like the United States.  In Manila however, not only are they completely recycling bottles which are imported from different countries and then take up room and add to pollution, they are easily and economically addressing a huge need in the country.  The houses, which are built using corregated metal, allow the technical aspect of this idea to work.

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Planting Rice

Thailand...

Feel free to mute the commentary...this video demonstrates the truly 'back-breaking' work that is a part of paddy rice farming. 

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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 10:20 AM
this video of Thailand shows just how different life styles are throughout the world. Americans for instance wouldn't be found dead doing this type of labor work. that goes to show just how shallow americans are and how incredible these people are for doing labor of this nature. planting rice is not only a life style they pick to do it is a life style they must do. with rice being Thailand's prime export and an ideal location for rice paddys this "job" isn't actually a job its a must do. these women spend hundreds of hours a week doing this.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 4:11 PM

When you look at Thailand from satellite imagery, it looks as though much of the country has a tannish color which you would think is dry and has less vegetation compared to neighboring countries.  The country actual has quite a bit of rainfall, and the suspect for all the dry-looking areas is farming fields for things such as rice.  This is serious manual labor with constant bending and speedy methods.  Though in a culture, and broader surrounding region that uses rice so frequently in their meals, having these type of farms is necessary to everyday life.

Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:03 PM

Just watching them work makes my back hurt. I feel terribel for them, but it is their job. I wonder if there are any machines or tools that they can use to get their job done more uickly and easier. Agriculture started off just like this. It was only people planting and doing all the work, but now in there are machines used for this new generation of agriculture. It's just sad that many countries still can't afford all these tools or machines. So unfortunately, people do have to physically hurt themselves or go through some sort of pain just to get things done. But this video makes me appreicate more where my food is coming from, because the foods that I buy does come from all over the world.

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Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao

Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
Young men in the Philippines, inspired by the light welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, are training to escape poverty, boxing for a few dollars more than they make as subsistence farmers.

 

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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 28, 2012 10:38 AM
It's going to be hard to get noticed after a great boxer Manny Pacquiao already made it. Boxing is a tough sport and it's growing to be less and less popular over the decades. I understand what the men are doing to make money, but I don't know if getting hit in the head for a living would be a great career choice.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 3:51 PM

This guy is super quick, he has seen his day but he is surely a legend especially in the Philippines.  When it is hard for people in poverty to have in interest in something, due to lack accessibility or other reasons, it is good to have someone to look up to.  Pacquiao can act as role model to not only people in poverty, but for anyone who is willing to work hard to succeed.  I have always believed that sport can bring anyone together, but resources such as a ball or equipment may be hard to come by.  Boxing is great in this situation, all you essentially need is your body and something to hit.

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Myanmar's Isolation Gives Way To A Flood Of Visitors

The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.

 

So many tourists want to see the change come to the democratic institutions of Myanmar to become a politically just Burma.  And yet, they also nostalgically want to keep Myanmar in a non-globalized state.  In what can be called the paradox of progress, many westerners want an idealized pre-modern state. 

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 1:05 AM
What a transition. Burma is now free. After suffocating under military rule, Myanmar now has the chance of progressing politically and economically.
Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:40 PM

This article touches on something I've always thought about when considering tourism and development. Many of the cities and places I like to visit I go to because of there charm and lack of robust tourism culture. This is a bit of a dual edged sword. Cities and countries stand to gain considerable wealth from the expansion of their tourism industry. But, part of me wonders if something else is also lost. 

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 10, 2013 8:03 PM

Due to rapid pace of political change in the last year tourists and foriegn investors are flooding into Myanmar. The country went through 50 years of brutal military rule and isolation that has left them stuck in time. What has been so heartbreaking for the people of Myanmar has is they same thing that makes it attractive and appealing to tourists and brings them now pouring in. Many of the tourists like it there because it hasnt been "ruined" by corporations and fast food chains yet.  

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A Keyhole into Burma

A Keyhole into Burma | Regional Geography | Scoop.it
On my last afternoon in Bagan, I went in search of a meal that would serve as both lunch and dinner, before boarding my flight...

 

As a notoriously closed society, glimpses into Burma become all the more important as Burma shows signs of  (possibly) opening up politically for the first time in decades.

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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 27, 2012 5:53 PM
It's good to see a place like Burma is showing signs of opening up politically, it shows other poor countries could do the same.
Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:23 PM

Yet another collection of pictures I'm scooping, but this time there's over 100 of them! Getting a western view into the insulated society of Burma is a rare opportunity, this shows some interesting pastimes such as Water buffalo surfing, but also things of major cultural significance, such as the importance of Buddhism.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 4:41 PM

This article depicts the differences and the little things that we in the USA take for granted for instance in this case it is a cd that is known as the "Western" type of misc and mass media culture that has been transported in this Burmese society.  It truly is the little things such as the Robbie Williams CD that is being depicted as not only the Western musical society but also being grouped with Bob Marley songs that would depict from the Burmese translation the Western society. And even though the people in this society don't know what the lyrics mean they can still be moved by the melody.  

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Regional Geography: SE Asia

The Social Media Story storified by Seth Dixon...
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