March 26, 2012—In a state-of-the-art submersible, National Geographic explorer-in-residence and filmmaker James Cameron reached the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, breaking a world record for the deepest solo dive.
It is mind boggling how much of our oceans are still to be discovered. Cameron's journey here is one that needs to be taken all over the world. We have more ocean that is unexplored than explored. We may also find some answers to fundamental questions to human existence if we are able to research the deep sea more effectively. It is hard to believe we have been able to research 36,000 feet below and still have more questions than answers.
An anti-western documentary, allegedly leaked to a South Korean tourist by agents of the North posing as defectors has emerged and been translated to English. And god is it scary just how right they have all of it, down to the letter.
Ryan Amado's insight:
I stumbled upon this last year, it is a North Korean documentary that highlights how our socities in the west use propganda to control it's citizens. While the documentary itself is propaganda used to control the North Korean citizens, and is very exaggerant, it raises some very true questions about our society.
The efforts of the Chinese government to cut corners and save money in every project they do has lead to the high amount of pollution in the countries urbanized cities. They surely do not have the enviornment in mind when drawing up policies, instead only the best interests of their country. Until China cleans up it's factories and uses safer appraoches to construction, this problem will continue. The tourists will continue to take pictures in front of panoramas and will be unable to see the skyline of most of the cities they visit.
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.
Malala surely deserves every accolade she has received from her efforts to improve the education of women in Pakistan. Not only did she stand up to the powers that kept her down, but she continued to do so even after those powers put a bullet in her head. She's an inspiration for all girls not only in Pakistan, but in every place where this is still an issue.
What also was very dangerous about this was that Mali became a safe haven for terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, because of their Islamic ties to the rebels. If we allow them to control this region, who knows what they could plan. We spent all this time making them run, giving them a new base would undo a lot of work that has been done in the past 12 years.
Apparently, a group of very determined Russians made it to the top of the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt, and crowned their achievement by taking these amazing p
Ryan Amado's insight:
This here is a test of one's bravery. These men who illegally climbed the pyramids in Cairo were able to take some breathtaking pictures of one of the worlds most ancient historical landmarks. You can see just how isolated the Egytpian govenment has kept them, as the city lines are far enough away not to engulf the area of the pyramids.
Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani takes to the TEDxSummit stage in Doha, Qatar to take on serious issues in the Middle East -- like how many kisses to give when saying “Hi,” and what not to say on an American airplane.
This comedian sure does his best job at showing that the Middle East is not the chaotic war zone we see on American television every day, and what a better place to do it in than Qatar, a place where he would have a very diverse audience. He made light of each race in the audience, drawing laughs instead of slander. He made jokes about Lebanese, Qataris, Saudis, and Iranians, amongst others. This really broke many of the stereotypes that exist about people of Middle Eastern descent in our society. Instead of seeing them protesting or fighting amongst themselves, we see them enjoying each other’s company just as every race in America does every day.
It is time Moscow recognized that the world does not approve of this kind of abuse. Not giving homosexuals rights is one thing, brutalizing them is another, and to possibly ruin the sanctity of an event such as the Olympics because of an intolerant regime is beyond asanine. NBC's decision to expose this is bold, but necessary.
These photo's are rather gripping. Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years. The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.
The twists and turns of the EU are starting to leave our European vaping cousins not only enraged, but also stupefied and incredulous at what is being proposed.
It appears that the Commission – one of the legislative arms of the EU, not only want to ban electronic cigarettes, they also want to make sure nobody can talk about them either.
There are basically three legislative arms to the EU Parliament –1) The Commission; they oversee law. 2) The elected Members of Parliament (MEPs), and 3) The Council, that is made up from Ministers from the 28 EU countries. Countries take turns in presiding over the EU, rotating every 6 months.
Legislation on E-cigs has come later than it should have. Many people are being misinformed about these products. They are sold as safe replacements for normal cigerettes. However, if one smokes them as often as they smoke in a day (say, the amount of hits a pack of cigarettes takes), they are inhaling dangerous amounts of nicotine. Something needs to be done about this dire health risk.
This is sad news for an area that is trying to persuede the world it deserves to be independent. Unfortunately, they still have to rely on the Spanish government to help their economy, something that does not help their case. While other countries do take money from other powers, one that is trying to establish itself might want to have a more optimistic outlook on it's economy before it tries to go off on it's own.
"Europe and Asia, while often considered two separate continents, both lie on the same landmass or tectonic plate, the Eurasian supercontinent. The historic and geographic story of the Eurasian boundary is intriguing."
Here we can see that the continental boundary between Russia and the rest of Europe has historically been solely based on national borders. However, a large majority of Russia's population and major cities are in the western part of the country, which is closer to Europe than most Asian countries. Because of this, Europe and Asia gained an imaginary cultural border. It only makes sense that part of Russia began to be considered a European region even though it physically is a part of Asia. It is better to talk about the entire land mass of Eurasia rather than two split continents when talking about Russia's borders.
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?
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.
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.'
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.
Kim Jung-Un's reckless actions and threats that were the highlights of the beginning of his regime was nothing more than a frivoulous attempt at displaying his power. He wanted the world to see his legitimacy as a leader, whether or not it was known he is the leader of a cult of personality. He wanted us to take him seriously, and in a way we did, as these threats were the talk among the nation for a bit.
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.
This is only one change McDonalds has had to make in order to have a sustainable market in India. They obviously have not sold beef or pork pattied burgers at a high rate. If they want to keep business booming in India than they need to keep showing the Indian people that they can innovate and provide the best service they can while also respecting the customs of their society.
This is a crisis that needs more attention paid to it. The CAR has been a highly unstable country for the marjority of the past two years and is now on the brink of genocide. Many of it's citizens have been displaced, and human rights violations increase as the days go by. This conflict needs a resolution before it goes too far.
Unfortunately, these actions seem to be the one of a man who is trying desperately to hold on to his power. It is known that there was a power struggle between him and members of his government. It is the last thing this young country needs when it is trying to establish itself. Hopefully this move does not lead to the very thing South Sudanians were trying to get away from.
The death of 190,000 people due to war is always a tragedy. There is a positive side to this number, however. The Iraq war cost 190,00 lives in ten years, an average of 19,000 deaths a year. In World War II, the Russians alone lost 9,000,000 people, in a much shorter amount of time. We are no longer losing large chunks of our population in wars, due to new technology and combat strategies.
"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.
In an unstable region such as this one, it is very encouraging to see the young people of Afghanistan particpating in an actvity thats radical in it's own way. Not only does skateboarding add to the short list of recreational activities for these kids, but one with just the right amount of skill could possibly do something substantial with their skills. It creates an opportunity for them in a way. Hopefully the "Skateistan" movement continues to spread across the country.
When Russia and China vote together on UN Resolutions (such as their recent veto of the UN Resolution on Syria), I always think to myself that in the two countries’ collective unconscious they realize that they are going to have...
Demographic facts: 1) China has more men than women. 2) Russian has more women than men. While these two facts are rather straightforward, their impact on society, gender roles, politics, economics and culture are quite complicated. This article chronicles how this 'shortage' of men in Russia has led to an imbalance of power in heterosexual relationships, altering cultural gender norms.
This could be a reason that Russia has been pushing an anti-Homosexual agenda. It certainly is not right, and has been enforced too extremely, but perhaps they feel that there are not enough heterosexual relationships due to the uneven ratio of men and women, and that an increase in the amount of homosexual couples will add to the issue.
"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."
Stalin probably did not have the outlook of his country's geography in mind when he deported all of these people. It goes to show that ruthless dictatorships are never the way to go, as impulsive decisions and tyranny can have consequences for the long term.
It was called the Blitz for a reason. For months, nobody in London was safe. As seen on the map, nearly every inch of London was affected by Nazi bombs. Not only were there bombs falling, but also planes and other war machines involved. The modern version of London is surely a rebuilt version of its 1940's counterpart.
"Germany and France spent decades at each others' throats. Now, bound by a common currency, they're working together to save the euro zone. It's a story that's begging for a musical number — which, as it happens, we have right here."
This song does every bit of telling the truth while still being humorous in nature. It is only fitting that there is some comedy here, because there is some irony in what the EU was supposed to become and what it has turned into since it's installment.
This certainly raises some new questions about exactly how long humanity has existed. This is not the only place where hunting materials this old are being discovered, however. Here, were dealing with 30,000 year old objects. Elsewhere, they are finding ancient spears that may be 280,000 years old. Discoveries like these are vital, as they are helping us answer the fundamental questions about humanity we have been trying to answer for thousands of years.