SHANGHAI -- Fears that China will catapult past the U.S. in the race to put electric vehicles on the road have fizzled.
Sam Capron's insight:
Clearly something needs to be done about this problem! China puts out a ton of pollution everyday and it is only getting worse with more and more drivers on the roads every year. However China does not have the infrastructure to handle all those cars, let alone charge the batteries of any electric cars that they make!
I think that trends need to start here in the United States before they can start spreading everywhere else. Once we make a good electric car that people want to buy, that is also affordable for people to buy, then the market will help change the thinking of the population. The market has the power to change thinking, clearly governments do not!
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.
Sam Capron's insight:
The traffic in Jakarta is unreal! So busy are the streets during rush hour that impromptu and illegal taxi-bike services are used as well as “renting” people to sit in your car with you so that you can use the special lanes reserved for larger groups of people.
This traffic is a sign of too many people that all have to work 9-5 jobs in the same area, and there are way too many people on the roads. Indonesia is currently incentivizing people to go to other nearby islands, but that has not seemed to help the traffic problem.
This reminds me of the near future could look like in places of the world such as China. Imagine if all 1.4 billion citizens of China had the ability to buy and drive a car, and they all needed to go to work at the same time! The traffic and pollution would be unbelievable.
A solution to this problem that was not mentioned in the video could be staggering the work day for various companies, so that everyone would not be heading to work at the same time. This would take a great deal of organization by a governing body, and the cooperation of various companies however it would greatly help to cut down the traffic if you extend rush our over a longer period of time.
Japan said eight Chinese government ships had entered waters around a group of islands at the heart of a territorial dispute between the two nations
Sam Capron's insight:
To me this news story is more mysterious than it is informative. While it is true that Japan has a great need to expand to new areas of the world for the use of the area’s natural resources, none of that was mentioned in this story. From the brief imagines shown of the islands that this dispute is over, they do not look like much. They are quite small and as was mentioned a few times in the video, are uninhabited.
I wonder if there is some significance to this area of the world that both China and Japan are privy to, that the reporter to CNN was not. Perhaps there is oil in the sea in this area, and the islands are needed in order to lay claims to that resource? Maybe it is less about knowing what is there, and more about just wanting the territory for the possibility that it might have something of value?
China and Japan have been enemies for a long time, neither one wants to give up territory to the other. Perhaps this feud is not over resources or even land really. As was stated in the video perhaps this is just simply a cat and mouse game being played between these two nations. Both sides are posturing because nether wants to back down to the other. Neither side wants to give up their claim to a piece of territory even though it appears as though it is just a small bit of empty rock out in the ocean
Here in the United States, and in other modern parts of the world, the time that we are awake has been lengthened considerably due to electricity. Gone are the days where modern humans sleep when it is dark out and work when it is light. We can now work when we want, and sleep when we feel like it. Because of this the average American now gets less sleep than 100 years ago, but we are more advanced and more productive each day. It appears as though light is one of the first steps in cultural, technological, and industrial development.
It seems as though North Korea will not end it’s posturing until it has started war with South Korea thus bringing the United States into the picture to defend its ally. Everyday North Korea is in the news, and each day it seems we are closer and closer to the shot that will open Pandora’s box in this region of the world.
How can political stability and security be measured? What constitutes effective governance? Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions. For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:
All these pictures have really opened my eyes to what is out there in the world. For a guy that was never really interested in traveling these pictures opened the imagination and actually make me think that traveling could be highly rewarding.
This is another old classic image that I might have shared earlier but it merits repeating. As Salvatore Natoli (a leader in geography education) once said, "In our society we unconsciously equate size with importance and even power." This is one reason why many people have underestimated the true size of Africa relative to places that they view as more important or more powerful.
This picture is great because while most people understand that Africa is a big place, most do not realize how big. Comparing the size of Africa is this visual manor makes it more real than just seeing a square mileage statistic.
The ‘Ecology of the Aral Sea: sustainable development and international cooperation’ conference with the participation of the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and...
Sam Capron's insight:
I was very interested to see this article on the web posted only yesterday! In it they describe a international conference where one of the main topics was how to save the Aral Lake. According to Professor Dixon in class, the lake is beyond saving. However the international attention that this issue gets may act as a warning to other parts of the world that are destroying their ecosystems. When you destroy something like a lake, it is nearly impossible to get back!
By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.
This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990. This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time. Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.
Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.
As I sat in class, and Professor Dixon began to tell us about humans changing the world around them I was not surprised, after all I have heard about how we caused global warming by destroying the ozone layer and we cut down trees ect. However what I was not prepared for was the speed with which we reshape the world. In a span of about 20 years we have destroyed entire ecosystems, and it is to late to do anything about it. The Aral Sea is dead, and it would be very difficult to nearly impossible to fix it now.
On top of all that damage, we also learned in class that the area where sea water used to be, but is now land because of the receding water is so salty and baron that it is wasteland and not fit for any type of use. When that water dries up, there will be none left for the nearby countries to utilize.
This is an article that contains videos and other bits of information on Afghanistan and the surrounding area. It has info on the Geography, culture, and politics of Afghanistan as well as colored maps!
One of the most interesting elements that I discovered in this article is information regarding the Wakhan Corridor, a region I had previously not heard of. Basically it is the small sliver of land in northern Afghanistan. This land barrier was created to ensure that British controlled India, and Russia. It just shows you in a perfect example the huge impact that Europe has had on the Middle East, politically, economically, and geographically.
This short video shows the spread of Wal-Mart starting in 1962 to 2011. Sorry the picture is terrible but it is the only one I could find. Still a very cool video though!
This graphic only goes up to 2011, I would love to see it go all the way to the present. Wal-Mart’s spread at an astounding place, and not just in the United States, but globally as well. I will go out and try and find a program similar to this that covers not only the two years leading to the present, but one that covers the entire world!
The remarkable pictures show scenes from France today with atmospheric photographs taken in the same place during the war superimposed on top.
In this fastinating set of images, Dutch artist and historian Jo Teeuwisse merges her passions literally by superimposing World War II photographs on to modern pictures of the where the photos were originally taken. This serves as a reminder that places are rich with history; to understand the geography of a place, one must also know it's history (and vice versa).
History is all around us. I think there is no better way to show that than with these images. It takes only the slightest of imaginations to put yourself into the bodies of the soldiers in these photos. To stand where they stood 70 years ago and try and think what they thought is awe inspiring.
This video is highly informative and really has people open their eyes to things you never really thought about. You take a good like eggs and you think that roughly they are priced the same no matter where you buy them, after all they are considered a "staple product" here in the United States right along with Milk. To find out that in one country you can buy almost twice the amount of product for the same amount of money is really mind-blowing, and the full story of why this is true contains many different factors.
Perhaps goods are priced based on the availability in the country, and also the demand in various countries. Eggs are cheap in China perhaps because they are very common, or maybe because people do not eat them very often in China? Expanding beyond this video with the why behind the statistics is something that I will have to find out!
High-resolution imaging has allowed scientists to produce the first full count of Antarctica's emperor penguins
Sam Capron's insight:
This article about penguin populations is slightly ambiguous. At the start of the article it mentions that with the help of satellite technology it is now possible to get a good count of penguin populations, and that after the tally was in there happens to be more penguins roaming Antarctica than previously anticipated. However then it claims that this is creature that is being impacted by global warming and the melting of the icecaps.
Perhaps the rise in population of these penguins is due to global warming. In the coming years with the continued help of satellite technology we will find out definitively if Penguins are going the way of the polar bear, unable to adapt to a new warmer environment, or maybe perhaps some warmth is just what these creatures needed. Maybe Penguins will thrive under global warming and the populations will skyrocket! Only time and careful study will tell.
On a slight side note, I got a real kick out of the idea that somewhere there is a team of folks sitting around computer screens whose job it is to count little penguins. How do you even sign up for a job like that?
60 Minutes on CBS News: India's love affair with gold - "No gold, no wedding," is a saying in India, indicating the importance of gold to Indian culture and tradition. Byron Pitts reports on India's obsession with gold.
Cultural values strongly impact consumption patterns. India's preference for gold, combined with South Asia's growing population, also leads to environmental impacts around the world as India's obsession for gold drives the global market, accounting for 1/3 of the trade. This video explores the cultural (and economic) logic behind the enormous importance of gold jewelry in Indian society.
It is amazing to me that the culture and tradition of one place in the world can influence something as small as the price of gold, but on a complete global scale. It is my belief that as long as India continues to buy gold at a high rate, and refuses to sell it, the gold prices will never decreases or slow down in value. It is the demand that influences the price, and it appears as though Indian demand is by no means slowing down.
EDIT: However shortly after I posted this article, the gold market did plummet, having two of the worst days in market history! I wonder if this impact reached as far as India, or if they will never be tired of gold!
The aspect of this video that I found to be the most intriguing was that it seemed to imply first that Japan had very few natural resources, when I recently learned that in the 17th century Japan came to be known as the “Silver Islands” due to their abundance of silver. However that could have been exploited over the hundreds of years and not a viable option any longer, or silver is not worth what it was in the 17th century.
The other element that is surprising is that Japan does have a very distinct and vibrant culture, one that is homogenously Japanese. This is due to their Geographic location, as well as elements of the culture itself. The world can only imagine what a force Japan would be if instead of small isle with very few resources, it had developed in a place where resources were abundant. That however would mean that the Japanese culture would lose what makes them distinct.
Another very interesting article on the subject of my research paper, Nyamuragira that also happens to be located in Africa, specifically the D.R. Congo.
I live in Rhode Island which as far as natural disasters goes is one of the safest places in the entire world! I cannot even imagine living within a few miles from a volcano that erupts every two years!
Was an inebriated Churchill to blame for the jagged Saudi-Jordanian border?
Sam Capron's insight:
I first read about Winston’s Hiccup in a textbook about the Middle East and decided that I wanted to set out and find the best internet article I could so that I could scoop it for everyone.
As the story goes, Winston Churchill was drawing a boarder for the country of Jordan at the Cairo Conference after a large lunch in which he had sampled a few drinks. As he was drawing the line for the Eastern border of Jordan, he hiccupped and the line skipped inward.
If this anecdote was proven true, it would be a classic example of European power in the Middle East, and how is transformed the region both politically and geographically.
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.
These landscape at really breathtaking! I hope to one day be able to visit some of them myself and take pictures of my very own! By the way the photo of the Gullfoss in Iceland is now my computers background image. :)
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.
While this article was very informative, I think it is the image that really speaks volumes, just as it did in 1985 when the picture was first taken. The women in the picture does not appear to be 28-30, rather she looks much older. Clearly she has led a tough life, and the evidence of that is written on her face a mere 15 years after the original was taken.
It seems like the sad story of pollution of the deepest lake in the world will be getting a happy ending. The Russian government has announced the closure of the paper mill that has been polluting Baikal for half a century.
Sam Capron's insight:
According to this article, the paper mill that has been polluting Lake Baikal for decades will be closed down by 2015. This is bad news for the folks that live and work around the mill; however this is great news for the world’s largest supply of fresh water!
In the wake of the horse meat scandal in Europe, fast food chains are demanding additional tests to ensure that hamburgers are 100 percent beef.
Sam Capron's insight:
Ok so there may be horse meat in burgers. This has me rethinking some of my dietary choices. There is also a unique story here. Why is cow ok to eat but horses are off limits? I think we tend to think of horses as being "close to" humans, in the same way that dogs are seen as human like. Yet creatures we keep as pets are eaten elsewhere in the world.