Sinica Geography 400
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Geography of Soccer in the US

Geography of Soccer in the US | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

" 549 players from 62 different countries play in MLS in the United States"


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I have always wondered some of these statistics when I happen to catch a MLS game on television or in person.  I've been a lifelong player as well as follower of soccer and each player brings a certain aspect and individuality to the game, sometimes depending on where they hail from.  Certain countries teach different tactics in their youth teams.  So when the traits of each player are factored into the finished product of a team, the results are very interesting.

Speaking of the league in general, it has come such a long way within the past decade.  Advertising, better support, and attractions of big names have all added to helping the MLS become more well known in the world of soccer.  I have season tickets to the New England Revolution, and I've witnessed first hand how much more popular the game has become in the United States.  It would be quite a stretch to say the MLS will ever be as popular as some of the European leagues, but having several players from foreign countries will help the league progress in quality as well as entertainment.

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Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 11:40 PM

Perfect example of cultural diffusion.

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 3:59 AM

I am a huge soccer fan and with that i also have to say i tend to neglect the MLS due to its lack of talent. The problem in the past with the MLS was that it was too home grown and their wasnt many international players to provide a wider demographic in the leauge which also means worse players. But with the MLS signing some big names from around the world such as Henry from France Beckham from Uk and Cahill from the AU the MLS is growing in popularity around the world and is soon to be a globally viewed leauge. This is a map of where the nearly 600 MLS players come from and it goes to show the more nations you can represent the bigger crowd demographic you can draw in.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 2014 5:25 PM

There are 35 MLS players that came from Africa according to the article. In America soccer or football in Europe is not that popular it is more like our baseball or football then like the soccer over there. (That is their "past time") In America we have a large population that play sports but specifically soccer we do not have that many participants that involve themselves in this , I think part of the reason is that abroad soccer is so important to them and they try to flourish from that sport onto tournments and other MLS players go for the cup. Oppose to America and our excitment about the NFL and MBL.

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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.

 

This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Off subject, but I recently started watching "My Name is Earl", a tv show which is based around karma and redoing wrongs in life.  On a serious note, people who have done wrong in their lives to turn around and try bettering themselves and others around them is very admirable.  When people normally think of helping the poor, its ship them some food and clothes and that's that.  It's much more than that though, you have to help them help themselves.  What "KK" has done has brought something he loves, and shares it with youth that can gain interest from it.  Breakdancing acts as a foundation to further learning such as books and computers, this leads to improvement and long-term effects.

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Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:15 PM

I thought this was a good video because it talks about a person who was probably living in the u.s. all his life and got hooked on the wrong side of the track and now forced to leave the u.s. The good news is he is seeing a country he was probably born in and never saw. he is able to bring with him some American culture such as breakdancing, music, his tattoos his English language. At the same time he is going to learn his culture.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:08 PM

this is a wonderful example of someone giving back to their adoptive [if ancestral] home. this is a good way to keep kids out of trouble while also introducing them to a new culture and style of dance.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:03 PM

this is great, making the best of a bad situation and working with kids to make sure that they do not make the same mistakes as you did is a great thing. also the examples of cultural diffusion or great as well. everyone knows that there is nothign better for kids growing up than to be a part of after school programs where they can continue to learn different things.

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Virtual tour of the Haga Sophia

Virtual tour of the Haga Sophia | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

This is one of the more impressive cultural landmarks in the world, and an architectural marvel.  Studying the cultural landscape reveals that multiple 'layers' are superimposed one upon another.  This phenomenon, known as sequent occupance, is most plainly manifested in this site.  The Haga Sophia has been both a Christian and Muslim holy site, depending which political empire has controlled the city of Istanbul.       


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Turkey is a very unique country.  The land is spread among Europe, as well as Asia and the Middle East.  Its people are among many religions such as Christian and Muslim, and they speak various languages which show how diverse the region is.  Turkey acts almost like a bridge between the two continents and within its borders lie attributes that are hard to find anywhere else on earth.  What is strange about this specific site being the Haga Sophia is that it has been both a Christian and Muslim landmark.  In many other areas of the world, each religion holds authority to their respective traditions and structures.  Though the holy site in Istanbul shows how truely diverse the nation is and has been for its people and especially religions.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:57 PM

Visiting the Haga Sophia is on my bucket list for sure! I find it fascinating how one beautiful site can radiate so many different historical periods as well as cultural differences. The Haga Sophia has traces of the religions and people that held control over it at one time or another. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:59 PM

Haga Sophia is a cultural landmark that has been a Christian and Muslim holy site that all depends on who was in control of the land of that particular time. This is a great example of different times in history that use the same monument and how it plays a significant role in the people of time past and present.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:29 PM

This is a place of both Christian and Muslim society. It is in control by a system of sequent occupancy, meaning that who ever is in control of the area of the time is in control of the Haga Sophia. This one site shows the past of different religions and people. It tells a story of its past, present and future.  

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Slideshare: Middle east flags

 Looking for an easy online method of sharing and using powerpoint presentations?  Slideshare is made just for that.  Here is one I made of Middle Eastern flags a while back, showing the cultural patterns and similarities among the flags.  Students are quick to note that the Israeli flag sticks out and "doesn't fit in well visually."  


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Many of these countries share similar backgrounds and cultures, as well as flags which is seen above.  The color patterns show red, black,  white, and green on almost every flag except Israel's which is blue and white.  It shows that most of the countries within the region are all linked somehow whether it be through language, identity, or other reasons, though there is still room for conflict and change as time passes.  After looking at flags from other countries such as Iraq and Iran, the graphics on them change, sometimes reflecting government changes.  It is sometimes difficult to remember and notice so many flags, yet some of these flags have changed within the last 2 to 3 decades to accompany the change of government.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 24, 2013 9:51 PM

These flags have a lot in common: I know at least from my own background that green is the color of Islam (in fact, I studied a Newsweek cover about the new "Green Scare" comparing Green/Islam to Red/Communism in the minds of Americans). Each flag is also beautifully geometric, keeping in line with the  inheritance of Islamic art. Of course the US Coalition would design such an ignorant flag for Iraq- we basically thought it was ours in 2004. Quick in, quick out, everyone wins. As we know today that is not the case....

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:06 PM

This goes to show how a flag is supposed to represent the people who live in their country. And the flag of Israel really does stick out like a sore thumb. We have the crescent moon, the typical Arabic colors of green, red, black, and white, and the blue and white really doesn't have much to do with the history of the people who live in Israel, only the new Jewish community who live there, but not the Palestinians. 

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:36 AM

Representation of middle eastern flags,

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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

If only the United States could embrace this lifestyle more.  Sure there are farmers markets and other sources of food, but the mighty supermarket and food giants have completely taken over this country.  A typical American wants quick and easy, but most of the time that comes with a price to pay.  The mass produced food in the U.S. is the majority food source for many citizens, the foods likely are modified and have come from all over the world.  Sure they are cheaper than a freshly grown products from a farmers market for example, but we as a nation and society let it come to this.  The U.S. has land in variable climates to sustain itself year-round, but that isn't the cost friendly option for right now.  Everything seems to be right now, not looking into the future.  It is almost as though the country is too far down the road of industrial giants and their mass produced products, that backtracking to a time where we actually produced our own goods is out of the question.  The least we can do at this point in time is try to buy local and help sustain what we already have before it's built on or forgotten about.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 2015 5:50 PM

This is a fine example of people looking out for one another.  It might be easier to industrialize their food market but it's more admirable to preserve tradition, help small indigenous business, and try your best at making the country more healthy.  I applaud them for doing this.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:33 PM

I think I might want to move to Bolivia one day! Reciprocity is often a term used for corporate culture; you but from me and I'll buy from you type of relationship. This is still true in Bolivia only they do it on a much more personal level. Farmers share equipment, they share crops, seeds and develop a rapport not easily undone by corporations such as McDonald's. Bolivia's multiple micro-climates allow it to grow a wide variety of foods for their citizens, thus making it easier to trade within their circle of neighborhood farmers. "I'll trade you ten pounds of potatoes for five pounds of Quinoa."

The article goes on to state that Bolivians do indeed love their hamburgers, a handful of Subway's and Burger King's still do business there, but the heritage of picking a burger from a street vendor has been passed down by generations. These cholitas, as they are called, sell their fare in the streets of Bolivia and this type of transaction is not easily duplicated by large corporations. I have added Bolivia to my bucket list...

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 30, 2015 10:28 PM

" Whats Bolivia doing so right that McDonalds couldn't make it there?"

Food is not a commericial space here.

Morales, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in February, slammed U.S. fast-food chains, calling them a “great harm to humanity” and accusing them of trying to control food production globally.

“They impose their customs and their foods,” he said. “They seek profit and to merely standardize food, produced on a massive scale, according to the same formula and with ingredients which cause cancers and other diseases.”

Even still, with one of the lightest carbon footprints in the world, cherished food practices and progressive food sovereignty laws on the books, Bolivia could still be a model to the rest of the world—the United States especially—for a healthier, more community-based food system.

 

What an insightful read. I never thought of considering our food a s a "commercial space" but that is essentially exactly what it is. Our food has been extremely commercialized. Products our pushed through advertisement continuously. Most of the foods in America are not even real food but food products, factory made. This is absolutely a role model country for how food should be consumed.

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Religious architecture of Islam

Religious architecture of Islam | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Read Religious architecture of Islam for travel tips, advice, news and articles from all around the world by Lonely Planet...

 

This is an excellent article that can be used in a thematic class for analyzing religion, the human landscape, the urban environment and cultural iconography.  For a regional geography class, this show great images from Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria and Israel/Palestine.  


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The Islamic traditions and beliefs are very genuine and passionate which can be admirable.  The value of the many significant structures and various holy sites are immense.  Some of them include Dome of the Rock, and Mecca which play a key role in the Islamic religion.  These areas are among the most sacred to the religion and the great architecture in these areas show how special they really are.  There are mosques all over the world, many of them spanning from Europe into soutwest Asia in countries such as Spain all the way to Indonesia.  Within the vast region it is visible to see the glimmering jewels and bright colors to highlight such sacred grounds.

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andrew desrochers's curator insight, October 28, 2014 2:47 PM

These architectural designs in Israel show religious meanings, what other factors inspire architectural creativity? Who uses these different styles of creativity?

Lily and Cami's curator insight, November 5, 2014 5:18 PM

Israel Religion: I scooped this because the picture really stood out to me because the golden dome stands over the rock on Temple Mount. you also can see great images of Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria, and Israel/Palestine. Not only are these sacred buildings but they are also big religious and tourist attractions.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:20 PM

Although all part of the same religion these buildings are influenced heavily by their location. I think this is important to note because it challenges our assumptions on Islam. When I think of a mosque a certain image pops into my head, these images shows how the same religion can still have local influences.

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How did Pakistan get it's name?

How did Pakistan get it's name? | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history - it is essentially an acronym!  Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never."

 

In a country with such great ethnic divisions, a common religion is a powerful nationalizing force.  As the capital city of Islamabad's toponym powerfully states (the house or abode of Islam), religion remains an important element of national identity for Pakistanis.   


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

When you take in the way that the British Empire controlled many colonies and tried to spread their culture to such diverse regions, it is no suprise that Pakistan was named essentially by a game of Scrabble.  I suppose the naming is somewhat creative and certainly unique compared to how other countries get their names, yet just picturing a group of colleagues naming a country is strange.  Though the U.K. did grant them independance, how independant were they really if they weren't even given the right to name their own land.

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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:15 PM

Pakistan is simply abbreviated from it's nations or nations that border Pakistan. P stands for Punjab, A stands for Afghania, K stands for Kashmir, I stands for Iran, S stands for Singh, T stands for Tukharistan, A stands for Afghanistan. However, there is no "N." Instead we classified the last letter as Balochistan but because "stan" is the Persian pronunciation for "country." Pakistan decided to abbreviate "N" as a silent so they can successfully abbreviate "Pakistan" instead of "Pakista."

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:03 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, primarily for how ridiculous it is. Most of us figured there was some decent reason (like the neighboring 'Stan's) for why  and how Pakistan got its name. Nope, there really wasn't any good reason to name it Pakistan, it is an acronym. One that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:47 PM
Until reading this, I thought this was another country that had a "stan" name just like the rest. I never knew that Pakistan received it's makeshift name my a bunch Cambridge University students. It is composed of lands taken from homelands: Punjab, Afghania,, Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and balochistaN.