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Inside the Colorado deluge

Inside the Colorado deluge | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"Two things that helped make this rainfall historic are breadth and duration. Colorado can get much higher rainfall rates for brief periods and over small areas."


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The devestation from the rainfall and flooding was mindblowing recently.  In terms of infrastructure, Colorado is much stronger than lesser prepared areas and countries that are prone to landslides and flooding.  That being said, it helps in realizing the magnitude of which this area was dealt a few weeks ago.  The rainfall rates were through the roof and shattered records.  In the article the NOAA even mentioned this flooding to be on a 1000-year scale which really makes me question the climate we live in.  Debates have come up about global warming and climate change, but recalling all the recent events that have taken place within the past few years, the weather itself is changing in my opinion.  For example, the tropical weather that has come all the way up to the northeast the past two years, or winter storm Nemo this past February which set records in many New England cities.  The rates that these storms have been happening recently are beginning to give this area a wary future.

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Wales vs New Zealand Haka and Response (whole video)

New Zealand Haka and response Final Score Wales 9 - 29 New Zealand as i was in the stand it was great to hear the cheering from both side "Same old All Blac...
Brett Sinica's insight:

This video was seen in class a few weeks ago and it had to be shared.  Rugby is interesting not only with how tough these guys are, but the level of passion they have when they play for their fellow team and for their country.  It is tradition in New Zealand to "Haka", a sense of intimidation leading back centuries when tribes would go to battle or settle disagreements.  With a team with all black jerseys, and the meanest looks on their face start the synchronized ritual it can bring goosebumps especially when the huge crowd starts to roar in support.

 

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Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed?

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Scientists model where and when the debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami will be.  The likelihood that the debris (not radioactive) will reach the U.S. west coast is increasingly likely.  Look at the great video attached to the article.   


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This video showed time elasped which stopped in the summer of 2013, it is now December.  At the time of the video the mass was entering the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean so I'm curious to where it is now.  I can't find any current imagery of the vast ocean but it would be a neat, yet dangerous spectacle.  I could only imagine any of the harm it's causing on the sealife on its way across the pacific.  We can only hope that doesn't bring too many issues once it washes up on the west coast, if at all.

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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:23 PM

Interesting to see were all the “junk” is going. I wonder how it effects the water and the ecosystem as it moves.

Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 10:47 PM

It will be very interesting to see if this floating pile of junk actually reaches the west coast of the United States.  It seems possible that it could, but some of the scientists and other experts believe that it could also break up and sink before it reaches us.  One of my questions going in was whehter or not the wreckage was radioactive?  Luckily it is not radioactive and that should not be a concern for anyone. 

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 3:09 PM

Hopefully none of the wreckage that reaches the US is radioactive.... But the projected travel of the debris shows how ocean currents create, almost, a "natural" globalization of natural disasters. 

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Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors

Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
High-resolution imaging has allowed scientists to produce the first full count of Antarctica's emperor penguins...

 

Before this, there was no way to to gather reliable penguin statistics.  Geospatial technologies are now providing us the tools to teach us more about the biogeography of penguins.  The applications of geospatial technologies are endless.   


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This reminds me of a documentary type show on Discovery Channel called "Penguins: Waddle all the Way".  It followed various groups of penguins from Antarctica, Falkland Islands, and Peru with remote controlled camera-weilding look-alikes.  It's amazing to see the migration patterns and habits each of the groups have.  This technology is virtually harmless and gathers a great deal of data which ties in with geospatial technologies.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 23, 2013 9:58 AM

Using high resolution images from satilites geographers and ecologists are looking at emperor penguins. They have come up with the first ever population total of 595,000 penguins which is nearly twice as many emperor penguins as previous studies. They also counted 46 colonies. This is so cool, Penguins are one of my favorite animals and are so fasinating to me. 

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 3:17 PM

I wonder when this geospatial technology will be used to spy on humans, maybe it already has! It is important, however, to learn more about Antarctica, the alien continent of the world. This is a victory for science.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 5:26 PM

The use of modern technology to better understand nature is fascinating.  The ability to count penguins from space in a way that could not happen without satellites because of the harsh environment.  Maybe someday they will find bigfoot with a satellite or maybe not.

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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. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

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.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 5, 2013 7:25 AM

This video shows the amount of work that goes into rice farming in Asian countries.  People of Asian countries heavily rely on rice as a staple in their diets.  These people take part in immense manual labor on small farms and farm rice for their own local consumption.  It is 'back-breaking' work and it shows what many people must do in order to get their food.  It is not as easy as driving down the street to the grocery store, as we take for granted in the United States and other nations.

Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 7:20 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.
Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 9:03 AM

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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Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
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.

 

The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network.  This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I thought Interstate-95 was bad, but this is a whole other level.  Locally when people have to wait 15-30 minutes in traffic, it's a nightmare.  In Jakarta, if you told them the same thing it would be a national holiday.  The population growth not only of the people, but of the automobiles have obviously gotten out of hand and people simply need to get to work, and on time.  It's no wonder that there are various rules being bent or broken to try and keep the flow moving as smooth as possible.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 5:53 PM

Jakarta is faced with overpopulation and traffic problems. The government passed a law, which requires a vehicle to have passengers aboard, in the hopes of speeding up the traffic entering the city. However, some drivers are paying people to take a ride with them into the city to avoid the fines. In most areas throughout the world, passengers would be paying the driver for a ride, but in this city, it is different. The government should find another solution to fix the traffic issues. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 11:49 AM

This video was interesting.  It shows that with increased urbanization come the problem of increased traffic congestion.  Government that are growing need to be aware of this and build their cities accordingly to have transportation that can accommodate all the people swelling the city.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 2, 11:51 AM

Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, is located on the country's most heavily populated island of Java.  The city has seen an intense population explosion, and with is came more and more vehicles.  The roads are overcrowded and there is not enough public transportation.  People in Jakarta have had to adapt to the social environment that has been created.  Jockeys charge drivers for giving them rides into the center of the  city (you need to have three of more people in your car to do so).  Even if they did not need to go into the city, it is a way to make many, albeit illegal.  Cities, like Jakarta, are places where infrastructure and public transportation is needed most heavily, but it is the most difficult and expensive place to do so.

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Perfect Sushi

Perfect Sushi | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
One of the hardest reservations to get in the world is a seat at Jiro Ono’s sushi counter, a three-Michelin-star restaurant adjoining the entrance to the Ginza metro station, in the basement of a business building in Tokyo.
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is an article regarding a documentary titled Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  The man, Jiro ono is nearing his late 80's and is still a full fledged worker, specifically sushi chef, artist, master.  I recently found the documentary on Netflix and my appetite for sushi and Japanese culture then had me hooked.  The film follows Jiro in his day to day routine, where he hardly ever takes breaks from work and has become one of the best sushi chefs ever because of his consitency and determination.  While watching, I began to think of other cultural and social norms in Japan.  One was the health and longevity of the citizens there.  Does the nutritional diets and seemingly constant workload and knack for their respective jobs attribute to living a longer and especially mental and physical healthier life?  I mean Jiro did have a heart attack due to smoking when he was in his 70's, but he is near 90 years old now and still raising the bar!  He also mentions that because he learned to love his job, it makes waking up and working that much easier.  On the contrary is the typical American saying "oh damn, I have to go to work, again."  From my study of Japanese culture, people are proud of what they do, and people like Jiro change for the better, they adapt and be the best they can be at their particular job.  Achieving this trait I feel can help any worker in almost any condition to live a little healthier by having an optimistic and progressive mindset.

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Hiroshima after the Atomic Bomb

Hiroshima after the Atomic Bomb | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
360° panoramic photography by Harbert F. Austin Jr.. Visit us to see more amazing panoramas from Japan and thousands of other places in the world.

 

The interactive panorama is eerily compelling...this is a haunting image. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The panorama is eery.  The trees are dead, there is rubble, it is literally a deadzone.  No scary movie or horror story can compare to this type of devastation.  The black and white contrast seems to add even more depth to the pictures because of the consistent trend of nothingness.  It shows how massive the damage actually was.  What I found interesting is the trolley line with people riding bikes or walking on the same road.  Thinking of how they walked around after the bombs had dropped must be the strangest feeling because everything around them was simply gone.

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Josue Maroquin's comment, August 12, 2013 6:33 PM
The result of war against each other
Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 8:26 AM

The thing that always stumps me about pictures after bombings and other disasters is the reason why some things are left standing. Here we see buildings destroyed and utterly annihilated as far as the eye can see, yet the telephone poles are still standing in some areas. The picture can't capture the true scope of the destruction, but it also shows how destruction is a bit random in its own way.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:32 PM

This panoramic photograph shows the devastation of Hiroshima after the Atomic Bomb. Everything in sight is destroyed. Houses and poles that were lucky enough to still be standing are even lost causes. 

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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This guy is crazy! This just happened to be captured on video but who knows the other stunts that workers go through in the country.  The demand and speed of the jobs to be completed don't always take in the safety of the workers.  The regulations that are set in place aren't enforced strongly, if at all, which is why you can see this guy dangling from a building.  Yet at the end of the day, the job has to be done, and surely this man will not be going home with a bonus check even though he risked his life to keep up with the demanding pace set for the demolition job.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 2:13 PM

This video is jaw-dropping proof of how China cuts corners in their quest for growing their economy. With such a large population looking for work China does not really need to protect their workers. I wonder if China will experience a labor movement similar to the one in the US that introduced protective legislation.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 6:19 AM

This video shows a complete lack of concern for worker safety in China. The workers use the backhoe as a makeshift platform so one of them can cut the rebar suspending a massive piece of concrete from the side of the building. These kinds of shortcuts are the ways which China is able to keep a competitive edge in the world market. With hardly any regard for fair wages, worker safety, or worker rights, China is able to manufacture goods for prices no one else can compete with. Eventually, China will face opposition from its workforce as its industry matures and the government can either appease them or face revolution.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:47 PM

In Beijing, workers safety is not a top priority. This video may shock viewers to the extreme levels workers will go to for such a small paycheck. This worker, many stories up climbs onto an excavator to be lowered down to a area that could not be reached. It is insane how these unsafe conditions compare to Americas. It makes you wonder how China has such a growing economy and a global leader when when things like this are happening on a day to day basis.

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12 million divided Nepalese expected to vote for stability - The Times of India

12 million divided Nepalese expected to vote for stability - The Times of India | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Despite calls for boycott by an alliance of 33 parties, voter turnout is expected to be high as the country is in grips of election fever.
Brett Sinica's insight:

Today was voting day in Nepal.  Two words: divided and voting.  These two words when put together can be edgy.  We've seen it in Egypt where various parties have extreme differences and have even taken extreme measures.  To further the research of this article, there had also been a bomb that went off earlier today in the capital of Kathmandu.  There has been many government forces deployed and though some people are honestly just trying to get their vote in, there are other extremists who have other intentions.  These ethnic divides translate into politics, and within recent years, many of these conflicts end up bloody.  It's a sad issue of the past and present, and it shows that even though these people live within the same political boundaries, they are on completely different ends of the political and ideological spectrum.

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Bridging the Digital Divide

This is an inspiring project that seeks to elevate poor slum-dwelling Indians by providing educational resources to children.  As free computer terminals are made available, their literacy skills soar and possibilities are widened.  Visit the projects homepage at: http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/ ;


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

As a child, most of us probably didn't particularly learn through technology or computers but through other hands on methods.  In these slums, getting school supplies which we are fortunate to have may not be so easy.  There are just so many people and living conditions make it harder for each child to be benefit equally.  That being said, these computers just might benefit the youth in the long run.  It might not be traditional, or even equal at times yet it is a type of improvisation that can probably be helpful.  In the video you could see the kids waiting in line, wanting to use the touchscreen, wanting to learn.  It is an abstract approach to education, but with the growth and diversity, it just might work effectively.

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 27, 2011 6:51 PM
I think the hole in the wall program is a positive outcome for the children. They are learning to work cooperatively with others. They are also learning to play and work with programs that are used frequently in other areas of the world. These children may not have resources to teach them vocabulary, or phonics, or the alphabet but with these computers that are able to learn. As they learn they can then teach others, it is has a great educational value to help later in their lives. These children also get to see other parts of the world. They don't just see their world of poverty but it will also get them to think and view life with more light and better views.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 2:50 PM
This is a fantastic program that I'm excited to hear about...education for the disenfranchised is one of the best vehicles for positive social change.
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Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.

 

This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 19, 2013 7:58 AM

This video is incredibly interesting in that it describes just what it means to be the fastest growing megacity in the world.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh from smaller towns outside the capital city.  The current population of Dhaka is 15 million but people are migrating to the city so quickly that it does not take very long for the census data to become outdated.  People are moving to Dhaka with hopes of a better life for themselves and their families.  Their situation upon moving goes from worst to bad.  People move out of slums and squatter settlements in their hometowns into other slums and squatter settlements in Dhaka, but they still believe they are beginning a better life.  There are many interesting aspects of this video.  For one, there is a girl who is happy because she works in a fabric factory and she might receive a $4/month increase in pay.  To us in the United States, this is nothing, but to her, it is a huge help to her and her family.  Also, there is a girl who could rarely afford fish or meats but she can now buy one good piece of meat each week because she can afford it in Dhaka.  While there are many glimpses of hope and opportunities to live better lives in Dhaka as seen in this video, there are many geographical implications for Dhaka as it becomes larger and larger each day.  The government is very informal and people who move to Dhaka do not have any land to build homes on, so they build illegally on someone else's land.  Also, traffic on Dhaka's streets is, for lack of a better term, insane.  The city just cannot handle all of the migration from elsewhere.  Resources such as clean water and food are very slim.  Even though Dhaka might suffer as a city due to its rapid growth and inability to support everyone, newcomers still choose Dhaka as the gateway to a better life.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 8:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 8:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

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Life inside the den of Somali pirates

Somali pirates seek haven in Eyl, the capital of Puntland, where support for piracy is widespread. But who exactly is benefitting from the million dollar ran...

 

What is life like in a village that is a haven for pirates?  The cultural, political and economic situation is dramatically different from where most of us live. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

It's sad to see the lifestyle in the areas plagued by pirates.  There are even videos of young kids being interviewed with questions such as "what do you want to be when you grow up?"  They respond with "a pirate".  The lifestyle is almost recognized as a rebellious hero in some aspects; you ride around on boats, with big guns, and get to do some very risky things to get rich and powerful.  Sounds like an interesting action movie, but in reality it is an extremely illegal and dangerous lifestyle.  These people put their lives on the line to not just be powerful or rich, but to survive.  In some cases it is a way out of the poverty and jobless way of life, yet when people need to survive, they can do some not-so-friendly things.

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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 31, 2012 9:16 AM
After watching this video it seems there is no quick end to all the piracy. They are much stronger because of the amount of guns they have, and all of them are very capable of using them.
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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 2:51 PM

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 28, 2013 8:53 PM

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 1:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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Video -- Dive into the Deep

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.

 

For those who haven't been following National Geographic news, James Cameron (director of "Titanic" and "The Abyss") entered a submarine named DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, and dove to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth. Enjoy this video describing this "lunar-like" environment that is so deep it is lightless and near lifeless with extreme pressure. For more on the expedition, read: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120326-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deepest-lunar-sub-science/


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

When the show South Park has made an entire episode based around you, you've certainly done something extraordinary.  James Cameron not only risked his life,  but proved a point and set a new standard in underwater exploration.  In a way, he literally went to the bottom of the earth, something that has been a mystical feat until now.  With technology advancing so quickly and people constantly pushing limits and standards it makes us wonder what will be discovered next.

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Matt Mallinson's comment, December 5, 2012 11:37 AM
Cameron is the man. Not only does he make awesome movies, but he risks his life for discovery.
Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 6:12 PM

This is amazing! I love the fact there isalways one person willing to rishk his own life just to gain more knowledge of the world we live in. The Mariana Trench is definteley a scary place and by it being the deepest trench in the world, I can see why not many would consider going down there. I am looking forward to the release of any videos that may come from this expedition he took. - M. Carvajal

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 2:45 AM

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. 

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Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures...

 

In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question.  The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it.  Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

These soon-to-be island would sure make one interesting auction.  Many of the small landforms in the world, and especially Pacific have always been contested by powerhouses such as China, Japan, or other smaller countries.  Having control isn't for the island itself necessarily but for what the ocean waters surrounding the landform may contain.  It could be fishing, trade routes, or even oil or natural gas settlements.  It makes it even more intersting when many of these underground landforms are possible volcanoes considering the majority of active volcanoes are underwater and near the ring of fire.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 10:25 AM

This isn't an article from Oceania necessarily, but one that pertains to it. In an area made up of small island nations, the literal overnight emergence of new ones can change the politics of the surrounding countries, and even the number of seats at the United Nations in the far future.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 5:23 PM

When I read something like this all I can think is maybe this is what happened to Atlantis.  What if Atlantis was an island like this that existed just long enough for people to build a society on and then it sank beneath the sea.  Another think this makes me think of is the novel “Jingo” by Terry Pratchett, in it an island rises from the sea and leads to a war over which country owns it.  This is just an interesting phenomenon that leads to world arguments.

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"No Reservations" season 4, episode 11: Laos | Gadling.com

"No Reservations" season 4, episode 11: Laos | Gadling.com | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Location: Mr. Bourdain kicked off a new round of episodes last night with Laos. As one of the last 'untouched' destinations of Southeast Asia, Laos
Brett Sinica's insight:

My typical Tuesday consists of waking up, and going to play soccer at Brown University.  I drive from my Elmhurst apartment through downtown, then over to the campus on the East Side of Providence.  Last week, it was quite cold yet a man on the sidewalk caught my eye with just a plain black t-shirt which read "I (heart) Laos".  Fair enough.  I finished playing and came back to make lunch where I turn on the television and here is Anthony Bourdain traveling through Laos.  This was a strange coincidence so I had a feeling I should watch!  Come to find out, the country sat in the shadows through much of the last century with conflicts such as the Vietnam war.  Laos, technically not even in the war was still held victim to all of the bloodshed which occured.  In the episode, Bourdain visits a man and his family, yet the man had come in contact with an un-detonated bomb left over from the war and had to be amputated.  Myself, as well as Bourdain who is tough as steel, seemed to get emotional from the story of him and many other people in the country that fall victim to a war they had nothing to do with.  There are supposedly millions of un-detonated bombs in the fields and close to villages that are trying to be located and desposed of.  Just to think of having to be cautious walking or playing in a field from something your country wasn't apart of, or you weren't even born for is truly saddening.

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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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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 2:43 PM

This man was originally from California, but was kicked out of America and now lives in Cambodia. “KK” introduces break dancing, rapping and even taught basic computer skills to the at risk children of Cambodia. The children are some of the best break-dancers I have ever seen. A man by the name of "KK" inspired and gave the youth of Cambodia hope. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 8:00 AM

Bringing different cultures into different lifestyles is an important part of cultural history. Every culture is linked in some way to another one. What this break dancer does to help these kids is awesome. As a former Cambodian refugee he had never been to Cambodia but was sent back there. His L.A./past gang influences have helped many kids to stay away from gangs and to take up schooling and break dancing instead.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 2, 12:05 PM

Urban United States culture has been introduced to Cambodia's youth by K.K.  K.K., who lived in California his whole life as the child of Cambodian refugees, was deported to Cambodia, a place he had never even visited before, due to a felony charge.  K.K created an organization which taught Cambodia's youth about HIV protection, computers, and drugs.  He made his organization attractive to Cambodian youth by introducing them break-dancing and rapping.  In the U.S. these activities are often viewed in a negative light, but K.K. used them positively by introducing them to a population with no prior knowledge of them.  He also recreated his own identity by mixing his new, vastly unknown Cambodian experience with his life experiences from the U.S.   He is an example of the many people who struggle with forming a more global identity in our global world.  This organization targets at-risk kids and K.K. is probably trying to direct their lives the way he may wish someone had done for him. 

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Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao

Boxing in the Shadow of Pacquiao | Sinica Geography 400 | 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.

 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

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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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 28, 2012 7:38 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.
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China's One-Child Policy

China's One-Child Policy | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"In 1979, the National Population and Family Planning Commission in China enacted an ambitious program that called for strict population control. Families in various urban districts are urged to have only one child—preferably a son—in order to solve the problems related to overpopulation. What has happened since then and what are its implications for the future of China?"  This is an excellent infographic for understanding population dynamics in the world's most populous country. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This was a cool graphic to explain the basics of the birth policies in China.  As a country, it is respectable for them to try and control their global footprint and growth within the country, yet some of the measures that are taken to achieve or sustain them are slightly questionable.  One of the graphics displayed having one child compared to more than one, which were have the chance of being followed by fines, confiscations of belongings, and even job loss.  In a sense, by having more (a child) they actually get less (money, goods, respect).  The goal of reducing the birth rates had actually worked since it was put in place, though it didn't come without some sort of an expense of the citizens.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 10, 2012 5:18 PM
The social repercussions of China’s one child policy may soon pose some new challenges to them in the following decades. Like other industrialized economies, as China’s population ages, the elderly will be supported by a smaller workforce. However, due to an unequal gender preference for boys because of the countries one child policy, the generation following the upcoming workforce may also be insufficient. How China will respond to the reality of dealing with an aging population and smaller workforce in the near future could possibly result in the country having a large immigrant work force or even suspending their one child policy.
Matt Mallinson's comment, November 19, 2012 8:11 AM
I agree with Don, couldn't have said it better.
Yuanyuan Kelly's curator insight, March 4, 2013 6:27 AM

A really cool infograph regarding China's one child policy!

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China now eats twice the meat we do

China now eats twice the meat we do | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
We can learn a lot from examining the way China's diet has changed in the last 20 years -- as well as its required efficiencies and the agriculture that supports it.

 

The United States still consumes more meat per capita than China, but as China's economy has grown (along with it's income and standard of living), the consumer habits have changed as well.  What will the impacts of the rise in Chinese meat consumption mean?   How do they get all this meat?  http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1661841673/this-little-piggy-is-going-to-china


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is actuallty very believable considering the population growth that China has experienced.  It only makes sense that the more people there are, the more meat will be consumed.  It is part of their cuisine to include meat.  Pork and chicken are among many of the popular proteins which are found on their dishes.  There is also the expansion to go along with all of the growth.  The landscape of the eastern part of the country has become more agriculturally accomodating for crops and livestock alike.  Therefore to match the trend of growing population, is the need to match it with meat and other foods.

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Seth Dixon's comment, July 25, 2012 5:09 PM
As more societies aspire to 'American lifestyles,' consuming meat goes up. As a country gets wealthier, their capacity to have a meat market expands. But China is so big, that shift is actually a big deal.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:15 PM

I wonder if this will bring on a meat shortage. At the least it is helping to full "factory" farmer and the feeding on cheep corn to cows. I wonder how much this will effect global warming.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 3:25 PM

China now eats twice as much meat than America. However, this chart does not touch upon "per-capita" which plays a major role in where the food is being dispersed and consumed. 

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The quest for peace in South Asia

The quest for peace in South Asia | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Peace and tolerance are common human aspirations, Indians and Pakistanis are no different in yearning for it

Via Meagan Harpin
Brett Sinica's insight:

Saying and agreeing to peace is one thing, yet actually going through with it is another.  I'm sure both countries don't want any conflict, yet there are just so many divides regarding identity it could be hard for people near the borders to follow suit.  In an area with tension and "the others" mentality, moving towards a more tolerant approach for people on the other side of the border could take time.  As mentioned, maybe younger generations have a better chance in solving relations by practicing more friendly approaches.  It would be great to see these two countries find a solid peaceful ground considering all of the tension they've had in the past.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 6:46 PM

With the fighting over the border that has gone on it is no wonder India and Pakistan strive for peace more then ever. 

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India's Census: Lots Of Cellphones, Too Few Toilets

The results of India's once-in-a-decade census reveal a country of 1.2 billion people where millions have access to the latest technology, but millions more lack sanitation and drinking water.

 

More Indians are entering the middle class as personal wealth is transforming South Asia's economy in the private sector.  Yet the government's ability to provide public services to match that growth still lags behind.  Why would it be that it is easier to get a cell phone than a toilet in India?  What will that mean for development?  


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This ratio is strange, yet somewhat easy to believe.  India, a country with a large fraction of the world's population can easily benefit from technology.  Cell phones and other electronics are easy to come by, can easily be replaced, and are always steadily available with new releases.  On the other hand is sewage systems and water supplies.  In a region that lacks "proper" living conditions due to the growth of people and increase of city living and slums, it would be hard to keep up with the a demand of toilets and running water.  It is basically impossible to accomodate everyone with a bathroom, the resources just aren't available.  In a nutshell, it's easier to buy a handheld device than to buy a toilet system.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 1:45 PM

This NPR podast reflects the geographic theme of development, specifically the uneven development of India. Despite a rising economy, the infrastructure of the country is not keeping up. While many people buy things, have "personal wealth," they live in conditions that betray their poverty.

Paige Therien's curator insight, April 17, 10:41 AM

India's economy is transforming, but only for individuals, who are quickly becoming rich or, more commonly, part of the growing middle class.  This change, mixed with a corrupt, non-incentivized  government is creating a picture of uneven development in India.  The government is not supplying basic needs to the growing population, which mainly effects the poor.  Half of the population are lacking basic sanitation and access to clean water.  These needs can only be met with a strong infrastructure, which the government has neither the money nor the motivation to rebuild.  However, Indians do have the access to things like cellphones and televisions.  This is due to the fact that these goods are privatized and easy to obtain (as opposed to ripping apart a city to put infrastructure in place).  So, uneven development is seen not only in the general economy, but also in access to resources and material goods. 

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 17, 3:42 AM

Consequences of urbanisation

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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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Robert T. Preston's comment, June 6, 2013 6:28 PM
Most sites agree that this is how the country got it's name. "Stan" means homeland, but the rest of the nation's provinces provided the name when combined.
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 6:13 PM

In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to this region and named it Pakistan. The name was created by a group of students at Cambrige University and used the names of their homelands. Punjab, Afghania  Kashmir, Iran ,Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan is an acronym! 

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 14, 2013 6:06 AM

It is interesting to learn how particular countries got their names.  Pakistan was a British colony until 1947 and it was given the name Pakistan as an acronym for the 8 homelands in the country.  Pakistan is so ethnically divided that religion is really important for the country to stay together.

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UNICEF - Press centre - Free education becomes legally compulsory in Lesotho

UNICEF - Press centre - Free education becomes legally compulsory in Lesotho | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Brett Sinica's insight:

Lesotho, is rarely talked about if ever.  It is a landlocked country but South Africa.  Mainly a rural country, around 40% of its 2 million inhabitants live below the poverty line of $1.25 a day.  Yet what is unique about this small country is the unity they seem to have.  Around 90% of the people are Christian, virtually everyone is in the same ethnic group being Basotho as well as speaks the same language being Sesotho.  All of these similarities are a change compared to the divided countries to the north.  The health issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS are quite devestating, though there is education to be provided for the growing youth.  As 85% of the people are literate, it shows that the country has hope.  It is refreshing to see that though there are some countries in Africa that are torn but differences and disease, the people of Lesotho are trying to make the lives of their people as best as possible.

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The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate)

The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate) | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
You may be focussing on chocolate over the weekend - but where does it come from? A global trade analysed. In chocolate (this is what maps are made for!

 

What is the geography of chocolate like?  There is a dark side (no pun intended) to the production of cocoa in many places such as West Africa. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

We all love chocolate.  We all love diamonds and jewels.  In western worlds, these items are easily come by in grocery stores and elsewhere, but what got them there was a challenge.  People in poorer tropical regions around the world worked to get the raw goods of these delicate items we all enjoy.  The payout difference is immense from cocoa to chocolate.  It is sometimes a very crooked market where if it wasn't for the hard working people who get the raw ingredients, chocolate as we know it wouldn't be the same.

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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 5, 2012 11:13 AM
I love chocolate but I agree with Don, nobody knows the "behind the scenes" of making this delicious treat. It stays behind doors very successfully that the majority of the public will never know exactly where and how they get their chocolate.
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 6:53 PM

Very cool map. I have never really paid attention to where my chocolate came from before. 

ethne staniland's curator insight, May 16, 2013 8:33 AM

Interesting for our KS1 chocolate topic.