Sinica Geography 400
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Common Cassava: An industrial crop to alleviate poverty

Common Cassava: An industrial crop to alleviate poverty | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Cassava, “manihot esculenta” is one of the most “disgraced” crops in Africa, of which Ghana is no exception.  Cassava is a woody shrub grown in tropical and subtropical regions. The shrub produces a starchy, edible root that is a major source of carbohydrates for humans in many parts of the world.  This crop plays a major role in the economic fortunes and nutritional health of millions in the developing world.   


Via W. Robert de Jongh, Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

When I was younger I would sometimes go grocery shopping with my mother and she would always buy these strange looking "pieces of wood".  I always wondered why she would ever waste money on something that looked so inedible!  Come to find out it was cassava, or as she called it "yuca".  It is a popular part of her cuisine since she, along with the rest of her side of the family is from Puerto Rico.  Though this food is not so appealing on the outside, it tastes delicious and is a very versatile ingredient in cuisines around the world.  To be labeled a "poor man's food" is strange considering when this is brought to the dinner table, everyone dives in to make sure they get a piece or two.  Poor man's food, rich man's food, either way cassava is a staple in the economy and can play a key role in diets around the region and world.

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Miles Gibson's curator insight, March 17, 2015 12:06 AM

Unit 5 agriculture 

This article explains how the cassava bean has been super mass produced to provide for the starving in west and central Africa. This crop has been neglected for some time now and has been recently and a discovered carbohydrate producer for the people of Ghana and is a supporting factor of the alleviation of hunger.

This article relates to unit 5 because it shows how the world of the industrialized world has evolved food into mass production to be made to alleviate all forms of hunger within the world. This is an effect of the second agricultural revolution and is now in effect and dominates the monoagricultural society of ghana.

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Egypt: Military may turn to Russia for aid and alliance | North Africa

Egypt: Military may turn to Russia for aid and alliance | North Africa | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Egypt has threatened to go it alone on foreign policy issues effectively disregarding its tradition allies - the United States or Israel – after Washington cut military aid.

Via Meagan Harpin
Brett Sinica's insight:

There always seemed to be a tension between the United States and Russia and its former Soviet partnerships.  The military hostility and even threats within the last few years show that relations among the world's superpowers and countries in the Middle East are always up for debate and controversy.  It's no wonder that Egypt threatening to turn to Russia for aid has rasised eyebrows among the international relations and trading traditions.  Though the U.S. can have a tough time assuring the relations among many of the Middle Eastern countries, they are necessary to be fulfilled given the rough history of all participating countries.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 17, 2013 5:40 PM

After Washington cut military aid Egypt has begun threating to go alone on foreign policy. Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that Egypt should turn to Russia for military aid to manage its civil war with terrorism. 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 26, 2013 10:36 AM

There is a fine line here that the US needs to be carefu on.  Geographically Egypt is extemely important to the US given that it controls the Suez Canal.  It is also an important ally in the fight against terrorism and has the only Arab peace treaty with Israel.  The cut of military aid could all end this.  In driving Egypt to seek aid from the Russians they is no need to keep that peace treaty with Israel, even though I do not think they wil end it, but there is always the possibility.  This is also important geopolitically, with the Chinese making inroads into this area, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-turkey-china-defence-usa-idUSBRE99N09X20131024 and Russia making its move in this area the US may be n the process of losing influence in this area of the world, something I do not think the US afford.

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Viewfinder: Gaza's Tunnels

A World Report Viewfinder from inside the tunnels that connect blockaded Gaza to the outside world...

Why are tunnels from Egypt to Gaza forming?  How is Israel's policies a part of this phenomenon? 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

What some media has led the "western world" to perceive is that many of the people living here would be trying to smuggle illegal goods such as bombs, drugs, etc.  Sure that may be true in some cases, but many times there are respectable citizens which simply need food or necessary items to sustain their lives.  Because of the tight security measures regarding people and goods, the people of Gaza simply try to find a way around the authorities, and the best current option is by tunnels.  Situations like this show that if people really need certain things, with some help and determination, they can achieve that goal.  In the end, hopefully it is for good more often than bad.

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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 12:42 AM

I think that these tunnels show the willpower of the Palestinians.  They are risking their lives on a daily basis in order to smuggle goods that Palestine could not obtain through normal means.  I think this video really shows the dangers that present themselves in these tunnels.  Israel has the right to monitor these tunnels and can very easily have them destroyed if they feel as though guns are being moved through them.  The people who move through these tunnels every day are quite brave.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 22, 2013 12:09 AM

Amazing to see what people will do to survive.  They are doing this out of necessity.  Many goods they are smuggling are what I believe should be allowed in through normal means, food, water, medicine and anything needed for basic human needs.  I understand the blockade in stopping weapons and items of that nature, but stopping basic foodstuffs is just plain wrong.  The people are living and surviving by these tunnels and built an economy on them.  One thing that was really interesting was at the end when the man seemed he wanted the blockcade to go on or else it would close his tunnel and he would have to get "a real job."  The effects of this blockcade are on both ends of the spectrum, people want it to end so things can return to normal and others want it to go on to continue to make money.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:09 PM

These tunnels give the Palestinians a way to access a world that has been politically blockaded from them. Connections that allow the sharing of goods are not something that should be avoided. Food and goods could be a way to make a pseudo peace and interdependence between both sides of a centuries old conflict.

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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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NYTimes: Russian Anger Grows Over Chechnya Subsidies

NYTimes: Russian Anger Grows Over Chechnya Subsidies | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Resentment over the lavish federal subsidies paid to Chechnya and other regions in the North Caucasus could become a liability for Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

 

Multi-ethnic states, political geography and Russia's geopolitical complexities. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The article brings back memories of this past year and the Boston Marathon where the two bombers were found out to be from the Chechen region.  Due to social networks and word of mouth, many people jumped to assume that the attack was because of "the Russians".  Little was known about Chechnya and the people within the area, but it showed that in America at least, there was quite a bit of ignorance and assumption floating around.  Even political figures and in news reports there was confusion of the exact boundaries and ethnic backgrounds that the region possessed.  It shows the media gives people what they want to hear, and the listeners are seldom to do their own research to understand the truth.

Russia and its surrounding region has constantly been changing since the fall of the Soviet Union.  New countries form and more ethnicities arise constantly and with all these new developments form even newer confusion.  Many of these areas intertwine various languages, religions, cultures, and at times putting a barrier between them is nearly impossible.  As reports unravelled, they showed actual conflict between Chechnya and those of the Russian capital, Moscow.  There had been hostage situations and terrorist plots carried out by people suspected to be from the Chechen region and even the Russian president Vladimir Putin had grown angry about being apart of Chechnya.  With all these events and learnings, it shows that some countries still have people and areas within its boundaries that have little known about them.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:56 PM

Vladimir Putin was once a symbol of efficiency in Russia, but now that tensions are growing due to the subsidies that are being paid to Chechnya. As the article states, Putin's policies are starting to seem like a dead end and will only get more expensive as time goes on.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:23 PM

We don't usually hear about Chechnya subsidies usually it has to do with growing tensions or terrorism. In Russia there are so many ethnic and political divisions that it make sense the Russians feel allegiance to their ethnic group rather than Russia and there for when the government subsidizes Chechnya they see it as Russia subsidizing a population that really isn't "Russian".

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50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster

50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
50 Pictures Of Chernobyl 25 Years After The Nuclear Disaster: Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ...

 

A haunting gallery that displays the effects of environmental and political mismanagement. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The pictures are breathtaking.  What was once a modern and prosperous area is now completely devestated and basically irreparable for hundreds of years to come.  In some of the pictures it is possible to see the haste and desertion of buildings and rooms which gives a sense of fear and panic that the people experienced.  There is surely still so much that can be explored, but the radiation limits people and the danger of the area is hard for civilians to be within the boundaries of Chernobyl.  Places like this show how drastic the rise and fall of the Soviet Union really was.  Similar to mono-towns in Siberia, these areas were set up for people to flourish and become successful, but as history went on and disasters ensued, the great empire came crashing down.

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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:51 PM

Absolutely frightening to see a city so empty.  To only imgine what could have been in Chernobyl today if this nuclear disaster didn't happen.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:51 AM

These photo's are rather gripping.  Many of the images seen here are of objects that have not moved or been touched in 25 years.  The entire population of Pripyat had to pack their bags and leave all in an instant. The chaos that must have ensued after the nuclear meltdown must have been haunting. Pripyat will remain like this for years to come, and one can imagine what it will look like in 25 more years.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:06 PM

this is a haunting reminder that we must always try to prevent the horrifying failures that result from mismanagement. that this was an event that had impacts as far away as France is often forgotten, and the thoughts of what may happen if something larger happens is even more horrifying.

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A change of scene in Europe's cities

A change of scene in Europe's cities | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Maybe it's time to abandon the well-trodden tourist circuit on your next trip to Europe and head to the river.

Via Rebecca Farrea
Brett Sinica's insight:

Almost every city in the world has a direct source of water whether it be the ocean, lake, or rivers.  Water helps sustain life as well as be used for transportation and power to name a few.  Europe is very rich with rivers and watersheds which has led to many cities being able to flourish inland.  In many of the older cities it is good to see somewhat of a revitalization along the riverfronts.  These areas act as a magnet for economy and people to prosper and experience what the city truly has to offer.  The various rivers can act as a foundation for a city to thrive and rejuvenate itself as well as shape a new picture in the years to come.

Outside of Europe in the United States, a similar plan was conducted in Providence, Rhode Island.  The river running through the city was "reconstructed" and new bridges and parks were put in place to accomodate the new layout.  Waterplace park was completed in the mid-90's which paved the way to an opening of the large Providence Place Mall and other tourist attractions in the heart of downtown.  This single step to altering the waterways proved to turn the entire city into a progressive hub for tourism, architecture, and arts.  This American city is just an example of the possible outcomes that cities can experience with adjusting and/or enhancing the waterways provided to them.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 17, 2013 2:10 PM

As discussed in our class session on Europe, rivers have always been and will always be very important to European nations for many reasons.  European rivers were pivotal in history in regards to allowing explorers and traders to travel and to reach particular destinations to form colonies and to trade with the native people in these places.  Rivers are also important for industry as they provide transportation of materials, resources, and goods.  They also serve as a natural resource in that they can provide hydroelectric power to run businesses.  Now, some of these rivers in European cities are becoming tourist attractions where visitors can learn about their important histories and enjoy the nature of them.

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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

 

Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

These stories are never pleasant.  It seems Europe after World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union were left in a strange middle ground.  With so many cultures, religions, languages all on one continent, its not hard to believe that Europe has been the stage of so much conflict all throughout history.  People are and always have been intermingling between countries.  Many of the countries in Europe are easy to travel throughout, such as a car or bus ride which may only take a few hours in some cases.  This gives easy access for immigration in which history shows that people try to flock to opportunity or to where there are people similar to them.  These patterns can sometimes be unwelcoming to current citizens and lead to violence and cleansing in extreme cases, all because of disagreements based on beliefs and traditions.

After all the wars fought, looking at Europe as a whole is tricky.  Though the countries all have political boundaries and jurisdictions, the lifestyle and what goes on within the borders can be very segregated.  Even in the 21st century, the divisions of people in the same country, holding the same citizenship, shows that things aren't always as good as they seem.

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Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government 

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 17, 2015 9:36 PM

It's interesting to see a country's government want to maintain ethnic divides rather than bridge the gap between the two groups. This reminds me of a portion of my Anthropology class last semester on the Rwandan Genocide. Afterwards, the new government attempted to bring everyone together and tried to erase the racial differences that caused the conflict in the first place. It did this in an attempt to solidify power and to gain further control. In my mind, I see this reaction as the more logical one than keeping the races at odds with each other. Judging by their own smaller "Occupy" movement and from the commentary within the article, it seems that some in the country are ready to put past old feelings and become united as a country.

Peyton Conner's curator insight, April 8, 9:45 AM
I find this article very interesting due to the reason that after all the fighting and killing that has happened between these three ethnic groups, that they now want to team up to stop their corrupt government. Though the question is can they put their differences aside to work together ? PC
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Extreme Sports +Beautiful Landscapes

A few clips from flying in Switzerland the last two weeks, plus some old ones.. First shot is from Trond Teigen (http://www.youtube.com/JumpTeigen )

 

Beautiful physical geography and extreme sports with a video camera gives us a spectacular view of some glaciated valleys, cliff faces, fjords and mountainous terrain. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

These "GoPro" cameras are truly one of a kind.  I would never personally do this type of stunt, but the few people that are willing to share this perspective are greatly appreciated.  The scenic views in Scandinavia are unique considering their ancient land formations.  The glaciation which formed in this specific region are like no other, the colors and various land matter all in one shot with rivers, mountains, and green valleys.  Even some of the fjords give off an emerald color from the oceans which can be seen as they literally fly down the cliffs and mountainsides.  Pictures are one thing, but a video of a birds eye view is on another level.

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Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 2015 11:09 PM

The physical aspect of the physical geography in this piece shows alot of the beauty side. from valleys, cliff faces, this man knows how to enjoy himself, as he glides across the beautiful landscapes.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 7, 2015 1:49 PM

This must be an experience unlike any other. You will never get to see the world like this any other way.. unless you ride Soarin' at Disney World, but I would imagine this is a little less expensive, and a little more thrilling, not to mention much more beautiful.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:47 PM

The really cool thing about this is that having extreme sporats in this area is also a way to see how incredible the landscapes really are. It's a combination of two amazing aspects in life that show how the land was formed and how sports can be a way to view this incredible area.

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Patagonia Photos - National Geographic

Patagonia Photos - National Geographic | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
See photos of Patagonia (in Argentina and Chile) in this photo gallery from National Geographic.
Brett Sinica's insight:

The recent government shutdown in the United States has left a lot of questions for people who are not very involved with politics and government.  One of the many topics that came from this week is the shutdown of national parks...  Sure there are people that need to run the designated areas, clean up and whatnot but in the end, these parks are simply a gift from nature for us to be a part of.  On that note, these pictures are of a region known as Patagonia, which is part of Chile and Argentina.  Some of the photos are breath-taking and the picture in the heading raised some questions.  Usually greenery is in lowerlying areas, while snow and ice is up on the hills and mountains.  This picture shows the opposite, being a large glacier and in fact isn't the only "ice field" in the region, there are supposedly around 47 in the entire area!  So while the government is usually less beautiful, especially recently, the least we can do as people is appreciate natural beauty.

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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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In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is the epitome of improvisation.  These people had come into troubles of trying to make a better living for themselves, and their last option was to live in the skyscraper.  Astonishingly, when residents were questioned there was a positive outlook on the building and the people in it which is actually surprising.  At first glance, this skyscraper would seem like a free-for-all and be ridden with crime considering there is no regulations or authority within its walls.  Yet that wasn't the case for this particular complex.  The residents show diversity and a community-like approach to living next to one another.  Toilet systems and water was set up all on their own and being able to develop a system with no real authority or government figures is great.  It shows that when people work together and keep calm by simply trying to survive with as little trouble as possible, good things can happen.  This is a good model for other areas and countries with "squatter" housing developments.

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:02 PM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."

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Haiti: Legacy of Disaster

Haiti: Legacy of Disaster | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

"Even before the earthquake Haiti's environment teetered on the brink of disaster. Brent and Craig Renaud report on the country's deforestation problems."

 

What about a disaster is 'natural' and what about the disaster is attributable to how people live on the land?  This video highlights the poverty, architectural and environmental factors that exacerbated the problems in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.  This is a merging of both the physical geography and human geography.  


Via Seth Dixon, Al Picozzi
Brett Sinica's insight:

Before the earthquake, much of Haiti was behind in modern infrastructure and technology.  Now three years later they are still worse than ever.  The deforestation that has plagued the land reduces the strength of the infrastructure.  It was almost as though a disaster like this was just waiting to happen in such a vulnerable area.  Aside from the trees and brush is how the people live in the cities there.  Many of the homes are poorly built because of a lack of money and resources.  The people aren't able to build strong buildings and the slightest of disasters can pose such damaging results.

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 25, 2014 10:26 AM

(Central America topic 2)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in this case:

Which came first, the deforestation or the disparity?

I believe the answer can be both.

At first such a country's inhabitants might not know what devastating impacts manmade environmental changes such as deforestation can have - or, they might just have no other choice. Here disparity comes first. But unfortunately such effects can be far reaching. Deforestation can 'come back around' and be the cause (not only the result) of disparity: erosion, flooding, landslides, lack of natural resources. These all contribute to further disasters and crises, which continue the repeating trend.

Dr. Bonin has held classes pertaining to this same issue of deforestation, among the other issues which Haitians face. IN addition, the company I work for has been sponsoring a campaign to help humanitarian efforts in the country, and I have worked with people who have lived there.

Lastly, I can't help but notice an uncanny similarity between the deforestation of Haiti and that of Easter Island. I hope Easter Is. will be used as a warning message.

 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, September 29, 2015 3:13 PM

Conditions in Haiti were bad in Haiti even before the disaster of the 2010 Haitian Earthquake occurred. The video shows images of the clear deforestation Haiti is suffering as a country. A lot of the mountain tops and hills are seen white without those bright green colors. It is said that the country is already 97% deforested. The reason so is because charcoal is basically the only way Haitians can cook and even make money off of if possible. Sometimes people do not like to accept that the countries own people, are affecting their living environment. Haitians live in a country where nights are spent in the dark in rural areas. The charcoal is the light Haitians depend on as well.

Haiti is a country of extreme poverty that don't offer an alternative to charcoal, which is the reason for its deforestation. A lot of Haitians blame the governed for the lack of infrastructure in the country but its all the mudslides fault. It is something that physically humans can not contain unless alternative methods are used to prevent deforestation. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 8:05 PM

Conditions in Haiti are just terrible. This place is 90% deforested and people use charcoal and such to cook. Haiti was hit by an earthquake in 2010, but even before the earthquake, deforestation was a major problem. Most of the people that live here live in darkness with no electricity. To get light, people use charcoal, charcoal has very many great uses in Haiti. Individual survival means cutting down as many trees as possible to get charcoal so you can provide for family. Problems with this country is that technologically and natural disaster survivalness is poor. Floods and mudslides will continue to happen and people will die, also the infrastructure will not improve. A lot of problem would come from the government too, lack of help from a government creates a failing nation. 

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The Middle East Lost a Dead Sea-Size Amount of Water in 7 Years

The Middle East Lost a Dead Sea-Size Amount of Water in 7 Years | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Posted from Amman, Jordan.  This is the first in a series of posts on our water diplomacy trip to Israel, Jordan and Palestine.  Other posts in the series: 2) Parallel Worlds:  Water Management in Israel and California, by UCCHM Policy Fellow Kate...
Brett Sinica's insight:

It's strange to see a region which holds so many oil reserves and the potential for wealth and advancement, is actually losing when it comes to the total amount of freshwater.  A region that already struggles for water sources is heading down a path that will certainly be an issue down the road.  The growing population, and growing demand of water shows that using these sources will eventually diminish if measures aren't taken to either rebuild or even slow the depletion.  When comparing the loss to the Dead Sea, I repeat; a Sea-Size amount, the future seems like it will be a rough one.  What makes it so difficult is the climate and land which the area was dealt, if water can be restored it will be astronomical.

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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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Jeremy Wade - Fishing For Mutated Monster Fish In Contaminated Chernobyl Waterways

Jeremy Wade - Fishing For Mutated Monster Fish In Contaminated Chernobyl Waterways | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Brett Sinica's insight:

The Chernobyl disaster is the worst nuclear accident in history.  The land around the plant is estimated to be uninhabitable for the next thousands of years.  There is so much mystery and questions to be asked about the area and radiation which fills the ground and air.  This is where Jeremy Wade makes a living.  He is an avid fisherman which explores the world looking for freshwater fish that are of "monsterous proportions".  He began to investigate Chernobyl to find catfish which have been exposed to radiation in the same cooling channel where the reactor failed nearly 3 decades ago.  The level of exposure to the fish in these waters are much more than on land considering they constantly swim in the same body of water.  There are pictures as well as videos in the article which show the approvals and precautions he had to go through just to temporarily enter the area.  When he finally catches one of the fish, the radiation detector he was wearing began to wildly beep and it shows how extreme and dangerous the conditions are in the area.

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The Russian Cross

Natural Population Growth of Russia.PNG

English: Natural population growth trends of Russia. Data source: Demoscope death rates,Demoscope birth rates, Rosstat ru

The economic and social turmoil after the fall of the Soviet Union was profound enough to be seen in the demographic statistics.  Birth rates dropped as the death rates went up.  Typically when birth rates drop it is presented as an indicator of social development, but it clearly is not in this instance.  What explains these statistics?  


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the statistics blatantly followed.  Russia's expansion and development has slowed extremely compared to Soviet rule, and the people have taken the same trend.  Citizens are moving away to find better opportunity, they are literally packing bags and simply leaving without a trace.  When the U.S.S.R. was in full swing, the economy and people were all tightly controlled.  In most cases the regime was strict, but there was controlled order and generally speaking, the people had organization and prosperity.  Though not politically free, there were jobs and workers to fulfill them.  Now, the economy has stooped, which led the social statistics to follow.  Russians are realizing that if they have children, how will they support them?  Their income shows it is hard to support others and therefore birth rates have dropped.  Ultimately, it's no wonder the overall natural growth of Russia has drastically dropped within the last 20 years.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 6:52 PM

This graph shows that while we in the west think of the fall of communism as a freeing and positive event in reality many in Russia have been severely damaged by this. While the Soviet government was known for oppression it also provided security and was dependable. With its fall the people were plunged into confusion leading to a decline in birthrate and a raise in suicide and alcoholism.    

Danielle Lip's curator insight, February 16, 2015 7:42 PM

This graph of Births, Death and Natural Growth shows that the Natural Growth along with the Births in Russia have declined since 1950, the main downfall is during the collapse of the U.S.S.R. While the Deaths in Russia are increasing gradually as the collapse of the U.S.S.R approacher. There are many factors that could be causing deaths in Russia, people are not getting enough food into their systems and sickness is easily attracted. The real for the downfall in births is because women and men are not mating and having a child because they are too busy working and building a life for themselves. Back in 1950-1952 families were consisting of 3-4 children and now families only have one child at maximum 2.  How can Russia increase these birth and natural growth rates? The social development of Russia must increase and people have to start living life differently.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:08 PM

When looking at this graph it is showing that something had to have happened to make death rates go up and the birth rates to go down. The life expectancy of men dropped, alcohol poisoning occurred more frequently, suicide occurred, and a declining population of 1 million or so people a year. All of these factors can create  higher death rate with older people staying in place and the younger generation moving out. With this happening the birth rate would drop and the death rate would increase.

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Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.

 

The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   

 

Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The story of this particular mono-town is very tough to "pick sides".  The factory undoubtedly pollutes the air and land like most other industrial areas, but being so close to Lake Baikal gives environmentalists a stronger reason to complain.  The lake is considered one of the purest and most unique in the world, yet the paper mill located on its banks raise controversy.  This is where the locals and workers are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Located in Siberia, such a vast and open region with little settlements compared to the western part of the country reminds the people living there that their resources are limited.  Closing down the factory would almost eliminate income and economy for the mono-town.  This is where the fine line is drawn; the workers surely aren't happy about the pollution and environmental hazards that go along with keeping the mill open, but at the same time the people could wither away if it wasn't up and running.

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Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 18, 2015 11:12 PM

Lake Baikal is one Russia's oldest and deepest body of freshwater but is turning into a swamp, Russian ecologists warn. They say that tons of liquid waste from tourist camps and water transport vehicles is being dumped into the lake. The financial crisis in Russian has been a big problem because it is leaving factories abandoned and leaving waste all over towns. If Baikal is ruined, it is going to put tons of peoples lives at risk for people who depend on this water. Also, a part of this Lake is frozen. This is fresh clean water that makes this lake what it is. 

The paper factory has caused some major pollution into the lake and all the chemicals are affecting the lake each and everyday. This beautiful land could possibly be destroyed for measures aren't taken, and can also just be another wasteland. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

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Hayling Island 'hit by tornado'

Hayling Island 'hit by tornado' | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
About 100 homes are damaged when a "tornado" hits Hayling Island in Hampshire.
Brett Sinica's insight:

When we think of tornadoes, we imagine small midwestern towns or plains as far as the eye can see.  Which in some cases is an accurate assumption because the central United States is home to the most tornadoes touching down annually.  More than any other part of the world, the region averages around 1000 twisters per year which is due in part from the climate and landscape.  The airflow from the north and south, as well as the mountains to the west produce hostile weather in the plains region.  When Hayling Island was suspected of being hit by a tornado, eyebrows were certainly raised.  The United Kingdom actually produces the most tornadoes per year in all of Europe, which averages to about 33.  Even those numbers are miniscule especially when any sort of touchdown is extremely short in time as well as strength.  Either way, when the people on the south coast of England were awakened by such drastic winds and damage, it makes sense to be a bit shaken especially when tornadoes are so rare in their region.

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Venice sinking five times faster than thought?

Venice sinking five times faster than thought? | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it

Venice, by virtue of its geographic situation will always be sinking as a course of nature.  A research team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UCSD has recently concluded that Venice is sinking 2 millimeters per year...not catastrophic on a single year basis, but threatens the long-term viability and sustainability of the location. 

 

Urban ecology: what economic forces created the rationale for building Venice?  What environmental factors are currently threatening it?  Will economic or environmental forces win out? Location: do the economic advantages of a location outweigh the environmental liabilities of the location?  How do these competing factors influence the development of a city?  For additional information on this story see: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-venice-hasnt.html


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Day to day, even looking into next year the rate of 2 millimeters per year may not seem drastic.  To a city that has been around for hundreds of years, it's assumed the city plans to stay standing for hundreds more.  Considering the age of the city, say in a couple hundred more years, some buildings could begin to take in water.  It is also possible that certain parts of the city could be sinking faster than others.  There is a similar situation in Mexico City where it was built on a lake and each year that source diminishes due to the demand of water by its residents.  Certain parts of the city are sinking and some buildings are slanted due to the results.  These cities are beautiful  but reality shows that as time passes, it will probably only get worse.  Hopefully preventions can be taken to at least reduce the speed of sinking so that people after us can appreciate the architecture and atmosphere the city has provided all these years.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 9:27 PM

So not only is Mexico City sinking, but Venice is as well, and five times faster than we thought at that. If the heart of an urban, sprawling city becomes completely destroyed what changes will be made to the outlying areas? Will they break up into multiple, smaller districts each with a central area? Where will the rich who used to reside in the heart move to?

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:11 PM

Venice is a city that capitalized on its geography and developed canals so the city could grow despite being so close to sea level. Now that sea levels are rising, Venice is in trouble because its survival is dependent on the water levels, as they become out of control Venice will not be able to withstand the change. There are similar circumstances like in the Maldives where global warming and rising sea levels will put entire countries under water.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 2015 6:58 PM

As you mentioned in class, we are living on constantly moving land features. In the case of Venice, the water is moving in on the city so it is actually sinking and has been for quite some time. What is new to the equation is that it might be sinking “five times more than” originally “calculated or “7.8 inches every hundred years.” I say might be because there are others who quibble about this new find, saying it is inaccurate. Also, there is a damn project in the works to try and combat the sinking. While I am happy that the city is working on slowing the process, I am curious to know what their solution is going to be when the city finally does go under. As I was reading this all I could think of was saving all the rich art and history that this Italian city is famous for. In some ways it is great that the city knows ahead of time that it is sinking because they have time to plan a way to save the important aspects of the city. On another hand though, the city is so below sea level that a natural disaster could cause far more damage than anyone could have foreseen. I just hope that doesn’t happen anytime soon because Venice is definitely on my bucket list.  

 

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NYTimes video: Sweden's Immigrant Identity

NYTimes video: Sweden's Immigrant Identity | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
One out of four Swedes are immigrants or have a parent with an immigrant background.

 

Demographic shifts leading to political and cultural tensions.   Europe, which historically has been a source of migrants, is relatively new to be a destination for migrants and that has heightened some of the conflicts. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Sweden is currently one of the most prosperous countries in the world.  Being so close and accessible to many neighboring European countries makes it that much more appealing and even easier for people to travel there.  The birth rates have slowed in recent years, meaning people of working age are slowly decreasing; less workers and less jobs can lower the economy.  After the conflicts in Syria, Sweden has even volunteered to house refugees to start new and in turn can help put the demographic shift on the upswing.  With such an inviting atmosphere in the Scandinavian region, it's no wonder why there are so many citizens with immigrant backgrounds.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 6:29 PM

This video is shows the changing demographics of Sweden. Sweden and several other wealthier countries of Europe are now destinations for immigrants where they were once the origin of them. The change is difficult for these nations as they are somewhat unprepared economically and politically for significant immigration.

 

The immigrants end up feeling unwanted in their new country and their old. This feeling of being unwanted is possibly worse than it would be in the United States, a country more accustomed to immigration.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 29, 2014 8:07 PM

This growingly intense immigration situation parallels that of our own here in the U.S. and in many other countries throughout the world. World citizens, refugees, don't feel at home in their birth country nor do they feel welcomed in their current home or host country. This puts a lot of stress and pressure on these already punished populations. That's not to say that the host countries concerned citizens don't have a reason to be worried, but are their responses appropriate or productive?  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:29 AM

Europe is a place that makes traveling to different countries relatively easy. This makes sense that their would be migration that is inter-european. 

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Remote Rain Forest Expedition Finds 60 New Species

Remote Rain Forest Expedition Finds 60 New Species | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
Scientists exploring Suriname's rain forests, some of the most remote on Earth, discovered 60 new species and a pristine region in need of protection.
Brett Sinica's insight:

Suriname is a country in South America that is rarely heard of in the news, then again this expedition is proof of how we never hear any stories about the country.  Being the smallest country on the entire continent, one might think it could be easy to cover such a small piece of land but there is still so much to be learned.  Suriname is home to a little over half a million people, which most of them live on the northern coast.  The rest of the country is covered in dense tropical rainforest which covers around 75% of the total land area.  The expedition reportedly found 60 new species within the vast area which is quite a lot for one trip.  This is just one of many areas throughout the world which has been explored to find new species and creatures.  Imagine what other places have in store for the continuous learning and exploration of our global environments.

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Giant outdoor escalator built in Colombian shantytown

What impact will this escalator have on this poor neighborhood?  Was this a wise use of funds?  If you had $7 million to invest in a shantytown with the goal of revitalizing the neighborhood and benefiting the lives of the residents, how would you spend these funds? 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This is a different approach to trying to revitalize a community.  Usually a park or other community center is put in place, yet I feel this escalator will produce less blatant results.  Imagine you work in the valley during the day, but your home is all the way up the hill...  Having to walk up and down each day, in between alleys and around various homes would certainly be a big reason for emotional and physical stress.  These escalators would reduce all of that time and effort by great amounts.  Putting them in place leaves extra time for people to get up and down the hills, all while reducing stress levels.  When people are stressed, they do crazy things.  If a little part of someone's day goes from being completely uncomfortable to being content, that much of a change can go a long way and even help get the community in the right direction.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 11:20 AM

This escalator seems like a waste of money. I understand that it will make life easier for the locals and possible cut down crime. But I feel with $7 million the government is choosing to attack the symptoms of living in the shantytown rather than treating the cause of inequalities. Perhaps they could have opened up local markets, started some sort of commercially viable industry, or help educate citizens that could provide the community members with a way to get out of poverty rather than.just making it easier to live in these shantytowns.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:09 PM

This is an interesting idea simply because of the discussion that can arise from it. Would the construction of this escalator actually benefit the people living within the slum to any foreseeable degree? On one hand some claim that yes it will have a positive impact as it could cut back on the number at attacks and muggings of those stopping to catch their breath as well as simply allowing them to conserve energy. While those on the other side of the issue say that the benefit the escalator my bring doesn't out weigh the cost of building it. Simply throwing money at a situation like this wont actually bring any relief. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 8, 2015 4:40 PM

I sincerely believe that was a waste of money. Sure people can now get out of the area in “6 minutes” instead of “30 minutes” which, as was mentioned in class, can get people out of the area so as to get to jobs quicker. However what good does that really do in the grand scheme of things? Do the citizens still have poor jobs? Are their homes unsafe? Are there still sanitation issues? I am pretty sure the answer is yes, to all of the above. Clearly, these issues are more pressing than an escalator. So even if investing in an area can benefit a population, I think the improvement could have been greater because there are other more pressing needs of the area where the money could have been invested. 

 

I am actually surprised people were happy with the new addition. Given that it was a short clip, not all sides were seen. However, I feel that once people get over the novelty of the new toy and back to the reality of their everyday situation tensions could raise. Especially if the outdoor elevator breaks down, which is bound to happen given its exposure to mother nature, as the escalator just adds more of  a maintenance cost in a place that doesn't seem to have money. It wouldn't surprise me if people were later angered by the addition. In fact, I am actually surprised their wasn't protests that stopped the escalator from being built in the first place.  

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2014 World Cup: Will Brazil Be Ready?

ESPN Video: With the FIFA World Cup two years away, will Brazil be ready to host soccers premiere event?

 

This short sports documentary (12 minutes) looks at some of the socioeconomic and urban planning issues that are a part of the logistics for a country to prepare for a sporting event on the magnitude of the World Cup.  The discussion of demolitions in the favelas (squatter settlements) is especially intriguing.  Major sporting events of this magnitude that last for two weeks can reshape local geographic patterns for decades.  

 

Tags: sport, Brazil, planning, squatter.


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I know my soccer, and I know Brazil knows its soccer considering the country has one of the richest histories in the world.  The nation eats, sleeps, and breathes the beautiful game and to host a World Cup right now is immaculate timing.  Some of the best players (possibly ever) in the world would be playing next year, all from star-studded nations.  The forecast for this spectacle will surely be one of the best in history, but that's if it all goes to plan.  There's been many videos and articles of Brazil coming into more problems than solutions.  Repairing and even building new stadiums have set back schedules and have even angered many locals.  In some cities, there have been cases of gentrification, places such as favelas have fell victim.  Being such a passionate fan of the sport, it's almost upsetting that all of these people are being misplaced to house the tournament which has been anxiously waited on since 2010.  The main picture says it all with the three hands covered in blood...  A nation which cares so much about a sport, where it is a way of life and prosperity, is in fact doing more harm than good in some areas.  In the end I hope Brazil can get back on schedule, and leave as little people harmed in the process so the world can enjoy one of the greatest sporting events come summer of 2014.

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Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:16 AM

The World Cup is getting closer and all eyes are on Brazil. The Favelas are seeing the worst of it. To improve their country for it's soon to be influx of tourists, the Favelas are going through practically forced renovations. Not to mention safety hazards in Brazil are being pushed to the limits with the building anf remidelling of the soccer stadiums. Just last month 2 construction workers part of the rebuilding were killed by an accident. The question is especially true. Will Brazil be ready? Soccer fans around the globe sure hope so.