Geography & Current Events
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Geography & Current Events
Geography resources and current events articles to enhance understanding of the world around us.
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Ethiopia army enters S Sudan to find kidnapped children

Ethiopia army enters S Sudan to find kidnapped children | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
Troops cross into South Sudan in search of more than 100 children believed abducted in violent raid last week.
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Why Are Only a Few Landlocked Countries Successful?

Why Are Only a Few Landlocked Countries Successful? | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
All landlocked countries have economic struggles because they lack access to the sea. But why are European landlocked countries wealthy while the others are not?
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Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
There are major hurdles in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestine.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed peace talks in Washington in July for the first time in three years. While the talks are initially expected to focus on procedural issues, they are already beginning to take on a last-ditch quality. Explore some of the contentious issues that negotiators have faced in drawing borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state.


Via Seth Dixon
Mr. David Burton's insight:

Thoughts from my friend Seth...

 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This five-part video report from the New York Times is from 2011, but still has some pertinent information, even if the situation has changed in some of the particulars.  These videos brings important voices from a variety of perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; together they all  show how a complex cultural and political geography leads to many of the difficulties in creating a long-lasting peace.  The discipline of geography doesn't simple study the peace process--it is a part of it.  The creation of borders and the cartographic process play a critical role in solving territorial issues.  Geography can be both the problem and the solution.

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sriddle geo's curator insight, July 17, 2014 8:48 PM

Found this article and the videos to be very interesting after the conversation we had earlier in the week in class.

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:00 PM

APHG-U4

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:37 PM

This video explains why defined borders are an important part of any potential solution for the conflict, and why it is such a complex issue. While agreeing on a border that benefits both seems like it should be an easy task, the realities on the ground and actions from both sides make it anything but easy. 

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Holland vs the Netherlands

"What's the difference between Holland and the Netherlands?"


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Brett Sinica's comment, April 22, 2013 8:56 PM
I have seen this video previously, and this being my second time, it is much easier to understand this time around. He tells the story of one great kingdom and all areas that are under its control or influence. With the expansion of many European countries within the last couple centuries, I can understand how people can get culture and people mixed up, even though they’re from the same place to begin with. It reminds of the Arabs, or Arabic people. They don’t necessarily come from one country or one language or one religion. They represent a vast group of people and each of them differ or relate in certain ways. At times understanding these different groups can be a challenge, but in the end that is what makes them more unique and interesting.
Zakary Pereira's comment, April 30, 2013 3:54 PM
Well this video was fairly interesting actually. Funnily enough, my Canadian friend made me watch the Great Britain video about a month ago and so when I saw this was made by the same person and I always seem to confuse Belgium/Netherlands/Holland it seemed like something I should think about doing. The video was very informational and the narrator went over many factual things including the simple question of: Where is everything? The video mainly focuses on physical geography of people but also goes on to explain that the ‘Dutch’ living in the Caribbean are actual ‘Europeans’ because they belong to the Kingdom of the Netherlands which belongs to the European Union which by the transitive property makes them Euros.

I liked what Brett said, that cultures and groups of people typically get categorized together as one when they really aren’t and it is important to acknowledge their distinctions and understand the different groups and cultures of people.
Opslagruimte Huren in Netherlands-Salland Storage's comment, February 2, 1:13 AM
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England, Britain and the UK

England, Britain and the UK | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it

This is the short version of the differences between these interrelated places and terms; the long version is much more complicated than this. 

 

Tags: Europe, political, unit 4 political, states, toponyms.


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James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 2014 11:05 PM

(Europe topic 7)

Perhaps this "short" version would've been a better starting point for those less familiar with the terminology. :-) And at least this doesn;t have to be edited to include an independent Scotland, which might've sparked a debate about the terms "U.K." and "Great Britain."

Nonetheless, this serves as a great example of the often-overlooked contrast between physical and political boundaries. Perhaps a simpler example would be "the Americas" (physical) and "the United States of America" (political).

Perhaps one peculiarity which I can relate to this example is that of "Bristol County", a term used seemingly interchangeably between all towns in east-central Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. Though currently these are 2 separate counties in 2 different states which just happen to bear the same name, realizing the history behind all of these types of examples can offer further insight into the geographic contexts (physical, political, personal, etc.)

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:52 PM

Its no wonder people often get confused when referencing the UK, Britain Isles and Great Britain. I sometimes struggle with the terms and being able to locate where each of the 5 countries fall under. This diagram does a good job at pinpointing where each of the 5 countries on the eastern border of Europe lies.Great Britain consist of Scotland, England, and Wales. The United Kingdom consist of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, While Ireland consist of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And finally the British Isles consisting of all the countries within. This raises the question, if Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, is their identity shared also with the Republic of Ireland?

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 3:20 PM

To be honest here, this map clarifies a lot of things for myself. I never understood what the British Isles were compares to the UK, Great Britain and England. People used to confuse me all the time and they would refer to England as the UK or Great Britain. Now, I understand England is it's own country and it is part of the UK which is a combination of countries, where as Great Britain is just Three areas, which also include England in it. Now, I fully understand the concept of the United Kingdom and Great Britain. . 

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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
What is devolution and how has it changed how Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are governed?

 

This article with videos, charts and images was designed as a primer for UK voters for the 2010 election to understand who devolution in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were reshaping the political landscape in the United Kingdom.  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.


Via Seth Dixon, Matthew Wahl
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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:44 AM

The parliament in London is shifting more power to Scotland and other areas in what is called devolution.  This reflects a push for more independence of countries in the UK that are not England. In order to keep the UK together concessions must be made, this devolution is the British Parliament's efforts to keep the UK intact.

Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 11, 2015 9:30 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This picture explains how devolution works and provides a specific example with the breaking down of power of the imperialist England and it's control into an equally represented United Kingdom. This is an example of devolution at it's best.

This picture relates to unit 4 because it shows how devolution, which is a major part of unit 4, works. It explains it's parts and gives specific geographic examples as in the U.K. this overall relates to unit 4.

Matthew Connealy's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:04 PM

Devolution is the transfer of powers from a central government to more regional power, in this case, the UK. The UK devolved its powers to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These countries have had independent parliaments since 1997. Some "reserved powers" have not been devolved from the UK such as foreign affairs, military defense, international and  economic policies. This change of power has stirred questions on public spending and tax policies, and is still a debate and event to keep your eye on.

 

I feel that devolution has many benefits that outweigh the negative consequences such as money spending. Countries can function in a more independent manner and govern themselves within their defined boundaries in a more efficient way. This topic and article gives greater insight to our political unit and provides great insight for each country's respective parliament.

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The Real Boundaries of the Bible Belt

The Real Boundaries of the Bible Belt | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
The Atlantic CitiesThe Real Boundaries of the Bible BeltThe Atlantic CitiesReligion in America has an unmistakable geographic dimension.

 

We often hear people in the deep South describe there state as the buckle in the Bible Belt.  This map of religiousity in the United States shows a clear Bible Belt with other interesting patterns (with some pertinent political ramifications in an election year). 


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The Political Geography of Gasoline Prices

The Political Geography of Gasoline Prices | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
Rising gas prices make people unhappy, but the pain is felt most acutely in states where it is unlikely to make an electoral difference.

   


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Siobhan Chantigian's curator insight, April 23, 2014 11:39 PM

This is an interesting article about how rising gas prices and how people are going to vote.  

Annie Christofferson's comment, April 27, 2014 6:06 PM
I thought this it was interesting how it said that the states that it really makes a difference in are the ones that don't have as big an impact on the electoral college. It doesn't seem quite fair.
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Europe’s walls are going back up – it’s like 1989 in reverse | Timothy Garton Ash

Europe’s walls are going back up – it’s like 1989 in reverse | Timothy Garton Ash | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
Once they tumbled down. Now barriers are being rebuilt literally, psychologically and metaphorically. And not just because of Paris and the refugee crisis
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Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
The story behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests

Via Seth Dixon, Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks
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Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 8, 2014 2:52 PM

What caught my attention was the name that this protest has ("umbrella revolution”). After investigating I could find why this protest has that name, the reason is  because the people who are protesting  used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas.The Occupy Central movement ( which is  a civil disobedience campaign initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong , and advocated by Occupy Central with Love and Peace) threatens to block financial and commercial center of Hong Kong if their demands are neglected: the resignation of the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying and the possibility of holding truly democratic elections in 2017. If none of the parties can agree I think there will be any solution for both parties and this will continue.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:56 PM

The umbrella revolution in Hong Kong is simply that Protestants are using all kind of tools to block the tear gas that the police are pulling them. Protests in Hong Kong are to change some of the rules that Beijing has also want Leung Chun-ying resign his position. The vast majority of the protesters are young and who began the protests were also young people who are fighting for the good of their city.

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Redistricting

How can cartography swing an election?  Simple.


Via Seth Dixon
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Miroslav Milosavljević's comment, July 27, 2013 5:56 PM
This great video example may serve students for a better understanding the term. Well done!
Dean Haakenson's curator insight, July 28, 2013 10:40 AM
Thanks Seth Dixon for Scooping this! And thanks Mr. Burton for rescooping. Great lesson for government and geography.
Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 10:14 AM
this video shows the process from which political candidates win their respective elections. gerrymandering is an illegal use of power in the respect to redistricting and moving town lines in order to pump up voting power. this is an illegal action that happens countless times in elections and taper to higher powers. this gerrymandering idea takes the voter power to elect and puts it into the hands of the actual political personnel. by reshaping you can stack votes into one particular area this way you are guaranteed to win that district. this is where you see districts with these crazy shaped areas rather than nice square or other simple shapes.
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Israel and Palestine

My friend Seth Dixon has provided a great intro to this video...

 

Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace (http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/) 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..

This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth. In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.

Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.


Via Seth Dixon, Ms. Carter
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Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 19, 2015 8:40 PM

From 1946 to 2000, Palestine (Islamic individuals) have been at war with Israel (Jewish individuals) over land in Israel/Palestine. In 1946, Palestine took over most of Israel but throughout the decades up until 2000, Israel slowly won over almost every piece of Israel and now, Palestine barely has any land in Israel. From 1949 to 1967, Palestine took over a specific area of Israel known as the West Bank and another small part of Israel known as Gaza. There was a lot of war going on between Israel and Palestine because Israel discriminated against non-Jews. Palestinians became refugees but that didn't stop Israel from fighting to take over Palestinian land.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 30, 2015 1:03 AM

The video was informative, but bias. I have a stronger understanding of how Israel is exploiting, how the borders were re-drawn, and how the make up of the original border mattered. However, the author gave me these facts in a very pro-Palestinian manner. The narrator sees the Palatines as refugees instead of the Jews, who as the narrator said, were "refugees living where people already lived." This similar identity clearly resonated with the narrator who almost 2 minutes of the video speaking about how the treatment of the new refugees was wrong. While a fair amount of the rest of the video advocated a solution to help Palestinian, hence the negative portrayals of the United States backed peace talks.  

 

What was missing from this video was Israeli's story. The Jewish community had become a large force within Palestinian, but was not being aptly recognized. In fact, the Palestinian's prior to the UN offer weren't treating the Jews fair. When this offer came along, it was the Palestinian's who started the fight, a point that was down played in this video as the narrator rushed to point the finger at Israeli's wrong doings. Yet, another portrayal of this conflict mentioned in class, showed the Israeli's feel threatened because they are a minority surrounded by enemies within the region. All of this information means that the Palestinian's and other neighbors play more of a negative hand in the land dispute than what the narrator says.    

 

To be honest, I don't know enough about either side to really say who I support. However, from what I gather, neither side is a bushel of roses. As learned in class their were a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that caused the fighting and their is still a fair deal of geographic tensions from BOTH parties that factor into the fighting today. Thus, the bias of this video acts as a reminder that a person looking to understand a heated conflict, such as this one between neighbors, must view the information with causation. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:30 PM

first off, this video is very pro isrelis which must be kept in mind. also i dont know what the palestinians and surrounding countries expected. the jews had nowhere to go and were sent there by england. where else where they to go? instead of accepting this the palestinians started to attack them and when they lost they wanted to come back and live there, of course the jews were not going to let them back in. neither side is completely right or wrong but i can see the jewish side more than the palestinians.

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Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?

 

Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world.  We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all.  Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons.  Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia.  Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?


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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:03 AM

Coke is another product that is a worldwide phenomenon. People love their soda (even if its terrible for you). People that migrate from country to country bring with them unique items such as Coke, that the foreigners don't know about. This is how different countries come to pick up on other countries foods and customs.

Cyrena & Chloe's curator insight, October 27, 2014 7:43 PM

GEOGRAPHY: North Korea, although one of the smallest nations in the world, is still arguably the most defiant. They're completely cut-off from the outside world, and they've displayed this once again by not selling Coke in their borders. Being a classic American drink, Coca-Cola is likely viewed as an enemy to North Korea, judging by their hatred of America and its citizens. They're one of only two countries in the world not to sell Coke, and this just goes to show that even though they're physically connected to us, they are isolated from the world.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 28, 2015 7:06 AM

Coca Colas return to Myanmar signals a change in the history of that country. The recent democratic reforms in the nation have made it a nation that can be attractive to major international cooperation's.  Coke will likely be the first of many international cooperation's that seeks to return to this market. Often, democratic reforms are initiated  in the hope that it will make the nation attractive to outside businesses.

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UNPO: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

UNPO: Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is not affiliated with the United Nations (UN). The UNPO seeks to represent nations (as opposed to states) that are not fully autonomous are without a vote in the UN. This group supports all ethnic groups in their pursuit for political self-determination, economic empowerment and environmental resource control.  This is an excellent source for case studies in devolution, ethnic conflicts, indigenous peoples and many issues from both cultural and political geography.


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Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics

Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics | Geography & Current Events | Scoop.it

"It may seem surprising, but in this age where geographic mobility and instant communication have increased our exposure to people outside of our neighborhoods or towns, American regional dialects are pulling further apart from each other, rather than moving closer together. And renowned linguist William Labov thinks there’s a connection between political and linguistic segregation.

 

"Labov suggests that it’s these deep-seated political disagreements that create an invisible borderline barring the encroachment of Northern Cities Vowels. When he looked at the relationship between voting patterns by county over the last three Presidential elections and the degree to which speakers in these counties shifted their vowels, he found a tight correlation between the two. And the states that have participated in the vowel shift have also tended to resist implementing the death penalty.

 

"Social identities are complex, and can be defined along a number of different dimensions like class, race, or ethnicity. Not everyone feels that politics are a part of their core identity. But I suspect that political ideology may become an anchor for accents to the extent that large social groups collectively identify themselves by their political beliefs. According to Bill Bishop, author of The Big Sort, this is happening more and more as Americans voluntarily cluster themselves into homogenous, politically like-minded communities."


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