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Walkerteach Geo
Media and Classroom Hub for Mr. Walker's Geography Class
Curated by Luke Walker
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NPR-Radiolab: The Bad Show (Fritz Haber)

NPR-Radiolab: The Bad Show (Fritz Haber) | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
Luke Walker's insight:

From approximately 25:00-45:00 tune in to hear the story of Fritz Haber, a noted German scientist from the late 19th century, and his contributions to Green Revolution fertilizer technology as well as to Chemical Warfare (circa WWI).

It's an intriguing talk that delves into how the history of scientific achievement can dip into several topics (Green Revolution and agricultural development, WWI and WWII and the development of military technology). 


 

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Luke Walker's curator insight, December 24, 2014 1:30 AM

From approximately 25:00-45:00 tune in to hear the story of Fritz Haber, a noted German scientist from the late 19th century, and his contributions to Green Revolution fertilizer technology as well as to Chemical Warfare (circa WWI).

It's an intriguing talk that delves into how the history of scientific achievement can dip into several topics (Green Revolution and agricultural development, WWI and WWII and the development of military Chemical Warfare). 

 Here's a link to a relevant BBC article on Haber:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-13015210 

 

Here's a link to an article on America's Guano Islands Act (1856), it illustrates the point of just how "bat poop crazy" the world was becoming with regard to nitrogen demands:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/07/08/by-kevin-underhill-the-guano-islands-act/ ;

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BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Waste around the world

BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Waste around the world | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
Luke Walker's insight:

Check out the videos on this BBC News report.

 

1) How do the four locations compare and contrast in their household waste removal practices and viewpoints?


2) How does this compare to household waste removal where you live? 

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The Longitude Problem

The Longitude Problem | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Luke Walker's insight:

What was mapping and navigation like before the era of GPS?

Check out this great archive and collection of video clips! 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 20, 2013 2:18 PM

Today we take it for granted that through GPS technology we can instantaneously determine our latitude and longitude.  This video documents how for centuries it was fairly easy to determine latitude at sea by measuring the height of the sun in the sky, but longitude (determined by the difference in time between local noon and the noon of a fixed point) could only be estimated.  The British Empire saw solving the "longitude problem" as the key to solidifying their economic dominance at sea and they established the Board of Longitude in this 18th century "race to the moon." Today the University of Cambridge has digitized the Board of Longitude's archives with a series of five shorter video clips.  


Tagsmapping, GPS, historical, cartography, geospatial, location.

Romain ARMAND's comment, August 21, 2013 5:17 AM
Thank you for the video and fo the link to the Board of Longitude! Already know this story, but still amazing and well documented.
Richard Miles's curator insight, September 5, 2013 7:30 PM

Great video on how the problem of longitude was solved.

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Zwarte Piet: Holland’s Christmastime tradition racist?

Zwarte Piet: Holland’s Christmastime tradition racist? | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it

In the Netherlands, Santa doesn't have little elves; he has a helper (slave?) named Zwarte Piet, literally Black Pete.  He delights kids with cookies and a goofy persona.  Foreign visitors are startled by his resemblance to Little Black Sambo. 

 

Is this a harmless cultural tradition or is it racist?   Why might some Dutch not see this as offensive?  Why might someone not from there react so strongly to this caricature? What do you think?  (Note: a Dutch friend of mine was quick respond: "Sinterklaas' helpers are black because of the ashes in the chimney."  I'm curious to know whether that was always the case or if it's a way to 'whitewash' an old tradition from a bygone era.  And yes, this is an annual controversy).  


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 18, 2013 10:13 PM

Is this a harmless cultural tradition or is it racist?   Why might some Dutch not see this as offensive?  Why might someone not from there react so strongly to this caricature? What do you think?  (Note: a Dutch friend of mine was quick respond: "Sinterklaas' helpers are black because of the ashes in the chimney."  I'm curious to know whether that was always the case or if it's a way to 'whitewash' an old tradition from a bygone era.  And yes, this is an annual controversy). 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 12:44 PM

Zwarte Piet remains a staple of Dutch culture, but today people are enraged by the racist connotations that the character portrays. Zwarte Piet was brought back from Spain by Santa. At the time of the traditional story, the Dutch, along with much of Europe, was exploring and exploiting the continent of Africa. Many people believe that "Black Pete" is a racist representation of black people, and that the tradition should end. Others argue that a tradition is a tradition.

 

Can traditions be considered racist? Or are they historical anecdotes chronicling the development of a culture, thus unable to make a modern stance? 

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Born in the USA, Made in France

Born in the USA, Made in France | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
Born in the USA, Made in France: How McDonald's Succeeds in the Land of Michelin Stars by Knowledge@Wharton, the online business journal of the Wharton School.

 

While many portray McDonald's as the embodiment of all that is wrong with globalization, the diffusion of McDonald's is not a simple replication of the American fast food chain and exporting it elsewhere...a lot of local adaptations on a global model is part of McDonald's successful economic model.   Although I'm not a fan of the word "glocalization" to describe how local flavor adds spice to globalized phenomenon, it most certainly fits here.   


Via Seth Dixon
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Amy in ATL's curator insight, February 16, 2015 8:04 PM

This is a quick and easy way to understand the difference between glocalization and globalization using the basic needs...FOOD!

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Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession

Spanish Crisis Revives Calls For Catalan Secession | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
Spain’s dismal economy has residents of the country’s richest region, Catalonia, wondering if they’d be better off going it alone. With their own language and distinct culture, Catalans have long pushed for independence from Spain.

 

Political geography issue. An area in Spain that is prosperous and has its own distinct language and culture that differs from the rest of Spain. Do they deserve their independence?

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In a World on the Move, a Tiny Land Strains to Cope - New York Times

In a World on the Move, a Tiny Land Strains to Cope - New York Times | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
The West African nation of Cape Verde, where almost everyone has a relative abroad, is a microcosm of the forces of migration that are remaking societies across the globe.

 

Cool article on remittances in Cape Verde.

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Troubles on Russia’s Lake Baikal

Troubles on Russia’s Lake Baikal | Walkerteach Geo | 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.

 

Interesting video that gives insight into Russia, its soviet history, urban geography (city planning), and human environment interaction.

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Russians are leaving the country in droves

Russians are leaving the country in droves | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it

My first rescoop, courtesy of Nathan Parrish, Seth Dixon, Ph.D.

"Over a bottle of vodka and a traditional Russian salad of pickles, sausage and potatoes tossed in mayonnaise, a group of friends raised their glasses and wished Igor Irtenyev and his family a happy journey to Israel."

 

My regional class has been learning about Russia this week and when I first started teaching a few years ago, I would teach that Russia had a population of 145 million.  Today it is 141 million and part of that is due to migrants leaving a country that they see as lacking in economic opportunities and political freedoms (another part of the story is that birth rates plummeted after the collapse of the Soviet Union in what demographers have called the "Russian Cross").  In the last few years the population appears to have stabilized, but there are still many who do not see a vibrant future from themselves within Russia.  

 

Tags: Russia, migration, Demographics, immigration,  population.


Via Nathan Parrish, Seth Dixon
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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 28, 2013 11:44 PM

In the last 10 years about 1.25 million russians have emigrated out of Russia, but the way they do it is interesting. When they leave they dont sell their houses, or aparments, or cars they simply lock their doors and quietly slip away to the airports at night. The reasons for leaving are different thought, some are leaving because the prime minister is expected to return while some are leaving because of the awful econonmy. Either way the massive amounts of emigration is leading to a higher death rate then birth rate overall. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 1:23 AM

This article from a couple years ago is about Russian emigration. A large number of Russians were leaving the country for better economic opportunity. Some cite the overbearing rule of Putin, but the pay in other countries is just better than what Russia can offer. This was particularly the case for the more educated, another instance of "brain drain" hurting a nation which is already in trouble.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 12:00 PM

Migration occurs for many reasons. People move from country to country every day. Leaving Russia was this families choice and moving to Israel can have an impact on them greater than if they were to stay in Russia.

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Rise and Shine-What kids eat for breakfast around the world.

Rise and Shine-What kids eat for breakfast around the world. | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
What do kids around the world eat for breakfast? It’s as likely to be coffee or kimchi as it is a sugary cereal.
Luke Walker's insight:

Really great photos that show what's on the breakfast table in a few different cities.

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Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change

Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it

By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.


This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990.  This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time.  Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.  

 

Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.


Via Seth Dixon
Luke Walker's insight:

See how much the Aral Sea has changed due to the impact of humans on their environment for yourself. Drag the slider tool to see a before and after. Reference your textbook (p61) for the whole story.

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Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 13, 2014 2:25 PM

Clearly the water level has decreased in Kazakhstan from 1990 until now. Farming, mining, and building are all indirectly changing the geography of some places. The use of rivers for cotton irrigation has shrunk by 3 quarters in the last 50 years and it is extremely affecting the Aral Sea. 

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:10 PM

Is sad to see how humans are changing the environment forcing the wild creatures to abandon the places they've been living for hundred or years or die of starvation. I wonder what will happen in 300 years when there is no more big lakes and the oceans will be completed polluted .

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 2:57 PM

Great tool to show students how human use of natural resources can change landscapes and have permanent impacts on geographical landmarks such as the aerial sea. How do we stop it? Can we undo the damage done? How do we prevent these tragedies from happening in the future?

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Aral Sea Basin

Aral Sea Basin | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it

"Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource."


Via Seth Dixon
Luke Walker's insight:

This is exactly what we talked about in class this week. The Aral Sea is a perfect example of how man-made structures such as dams can impact hydrology and create physical water scarcity in certain regions of the world.

The after effects on human healthy are terrible. 

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Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:36 PM

The Aral Sea Basin has been a topic of conversation throughout geography for many reasons. What used to be filled with water is now blowing dust because its that dry? This basin is no longer a natural resource.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 3:30 PM

Here is a question. Do you think perhaps in the future this could happen to lake Mead in Nevada/Arizona? With all the non-stop building and no rain perhaps one day could it run dry or do we have a way to stop it.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:17 PM

Once there is less water in a lake there is less water in the air therefore less rain. The long term consequences is that the fishing industry is destroyed where once upon a time there were 61000 workers and now there are under 2000. The water is more saltier. The lands are now ill suited and unbuildable. Also the people there are prone to health problems.

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World's most controversial monuments

World's most controversial monuments | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
Prodigal spending, political disputes and divisive revolutionaries have made these historical markers stand out for more than their physical enormity.

 

Admittedly, I have a 'thing' for statues.  Their powerful to redefine place and to mold communal identity is powerful.  Some of these attempts to both redefine place and mold a communal identity can spark controversies as the narrative that the monument embodies can be perceived as marginalizing alternative narratives or groups.   


Via Seth Dixon
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Life in Chechnya

Life in Chechnya | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
Photojournalist Diana Markosian spent the last year and half covering Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.

 

These 33 photos are arranged to tell the cultural story of life in Chechnya, especially the life of young women coming of age in the aftermath of the war.  As the architecture of this mosque suggests, the influence of traditional Islamic values and Russian political authority have greatly shaped the lives of the Chechen people.


Via Seth Dixon
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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 3:24 PM

These pictures show many examples to how life in Chechnya for women is very different for women in the United States. We can see that these woman take part in similar day to day activities, but in very different ways. This is why their lives overall are much different than ours.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:28 PM

These photos show the culture of Chechnya. I found them very effective at mixing the environmental and cultural aspects of the area in these pictures. The one where two young people are on a date in a barren snow covered park sitting on opposites sides of the bench because close physical contact is forbidden before marriage. Although the school gym shows how women have to be dressed modestly even when they are exercising. 

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 10, 2015 7:33 PM

A picture says a thousand words.  I saw and learned more through these photos than I could of in any article, because you can really see what it's like there.  Authors and journalists can write and write about the facts and the people and the places, but they'll never really be able to show you, not the way pictures like these can.  The pictures of all these people show you what it's like to be there, how they live, what they do, their culture, beliefs, and ways of life. It's one thing to read about how strict rules for women are, but it's another to see those rules in action, like in gym class, and on dates.  We hear these ideas about countries who are strict with women, but can't really see what it would be like because we don't have that in the U.S., but these pictures make you feel it, not just think it.

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The world's most expensive cities - Telegraph

The world's most expensive cities - Telegraph | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it
New research has named the Norwegian capital as the world's costliest city, with London in 10th.See it on Scoop.it, via Geography - The World Around Us...

Notice a regional pattern here? Think West vs the Rest?
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Shipping container "cities" bring creative, funky approach to green construction | Sustainable Cities Collective

Shipping container "cities" bring creative, funky approach to green construction | Sustainable Cities Collective | Walkerteach Geo | Scoop.it

  Container City I, London 

 

Sustainable city development using recycled cargo containers. REALLY COOL!

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Visualizing Regional Population Statistics

It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West.

 

This is an excellent video for population and demographic units, but also for showing regional and spatial patterns within the global dataset (since terms like 'overpopulation' and 'carrying capacity' inherently have different meanings in distinct places and when analyzed at various scales). It is also a fantastic way to visualize population data and explain the ideas that are foundational for the Demographic Transition Model.

 

 


Via Seth Dixon
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Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 17, 2014 7:55 PM

Unit 2

Mohamed Mohamed's curator insight, October 13, 2014 4:03 PM

This video describes and explains how we got to a population of 7 billion people so fast

Mohamed Mohamed's curator insight, October 13, 2014 4:04 PM

It also uses water to demonstrate it.