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Devolution: A Beginner's Guide

Devolution: A Beginner's Guide | Geography  200 | 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  It is general enough that even though it is outdated as a news story, it serves as a concrete example from geography students to understand the processes and reasons for a decentralization of political power.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
Jacob Crowell's insight:

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.

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Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:21 PM

This shift can reshape the countries in many ways, financially, and the over all quality of life. A place will do better with connections than standing alone. This may help with international relation issues and build new relationships. When places depend on one another it can reshape the Country. It can also help with investment and jobs. 

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 Voices of China's Workers

TED Talks In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world.

 

Our collective understanding of modern industrialization and globalization needs to go beyond the binary of "oppressors" and "victims."  This lecture explores the voices and lives of Chinese workers that we so often simply see as simply victims of a system, but are full of ambition and agency. 

 

Tags: industry, globalization, labor, China, TED. 


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

These workers do see their jobs as opportunities. This video is a great eye opener for people who tend to fall into the trap of looking at globalization as a system of haves and have nots. 

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Sarah Graham's comment, May 3, 2013 1:54 PM
I think that we often overlook the fact that life and culture is very different in these places. Here, the factory workers probably don't want the I-phones that they are making. We don't think about the people and how they WANT these jobs. These people want to make their life better, just like you and me.
Ryli Smith's comment, May 5, 2013 2:55 PM
In these Chinese factories, they don't view these jobs as harsh or poor treatment because this is better than how they would be doing back in their villages. They want these jobs so bad because they will give them a better life. Also, you have to remember that not all of these Chinese factory workers want to have an iPhone or a Coach purse or Nike shoes, because those things don't have any worth in their culture.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:26 PM

The plight of Chinese workers today is incredibly great. This TED talks explains the situations many in China find themselves in the terrible conditions they must work in. While us in the west see this as unthinkable China's model for success and expansion comes at the cost of their workforce who are subjugated to poor working conditions as very low pay. The real hope for this to change is for the nation as a whole to become wealthy enough that these workers will be able to demand fair wages and work environments. 

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McDonald's International

McDonald's International | Geography  200 | Scoop.it

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Jacob Crowell's insight:

We talk about McDonalds as a way of Americanizing the rest of the world. These foods show that it may still be the case but local culture is still infused and desired where McDonalds expands to.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 4:57 PM

This is a really interesting article because it shows how food we're so familiar with varies so much across the world. To many McDonalds is an extremely American thing and the idea that it would adapt to the counties it operates in is unexpected by many. This changing menu makes a lot of sense for the company as different cultures and nations are accustomed to different foods which may or may not mesh with the typical American diet.

Payton Sidney Dinwiddie 's curator insight, January 21, 2015 9:40 PM

This shows that mmcdonals is a global industy . there are many mcdonalds everywhere they put a spin oncertain diishes to match their heritage like in japan instead of hamburger meat like we americans use the use crabs.It just really shows how far mcdonalds was changed from just starting in america to being featured all over the globe

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 22, 2015 7:06 PM

I've lived and traveled to a few places especially Asia.  I've had the Ramen at McD's in Hawaii along with the Portugeuse sausage that comes with the big breakfast.  I've also experienced Japanese McD's.  It was nice to be able to find some of the regular food like a burger and fry at any McD's in the world, but I never ordered anything else. 

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Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands

Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands | Geography  200 | Scoop.it

Volcanic islands can seem to appear out of nowhere, emerging from the ocean like breaching monsters of the deep. Below, Mika McKinnon explains how these odd geological formations are born, how they evolve, and how they eventually vanish back beneath the waves.


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Amazing Photographs, how islands are formed is a great way to show how physical geography is always changing. Whether its from one massive landmass to separate continents or a volcanic island into a reef.

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:30 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, pretty cool story on the formation of islands in the south Pacific. A couple of them look like the island visible from the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico where I stayed. The island is one giant rock so nobody lives there and it's a naval base for the U.S. military. This, however, is a different situation when you realize that not only do people live here, but kind of a lot of people live here.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:00 PM

What causes the death and the caldera in a volcano? One thing that happens in a deceased volcano is the center of the volcano starts to either erode or the inside finally caves in. Once this happen a caldera takes shape and the ocean starts to take over. As the waves eat away at the shores it will eventually create a island that is shaped like a "U". After this happens that island will someday retreat back into the ocean and someday form a barrier reef.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:52 PM

Based on general knowledge, I know that the taller a volcano is, the younger it is and the shorter it is, the older it is. The reason they start to get short is from erosion. Hot spots in the Earth's crust make small islands from molten rock. Young islands can be very dangerous, because if they are inhabited, they have the possibility of erupting, whereas an old island does not since the volcano is lnactice and eroding. Over time the inactive volcano will crumble and a caldera will take shape and after even more time, that caldera will slip under the ocean and become a reef. 

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The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
The story behind the the International Date Line.

 

Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Makes you think about the political and economic influences on just about anything. What time or day it is is an important element to a global economy. Know when business deals can be made in an instance knowing what standards are most efficient can alter systems of dating. That is why instead of having a straight line the line is jutting out in spots. Usually we think of our time zones being dependent on where the sun in relation to our location but in this instance we see that it is merely a man made line that can be altered. 

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WILBERT DE JESUS's curator insight, April 27, 2015 1:06 PM

This is to me the coolest geographic location in the World... A group of islands nation located in both the south and north hemispheres and also to both the east and west of the international time line zone.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, May 1, 2015 8:06 PM

500 birthdays were taken away due to an international date line. In Samoa is in a confused state between the united states and the Asian pacific side of the timeline which would cause time and dates to be confusing.Dynamic economic networks and political allegiances have created a very difficult situation for the people near the border in Samoa.  The International Date line in Samoa is something that is needed to be watched and paid attention because it can affect people in ways that can be very significant even at a small tiny rate.

brielle blais's curator insight, April 26, 1:33 PM
This post shows the importance of trade to each country, so much so that Samoa was able to get the International Dateline changed to accommodate their trade needs, skipping a day and allowing easier economic networks with China and Australia, who are important trading partners. 
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The Surprising Ways Globalization Is Changing One Of the Most Remote Parts Of the U.S.

The Surprising Ways Globalization Is Changing One Of the Most Remote Parts Of the U.S. | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
The integration of the global economy has reached the Appalachian region, but it may erode the cultural identity of the area.
Jacob Crowell's insight:

In her article from Mic.com Autumn Harbison discusses how globalization is changing the Appalachian region of the United States. For generations now, the economy of this region has been based around its physical geography. The area runs along the Appalachian Mountains which has allowed access to massive amounts of coal. In the past, coal was one of the country’s most widely used energy resources. This allowed generations of families in Appalachia to find work working in coal mines and Harbison states that there is indeed a rich culture and pride focused around working in the coal industry. Globalization brings in new cultures and technology into communities. With that said, this article argues that globalization is causing shifts both economically and culturally in Appalachia.
Appalachia relies so heavily on the sale of coal that it has made the area very susceptible to demand shifts in the energy business. Coal is being used less and less globally, due to its harmful effects on the environment, and new technology that make other energy resources cheaper. Globalization has allowed more consumers affordable access to more sustainable energy resources and technology. With that being the case, the area that has put all its eggs into one basket economically has fallen on hard times. In 2011, the region saw unemployment rates in most counties range anywhere from 8.7% to 19.8%. To put that into perspective the unemployment rate for the United States that same year 8.9%. Globalization is without a doubt hurting the area economically. However, Harbison discusses how the cultural impact is even more evident. In Kentucky, Berea College’s Dr. Chad Berea says that cultural demographics of the area are designed to insulate the population of the region and therefore have made the culture in Appalachia stagnant until globalization. The culture of Appalachia is intertwined with coal that it has been almost untouchable until this point.
Now with the coal industry shrinking, outside influences are chipping away at what is a very unique and distinct culture. A good example of this is the affect Walmart has had in chipping away at the culture. Walmart, a multinational corporation, brings in goods that encapsulate the meaning of globalization. They sell cheap goods that come from all over the globe. With access to cheaper goods, the local small businesses in the area that sell local Appalachian products are being pushed out. Tourism to Great Smokey Mountain National Park has also brought millions of outsiders into the area and with them their culture. People looking to capitalize on this industry are mixing Appalachian culture with mainstream culture to be more attractive to outsiders. Furthermore, with more outside influence taking hold there is evidence that the Appalachian dialect is also disappearing as well.
What should be pulled from this article is how globalization can diminish cultures that were generally long standing before. The stereotype many have of the area is that of a population of poor and backwoods people. As more people travel to this area and the economy changes, the identity of Appalachia is disappearing. These people were geographically isolated from the rest of the U.S. That is no longer the case, more tourism means more cultural diffusion, big businesses are pushing out local shops, and coal, the lynchpin of culture in the region, is disappearing taking that longstanding identity with it.

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Hidden Face of Globalization - YouTube

In the global economy, corporations demand enforceable laws - intellectual property and copyright laws - backed up by sanctions to protect their products. Ho...
Jacob Crowell's insight:

This video from the Institute for Global Labor and Human Rights discusses the moral troubling circumstances that exist with Globalization. The video begins with an American standing in the rain in Dhaka, Bangladesh at 3:35 AM outside a garment factory. He explains that the factory is still open and that the workers are going on their 20th hour of work. These workers will work until 5am, get an hour of sleep and then return for another shift that will last more than 10 hours. The workforce that makes up garment production is 80% women 16-25 years old. This is the type of labor that is necessary to feed the large demand caused by globalization. Globalization has allowed companies to outsource their labor and manufacturing operations because it is cheaper to make them overseas and ship them back for retail. In Bangladesh, all major US retailers produce in the country. It has over 3,600 factories that employ 1.8 garment workers. These factories sell over 900 million garments a year for export to the United States. This video gives the viewer a glance into what it is like to be one of these workers. Each day they walk at least an hour round trip because they cannot afford the cost it would take to use a rickshaw, 10 cents. The streets are crowded with mostly women workers in the early morning and then again around 11 when they are let out. The standard shift in these factories is 8:00am to 11:00pm and all overtime is mandatory. During the holidays or when the demand is high they will work up to 20 hour shifts, sleep a few hours at their sewing machines until their next shift begins. These women can work up to 170 hours a week. Each worker is assigned a specialized task that they will do over and over again. If the company is making shirts one worker will be assigned to sew the buttons on a shirt. The factory sets daily goals the workers must meet. The video gives the example of the women who must sew a button on a shirt every 8 seconds to meet the quota.
Men are usually the supervisors in these sweatshops, their job is to make sure the women work faster. These men use both verbal and physical abuse as a way to get the women to work faster. Sewing operators are paid around 11 cents an hour, a little less than 6$ a week. There are also young girls who are “helpers”, they are tasked with cutting loose threads off of the shirt for 8 cents an hour. These workers are trapped by the wages they are paid. In the developing world corporations have made the labor cost so low for businesses because that is what will keep them from going elsewhere to satisfy their desire to make more money. In order to keep wage cost low, women are often forced to work 5 or 6 hours overtime and then are only paid for 2 hours. If they women ask for the money they are entitled to they are beaten or imprisoned. The working conditions in these factories are disgusting. In the summer, the temperature can be over 100 degrees leaving women working long hours covered in sweat with no breaks. They are not allowed to talk to one another, are limited to 2 bathroom breaks that they have to ask permission for, these bathrooms are not cleaned and are filthy according to the women. They often have diarrhea and dysentery because the drinking water is contaminated. Furthermore, there is no such thing as workers’ rights in these factories, women are not given sick days, maternity leave, health insurance or pensions. Because they have no other option they are trapped at these factories and are easily replaceable. The authorities also support this system. If the supervisor find out the workers are trying to unionize they will be beaten and then the police will arrest them on phony charges. Even if they do make it through these conditions year after year they are fired at 35 and replaced with younger girls.
On the surface, the economic growth associated with globalization looks like a good thing for developing countries. In Bangladesh, industry is booming and they are growing due to the fact that they have the ability to be part of the globalized economy. At home, we are able to benefit from globalization when we save ourselves some money because our favorite brand of clothing is half the price it would be if we produced it in the United States. But for the women in Dhaka, globalization has opened up an industry of modernized slavery. This video explains the tragic realities of being a garment worker in Dhaka. Some may argue that if they didn’t have these jobs they would be making no money at all and that globalization is actually feeding people who would otherwise die of starvation. To that I say this; we don’t know for sure what would happen if these factories didn’t exist. But we for sure know the hell these women are going through now and isn’t that enough to look for an alternative instead of accepting the lesser of two evils.

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Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs

Pakistan Trees Cocooned in Spider Webs | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
Documented by an aid worker, millions of spiders took to the trees to spin their webs after heavy floods inundated Pakistan in 2010.

 

Besides being an aesthetic wonder, this image is a great way to start a discussion about so many distinct issues. The floods of 2010 devastated the human population, killing over 2,000. These same floods also altered the ecosystem as spiders have needed to adapt to their new inundated landscape as well. For the human population, this has had the shocking benefit of lowering the incidents of malaria since the spiders have more effectively limited the mosquito population. Interconnections...geographic information are a spider web of interconnections between nature and humanity.


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

These floods damaged the ecosystems in Pakistan. It also manipulated the natural order of things. With he heavy floods lots of mosquito were attracted by the water and then millions of spiders followed for food. What resulted are these remarkable images. For those who suffer from arachnophobia this may their worst nightmare but it has an odd beauty to it.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:07 AM

As cool as it is creepy. I'm reminded of entire fields of spider webs after similar heavy flooding in Australia. I certainty would get nowhere near those trees if this were to happen locally.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 2:29 PM

Intense flooding occurring in December 2010 left 2,000 people dead in Pakistan. The flood waters left both the people, and the insects, with no where to go. Spiders, trying to escape from the flood waters, climbed into trees and bushes in order to avoid drowning. Almost every type of vegetation was covered in webs, making the landscape appear as though it was planed in cotton candy trees. While definitely peculiar, the massive amounts of spider webbing averted a mosquito crisis. While something positive did come from this occurrence, most of the trees were killed since their leaves were smothered by the webbing and unable to collect sunlight. Now the landscape contains little to know shade for the people living their. 

 

When observing geographies, it is important to understand not just the people, but the other organisms that affect a place, and how they too can make an effect. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:37 PM

After floods devastated Pakistan many of the animals and people had to adapt to some new surroundings. Spiders took to the trees and made webs of massive size. The spiders created a better environment because not only were the spiders eating the mosqitos and the bugs but they were also eating the disease malaria contributing to a more healthy and stable environment.

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AIDS/HIV Video: Development and Disease

Justine Ojambo, co-founder of the SLF-funded project PEFO in Uganda, talks about losing his mother to AIDS and PEFO's work to support children orphaned by AI...

 

THis is a great video on AIDS/HIV in Africa.  So many show Africans as passive victims of global and environmental forces beyond their control, this one is of empowered and inspiring people seeking to change the world.  For more inspiration AIDS/HIVS videos from Africa, see: http://stephenlewisfoundation.org/news-resources/multimedia/video-clips


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Ojambo has founded a project that addresses the extremely sad issue of orphans who have lost their parents to AIDS. These children need help because they do not have parents to support them, leaving them with their Grandparents who struggle to support these children. This video made me think of AIDS in Africa in a different way. When I thought of AIDS in Africa, I always focused on how many people were dying and how tragic that was. I seldom thought of the people they were leaving behind and what their death would mean to those still living.

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Peter Siner's comment, November 16, 2011 10:08 PM
it seems as though there is little we can do to help help end this horrible plague in africa besides donate money or food , relgion is such a huge factor in their decision making process
Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:31 PM

One thing that stuck out to me in this video is when he spoke about the making sure the children’s basic needs are met so they can concentrate on school. That is such a problem in our education system today that people don’t wish to address. I wonder how our education system would be if we made sure our children also had their basic needs met.

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For Mexico City, a Repurposed Landfill

For Mexico City, a Repurposed Landfill | Geography  200 | Scoop.it

"Methane from a landfill will flow to a power plant, helping to keep the lights on in the city."


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

In class we discussed the numerous environmental issues that exist in Mexico City. This is a great way of turning a negative into a positive. On a larger scale, I think this is going to be the kind of solutions that every country will have to eventually find. Creative ways of using technology to turn harmful waste into energy is a great idea. Methane is a cleaner than coal and recycling lessens the burden on natural resources.

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James Hobson's curator insight, September 28, 2014 9:41 PM

(Central America topic 8)

This article bears striking resemblance to the situation unfolding just a few blocks from my home: Johnston's Central Landfill.

The main similarity is with the use of methane gas for electricity production. Not only is this  a 'green' form of energy (natural decomposition), but it helps to prevent the foul odor of methane gas from spreading to nearby cities and towns. Before upgrading methane pumps at the Central Landfill, my neighborhood smelled like a dumpster most days. Now the air is cleaner and clean electricity is being produced... "two birds, one stone." Hopefully other landfills will take these examples to meaning in some way.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 2014 4:20 PM

Usually when a landfill becomes overloaded, it just gets shut down and left to rot. Mexico City is trying to do something new and ingenious with its massive landfill. Instead of closing off the land and letting it stay as reusable space, Mexico is hoping to develop a way to harness landfill gases in order to make electricity. If it is successful, it could prove to be a world-changing solution for other large, developing cities. It has the potential of lowering energy costs, creating jobs, and finding a purpose for land that would otherwise remain unusable for probably centuries. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 11:31 AM

this is a genius use of a necessary evil [landfills]. in the modern world energy is necessary, and the use of methane from a landfill means that the fuel is cheap, and that cost will transfer to the cost of power for the people buying it.

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

Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
High-resolution imaging has allowed scientists to produce the first full count of Antarctica's emperor penguins...

 

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


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

In the beginning of the semester we talked about how geography is always changing. Our understanding of geography does as well. This new technology helps people have a clearer picture of the wildlife that exists on Antarctica. Because of its harsh environment the amount we know about this barren continent has been limited. As technology improves we will be able to gain more accurate information about Antarctica.

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:22 AM

Our world is changing rapidly. Both due to human activity and natural climate patterns. It's important to be able to quantify the effects of this change in order to understand how our world will continue to change. If we can correlate these specific changes in climate and weather patterns and declining/rising species populations we may be able to protect important species in decline and manage those on the rise. Using geospatial technologies is vital in studying these changes and will only improve and become more valuable in time.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 12:58 PM

Using this new technology, animal can be monitored and helped by the satellites. Having a way to accurately know the population of a species is incredible,  because now we can know which species are in danger of extinction and we can take steps to help them. Before the use of the satellite,  the population of Emperor penguins was found to be 595, 000 and the colonies of penguins was found to be 46 instead of the previous 38, so without this technology there have been penguins that may have needed help, but now they will get proper attention.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:27 PM

Technology never ceases to amaze me. As the article described, the use of satellite imagining recently showed that the “population count” of the emperor penguin is “found nearly twice as many...as did previous studies.” Prior to the use of satellite imaging, the method to obtain this type of data was done by people actually being around the area. As the new numbers showed this was inaccurate because so much of the artic can’t be reached by the human population. I think this brings up an interesting notion. We define our landscape based on what we see. Yet, what we see doesn’t always capture what is actually on earth. As such, I wonder if more penguin colonies have disappeared then the one the British intuition noticed. We won’t know, but at least now thanks to technology a better grasp of the situation can happen. Maybe with more concrete data about the effects of global warming on Antarctic more non-believers could be swayed. All in all, I think the technology is beneficial. The only down side about this technology is the possibility for misuse. If we can now figure out the penguin population down to which ones are adults, imagine just what else this technology can due in the name of “geographic research.”      

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Coral Reefs Most at Risk

Coral Reefs Most at Risk | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
A new map ranks the world's coral reefs by the risks they face from warming oceans, overfishing and other stress factors, which will help scientists focus on conserving the reefs with the most likely success.

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Coral reefs our one of the most beautiful examples of nature that exist. I hope this map will help preserve them, what is interesting for someone my age is that I am not sure whether I will get to see these reefs before they are wiped out by climate change.

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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:00 PM

With this know fact of Coral Reefs at risk for disappearing, what are we to do. I believe in order to preserve our coral reefs around the world, more education on the importance of having the coral reefs on our coast. While there is little things we can do in regards to the rise of temperatures, we can reduce our human activity on the coast such as fishing and coastal development.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:28 PM

This map makes me think the beginning of the semester when you were showing us all the different ways maps can look based on the data. I never would have choose to make a map based on the coral reefs, but clearly there is a need for one. I don’t fully understand the math behind all the variables that shows how this map was made, but given the amount of variables mentioned in the article I think this is a very comprehensive map. So even though other maps may come up with different results, I would stand by this one due to the sheer volume of information analyzed.

 

I hope that the map is able to actually save some of the reefs around the Middle East and Australia (the highest risk areas) because I couldn’t even begin to imagine the damage the disappearance of one would have on the ecosystem. I know the article mentioned that the some of the prime factors were "surface temperature" and "ultra violet radiation," which supposedly couldn't be helped. However, I learned in my GEO 100 class that increase in surface temperature and ultra-violet radiation relates to global warming, Since global warming is partially man made, I do wonder why the prime factors can't be managed more though. Or is it that the impact of global warming can't be revered quickly enough so the ones most damaged are too far gone? Regardless, hopefully some of the other factors can be controlled enough to make a difference. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:07 PM

This map of the coral reefs that are in the most danger shows that the Polynesian reefs are the most t risk. This is due to warming sea temperatures and overpopulated fishing. The second being the area of the Carribbean. This is a area of constant sunlight which is good for the reef but at the same time can be bad because of the warming of the sea temperatures. 

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Perpetual Ocean by NASA

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio — the same team that recently brought us an animation of the moon as it will appear from Earth for each hour of 2012 — has also released a stunning video called “Perpetual Ocean,” a time lapse of the world’s ocean currents as calculated by the ECCO2 computational model.

 

This is an stunning visualization of ocean currents.  Thanks for the suggestion! 


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

This is an amazing video. The technology we have at our disposable is truly remarkable and we have reached a point where mapping all the currents of the ocean can be done and put up on youtube. This information is available to people who otherwise would have no idea how to interpret ocean currents.

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Michelle Carvajal's comment, December 11, 2012 9:08 PM
I actually own a Starry night Van Gogh painting Beth. I agree with what you say!
Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:10 PM

This video is pretty awesome! I love how it shows the different ways that the currents move around the continents and in mid ocean. How are we not to expect for natural phenomenoms to be unpredictable when our oceansa re the same. i would have never expected to see so many idfferent flows and currents but they do exist. It gives you a look into how are planet works and also gives you a chilling thought of how easily a ship would get lost in deep ocean waters. - M. Carvajal

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:18 AM

This video shows just how technology is advancing, being able to show how the world's water currents move and, especially, showing how different our bodies of water are. I always thought the currents were somehow connected, but now I see that many move in their own way.

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Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
Divers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef recently snapped rare pictures of a wobbegong, or carpet shark, swallowing a bamboo shark whole.

 

The diversity of life on this planet and the ecosystems which such creatures live in is something that continually leaves me in awe at the wonders of the natural world.


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Amazing photos, there are so many different kinds of life that exists in the Ocean. As the Great Barrier Reef falls victim to climate change and pollution, the number of species at risk is almost calculable. 

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 23, 2014 5:57 PM

A wobbegong, also known as the carpet shark, engulfs a bamboo shark in the Great Barrier Reef. This was a surprising and rare photo for Divers in Australia. It is crazy how animals so close in relativity can instantly become predators, and possibly a meal, to each other!

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:38 AM

This article reminds me of another video i've seen recently of a grouper fish swallowing a 4-foot black tip shark whole. A fisherman caught that on camera while trying to reel in the shark. Time and time again I'm reminded that not everything in nature is as it seems and that the unexpected should be expected. 

This makes me want to buy some scuba gear and take some diving classes, I ought to conquer my fear of sharks by safely observing them with a research team! 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:26 PM

Australia's marine life is amazing, being able to hide by blending in to their environment is a testament to the waters that Australia has. The diverse wildlife of Australia waters is shown to be an adaptive bunch and begs the question: How many more animals are out there that we do not know of?

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Video: Fighting Poverty with Ingenuity

I absolutely love creative, out-of-the-box, innovative people! People who use their creativity to make a difference in the World.... Incredible! "We want to ...

 


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Poverty stricken areas are filled with very intelligent and skilled people who are trapped in their economic status. These solar bottles show how creative people can be no matter where they come from. Furthermore, these types of innovations show how the sadness of living in poverty can be lifted a small amount with recycling and creativity.

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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 30, 2015 2:50 PM

This video shows ingenuity of a persons mind and plastic bottles. This is a use of something that seems to useless but plays a very large roll in daily life of the people. This plastic bottle filled with water and placed in thecut out of tin roofs created natural sunlight for the the people in the poorest communities. This cut power bills and it also created a safer living situation for the people. It shows the use for something so useless in our area of the community but so usefull to other areas of the world.

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

this is a great invention, however the use of these light bottles would be restricted to environments where water never freezes. however, in regions which are economically in trouble where it is generally warm, it can be a cheap source of light in a normally dark building.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:01 PM

people making the best of their situation and being inovative and creative is insperational and the rest of the world should follow suit

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Planting Rice

Thailand...

Feel free to mute the commentary...this video demonstrates the truly 'back-breaking' work that is a part of paddy rice farming. 


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Doing this all day must be exhausting. To imagine women and men who do this for their entire lives makes me respect their dedication and work ethic. It also makes me think of the toll it must take on your body doing that day in and day out.

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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:17 PM

This video of the rice farming in Thailand shows exactly how hard the rice planting truly is. Here it shows them bending over hour after hour sticking rice plants into the shallow pools. Here in Thailand most of the planters are women. Agriculture is considered the women's job here and have to do all this work themselves. After seeing this it truly is hard work for the mass production of the rice fields so they have a way to export most of this rice they are planting.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:36 PM
This looks to be very tedious work, and very labor intensive. There is not much help, that is probably why they are working at the rate they are working at, very fast. Unfortunately, these people are working in these conditions and probably getting paid only cents a day. On top of that, if the weather is not in their favor, they could possibly catch something, maybe pneumonia or something along the lines.
Matt Chapman's curator insight, April 26, 12:43 PM
Thailand and its planting of rice is a major agriculture for the region.  This is important to them because it is one of their major crops for the economy.
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Maldives

Maldives | Geography  200 | Scoop.it

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With sea levels rising the Maldives will be under water relatively soon. This will leave all those people either dead or as refugees. There needs to be an effort to find out what to do with all those people because it is too late to stop the seas from rising.

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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:54 PM

The creation of the Maldives was a evolutionary process that was created with hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. However most of the 1200 or so islands are disappearing. As many of these islands have been created and built upon, the soils are losing their strength. Now we have a process of erosion not only from rain but also from the sea waves. As this eats away at the islands they are getting smaller and smaller and unless they start bringing in artificial land area they will someday disappear.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:39 PM

The Maldives Islands were created by Hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. Many of the one thousand islands that are there are slowly disappearing. The islands are being destroyed by rain and from sea waves that crash onto the island itself. Soon the land, just like Kiribati will disappear because they just keep shrinking in size more and more. Their economy revolves mostly around tourist money and parts of the islands have been highly developed for high end tourist marketing.  

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:33 AM

Honestly a nation like the Maldives would only be possible with today's technology. the lack of resources, land and linking landmass would have made it stuck in an era with villages at best. The modern country if you ask me is also a disaster waiting to happen. Their cities are right on sea level. A single tsunami or storm would devastate them never mind rising sea levels. I just think they are acting unsustainable and their growth without lack of native resources will lead to their nations ultimate failure. While I wish these people success their islands are also eroding due to reefs so geography is pretty much against them at every turn. In the future hopefully a solution to these problems can be found but until then this will likely be an area that will have to be evacuated in the future like many others.

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Author Beth Macy speaks at the Lyric about Factory Man

Author Beth Macy speaks at the Lyric about Factory Man | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
A local author whose exposition on globalization has gained national acclaim came to Blacksburg to discuss her book about a struggling Virginia town.
Jacob Crowell's insight:

This article by Clare Rigney of Collegiate Times reports on Beth Macy who wrote a book detailing the impact globalization had on the area in which she lived. Her book “Factory man” focuses on a small town in Virginia called Basset where 8,500 people were laid off when a Bassett Furniture Company factory was closed because of global competition. In her book she details the factories owner’s efforts to fight against globalization as it forced him to shut down seven furniture factories. Bassett tried to make ends meet as Chinese producers began “dumping” in the area. Dumping is a strategy of unfairly lowing the price of a good in order to push out competitors who cannot lower their price without going out of business. Large companies are able to do this because they have the money to lose in the short term and then make it back when they are the only ones left standing. This is an example of how globalization opens up local markets to large foreign companies who have the ability to run out smaller businesses. Bassett was a millionaire but had no chance at competing with multinational Chinese companies who could produce their goods overseas for a fraction of the cost and have them shipped to the US cheaply.
Macy also addresses what happened to the town after Bassett closed its doors. The people still are trying to find an alternative way to make a living because the furniture factory employed almost half of the town. Today many are struggling, living off food stamps and other forms of government assistance. Some have resorted to growing their own food to survive. Many have looked out of state for work, people travel to North Carolina every day just to make a living.
This story of Bassett, Virginia shows how globalization can put people at risk even if they live in one of the richest countries. These people relied on a company that was shut down with ease because globalization made it cheap for Chinese competitors to come in and begin dumping. This story is also gaining traction among filmmakers. HBO and Tom Hanks are now producing a mini-series based on the book.

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Making Sense of Globalization: Japanese Hip Hop Culture 1 - YouTube

Sam Feldman, In-Asia Study Grant recipient in 2003, spent his Winter Term researching hip hop in Japan. His project culminated in this mini film. Here is par...
Jacob Crowell's insight:


Film maker Sam Feldman shows how globalization has allowed for some part of Japanese of culture to be infiltrated by a completely foreign force, hip hop. Although its extremely low budget and looks to be recorded on a handheld camcorder, this mini film is a great and authentic example of globalization and its effects on Japan’s youth. The film is broken up into 3 parts, part I, “Mcdonaldization of Japan” has a series of interviews on the influence America has had on Japan as well as what Japanese people feel about America. The people he interviews young adults who respond with many positive feelings about American music, many say they love groups like Cypress Hill, Wu Tang, Jurrasic 5, and Warren G. The culture around hip hop seems to be very popular even more so than the music. The people who are interviewed are dressed in clothing that imitates the popular American hip hop styles of the time. Feldman speaks with a retailer who sells hip hop clothing because the demand is high among young people even if aren’t fans of hip hop music.
For Americans this can be a little confusing, why would someone wear the clothes if they don’t like that kind of music? In the US people who have that style are almost always doing so because they are a fan of the music. Hip Hop culture in the United States if very intertwined with a certain image but in Japan this is not the case because of globalization. Globalization allows cultures to mix, in Japan, their culture has been influenced by rap but only some aspects of rap music. While some Japanese fans of American rap love the music and style of the hip hop culture, others choose to maintain their musical taste while adopting the hip hop style. Part one ends with other examples of how globalization has impacted Japanese culture. The camera pans down grocery store shelves filled with American snacks like bags of Synders pretzels and cookies with the label “American Soft” which are placed right next to bags with Japanese lettering and art on them. This short clip that last maybe 5 seconds uses imagery to state the theme of the film. These American snacks are mixed together with the Japanese snacks just like American hip hop being part of the musical and fashion identity of the country.
Part II of the film is called “a Japanese Hip Hop show”. It is a performance by DABO a Japanese rap group on their “Hit man Tour”. The group is dressed exactly like American Rappers, they are wearing Du-rags and loose clothing. Furthermore, their attitude and performance style is extremely similar to rap performances in the US. If the group was not speaking Japanese while addressing the crowd, you would never be able to tell they were in Japan. The group samples West Coast rap, which makes sense considering Japan is closer to the West coast of America. The crew then travels to a club that is name “Club Harlem” further proving the spread of hip hop culture in Japan.
In Part III, “Global Flows: Local Interpretations” the films shows how hip hop is infusing into Japanese culture. Those being interview explain that the themes in Japanese rap are different from American rap. One man states “American Hip-Hop is loaded with messages, whereas the melody tends to have precedence in Japanese Hip-Hop.” His statement illustrates how Globalization can allow a culture to blend with another, pulling some but not all the aspects of whatever is being shared. This mini film shows how globalization is changing the lives of people in Japan in terms of their fashion and music. The spread of rap music and hip hop culture provides these people with an opportunity to shape their own culture pulling from around the globe to develop an identity that blends both national and international elements. A lot of the discussion we had on globalization this semester was focused on the economic affects. The cultural impacts are just as widespread. The argument could be made that this is an example of American culture eclipsing Japanese culture. In some respects there is evidence to support that, but there are examples throughout this film of happy young people who are shaping their identity to reflect that of someone living in the globalized world. I thought this was a good film to select because it provides a little balance to show how globalization is not a black and white issue where it is good or bad for the world. There are defiantly gray areas when it comes to this issue, this film supports that claim.

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Will Globalization Destroy Black America?

Will Globalization Destroy Black America? | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
Promoting Excellence in Education
Jacob Crowell's insight:

In this article, Will Globalization Destroy Black America the effects of globalization on the population of African Americans are outlined to show that education is the key to facing the risks of globalization. Phillip Jackson, the executive director of The Black Star Project, explains why globalization is threatening the success of African Americans. In class we talked about how globalization has affected economies around the world some have grown with the ability to make the globe more interconnected. With economies becoming more interdependent on each other, jobs are now being competed for by applicants from around the globe. Entire industries are up for grabs if the workforce has the skills to maintain it. In America, new efforts are being made to encourage education in fields like math and engineering because they are markets that are not restricted by borders. In the Cold War there was the arms race where America raced to build more weapons to keep up with its competition. Today there is the academic arms race where the country who is able to teach their youth population globally useful skills will prosper. With that said, America is falling behind many other countries with regards to education and those trailing the most is the African American population.
Jackson argues that African Americans are dependent on the United States’ public education system. That system is making them ill prepared to respond to the competitive markets that globalization has created. In his article, Jackson states that there are two kinds of people in the 21st century, the educated and the not educated. By sending African Americans to public schools with no goal of being globally viable they have made the population stand by and watch former third world countries surpass the United States in terms of academic performance. African American have been institutionally discriminated against in terms of access to the best education available in our public schools. Our public schools receive most of their funding from property taxes, therefore, in areas where property values are high (affluent neighborhoods) the amount of money given to the schools is higher. Due to the fact that African Americans populations are disproportional concentrated in poorer and urban cities and towns, the money that is available for education is less per student than wealthier areas that tend to be predominately White.
So because African Americans have less ability to have access to technology and resources that are need to develop skills that make them more competitive in the global economy they are at risk because the jobs that are opening up are those that require higher-level critical thinking and technological skills. Jackson proposes that to solve this issue, African Americans must make education the highest priority on the communal level. He also advocates for family values to be reinvigorated in African American communities. His 5 main points to tackling the globalization are as follows;
“1) Deconstruct value systems that have caused Black people to arrive at the precipice of non-existence; 2) Construct value systems that will rebuild the Black family as a purveyor of positive values, cultures, mores and education, and re-establish the Black family as the primary and most important social unit of our culture and society; 3) Embrace education as the highest value in the Black community; 4) Effectively manage the negative cultural influences that hugely impact the thinking and actions of Black boys; and 5) Understand that for the rest of existence, change is a required part of the living process.”
I found this article to be very interesting. Today there has been a focused effort to have a dialogue on race relations in America in the aftermath the police violence against African Americans in New York and Ferguson. With so many people reevaluating the status of race relations in the United States, this article addresses an important issue. In regards to geography, it shows how globalization poses a very real threat to African Americans more than other demographics in the US.

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Bridging the Digital Divide

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


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

In the United States we take for granted the resources that are so easily accessed like computers. In this poor neighborhood in India, a computer was put in a wall and the children taught themselves how to use the computer. These slum kids don't have the tools needed to get out of poverty. Given them these computers may seem like a drop of water in the bucket but it is an important step.

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 27, 2011 9:51 PM
I think the hole in the wall program is a positive outcome for the children. They are learning to work cooperatively with others. They are also learning to play and work with programs that are used frequently in other areas of the world. These children may not have resources to teach them vocabulary, or phonics, or the alphabet but with these computers that are able to learn. As they learn they can then teach others, it is has a great educational value to help later in their lives. These children also get to see other parts of the world. They don't just see their world of poverty but it will also get them to think and view life with more light and better views.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 5:50 PM
This is a fantastic program that I'm excited to hear about...education for the disenfranchised is one of the best vehicles for positive social change.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:35 PM

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

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NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools

NYTimes Video: Apartheid Haunts South Africa's Schools | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
Celia Dugger reports from the Kwamfundo School near Cape Town on South Africa's struggling public education system.

 

This poignant clip shows that South Africa may be in a post-apartheid era, but most certainly not a post-racial era as schools are as deeply divided as ever. 


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Race is definitely a determining factor in the quality and division of South Africa's public schools. Discrimination is definitely  a problem that is hard to get rid of because it is institutionalized even after public policy may change. This also has happened in the United States. Our school systems are also racially segregated even though the US has passed laws against it. After the Apartheid government took such drastic measures to strip the rights of its Black citizens, the institutions that were formed around those ideas still exist. 

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Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:14 PM

It's difficult to overcome something as oppressive as colonial rule and apartheid. South Africa's schools are still trying do so in a post-apartheid era. Judging from this video, the students have the desire to learn and better themselves to become what the country needs in order to succeed but the teachers and education system itself lacks the desire. I loved seeing the that some of the students actually step up and take charge of the class to help them learn. It's difficult to educate youth if the teachers have no desire to do so and you can't expect the students to move on to college and become a doctor or a chemist if they are unable to pass their science class. It amazed me that with all the struggles these students were going through in their personal lives, they were upbeat and ready and willing to learn.

 

Also, the singing impressed. Not because they were good, but I imagined trying to get a class of 15 year old students in America that were not taking a specifically music class to sing. I could only imagine the groans and refusal to participate from them!

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:28 PM

Watching this video makes me glad that I live where I do, it also makes me feel bad for those that are not as lucky as myself and other students of colleges and universities. these students in South Africa's schools are not getting a proper education, the teachers sometimes do not show up, so in some cases the students will assume position and teach those who do not understand the material. It is also sad to know that there are so many out there with great ambitions for their lives and because of their poor education and understanding of subjects, they are failing and might not be able to reach their goals for life. It is good to see though there is a teacher that gets the kids engaged everyday  as a morning warm up to sing. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:06 PM

what i dont understand is how south africa can be on such an upward trend which motivation and nationalism but the rest of africa just refuses to get on the same track. the success of south africa and their constantly improving country should be motivation and a model for the rest of the continent.

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U.S. Travel To Cuba Grows As Restrictions Are Eased

The Obama administration has relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba, reinstating Bill Clinton's policy of allowing people-to-people travel.

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

I agree with this move. The embargo on Cuba was imposed during the Cold War. Cuba provided Russia with an ally less than a hundred miles from the coast of Florida so it made sense to want to cut off contact and goods to the government of Cuba. Now however the threat is non existent. Furthermore, allowing American tourist easier access to Cuba will open up pathways for people who may have family in Cuba to go see them. Miami has a gigantic Cuban population, its nice to know it will be easier for them to go an visit if they wish do to so.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 8:21 PM

I think it is a good idea to have lifted restrictions on Cuba. We are talking about a restriction put on a country because of a Conflict called the Cold War, but the Cold War is long done now. It is also ridiculous that as a free country we are not allowed to travel there really without government approved sightseeing. Although the government approved sightseeing is informative for both culture and education, with less restrictions, people should be able to do stuff outside pre approved government tours. Being able to wander the country freely might even possibly boost economy from money being spent. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 11:50 AM

with the relaxing of restrictions towards Cuba an increase in tourism can obviously be expected to rise massively, especially as Cuban repatriates gain the ability to go and visit family and ancestral homes. this new policy will prove to be good for Cuba.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 7, 7:04 PM
Cuba presents an interesting case regarding travel by Americans.  After almost fifty years of Americans being banned from traveling to the island, it makes sense that many Americans would be so eager to travel once the restriction was lifted.  It is interesting that both the American and Cuban governments have their own agenda in regards in terms of touring the country.  Groups from the U.S. are typically placed with tour guides who attempt to paint a picture of the country that is pro-Castro and pro-government.  The tourists in this article were aware of this and said that the key to understanding Cuba is to look past exactly what they are being told- they must analyze and make judgements based on their own experiences.  Opposite the Cuban government's approach is the American government which is divided in how travel to Cuba should be handled.  Some officials fear that sending American tourists contributes to a communist government which they believe should not be allowed.  They believe that travel to Cuba should still be restricted and prohibit Americans from traveling through third party groups based out of other countries like Mexico- because these groups give American tourists too much freedom in what they are able to do while in Cuba.  American tourists for the most part do not agree with either governments' ideas of how tourism in Cuba should work.  They want to be free to decide what they do in Cuba and conceptualize the country through their own lenses.  It is very interesting that a destination so close to the U.S. has been so restricted and a cause of conflict, even after regulations have been loosened.  The real victims in this case seem to be the citizens of both Cuba and the U.S.  As Americans are unable to experience what they want and Cubans aren't allowed to freely share how they view their country.
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Video -- Dive into the Deep

Video -- Dive into the Deep | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
March 26, 2012—In a state-of-the-art submersible, National Geographic explorer-in-residence and filmmaker James Cameron reached the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, breaking a world record for the deepest solo dive.

 

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


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

This is a really cool video, the pressure that exist at the bottom of the ocean has kept humans trapped above a certain depth. Today technology has let us explore areas that have been off limits in the past. Letting an influential filmmaker like Cameron do this is a way to raise awareness about these expeditions to the pop culture obsessed audiences around the world.

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Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:12 PM

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

Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:06 PM

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

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 5:45 AM

It is mind boggling how much of our oceans are still to be discovered. Cameron's journey here is one that needs to be taken all over the world. We have more ocean that is unexplored than explored.  We may also find some answers to fundamental questions to human existence if we are able to research the deep sea more effectively.  It is hard to believe we have been able to research 36,000 feet below and still have more questions than answers. 

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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Geography  200 | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

Isolation can lead to some remarkable examples of evolution. This "tree lobster" is an example of that. On an island cut off from many predators and hold little resources, the tree lobster has found a way to survive.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 8:33 PM

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 2014 10:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 9:52 PM

A truly remarkable story.  A prehistoric 'stick' insect that lived on an island off the coast of Australia was obliterated by rats that came to the island on English ships.  Everyone thought they were extinct until one day some researchers found 24 of them living on a remote piece of land not too far from the insect's homeland.  This was an uninhabited piece of rock, essentially, with very little to offer any life form but the stick insects found just enough to survive.  How they got here is unknown but after the find and a sleepless zoo worker, this insect is flourishing in captivity.  The move to release them back into the wild is ongoing.

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

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Geography  200 | Scoop.it

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


Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's insight:

An example of how even without considering globalization the world is interconnected. The debris from the 2011 tsunami was never disposed of effectively and the United States may be effected more than they ever expected. If this pile of debris reaches US shores it will make many Americans consider how a tsunami across the globe will eventually hurt them at home. 

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:02 PM

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

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:09 PM

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

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:43 AM

Although it's important to know where all of this trash is headed, this just makes me think of how we might prevent this. We can't prevent these catastrophic natural disasters, but how might we lessen it's effects on our cities and settlements? Furthermore, how might we lessen our impact on ecosystems during these times of catastrophe? 

It's only called a catastrophe when it hits human populations for a reason, it's not just devastating to us. Remnants of our lifestyle are carried far and wide, able to cause harm on many other species.