Geography Education
1.8M views | +19 today
Follow
Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

HarperCollins omits Israel from maps for Mideast schools, citing ‘local preferences’

HarperCollins omits Israel from maps for Mideast schools, citing ‘local preferences’ | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For months, publishing giant HarperCollins has been selling an atlas it says was developed specifically for schools in the Middle East. It trumpets the work as providing students an 'in-depth coverage of the region and its issues.  Its stated goals include helping kids understand the 'relationship between the social and physical environment, the region’s challenges [and] its socio-economic development.' Nice goals. But there’s one problem: Israel is missing."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In other words, Israel got eliminated from this atlas that was designed to cater to Middle Eastern countries that take umbrage with the fact that Israel...exists.  Making maps always has political overtones and the company is now realizing that you can't please everyone with different versions for distinct audiences.  Now, HarperCollins has pulled the book and will pulp all remaining versions of the atlas.  


Tags: Israel, social media, political, mapping, cartography.

more...
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Who Owns The North Pole?

"Though uninhabited and full of melting ice caps, the Arctic is surprisingly an appealing piece of real estate. Many countries have already claimed parts of the region. So who technically owns the North Pole? And why do these nations want it so bad?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Denmark is now being more assertive in their claimsWhy is this happening now?  As climate change threatens polar ice caps, some see the receding ice as an economic and political opportunity.  Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and the U.S. are all seeking to expand their maritime claims in the Arctic.  When trapped under ice, extracting resources is cost prohibitive, but the melting sea ice will make the Arctic's resources all the more valuable (including the expanded shipping lanes).  Even a global disaster like climate change can make countries behave like jackals, ready to feast on a dead carcass.  For more, read this National Geographic blogpost.  


TagsArctic, economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, unit 4 politicalclimate change, political ecology.

more...
Rich Schultz's curator insight, January 2, 2015 5:52 PM

Great question!  I think we all know the answer...Santa Claus!! ;)

Sammy Shershevsky's curator insight, January 17, 2015 4:57 PM

The video discusses a big topic in discussion today - Who really owns the North Pole? Although the North Pole is uninhabited, many countries have claimed to take ownership of the vast majority of land (or, ice). Canada has already claimed that the North Pole is part of its nation. Russia has put up Russian flags on the North Pole (such as underwater) but does that really make North Pole a Russian territory? The media plays a role in this by offering different opinions on who should and who deserves the right to own the North Pole. You might read a Canadian article that lists all the outright reasons why the North Pole is or deserves to be a Canadian territory. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 2015 7:26 PM

In my opinion, I don't understand how the United nations can be seen as an entity that, essentially, controls who would have rights to a place like the North Pole(technically, not owned by anyone).  I, naively, understand the basics of the U.N.  In short, it is an organization that was formed, post-WW I or II, as a governing board for world-issues.

 

 With that being said, how can they believe that their "law" is the all-powerful one?  If I'm a leader of a country who is not a member of the U.N., do I really care what they say?   I just find it odd that this narrator speaks about the issue while holding the U.N. as a supreme authority.  I know that this video is just a quick fun type of video but it leaves me with wanting to hear the perspective of a non-U.N. member.  But a very interesting topic, none the less.

 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem

Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A site in the Old City of Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, has been a flash point since the advent of modern Zionism.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There has been turmoil and violence in Jerusalem this month; at it's core, much of the fighting has been around the political control of sacred spaces that are seen as critical to both groups' cultural and religious identity.  This particular sacred place is intertwined with both Judaism as well as Islam, and understanding the current round of violence demands that we understand some of the historical geography of religion in Jerusalem.  To explore more about sacred sites in general as a spatial concept, visit this link


Tagsreligion, culture, Islam, Israel, Palestine, territoriality, political, Middle East.

more...
Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 3:29 PM

Landmarks can have powerful meanings to different groups of people.  The Dome of the Rock is a sacred site to Muslims across the world.  The Mosque has stood on the location for centuries, and it is said to be built on the site where Mohamed ascended to Heaven.  To Jews, however, this site represents where Solomon's Temple was located.  It was destroyed two times, once by the Babylonians and another time, after being rebuilt by the Roman Empire.  Today, all that remains of this sacred site is the Western Wall.  The Wall is a sacred location to many Jews as it represents their heritage and their nation.  Yet, as the article notes, many Muslims are threatened by the new Jewish interests in the site and they fear that it will be taken by the Israeli government and the Temple will be rebuilt a third time on the Temple Mount.  This shows how much emotion can exist over a piece of land.  The Jewish need to rebuild their temple right on the very spot it once stood, it cannot be built elsewhere, meanwhile some Muslims deny that the Temple ever stood there and there are others who believe that the site should be renamed to "Al Aqsa Mosque or the Noble Sanctuary".  This is one of the great arguments that I believe will never be solved, should the Temple be rebuilt at the expense of the Dome of the Rock?  

 

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:03 PM

Sacred sites in Jerusalem are having difficulties due to the differences in culture from the surrounding countries. 

Raychel Johnson's curator insight, March 22, 2015 12:19 AM

Summary: This article is simply over the Israel-Palestine conflict, and how it has evolved since its beginning. This mostly talks about how Palestine believes that if Israel gains control of Jerusalem, they will get rid of Dome of the Rock, an important place of worship for the Islams. 

 

Insight: I think this article accurately represents concepts of political power and territoriality well due to the fact that these two territories are having a very long dispute about this one piece of land. I think there is definitely a solution that should be relatively simple, but with the amount of meaning this location has to both places, and with the continues terrorism occurring, I don't know if a simple solution would work. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Cultural Politics

Cultural Politics | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A state-by-state look at our cultural politics.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While this doesn't say everything about the state of cultural politics in the United States, it does lay out some of the more ideologically charged debates in the new political landscape after the midterm electionsWhat does this Venn diagram say about the state of cultural politics in your state?   The Courts have aided the push for same sex marriages; will that also occur for marijuana legalization?


Tags: narcotics, sexuality, USA, electoral, political.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The Strategic Importance of the Caspian Sea

"Stratfor Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky examines the Caspian Sea's large energy reserves and its conflicting maritime boundaries."

Seth Dixon's insight:

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's largest lake went from having just two countries on its shores to five. Dividing the maritime borders has been especially difficult since the Caspian Sea has rich energy reserves and this lake will remain a place of strategic interest for many regional powers.  This video has been added to my ESRI StoryMap that spatially organizes place-based videos for the geography classroom.    


Tags: borders, political, geopolitics, Central Asia, energy, resources, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russiaeconomic, water.

more...
Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:48 PM

The Caspian Sea, an area of importance for the middle east, is divided between 5 countries. It was once divided between 2 but was divided post soviet era. The sea is a area of importance because it is a hub of transportation and economic significance for transporting goods and services. Because of the waterway in Azerbaijan they have a significant way of gaining ecnomic growth by controlling the trade in and out of the Caspian sea.  

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:09 PM

The Caspian Sea which is bordered by five countries, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakstan and Azerbaijan. The seas importance come from its abundance of resources. It contains large volumes of oil and gas, an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil lies within and 8.7 trillion cubic meters of gas. Much of offshore oil has not been tapped because of disputes over maritime borders. Europe is interested in energy sources as well in the southern corner as a release from Russia's grip. Both Iran and Russia seem to disagree because of the idea of a TransCaspian pipeline.    

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:44 PM

The Caspian Sea is an intriguing geopolitical situation. The region was once dominated by the Soviet Union but  after the collapse is shared by multiple countries. Further complicating matters is the sea is full of untapped oil deposits. Territory disputes in such a situation are almost inevitable raising tensions in the region. Azerbaijan also wants to make a deal with Turkmenistan and Europe to move gas through a pipeline to diversify their income and provide Europe and alternative to Russian fuel. Naturally the Russians with the help of Iranians are making this difficult because it would threaten their profits. It seems that  the whole area likely needs a neutral party to try and arrange fair economic usage zones in the area. The Ukrainian conflict has further exasperated this since Europe is sanctioning their key fuel provider which in turn leads to more tension over pipelines. Hopefully all the oil exploitation doesn't also lead to poor environmental consequences such as the Aral sea economic usage. It is clear that central Asia while free from communist rule is still very much tied to Russia and its past decisions.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Globalization in a Nutshell

"The world is becoming more and more interconnected. Globalization changes how people consume, work and live almost everywhere on the world. Today, many economic, political, cultural or ecological relationships are not explainable from a national perspective. At the same time, a controversial debate about the consequences of globalization has begun."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a good video to explain globalization (although this is my personal favorite), to see that it not just an economic force, but one that touches just about every facet of modern life.
 

Questions to ponder: What are the driving forces behind globalization? What areas are most impacted by globalization?  How does globalization benefit some, and adversely impact others? Why?


Tags: globalization, economic, industry, NGOs, political, scale, unit 6 industry.

more...
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:24 AM

Globalization in a Nutshell

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, November 2, 2014 4:29 PM

Integração seletiva...

Nicole Canova's curator insight, January 18, 7:10 PM
This video does a good job of explaining globalization and the effects it has on transportation, communication, economy, politics, and culture around the world.  It also discusses some of the consequences of the world becoming a smaller place.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal

More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"More than 168 million Americans now live in states where marriage for same-sex couples is legal following the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear five states’ appeals.  That number represents about 53.17 percent of the U.S. population, according to data from the Census Bureau and visualized on the map above."


Tags: sexuality, USA. regions, mappolitical.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: As of November 20, 2014 this is now the new map of same-sex marriage in the United States.  Notice that all the states that oppose same-sex marriage are part of one single, territorially contiguous block of states.  How come that is the spatial pattern for this issue?    

more...
Julia Keenan's curator insight, October 7, 2014 7:57 PM

Shows states that allow same sex marriage or have laws for or against them

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:29 AM

Concept of Human Rights in USA

Suggested by Thomas Schmeling
Scoop.it!

50 Years Ago, A Fluid Border Made The U.S. 1 Square Mile Smaller

50 Years Ago, A Fluid Border Made The U.S. 1 Square Mile Smaller | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Since Texas became a state, the Rio Grande has marked the border between the U.S. and Mexico. But, like rivers do, it moved. In 1964, the U.S. finally gave back 437 acres of land.


Ever since Texas became a state, the river has been the border between the two countries. But rivers can move — and that's exactly what happened in 1864, when torrential rains caused it to jump its banks and go south. Suddenly the border was in a different place, and Texas had gained 700 acres of land called the Chamizal (pronounced chah-mee-ZAHL), so named for a type of plant that grew there.


Tags: Mexico, migration, borders, political, place, podcast.   

more...
Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 4, 2014 1:12 PM

This article highlights one of the problems of tying political boundaries to the physical environment. When the Rio Grande moved further south it was in the United States' favor, and they happily accepted the extra land, despite the complaints of Mexico. It wasn't until 100 years later when the US feared the potential of Mexico straying during the Cold War that they decided to handle the issue. This shows some of the issues that can arise when placing rigid political definitions on the fluid and changing landscape.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, February 5, 2015 2:15 PM

This article is highly interesting because it shows just how "obnoxious" the concept of a border (a man made concept) actually is.  I found it interesting that the border could move that much due to the Rio Grande flooding.  It seems to me that it was a hasty decision on the part of the politicians who set the Rio Grande as the border between the United States and Mexico.  I also found it interesting that how in the 1960's, the United States forced people out of their homes when they were going to cede the land back to Mexico.  Because it was part of an effort to keep them allied with the US during the Cold War.  Also, it was highly interesting how the US built a cement casing around the river to keep it from moving.  Like Trillo says at the end of the article, "There's only so much control a man can do on a river. Sooner or later...the river is gonna do what Mother Nature has taught it to do — to move."

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 21, 2015 10:08 AM

I find this absolutely fascinating; I have never heard of a border moving in such a way! The implications that this deal had for the residents of that disputed territory show the power that geography can have both on global politics and much closer to home. I also find it astounding that the Rio Grande was able to shift that much over the course of only 100 years. One square mile is an awful lot of ground to cover when one thinks of rivers as being relatively stationary- do all rivers shift in such a manner, or is the Rio Grande more active than normal in this regard? And if so, why? I wonder if there are any similar examples in other parts of the world where the fluidity of geography has impacted political boundaries in such a way, as I feel as though this is the first time I've come across this particular kind of story. A fantastic read, I highly recommend it.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests
more...
Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 8, 2014 2:52 PM

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

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

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

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The myth of religious violence

The myth of religious violence | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But, Karen Armstrong writes, the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple


After a bumpy beginning, secularism has undoubtedly been valuable to the west, but we would be wrong to regard it as a universal law. It emerged as a particular and unique feature of the historical process in Europe; it was an evolutionary adaptation to a very specific set of circumstances. In a different environment, modernity may well take other forms. Many secular thinkers now regard “religion” as inherently belligerent and intolerant, and an irrational, backward and violent “other” to the peaceable and humane liberal state – an attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples as hopelessly “primitive”, mired in their benighted religious beliefs. There are consequences to our failure to understand that our secularism, and its understanding of the role of religion, is exceptional. When secularisation has been applied by force, it has provoked a fundamentalist reaction – and history shows that fundamentalist movements which come under attack invariably grow even more extreme. The fruits of this error are on display across the Middle East: when we look with horror upon the travesty of Isis, we would be wise to acknowledge that its barbaric violence may be, at least in part, the offspring of policies guided by our disdain.


Tags: religion, culture, conflict, political, geopolitics.

more...
Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:13 PM

I would say that Religious Has nothing to do with war but there has been several religious problems in this world, so when it comes to war and religious I don't even know what to think, since God means peace no war. Religious is now separate from political issues, and this is perhaps a good idea but again, I don't know what to think about it.

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 19, 2015 5:12 PM

This is a very intelligent article about the problems of secularism in our modern world. "An attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples" has an incredibly sardonic feeling to it. Secularism has been a favorite mindset of Americans in recent years. This is a great mistake in my opinion. Religion is such an easy thing to stereotype and Americans have done just that. Unit 3 Culture

Molly McComb's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:55 AM

This article talks about religious violence, but especially Jihad. ISIS is ripping through Syria and they are quoting the Quran everytime they behead or kill someone. Islam has been a huge influence in warfare since the beginning of time. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Moving Argentina’s Capital From Buenos Aires Could Make Things Worse

Moving Argentina’s Capital From Buenos Aires Could Make Things Worse | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Argentina should be careful in considering the implications of the idea of moving the capital [from Buenos Aires] to Santiago del Estero. While a dramatic move might be appealing as a fresh start, it could end up aggravating the challenges of governing the country. Capitals, like flags, are symbols, but their choice has very real consequences."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Countries occasionally choose to move their capital cities to a region of the country where they want to promote growth.  A new capital such as the one being considered in Argentina, would be called by geographers a forward capital.  Although that term is not used in the article, it is one of the few examples of a forward capital being discussed a news article and it nicely discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of forward capitals and the impacts they can have of regional growth, regime stability and the political organization of space.  


Tagspolitical, governanceArgentinaSouth America, unit 4 political.

more...
Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 13, 2015 11:18 AM

This article discusses how there is a chance that the capital city in Argentina can change from Buenos Aires to a smaller city called Santiago Del Estero which is in the middle-north of the country. Many say this move can heal the divide between the two cities but the bigger picture it that it'll make it a lot worse. I wasn't aware that moving capital cities is actually a more common thing than we think. Buenos Aires is very over populated which is one of the reasons for wanting to move it. The major problem is an outcry from the people living in those cities and rebelling against this which could cause the government more problems. 

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 3:50 PM

Very interesting article on capital city moves in this century. It also works for capital cities in the US that are rural in nature and away from the bright city lights. The plus side is that capital cities located within the most populated areas of a country or state will be under intense scrutiny to do the right thing and politicians will be held accountable for their actions. Doing business in the place where you live usually has this effect.

The negative aspect of moving to a rural area is that politicians can govern in relative anonymity away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. There is also a fear factor in South American countries that we in the US don't face; coups that will overthrow governments if they don't do the right thing. A protest in Buenos Aires for instance will carry much more weight than a protest in the rural setting of Santiago del Estero.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 28, 2015 11:08 AM

National capitals are symbols of identity for countries, and moving them constitutes altering said symbol dramatically. It is a decision that should not be made lightly, as it does have consequences, and this should be kept in mind by Argentine legislators as they debate moving their capital. I did not agree with the author's assertion that shifting the capital away from major population centers decreases the government's ability to effectively lead; look at the United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia, etc. All of these nations are enormous in size, with urban populations scattered in all corners of their borders, yet their governments are still able to govern faraway urban centers effectively. I think his claim is right within the context of Argentina's history and the reality that Buenos Aires is a "super city" in much the same way that Mexico City is; to move the government away from the nation's only enormous urban center would be to suggest that the government is scared of its own people, and would almost undoubtedly lead to increased corruption. However, to make a blanket statement that this is true for all countries is absurd. I, for one, and interested in seeing if the move takes place. Perhaps the move would do the nation some good. However, I have a feeling that the problems the Argentine government are trying to run away from, and that the populace are protesting about, will only get worse with increased space between the ruling body and its constituents.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Scottish Independence

"Scotland is about to vote on whether to secede from the UK. There are solid arguments on both sides."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Admittedly, this video is filled with stereotypes, bad words and a strong political bias all delivered in John Oliver's trademark style--it's also filled with incorrect statements which I hope most people can recognize as humor, but it captures college students' attention.  If, however, you are looking for a more insightful piece, I recommend Jeffrey Sach's article titled "The Price of Scottish Independence," or this summary of the 9 issues that would confront an independent Scotland.  Independence in Europe today doesn't mean what it used to, and this vote will be fascinating regardless of the outcome.    


Tags: devolution, supranationalism, politicalEurope, UK.

more...
Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 12:21 PM

I support Scotland independence! Mother England should understand the current Scotland need more freedom of speech and decisions. This a good example of a peacefully claim of independence, instead of the bloody war (remember England?). The video... Is too funny to take it seriously. 

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 27, 2015 7:34 AM

Scotland is vying for its independence from the United Kingdom, becoming free from London and its own Country. Here john Oliver analyzes the issue and provides a decent background history while stabbing lots of jokes and puns into his commentary. So basically England and Scotland got into an arranged marriage as Oliver phrased it, forming the United Kingdom some 300 years ago. Oliver goes on to say Scotland got the bad end of the philosophical relationship, setting up reasons for Scotland ambition to possibly leave. For the last 2 ½ years there has been a campaign for this independence, where Scotts feel they can better run the country they live in. Scotland is a liberal country ran by the conservative country England. These are the reasons that set up this split.   

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 9:27 PM

This video is hilarious and John Oliver pokes fun at the Scottish, the little brother trying to lobby themselves for independence. Great video to watch hilarious, and also informative at the same time.

 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Thanks to demographics, the Republicans have a virtual stranglehold on the House of Representatives.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The first reaction might be to blame partisan redistricting (a.k.a. gerrymandering) for the the political gridlock between the presidential results and House of Representatives.  Gerrymandering does play a role, but the spatial concentrations and distributions of voting constituencies explain why the Democrats have recently won the popular vote in 5 out of the last 6 presidential elections, but can't control the House of Representatives.  Metro areas are highly left-leaning, currently creating a national majority for Democrats, but that high concentration is a drawback when trying to win a majority of the seats in the House.  This is a good article as a primer for electoral geography.  


Tags: political, regions, spatial, unit 4 political.

more...
Nancy Watson's curator insight, September 14, 2014 11:39 AM

Demographics and political geography affect elections.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

U.S. and Cuba's Rocky Relations

"President Obama announced on December 17 that the United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of antagonism. Bloomberg's Sam Grobart recaps the standoff between the two nations, and explains why the icy relationship has begun to thaw."

Seth Dixon's insight:

By now I'm sure you've heard the news that the United States is seeking to normalize relations with Cuba and politicians are reacting to this news in diverse ways.  Some see this as a way for the United States to stick it to Russia (which is going through it's on troubles--more on that in the future). This video gives a quick rundown of the history of Cold War tensions between these two neighbors.   


Tags: Cuba, conflict, political, geopolitics.

more...
Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 10, 2015 12:13 PM

The causes of the issues between the two countries, most surely, can be traced to both sides.  Millions of people have been affected by the hostile relationship.  A relationship that has been at a standstill for decades.  I have always looked at this dynamic as defying logic and common sense.  Without taking sides, one could look at the last half a century from afar, and conclude that it was ultimately a big waste of time and something that probably could have either been avoided altogether or ended a long time ago if it weren't for stubbornness on both sides.  Finally, we are starting to see the construction of the "light at the end of the tunnel", per say.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:10 PM

I'm amazed that we have had no relations with Cuba for so long.  All it took was one man-Castro-to keep the separation going for so long.  It is time to let go.  Besides, if you were really worried about another country wouldn't you want to have some sort of diplomatic relationship so you could keep a close eye?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 5:54 AM

The Presidents decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba set off some controversy in the United States. Some Republicans, such as Florida senator Marco Rubio were quite critical of the Presidents new policy. Overall I was surprised at how little controversy erupted from the move. The Cuban community in the United States was divided on the issue. Older Cubans, many of whom fled Cuba after the Castro revolution in 1959 opposed the move. Younger Cubans generally feel that it is time to try a  new approach toward the communist nation. Our policy of isolating Cuba has not led to the desired regime change that many had hoped for. If anything it has hurt the innocent citizens of Cuba more than the Castro brothers. They are the ones who have suffered the effects of economic embargos. History will judge the Presidents move to normalize relations. For the sake of the Cuban people, lets hope that this new policy will finally result in a free democratic Cuba.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Conflict Kitchen serves up controversy

Conflict Kitchen serves up controversy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Conflict Kitchen is an art project based in the centre of Pittsburgh which serves food from countries with which the US is 'in conflict'.  The founders get to define what conflict means - it can range from outright war to economic sanctions - and since opening in 2010 they have prepared food from Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.  But the restaurant's latest choice of cuisine, Palestinian food, has caused controversy in the city and even led to a death threat which temporarily closed the venue.  Critics pointed out that the US is not in conflict with the Palestinian people. They claimed that the pamphlets served with the dishes included 'anti-Israel' propaganda. But Conflict Kitchen's founders said the project was designed to encourage debate among Americans."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What do you think the purpose of Conflict Kitchen is for the restaurant owners?  Many people choose restaurants for a cultural experience; what type of cultural experiences are these patrons searching for by eating at Conflict Kitchen?  What political overtones are there to these cultural encounters?  Is this a form of 'gastro-diplomacy?' 


Tags: foodpolitical, culture.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Asian Border Disputes

Asian Border Disputes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: borders, political, conflict, infographic, map.

more...
Asie(s)'s curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:23 PM

A good overview on the matter!

Kevin Barker's curator insight, November 25, 2014 8:20 AM

A great primer for discussions over border disputes.  In this modern geopolitical climate, some of these claims can seem aggressive to say the least.  The strategies/responses can also be very interesting when military options are put aside.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 25, 2014 12:36 PM

I was looking at the disputes between the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Scarborough Shoal. What I notices with all oft he disputes, the land being fought over is all claimed by China but the land location itself is all closer to the country china is disputing it over. For the Paracel Islands, China and Vietnam are in dispute especially after China put 2 oil rigs by their land. The other dispute between the Spratly Islands, China and the Philippines each claim entire ownership of the lands but Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei all claim some part of the islands as well. For the Scarborough Shoal, it is a lot closer to the Philippines than it is to China but China claims it as their own since they discovered the land. Now china has restricted access to the island following a standoff.    

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, but Germany is still divided | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Stunning satellite images and maps show how east and west differ from each other even today.
Seth Dixon's insight:

These two maps (unemployment on the left and disposable income on the right) are but two examples in this article that highlights the lingering distinctions between the two parts of Germany that were reunited 25 years ago.  The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin  Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, laboreconomichistorical, politicalborders.

more...
Peter Phillips's curator insight, November 6, 2014 11:43 AM

50 years of communist rule still affect opportunities in Germany today, as these maps show. What they don't show is the social mirror that each provides to the other and the rich discussions about social policy that result. Reunification has been an expensive exercise for Germany, however one that it is committed to.

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:20 PM

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but its influence is still present in today's Germany. History plays a key role in the shaping of political boundaries and that history is clearly evident in Germany. The line where the Berlin wall once stood still divides the country economically. The western part of Germany is far more economically affluent than the east. The USSR may be gone, but its influence still remains. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:14 AM

These two maps (unemployment on the left and disposable income on the right) are but two examples in this article that highlights the lingering distinctions between the two parts of Germany that were reunited 25 years ago.  The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin  Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, labor, economic, historical, political, borders.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

State Borders Were Drawn in the Distant Past. Is It Time to Reimagine Our Map?

State Borders Were Drawn in the Distant Past. Is It Time to Reimagine Our Map? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Most state borders were drawn centuries ago, long before the country was fully settled, and often the lines were drawn somewhat arbitrarily, to coincide with topography or latitude and longitude lines that today have little to do with population numbers.  Most state borders were drawn centuries ago, long before the country was fully settled, and often the lines were drawn somewhat arbitrarily, to coincide with topography or latitude and longitude lines that today have little to do with population numbers."


Tags: cartography, mapping, visualizationregions, gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, density.

more...
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

How New Countries Gain Independence

"Secession movements seem to be everywhere: from the Kurds in Iraq, to pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists, to Scotland's aim to break up the UK. How does secession actually happen? Let's look back to South Sudan's successful secession effort to see exactly how new countries gain independence."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What does it take to actually secede from a country?  This video takes the example of South Sudan to highlight the necessary requirements to successfully secede and then gain full independence. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africastates, unit 4 political.

more...
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:27 AM

How New Countries Gain Independence

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 23, 2015 7:06 PM

For a region to be able to succeed as an independent country, it must fulfill a series of requirements. In the case of Catalonia, Spain, it is far from what citizens in that area want to pursue, even when Catalonia is one of the richer regions in Spain. There are many factors that inhibit Catalonia from achieving its status as an independent country such as economic, political and cultural issues. With Spain’s current economy, it would be almost impossible for Catalonia to support itself as its own nation. In addition, if Catalonia gains its independence from Spain, it would not be able to be a part of the United Nations (UN). Language would prove as another obstacle for Catalonia as their combination of French and Spanish is not the official dialect of the region. Cultural assimilation would be difficult as Catalonians would have to transition and adapt Spain’s vascos and gallegos to a version of their own. However, centripetal forces in Catalonian citizens unify them as strong communicators within their region in order for them to promote and retain their distinct cultural identity.

As the video emphasizes how to gain independence; Catalonia does not qualify to achieve independence as it fails to meet some of the characteristics such as an “established group, marginalization, [and] economic stability.” However, as Spain’s economy begins to weaken, Catalonian citizens can take this opportunity to work towards their goal as being an independent entity from Spain

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The Most Complex International Borders in the World

"In this video I look at some of the most complex international border. Of course, there are more complex borders in the world, but this video looks at some of my favourites."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video shows some great examples of how the political organization of space and administration of borders can get complicated.  Here are the examples (and time in the video when they are covered in the video):


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, sovereignty, video.


more...
ELAdvocacy's curator insight, October 3, 2014 9:40 AM

There are so many reasons our immigrant students come to the United States.  Some stories are so complex and painful it can be extremely difficult for Americans to understand.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, October 3, 2014 10:21 PM

Interesting!

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:39 AM

The Most Complex International Borders in the World

Suggested by Sylvain Rotillon
Scoop.it!

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.


The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.

The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.

Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

more...
Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 2017 5:20 PM
This article relates to our class by people protesting and with our projects, people in Syria protested and were punished and this relates to political geography. My opinion is that people should be acknowledged with why they are protesting and where they are doing it, also how it affects everyone else. 
Colby Geiger's curator insight, April 28, 2017 7:25 AM
This article relates to political geography because the protestors of Japan are protesting to shut down the cities main shopping center where the government buildings are. The people of Japan want democracy and I believe that they should have it. To me, democracy is a fair way for the people of a country to choose a ruler and have everybody heard for their opinions.
Kobie Carroll's curator insight, April 28, 2017 11:44 AM
I believe the OCLP (Occupy Central with Love and Peace) campaign had good intentions, wanting to build a truly harmonious society. I, however, believe they made a wrong decision to shut down Hong Kong's Central District. This relates to what we are learning because it shows how individuals with conflicting views can express hate towards each other in one geographical area.
Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tensions escalated on Sunday when the broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.  China's leaders must be sitting uncomfortably in Beijing.

As long as the protests continue, there is a chance they will spread to the mainland, where many are unhappy with one-party rule.  But if the protesters hold their ground, how far will Beijing allow events to spiral before getting directly involved?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Hong Kong is probably the only place under the control of the People's Republic of China (PRC) where protests of this type against the government could have started.  Hong Kong, once administered by the UK, was turned over to the PRC, but with special conditions that grant Hong Kong residents greater freedoms than those available the rest of the citizens of mainland China (One China, two systems).  Hong Kong students are protesting for full universal suffrage and for the right to choose their own candidates--something that Beijing is not willing to concede; some autonomy yes, power to make further breaks with Beijing?  No.  In addition to political control, some students feel economically marginalized by Beijing's policies.  In 1997, when Hong Kong became a part of the PRC, it represented 18% of the GDP of the country; today it is only 3% of the PRC's economic output.  The Chinese govt. is currently blocking Instagram, trying to prevent the spread of viral images that show discontent.  Still have questions?  You are not the only one as the world turns it's gaze to China wondering about the strength of the Communist Party and the collective will of the protestors. 


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

more...
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:42 AM

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:36 PM

Seeing all of these protesters laying across the highway caught my interest.  These people are serious about what they want with their elections and it is not have their candidates picked out for them.  People are taking over roads, shopping malls, schools, whereever they can go to prove their point.  They know that the amount of police forces is not enough to stop them.  Although for the most part other countries are staying out of the business of China Britain is supporting the protests as long as they stay within the rules of protesting.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:42 PM

It will definitely be interesting to see how far this political protest goes and how far the Chinese Government will go to stop this. China in some ways is a victim of its own success, in the past China would have been able to simply throw its military might on the political dissidents and silence all opposition but how possible is that today? Now China is a global economic power and the Western World's view on China matters, not wanting to risk trade problems China is showing far more caution this time around. While China is reaping the rewards of its world position without doubt China is also missing some of the benefits of the Bamboo Curtain.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

The world as it is: The influence of religion

The world as it is: The influence of religion | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Seldom has it been more important for Americans to form a realistic assessment of the world scene. But our current governing, college-­educated class suffers one glaring blind spot.

Modern American culture produces highly individualistic career and identity paths for upper- and middle-class males and females. Power couples abound, often sporting different last names. But deeply held religious identities and military loyalties are less common. Few educated Americans have any direct experience with large groups of men gathered in intense prayer or battle. Like other citizens of the globalized corporate/consumer culture, educated Americans are often widely traveled but not deeply rooted in obligation to a particular physical place, a faith or a kinship."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a truly intriguing op-ed that argues that many Americans have a 'blind spot' by failing to recognize the power of religion and tribal bonds in global affairs. While many in the west assume that a new world order has emerged, these old communal forces still rule much of the world and they have some profound geopolitical implications (the author explores Russia, Asia and the Middle East in particular). 


Tags: religion, culture, conflict, political, geopolitics.

more...
Brett Laskowitz's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:17 PM

My APHUG students will read this article before even beginning our study of religion.  My hope is that this may at the very least help them empathize with the religious fervor that still has such a profound impact on the culture of much of the world.  

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 18, 2015 12:26 PM

With the rise and fall of human civilizations have come the rise and fall of religions as well. Americans have grown unaware of the  beliefs and teachings of other religions. They do not know the difference between ethnic and universalizing religions. They do not know that Islam is the fastest expanding religion in the world even though Christianity still has the most followers. Unit 3 Culture

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:57 PM

This article shows how religion affects the world around us and its importance in governments. Especially in the middle east (Saudi Arabia), countries often import factors of their major religion into their government. 

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Staking a claim to create a country

Staking a claim to create a country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Jeremiah Heaton wants a no-man’s-land in east Africa, but international officials say his claim is insufficient.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This particular issue isn't especially newsworthy, but it exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people attempt to create their own micronation.    


Tagspolitical, states, unit 4 political.

more...
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 1:14 PM

There was once an episode of Family Guy where Peter Griffin establishes his own country when his house is left of a map of Quahog. This story reminds me of that episode, but also raises some questions as to what it takes to be a sovereign nation. Jeremiah Heaton has long term goals of creating an agricultural production center, has been living in area and is willing to put in the work to establish a political identity. Also an extreme example it does show how some nations come to be globally recognized and also how many forces are against new nations being established and recognized.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 12:33 PM

This man decided to give his daughter a piece of unclaimed territory in Africa for her seventh birthday so that she could be a princess.  Now he wants his country to be recognized by surrounding countries as well as the UN.  Everyone is saying that this is not allowed for various reasons.  He does not have people living there, he is not himself inhabiting the area, other countries are not recognizing his claim, and one cannot simply put a flag in the ground and say that it is theirs.  If this were the case there would be seven billion flags around the world.  He is claiming that he has hopes for this area, turning it into an agricultural center where he can help with food supply issues in the surrounding area.  I see that he has hopes and dreams for the area, but as far as calling it his own country I don't see that going as well as he thinks.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 13, 2014 10:32 AM

Having read through most of the article, I find it funny how he actually believes that he can just step foot on soil and claim it as his own country. The description, “members of the occupying nation must have lived on the land for several years,” and, “it must also demonstrate that it has occupied the space, not that it just physically stepped foot there,” are the best ways to describe why it would never work for him. You have to make use of the space that is provided. Even though he claims that he will, turn the country into an agricultural production center that will tackle food security issues in the region, it hasn’t been done yet, and even if it was he wouldn’t occupy nearly enough of the space. Egypt and Sudan are officially negotiating over the land.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
Scoop.it!

Scottish Independence: New flag for UK?

Scottish Independence: New flag for UK? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Members of the Flag Institute have created designs for what the Union Flag could look like in the event of independence
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've already posted various links this week on Scottish independence and what it might mean, but I think these two are also worth considering.  Flags are the great icons of state identity, and a UK without Scotland might reconsider it iconography.  This links to an article from the Telegraph and a photogallery with 12 'candidate flags' for a UK that does not include Scotland.  Why might some resist the idea of creating a new national symbol?


Tags: devolutionhistorical, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, UK.

more...
Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:03 PM

The UK flag is known for representing a union between England and Scotland. It's known as the "Union Jack." The white on the UK flag represents peace peace and honesty and the blue represents loyalty and truth. It's a shame that those two colors have to change to Black and Yellow which I don't know what those colors would represent. If you put a Scottish flag with a UK flag, you won't find any yellow or black so I believe that Scotland is trying to exclude England and Scotland's alike colors such as blue and white and try to create a stronger equal union with England.