Meagan's Geoography 400
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Environment, Energy and Resilience

Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles.

 

Mangroves play a key role of acting as an ecological buffer in coastal region that provide the area with resilience against tsunamis, hurricanes and other forms of coastal flooding.  Their role in carbon sequestration is also vital as energy emissions globally continue to rise.  So let's jump scales: how are global issues locally important?  How is the local deeply global?  How can stakeholders at either scale find common ground with the other?  


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Indonesia is home to 1/4 of the worlds mangrove trees. These trees are salt tolerant and grow along the coastlines. They provide protection from tidal floods and erosion and provide homes for the islands biodiversity. The most important thing they do however is provide the villagers with wood  to make shrimp ponds and fire wood. They also protect the mangroves ecosystem. These trees are so very important to Indonesia, their economy and their life style. 

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 12:22 PM

Agricultural development in Indonesia threatens local mangrove ecosystems as well as global systems. Indonesia's growing palm oil industry is providing an increased income for the country, but at what cost? Mangrove swamps are one of the most beneficial ecosystems to have, and the list of positive impacts includes decreased erosion. decreased water turbidity, better air quality, larger fish populations, just to name a few. But, global interests in palm oil are swaying Indonesia to convert these environments into agricultural lands. Combined with Indonesia's high rate of deforestation, this is causing major erosion issues as well as affecting the coral reefs. Fish populations are being affected since habitats are destroyed, affecting fishermen. Though these issues are prevalent, the trade off of one environment for money is causing Indonesia's integrated environments to collapse, which in time will be an incredibly expensive issue.

 

This brings into debate the issues involved when wealthier countries take interest in the resources of other countries. While the less developed country may need the economic resources provided by the developed country, often times the environmental impacts are not considered. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:33 PM

These mangroves are key areas for palm oil development and are the source of income for many people who live in the areas with they grow. But the cost of using these Mangroves is devastating to the environment. They protect the coast from flooding as well as help with carbon sequestration. What needs to be done is the locals need to be educated on the long term damage being done by destroying the mangroves. Also there has to be an economic alternative, if the locals have no other way to make a living why would they stop? 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:29 PM

Measures need to taken to manage, regenerate and conserve mangrove areas. Geo-literacy/education is also important in creating awareness for those who continue to cut down mangrove forests. 

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China bypasses American ‘New Silk Road’ with two of its own

China bypasses American ‘New Silk Road’ with two of its own | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
China aims to secure energy supplies with large Central and Southeast Asian investments.

Via Al Picozzi
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Chinas president is trying to build a new silk road. This would secure Chinas energy supplies, boost trade and transport links and strengthen regional policy coordination from the Pacific to the Baltic Sea. 

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 2:07 PM

Seems the Silk Road is making a comeback ni Central Asia.  China wants to make sure it has access to new gas and oil of the new Central Asian republics like Kazakhstan.  Once used as the major overland trade route to the west, the silk road is being reborn.  So is sea trade through the Strait of Malacca, whcih was huge in the 14th, 15th,16th and 17th centuries.  China is using its money and influence in the area to reopen these "silk roads."  Even Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about the travels of the Han dynasty envoy Zhang Qian to this area.  It seems that history does repeat itself.

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Industrial geography and internal markets

China's reputation as a low-cost manufacturer hasn't translated into low-cost prices. Many goods, particularly luxury items, have higher price tags in China than abroad. One economist blames the transportation system and corruption.

 

Industrial geography in today's climate shows that China has clear economic advantages over most of the world to manufacture good cheaply.  Why would this not necessarily translate to cheap consumer goods for China's domestic market?  High taxes, steep internal shipping costs and a market flooded with knock-offs all contribute to this paradox. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Almost everyone knows that products are cheaper to produce in China which is why so many of our products are manufactured there today. BUt one may think that would mean it was cheap for Chinese consumers to purshase as well right? Surprisingly no, it actually costs more for them. This is because the country has a high transportation fee and the government is corrupt, CHina also has a very high tax on their products. But because of the major price differences much of the Chinese population purchases their products while traveling overseas.   

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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 19, 2012 11:08 AM
To be honest I always thought items were made cheap in China due to all the items I see with the "Made in China" tag. This was interesting to me and definitely gave me knowledge on the topic.
Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 5, 2013 1:37 PM

Although the products we buy from China are cheap for us, it is not necessarily cheap for the ones making it. The tax on goods in China is very expensive. It is also because the government is plagued with corruption, and that is where the taxes come in. It is suprising that many cannot afford the goods they make.

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Once a Producer, China is now a Consumer

China is now the world's largest car market, and a crucial one for Detroit companies. Chinese consumers bought 18.5 million vehicles last year, and foreigners, especially Americans, have played a key role in developing the industry.

 

China now is the world's largest auto market as China is no longer simply a place where things are produced.  China has become a major consumer of goods as their workers wages allow them to consume more goods. 

 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

China has become the worlds largest car market and General motors planned to open another 600 dealerships because it sells more cars in China then it does in the US. China have even become a bigger consumer in of goods, when this atricle was released they were purchasing 18.5 million worth of goods. That has alot to do with the increased pay they are now recieving as well.  

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 21, 2013 12:56 PM

This is an interesting headline and topic because so many Americans blame China for job loss, when in reality, China is no longer at the forefront of manufacturing and industry.  China is consuming from foreign markets, such as the United States, just as it has been producing and manufacturing goods.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:07 PM

The car culture in the United States has made us a very lucrative customer for foreign auto industries. Our infrastructure is build around the automobile, we built our highway system, suburban communities and other support systems to encourage auto use. In China, they may need to consider the way their countries is structured and whether or not heavy automobile use will be functional. In Jakarta we see massive traffic jams because they are not equipped to handle more people driving to work.

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Why leave the West for India?

Why leave the West for India? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Rising numbers of people of Indian origin born in the West are moving to the country their parents left decades ago in search of opportunity and a cultural connection, reports the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan.

 

Since 2005, the Indian government has been encouraging people of Indian descent and former Indian nationals to return to India.  For many Indians living in the UK, there are more and better economic opportunities for them within India.   Migrants have many reasons for moving (including cultural factors), but the primary pull factor is most certainly India's ascendant importance in the global economy and rising IT industries. 

 

Tags: India, South Asia, migration, immigration, Europe, colonialism, unit 2 population. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

There is a rising number of Indian origin born in the west that are moving back to India. One reason would be India's economy is growing faster then the US and England's. India has many more opportunities for new wealth and it is attracting the young entrepreneurs as well. Another reason they are moving back is for cultural connection that they are not recieving where they are now. Many have said that they are looked at as different and not accepted and that is why they want to go back to India, so that they feel that acceptance. 

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, November 1, 2014 9:37 PM

As the article says, India is encouraging more people of Indian descent to return to India because of the opportunities that have become increasingly available within the country due to its  westernization . Aside from the corruption and poverty that are in India, the country has not seen any signs of these opportunities stopping.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, November 10, 2014 4:42 PM

With the rise in globalization and the IT industry, it is obvious that there is opportunity for success.  Many traveled to the US for economic opportunity, however many companies and IT departments are being outsourced to India, thus taking jobs away from the US.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:16 AM

This phenomenon is a direct result of the rise of the Indian economy. Before the IT industry began to set up shop in India, returning to India was economically unfeasible. The development of the Indian economy has made India an attractive place to migrate to. If you are in the IT industry, there is more opportunity for you in India, than there is in the west. Culture is obviously another major pull for Indian immigrants. Throughout history populations have always sought to return to their native land. Especially first generation immigrants, who often never fully assimilate into the culture of their new nation.

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McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
McDonald's plans to open the first in a series of all-vegetarian restaurants in India next year. But rest assured, in most locations around the world, meat will stay on the menu.

 

Many of the most successful global companies or brands use highly regional variations that are attuned to local cultural norms and customs.  The McAloo Tikki burger— which uses a spicy, fried potato-based patty — is the Indian McDonald's top seller.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the forces that lead towards an accelaration of human connectivity around the globe?  What are the postive impacts of this increased connectivity?  What are some negative impacts?  Are these impacts the same in all places?  Explain. 

 

Tags: Globalization, food, culture, unit 3 culture and SouthAsia.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In India 20-42% of the population doesnt eat meat, because of this McDonalds will be opening a vegetarian only resturant right near the Golden Temple which is a pilgrimage site sacred to Sikhs. This will be a prime location because the temple doesnt allow meat so this is a solution. It is amazing to see how big buisness like McDonalds will completely change in order to be able to thrive and succed in another country.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:52 PM

When you typically think of a McDonald's, vegetarian is not what comes to mind. India plans on opening it's first vegetarian McDonald's since the majority of the population just simply does not even eat meat. There are already 271 of this restaurant in India already but they are looking for a new growth. Many Hindu's and Muslims don't eat pork, or cows because it is sacred to them. More chicken and vegetables will be served at this new restaurant and the older restaurants menus are 50% vegetarian. This is interesting to see because you do not think of fast food places being healthy at all. I think this is a great idea having different option for individuals who don't eat certain things. This is definitely going to be an attraction for not just people living in India but for tourists as well. It'll be a fun story to tell to say that you went to an all vegetarian McDonald's!

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:50 PM

It is often said that food is one of the best identifiers of a culture. What better way to define America than McDonalds, right? However, fueled by globalization, McDonalds has moved to several different countries around the world, including India. For religious reasons, the traditional American menu wouldn't fit well in the Indian diet, as most hindu people wouldn't jump at the chance to eat a quarter pound of greasy cow. Globalization and a desire for economic profit has fueled a change in the McDonalds menu in India as well as other countries. In order to succeed in the global market, a comp any must be willing to change to appeal to a more diverse client base. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 10, 2015 6:51 AM

McDonald's going vegetarian, would be a unimaginable concept in the United States. The United States like most western nations, is addicted to meat. The United States prefers hamburgers over salads. Our culture has been raised on that addiction. India is a far more vegetarian society. Twenty to forty two percent of the population of India classifies themselves as vegetarians. While not a majority, they are a sizeable minority within India. McDonalds is adapting its menu to fit with the culture of its consumers. For the Indian business model, this move makes sense. McDonalds presence in India speaks to increased global connectivity. The forces of globalization have brought the world closer together. There are few isolated areas of the world left to ponder. We are now living in an age of connectivity. Almost every major business is now located across the glove. The positive impacts of this trend are that we as westerners are exposed to diverse cultures and influences. The negative impacts are there are few unexplored regions of the world still remaining. The frontiers have all but disappeared.

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LOOK: Your Computer Helps Fund Child Soldiers In Congo

LOOK: Your Computer Helps Fund Child Soldiers In Congo | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The computer or tablet on which you're reading this post is more likely than not shrouded in blood. You see, diamonds aren't the only minerals at the heart of violent conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa.
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The congo is home to trillions in natural resources including tantalum which is used to make micro chips for our elctronics. But the strange this is the congo is also on of the poorest countries in Africa mainly because of the fighting between themselves over the mines that house their natural resources. They have also begun to use child soilders to help in their fighting. 

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:33 PM

The Congo is the richest and largest sub-Saharan country - paper. The wealth is not distributed well and children at a very young age are put into dangerous situations and workplaces that they do not belong. And what do we do? We buy computers and electronics and we do not even think how they are made, nevermind who made them or got the resources to create them. It's a shame, and we as a consumer nation need to open our eyes.

 

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Natural resources and economic development

Natural resources and economic development | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
When will Sierra Leoneans be able to benefit from their own natural resources, instead of being cursed by them?

 

Sierra Leone is a country that has been 'blessed' with excellent natural resources, and remains in political chaos with one of the lowest HDI scores.  For a national economy, having abundant natural resources does not guarantee economic prosperity.  This is baffling to many that don't see the political and geographic context that shapes various economic sectors.  This is good a way to demonstrate that context.       


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Even though thousands are fleeing the country in search of something better big buisness see the country as a land of opportunity, but to those that live there Sierra Leone’s natural resources have been a curse. A decade ago diamonds put the country into an 11 year civil war and it is about to happen again over a unique wood found deep in the forests. We tend to forget that the wars that tear countires apart arent always started by political issues but also by natural rescources.  

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Irini Kassidis's curator insight, August 25, 2013 5:46 AM

This article is discussing the issue of natural resources that is having a negative effect on Sierra Leone. Several years ago, business people were going there for the diamonds but now they are going there for the timber. The country's forest are at risk of being completely wiped out.

it is very sad the situation that Sierra Leone are facing in regards to their natural resources. 

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:52 PM

Thousands of Sierra Leoneans are fleeing the country in search of a better life. Corporations see the country as a land of opportunity, because of the rich resources. Diamonds put the country into a civil war. Now, wood is threatening to do the same thing. Natural resources can be more precious than anything else to some people. They are seen as worth fighting for.

Sierra_Mcswagger's curator insight, January 12, 2015 10:18 AM

This article it gives good insight on how much natural resources come into play when deciding a countries Human Development Index (HDI). Sierra Leone has a surplus amount of natural resources yet they still have one of the lowest HDI scores. The economy in Sierra Leone is definitely in bad shape. Because of the treacherous economy, the amount of natural resources is not very beneficial to their HDI.  

                                                                                                          S.S.

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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, July 25, 2013 7:47 PM

Slums also known as favelas, squatter settlements

John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:11 PM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:24 AM

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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Explosions, Gunfire At Nairobi Mall

Explosions, Gunfire At Nairobi Mall | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
NAIROBI, Kenya — Four thunderous explosions rattled Nairobi's upscale mall Monday, part of a battle between Kenyan troops and al-Qaida-linked terrorists.

Via Marissa Roy
Meagan Harpin's insight:

62 people from all over the world were killed in the terriost attack in Kenya. The terriosts were of all different origins.  

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, September 23, 2013 9:41 AM

Dozens killed in this terrorist attack in Kenya. The attackers held hostages of all different origins and as of now the death toll is 62 people from all over the world.

 

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A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next

A parched Syria turned to war, scholar says; Egypt may be next | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Prof. Arnon Sofer sets out the link between drought, Assad’s civil war, and the wider strains in the Middle East; Jordan and Gaza are also in deep trouble, he warns

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

In this article Professor Arnon Sofer begins to make the link between the conflicts in Syria and all other middle eastern countries with high birth rate and drought. Over the last 60 years the middle easts population has doubled but their water supply has not in fact it is 85% desert and Turkey has siezed much of the water that flowed into Syria. Many people have begun digging illegal water wells pushing the water table even lower and civil wars throughout Syria have broken out in the areas hit hardest by drought. 

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:25 AM

The article explains how population growth, climate change, drought, and water shortages could have contributed to the rise of war in Syria. This is an interesting interpretation, one which certainly could have been a contributing factor, but not all the Arab Spring can be attributed to water shortages so it is not a direct cause. The water shortages in Syria and a lack of government response certainly could have fanned flames which already existed due to an oppressive regime and regional conflicts. Climate change gets a lot of attention for the potential damage it could do to the environment, but I had not given much thought to the conflicts it could cause between nations and peoples.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:22 PM

Egypt may be the next country to be in deep trouble. With so many militant attacks coming out of Egypt to being with there is no surprise that the Middle East thinks it will be next on the list.

Pamela Hills's curator insight, July 18, 2014 8:37 AM

 A world at war and hot spots are growing with people caught in middle <3

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Iran's 'Jerusalem Day': Behind the rallies and rhetoric

Iran's 'Jerusalem Day': Behind the rallies and rhetoric | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Iran's annual al-Quds - or Jerusalem - Day, denouncing Israel, is as much an expression of policy as ritual, writes BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Every year Jerusalem Day brings millions of people into the streets for support of the Palestinians and  the denouncing of the Isreals. The idea was proposed in 1979 during deepening tension between Lebon and Isreal. Jerusalem day is supposed to be about Jerusalem but the slogans are all about death to Isreal, it has turned into an occasion about the political mood in Iran. Any politican in Iran that wants to gain power must be heard giving speeches aboout Isreal, and with the ever changing social media it helps to spread media clips, video, and photos of this important day throughout Iran    

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 2014 8:39 PM

The people of Iran gather to celebrate Jerusalem Day. Each year millions of people come together to express their hatred towards Israel and support towards Palestinians. They rally and some people including politicians give speeches. Speeches by President Ahmadinejad even included the denial of the holocaust.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:19 PM

This day is pro-Palestinian and is a must-go-to event for politicians. Any politician that wants to be heard or even listened to in the future must make their way to this parade of protests and Iranian rituals.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 8:07 PM

considering that this is an annual holiday, and considering that there are the television shows that depict the Jews as bent on world domination and as using the blood of christian children to cook bread during Passover, i don't think we should potentially giving them nukes.

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The Catholic church is losing control of Ireland's schools – Telegraph Blogs

The Catholic church is losing control of Ireland's schools – Telegraph Blogs | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Strange things are afoot in Ireland. It has been announced that from 2014, all children in the rapidly expanding multi-denominational school sector will be taught atheism in a course based on books like Richard Dawkins' The Magic of Reality.
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Starting in 2014 children will begin to be taught and atheism curriculum and this will be the first ever atheist cirruclum taught in Ireland. The number of students that will make this transition is realitely small reaching only 16,000 students and the 93% of Irelands remaing primary schools will still be run by the catholic church. Atheism courses however will be made available online, through smartphone apps and is advertised to all parents of primary school aged children. 

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 8:27 PM

Starting in 2014 children will begin to be taught and atheism curriculum and this will be the first ever atheist cirruclum taught in Ireland. The number of students that will make this transition is realitely small reaching only 16,000 students and the 93% of Irelands remaing primary schools will still be run by the catholic church. Atheism courses however will be made available online, through smartphone apps and is advertised to all parents of primary school aged children. 

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China warns US to agree debt deal

China warns US to agree debt deal | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A senior Chinese official warns that the "clock is ticking" to avoid a US default that could harm China's economic interests and the global economy.
Meagan Harpin's insight:

A Chinese offical is warning that time is runing out to avoid a US default that would harm the Chinese economic interests and global economy. If washington doesnt come to an agreement as far as raising the borrowing limit is concered, by the 17th of October we risk being able to pay our bills.  

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Protests, Self-Immolation Signs Of A Desperate Tibet : NPR

Chinese authorities have tightened security around Tibet after a series of demonstrations by Tibetans demanding more religious and political freedoms.

 

How are China's renewed efforts to control Tibet and the Monks protests geopolitically intertwined?  How does this impact the region? 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

China has tightened their security around the Tibetan monestary and the monasteries seem to be emptying out. Monks have been setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese repression. This is a sign of desperation from the monks.  

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James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 7:52 PM

(East Asia topic 5)

What I gather from this video is that China sees all political resistance as being specifically aimed at its own demise, but I believe this to be false. Rather, it seems in this sense that the country's judgment has gone blind in a power rage. Never will an entire country agree on everything (or even one thing for that matter). This resistance seems to stem from diversity and the desire to maintain it, and examining historical geography proves diversity to in fact be a desirable trait and major strength. Just as the famous 13-sectioned snake cartoon from the American colonies shows, success lies in diversity. "You can't have cities without farms to feed them." I mention phrases such as this because they show the yin-yang struggle for equality and balance for greater good, which  hopefully China (especially since it is an Oriental concept and symbol) will learn from and apply in its policies towards minority groups within its borders.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:47 PM

China's efforts to control an area that identifies itself as a separate entity from China has been met with some extreme examples of protests. Dozens have monks have committed suicide to protest China's forced control over Tibet. Although this is causing international support from the US and others it seems like China will not change its ways. Another thing to keep in mind is China's position in the UN. As a permanent member of the security council China has the right to veto an UN resolution that could address the issues in Tibet.

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Over 27 and unmarried? In China, you’re an old maid

Over 27 and unmarried? In China, you’re an old maid | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
January and February are sweet times for most Chinese — they enjoy family reunions during the spring festival, which this year fell on January 23, and they celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is well-liked in China.

 

Gender roles in cultural norms change from country to country.  What also needs to be understood is how the demographic situation of a given country influences these patterns. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

It is hard for Chinese women to attract men once they reach a certain age in Beijing it was reported in 2009 that there was 800,000 women 27 and unmarried and the number was rising. Many mothers of these women even argue with them or try to set them up with men they dont like. In the US women are getting married older and older and it is viewed as socially acceptable mainly because they are focusing on their carrers and making sure they are settled first. 

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 5, 2013 1:32 PM

It is interesting to see this as in American culture, marrying in your 20s is not a necessity anymore, it's almost unexpected. With so many men to choose from, these girls have time to find a man. The culture is going to shift as these ladies get married later in life.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 14, 2014 9:13 PM

Being 27 years old and unmarried in China considers you to be an old maid? I had to do a double take when I saw this. In the United States, 27 years old is around the average age a couple decides to get married. In China, Valentine's day is a really well liked holiday. Therefore, you would think that there would be excessive amounts of marriages, especially around this time. However, we know about the one child policy put into place at China. I can imagine that this might play a role because of the gender imbalances. As horrible as this sounds, in China, they call the women who are thirty and single "leftovers". During the season of the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day, the "leftovers" just get questioned about their relationship status or go to matchmaking parties. However, the "leftovers" are said to have three good things; good career, good education and good looks. This is interesting because if they had all these good qualities, why would they still be single at 30 years old? As the article continues, we talk about true love and believe it or not, some "leftovers" still believe in true love and that they may experience that one day.

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:14 PM

The fact that success relatively young women are seen as leftovers in China is a completely foreign idea to me.  n the United States we are seeing that more and more women are marrying later in life after they have received an education, higher education and have been established in a career.  Emily Liang is an extremely successful women who should be proud of her accomplishments, yet has to declare herself as "divorced" in order for men to think something isn't "wrong" with her.  It is extremely obvious that the role and view of women in China is significantly distorted. 

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Deadly fire at Bangladesh factory

Deadly fire at Bangladesh factory | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
At least nine people are killed and dozens injured in a fire at clothing factory in Gazipur, near Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, officials say.
Meagan Harpin's insight:

A fire broke out in a clothing factory in Gazipur today killing at least 9 people and injuring 50. The safety standards in these clothing buildings are awful and there have been several incidents surrounding other clothing factories where people have also been killed. Because of a water shortage in the area the fire was able to escalte and quickly become out of control.  

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'Sharp drop' in India poverty

'Sharp drop' in India poverty | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.

 

KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.

 

SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Poverty in rural India has declined drastically, and much faster then in urban India. The decline is due to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, and rural poverty fell by 8% while urban poverty fell by 4.8%. I think this is great that the government is finally taking action and helping their people, instead of just 'sweeping them under the rug' in a way and pretending the issue isnt there.

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Bryan Tan's curator insight, February 2, 2013 10:54 AM

After reading this article, I am convinced that the gorverment in India know and want to do something about their currebt situation of being one of the poorest state in the world. Poepla are treated better given benefits, edeucation,welfare of the citizens and hygiene are all being taken care of by the gorverment. The gorvement starts improving their ties with other countries in the world helping it to gain more advantage. This helps to decrease the rate of poverty in India.

luisvivas64@hotmail.'s comment, February 3, 2013 10:19 AM
La pobreza es el càncer de la sociedad humana, ojalà sea posible reducirla, aunque soy escèptico, el dinero es muy sabroso y los pocos que lo tienen no lo sueltan, de allì las revoluciones, guerras ect.
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:26 AM

This is yet another sign that India is developing into a great world power. The government has sought to curb the rates of rural poverty by instituting social welfare programs.  The programs are designed to provide those living in the rural areas of the nation, with education and proper sanitation. These programs appear to be succeeding, as a sharp drop has occurred in rural poverty. The governments recognition of the poverty issue is a major step towards tackling the major inequities in Indian society. Largely a legacy of the caste system, Indian society is still terribly divided along socio-economic lines. In order for Indian to achieve the status of a developed nation, the government must take action to bridge this inequities. An new  society based on equality may be on the horizon in India.

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Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods

Tea-plucking machines threaten Assam livelihoods | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Tea plucking machines are threatening the livelihoods of tea pickers in the Indian state of Assam, reports Mark Tully.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Tea is the backbone of the Assam economy, their tradition is to hand pick the tea leaves making it expensive. In Assam some estates are running into the risk of having to begin to rely on machines to pick their tea. This is because of a shortage of willing workers. Another problem they are facing is that they are being beaten out because their tea is highly priced compared to other estates. This is a big threat to the Assam and something that there economy relies on so heavely.  

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 2014 4:42 AM

This article details how globalization is damaging the high-end tea industry of India. The Assam company, which produces high quality tea, is under pressure to mechanize their 100% human tea production due to competition. Vietnam, Kenya, and even other Indian companies produce significantly cheaper tea due to their willingness and ability to cut costs by using machines and paying their workers less. A cultural stigma toward tea workers is making hiring difficult for Assam, compounding the problems with competitors and forcing a switch to mechanization which will produce an inferior product.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 2014 2:51 PM

This seems to work well for both the tea growers and the workers. The workers are compensated well and they have a job for life and the tea that is picked is of the highest quality. Unfortunately, most places on the planet go with the cheapest price, not the best quality, so I do not know how much longer this arrangement will be feasible.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:51 PM

In my town, we got rid of the old trash receptacle bins and in place we have one huge trash bin and one huge recycling bin. This has cut down the jobs immensely because now a machine just picks up the large bins. This is the same thing thats happening in India. There is now a machine that can do the humans jobs and will most likely take over for the tea picking people. Its unfortunate, but its how the world works.

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New Evidence Reveals Shell Wildly Underreported Niger Delta Oil Spill

New Evidence Reveals Shell Wildly Underreported Niger Delta Oil Spill | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
New data shows Shell dramatically under-estimated the damage of a 2008 spill that devastated the lives of tens of thousands of people in Niger Delta. Shell has yet to compensate victims.

 

The volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked.  This is but one example of a international corporation exploiting the natural resources of a developing country.


Via John Peterson, Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

This article talks about how Shell seems to have underestimated the damage caused by the oil spill in 2008 when tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluted the land and creeks surrounding Bodo. The spill has compromised the access to clean food and water, destroyed livelyhoods and put health at risk. Shell still has not compositated the people of Bodo with the bags of food to replace what was destroyed nor have they cleaned up the spill. These poor people, they have had so much destroyed and need help from shell and they refuse to step up and take responsibility and do what it right. 

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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


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Meagan Harpin's insight:

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 28, 2013 11:53 PM

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:32 PM

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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How would Syria's chemical weapons handover work?

How would Syria's chemical weapons handover work? | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Any plan to put Syria's chemical weapon stockpiles under international control will face immense challenges — with no guarantee that President Bashar Assad will hand over his entire arsenal to inspectors, who will have to figure out how to destroy...

Via Marissa Roy
Meagan Harpin's insight:

I always wondered how the chemical weapon handover would work, well the French governement estimates that Sryia has about 1,000 tons of chemical weapons and they are stored in five locations. The likely choice of who will go in to get these weapons would be the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons but the weapons are unlikely to be taken out before 2015. 

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, September 11, 2013 3:04 PM

There is so much debate about Syria in the United States right now. This article answered many of the questions I had about the proposed handover. The situation is so sticky and there is no clean or easy way to get involved, so as a nation we must choose our actions carefully.

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The price of oil: It's bad news for the Middle East

The price of oil: It's bad news for the Middle East | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Higher oil production in the US coupled with conservation could spell trouble for petrodollar-dependent countries.
Meagan Harpin's insight:

With the issues in Syria, Egypt and Lybia oil prices are taking a hit once again with talk that they could hit $150 per barrel. The Continued high prices could cause the government to stumble on with repression, and poverty.  

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Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Syria is a complicated country as you can see from this map. The map shows the different ethnic and linguistic groups of Syria, and many of the groups are swirled together. The brown areas represent the Kurds who have been long oppresed, there are also Druze and  Arab Christians, Armenians and others. Syria is run by the Alawites which is the greenish grey color they may only be 12% of the population but they are a massive part of the war. Many people believe that the war began for political reasons but spiraled into old divisons deeper and more vicious.  

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 2, 2014 6:19 PM

This map shows tha tthere are an overwhelimg amount of Arabs especially in centeral Syria. And then on the coast lline it is mostly mixed with pink representing the overwhlming other majority.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 2, 2014 8:11 PM

It appears from this article that Syria is a complicated country. The map shows the different ethnic and religious groups of Syria, along with other groups, all of which live within a small area. Syria, along with other countries within the Middle East have been faced with one serious issue or another. Many different people live within a very small area; those people practice different religions and are ethnically and culturally different. Unfortunately, being different in this part of the world may get you killed.   

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 1:25 PM

Maps such as this one are very valuable when trying to understand conflict.  In Syria and the greater Levant area, unbalanced power and representation in politics is the result of many different religious and ethnic groups living in such close proximity each other, allowing conflict to become very invasive.

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In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it

"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements.  The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics."  This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).

 

Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

For the first time ever Saudi Arabian girls in private schools will be allowed to play sports, this comes at a time when they are trying to increase womens rights. The girls must still follow the  rules of Shariah, they must dress decent, and women teachers will be given priority in supervising the sports. Female athelites are still banned from registering for sports clubs or league competitions.however.   

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:24 PM

I was happy to see an article like this. It's about time that these women are being given equal opportunities. Although they have a long way to go this is a step in the right direction. Saudi Arabian girls are being allowed to have sport related activities within their private schools. This did surprise me a little just because Saudi women's rights are very limited but this is a simple improvement just to the general health and well being of these girls. Two females competed in the last years summer Olympics representing Saudi Arabia and their efforts were not shown on Saudi TV. These women competing has opened a few doors to allowing more than just men to engage in these activities. Usually sports were only for the elite women who could afford gym memberships or attend well known colleges. Even though women cannot compete internationally or sign up for clubs or leagues this is a step in the right direction.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 4:47 PM

This is an interesting article about slowly allowing women in Saudi Arabia to participate in sports. While playing soccer or swimming or running may not seem so important to us in the West, it is a big deal for Saudi women. Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest laws in the Middle East regarding women's rights, and so even a very partial and gradual allowance for women to engage in sports is a big step. It shows perhaps a slight softening of adherence to Shariah law, which would hopefully eventually allow women more freedom in the realms of education and work, as well as in everyday life. 

 

Too often are people quick to judge and characterize other cultures or religions by the most extreme examples. While it is true that laws in Saudi Arabia are extremely restrictive to women, progress such as this, though small, may well act as a stepping stone for increased freedoms for women. People outside of Saudi Arabia and Islamic culture must realize that this kind of progress does happen and is, in fact, happening right now. To simply dismiss Saudi culture as misogynistic and oppressive is to write the whole culture off. While progress is slow and less than ideal, we should look to Saudi Arabia's Islamic neighbors and see that many of them are not so oppressive to women. Allowing Saudi women to participate in sports, therefore, may be setting up the country to increase women's rights and join its relatively more liberal neighbors. This is certainly a sign of positive change, and one that should not be ignored. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 2015 6:28 AM

I was quite shocked to hear of this story. There is no denying, that this is a step forward for the women of Saudi Arabia. However, women are far from free in this country. The activates still have to be in accordance with Islamic Law. The strict dress code also remains in effect for the girls. The Sports themselves, must be overseen by women teachers. I would not call this initiative the Saudi equivalent of title nine, but it is a step forward. Every little inroad, is a step towards more equality. The government of Saudi Arabia appears to be at least slightly altering its view of women. Hopefully this will be the first step in movement to gain Saudi women more rights. In generations to come, hopefully Saudi women will look back on this development as the start of a cultural revolution in Saudi Arabia.