Mr. Soto's Human Geography
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Global Refugee Crisis

"This video shows you why the refugees crossing the Mediterranean by boat can't just fly to Europe."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 18, 2015 2:30 PM

Not since the end of World War II have there been so many refugees seeking safety.  There are several regional hot spots of political, ethnic and religious turmoil; many are now asking how the global community should response to the worst refugee crisis in generations.


Tags: migration, political, refugees.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, June 19, 2015 9:35 AM

Global population shakeup.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, June 19, 2015 10:14 AM

Population-refugee,asylum seeker, not internally displaced person. FRQ #3 2015

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Complex International Borders

More complex international borders in this follow up to part 1. 
In this video I look at even more enclaves and exclaves."


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Lydia Tsao's curator insight, March 23, 2015 11:40 PM

After viewing this video, I found one common characteristic that ties together the countries involved in all of these border disputes: hunger for power. Although culture and sacred lands do cause border disputes, I believe the underlying purpose of claiming land for cultural reasons is to demonstrate power. Claiming lands for cultural purposes demonstrates that one's culture is superior to the other's culture, so naturally the more powerful culture gets to claim territory. On another note, I think it's interesting to see just how many enclaves and exclaves exist in the world. I did not know how many existed until I saw the video. I think this shows how insignificant these border anomalies are because these exclaves are usually just governed by the other country by which they are surrounded. 

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 7, 2015 9:13 PM

Borders seem to be a problem whether you live in one continent or another, everyone wants power and control but not everyone can gain it. This video focuses and goes into depth about enclave and exclave borders, showing the irregularity of the borders in different areas that causes conflicts and problems. An example of a problem that the citizens have to deal with is that some villages can not leave due to the road blocks due to the borders. I can not imagine not being able to leave a certain area for all that time, I would go insane and I imagine those people are as well. International borders power has to be split somehow and not everyone can always come to an easy decision because parts of the land are claimed but the people do not have any control of it. Irregular borders cause more trouble than they are worth in my opinion. The final interesting fact about this video was that you learn that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the two locations that have the most irregular border, these places must have the most conflict and problems. These borders are in places such as Germany, South Asia, China, Belgian, Sweden and Central Asia.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 5:17 PM

A fascinating look into the complexity of borders. It is always important to keep in mind when looking at maps that the borders are neither permanent or defined as it exists in reality. Borders on world maps are rough estimations of what the borders actually are for they can't depict precise details on such a large scale. Furthermore regional/local maps sometimes do not whether as to conform to the border misconception unfortunately. In Central Asia as defined int he video the border were primarily a result of the Soviet Unions attempts to divided ethnic minorities reducing their power (primarily Stalin). As a result the countries after the collapse proceeded to claim the ethnic groups which created enclaves within each-other. As long as these groups are on peaceful terms this kind of thing isn't an issue. Unfortunately it does make the peoples lives in the enclaves slightly more difficult due to having to cross the border twice to see the rest of your country. This kind of thing was even done to the Jews in the first century AD who like the Russians wanted to eliminate or at least reduce attempts at revolution by the local populace. Hopefully Central Asia has or will make the lives of these enclaves easier.

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Asian Border Disputes

Asian Border Disputes | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

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


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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.    

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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | 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, conflict, governance, China, East Asia.


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Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 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, 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, 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.
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Scotland's Decision

Scotland's Decision | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
From Catalonia to Kurdistan, nationalist and separatist movements in Europe and beyond are watching the Scottish independence referendum closely.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, September 14, 2014 11:36 AM

Scotland, the site of nationalist and separatist movements, is one to watch as they vote. What the ramifications would be are yet to be seen

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 3:01 PM

It is interesting to see how globalization does as much to bring us together as it does to rip us apart. The exchange of ideas, goods, and people has hugely impacted the lives of everyday citizens and the nations that they call home, where divisions among people are felt more keenly as the competition in today's global economy grows stronger. Catalonia, the region that has done much to keep the economy of the Spanish nation afloat, and Catalans are eager to shed the "dead weight" they feel they are carrying; the Basque region has long since demanded its independence, and we have already seen the fracturing of the Balkans. In some instances, perhaps separation is for the best. However, I feel like these movements are the result of knee-jerk reactions to the current economic climate and deep, underlying hatreds that have no place in the current world order. Spain has been one nation for hundreds of years, as has the United Kingdom; to suddenly dissolve these unions in the name of century-long feuds seems not only unnecessary, but almost child-like. There is enough hatred in the world- why let us continue to divide amongst ourselves when history has shown that people in these regions can coexist and can consistently pull through these difficult periods. It is one thing to be proud of being Scottish- it is another to ignore the economic and political realities of what Scottish independence would bring for its people for the sake of this nationalist sentiment. I, for one, was relieved to see Scotland vote to remain a member of the UK. Separatist movements across the continent have been quieted, if only for another few years.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:16 AM

The Scottish vote for independence would have broken up a modern United Kingdom. Many Scottish folks feel that it is time to separate from a parent country where there are many other countries that are involved. Becoming independent is not an easy task. There has to be a vote and a strong position for those separatists to succeed in getting a victorious vote.

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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Where Will The World's Water Conflicts Erupt?

Where Will The World's Water Conflicts Erupt? | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

As the climate shifts, rivers will both flood and dry up more often, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Shortages are especially likely in parts of the world already strapped for water, so political scientists expect feuds will become even more intense. To track disputes worldwide, researchers at Oregon State University spent a decade building a comprehensive database of international exchanges—-both conflicts and alliances—over shared water resources. They found that countries often begin disputes belligerently but ultimately reach peaceful agreements. Says Aaron Wolf, the geographer who leads the project, “For me the really interesting part is how even Arabs and Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis, are able to resolve their differences and find a solution.”


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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 20, 2014 2:50 PM

Questões políticas... 

J. Mark Schwanz's curator insight, June 21, 2014 11:01 AM

Add water to geography education curriculum? You better believe it. The crisis of the 21st century is and will be water.  

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:36 AM

summer reading KQ2: How have humans altered the Earth's environment?  Water Security

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:06 PM

ISIS has demonstrated how geographies are ever changing and how disputes over borders are constantly occurring. ISIS is looking to reshape the political geography of the land from the Mediterranean to Iran's Zagros mountains into a caliphate. The movement of ISIS has been influenced by geography. The group is contained to transportation corridors because reaching into the countryside is difficult. Furthermore, the physical geography of Iraq and Syria has made ISIS an extremely powerful force. They have taken control of many of Iraq and Syria's oil fields. ISIS has also shifted population geographies causing mass displacement as they advance. In Syria 2.8 million people have fled, 200,000 have come to Iraq. ISIS is causing major shifts in the political, demographic, and economic geographies of Iraq and Syria.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:25 PM

ISIS has shown both in the past and more recently that it is far from a group of disorganized rebels and in reality is a competent and dangerous organization. Recent land grabs show that ISIS not only seeks to gain land mass but an economic base. This map shows the the strategic land ownership corresponds with oil fields throughout the area. ISIS' leadership is competent enough to know that in order to run a large Caliphate and support it's troops a viable source of income is needed.

 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:29 PM

With the help of maps one can see how much of an impact ISIS has had on Syria and Iraq.  We can see where ISIS has taken over, where they have attacked and what areas they have their people around.  This gives people an idea of where they have been and where they may be going.  Another map shows what cities have been overtaken by ISIS.  This gives exact points where ISIS has terrorized the people to gain control.  Another map shows just Syria and the control that ISIS has in that country.  The fourth map is important to a larger portion of the world.  It has Iraq and the where ISIS has taken over and where the area of control is in reference to where oil fields are.  The last map refers to the people in Syria and where they have taken refuge to stay safe from ISIS.

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The New World

The New World | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

An interactive series of maps show possible new additions to the world’s list of independent nations.

 

This is great way to show examples of devolution and political instability.  Included are 11 potential scenarios where further fragmentation/disintegration might occur or even greater regional integration that would redraw the map.  These case studies include: Somalia, Korea, Azerbaijan, Belgium and the Arabian Gulf Union.

 

Tags: political, devolution, supranationalism, war, autonomy, unit 4 political.


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Benjamin DeRita's comment, September 23, 2012 9:36 PM
Very interesting and informative piece, I found slide (10) especially intriguing with its discussion on the possibility of China claiming parts of Siberia.
Anna Sasaki's curator insight, March 24, 2015 8:53 AM

This article is probably one of my favorites I have read so far. It describes perfectly the political instability still present in the world, and that the globe and its boundaries are constantly changing, never staying put for too long. It surprised me at the new borders which most likely are going to happen, such as the unification of parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Also, the fact that South Korea is subtly getting ready for the reunification of North and South Korea. Also, there may be devolution in Mali and splintering devolution in the Congo's.

This shows devolution as the power in these nations in which are breaking up, such as Belgium and the Flemish peoples. It shows the centrifugal forces behind the breakup of nations, such as ethnicities which vary, or the centripetal forces which bring nations together such as the combination of South and North Korea. 

Caroline Ivy's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:12 AM

Devolution/Fragmentation

 

This article is about nations that could become potentially independent in the near Future, whether due to chronic ethnic incoherence, redrawn governemnt policies, or a growing stateless nation group. Some examples given are an independent Khurdistan, a larger Azerbaijan, and the split of Belgium. 

 

Centrifugal forces are the root of conflict in many countries. These forces include ethnic variety, lack of common language, political instability. These are what may be causing a split in both Belgium (developed country) and Somalia (developing country). There may also be a unification of countries—the map gives an example of the Saudia Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, and other melding into one Arabian Gulf Union, of China absorbing Siberia. This does not necessarily herald the presence of centripetal forces, as these countries may be the result of military conquest. 

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

UPDATED CORRECTION: Thanks to the great people at About.com 's geography page, I was informed that there are more than just the initially listed two countries (North Korea and Cuba) not within the Coke universe (such as Somalia and East Timor to name a few).  For more on this see: http://geography.about.com/b/2012/06/15/coca-cola-in-every-country-but-three-no.htm


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

UPDATED CORRECTION: Thanks to the great people at About.com 's geography page, I was informed that there are more than just the initially listed two countries (North Korea and Cuba) not within the Coke universe (such as Somalia and East Timor to name a few).  For more on this see: http://geography.about.com/b/2012/06/15/coca-cola-in-every-country-but-three-no.htm


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture

Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"Alabama’s new immigration law, H.B. 56, is already devastating the state’s agricultural sector."

 

Does teaching agriculture have to be boring?  This particular issue is an excellent current topic that combines politics, culture and demographics within agriculture.   

 


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Mac steel's comment, March 8, 2013 10:09 AM
Technoloy
Valorie Morgan's curator insight, November 7, 2013 10:13 AM

The new immigration laws have caused farmers to cut back on crops due to low empolyment rate. The immgrants that were currently working for farmers, ran off in fear of being captured. I'm against this law, I see exactly where the farmers are coming from. I believe these laws are pointless, it's just people trying to make an honest buck in the hot sun. Alabama is losing a great deal of agriculture due to this new law. Even though, they say its againast the law. I don't see the point. Why be so hard on these farmer??

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:08 AM

This article shows how important it is to follow the natural way of agriculture. With the new laws in Alabama being passed it now allows people to grow crops in an unnatural way which is devastating predicament to the agricultural world. 

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Globalization

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.

 

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.


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Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, May 3, 2013 11:39 AM

Globalización Globalization

Altaira Wallquist's curator insight, March 18, 2015 4:47 PM

This article goes in depth to define and describe globalization.  It discusses globalization  through an economical, political, and cultural standpoint.

 

This connects to Unit 1 in that it discusses globalization and things from a global perspective. It all discusses the society we live in today.

Devyn Hantgin's curator insight, March 22, 2015 10:18 PM

globalization

This video describes and really breaks down globalization. The video talks about how some countries benefit and some countries don't benefit from globalization. The video also separates globalization into three parts: economic, politics, and culture. It goes over the huge role that technology plays in globalization and covers it well.

This relates to our unit, because globalization is a huge factor in human geography as a whole. It is one of the main factors why our cultures are beginning to intertwine and have things in common.     

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OPINION: The cure for Puerto Rico is independence

OPINION: The cure for Puerto Rico is independence | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
The financially troubled island now says it is unable to pay an estimated $72 billion debt, casting a pall on bond markets and pension funds. On the surface, Puerto Rico’s debt crisis is one of run-away spending on public welfare, with a diminishing small tax and economic base to support it. However, the island’s troubles are also tied to its commonwealth status: Puerto Rico is part of the United States but it lacks the local autonomy afforded to other U.S. states and electoral representation in Congress.

It is finally time for Puerto Rico to break free. Independence would allow Puerto Ricans to directly address their economic woes, but, perhaps more important, it will grant the island’s 3.5 million inhabitants the right to determine their own destiny. On July 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that Puerto Rico couldn’t restructure its own debt. Puerto Rico’s status as a U.S. territory bars the island from requesting bailout funds from other development banks. Independence, nationalists argue, would allow the commonwealth to make these and other autonomous choices.

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Nothing like an op-ed to get people thinking...this touches on economic, political and population geography. 

 

Tags: Puerto Rico, political, migration, autonomy,  economic.

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asli telli's curator insight, August 2, 2015 4:11 AM

Nothing like an op-ed to get people thinking...this touches on economic, political and population geography. 


Tags: Puerto Rico, political, migration, autonomy,  economic.

Dee Dee Deeken's curator insight, August 2, 2015 1:26 PM

Nothing like an op-ed to get people thinking...this touches on economic, political and population geography. 


Tags: Puerto Rico, political, migration, autonomy,  economic.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 6:28 AM

There is no question that Puerto Rico is suffering from  its current status as a commonwealth of the United States. However, the answer to their issues is not independence, its statehood. An independent Puerto Rico would continue to face the same economic issues. It would be just one of many depressed small Caribbean nations. It is well past the time, that Puerto Rico be admitted as a state into our union. The most recent vote on the issue, favored the statehood political status. However, the vast amounts of controversy surrounding the election process have made those results rather worthless. Puerto Rico has been floundering in political no mans land since the United States acquired the island from Spain at the end of the Spanish American War.  The current political status is untenable. Hopefully a fair election can be held and the status of Puerto Rico will finally be settled.

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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."


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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.

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Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem

Mistrust Threatens Delicate Balance at a Sacred Site in Jerusalem | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | 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.

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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. 

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Scottish Independence

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


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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.

 

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Deported Mexicans find new life at call centers

Deported Mexicans find new life at call centers | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"Henry Monterroso is a foreigner in his own country. Raised in California from the age of 5, he was deported to Mexico in 2011 and found himself in a land he barely knew. But the 34-year-old now supervises five employees amid rows of small cubicles who spend eight hours a day dialing numbers across the United States. He is among thousands of deported Mexicans who are finding refuge in call centers in Tijuana and other border cities. In perfect English — some hardly speak Spanish — they converse with American consumers who buy gadgets, have questions about warrantees or complain about overdue deliveries."


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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:45 PM

When it comes to deportation, its usually a loss win situation. But in the case of Mexicans who once lived a life on US soil from since birth and having been deported later on in life, adjusting to a new life in a new world is challenging. The comfort of being able to work in an environment that reminds them of being back home eliviates the agony of being separated from their family back in the US. The outsourced phone companies give these deported individual an opportunity to be able to participate in a life they once lived by being able to interact with Americans. While they make subsequently less than what they were making in the states, the opportunity of being able to work in a foreign land is one that they are forever grateful for.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 14, 2014 10:49 PM

This article is similar to the topic of outsourcing jobs to the United states, only it is the reverse, with deportees being giving jobs at call centers in the city of Tijuana. It brings up the topic of culture shock and the differences between Mexican and United States Economies.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:33 PM

Brings to mind the whole debate over over illegals vs. legals, work visas and work permits, political change and citizenship. So many factors are present in the decisions these Mexican born, living in America, deported back to their home country, must make. How culturally shocking it must be to be living the American Dream in an area that is bi-lingual, San Diego, and be deported back to Tijuana, making $150 a week.

It's a blessing and a curse for both sides of the border. The USA loses tax revenue from the money Henry was bringing in while working in real estate, conversely Mexico gains a smaller slice of the tax given his drop in pay. He clearly was happy and productive here, but others such as the gang member mentioned, may make the USA happier by taking his gang affiliation with him. Not good for Mexico, but perhaps he can make a fresh start in that country.

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CrisisWatch: The Monthly Conflict Situation Report

CrisisWatch: The Monthly Conflict Situation Report | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Mapping global conflict month by month.

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Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, June 19, 2014 4:15 AM

Questa mappa interattiva vi permette, muovendovi sui singoli paesi, di leggere un aggiornamento sulle situazioni di conflitto in tutto il mondo. 


L' International Crisis Group è una organizzazione indipendente, non governativa e no-profit dedicata alla prevenzione e alla risoluzione dei conflitti. Hanno creato questa mappa interattiva per rendere più semplice e immediato l'aggiornamento sui principali conflitti nel mondo. 

Claudine Provencher's curator insight, June 19, 2014 5:40 AM

This looks like an excellent tool for students of international relations.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 2014 12:26 PM

unit 4 --but really a great overall course resource!

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:06 PM

ISIS has demonstrated how geographies are ever changing and how disputes over borders are constantly occurring. ISIS is looking to reshape the political geography of the land from the Mediterranean to Iran's Zagros mountains into a caliphate. The movement of ISIS has been influenced by geography. The group is contained to transportation corridors because reaching into the countryside is difficult. Furthermore, the physical geography of Iraq and Syria has made ISIS an extremely powerful force. They have taken control of many of Iraq and Syria's oil fields. ISIS has also shifted population geographies causing mass displacement as they advance. In Syria 2.8 million people have fled, 200,000 have come to Iraq. ISIS is causing major shifts in the political, demographic, and economic geographies of Iraq and Syria.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:25 PM

ISIS has shown both in the past and more recently that it is far from a group of disorganized rebels and in reality is a competent and dangerous organization. Recent land grabs show that ISIS not only seeks to gain land mass but an economic base. This map shows the the strategic land ownership corresponds with oil fields throughout the area. ISIS' leadership is competent enough to know that in order to run a large Caliphate and support it's troops a viable source of income is needed.

 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:29 PM

With the help of maps one can see how much of an impact ISIS has had on Syria and Iraq.  We can see where ISIS has taken over, where they have attacked and what areas they have their people around.  This gives people an idea of where they have been and where they may be going.  Another map shows what cities have been overtaken by ISIS.  This gives exact points where ISIS has terrorized the people to gain control.  Another map shows just Syria and the control that ISIS has in that country.  The fourth map is important to a larger portion of the world.  It has Iraq and the where ISIS has taken over and where the area of control is in reference to where oil fields are.  The last map refers to the people in Syria and where they have taken refuge to stay safe from ISIS.

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Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot

Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Is this an opportune moment for Eurasian powers to tackle the festering Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, May 19, 2014 12:26 PM

You can find this on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagorno-Karabakh

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, May 27, 2014 12:44 PM

The Crimea region has been hotly debated and fought over for quite a while now. The collapse of the USSR created a power vacuum in Eastern Europe which led to the contest for power in many of the former Soviet Satellite countries, including Ukraine. The Crimean peninsula, while mostly occupied by Russians, is legally a part of Ukraine, but maybe not for long. The Russian government is seemingly working to annex the peninsula while the Ukrainian government is working to keep it. The region will continue to be under lots of tugging and pulling for a while until a single government wins in to their nation. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:36 AM

this is a perfect example of some of the conflicts which have resulted because of the failure of the soviet state. with many of these states trying to gain land that the view as theirs, these wars can only really end in bloodshed or massive investments in peace.

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Disputed Isles

Disputed Isles | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.

 

This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   

 

Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:40 PM

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:05 PM

considering that half of the nations involved are island nations, this is hardly surprising. every nation has issues with their neighbors. even the us and Canada dispute some territory. but these disputes can hardly end as well, when half of these nations have fought wars with each other for most of their histories.

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Younger Africa

Younger Africa | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Across Africa, a continent where the average age is about 19, protests have flared against leaders who may have outstayed their welcome.

 

This interactive mapping feature compares two distinct data sets in an attempt to show that the two are correlated on the continent of Africa.  The base layer of this thematic map is demographic, noting how much of the overall population in a given country is under the age of 16.  The interactive feature with point data describes the political unrest or instability in that particular country. 

 

Questions to ponder: Does the cartographer 'convince' you that Africa's having a very young (globally speaking) demographic cohort led towards greater political instability?  Are there other factors worth considering?  What does this map and it's embedded data tell us?    

 

Tags: Africa, political, conflict, unit 4 political, states, governance, population, demographics, unit 2 population. 


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England, Britain and the UK

England, Britain and the UK | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

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

 

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


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

(Europe topic 7)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.

 

Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:57 AM

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.

 

From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.

 

The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control.