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Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive?

Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive? | Geography hour |
Sixty of Mexico's native languages are at risk of being silenced forever—but many people are working to keep them alive, experts say.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

The demise of a language is a truly tragic event. I am heartened to see that there are efforts being undertaken to preserve these historic languages. New technologies  will hopefully aid us in this effort. I imagine that the United States probably faces similar issues when it comes to language loss. We should coordinate some sort of national policy in how to deal with the issue. The current state of political affairs will probably hamper  the cause, but it is still worth a shot. I am in full support of all efforts that might preserve these classic languages.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 20, 2015 10:28 PM

Monolingualism is great in the sense that it facilitates greater communication across a wider range of people, creating a sense of unity among those same people. However, lingual differences are one of the most beautiful aspects of human culture and civilization, with thousands of specific idioms and uses pertaining to each language shaping a millennium of various human experiences scattered across the globe. I often must explain to my friends that something that sounds good in one language I speak (I am moderately fluent in Portuguese) does not translate well in the other when each individual word is translated rather than the sentiment of the phrase as a whole. It is sad to think that this collection of specific nuances and experiences pertaining to a multitude of languages could be lost by the end of the century; in our desire to be closer to each other, we are losing the best of what we have to offer one another.  I hope that efforts to reverse this trend are successful. On a more light-hearted note, I did chuckle a little while reading that two of the last speakers of one of these indigenous languages in Mexico are two old men who refuse to speak to one another. They have the power to save something much larger than themselves, and yet are unable to do so because of petty, earthly rivalries. Humans are a complicated bunch.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:29 AM

This is one of the reasons that when immigrants come into this country its important they keep their native language going as well as learning to speak English. The sharing of culture, and language is indeed very important. Lots of people come to America and are told to speak English and eventually they lose their native language as well as culture. The English speaking only citizens of this country lose out on a good education about someone's native country. Its too bad. Just think music, language, food, values etc...there is a lot to learn.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 2018 10:45 PM
Languages are greatly important which is why I see the urgency in wanting to keep those endangered languages alive. Globalization through this article shows to be affecting cultural geography as Mexicans no longer see the need to know any other language but Spanish since it domains. This is causing the culture of Mexico to be forgotten. Just like Harrison said, "Each of the Mexican indigenous languages contains millennia of human experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge about the natural environment." The many languages are one of the things that shape Mexico and its people. 
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Australia belatedly joins 'coalition of ambition' at Paris climate talks

Australia belatedly joins 'coalition of ambition' at Paris climate talks | Geography hour |
Foreign minister Julie Bishop responds to Twitter outrage by saying Australia has accepted an invitation after group of 100 nations held a press conference
Mark Hathaway's insight:

The coalition of ambition, is a loose group of 100 developed or developing nations that is seeking to counter a push by China, India and Saudi Arabia to water down aspects of a worldwide climate agreement. This group includes the United States of America. Initially the foreign minister had not joined the group, citing these types of groups as unimportant.  Her goal is to get a binding climate agreement, not join interest groups. However after a severe backlash on twitter , the Foreign minister changed her mind and joined the group. There are two huge takeaways from this story. The first is that this global climate summit is a futile endeavor. If the world is to make any progress on climate change, China and India will have to agree to it. Both of those nations are not ready to make any substantial changes to the environments of their own states. The Second takeaway is the increasing power of social media. Social media as become the 21 century petition to the government. Governments are now forced to deal with citizen anger on social media.

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The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing

The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing | Geography hour |
Most of the 1,000 or so Marshall Islands, spread out over 29 narrow coral atolls in the South Pacific, are less than six feet above sea level — and few are more than a mile wide. For the Marshallese, the destructive power of the rising seas is already an inescapable part of daily life. Changing global trade winds have raised sea levels in the South Pacific about a foot over the past 30 years, faster than elsewhere. Scientists are studying whether those changing trade winds have anything to do with climate change.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

Climate change is a controversial issue in the United States. The debate over climate change in our current political environment is stuck in a denial or belief stage.  It is foolish to deny that our climate is changing. The overwhelming majority of scientists have provided the world with data, that proves that man is altering the climate. Those who deny climate change, probably do not really believe that it is not occurring.  They are denying climate change, because they do not favor altering our economic system in an attempt to stop the phenomenon. To really effect climate change, major changes are going to have to be made in the way we consume our energy. Our current political environment cannot and will not implement these changes. As with most problems, nothing will be accomplished until a large swath of Florida is underwater.

brielle blais's curator insight, April 26, 2018 11:45 AM
This post shows how climate change is currently impacting small island nations such as the Marshall Islands. Pacific Sea waters are rising and driving families out of their homes. It is changing the entire physical geography of the land. It is also changing the political climate between different nations as the battle over climate control continues and countries react in different ways to ideas and suggestions, or even laws stating nations like the United States would have to pay money to help those other countries being flooded. 
David Stiger's curator insight, December 7, 2018 11:00 AM
Catastrophic property destruction from sea level rising is (at this point in time) inevitable. A number of Islands that serve as homes for hundreds of thousands of people will be devastated and most likely destroyed. These spots will become uninhabitable and dangerous. The Marshall Islands is just one area that will suffer this fate. Trying to save the islands is a moot point. What is now needed is a discussion about ethics and fiscal responsibility. Industrialized and developed nations led the way in destroying parts of the planet and should be held accountable. To become wealthy, these affluent nations collectively sacrificed the world's fragile environment. With this understanding, people of the Marshall Islands should be given a new home and compensation for their losses. Fortunately, the United States has a deal with the Marshall Islands to allow people to immigrate to the U.S. While this is a good start, these people will require job training, education, homes, transportation, and funds to rebuild their lives. Instead of spending massive amounts of tax dollars on military and defense budgets, Congress needs to reassess its values and priorities. By committing to ethical and noble leadership, the U.S. will have more international prestige and leverage to build defense coalitions and negotiate through diplomatic means. An immense single-nation military-industrial complex will be less relevant. By reducing military spending, this country can address problems like the sinking Marshall Islands and our nation's energy needs. How would it look if the U.S. became a true champion of justice and a despotic nation like China attacked the U.S.? The world would be outraged. The U.N. would condemn the aggressor. Alliances could step forward, allowing America to step back as the world police officer which no one ever asked us to be.  
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 11:03 PM
Islands are already at a disadvantage of losing land for a few reasons. First the fact that the older the island gets the more corroding that takes place under the sea. Another reason is they are in the middle of no where so relocation is not easy, costly and not many countries these days are willing to take people in. The Marshall islands like I am sure many other islands are facing in recent years is global warming causing sea levels to rise. So know they have another reason to worry about losing lands. The global warming that takes place on earth never effects the contributors, it almost always effects the little guys who cannot doing anything to fight back. They just get to watch there homes be destroyed because of big time nations. More attention needs to be brought to the subject of global warming and everything and one who is negatively effected by it. What if we were in there shoes, we surely would change our ways then.
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Countries in multiple hemispheres

Countries in multiple hemispheres | Geography hour |
Mark Hathaway's insight:

Being in multiple hemispheres at the same time is fascinating. The UK is mostly in the western hemisphere. Except, a little sliver is actually located in the eastern hemisphere. France is the opposite. The majority of the country is located in the eastern hemisphere, but a small minority is actually in the western hemisphere. This division is possible, do to the advent of the Prime Meridian. It seems to me, that the equator gets all the publicity in Geography. The Prime Meridian is the distain step cousin that everyone avoids. Looking at the world through the lens of the prime meridian is actually much more interesting. These more scientific distinctions of East and West, hardly jive with the more accepted cultural distinctions. France is a western nation, yet it is mostly in the Eastern section of the globe. The gap between science and culture, is often drastic.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 22, 2015 10:11 PM

And we thought that RIC being in two different cities was kind of cool, imagine this.  

Louis Mazza's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:12 AM

This articles starts off describing the two meridians that divide the eastern and western hemispheres, the prime meridian and the 180th meridian. The prime meridian is the line of longitude where longitude is equal to zero. Countries east of the prime meridian are considered in the eastern hemisphere, while all countries west are located in the western hemisphere.

                Eight countries intersect in-between both of these hemispheres, there are the United Kingdom, in Europe France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Togo.

                The 180th meridian is opposite the prime, and countries to the west of the 180th are in the eastern hemisphere.

                This is an interesting thing to examine because these locations are not set in stone. The tectonic plates that hold these countries will always be shifting in different directions. So in 20 years from now I wonder is the number 8 will increase or decrease?

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 9:21 PM

Pretty neat information contained on this page.  Kiribati is the only country in the world located in all four hemispheres.  That is a place that I would love to visit.  There are not many countries that can say they are even a part of two hemispheres, let alone four.  

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Highly concentrated population distribution

Highly concentrated population distribution | Geography hour |

"Only 2% of Australia's population lives in the yellow area. "

Mark Hathaway's insight:

The yellow area described on the map is an areas that is dry and had little rainfall. Dry areas with little rainfall are not habitable for long term sustained human communities. The areas along the water, are were the most rainfall occurs. Heavy amounts of rainfall leads to good agricultural conditions. Those good agricultural conditions help sustain large populations of people. These geographic factors lead to a heavily concentrated population in Australia.  

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 4:13 PM
This distribution of Australia's population should come to no surprise to people who have a vague idea of the continent's geography. The coastal areas are by far preferable to the desert areas of the continent's interior. A good example of how geography impacts population density and where people decide to live.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 10:20 PM
The population of Australia is highly concentrated at the coast. Only about two percent of the population lives in the yellow shaded area on the image present in the article. The reason for the middle of Australia being so lightly populated is because the harsh climates. Where most people do not live the climate resembles the Sahara desert, which is very dry, and lacks rainfall. While the coastal areas where most of the population is concentrated resembles climates like Brazil, California, and India. These climates that most people live are not as harsh on the human and better for agriculture, cattle and port cities are known to be economically more powerful and populated. Since they access to the sea is so imperative these days.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 4:38 PM
The area often referred to as the "Outback" of Australia is one of the most sparsely populated areas on the planet. Due to the harsh environment and lack of resources not many people live their at all with the exceptions being some scientist, anthropologist, and native aboriginal tribes. This environment to many   seems like a horrible, desolate place. Hence why it was a great setting for Mad Max to help Illustrate the gravity and desperateness of the situation. To people that know the land better there is a lot there and a vast array of species only found in the Outback. 
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Southeast Asia is about to pass the US in Facebook and Twitter users

Southeast Asia is about to pass the US in Facebook and Twitter users | Geography hour |
Internet penetration is still lower than average in the region.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

For the first time since the advent of social media, the collective region of South East Asia will pass the United States in the number of people using Facebook and Twitter. There are however, major reservations to consider. The survey included  five South Eastern nations, the  Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Those five nations have a combined population of about 547 million people, much larger than the United States population of about 320 million people. Within these nations, while social media use is growing, internet penetration through society is still lower than most average regions. While this is no denying, that technology use is growing in the region, there is still much work left to be completed.

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Ethnicity and Religion: A Case Study

Ethnicity and Religion: A Case Study | Geography hour |
In a nation of 230 million people, 700 languages and some 300 ethnicities, ethnic Chinese are one of Indonesia’s historic minorities.


Religion and ethnicity are often connected, but not always.  This case study of such a group, the Chinese Muslims of Indonesia, provide an interesting glimpse into the economic, historic and political patterns of these cultural groups that are parts of communal identities.  

Mark Hathaway's insight:

Indonesia is often identified as the largest Muslim nation in the world. That identification, is only telling a portion of the true Indonesian story. Indonesia is one of the most diverse nations on the planet. The nation has over 700 languages, and has some 300 different ethnicities. Among those may ethnicities, are ethnic Chinese Muslims. Each ethnicity possesses its own cultural identity. In the years following the Second World War, a vast program of persecution was directed at the ethnic Chinese. Many felt, that it was impossible for ethnic Chinese and Indonesians to coexist. After a long struggle, by 2000 ethnic Chinese rights were reinstated.  

Samuel bennett's curator insight, April 23, 2017 8:42 PM
In this article it talks about the diffrent religions and ethnicity's in middle asia and the diffrent ethnicity's living there. In our class we talk about ethnicity and the diffrent types in the world. We talk about the the diffrences in the world and race. Now we can know about the diffrences in the religion and race.
Gracie Delaney's curator insight, April 25, 2017 11:07 AM
This relates to our previous chapter because it is talking about a different ethnicity coming into a place where a certain ethnicity already lives. This article shows how the amount of Chinese Muslims there were there. I liked that because it showed that ethnicity blending is not always a bad thing and that we should be more excepting. When we are more understanding the world runs much smoother.
Hailey Austin's curator insight, May 12, 2017 10:14 AM
This article relates to my class because its talking about all different types of ethnicity. It talks about how much of a ethnicity is in a certain  location like how much chinese musilms make up a place. This article is interesting because it shows you how many diferent ethnicity are around you. The different cultuer is very cool.
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Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad

Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad | Geography hour |
China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

Once again China is getting its way without having to bear almost any coast. When the nation of China makes a deal with a neighboring nation, that deal is almost always one sided. China would not enter into this railroad agreement, if it was not beneficial to the governments bottom line. The looser in this scenario will be Laos. Laos is a rural largely undeveloped nation that would love to become a major economic partner with the dominate nation in the region. The problem with this scenario is, Laos will see little of the actual bennifits of this rail line . This railroad is being built to secure Chinese influence in the region. China hopes to dominate this region and make it a Chinese spear of influence. Laos will foot the bill for the railroad, and be dominated by China. Laos is getting the losing end of this bargain.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 4:53 PM

This article depicts the major problem between trade route going through Laos. Laos is upset because they have no input in anything even though the railways will intersect through their country by the Chinese and their railways for imports and exports. "China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos". China wants to link to  Bangkok and then on to the Bay of Bengal in Maymar expanding China’s  enormous trade with Southeast Asia. Creating no way for Laos to get out of this deal though there has been some hesitation there will not be any stopping the maintenance of the soon to be power railways suffocating Laos. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:18 PM

The article discusses how China’s wish to build a rail road through southeast Asia will most likely incur a high cost from the country of Laos that the rail road will go through.  China is anxious to regain its power in the area and its terms for the rail road will leave Laos severely indebted to China to such an extent that many see it as China trying to make Laos a vessel state.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 12, 2014 2:18 AM

This is interesting, Laos pays for a railroad that they can't afford because China wants it? Now how does that make sense.  These people that barely make enough money to live as it is can no where near afford to have a railroad put through their country especially when they won't be able to reap many of the benefits.  Even with China's letting the country borrow the money to fund the project not only do they have to pay back the money but also give China minerals throughout the duration of the loan.  The people of Laos need to really think about the consequences to this railroad could be, both good and bad, for the country before any agreements are made to construct the railroad.

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Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital

Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital | Geography hour |

"Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day."


Mark Hathaway's insight:

Flash flooding is probably the least understood natural disaster in the world. People often underestimate, how dangerous a flash flooding situation can become. The Philippines and South East Asia suffer from widespread monsoons. The regions fertile farmland is a result of the widespread heavy rainfall. A darker consequence of this phenomenon is the occurrence of dangerous flash flooding conditions. This particular rain in the Philippians was strong enough to submerge more than half of the capital underwater. The government in Manila has suspended all government operations that do not pertain to response and rescue missions. There will be major economic effects from this event. The loss of private property, and infrastructure such as roads will put a dent into the local economy.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 26, 2015 1:24 PM

For the second day in a row, the Philippines government has been forced to shut down all work, except for rescuers and disaster responders. Flooding has submerged more than half of the cities capital, Manila. Roads have turned to rivers and tens of thousands of people are trapped in homes and shelters. 7 deaths have been recorded so far. The capital holds 12 million people and more than 200 hundred evacuation centers have been opened. The monsoon that caused the floods is expected to travel north and cause havoc throughout the provinces surrounding Manila.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 11:03 PM

The area of Minila received more rainfall in day than it typically gets in a month.  Flights were delayed and cancelled, roads were turned into rivers.  Some of the thoughts of why this is happening are because of deforestation of mountains, clogged waterways and canals where large squatter communities live, and poor urban planning

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:55 AM
(Southeast Asia) Monsoon season occurs naturally in Southeast Asia, but a powerful storm and industrial practices have undoubtedly amplified its impact. In this report from 2013, the rains became deadly with extreme flooding (1 in. of rain/hour) in Manila. The floods destroyed homes and caused at least 7 deaths, mostly from drowning in neck-deep water. In a state of emergency, everything besides response services were closed. An estimated 600,000 Filipinos were affected by the rains. Flooding is especially destructive in the agricultural villages because of increased isolation and less infrastructure. Deforestation, malfunctioning dams and dikes, and inadequate city development also worsened the flooding.
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Malaysia's 'Allah' controversy

Malaysia's 'Allah' controversy | Geography hour |
Is limiting the use of the Arabic word for God a sign of growing intolerance towards minorities?
Mark Hathaway's insight:

Religion and politics are often effect each other in ways people can never imagine. Even in Western nations, were religion is separated from the state, religion still plays a major role in many political debates. This law banning the use of the word Allah by non- Muslim people in Malaysia is an extension of the political movement within Islam. Politics has been the major reason for the rise of the radical sect of Islam. It developed as reaction to the perceived westernizing of Muslim nations that was occurring in the 20th century. The Iranian revolution was a response to the westernizing polices of the Shah. It replaced a secular government with a theocratic one. ISIS main goal is to establish a caliphate i.e. a ruling empire. Throughout history, religion has been used as an excuse to build dynasties and gain more power. Politics in the true motivation behind much of this radicalization.

Caterin Victor's curator insight, June 25, 2014 4:25 PM

 Yes !!  The religion of love and peace, is not a religion, and sure that  not a pacific love,  just a bunch of hatred and criminals wich endanger  the  world, in the name  of a pedophile crazy, Muhamad, and  and  inexisting  allah, a  Devil, not a  God !!  The  Obama`s   "Holly  Curan ", a  dirty   instruction book  for killing !! 

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Will China get involved in the fight against ISIS? -

Will China get involved in the fight against ISIS? - | Geography hour |
Non-intervention has been a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy for five decades. Will ISIS force China to change?
Mark Hathaway's insight:

For decades, China has had a non-interventionist foreign policy. They have largely focused their efforts on building up their own nation at home. The killing of a Chinese national by ISIS has increased calls for the Chinese government to take action to defeat ISIS. However, the government is likely to hold to its non-interventionist foreign policy. The government is worried that direct intervention could lead to retaliatory attacks on the Chinese homeland. China is prepared to cooperate with western powers, but it will not intervene defeat ISIS.

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Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent

Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent | Geography hour |
In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

If this happened in the United States, it would lead the cable news channels for about a year. Most Parents in our country will hardly ever let their small children leave the house, never mind actually be by themselves for a long time period. This video is an excellent showcase of the differences between western and eastern cultures. The eastern culture prioritize independence at an early age. They make a point of making sure that children can become self sustainable. In the west, we go to extraordinary links to shield our children from the ugliness of every day society. We are more fearful of the horrors that might occur to our children if we allow them to explore society. Neither approach can be judged as correct or wrong. They are just two different ways of raising children in a complex and often freighting world.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 9:59 AM

unit 3

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:27 PM

It's interesting to see the cultural differences that facilitate these drastically different parenting strategies held by the Japan and the United States. In the US, our capitalistic society puts every man on his own- we are told not to help others, nor to ask for help. From the treks we made across the continent to our reluctance, as a society, to accept welfare programs as a necessity in an industrialized democratic society, Americans strive for solitude and independence. There isn't a sense of community in many parts of the country, and as a result, we are less likely to trust one another- I remember reading about two parents being invested by Child Services because they allowed their 9 year old child to walk with his younger sister to school. To think that such attitudes could be held on such a large scale, as they are in Japan, is laughable. We are told as we grow up how unsafe we really are. In Japan, the community- the collective- is held as the ideal, and people are taught to be able to trust strangers, to expect the best from them. The result? A safer society and the perception that Japanese society as a whole is safer. Children are able to walk freely in public and not be afraid, and public transit and walking are more widely accepted in urban areas. Tokyo may or may not be the world's safest large city, but it certainly feels so for its inhabitants, and I fail to see how that isn't better than the fear Americans have for our neighbors. This is something we need to address as a society, and we should start by looking at our ally across the Pacific. 

tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 2018 6:16 PM
The term “it takes a village to raise children” is completely at work in Japan.  Parents allow their children to ride the subway as early as 6.  People in japan rely on a community as a whole to not only watch out for the children but each other as a whole.  They believe that kids are self reliant and they instill it at a young age.  When they are at school they are all depend on to clean up after themselves.  This mindset stays with the kids and public.  That’s why Japans streets are clean. 
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North Korea threatens to strike without warning

North Korea threatens to strike without warning | Geography hour |
North Korea turned up the temperature yet another degree on its neighbors Monday, warning that it would not give any advance notice before attacking South Korea.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

The situation in North Korea is becoming increasingly troubling. Kim Jon Un has proven himself to be an unstable actor on the world stage. By all reports, it seems that the young leader is crazy. In this case, this nut case has a nuclear arsenal to play with. An attack on South Korea would trigger an automatic response from the U.S.  The Korean war could literally resume in a matter of minutes. Negotiating with the North Korean regime is futile at best. How can you negotiate with a nation that refuses to honor any type of international agreement? North Korea survives, because China allows it to. If the North Korean threat is ever eliminated, it will be China, not the United States that eliminates it.

Dakota Swank's comment, April 18, 2013 11:03 AM
yea knesel. Weird huh? Well the armisist treaty involves the US so, lets be honest, nothing is going to happen there because all this is is little Kim Jong Un in his big boy britches, they're just empty threats. So why waste the nuke? it will just be devistating and tragic for the whole world, you can't just wipe out an entire population like that. It's not human.
Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 5:29 AM

Kim Jung-Un's reckless actions and threats that were the highlights of the beginning of his regime was nothing more than a frivoulous attempt at displaying his power.  He wanted the world to see his legitimacy as a leader, whether or not it was known he is the leader of a cult of personality. He wanted us to take him seriously, and in a way we did, as these threats were the talk among the nation for a bit.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:08 PM

Since the ceasefire was declared in 1953, tensions have always ran high between the democratic South and the communist North of the Korean peninsula. Petty threats are the norm, with either side threatening to destroy the other should they continue to escalate tensions, occasionally made worse by the stray shot that makes its way across the border. North Korea has been the more aggressive of the two, using threats of violence to force the West to provide its starving masses with foreign aid. Any hopes that new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be less extreme than his father have since been extinguished, as Un has further ruined relations between his government and his southern neighbors. Both China and the US have condemned the North's actions, with China hoping its smaller ally will cease its irrational foreign policy as the Chinese attempt to cement their place as a global power. There has been over 60 years of relative peace between the two countries, with most Koreans today having never seen the conflict itself, and it is hoped that this peace will continue. However, for as long as Un and his communist party maintain their vice-like grip on their nation's peoples, the threat of violence- and the violation of human rights within their own borders- will continue.

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Military Shift For Japan?

Military Shift For Japan? | Geography hour |

"Citing threats from China and North Korea, a government-appointed panel is urging Japan to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to allow the use of military force to defend other countries."

Mark Hathaway's insight:

This move by the Japanese government was inevitable and nessacary. Japans neighbors are becoming more hostile by the day. China and North Korea are both stepping up their military might. Both nations are clear threats to the peace and security of Japan. The natural response, would be to counter the growing militarism of China and North Korea by building up your own arm forces to serve as deterrent. The old article pacifying Japan  no longer makes sense in our current world environment.  Japan is now one of the United States strongest allies. Allowing Japan to raise an army, would take pressure off are already overextended military.

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 23, 2015 1:42 PM

This is an extremely important event in Japanese history. What's neat is how America is in support of japan having a great military role both nationally and internationally. Yes, it is up to the Japanese to deliberate and set forth this plan, so one will see what comes of it. I believe they will decide engaging in the constructing of a greater military force will be the way to go. It makes sense.

This article was very suggestive in referring to the growing threats that exist in the East China Sea. If Japan wants to increase its military power and become a player in defense of itself and other countries then the situation must be worsening. North Korea and China has been growing and are now a threat to Japan, which in a way makes them a threat to America too (which is no secret). Now, Japan is saying the expansion of a military is strictly for defense and they do not want to engage in any war. And by "they"/"Japan"  I mean the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

He does not want a military appearance that existed prior and during WWII. 

America benefits from this greatly. Yes the Pacific Ocean is a pretty big buffer between China and America however the presence of Japan acts as a buffer too. If Japan were to increase its military they would prove to be an even bigger buffer. Japan and America would be able to work in unison against Chinese and North Korean threats. Perhaps America would even gain more intelligence on the region, if they haven't gotten top of the line intelligence already. Japan wants to be able to protect itself from said threats. By doing so it would act as an initial first line of defense for America. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:37 AM

Even though it has been 70 years since Japan was waging war across the world, it still should be a little concerning to anyone who has studied and understands how World War II played out and its' ramifications.  Japan is, essentially, making a move to slowly move away from their war-inducing military restrictions.  While, I don't think anyone should "dictate" what Japan does, I think this needs to play out transparently and collectively for the world to see. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 12:01 PM

Since the end of the Second World War, Japan has remained out of external military engagements, the result of a clause in its constitution drafted to prevent a reoccurrence of the Japanese aggression that sparked the war in the Pacific. However, with both China and North Korea displaying some concerning foreign policy, with China in particular flexing its muscles in the South Pacific, Japan has taken measures to expand its military capacity. There has been open debate in Japan over whether or not to expand its military power, with public opinion being relatively split; in the US, there has been widespread approval for the decision, in the hopes that Japan, long since a regional power, will take more responsibility for both its own defense and the defense of its neighbors. With the expansion of China's naval power recently- with the artificial islands appearing all over the Pacific, and them recently establishing their first naval base on the African continent- perhaps it is time for Japan, one of the US's staunchest allies, to step up to the plate and flex its own muscles. If this push is successful in giving the Japanese military more bite, it will be interesting to see China's response to the measure, and if its foreign policy will change accordingly.

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Australia likely to reject US request for more forces to fight IS

Australia likely to reject US request for more forces to fight IS | Geography hour |
The Federal Government looks likely to reject a United States request to send more military assets to fight Islamic State, with Defence Minister Marise Payne saying Australia was already making a very significant commitment.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the United States is looking to ramp up its campaign against the Islamic State. The United States has asked all its coalition partners to review their current commitments to the campaign, to see if further escalation is warranted. Australia seems unlikely to add any more military forces to the conflict. The Australian government feels that it is already making a significant commitment to the fight against the Islamic State. The Royal Australian Air Force is already carrying out bombing raids in both Iraq and Syria. Australia  has also sent in advisors to train Iraqi forces. This is likely to be the apex of Australian support.

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Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S.

Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S. | Geography hour |

"If you think the United States is every immigrant's dream, reconsider. Sure, in absolute numbers, the U.S. is home to the most foreign-born people — 45.7 million in 2013. But relatively, it's upper-mid-pack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N. report 'Trends in International Migrant Stock.'  Whether tax havens and worker-hungry Gulf states, refugee sanctuaries or diverse, thriving economies, a host of nations are more immigrant-dense than the famed American melting pot.  Immigrants make up more than a fourth (27.7 percent) of the land Down Under; two other settler nations, New Zealand and Canada, weigh in with 25.1 and 20.7 percent foreign-born, respectively. That's compared to 14.3 percent in the United States." 

Tags: migration, population, USA, Australia, Oceania.

Mark Hathaway's insight:

Immigration has become a dominate issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. For those who believe that the United States is letting in to many immigrants, I refer you to the statistics in this article. Only 14 percent of our population is foreign born. The United States ranks 65th in the world in the percentages of the population that is foreign born. We are far behind the two most prominent Oceanic nations, Australia and New Zealand. Nearly twenty eight percent of Australians are foreign born. Twenty five percent of New Zealanders are also foreign born. Those nations are actually more representative of the melting pot philosophy, than the United States is.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:16 PM

the us is not the choice nation of nations. it is not the most sought nation for migrants. that means we must be doing something right or wrong.

David Stiger's curator insight, December 5, 2018 11:25 AM
Facts put major cultural issues into perspective. The facts found in this NPR article indicate that much of the world - and not just the United States - is grappling with immigration issues. Although the U.S. has the largest foreign-born population in raw numbers, it does not make up as large a percentage as the overall population as some other nations. Compared to the U.S.'s immigrant population of 14.3%, Australia's foreign-born subgroup makes up 27.7% while New Zealand's hit 25.1%. That is over one-fourth of the entire population in each country. 

Australia and New Zealand are ideal as they are both relatively safe, stable, progressive, and economically developed nations that have room to grow. 

The issue, especially for Australia, is taking in high numbers of unskilled workers who can be difficult to integrate into the economy. The U.S., mainly from the right, has also complained about this trend. Many migrant workers, however, are filling low-wage, unskilled jobs that non-immigrant workers shun and have no desire for. Considering that immigrants who fill these jobs earn their keep, pay taxes, and stimulate the economy by spending their money outweighs the potential economic burden. The truth of the matter is that natives in Australia and the United States are more fearful of the cultural, social, ethnic, religious, and linguistic changes that often take place when outside groups settle within a new country. This diversity can surely enrich a society. It can also stress out traditionalists, fearful of change, and cause social unrest and animosity. The important thing for Americans to understand is that we are not the only country wrestling with a globalized world in which people transcend boundaries, diversity is on the rise, and change happens. Just look to Oceania. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 4:34 PM
With some countries having as many as 25% of people being foreighn born I wonder how much of this diversity could cause social upheaval. As we learned in class sometimes cultural differences can cause major issues in a country, and often times without a major culture tying every one together the country will inevitably split up or have civil strife similar to what we see in parts of Europe from mass migration.  I wonder what effect migration will have in places like Australia 5-10 years from now. Especially if the cultures these immigrants come from are drastically different then Australian culture. 
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U.S. Territories

A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right?
Mark Hathaway's insight:

The plight of our territories is a smudge on our nations character. The most controversial of these issues is Puerto Ricos status as a territory of the United States. Puerto Ricans are United States citizens by law, yet they have no representation in their government. They can not vote in presidential elections, have no real representation in the congress except their non voting delegate, and they have no representation in the electoral college.  Something must be done, to rectify this situation. A possible solution may be to pass a 23rd amendment for Puerto Rico. The 23rd Amendment provides residents of the nations capital the right to vote, and representation in the electoral college. DC is given a number of electoral votes equivalent to the least populous state. That number is 3 electoral votes. The amendment does not provide DC  with representation in the Congress. This Amendment has been controversial since the time of its ratification in 1961. Congress later repealed the amendment with a new DC voting rights amendment  that gave DC representation in Congress. The new Amendment failed to garner enough support amongst the states for ratification. To me the 23rd Amendment solution is the best possible compromise. It gives Puerto Rico representation, while persevering the rights and sanctity of the states.

Sameer Mohamed's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:06 AM

I think it is interesting one point that he brought up was the ability for someone who is born in a US territory may vote for president, however; if that candidate would like to win votes from his home territory he cannot. This is because the territory is unable to vote for presidents. Puerto Rico is also spoken of in which it highlights their ability to become a state and the difference they have in language.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 12, 2015 10:57 PM

This was amazing! I love him! I  am embarrassed to admit that i had no idea about any of this. I did not know that those territories were part of my country. This populations complete commitment to serving our country without any of the benefits is jaw dropping. We should be completely ashamed of our selves. I am honestly completely surprised that even in today's day in age this hasn't been fixed. Everything about this is unconstitutional. How this case loses in a court is beyond me. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the fact that 67% of Guam shows up to vote in though their votes dont count and yet only 61% of all of the US does...that embarrassing. We have clearly taken for granted our freedom to vote.

Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 5:13 PM
John Oliver always does a great job discussing important topics such as this the rights of people in U.S. territories. People who live on the island territories are  U.S. citizens but have no real representation. Each gets one representative in the house who has no voting power and the people are not allowed to vote for president or have a senator. From the land of freedom, this is a terrible injustice. If these people are U.S. citizens than they deserve the rights of the constitution. 
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Designs That Might Be New Zealand's Next Flag

Designs That Might Be New Zealand's Next Flag | Geography hour |
It’s not everyday that a nation chooses a new flag by its own volition, with the support of the voters, without any drastic regime changes. New Zealand is doing exactly that. With the Flag Consideration Project, the Kiwis are trying on a new look.


Tags: Flags, New Zealand.

Mark Hathaway's insight:

New Zealand faces a major decision. A countries flag is its main symbol of independence and sovereignty. The flag stands as the universal symbol of the nation. It binds people together based on a common ideal and heritage. The country of New Zealand is holding a design contest in order to choose the next flag of their nation. The entire situation is an unusual occurrence in the world. Countries generally only change their flags after there has been some revolutionary upheaval in the country. New Zealand lacks any of revolutionary upheaval. The country is changing its flag, because there is a general feeling that the flag is not New Zealand enough. Their current flag looks to much like the Australian flag. New Zealand is seeking a flag that will give them a proper distinction on the world stage. I wish them luck with their desire for change.

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Myanmar: More than 100 jade hunters killed in landslide -

Myanmar: More than 100 jade hunters killed in landslide - | Geography hour |
At least 113 people were killed in Myanmar when a huge hill of tailings from a jade mine collapsed onto the huts of sleeping workers.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

The United States has experienced its fair share of mining disasters over the years, I am not sure if any rival the scope and tragedy present in this disaster. 113 sleeping workers were killed when the mine collapsed  on their huts. It is estimated that an additional 30 miners are buried beneath the surface of the mine. The local mining industry has been labeled  a slush fund. by its critics. The Mining industry which is a major piece of Myanmar's economy,  is accused of practicing unsafe safety and environmental activities in the region. The same seems to hold true for hold mining disasters across the world. Disasters in the United States have decreased do to increased amounts of regulation placed on the mine owners. More regulation is likely needed in the developing nation of Myanmar.

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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 | Geography hour |
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 '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:

Mark Hathaway's insight:

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.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:42 PM

This was an interesting but short article.  It is interesting to realize that Coke is sold almost universally worldwide with just a few exceptions.  It is truly the poster boy for globalization.

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.

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Urbanization and Megacities: Jakarta

"This case study examines the challenges of human well-being and urbanization, especially in the megacity of Jakarta."

Mark Hathaway's insight:

Megacities are beginning to populate the entire globe. In the developing world, more and more megacities are beginning to form. Jakarta Indonesia is an example of a rising megacity. This rapid urbanization has placed a special burden on the resources and local economies of many developing nations. This areas are not prepared to deal with the rapid population growth associated with the development of a megacity. This strain placed on the local areas, will often lead to terrible living conditions for the lower classes of society. Sanitation will often become a major issue in many of these megacities. Large portions of the population will often lack a proper sanitation system. The lack of proper sanitation will lead to the onset of deadly diseases. The effects of rapid urbanization can be deadly, for those living in the pooper regions of society.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 2014 8:10 PM

Jakarta is the capitol of Indonesia and now has a population of over 28 million. Urbanization is bringing serious problems to Indonesia’s only mega city, such as poor access to clean water and housing, and overpopulation. Some people, including the young woman in this video are living with 16 or more people in one house. It seems the city is not providing enough affordable housing for its residents.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 2014 2:25 PM

It is nice to see an organization that is not just blindly giving resources to people in need but actually empowering them and training them to be able to get the things they need through work. The women in this story describe how they have learned to make and sell things in order to take care of their families and they describe how empowering that feels.

L.Long's curator insight, August 28, 2015 6:11 AM

mega cities Jakarta

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Burma's bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia

Burma's bizarre capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia | Geography hour |
The purpose-built city of Naypyidaw – unveiled a decade ago this year – boasts 20-lane highways, golf courses, fast Wi-Fi and reliable electricity. The only thing it doesn’t seem to have is people, report Matt Kennard and Claire Provost

Tags: Burma, Southeast Asia, urban, urbanism.

Mark Hathaway's insight:

If you build it, they may not come. Burma's government t must be both shocked and dismayed at the development of their grand new capital. They probably should not be that surprised at this development. All cites take time to grow. Outside of china, mega cities are not developed over the course of a night. Up until the Civil War, Washington D.C. was a swampy outpost in the middle of no were.  Eventually their capital will develop, it may just take longer than the government of Burma had hoped for.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:02 PM

this just goes to prove that there needs to be an economic reason for people to move. if you build it, they will not come. they will stay where the money is, and ignore the 'honor' of living in the new capital city.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:46 PM

I strange but not historically unprecedented situation. This kind of reminds me of all the cities China built in compensation for population growth. Historically the only way cities like this succeed is either by enticing immigration with tax cuts, free house etc or it has been forcefully with entire populations being moved (the latter being what the ancients largely did creating cities like Alexandria). Another example of capital moving is Iran however how they got a population in theirs I am not aware.Burma committed to neither and as a result the city is a failure. The cities layout also seems a bit extreme given it was made to suppress rather than entice. What is really bad however is the loss of agricultural land and ancestral villages in the area being destroyed all clearly for nothing. At the very least the country may be slowly moving away from dictatorship but only time will tell. Hopefully this failure will force further concessions making it a more tolerable place to live. Only then true solutions will likely be found to their poverty since the dictatorship has been seemingly incompetent in its actions.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 17, 2018 11:14 PM
Burma is a country that is facing a situation that seems to be pretty unique.  The government is in a constant battle to maintain their reputation in the international community and attempt to paint an image of themselves that doesn’t accurately represent what is occurring domestically.  Aside from the unrecognized genocide that the Rhohingan population is facing that the government barely acknowledges, the country is suffering from extreme poverty and a government that is only concerned with maintaining power.  The move of the capital city exemplifies this problem quite well.  The biggest city in Burma is Rangoon which was previously its capital.  The government decided to move the capital city to Naypyidaw that was built to be a modern, world class city in 2005 and cost about $4 billion to build.  It contains well-maintained infrastructure and landscaping and contains many of the things nice cities have like golf courses and zoos.  The government thought that moving the capital city would draw people out of Rangoon and the city would expand.  However, their thought was very wrong.  Many people couldn’t afford to make the move, didn’t like the jobs they were being offered, and the commute between the two cities is less than ideal.  In fact the highway between the Rangoon and Naypyidaw has been nicknamed the “Death Highway” because so many fatal accidents occur on it, not to mention it takes five hours to make the drive.  Plane tickets are too expensive for most Burmese people as well. This has created a strange emptiness in the capital city that many describe as a ghost town.  The government’s public reasoning for moving the city was to help alleviate the overcrowded conditions of Rangoon and build a more appealing city.  But documents have revealed the government’s real reason for moving was to protect themselves from opposition, which is evidenced by the fact that the parliament building is surrounded by a moat.  Although the government is no longer considered a dictatorship, the old power dynamics are in place.  More than ten years after Naypyidaw was established, it is still virtually empty.  Visitors to the city also have noted that many of the structures in the city are good looking on the outside, but falling apart on the inside.  Residents that work in the city usually do not make enough money to enjoy the luxuries of Naypyidaw either.  
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Maeklong Railway Market

"Multi-purpose land use."

Mark Hathaway's insight:

This video is shocking to say the least. It amazes me that people will continue to sell and eat those vegetables, after a train has rolled right over them. This video speaks to a major problem facing South East Asia, the problem of overpopulation. There is just not enough of land, to support the entire population. When a society faces these types of issues, are forced to use there available land for multiple purposes. That is the exact situation that is playing out in this video. A situation like the one presented in the video, would be untenable in the United States. Americans love their right to privacy and personal space, they would never consent to such an arrangement. Urban sprawl makes the occurrence of such a situation, unlikely to happen.  Our cites have been expanding out over more and more land, not contracting into smaller places.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:15 PM
Definitely a good way for multi-purpose land use. They are utilizing the space they have conservatively, they really nailed this one on the head coming up with an idea to put a market right on a railroad track. Is this concept even safe or sanitary? Most definitely not. First off, it is not sanitary because that train on a daily basis has gone through all sorts of dirt and the train is literally passing right over the farmer's food that he is still going to sell to customers. Also, probably not the safest, because the people are just inches away from the passing train and with the wrong move, they can possibly fall onto the track and they are dead. I will hand it to them though, they act in an orderly fashion and move swiftly both when it comes and when it leaves. As a matter of fact, they go on with life so well after it leaves, it is almost like the train never passed through in the first place.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 2:57 AM
In one video we see issues surrounding urban development, city planning (or lack thereof), population density, and land use, among other topics. As more and more people move into Southeast Asia's unplanned cities, there will be more crowding and people will have to use every last available inch of land, even if that means going right up to the train tracks. This is a culture shock to people in the West, where most land is single-use only.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:16 PM
Urban planning in a rapidly urbanizing area can be difficult, but in this area two very different urban entities use the land together so beautifully. This market was built around the train tracks and when the train passes through at a slow speed the market clears the tracks and both work together so flawlessly. This is uncommon for us to see because many cities in America had room to grow and expand and had ample planning time because urbanization happened much slower than it is in Asia, with urbanization happening so fast the countries need to use their space flexibly. 
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Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning

Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning | Geography hour |
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
Mark Hathaway's insight:

This video lays out them main difference between educational theory in the west, and educational theory in the east. In the west, we place value on a student achieving the right answer. Right Answers eventually lead to high grades. All classes eventually boil down to the grade given. In reality, it is all that most parents, teachers and students care about. In the east knowledge is measured through the work that goes in to getting the correct answer. Mistakes are seen as a natural outcome of hard work. They are not discouraged as they are in western education.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:31 PM

Today the a lot of focus is being spent on the differences between western and eastern education. A large catalyst in this research is the rise of East Asian economies and the fear many in the west have that their nations are quickly becoming the new under dogs. While their is a difference in education methods one must also wonder if it partially comes down to the government and cultural importance placed on education. During the Cold War America placed a ton of interest and support on our education but after peace came our nation education declined across the board. This might be similar in East Asia while in stead of seeking to overcome the Russians they are seeking to over come their current place in the global community.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 2:25 PM

I actually feel this is a great way to teach students, we just aren’t used to it in America.  The students who already know what they’re doing should be helping those who struggle.  When we boast about how well someone does at something, it can actually discourage the student who doesn’t understand.  It is definitely a tricky situation to be in, but I can understand why.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 15, 2015 2:16 PM

the difference in mentality is amazing as described in this article the difference in perception of struggling students in america and Asian countries is staggering and i think that our country has been so concerned for so long with only the best succeeding that it needs to be fixed, i know that we have taken steps int he right direction with different government programs which is promising and hopefully this development will continue

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Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister

Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister | Geography hour |
Taro Aso says he would refuse end-of-life care and would 'feel bad' knowing treatment was paid for by government
Mark Hathaway's insight:

What this government minister said is repugnant, but his comments strike directly at the most serious issue facing Japan. The Japanese population has become to old to sustain itself. Their are not enough younger people in Japan to sustain future generations of Japanese society. When a society fails to reproduce, it dies out. Japan may be facing extinction in a few generations to come. The increased strain on the government of Japan, will eventually kill it. A state can not support a majority elderly population. The coasts of medical care would drown the government in debt and financial ruin. Many European nations are facing a similar demographic time bomb. If this problem is not corrected, there is a good chance that both European and Japanese society will die out.

Greg Hill's curator insight, January 30, 2013 1:17 AM

Tell us how you really feel

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:30 AM

Its clear that Japan is overpopulating. People are living long lives in a big country like Japan and people just keep reproducing. The Japense  minister in my opion is very wrong here. A minister should never wish deaths upon his people.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 11:11 AM

As populations age and the younger generations have less children the burden of government to provide care for the elderly becomes a big issue.  In countries where the government pays for their health care this will only become a bigger issue.  When the needs of the old and the needs of the young become a conflict what is a country to do?  These issues will only increase as the birth rates of developed countries declines.  

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What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline

What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline | Geography hour |
Picture this: Tourists visiting one of your city's most prominent attractions are unable to see it because of smog, haze and a bevy of other airborne pollutants. What's the solution?
Mark Hathaway's insight:

Pollution is a huge issue facing both Hong Kong, and the rest of China in general. So far the government  has done little to actually combat the problem. The Chinese governments response has been to pretend that the problem does not really exist. A fake skyline can just erase the problem. In reality dealing with the pollution issue would actually help the Chinese economy. When people seek to go on a vacation, they are seeking a destination that is clean and safe. Who wants to visit a place were, you have to ware a mask to prevent the breathing in of armful chemicals. A cleaner less polluted china would lead to an expanded tourism industry.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 13, 2015 11:55 AM

This article is a little sad. If you're traveling across the world and want to take pictures for memories, using a backdrop would not be the first thing that comes to mind. Tourists use a backdrop to show the Hong Kong skyline on a clear and sunny day because you have trouble seeing it most days due to all of the pollution. It's crazy that you cannot even take a picture of the actual skyline because the pollution is so bad. This temporary fix has overlooked that actual problem here. People are fascinated that they are being provided with an alternative of what it would look like but something should be done so that people can actually experience the real thing. This backdrop is putting a band-aid on the issue in the mean time but all of this pollution is not safe and something needs to be done to start fixing it. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:17 PM

Major cities in the world should take a deeper look into controlling pollution problems in their cities.  At some point, these places will no longer attract people to live in these areas, thus lowering the impact that these industries may have.  But as long as people are still living here by the millions and there is tourism, and buisness is booming, nothing will be done about the issue.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:08 PM

Summer reading KQ4: pollution, smog, megacity, sustainability