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How Instagram Is Changing the Way We Design Cultural Spaces

How Instagram Is Changing the Way We Design Cultural Spaces | Jordan's Geography |

"As neighborhoods, restaurants and museums become more photogenic, are we experiencing an 'Instagramization' of the world?"


Penang is one of a number of cities capitalizing on the wild popularity of photo-based social media apps such as Instagram, which has 800 million users (that’s more than a tenth of the world’s population). It’s part of a wider phenomenon of public and private spaces being designed to appeal to users of such apps. This phenomenon is subtly changing our visual landscapes—on the streets, in restaurants, in stores, in museums and more. Call it the “Instagramization” of the world.

Restaurants have been at the forefront of Instagramization. Since social media mentions can make or break a restaurant’s success, owners have become attuned to what visual aspects of food and décor appeal to customers. Restaurant designers are going for photo-friendly background materials like slate and whitewashed wood, and using plain white plates. Some are deliberately incorporating Instagram-appealing visuals that feature the restaurant’s name or logo—floor tiles, neon signs—hoping they’ll wind up in a snap.


Tags:  social media, place, culture, architecture, urban.

Matt Manish's insight:
This article helps to explain the interesting topic of social media in this current age and how it is shaping our culture. Author of the article Emily Matchar points out how many places in big cities are becoming more and more visually appealing for tourists and customers to come and take pictures for Instagram. She further gives examples of this by how restaurants are putting much more thought into designing their establishments than ever before in hopes that their customers will take a picture there and upload it Instagram. These, restaurants are also creating dishes and beverages that are more colorful as well as pleasing to look at to encourage their customers to post a picture of their food online. Posting these pictures online benefits these restaurants by helping increase their presence online leading to a potentially larger customer base. Matchar goes on to say how this not only changes the way restaurants are trying to use social media to their advantage, but how many other businesses and public places are trying to as well. Pointing out that even museums are coming up with more interactive exhibits for attendees to take pictures of. Overall, I found that this article had an insightful view into the power of social media and how it is molding the way we look at things in our world.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, 25 January 2018, 17:12

Over the course of years Instagram has become increasingly popular and especially in Penang. Penang is one out many cities capitalizing on photo based social media such as Instagram. This phenomenon is changing our landscapes, streets, museums, in restauraunts and stores. We call it Instagramization.

James Piccolino's curator insight, 26 January 2018, 00:38
I am admittedly a little bit torn on whether this is a good or bad thing. This "Instagramization" does drive art and restaurants to look better, but is it for the right reasons? I have an Instagram, and I do these very same things, but I still have to question the motivations. Are we appreciating art again for the right reasons? Long ago we as humans had an appreciation for art stretching all the way back to cave paintings on walls, long before social media. This trend of only now getting so much into art seems to be more for personal branding, showing off, and trying to impress our friends/followers, maybe even impress ourselves on a deeper level. If we did not hashtag and get likes for our artsy pictures, would we still be so ready to post them, or love them? Do we love the creative world around us? Or do we love what the art around us does for us? There is nothing really wrong with either, but it is a question to consider. The restaurants and tourist spots would probably say "Who cares?" and who could really blame them? They benefit, which is a great thing. I guess when it comes down to it, whether it is for ourselves or for a love of various forms of expression, it is a nice thing that humanity is getting into art again.
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ISIS and the U.S. Presidential Election

The United States is already taking some steps to roll back the Islamic State (ISIS) and restrict its resources and recruits, including airstrikes, armin
Matt Manish's insight:
The video was published before the last presidential election, but some of the information in it is still accurate regarding the crisis  in Syria. For example this video talks about how Syrian refugees are fleeing from ISIS to other nations in order to escape them. There are many refugees being displaced because of the violence ISIS is causing in the middle east. Refugees that need a place to escape to flee to neighboring countries to get away from ISIS. There is still some debate in America about whether or not Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the U.S. as well. Ultimately something needs to be done about the terror havoc ISIS is reeking in the middle east.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, 7 March 2018, 14:47
Since this video was made we have already had a Presidential election and policy made to deal with some of these key issues. Within the past year US policy (some continuation from the Obama Era) under President Trump has been to destroy ISIS and for the most part it has be done. ISIS has been displaced from the region, however that does not mean that the fighting in Syria has stopped. There are still many issues in the area and one that will not simply be rectified within a few years, this is a battle that we will see repeat over and over again. Much like Afghanistan, this area is one with much upheaval and when one power goes away another one rises and new problems can arise. It is an area in which, like the video states a major conundrum. How can we support one place and not make a country like Turkey angry (the Kurd's example  from the video)? So one could say well just stay out of the whole area, while that can make sense it is to important as a world leader (especially America) to not be involved in both a key geographical area for Russia and human rights area.  While there is no doubt there has been improvements in the last year, it is the same story in the Middle East, what is the end game? How do we get to the finish line and does anyone have the right answers. 
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Russia In Talks With Venezuela to Use 'El Petro'

Russia In Talks With Venezuela to Use 'El Petro' | Jordan's Geography |
Petro, the cryptocurrency launched by the government of Venezuela in February 2018, is being considered by Russia as a means of international transactions, according to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.

Via Lionel Gikonyo
Matt Manish's insight:
The nation of Venezuela has created its own cryptocurrency called Petro. This is the very first cryptocurrency that has been produced and run by a state. This is somewhat peculiar, because as the article points out, this is a type of decentralized currency that is being used by a centralized government. Although this is odd, Russia seems to have some interest in investing into Petro. Some spectate Russia might be entertaining this idea as one way to get around the sanctions the United States is creating against Russia. If this cryptocurrency has success with Russia, it could become the very first type of cryptocurrency that is run by a government to be used around the world.
Lionel Gikonyo's curator insight, 4 April 2018, 09:32

"Venezuelan-backed Cryptocurrency Could Be Used By Russia"

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#Mexico’s #Oil Crisis: Pirates, Cartels, And Corruption

#Mexico’s #Oil Crisis: Pirates, Cartels, And Corruption | Jordan's Geography |
Mexico’s oil industry is plagued by pirates and cartels, with fuel theft and illegal pipeline taps hitting all-time highs, costing the country billions

Via Yididiya Mulatu
Matt Manish's insight:
In Mexico there is only one company you can purchase gas from, and it’s the state run company Pemex. Unfortunately for Mexico and its potential investors, Pemex is currently having an oil crisis. Currently there has been a rise in gasoline theft in Mexico from mainly the cartel and pirates. The cartel has been bribing Pemex employees to tell them where oil pipelines are so they can drill into them, steal oil, and sell it on the black market. On the ocean, Mexican pirates have been disguising themselves as fishermen in order to steal vessels shipping oil and take over oil platforms on the water. This significant amount of theft has led to potential investors to question if they want to go into business with Pemex. If Pemex hopes to regain control of their company and keep potential investors interested in their business, then they will need to do something in order to stop these pirates and the cartel from stealing their product.
Yididiya Mulatu's curator insight, 20 April 2018, 13:37

'Mexican oil is hemorrhaging money thanks to gasoline-guzzling cartels, seafaring pirates, and widespread collusion within their own ranks. While this is nothing new for the oil-rich but security-poor nation, the problem is now worse than ever, with state-run Pemex losing over a billion and a half dollars a year to thieves.'

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From the Middle East to Korea, Trump has been the transformational president. @investorseurope 

From the Middle East to Korea, Trump has been the transformational president. @investorseurope  | Jordan's Geography |
On the world stage, ancient enemies are coming together, and our modern rivals are recognized for what they are.

Via Ihozo Nice
Matt Manish's insight:
Although I notice that the author of this article, Thomas Hicks Jr. is extremely biased in favor of President Trump, I do feel that he has some interesting arguments that he brings to the table. For example Hicks argues that “on the world stage, ancient enemies are coming together” in regards to North Korea and South Korea finally coming to an agreement about denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. This truly is a huge accomplishment for the whole that the United States has helped to nudge in the right direction. Overall, I think regardless of party association, the United States along with the rest of the world can celebrate this huge victory for the Korean Peninsula. In addition to that Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital which has led to other nations in the middle east neighboring Israel to recognize that as well. This has led to more trade increasing between these countries and hopefully that will lead to more peace in the middle east and reduce the hostility there.
Ihozo Nice's curator insight, 1 May 2018, 02:07

"One of media’s favorite tropes describes President Trump as “transactional.”"

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Poll: #Thailand November export growth seen slowing to 6.4 percent year. #GlobalAsiaTrader @investorseurope 

Poll: #Thailand November export growth seen slowing to 6.4 percent year. #GlobalAsiaTrader @investorseurope  | Jordan's Geography |
Thailand's customs-cleared annual exports likely grew for a ninth straight month in November, but at a much slower pace than in October, a Reuters poll showed.

Via Ihozo Nice
Matt Manish's insight:
Recently, Thailand's economy has been striving in an upward direction for the past few years and is expected to have another great year ahead. One of the main reasons for Thailand's recent booming economy has to do with global trade, particularly with its exports. Thailand is rising in the global ranks of automotive and electronic exports. In addition to that Thailand also exports a large amount of agricultural products such as sugar, rice, and shrimp. It seems as though Thailand's economy will continue to move in the right direction in the near future as long it can continue to maintain good trade relationships with its partners and potentially foster new ones with other countries.
Ihozo Nice's curator insight, 19 December 2017, 13:14

"Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports likely grew for a ninth straight month in November, but at a much slower pace than in October, a Reuters poll showed."

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Southeast Asia, Australia Vow to Unite Against Trade #Protectionism. #Globalasiatrader @Investorseurope 

Southeast Asia, Australia Vow to Unite Against Trade #Protectionism. #Globalasiatrader @Investorseurope  | Jordan's Geography |
Southeast Asian nations and Australia vowed to unite in opposing protectionism, while also using their summit in Sydney to urge North Korea to denuclearize immediately.

Via Ihozo Nice
Matt Manish's insight:
Australia and several Southeast Asian nations have recently met in regards to trade in there region and to prevent trade protectionism which is the restriction of imports from other countries due to government regulations. These nations are seeking to create a more open market that is more laissez faire inclined than restricted. An overall threat that seems to concern these nations regarding trade is the nuclear programs North Korea was previously working on when this article was recently published. I am interested to see how North Korea's more recent promise to denuclearize will affect the trade in Southeast Asia in a positive light. Overall, it seems as though the economy in this region is heading in the right direction and could have a promising future.
Ihozo Nice's curator insight, 19 March 2018, 00:31

"Southeast Asian nations and Australia vowed to unite in opposing protectionism, while also using their summit in Sydney to urge North Korea to denuclearize immediately."

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The Great Barrier Reef

"Australia urged the UN's World Heritage Committee to keep the Great Barrier Reef off the 'in danger' list to protect their tourism industry. But that doesn't mean the ecological treasure is not in danger."

Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Matt Manish's insight:
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is certainly considered to be a natural wonder. But according to this video, 50% of the reef has been lost within the last three decades. This is very discouraging news, not only is the Great Barrier Reef the largest living organism on Earth, but it is also home to many other species as well. So in result to much of the reef dying, it also takes a heavy toll on the ecosystem as a whole, since much of it depends on the reef for survival. Hopefully there will be a positive impact on this Australian treasure with the 1.5 billion dollars the Australian government plans to spend to conserve the reef over the next few years and the consequences of pollution can be reversed.
Sally Egan's curator insight, 23 November 2015, 23:29

Great article for the GBR as an ecosystem at risk.

Chris Costa's curator insight, 1 December 2015, 21:27

I have enjoyed the emphasis on the human aspect of geography in this course, and how geography impacts us. However, as much as the world influences us, we do have a substantial amount of influence on the composition of the planet, oftentimes for the worse. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the greatest wonders of the world, home to some of the most spectacular sights one can see; as someone who has been scuba diving a handful of times, I can only imagine what it must be like to explore such a world below the surface, seeing all the life that surrounds me. I would love to be able to at some point in my life, but there is a great probability that I might never get the opportunity, as the reef is dying- fast. 50% of the reef has been lost over the past 3 decades, and while Australia has pledged to reserve over a billion dollars to fund conservation efforts, it might be a case of too little, too late. Man-made climate change as a whole is taking a toll on one of nature's greatest treasures, and it might be out of the hands of the Australian damage to reverse the damage that has already been done. I would love to have the opportunity to see this one day, and I hope I get to, but I don't know if I ever will if current rates of reef loss continue. Here's to hoping humanity gets it act together and tries to save the geography we often take for granted; we won't like the ugly landscapes that will follow if we don't.

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, 4 May 2018, 03:42
The Great Barrier Reef is in danger. Even though it is not listed this way, nearly half of the reef has died, and the rest is in serious trouble if conservation is not underway. According to the video, Australia has invested over 1 billion dollars to saving its beloved coral reef. What was once filled with beautiful colors has been blanched. The loss of the reef would be devastating and could greatly impact the sea life as well as Australian tourism.
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The Chernobyl Disaster: How It Happened

On April 26, 1986, a routine safety test at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine spiraled out of control. Follow the dramatic events that led to the world's worst civilian nuclear disaster.
Matt Manish's insight:
From the accidental disaster that happened at Chernobyl, one can see how important it is to keep nuclear reactors running safely an properly. A disaster like Chernobyl can be very costly, not just financially but also in regards to human life and the environment as well. The nuclear plant there still has extremely high levels of radiation. So much so, that the original concrete sarcophagus that was laid on top of the sight to block radiation began to deteriorate over time. A new dome structure has recently been built over the sarcophagus to help block the radiation and is expected to last at least a hundred years. This disaster makes one wonder if the benefits that come from nuclear energy are worth the risks.
Carlos Fosca's curator insight, 27 April 2016, 04:14

Hoy se cumplen 30 años de la tragedia de Chernobil. Este video explica de manera muy sencilla y bastante resumida la causa principal del desastre: un terrible error humano. Paradójicamente lo que debió ser una prueba para mejorar la seguridad del reactor #4 terminó convirtiéndose en una explosión radioactiva equivalente a 400 bombas de Hiroshima. Que no se vuelva a repetir.

James Piccolino's curator insight, 24 March 2018, 13:38
As a history lover and also a lover of urban exploration Youtube videos, Chernobyl has always peaked my interest. I had heard of the effects that it had on Europe and the rest of the world before but I did not quite know the severity. I also heard about how the Soviet Union tried to ignore it and cover the incident up for a time. Both interesting and terrifying.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, 28 October 2018, 20:05
The Chernobyl Disaster was and still is the worst nuclear accident to happen in the history of the world. It happened because a nuclear reactor at the Soviet Unions nuclear power plant exploded. This was a crazy accident to happen as this particular nuclear power plant because it was one of the Soviet Unions most advanced plants. All this destruction happened because of a routine safety test on the reactor. This explosion of the reactor spewed 8 tons of radioactive fumes into the air. These fumes spread all over Europe so the Soviet Unions accident affected half of the world not just themselves.
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A History Of Sudan's Civil Wars & Conflict

This is the story of how Sudan became two nations, and of an ongoing conflict in the Nuba Mountains that has changed the lives of millions of people. In parts 2–5 of our VR series, We Who Remain, follow the lives of four people living through the war: Produced in partnership with Nuba Reports and Emblematic Group.
Matt Manish's insight:
From this video one can see how crucial borders can be to neighboring ethnic groups, especially in Sudan. North Sudan is made up of mostly Arabs and Muslims, while mainly Christians live in South Sudan. Also, the majority of North Sudan is black while the majority of South Sudan is white. Due to these two ethnic groups being so different and previously being grouped into one country, much fighting and a devastating civil war has broken out over the past few decades. Recently within the last decade Sudan was officially divided up into two nations because of the ongoing fighting and cultural differences which seems to be a step in the right direction to reduce the amount of fighting between the two countries.
Mr Mac's curator insight, 12 July 2017, 01:23
Unit 4 - Political Geography, International Conflict, Multinational States, Centrifugal Forces
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, 1 September 2017, 00:58
Global Challenges: political geography
Deanna Wiist's curator insight, 13 September 2017, 02:01

The first video in this 5-part video is a bit slow, but provides the historical and geographic context needed to understand the developmental, ethnic, and political issues that remain so difficult to resolve.  The Subsequent four videos provide a more human, personal glimpse into facets of the conflict. 


Tags: Sudan, politicalethnicity, Africa, war.

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The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics

The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics | Jordan's Geography |

"[A new paper], published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, calculates that rivers contribute between 410,000 and 4 million tonnes a year to oceanic plastic debris, with 88 to 95% [of that total] coming from only 10. Those rivers are the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl, Amur and Mekong in east Asia, the Indus and Ganges Delta in south Asia, and the Niger and Nile in Africa."

Matt Manish's insight:
It struck me as odd to learn that the majority of plastic that winds up in the ocean isn't actually from ocean activities. Also, that these ten rivers contribute up to 88 to 95% of plastics in the ocean. This is a huge margin of these materials coming from these ten major river systems, most of them being in Asia. This makes me wonder why are mostly Asia's rivers carrying so much trash to ocean. It could be the major cities sitting along the banks that are dumping trash into the river and letting float down steam. Also, I wonder if there possibly isn't an efficient enough sanitation system set up in Asia which could lead to more people just throwing their trash into these rivers. To summarize, something from the data in this article tells me that their is a common denominator as to why most of the rivers that carry the largest amount of plastic materials to the ocean every year are located in Asia.
Matt Richardson's curator insight, 3 January 2018, 18:22
Baltimore harbor has an odd contraption that is scooping plastic out of Jones Falls before it reaches the outer harbor. If only this machine could operate in these 10 river systems, which are contributing waste to our embattled/trashed/overfished/warming oceans. .
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, 14 December 2018, 18:48
In East Asia the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl Amur, Mekong. South Asia, Indus, Ganges Delta and in Africa the Niger and Nile River are responsible for dumping 4 million tonnes of plastic into the sea each year. Previous research has found 1/4 of plastic and trash comes from marine activity such as ships, fishing boats or drilling platforms. The 4/5 left comes from land totals 4.8 to 12 million tonnes. 
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How Bollywood stereotypes the West

How Bollywood stereotypes the West | Jordan's Geography |
Hollywood’s view of India can be insensitive – but Indian films present clichés about the West, and about Indian emigrants too, writes Laya Maheshwari.


Nostalgia for the colour and vivacity of India turns into a snobbish belief that ‘Indian culture’ is inherently more fun and cheerful than the drab and lifeless world in France, the US, or the UK. The rule-conforming nature of Western society is seen as antithetical to ‘living it up’, which our exuberant protagonists are wont to do. Western weddings cannot match up to Indian ones; nor is Western food anywhere as tasty as Indian food. People residing in Western societies are just not as street-smart as our Indian protagonists.


Tags: culture, India, South Asia, media. 

Matt Manish's insight:
I find it interesting how Hollywood tends to not particularly cater to audiences in India, even though I never really even had this thought cross my mind before. It is also interesting that Bollywood in India creates many films that don't really grab the attention of American or British audiences as well. As I was reading this article, I thought maybe it's alright that these two major film industries cater to their specific audiences, because that way everyone has something for them. But as I kept on reading, I realized that one major audience that is currently being overlooked are Indian-Americans and British Indians that live in Western countries and were raised there. Hollywood doesn't focus on Indian culture while Bollywood focuses on Indians retaining their heritage through their culture. These Indian-Americans and British Indians are often overlooked in much of today's film culture. I feel as though I have learned much more about this topic. This article has helped open my eyes a little bit more to this issue in the film industry.
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, 5 April 2018, 18:51
Indians express in their films the disdain that they feel for other cultures and highlight their belief that Indian culture is superior.  It is important to note that they do so specifically when talking about emigrants who settle in Western countries.  I never really thought about attitudes of superiority that others have against the U.S., I usually hear the opinion being expressed of Americans believing they are superior.  Bollywood films depict the West as having loose morals that are not compatible with the Indian way of life.  So they show actors who are playing emigrants either adhering to their Indian culture or abandoning it and acting improperly like Westerners.  The most popular characters are those who stand by their roots and chose to live how they want, not the way Western society wants them to.  Although this article is highly critical of the attitudes of Bollywood towards the West, it also points out that it actually helped paint emigrants in a more positive light back in India.  The most popular Bollywood movie called Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge or "The Braveheart will take the Bride" changed the views that many Indians had towards emigrants.  Instead of looking at them as traitors and ex-Indians, it presents the main characters as heroes for sticking by their roots.  However, the film still had the problem of expressing only disdain for Western culture and making it seem evil.  

The most interesting part of the article for me came at the very end, where it pointed out that racism is an issue in Bollywood.  Oftentimes I have heard about racism in Hollywood films, but to the credit of film makers, cinema has become more inclusive lately-- especially compared to what I read about Bollywood.  The depiction of black people is always negative.  They are sometimes portrayed by Indian actors in blackface in the background of films, which is highly offensive.  Other times they are portrayed as the dregs and lowlifes of society in the West.  Overall, I think this article raised interesting points about the culture of India and the perception of Indians to the rest of the world.
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Curse of the "Lost City of the Monkey God"?

Curse of the "Lost City of the Monkey God"? | Jordan's Geography |
An expedition in the jungles of Central America uses advanced technology to search for the remains of an ancient civilization

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Manish's insight:
I found that this article really captured my attention while reading it. Not only because of the mysterious lost city that was being searched for, but also because the archaeologists looking for it used the laser mapping system called LIDAR to look for the lost city. I have read about this laser system that has come out recently, and how it is making it easier than ever to locate cities that have been lost for centuries due to dense jungles. This laser system scans an area of jungle from a plane and then is able to detect structures such as lost cities that are covered by the jungle below. This is what helped the archaeologists mentioned in this article recently find this lost city. The LIDAR system seems like such an incredibly useful tool to help find ancient structures that are lost in South American jungles. I look forward to future discoveries that will come from this tool, and I wonder what ancient cities we will soon find that have been hidden away from the world for centuries.
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Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan because she is ‘too annoying’

Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan because she is ‘too annoying’ | Jordan's Geography |

"A Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport has had her application rejected because the locals found her too annoying.
Nancy Holten, 42, moved to Switzerland from the Netherlands when she was eight years old and now has children who are Swiss nationals. However, when she tried to get a Swiss passport for herself, residents of Gipf-Oberfrick in the canton of Aargau rejected her application. Ms Holten, a vegan and animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village and her actions have annoyed the locals. The resident’s committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national."

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Manish's insight:
What a unique situation! On one hand it does seem to be a bit ridiculous to deny someone of a passport just because they are "annoying". Also, Nancy Holten who is mentioned in the article does make a good point about the cow bells are hurting the cows in the town she is applying for citizenship in. But as I read further into this article and learned how she is trying to change many of the town's cultural traditions, it began to make more sense why the citizens of the town do not want to grant her citizenship. I find it interesting Holten still wants to move to this Swiss town after they rejected her passport twice already, since most people look for places to live with good neighbors, not a whole town that thinks you're annoying. Ultimately, now that this case has escalated further into an upper level of the Swiss government, it will be compelling to see if Holten is granted Swiss citizenship after all.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, 16 January 2018, 18:04

Fighting against local customs and place-based traditions can have some political repercussions

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How Geospatial Analytics Are Changing Habitat Conservation

"The BirdReturns program is an effort to provide 'pop-up habitats' for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers that migrate along the Pacific Flyway, a route that spans from Alaska to South America. Birds flying on this journey seek out the increasingly rare wetlands teeming with tasty insects to fuel their long-distance flights.  Over the last century, California's Central Valley has lost 95% of the wetlands habitat to development, agriculture, and other land use changes. As a solution, scientists use big data, binoculars, and rice paddies."

Matt Manish's insight:
Many bird species migrate North from South America up to Alaska when the weather changes and becomes warmer. Many birds like the birds in this video use wet lands along the way of their migration route to stop and rest. Unfortunately, many wet lands along the West coast have dried up due to farming or drought. Fortunately, pop up wet lands are being created along the migration route for birds to use to stop and rest. Some farmers are being paid to flood their land in order to create a temporary wet land for birds. This is not only nice for the birds, but also for the farmers who get paid to flood their land.
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#Tesla excited at #energy storage #opportunities in #SouthernAfrica. #Africa

#Tesla excited at #energy storage #opportunities in #SouthernAfrica. #Africa | Jordan's Geography |
Tesla, the US company that specialises in electric vehicles, energy storage and solar panel manufacturing, is hugely excited about the opportunities available to it in sub-Saharan Africa. Tesla opened an office in the V&A Waterfront about two years ago that is focused exclusively on the company’s energy storage products. Sources close to Tesla confirmed on…

Via Moses Junior
Matt Manish's insight:
Tesla, the company that specializes in electric cars and energy storage has had worldwide success within the last decade. Now Tesla is looking into opening an energy storage office in sub-Saharan Africa. I find this piece of information particularly interesting since Elon Musk, who is the founder of Tesla, is actually from South Africa. So in a way is seems as though this is his way to give back to South Africa. This office will be beneficial for the South African economy and though it won’t create a mass amount of jobs since it is only an office and not a factory it will still have a positive effect nonetheless. Also, with this foot in the door, it could open up more opportunities for Tesla to possibly invest there and influence the South African economy in a positive light.
Moses Junior's curator insight, 30 April 2018, 06:32


Tesla, the US company that specialises in electric vehicles, energy storage and solar panel manufacturing, is hugely excited about the opportunities available to it in sub-Saharan Africa."

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Syria's war: Who is fighting and why [Updated]

"After four-plus years of fighting, Syria's war has killed at least hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. And, though it started as a civil war, it's become much more than that. It's a proxy war that has divided much of the Middle East, and has drawn in both Russia and the United States. To understand how Syria got to this place, it helps to start at the beginning and watch it unfold."

Matt Manish's insight:
The Syrian war started in 2011 when Bashar al-Assad made an attack against the peaceful protesters. It was when the protestors started shooting back that the civil war started. Those protesters we’re also joined by some Syrian troops who became the Free Syrian Army. Extremist then start traveling to Syria to join the Rebels. The USA assigns a secret order to use the CIA to train the Rebels to fight against Assad. Assad response by using chemical weapons against the Rebels, which cause the USA to almost bomb Assad. It was in 2014 that an Al-Qaeda affiliate breaks off from Assad, due to internal disagreements, and forms the Islamic State of Iraq (better known as ISIS). The US starts bombing ISIS, and not Assad. Which shows that America opposes ISIS more than Assad. This becomes confusing, because the US sees ISIS as its main enemy, when ISIS has its focus on other priorities. Later, Donald Trump wins the election and vows to stay out of Syria. Assad then bombs his own people again, and the US responds by bombing an Assad Air Base in Syria. This was the first time the US attacked the Assad regime.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, 29 October 2018, 01:37
The war in Syria has been devastating to Syrian's inhabitants. After six years of this conflict it has become a mess and is divided into four sections or groups, all backed different foreign backers. The backers have know become so confused on who there fighting for and what there fighting for, that is how messy this war has gotten. The use of chemical warfare has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions. As to why there is a major Syrian refugee crisis. The conflict started as an internal war against Assad and rebels. This small civil war has know turned into a global conflict. I wish I could say what foreign countries are backing who and why but the lines are very blurred and there has been many back stabbing. All these foreign powers entering this war has established Syria as a great power dispute. The Assad and rebels conflict also brew the other two sections that are fighting in this region the Kurds who want their own nation. The Kurds are the largest cultural and ethnic group without a country. The entrance of the Kurds in the fighting brought in more foreign countries to either support their efforts or squash the Kurds hopes of obtaining a nation of there own. Then you have ISIS who formed as a branch out of the original rebels because there was an internal dispute. Overall this war is bloody and will never end if all these four sections cant come to an agreement. If there is no determination for peace there will never be peace.
David Stiger's curator insight, 31 October 2018, 22:59
Hearing about the news in Syria is usually tragic and frustrating. It is also equally confusing and this video helped to sort out its causes and important transformations over time. Even with the video's succinct explanation, the conflict is still a quagmire to understand. The fighting began during the 2011 Arab Spring when peaceful Syrian protesters were gunned down by Assad's military forces. Instead of backing down and caving into the violent repression, the Syrian civilians retaliated with small arms fire and were joined by Syrian army defectors. The now belligerent protesters formed their own rebel army, causing Syria to erupt into a civil war. Then Islamic extremists, including a terrorist groups, joined the rebels. Countries like Turkey and Jordan began funding and arming the rebels while Iran - a Shiite country - provided support to Assad. Appalled by the out-of-control death toll, the United States began training and arming the rebels - some of whom were from Al Qaeda! Assad's chemical weapons attack escalated U.S. involvement while Russia came to the side of Assad. Putin most likely supports Assad to maintain its lease of a key geographic asset - a warm-water naval base -while also discouraging internal rebellion. At some point a group of ethnic Kurds in northern Syria succeeded (Putin's fear) and began attacking Assad. But, Turkey started attacking the Kurds! Then in 2014 ISIS broke away from Al Qaeda and started attacking the Kurds and the rebels prompting the U.S. to redirect its focus away from the Assad regime. This has to be the messiest conflict in modern history and is entirely defined by proxy wars. Because the war is so convoluted and complicated, there is no end in sight. The relentless destruction over years has caused millions of refugees to flee to Europe because it is the closest stable place to Syria. This unprecedented wave of migrations will surely transform Europe and cripple Syria in the long run.  
Corey Rogers's curator insight, 15 December 2018, 05:18
Syria's war has gotten crazier and crazier and doesn't seem like there is a end in sight. The insane cross fighting between outside countries and the inner working of independence inside Syria itself is still an issue. A local protest has turned into an international fight against top countries of US and Russia.
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Why a US-China trade war could hurt Asia. #Globalasiatrader @investorseurope

Why a US-China trade war could hurt Asia. #Globalasiatrader @investorseurope | Jordan's Geography |
The BBC's Karishma Vaswani explains how other countries could end up taking a direct hit from US tariffs.

Via Ihozo Nice
Matt Manish's insight:
Recently China and the United States have each been claiming that they may put tariffs on the goods each other import and export to each other. If either of these countries put too severe of a tariff on goods they are trading with each other it could hurt not only their economies, but it could hurt the rest of Asia's economy as well. China exports 400 billion dollars worth of goods to the United States every year from products that are made in China. Although these products are made in China, many of the items required to build these goods come from neighboring Asian countries. So if the United States puts a tariff on Chinese goods that hurts their economy it will also hurt the much of Asia's economy as a whole. This is why the discussions China and the United States are going to have this week are going to be crucial in helping maintain a positive trade agreement between the two nations.
Ihozo Nice's curator insight, 1 May 2018, 11:07

"As trade tariff controversies continue, US pencil-makers say levies on Chinese imports saved their businesses."

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Bolivian Commuters Soar Through The Sky

"The world's biggest urban gondola system, known as Mi Teleférico, opened in La Paz, Bolivia, in May 2014. The 6-mile-long system is an engineering feat."


Tags: transportation, South America, Bolivia, urban, planning, architecture.

Matt Manish's insight:
This is quite an interesting transportation solution for the overcrowded city of La Paz, Bolivia. In this city there is so much traffic that it makes more sense for them to create a system of lifts to get around town rather than driving. This idea is indeed innovative and is helping the commuters in La Paz get to where they need to be faster and in a much more efficient time frame. It makes me wonder if this revolutionary idea will catch on in other major cities that are overcrowded just like how subway systems have been used in major cities. Overall, this system seems to have a lot benefits and it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring it to other growing cities as a new idea for transportation.
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, 24 June 2016, 12:53

The importance of services and facilities in connecting people and places to enhance liveability - social connectedness


GeoWorld 7

Chapter 7: Liveability Measurement and environmental factors

7.5 Transport: mobile and socially connected

Chapter 10 Enhancing liveability

10.1 Enhancing liveability and sustainability

Geothink: Attributes of a liveable place; New transport hierarchy; Planning liveable places.


Sally Egan's curator insight, 27 June 2016, 00:14
The gondola system of La Paz, Bolivia called Mi Teleferico,  addresses the transport challenge in a large and unplanned city already overcrowded with vehicles and facing steep terrain. This short video provides a great overview of the creative response to a transport challenge and the background images provide a view of what the city is like.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, 30 September 2018, 04:31
A very innovative way to fix traffic issues in a city with so many hills. In La Paz, Bolivia they have created this 6-mile-long gondola system that traffics 2 million people. It is the world's longest and highest gondolas system and since opening in 2014 has given 43 million lifts. With 76 thousand commuters per day, this is such an important part of the people's day now. The ride itself costs 40 cents US which equate to almost 3 BOB, Bolivian Boliviano. The gondola has 3 separate rails, a total of 11 stations and plans on adding 14 more miles with 4 more lines. This allows Bolivia to combat the urban planning problem within the city by taking the traffic off the streets and into the open sky above them. 
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Australia Pledges Millions of Dollars in Bid to Rescue Great Barrier Reef - The New York Times

Australia Pledges Millions of Dollars in Bid to Rescue Great Barrier Reef - The New York Times | Jordan's Geography |
The government will set aside 500 million Australian dollars to help the global treasure after years of damage from warming waters caused by climate change.

Via Enzo Calamo
Matt Manish's insight:
The Australian government is looking into taking strategic steps in not only preserving the damaged parts of the Great Barrier Reef, but reviving it as well. Plans to invest 500 million Australian dollars into the reef are soon to be unfolding for the restoration of the reef. Although, some scientists argue that it is too late to restore the reef to its former glory and that too much of the reef has died already. More hopeful scientists believe that if more can be done to prevent acidic seawater and rising water temperatures from climate change, the reef will have a better chance at being preserved. Some say that if the Australian government really wants to stop climate change that is ultimately leading to the downfall of the reef, then they need to work on the reduction of fossil fuels on a global scale. There are many opinions about the Great Barrier Reef's future, but one can only hope for a future where the reef is truly thriving again.
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In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim

In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim | Jordan's Geography |

"Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany in January with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the revelation of God as a human being in his form. Much like a baptism, the icy plunge is considered a purifying act of faith."

Matt Manish's insight:
Epiphany is a holiday in the Russian Orthodox Church that celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. You can see how dedicated the parishioners of this church are by how much they love taking the plunge into icy cold water every year. From this article, it seems as though the congregation of this religion in Russia don't dread this icy plunge, but instead they enjoy and look forward to it. Many seem to find it refreshing and as a sign of purification for the upcoming year. Although even after reading how some Russians describe this plunge as refreshing, I don't think I could bare the cold water on this holiday like these parishioners do. 
othni lindor's curator insight, 20 October 2018, 17:39
This article talks about epiphany. Epiphany is a holiday in the Russian Orthodox Church. It celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Believers are baptized in freezing water through holes cut in the ice. Big cities like Moscow set up their own stations while smaller cities have a more do-it-yourself approach. The churches are decorated with a Christmas tree and it densely packed with people. The service for Epiphany can last for as many as four hours.    
Matt Danielson's curator insight, 22 October 2018, 22:58
This is similar to a baptism done in both Catholic and protestant religious but with an added twist. As in often times and found through out history a regions religion is influenced by the environment( check Norse religion of Vikings or Christianity effects on the Irish for example) and the Eastern Orthodox religion in Russia is no different. Using the harsh environment in part of there religious rituals making the baptism more of a sense of acceptance and will, they do it in extremely cold waters to prove their allegiance to the religion and their determination to follow it. This must be a powerful experience full of emotion, pain, and afterwards group acceptance. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, 1 November 2018, 15:19
Epiphany must be an unbelievable experience for those who believe in the Russian Orthodox Church. In celebration of the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, Russian Orthodox members dip into the freezing waters blessed by clerics. The participants claim to feel cleansed after the whole experience. With hundreds of participants and many young people as well it is a testament to their faith in Russia Orthodox Church. 
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Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse

Death toll doubles in Ethiopia garbage dump collapse | Jordan's Geography |

"The death toll from a collapse at a landfill outside Ethiopia’s capital has risen sharply to 113, an Addis Ababa city official said Wednesday, as the country began three days of mourning for victims who were mostly women and children. Saturday’s collapse of a mountain of garbage buried makeshift mud-and-stick homes inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of the capital."

Matt Manish's insight:
According to this article, Ethiopia has one of Africa's fastest growing economies. This tragic event makes me wonder about the spatial inequality of Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa. Especially, since capital cities in most nations are usually the most developed part of the country. It would seem that is a more highly developed area like a capital city in Ethiopia, that there would be more adequate housing for residents than a landfill, even if those residents are considered to be poor. From looking at this article it seems as though there must be a wealthier class in the city that is developing rapidly, while the poorer community is forced to live on the outskirts in the landfill. Hopefully a tragedy such as this one never happens again and more suitable housing can be found for the lower class in Ethiopia.
Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, 22 March 2017, 13:31
unit 6
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, 31 March 2018, 20:36
When I think of dumps or garbage I usually don’t think of them being deadly.  Unfortunately in Addis Ababa, part of the dump collapsed and 113 people ended up dying.  Not only did the collapse injure people, but it also wiped out the homes that surround the area.  The lack of codes about infrastructure in the city is most likely the cause of this incident.  There were no regulations about how garbage had to be dumped in order to keep it from collapsing.  There were also no rules about how homes should be built or where they could be built.  This article points out that there were attempts made in order to stop dumping at this particular landfill, but the dumping was resumed right before the collapse.  The government also relocated some of the residents that lived by the dump, but were not able to move everyone before the accident.  Although efforts were made to avoid a situation like this, the government wasn’t forceful or fast enough to prevent it.  Many of the victims of this were women and children which is telling of the culture of the city.  The women and children scavenge the landfill in order to find things they can either repurpose for themselves or sell to make money.  The last section of the article also says that Ethiopia prides itself as being one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.  But this incident shows that they still have a ways to go before they can become a more developed country.
tyrone perry's curator insight, 5 April 2018, 20:26
Inside the Koshe landfill in Ethiopia, there were makeshift mud and stick homes.  Residents say the collapse the has killed over a hundred residents could have been because of protests at another landfill and some blamed the construction at a new waste to energy plant at Koshe.  families who lost loved ones haverecieved or will receive any where from $430 to $650 each and will be resettled permanently in the coming years.  It is sad to see people living like this but most of all to see a government allow such situations to exist.
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South Africa Is Still Under Apartheid

"More than two decades after the end of apartheid in South Africa, Cape Town remains racially segregated, with many black residents living in substandard townships."

Matt Manish's insight:
One can see from this video that Apartheid still exists in some parts of South Africa such as Cape Town. From the drone footage in this video, one can see how divided Cape Town's landscape is from a bird's eye view. You can see how the black community lives in the part of town that is made up of mainly shacks. Right next door, you can see that the white community lives in the suburbs with regular housing and lush trees located adjacently to the black community's village of shacks. It's not just the residential areas of Cape Town that is segregated. Even in the heart of the city, a real racial tension between blacks and whites can be sensed,. Resulting in the majority of the black community being less successful than the white community. One can clearly see that even though Apartheid has officially ended, the tension between blacks and whites still exists in this part of South Africa.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, 4 May 2018, 02:34
This video looks into the still segregated town of Cape Town, located in South Africa. Although it was racially segregated by apartheid in the 20th century, Apartheid was outlawed in 1994. Since then, it has been claimed that Cape Town has become more diverse. This is only true to some extent. Because of the apartheid, it was nearly impossible for Blacks and People of Color to get jobs in the city. Therefore, the different races now inhabit their own neighborhoods, however the segregation still lingers. In most white neighborhoods, they enjoy beautiful and safe lifestyles while the poorer neighbors can’t even afford running water or electricity. Tags: South Africa, Africa, race, ethnicity, neighborhood, urban, planning, drought, water, urban ecology.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, 19 November 2018, 18:50
South Africa had a long history of issues ranging back to Colonialism, through apartheid, and today with government corruption and internal strife. The great inequality left behind after apartheid is a major issue in the country for many people. One way this has been addressed recently is with land redistribution, but this policy has faced much controversy especially since many have suggested the government being able to confiscate "white owned land"  without compensation and use for redistribution.
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Where Ships Go to Die, Workers Risk Everything

In Bangladesh, men desperate for work perform one of the world's most dangerous jobs. They demolish huge ships in grueling conditions, braving disease
Matt Manish's insight:
The workers in this video breaking down old cargo ships are indeed risking everything including their health and their lives for their jobs. The conditions and the hours in which they work are extremely hazardous and it seems like there are no rules where anything goes. There are no safety regulations or equipment for workers to wear. Also, their are multiple deaths that occur in this shipyard every year. This type of work is being brought to Bangladesh because the labor there is so cheap and one can see that these workers are truly being exploited for the type of work they are doing in so many ways. Not only is this very difficult work, but it is extremely dangerous to their health and their lives. More structure and safety regulations should be put in place so this industry in Bangladesh can grow and help the economy there, as well as keep their workers safe most importantly.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, 23 April 2018, 17:22
The dangerous conditions of working on these ships is impossible to imagine. Toxic chemicals and fumes, risks of collapses, explosions, or falling debris makes this job borderline inhumane. The risks to workers seems irrelevant in the eyes of the owners of these ships who com to Bangladesh because they know the environmental and workplace regulations are nonexistent. However, this entire situation is created by the swelling pressures of globalization and rapidly accelerating international sea trade.
tyrone perry's curator insight, 2 May 2018, 17:24
Bangladesh is one of the largest shipwrecking ports in the world.  This is a very dangerous and low paying job.  because work is so scarce in Bangladesh there are many skill less people looking for work at any cost.  many ships show up with dangerous gasses still in the ship and also lined with asbestos.  on average in the last few years about 15 people die a year.  This has become large because of cheap labor and low environmental and safety standards.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, 10 December 2018, 04:19
Bangladesh is a poor country and the shipping trade has taken advantage of the poverty here because they know men will work for little pay and do very dangerous work. As well the shipping industry takes advantage of the lack of environmental laws here so they can pollute and will not get in trouble for it. Making the efforts of countries with environmental laws obsolete. Bangladesh's coast line if filled with huge ships waiting to be demolished this ship wrecking industry has ruined there shore line. The workers are exposed to harsh chemicals and fumes diminishing there life expectancy. It does not seem like there is any hope for these people. It needs to come from the shipping boat companies and all they care about is money not people.
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Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name.

Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name. | Jordan's Geography |
The Independent's concerns over Hindu nationalism led to a change in policy.


The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the far-right regional party Shiv Sena, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently holds national office in India. Shiv Sena advocates the use of the Marathi language, which is dominant in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity.

Shiv Sena had argued that the previous name, Bombay, was an unwanted relic of British colonial rule in India. That name is believed to be an Anglicized version of the city's name from when it was occupied by the Portuguese — "Bom Bahia," which means "good bay." Both Bombay and Mumbai are now used interchangeably by locals during casual conversation.


Tags: culture, India, South Asia, colonialism, place, regions, language, toponyms.

Matt Manish's insight:
Personally, I find it very silly that a single newspaper in England is taking on the role of bringing Mumbai back to its original colony name. If Mumbai is the official name of the city then news being reported about that city should be in reference to Mumbai, not Bombay. The goal of this newspaper should be to educate its readers about the stories it is reporting on and not confusing them by using an old name for the city of Mumbai. This also seems a bit ridiculous to me because there is not a large margin of people trying to bring the old name of Bombay back to this city. It is only this newspaper trying to bring about this name change, which I feel makes their articles more confusing for their readers.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, 2 May 2018, 01:04
This highlights a significant part of decolonization.  When colonial powers like Great Britain, France, etc. took control of lands in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, they gave places new names.  This enforced their legitimacy as the colonial power in places by chipping away the local identity and replacing it with their own.  After colonization, many countries renamed places in the language of that region, stripping away unwanted remainders of colonial rule and reinstating their own local and national identity.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, 14 December 2018, 20:08
This is a tough situation. Do you refer to a city by the name given to it by its colonial masters or to the name it was changed to by ethnic or religious nationalists? Honestly neither is an out-right great option, both have negative connotations. The people of the city use both Mumbai and Bombay interchangeably in everyday conversation, so id the best option to ignore the rest?  There are many other cities and nations whos names have changed after colonization, or by extremist. How will those be judged by the media or by the people within them?
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Outrage erupts over 'racist' detergent ad

Outrage erupts over 'racist' detergent ad | Jordan's Geography |
A black man and a young Chinese woman are flirting, as he leans in for a kiss she thrusts a detergent capsule in his mouth and bundles him into a laundry machine.

Via Seth Dixon
Matt Manish's insight:
Before watching this video and reading the article it was from, I didn't know much about racism in China. I still don't know a whole lot about it, but I do have a little bit better of a grasp of it now after watching this. According this article by CNN, certain parts of China and other Asian countries tend to look down upon dark skin. Adding to that, some Africans in China have apparently reported that they are looked down upon by locals in some parts of China. One can only hope that the backlash on the internet from this racist ad will spark positive change in the future for the culture in China as far as race is concerned.
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