The wonderful world: regional geography
96 views | +0 today
Scooped by Paige Therien
onto The wonderful world: regional geography!

Why reconstructing Haiti has been so slow

Why reconstructing Haiti has been so slow | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Experts and aid officials discuss ongoing challenges and lessons learnt on the ground in Haiti...


Development and humanitarian aid projects must always take local geographic factors into consideration when devising any plan for the future.  Political uncertainty, poor transportation infrastructure, disease and not enough locally based programs are but a few of the issues that continue to plague the communities in Haiti. 

Paige Therien's insight:

Haiti is in a prime "natural disaster" zone and it is difficult for a country to recover fully after each "hit".  Disaster after disaster begins to weigh heavily on an already struggling infrastructure, government, and hope.  The earthquake that Haiti experienced in 2009 was particularly devastating.  This article aims to shed some light on a few of the reasons why, two years later, Haiti was in pretty much the same condition.  Haiti's government was basically non-existent before this earthquake, and anything that did exist was quite ineffective at making decisions.  Bureaucratic procedures made incoming aid and their supplies move into Haiti extremely slow.  Some of it stopped coming altogether when cholera began to make a huge presence within the population.  As seen with this situation, as well as in other countries, uncoordinated aid and conflicting agendas of different organizations can do more harm than good.  Also, urban settings are extremely complex and can be puzzling to an outsider, particularly in times of desperate need.  When rebuilding, it is important to consider the future in terms of what else nature and location has in store for them.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 14, 2015 11:31 PM

There are a myriad of reasons for why “after almost two years…reconstruction has barely started,” but the lack of “local” help stood out to me the most. As the article mentions, the NGO’s have been responsible for taking care of Haiti’s relief efforts, most of whom are outside sources. On some level it isn’t surprising that the UN and NGO’s took the lead as their seemed to be no prominent leader in the country due to the lack of political stability mentioned in the article. However, for the outside efforts to “ignore” the actually population of the country just perpetuates the problem. As the people enforcing all the change, I consider the NGO’s to be more of a leader as they are trying to go about handeling the welfare of the nation (however misguided there attempts) as they are the ones calling the shots about what is done. Since they are doing work with no help, when they leave no one is around to lead once again because an atmosphere was never cultivated to encourage Haitian leadership.


Just throwing money at the problem without local support is also troubling because it doesn’t actually seem to be an effective met the needs of the population either. In the paragraph that discussed poor coordination, one sees a major concern is that groups are duplicating efforts of another group through the use of donations. We know this is happening without the “local community.” So one would think the people who actually live in the country would maybe know there country the best. Not the outside European relief efforts though despite the fact that they respond poorly to “urban settings” poorly. Time and time again, this has been a problem with the way developed countries respond to under-developed countries. I often think developed countries hold on to the success the IMF had with England after WWII, when throwing money at a situation actually worked. However, this isn’t the 1940’s anymore and there are many studies showing those methods just aren’t working (probably because the money isn’t being used correctly). As such, it should be time for a change in methods. Yet, it seems only the developed countries are capable of making that call and it’s not one they seem to be making anytime soon.


I am in no way suggesting the world just let Haiti be. One positive aspect of globalization is that communities in need can actually get relief from other parts of the world. Yet, in that same hand is the negative aspect. For that money is typically misused. Instead I propose that as a means to rectify the downside of globalization other nations work with the Haitian people to create a country that the Haitians can actually claim as their own. 

Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Paige Therien!

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.


In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.

Paige Therien's insight:

This is an interesting analyzation of how the U.S. and Europe became so different in terms of transportation methods.  In my personal experience, the U.S. is now so dependent on cars that there is a stigma in riding public transportation and bikers are seen as a nuisance.  In this article, the "Technological Focus" and its points  is relevant to many things outside of transportation and the U.S. strictly; the world needs to start thinking about behavior in order to make things better instead of developing new or better tools.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:41 PM

 A big reason why people are more car dependant in America is because we are a lazy nation.  Americans are always looking for the easy way to accomplish things, so if you can drive a mile to work in 2 minutes or walk in 15, its almost guarenteed that the American is walking! This is obviously a general term and does not apply to all Americans but a vast majority would opt for the vehicle.  As someone who has taken several trips to Europe, people there are in far better shape than in America and i'm sure that fitness along with better eating habits attribute to that.  

Another reason I believe America is more dependant than Europe on cars is because it is far easier and cheaper to travel via train or subway in Europe.  Train stations and public transport in America are expensive and only take you to highly populated areas while the trains in Europe will take you all over the continent.


Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:40 PM

This has major impact on health issues, because nobody wants to walk or bike anymore which most of us did until 16 years old, it is a good form of exercise and can keep a persons body weight down. Which would lead to less health issues. Also the pollution from the vehicles and illegal dumping of tires and batteries and oil which leads to environmental problems. Socially we would meet more people and even see more of our surroundings if we drove less. Economically we as individuals would save money by not driving or would we? We would save on gas, licenses, maintenance, but on the other hand our renewal of licenses, registration, and even taxes on the vehicle help support our schools, busing and other community projects. This funding would be cut and therefore taxes will rise on something else we would end up paying for. I personally just think as Americans we drive everywhere and spend less time taking bikes, walks even skateboards all over the city which we loved to do as teenagers. I don't expect to be rollerblading or skateboarding at an older age but why do we stop at 16. It is because we are allowed to under the law to drive and everyone can't wait until high school to get their license. Once we give up our bikes and rollerblades, skateboards, walks it is hard to go back to it.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, September 10, 2018 10:42 AM
In 2010, Americans drove 85% of their daily trips, but in Europe they only had shares up to 50 - 65%. Americans drove 70% of the time while Europeans made 70% of their trips by bike, foot, or public transportation. American metro, compared to Western European ended up so much more car dependent.The American cities were the first to adapt to the car at a large scale. By the 1930's there was 1 registered car for every two homes in the it United States, but car ownership in Europe was for the wealthy. 
Scooped by Paige Therien!

World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think

World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think | The wonderful world: regional geography |
There are about 1.6 billion Muslims, or 23% of the world's population, making Islam the second-largest religion.
Paige Therien's insight:

The Muslim world is very misunderstood, especially in the United States.  When someone hears "Muslim" they might immediately think of Arabs in the Middle East.  However, Muslims are spread throughout the world and Islam is practiced by many types of ethnic groups (not all Arabs are Muslim either!)

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 3:55 PM

Showing the distribution of Islam around the world. Outside of the middle east, Indonesia has the most Muslims. This religion is one of the fastest growing in the world. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 2015 4:46 PM

This article was good to look at because the majority of people assume Muslims are only in the Middle East. There are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. Two-thirds of the Muslim population live in the Asia-Pacific region than in the middle east. More Muslims actually live in India and Pakistan. Muslims make up the majority of the population in 49 countries around the world. Islam has become the world's second largest religious tradition after Christianity. I would love to know some reasons behind why certain Muslims live in other areas. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 4:33 PM

This interesting map/infographic shows where Muslims are concentrated around the world. What I found most interesting and a little bit counterintuitive was that the highest number of Muslims is found in the Asia- Pacific region rather than in Northern Africa or the Middle East. When you consider how large Indonesia's population is, however, and the fact that more than three-quarters of it identify as Muslim, it makes a bit more sense. What is really staggering is the fact that there are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making nearly a quarter of the global population Muslim. 


What this map shows is the ability of religion to transcend political, economic, and cultural borders. Though Islam is a religion with its origins in the Middle East, it has grown and spread across the world to now have adherents on every continent. Of course, Islam is not the only major religion to have accomplished this feat, but it is particularly important to keep in mind considering the fear and criticism with which Islam has been met in recent years. People tend to think of Muslims as uniformly extremist advocates of violence who wage holy wars no matter the cost. This is, of course, untrue and characterizes the kind of dangerous stereotyping that occurs in regards to many different religions. While this map seeks to show numbers and percentages, it also shows that there are many, many more Muslims in the world than the extremists highlighted in the news and that Islam is not defined by these radicals. 

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
Paige Therien's insight:

In any society, survival trumps economy.  In this case water and oil are the respective area of focus in Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia has been tapping into aquifers under the Arabian desert in order to grow food.  This is a move of independence;  as the NAFTA agreement may allow the Americas to be energy-independent, Saudi Arabia needs a backup plan to become  a little more independent itself as their oil money decreases.  However, this water source is limited and is ecologically very unsound since the desert climate is not good for water and plants.

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 3:22 PM
In this NASA article, the authors explain that Saudi Arabia has uncovered water in the Syrian Desert. In doing so, the Saudi Arabian people are able to cultivate the land and grow crops for roughly 50 years.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 8:27 PM
Saudi Arabia is known to be a dry region, but over the past thirty years there has become patches of green apparent in Saudi Arabia. Mainly this country is known for drilling of oil as one of their main resources. However, a resource that Saudi Arabia is drilling for is water. The water that Saudi Arabia is looking for is located in aquifers under the ground. Water to Saudi Arabians is a more precious resource than oil because water helps a population thrive not just economically, and to only a few members of a society. This new vegetation and water resource in Saudi Arabia has now turned useless land into useful land. They are making this land more livable for its inhabitants. The water that is being found is helping feed vegetation possibly reducing the costs that they have to spend on foreign food imports by a small margin (not anything dramatic). Drilling for water in such a dry climate I believe is more remarkable than their ability to produce oil resources to the world. I think this because they export the oil to other countries benefitting the economy mainly. The discovery of aquifers however benefits the lives of those people that lie in Saudi Arabia for the better. Internal progress for this country I believe will help them as a whole.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 9:56 AM
In the Saudi Desert, there are old water deposits hidden deep under the sands that are now starting to be discovered and used for irrigation. Water is a very important resource to those in the region, but it's also a non-renewable resource. Hydrologists estimate water there can only be pumped for 50 years, so it is interesting to think what will Saudi Arabia choose to do with this new commodity. 
Scooped by Paige Therien!

Kabul, A City Stretched Beyond Its Limits

Decades of war, migration and chaotic sprawl have turned the Afghan c

apital into a barely functioning dust bowl. The city's tired infrastructure is crumbling; water, sewers and electricity are in short supply.


Keeping an urban system running smoothly is a difficult proposition in developed countries that are stable--what is in like a place like Afghanistan?  This podcast is a excellent glimpse into the cultural, economic, environmental and political struggles of a city like Kabul.  This is urban geography in about a problematic a situation as possible.   

Paige Therien's insight:

Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul has seen a population influx due to war refugees and people trying to find more opportunity.  However, this desert region cannot support all these people, especially now that many of the resources have been used up.  There isn't much food, electricity, and water.  Many resources have to be shipped in from private vendors, making it even more expensive.  The government does not help and people cannot afford to leave (those that can leave typically perpetuate "brain-drain" in the area).  However, overlooking the cityscape are "Poppy Houses" and other developments, which are gated, developed communities build on money from the opium trade and which have access to water.  This illustrates the global pattern of the rich benefiting at the poor's expense.

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, October 26, 2014 9:06 PM

Kabul, a once thriving city is now the product of a war torn Afghanistan. During the fighting mass exodus left the city empty and uninhibited. However, after the war civilians fled back to the slums of Kabul in search of job opportunities. With little infrastructure, no electricity, no water due to evapotranspiration and deforestation and a serious overcrowding problem, residents lack the essential resources needed to survive. Due to the cities destabilized economy corruption runs rampant, in consequence it is unsafe to live in the city center. The advocation for city services is high upon the minds of the people. In response, compounds have been made in the foothills to house impoverished people. These compounds will help the overcrowding problem but the informal economy and dangerous shortcuts will further cause destabilization and create an unsafe city center. 



Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:32 AM

This audio clip provided a detailed view of the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. It doesn't speak of the city architecture instead it focuses on the failing logistics of the city. It talks about resource shortages and the sheer amount of people crammed within the city. These problems are largely caused by an influx of refugees from the war torn countryside flooding into the city for safety and work. This clip shows the Kabul of today, a ghost of its former prestigious self.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:37 PM

A war torn country of Afghanistan's capital city Kabul is in the mountains. With a population of five million people, the cities infrastructure is in ruins. Things we take for granted, water, sewers and electricity are all in short supply for Kabul. There is lots of money coming in to the country from corruption of opium trade. Due to terrible construction, it is assumed that when Kabul has their terrible earthquake that there will be much destruction. Cars pack streets that are unpaved and the streets are five to ten times more packed than they are planned out to be. Just to get from one side of Kabul to the other it can take hours. What the government needs to is control immigration and fix the problems that they currently have. 

Scooped by Paige Therien!

"Skateistan" The NYTimes video library

"Afghan youth have very limited options for sports and recreation. An Australian man is trying to change that."   This video really resonates with my students.  Issues of ethnicity, class and gender are right on the surface.  Globalization, cultural values and shifting norms make this a good discussion piece.  

Paige Therien's insight:

The Skateistan organization has provided Afghan boys and girls with the opportunity for recreation.  Recreation is important for children to make friends, but more importantly in a tense country with many different ethnic backgrounds, it fosters community building and exposure to other people.  This organization has given kids freedom and job opportunities that are actually rewarding.  The blending of cultural interests illustrates how very similar people are; the Afghan kids are just as willing to participate in the unknown sport of skateboarding as any kid would be from a society where it is a popular sport.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:01 PM

In a society that is seen by most of the world as strict and rigid, it was interesting to see these children having fun and breaking the mold of traditional afghan kids. What makes this even more fascinating is that female children are doing some of the skating. With gender issues a hot topic in some Middle Eastern countries, letting kids have fun before being made to conform to tradition is a nice experience for them. While they still respect the culture to they belong to, it is a break from that and a breathe of fresh air for them. These youth are not seen primarily as men and woman, but as children.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 20, 2015 6:33 AM

Who could have imagined, that Skateboards could be used as a geopolitical tool? Over a decade ago, the United States invaded Afghanistan with the aim of rooting out and destroying the terrorist who attacked the nation on 911. As with most of our military campaigns in the Middle East, the mission quickly became bogged down in a nation building campaign. The people of Afghanistan have long been wary of foreign influence. Empire after empire has attempted to conquer this nation, only to suffer humiliating defeats. For any chance at sustained success, the United States must win over the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. This skateboard program is a perfect tool in accomplishing that objective. The parks bring all types of youths together in the spirit of fun. They are a unifying factor amongst the youth in Afghanistan.

Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 30, 2018 11:22 PM
Good  to see the youth in a troubled area during trouble times being shown some way to escape the Darkness. It seems as though to some skateboarding is just that way. One day in future years id like to see and Afghani in the x games. Either way not only skateboarding but any sport that can be introduced to the youth can be a way to keep them away from bad things, or becoming people who commit bad deeds. 
Scooped by Paige Therien!

Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine

Here are three of Russia's military options in Ukraine | The wonderful world: regional geography |
There have been a number of warnings from Kiev and Washington about the possibility of a direct and open Russian military intervention in Ukraine. But what could that look like?
Paige Therien's insight:

Everyone is awaiting Russia's next move in Ukraine.  Because of this, whatever Russia does next will be very important in shaping both local and foreign perceptions of the situation.  Although the first option seems theoretically unlikely, the current situation is spiraling downhill and is resembling full-out war on the surface, even though Russia believes they are completely in the right.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 9, 2015 5:50 PM

add your insight...I feel like Russia is always up to something shady. I dont understand why Putin wants to move forces into Ukraine. The story makes it seem like the only reason he has interest is because there is a high number of Russians living there. Does not seem like a good reason to attack another country.  This smells really bad and I have a feeling something major could be on the horizon.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, April 1, 2015 10:44 AM

Russia needs to tread lightly if they don't want to dismantle the international political progress that they have made since the fall of the Soviet Union over twenty years ago.  If they decide to manhandle and manipulate the government in Kiev, along with the rest of Ukraine, they could have an international boycott and sanction put on everything Russian.  This situation is very important, not only for Russians and Ukrainians, but globally as well.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 10, 2015 6:31 AM

Putin's military adventure into Ukraine is troubling to say the least.  Putin has made no secret about his desire to recreate the lost Soviet Empire. He is truly a dangerous man on the world stage. Generally speaking, Putin seems to favor the destabilization approach. He has yet to conquer an entire nation. By launching  destabilizing attacks, he probably hopes to create an environment of uncertainty and chaos within the invaded country. Such chaos could lead to the overthrow a anti-Russian government, and the instillation of a pro Russian government. The word will eventually have to face up to Putin.

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Stray Dogs Master Moscow Subway

Stray Dogs Master Moscow Subway | The wonderful world: regional geography |

"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B.  Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."

Paige Therien's insight:

Humans commonly think of themselves as separate from nature.  However, we very much are a part of it and animals, like these stray dogs, know it.  When dealing with something more powerful than yourself, you have to learn how to navigate the system in order to survive.  That is exactly what these dogs have done, literally and figuratively, by learning the complex subway systems in Moscow.  It is an example of how animals can adapt to their man-made surroundings and how persistent (the rest of) nature can be.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:46 PM

Dogs are creatures of habit. They get on at one stop and off at another every day or every so often. This is because there is an abundance of stray dogs and since no one is taking them in, Moscow will continue to have interesting subway surfers among them.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:51 PM

Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you notice that the commuters around you include a stray dog. Some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's complicated subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops. The human commuters around them are so accustomed to it that they rarely seem to notice. As many as 35,000 stray dogs live in Russia's capital city. They can be found everywhere, from markets to construction sites to underground passageways, scrounging for food and trying to survive. Using the subway is just one of many strategies that they use to survive. Living in the streets in tough and these dogs know this better than some humans. What is most impressive about their dogs is their ability to deal with the Metro's loud noises and packed crowds, distractions that domesticated dogs often cannot handle.

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 15, 2018 3:28 PM
This article goes to show just how smart and resourceful dogs are. These stray dogs in Moscow have learned how to navigate a complicated subway system among other things that are extremely impressive for these dogs. This goes to show that dogs are much smarter than humans believe. 
Scooped by Paige Therien!

In Pictures: The 'rat eaters' of India

In Pictures: The 'rat eaters' of India | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Musahar community in Bihar's Darbhanga district still live in extreme poverty and face social stigma.
Paige Therien's insight:

This is an example of how pervasive the now outlawed caste system in India is.  These people are socially marginalized through stigmas and lack of basic infrastructure from the government.  Stigmatic marginalization discourages these people from participating in the wider community and the lack of infrastructure  fosters poor health.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Paige Therien!

For the Muslims of CAR, it's 'leave or die'

For the Muslims of CAR, it's 'leave or die' | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Thousands of Muslims in the Central African Republic have fled as UN chief warns of 'ethno-religious cleansing'.


Leave or die.  It's come down to this for the Muslims of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.  Muslims here once lived freely among the Christian majority, running businesses and praying in mosques. Now, many of the city's Muslims have fled, and on Sunday about 1,300 Muslims from Bangui's PK12 neighbourhood were evacuated to safety by peacekeeping forces.

Already one of the world's poorest countries, CAR has seen a wave of upheaval and violence in the past 15 months. The 10-month reign of the Muslim-dominated Seleka rebel group inflamed intercommunal tensions in the country, and spurred the rise of Christian militias called the anti-Balaka.  Once the Seleka was forced out of power in January, the anti-Balaka rampaged, targeting Muslims across the country for their perceived support of the Seleka and its bloody excesses.

Paige Therien's insight:

This is an example of how citizens are sometimes held accountable for the governments actions.  Central African Republic  has already been facing hardships and its recent governance by  a Muslim majority group known as the Seleka has only made things worse.  Anti-Muslim Christian groups have sprung up in the aftermath of the government.  They have been brutally killing and forcing Muslims to flee; they have no easy feelings towards Muslims.

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 5, 2015 11:24 AM

This article does a good job discussing the ongoing issues in the Central African Republic. Its horrible to see a religious cleansing taking place at this point in time. One would think religious cleansing by the sword has diminished (perhaps it has in historical terms) but it is still very much alive throughout the world. What's interesting is how once religion is mixed with politics it seems bloodshed always ensues. The changing of presidents reflects the changing of "what group" controls the country/region... 

CAR is located within the struggling Sahel region. Yes, there are ecological/environmental issues that plague the Sahel region and the people whom inhabit it but the region also proposes an intense societal issue. This is the region where Arab Africa meets Black Africa, thus two distinct groups of people with two different faiths. Due to conflicts in neighboring countries, as exemplified in the article through Chad, disruption has led to Arab peoples fleeing South. The displacement of these people has led to a growing muslim population in Christian dominated Central African Republic. Once political order is involved there is always one group of people in charge. The changing of societal leaders has now led to a 15 month disruption which has now evolved into a religious ethnic cleansing. 

The Sahel region is only going to get worse. There is an issue with the climate which is affecting both the people and landscape. There is now a clash of cultures/religions. These two issues are ultimately going to clash. Not only will Christians and Arabs kill each other due to political structure and treatment of each others people but perhaps disputes over fertile land, clean water, droughts, etc... will also lead to conflict. This region of the world is in a tough predicament. The clashing of peoples is not going to improve the situation. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:36 PM

The picture is ironic because the one guy in the white tank top is holding up a peace sign and the other is threatening to slit your throat.  Oxymoronic?  I guess you could see it as a V for victory.  Not really sure.  This comes down to an eye for an eye.  The Christians and Muslims will kill each other till one group comes out on top.  I guess historically we learned nothing from the Reformation.  At one point you couldn't be Protestant, then you couldn't be Catholic.  Religious persecution should not be occurring today.  What a waste of human life.  

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:14 PM

Though the Central African Republic is a country that not many people have heard of, it seems that it suffers from some of the same problems that any other country does. CAR is home to a large Christian population, though there is a Muslim minority present within the country. The past two years have seen a Muslim rebel group called Seleka perpetrate a violent reign throughout the country, which in turn has given rise to opposition Christian groups called the anti-Balaka. After the Seleka were toppled from power, the anti-Balaka took out their fear and frustration on the country's Muslim population for perceived support of the Seleka. The anti-Balaka murdered Muslims brutally and indiscriminately, causing many Muslims in CAR to either flee or come together in enclaves for protection and support. 


This kind of religious persecution is unfortunately nothing new. The Jews have experienced religious persecution for thousands of years and Muslims were on the receiving end of some particularly brutal persecution during the Crusades. It seems that regardless of the time or place, religious tensions are always present and one religion or another is always ready to persecute the other for their differences, real or perceived. This is a global pattern, not unique to any one country, region, or culture. It is an unfortunate but telling one, as it highlights the tendency of human beings to be at odds with one another over any differences. The situation in CAR is representative of a larger problem of intolerance that may never seen an end. 

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Tunisia's street artist

Tunisia's street artist | The wonderful world: regional geography |

Following the uprising that toppled the government in 2011, he has become a well known graffiti artist hoping to revive and modernise the ancient art of Arabic calligraphy in Tunisia. He calls his style "calligraffiti".

Paige Therien's insight:

Following the Arab Spring, Karim Jabbari is hoping to help rebuild and recreate Tunisia through his own form of cultural expression which he calls "calligraffiti".  Calligraffiti is a blend of Western Street art and North African Arabic calligraphy.  This artistic expression works to spread messages pertaining to the recreating of the social and political environment of the country and by attracting and empowering Tunisia's youth in this endeavor.  

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 1, 2014 12:39 PM

unit 3

Albert Jordan's curator insight, May 1, 2014 1:58 PM

Considering hip hop is a distinctly American born cultural phenomenon, this goes to show how something that was born of one nations deprived social class can leap to a nation that is very different and still put forth the same message, as well as be used in the same way. Just like in the Bronx when hip hop was just starting off it was used to get people together, in Tunisia it is being used in the same way. Graffiti itself, while seen by many as simple vandalism, can be a powerful symbol of social change. As this artist is doing, using themes from hip hop and taking old Arabic calligraphy, mixing these up and then applying them to the side of a prison which has personal as well as local symbolism - it goes to show that post Arab Spring some places are seeing real change.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 2014 11:24 PM

The video shows how Karim Jabbari, is able to combine folk culture (ancient arabic writing) in with the western graffiti art. He is able to use his art to express political ideals and beliefs

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.


The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network.  This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable. 

Paige Therien's insight:

Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, is located on the country's most heavily populated island of Java.  The city has seen an intense population explosion, and with is came more and more vehicles.  The roads are overcrowded and there is not enough public transportation.  People in Jakarta have had to adapt to the social environment that has been created.  Jockeys charge drivers for giving them rides into the center of the  city (you need to have three of more people in your car to do so).  Even if they did not need to go into the city, it is a way to make many, albeit illegal.  Cities, like Jakarta, are places where infrastructure and public transportation is needed most heavily, but it is the most difficult and expensive place to do so.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:01 PM

Humans instinctively look to profit when the situation arises, this is one of those situations. The government implemented regulations that barely seem to manage the traffic jams, i.e. having 3 people per car. Since people do have to work and may not always be able to meet the requirements, others have started making a living as a “jockey,” an individual who offers to ride in a car so the 3 people limit is met. Doing this is considered illegal. Yet, there aren’t good enough jobs for people to work (otherwise they won’t be a jockey) and those who do work can’t seem to always follow the rule without it harming there work life.  Plus, more police now turn their attention towards these people thereby deterring them away from their other duties. I realize that the state probably never intended these consequences to happen, but now that it is I really wonder just how useful this law really is. One thing is certain though, without better planning or economic innovation by the government, the jams will continue to happen.


I find it odd that the people keep staying despite the major traffic problem. As one interviewee mentioned. I guess as long as you can find ways to stay productive and still receive enough compensation, the time spend in traffic isn't enough of a hassle for them. As someone who has enough economic opportunity with far less wait time in traffic though, I would find this situation unbearable. Clearly, this isn't that case though. So, I am not sure of the immediate solution. As we learned in class, the government tried transmigration. This just lead to more problems. It was then suggested that the type of opportunity. If that is the case though, what should the government do now? Waiting for a more natural economic opportunity to get the people out of Jakarta won't happen quick enough to curb the increasing population growth. Therefore the strain on the infrastructure will continue because the population's carrying capacity is exceeded. Whatever the answers, I think this would be a great case study for urban planning and the impact raising car dependency has on a society as this driving nightmare shows just how important planning is with more cars. 

Matt Chapman's curator insight, April 26, 2018 12:42 PM
Traffic is a show of heavy urbanization.  This shows just how urbanized Jakarta is and how many people are working and moving around the city.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:42 PM
Jakarta makes rush hour in America look like a walk in the park, it is almost constantly busy and there are strict rules about who can be on the roads, such as there must be a certain number of passengers in a car and taxis are monitored. These rules cause residents to go to extreme measures, people often stand and get paid to be passengers in peoples cars so they meet the passenger requirement and that is how some of the residents of Jakarta afford to live. There are also many unregistered taxis that take the risk because registering them is difficult to do. 
Scooped by Paige Therien!

Chilling Letter From Chinese Factory Worker Found In Saks Fifth Avenue Bag

Chilling Letter From Chinese Factory Worker Found In Saks Fifth Avenue Bag | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Saks shopper finds chilling letter in her bag.
Paige Therien's insight:

While this story is terrifying, especially because the author of the letter will probably be killed for writing it, the subject matter is not particularly surprising.  Just because consumers do not find letters such as this one in their shopping bags and purchases everyday, does not mean that people have not been subjected to terrible working conditions and rights for very little money for many years now.  The commodity chain of our globalized world has created huge gaps between the harvesters of raw materials, manufacturers, and consumers.  These gaps are so big that not only do corporations loose track of some of their production information due to the huge amounts of people and goods they are working with, like in this story, but the consumers become very far removed, geographically and socially, from the people and places that provide and create the goods they consume.

No comment yet.
Rescooped by Paige Therien from Global Affairs & Human Geography Digital Knowledge Source!

Stunning photos show Africa through African eyes

Stunning photos show Africa through African eyes | The wonderful world: regional geography |
An IBM photo competition looked at Africa's biggest challenges and opportunities -- and the results are spectacular.

Via Allison Anthony
Paige Therien's insight:

This project is not just a photo competition; it is part of an IBM initiative that will create and develop opportunities in Africa.  Therefore, these pictures taken by Africans themselves serve as a "suggestion outlet" that offers insight into what needs to be changed or addressed in Africa by those who have to deal with the issues everyday.  From the photography styles to the opinions they illustrate, Africans have been empowered and given back their voices, for once free from Western influence.  Africa is a geographically and socially HUGE and incredibly diverse place, which unfortunately is forgotten by most outsiders; these pictures show the extreme diversity of people and place.  They also show that African peoples are already quite innovative and IBM's initiative may give them a much-needed boost in improving their society.

Scooped by Paige Therien!

How the Potato Changed the World

How the Potato Changed the World | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture
Paige Therien's insight:

Potatoes were very important in the Colombian Exchange, which was the exchange of plants and animals to and from different lands where they are not native to.  Today, the potato is the fifth most important crop in the world.  Food is deeply routed in culture and this massive exchange changed societies.

Gina Panighetti's curator insight, August 4, 2014 5:35 PM

Columbian Exchange Unit

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 12:57 PM

Potatoes are one of the most widespread foods in the world, due to its resiliency to harsh weather conditions and its ability to grow to large sizes. Potatoes can also be traced to show the beginning forces of globalization. Before modern communication and transportation technology, globalization occurred at a much slower rate. Globalization spread through trade routes in the forms of foods, resources, and therefore cultures and people. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:52 PM

The Colombian Exchange is a term that describes the most dramatic biologic transfer in history.  European explorers brought animals and agricultural items from the Old World to the New and subsequently brought back items from the New World back to the Old.  This exchange profoundly reshaped many societies as agricultural diffusion of the potato lead to the changes across northern Europe. 


Tags: agriculture, food production, diffusionhistorical colonialism, Europe

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Complexity in Syria

Complexity in Syria | The wonderful world: regional geography |
A color-coded map of the country's religious and ethnic groups helps explain why the fighting is so bad.
Paige Therien's insight:

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

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 11:04 AM

This map and flowchart show how complicated the situation is in the Middle East. Even in a relatively small nation like Syria, there are over a dozen religious, ethnic, and cultural groups. These divisions have caused conflicts all over the Middle East which has led to protest, war, and ethnic cleansing.


The flow chart is particularly confusing, and apparently, not even remotely complete. The alliances and rivalries create a tangled web, which is confusing making life difficult for the average person living in the Middle East.

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

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

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

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

Scooped by Paige Therien!

This year's Eurovision Song Contest has become a political and social minefield

This year's Eurovision Song Contest has become a political and social minefield | The wonderful world: regional geography |
Eurovision is supposed to be fun, family entertainment, though politics occasionally intrudes. This year, Russia and Ukraine may be fighting over who controls Crimea's vote. And then there's the issue of Austria's drag queen performer.
Paige Therien's insight:

Reminiscent of the Olympics, transnational competitions like Eurovision Song Contest illustrates the deeper workings of regional and global political and cultural issues.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Paige Therien!

Human/Environmental Interactions

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century.  Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.  The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates. 

Paige Therien's insight:

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia is a very important water source for the entire region.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union designated this water sources as one which would provide water to rice and cotton crops, which are both very water-intensive crops.  This has resulted in desertification of the area due to the cyclical shrinking volume of the lake.  Sands and chemicals are now free to blow around, affecting people's health.  This is one of the best examples on earth of environmental exploitation due to a lack of environmental planning.  When the lake dries up, the inhabitants of the surrounding countries will be in huge trouble.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:49 PM

I've read about the disaster of the Aral Sea before when I was taking a class on Eurasian history, but being able to visualize it made it even more striking. It was especially striking when, at the end, the man was talking about the great paradox he sees between people who are being threatened with rising ocean levels and then his people who are threatened by the drying of the Aral. It really does show how humans impact the environment, and demonstrates that areas in which people are manual laborers, working resources, health and environmental conditions tend to be worse. 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 20, 2013 1:11 PM

This has to be one of the most telling video of an environmental disaster I have even seen.  A whole sea, 26,000 square miles, bigger than the state of West Virginia, is bascially gone due to Soviet mismanagement.  This is an environmental disaster now that the Russians do not have to deal with as it is now located in the independant country of Kazakhstan.  It effects them as well as the new countries that have come to be withthe collapse of the USSR.  Seems Russian dodged this just like Chernobyl.  This is something we need to lean from, on how not to use a natural resource until it literally has dried up.

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 6, 2014 10:38 PM

The Aral Sea was a source of food for the residents, as it was home to thousands of fish and water was used to irrigate crops.Also acted as a climate regulator. Therefore, its virtual disappearance has caused winters and summers are extreme.Today the drought is considered one of the greatest ecological disasters caused by man. scientists estimated that the Aral sea will disappear before 2020. A plan to expand the cultivation of cotton throughout Central Asia and thus a system of canals for irrigation that significantly decreased the amount of water reaching the Aral Sea. It angers me to see that the human has being causing many natural disasters.

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Troubles on Russia's Lake Baikal

Workers at an ailing paper mill in Siberia are clinging to their jobs in the face of financial pressure and criticism from environmentalists.


The environment, industry and politics play key roles in this story of an old style Soviet mono-town on Lake Baikal.  Monotowns had planned economies that revolved around one industry and today many of these are struggling in the post-Soviet era.  While the particulars of the political situation are a bit dated, the overall issue is still quite relevant to understanding Russia today.   


Tags: Russia, industry, labor, environment, economic, water, pollution, environment modify, unit 6 industry.

Paige Therien's insight:

The Soviet Union scattered "monotowns" around their territory; these monotowns consist of a job-creating industrial institutions like factories which then allow the formation of towns around them.  They are located all around the former Soviet Union and are very isolated.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these towns continued to run due to the privatization of the industrial center.  Today, Russia's Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the Earth's fresh water, is home to one of these monotowns.  This particular town's economy is based on their paper mill which uses and deposits tons of chemicals.  Environmentalists are very concerned for the future of the lake while the citizens are only concerned with feeding their families and this is creating social unrest.  Due to the isolation and distance from Moscow, people cannot just pick up and leave.  Also, working with "cleaner" alternatives is way out of this town's budget.  Today, many citizens in these monotowns miss the support that the Soviet Union offered and people are literally stuck in a place where their only income is dirty.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:31 PM

This mill on Lake Biakal was created in the soviet era. This was created and made a increasing well place to work with the promise of a bright future for its workers. Instead when it comes to the post soviet era its a failing community. Not because of the workers but because of the era that they live in. The age of environmentalists. because of this the mill and its workers are suffering. Many of the people that had moved there to work in the mill in the 60's with a promise of a bright future. However today the people who originally moved there and the descendents are paying the price for the soviet promise. If the mill were to forever close then the people of the area would basically have no life and future. They wouldnt even have enough money to move out of look for jobs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 1:28 PM

Seeing this video and the lack of human development in this small town is astounding. They are destroying a lake and the environment about them, they do not care though. Unfortunately, they have to not care about the environment, they are so desperate for work to make money to live and support themselves and family, that they are willing to do what it takes to keep their jobs at the mill. The workers and citizens of the area know about the consequences of the pollution, they know it needs to be taken care of, but with the depravity they have, they have to. They are faced with a situation no one want to be in... work and destroy the environment so they have money to live, or be without life necessities. 

Louis Helyes's curator insight, October 10, 2016 2:12 PM

This video talks about a paper mill in Russia. It is saying that environmentalists are pressuring the mill to close down due to the environmental impact that the paper mill is doing to the surrounding area, such as killing the crops, trees and plants. It also talks about them losing their jobs because they may be unable to find other jobs in their area.

Scooped by Paige Therien!

This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal

This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal | The wonderful world: regional geography |
The tug-of-war for Ukraine.
Paige Therien's insight:

Besides the very intense cultural and political split that exists in Ukraine and the conflict as a whole, one of the key factors in this situation is gas.  This infographic shows that both Ukraine and the EU gets their gas from Russia, and Ukraine is the area which the gas lines flow through.  As soon as many people in Ukraine showed interest in joining the EU, Russia reminded Ukrainians and the world of this fact

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 12:26 AM

This infographic gives an idea of why Russia is so invested in Ukraine. The energy infrastructure built during the Soviet era runs almost entirely through Ukraine. A significant amount of gasoline consumed in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, while over 2/3rds of all the gas Russia exports to the EU goes through Ukraine. This puts Ukraine in a position of power, but the country itself is divided between the East and West making siding with the EU or Russia difficult. These are lasting effects of the Soviet era.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 2:51 PM

The tug-of-war over Ukraine's gas lines not only creates political and cultural divides but also a lot of tension. Ukraine has power in its gas lines because it has a resource that is valuable and others need.

tyrone perry's curator insight, April 9, 2018 7:18 PM
The fight for Ukrainian land stems from Russian gas lines going thru Ukraine.  But Ukraine wants to be part of the EU to become stronger financially.  Russia already slashes gas prices to Ukraine so it seems they just want complete control for more profit and more geographic location. 
Scooped by Paige Therien!

Take Me Home, Mother Russia

Take Me Home, Mother Russia | The wonderful world: regional geography |
10 places that would welcome a Putin landgrab, and 10 parts of Russia that want the hell out.
Paige Therien's insight:

In the recent light of the Crimea annexation and following conflict, many are questioning what Russia's next move will be and how this region may change in the future.  The former USSR encomassed a huge amount of land, and therefore many different ethnic groups.  Of course this has always been a problem, and this article illustrates how it probably always will be a problem.  As politics and cultures in different countries change, people will favor either secession or affiliation due to these centripetal or centrifugal forces .  While some may be far-fetched (Siberia and Brooklyn), it is important to remember that as long as there are some people who are in favor, there may be conflict at same scale.

Kevin Barker's curator insight, March 22, 2014 10:03 AM

For every argument to aquire land based on ethnic boundaries, there is at least one that would argue land should be lost. This would apply to essentially any country in the world. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 5, 2015 2:43 PM

This article is interesting because it shows that as Russia could potentially gain land, it could also lose parts of the country as well.  I thought the Brooklyn Beach point was funny due to Putin's argument that wherever Russians live should be Russia (Crimea).  I don't think the United States would ever let this happen though, even if it is just a single part of NY, the US would never let Russia back onto the North American Continent after buying Alaska from them back in the 1800s.  I also thought it was an intriguing point to state that China could try to make a move at getting Siberia from Russia.  I personally don't think that Russia would willingly give up a resource rich region of its nation to China easily, and if China wanted to buy the region, I'd bet Putin would make them pay a pretty penny for the area.  The fact that Russia is such a varied nation, especially in the south of the nation, is not surprising due to winning the land from the Ottomans, and the best thing Russia could do, in the case of Chechnya would be to let them go.  This way the country could achieve a lasting peace, rather than always fighting campaigns against the region, which as a result, will make the people hate the Russian government even more.  However, I do not think Putin will allow his country to decrease in size, Putin only wants increases.

Scooped by Paige Therien!

China Has Accomplished Something In Global Trade Not Seen Since Colonial Britain

China Has Accomplished Something In Global Trade Not Seen Since Colonial Britain | The wonderful world: regional geography |

"China is a true mega-trader — a position last held by colonial Britain, with trade significant not only as a share of world trade (11.5%) but also of its own GDP (47%).  The U.S. is China's top export destination. China's trade with Latin America has risen more than 200 times since 1990 and is the fastest-growing corridor. China's trade is beginning to slow, however. Exports accounted for about 25% of GDP in 2012, down from 35% in 2007." 

Paige Therien's insight:

This article offers an interesting piece of insight, which is that China has become the biggest trader in the world, and has even surpassed colonial Britain was at the time.  During colonial times, and throughout history, China kept to themselves.  Britain, on the other hand was becoming a world superpower because of their demands for goods.  The article offers four reasons why this trend will continue for China including a firm control of its position in the market, increasing global demand for China's services, a shift towards a more balanced trade (i.e. more imports), and its established infrastructure.  However, they do not touch upon the negative aspects of environmental and humanitarian issues that have been brought along with global trade, and which may be the demise of China's trade market.

Sean Goins's curator insight, November 13, 2014 1:31 PM

in the global market, china has become the rising power in the exporting market with latin america which has risen more than 200 times since 1990 and is the fastest, but has also slowed down in more recent times but is still one of the largest exporters in the world

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:38 PM

A new Standard Chartered report by Madhur Jha and other Standard Chartered economists, titled "Global Trade Unbundled," highlights just how much of a trading giant China has become. "China is a true mega trader-- a position last held by colonial Britain, with trade significant not only as a share of world trade but also of its own GDP", according to Jha. "China will likely become a champion of free trade." In 2013, China topped the United States for the first time. China's imports and exports of goods amounted to $4.16 trillion dollars. The United States is China's top destination for exports. This is obvious because if we look on half the items we use daily, they probably say "Made in China". China's exports with Latin America and Africa are still continuing to grow rapidly. Jha and others believe that China will remain the top trader mostly because the economic recovery is a positive for China. Also because a lot of attention is paid towards exports from China rather than imports. China's trade rates are likely to keep growing at a steady pace.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:17 AM

This article is highlights what we already know; China is a dominant force in global trade (although the map should be centered on the Pacific to show China's real shipping lanes and interregional connections).  Containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries (almost 90% of everything we buy arrives via ship).  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia. 

Tags: transportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Scooped by Paige Therien!

Desolate ghost towns of South Sudan

Desolate ghost towns of South Sudan | The wonderful world: regional geography |
US Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting South Sudan and has warned that more peacekeepers must be rapidly deployed to end the conflict.
Paige Therien's insight:

South Sudan has been engaged in a civil war for a few months now.  It was sparked by political means, but the real roots of this conflict are ethnic.  The only "safe" place for civilians  are flooded, disease-ridden towns while the other towns are uninhabited due to battling.  Especially because  this year marks 20 years for the Rwandan genocide,this issue raises some important questions such as when does civil war become genocide?  Also, although Secretary of State John Kerry has recently threatened sanctions if the South Sudanese cannot maintain a ceasefire, it will be interesting to see where the U.S. and other countries will stand if this situation continues to escalate.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Paige Therien!

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.


This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?

Paige Therien's insight:

Urban United States culture has been introduced to Cambodia's youth by K.K.  K.K., who lived in California his whole life as the child of Cambodian refugees, was deported to Cambodia, a place he had never even visited before, due to a felony charge.  K.K created an organization which taught Cambodia's youth about HIV protection, computers, and drugs.  He made his organization attractive to Cambodian youth by introducing them break-dancing and rapping.  In the U.S. these activities are often viewed in a negative light, but K.K. used them positively by introducing them to a population with no prior knowledge of them.  He also recreated his own identity by mixing his new, vastly unknown Cambodian experience with his life experiences from the U.S.   He is an example of the many people who struggle with forming a more global identity in our global world.  This organization targets at-risk kids and K.K. is probably trying to direct their lives the way he may wish someone had done for him. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:15 PM

I thought this was a good video because it talks about a person who was probably living in the u.s. all his life and got hooked on the wrong side of the track and now forced to leave the u.s. The good news is he is seeing a country he was probably born in and never saw. he is able to bring with him some American culture such as breakdancing, music, his tattoos his English language. At the same time he is going to learn his culture.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:08 PM

this is a wonderful example of someone giving back to their adoptive [if ancestral] home. this is a good way to keep kids out of trouble while also introducing them to a new culture and style of dance.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:03 PM

this is great, making the best of a bad situation and working with kids to make sure that they do not make the same mistakes as you did is a great thing. also the examples of cultural diffusion or great as well. everyone knows that there is nothign better for kids growing up than to be a part of after school programs where they can continue to learn different things.

Rescooped by Paige Therien from Metaglossia: The Translation World!

South Asian Languages: Evolving Roles in a Globalized World

South Asian Languages: Evolving Roles in a Globalized World | The wonderful world: regional geography |

South Asia’s native languages are essential for understanding the contemporary region. Background

Via Charles Tiayon
Paige Therien's insight:

Native languages, in South Asia and the rest of the world, illustrate the histories and worldviews of their speakers; language and culture are nearly synonymous.  This synonymity carries over when dealing with the extinction an re-creation of languages (through creole languages).  Today, our globalized world is introducing more global languages, especially English, to many societies.  Speaking English, whether partially or fully, means that English-speaking society values and norms will also be introduced and adopted into these new-to English cultures.  This can create societal issues as new, forgein ideals may clash with traditional ideals.  Also, the United States is a country that primarily speaks English and which lives very unsustainably; if other societies are adopting our values and way of life through language, what will happen to our world?

Charles Tiayon's curator insight, March 5, 2014 1:27 PM
South Asia’s native languages are essential for understanding the contemporary region. Background
Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 20, 2014 2:22 PM

The loss of south Asian languages is happening at an alarming rate.  250 languages lost in the last 50 years due to people dying and people not carrying on the languages of their ancestors.  With English being the key to globalization, as well as trade with higher markets it is also taking over as people's day to day language, causing the extinction of native languages.  It mentions that south Asia is filled with many different tribes of people along with their very diverse languages.  With the loss of language not only are people loosing their native tongue but also their culture and identity.  Language is a lot more than what people talk, but it has a history behind it.  Even now a great deal of these languages are being intermixed with other languages.  This can cause a number of problems when people begin not to understand their own native language because of the other influences that have been intermixed with their own.

Rescooped by Paige Therien from Geography in the classroom!

Sherpas: The Invisible Men of Everest

Sherpas: The Invisible Men of Everest | The wonderful world: regional geography |
After the avalanche that killed 16 Sherpas, the human cost of Everest peak fever has become inescapably clear.

Via dilaycock
Paige Therien's insight:

Similar to many other industries that exploit those on the lowest rungs of the supply chain, the local inhabitants of the Khumbu Valley, Sherpas and Nepalis, face huge risks just to make a decent paycheck while trying to fill the demands of Westerners- including trying to fit Westerners preconceived notions of their own identity.  These people are not producing goods, but instead they are providing services; they are the "tour guides" aka mountaineers that guide people to the summits of Earth's tallest mountains.  Over the past few decades, Sherpa deaths have accounted for 40 percent of all deaths on Mount Everest.  Westerners would assume that since Sherpas are the "experts", nothing can really happen to them, or, if something does happen, it isn't an overly common occurrence.  Sometimes, this mindset, along with lack of oxygen at higher elevations, fosters abuse from tourists towards the guides.  Tourism creates new realities and identities; Westerners have come to believe that today's mountaineering which they experience has always been a part of Sherpa culture, when in fact their expeditions have drastically changed it.  Westerners have also brought things like schools and medical clinics but this is still at the cost of brave Sherpa men.  Unfortunately, it took the most recent avalanche which killed 16, for Sherpas to demand more rights and benefits.

dilaycock's curator insight, April 27, 2014 8:27 PM

The recent disaster on Everest has sparked considerable discussion as to "where to next?" for the Sherpas.