We know where the bodies are buried … take a virtual tour of world cemeteries that host famous artists and rogues
“The Mexican tradition celebrates the dead and welcomes their return to the land of the living once a year. Enticing them to make the trip is where the food, drink and musical offerings come in.”
Like many things in Mexico, the celebrations around the Day of the Dead are a combination of indigenous and Spanish traditions that collide to make something that is uniquely Mexican. This podcast goes through the symbolism in the cultural artifacts that are such a vibrant part of the festivities.
“Did you miss Wednesday’s #aphgchat (like me)? If so, you can get caught up with this archive of the chat. As a bonus, I also added my absolute favorite resources for each unit at the tail end of the chat.”
“If ever there was a demonstration of the power of science, it is the course of the fight billed ‘Mankind v AIDS’. Until 1981 the disease (though already established in parts of Africa) was unknown to science. Within a decade it passed from being seen as primarily a threat to gay men, and then to promiscuous heterosexuals, to being a plague that might do to some parts of Africa what the Black Death did to medieval Europe. But now, though 1.6m people a year still die of it, that number is on a downward trajectory, and AIDS rarely makes the headlines any more. How was this achieved? The answer has two parts: sound science and international co-operation.”
The Ebola epidemic has dominated headlines recently. In their haste, it has been lost on that media the scary medical story of the 20th century (AIDS) that was going to doom Africa is now a success story. Some of the stories about Ebola have treated Africa as one monolithic place–Africa is not a single story.
“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”
To gain a global perspective inherently requires understanding multiple perspectives. Africa is frequently portrayed as ‘the other’ but also homogenized within a single narrative that ‘flattens’ truth. How can we teach and learn about other places in a way that develops geographic empathy and shows the many stories of that can belong to any one place?
“The Sahel’s ability to produce food is not keeping pace with its growing population, and global warming will only exacerbate the imbalance, according to a new study. Among the 22 countries making up the arid region in northern Africa, the population grew to 471 million in 2010 from 367 million in 2000, a jump of nearly 30%. As the population grew rapidly, the production of crops remained essentially unchanged. Using satellite images to calculate annual crop production in the conflict-ridden Sahel belt, south of the Sahara desert, the researchers then compared output with population growth and food and fuel consumption.”
“The historical geography of Erie Canal reshaped a nation.”
Back in the early 1800s, New York was one of the three biggest cities in the United States, but what led to it’s surge past Philadelphia and Boston? Geography and new technological innovations that favored New York City’s relative location. NYC was the only city on the East coast that could access the Great Lakes via canal, and after the construction of the Erie Canal, NYC has always been the preeminent city in the USA.
“Canada: land-wise, it’s one of the world’s biggest countries, but population-wise, it’s anything but.The map comes from the Government of Canada’s ‘Plant Hardiness Site,’ which contains images showing ‘Extreme Minimum Temperature Zones’ throughout the Great White North.”
“By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, will be home to 29 megacities. We explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of these ‘cities on steroids’, and take a look at the challenges and opportunities megacities present for the tens of millions living in Lagos, Mexico City and Dhaka.”
Through this BBC interactive mapping feature with rich call-out boxes, the reader can explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of megacities (urban areas with over 10 million residents). These ‘cities on steroids’ have been growing tremendously since the 1950s and present a unique set of geographic challenges and opportunities for their residents. Also, this Smithsonian Magazine interactive (also on the rise of Megacities), argues that dealing with megacities is one of the traits of the Anthropocene.