In April 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections and all races went to the polls to bury apartheid for good. But hopes of a new dawn have been tarnished by fraud and corruption at the highest levels.
The first 2 and a half minutes of this video are a good historical analysis into the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, culminating in the election of Nelson Mandela and the empowerment of the ANC. Today though, the ANC and South Africa is mired in endemic corruption. South Africa is one of the most unequal societies with high unemployment and a faltering economy.
As the U.S. entered World War I, German culture was erased as the government promoted the unpopular war through anti-German propaganda. This backlash culminated in the lynching of a German immigrant.
German-Americans are America’s largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). Yet despite their numbers, they are barely visible. During the first world war, parts of America grew incredibly anti-German. Many stopped speaking German and anglicized their names. “In 1915 about 25% of all high school students in America studied German, but by the end of the World War I German had become so stigmatized that only 1 percent of high schools even taught it.”
“Mark Blyth of Brown University explains international trade.”
To understand international trade, you need to understand how the factors of production vary from place to place, resulting in different locations having a comparative advantage on a global market. This video nicely explains that with the example of Scotland’s comparative advantage raising sheep with southern Europe’s comparative advantage in producing wine. Does the size of a country matter in trade? You betcha.
Statues to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis will be removed.
I find issues such as these endlessly fascinating because it the cultural politics behind the shaping of the landscape are so evident. The cultural landscape clearly isn’t just an innocent reflection of the society, but is actively constructed and contested. Some, including the NOLA mayor, claim that it isn’t political, but preserving or reconfiguring a place’s public cultural heritage is always political.
“During World War II the US government incarcerated over 110,000 Japanese Americans, in ten different detention centers throughout the United States. One of these sites was Manzanar; in 1992, Manzanar was declared a National Historic Site. But apart from the cemetery, there was little there. The committee did not want to settle for a staid, sterile museum and so they worked with the National Park Service to rebuild portions of the camp exactly as they had been during the war. The most powerful symbol might be the site’s newest addition, a replica of the women’s latrine with a trough sink and row of five toilets with no dividers between them. It’s a stark reminder of the humiliation felt by many Japanese Americans during their incarceration. The annual pilgrimage of Japanese-Americans and others will take place on April 29th, 2017.”
How we collectively remember history in the landscape? Do you erase national embarrassments that open wounds of the past or is the act of memorialization cathartic and part of becoming a better country? After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. listened to the fears of the public and military officials and interned U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry. Today, how this history is remembered is deeply important to many groups in the United States. There are some great images, videos and primary sources in this episode of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast.
City Hall in Philadelphia is a fantastic example of using architecture to create civic pride by investing in iconic, public buildings. Monumental architecture helps to create a sense of place and communal identity. This building has open air access, making the public feel that this is more their building.”
Question to Ponder: Is it “worth it” for government’s to invest taxpayer dollars on ornate architecture?
Do not be fooled by its adorable name—the cookiecutter shark attacks by suctioning its lips to the flesh of its victims, spins, and ejects a cylindrical plug of flesh from its prey!
This is the most delightfully fun video about one of the creepiest critters of the deep.
Despite the social inequality women experience, they live longer than men. This is the case without a single exception, in all countries.
The question “why do women live longer than men?” is both biological and cultural. This means that 1) gender as a cultural construct that influences behavior is a mitigating factor and 2) sex, as a biochemical issue, is a separate set of determining factors. Estrogen benefits women because it lowers “bad” cholesterol) and “good” cholesterol, but testosterone does the opposite. Women are more likely to have chronic diseases, but non-fatal chronic disease, but men are more prone to the more fatal chronic illnesses. For the cultural reasons, men are less likely to seek treatment, adhere to the prescribed treatment, commit suicide, and engage in more risky behavior. While these may read like a list of gendered stereotypes that don’t apply to all, when looking at the global data sets, these trends hold and are more likely to be true. How masculinity and femininity is constructed certainly shapes many of these factors and deserves some discussion.
NASA scientists have just released the first new global map of Earth at night since 2012. This nighttime look at our home planet, dubbed the Black Marble, provides researchers with a unique perspective of human activities around the globe. By studying Earth at night, researchers can investigate how cities expand, monitor light intensity to estimate energy use and economic activity, and aid in disaster response.
NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. You can download the image at a good resolution (8 MB jpg) or at a great resolution (266 MB jpg) to explore at your leisure.