“It might be a strip of sand without even a jetty but a small stretch of the Pacific coast now harbors Bolivia’s dream of regaining a coast and becoming a maritime nation. The landlocked Andean country has won access to a desolate patch of Peru’s shoreline, fueling hopes that Bolivia will once again have a sea to call its own. President Evo Morales signed a deal yesterday with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan García, allowing Bolivia to build and operate a small port about 10 miles from Peru’s southern port of Ilo. The accord, sealed with declarations of South American brotherhood, was a diplomatic poke at Chile, the neighbor that seized Bolivia’s coast and a swath of Peruvian territory in the 1879-84 war of the Pacific.”
How important is a coastline to the economic viability of a country in the global market and to for the country’s geopolitical strengthen? Ask the countries without one.
The question is less whether a dress or an idea is borrowed, than the uses to which it’s then put.
A while back a prom dress causes an uproar, and a backlash to the uproar (as you can imagine political leanings heavily influence the cultural perspectives as demonstrated by the difference between the New York Times , Fox News and the social media reactions on the same topic). This article pulls pack from the immediate issues that fan the fans, but asks some of the broader questions about cultural diffusion and cultural appropriation.
“The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu – once thought to be under threat from rising sea levels – has grown the size of California’s Disneyland over the past 40 years. It’s mostly thanks to waves dumping extra sediment, sand and gravel on shore lines, according to research by Auckland University scientists. The study, published in the Nature Communications journal on Friday, was the first in-depth look at how much each of Tuvalu’s 101 islands have changed over the decades.”
“If you have been on social media this week, you have seen screenshots of this week’s CBS News broadcast on Syria, which in fact displayed a map of Iran. Many jokes were made, many tweets went viral. As connoisseurs of hilariously wrong TV news maps, this is nothing. Kids’ stuff. We have dug deep into our collection, gathered lovingly over the years, and now invite you to follow along on a tour of the world according to TV news.”
News organizations are in the business of prioritizing speed and accuracy, but sometimes those priorities come into conflict. These are but a few of many examples of poor cartography in media. While this isn’t all there is to geographic illiteracy, this is certainly one of the most obvious to the general public. If only there were the only element of geographic illiteracy in media coverage.
“Stratfor explains that Italy’s main geographic challenge is to preserve its unity despite strong regional identities.” For more of these videos, visit http://arcg.is/1IeK3dT
Italy’s a country that we may think of as monolithic, but (like so many other countries) it has some deep and persistent regional distinctions. These videos are older, but the the divisions discussed are still pertinent. Stratfor also added a video of Italy in their “Geographic Challenge” series. I’ve updated my map which spatially indexes 70+ of their videos that are especially relevant to geography teachers to include this one. These videos are great starting points for students that are researching a particular country.
The work of the acclaimed chef and writer, who has died at 61, provides a model for a truly inclusive urbanism based on the creativity of all human beings.
At the APHG reading last week, it felt as if everyone was in shock and mourning Anthony Bourdain’s passing. I felt so amazingly thick, but I was dying to ask "who?" Judging by everyone’s reaction, I think I’m the only geographer who has never watched any of his shows and was feeling the shame. I quickly checked out Parts Unknown (on Netflix) and the appeal of his work was immediately evident; it is more about place than it is strictly about the food. Food is simply his portal into understanding the people, culture, and politics of a given place. Some say that his approach brings an anti-colonial flair to urbanism and travel, but as I’m a newbie to his work, I’m just going to start appreciating it now as we mourn his loss.
“Chapulines [grasshoppers] have become a snack favorite among baseball fans in Seattle. Follow their path from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Safeco Field. To many, the insect might be a novelty – a quirky highlight for an Instagram story from a day at the ballpark. To those in Mexico consuming them for centuries, they are a building block of nutrition.”
Eating insects is incredibly nutritious; raising them is cost effective and environmentally sustainable. And yet, the cultural taboos against entomophagy in the West are barriers to the cultural diffusion of the practice. At some baseball games and high-end restaurants, grasshoppers are sold as a novelty item. What I especially enjoy about this ESPN article is that it covers the cultural production of the chapulines in Mexico and follows the story to the consumption of the grasshoppers in the United States.
"This has been my first year as Chief Reader of the AP Human Geography reading and it is amazing to watch all the moving parts come together. It couldn’t happen without such dedicated, professional, and passionate geography educators all working together. I was delighted to have Dr. Marie Price, President of the American Geographical Society, be our professional development night speaker and she was outstanding. Her talk, MIGRATION AS A CROSSCUTTING THEME IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, proved that her geographic expertise is only matched by her teaching prowess; the audience was riveted (PDF of slides here)."
NIGHT OF THE ROUND TABLES: Thursday evening, June 7th we had our annual “Night of the Round Tables” event. This event was designed to create a place to share new ideas, pick up lesson plans, discover new resources, and develop strategies for teaching geography. Presenters had 15 minutes to present. Here you can find the digital copies of the presentations given.
“Christy Clark-Pujara research focuses on the experiences of black people in British and French North America in the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She examines how the business of slavery—the buying and selling of people, food, and goods—shaped the experience of slavery, the process of emancipation, and the realities of black freedom in Rhode Island from the colonial period through the American Civil War.”
This is one of the many videos produced by the Choices Program about slavery in the New England (especially Rhode Island). Featured in the videos is Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara, who wrote “Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island.” There is a reason to what we learn in history, and there are also reasons to the histories that are rarely told. More than any other of the original thirteen colonies and states along the Eastern Seaboard, Rhode Island plied the triangle trade transporting more slaves to the Americas than all the other states combined.
Some Rhode Island slavery facts:
- In 1776, Rhode Island had the largest proportion of slave population of any of the New England colonies.
- During the antebellum period Rhode Islanders were the leading producers of “negro cloth,” a coarse wool-cotton material made especially for enslaved blacks in the American South.
- More than 60 percent of all the slave ships that left North America left from Rhode Island.