“This photograph, taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, shows the straight line of the Corinth Canal as it crosses a narrow isthmus between mainland Greece (right) and the Peloponnese Peninsula. The canal cuts through the narrowest part of the isthmus of Corinth. The goal was to save ships from the dangerous 700-kilometer voyage around the ragged coastline of the peninsula.”
Questions to Ponder: What does the word Isthmus mean and how does this image help tell that story? When did people start modifying Earth’s physical systems? What factors do we need to consider when evaluating the impacts of human modifications to the environment?
“Think modern dating is tough? Try hunting for a husband or wife in the Druze community—adherents are forbidden from marrying outside of the faith. This desire to marry someone within the faith is not just a preference—the religion prohibits exogamy. If a Druze marries a non-Druze, it will not be a Druze wedding, nor can the couple’s children be Druze—the religion can only be passed on through birth to two Druze parents. There are no conversions into the Druze faith.”
Baseball in South Korea is more than a game. It’s akin to a religion. American missionaries first brought the sport to the peninsula in 1905, and the country absolutely loved it. Today, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) features 10 teams and a unique sporting culture all its own. The city of Busan and its hometown Lotte Giants have a particularly passionate fan base. From the hitters’ flashy bat flips, to the team’s famous “cheermaster” and its unlikely American super fan, consider this is your crash course on the joyful madness that is Lotte Giants fandom.
If a sport (or other cultural practice) diffuses to a new place, is it going to look exactly the same as it does in the original cultural hearth? Maybe, or like baseball in South Korea, it can have a culture all its own. This is an interesting story that shows how the diffusion of cultural traits around the globe doesn’t have to lead to a more bland cultural mosaic. As cultural traits are reterritorialized into new places, they add vibrancy to the cultural fabric of the institution/sub-culture that they’ve adopted.
“The Braves chose to relocate to Cobb County from downtown Atlanta’s Turner Field after only 19 years because of a $400 million public subsidy from Cobb taxpayers. The costs are almost certain to balloon thanks to some significant fiscal buffoonery on the part of Cobb officials, including a lack of a comprehensive transportation plan and forgetting to ask the Braves to pay for traffic cops. Attached to SunTrust Park like a Cinnabon-scented goiter is the Battery Atlanta, a $550M mixed-used development that looks an awful lot like a New Urbanist project, the widely criticized school of planning that is equal parts social engineering and neoliberalism. SunTrust isn’t solely accessible by car—the Braves run a stadium shuttle bus that serves a couple of outer MARTA stations—but, compared to the team’s former home, the non-motorized options are paltry.”
There are many great geography angles to look at this particular issue. The scale of governance matters in creating the political context for any given situation. In this article, we see City vs. County vs. Metropolitan regional politics jockey for position, putting the interest of their own county above that of the larger metropolitan region. We also see competing visions of ideal urban planning (a more sprawling, automobile-centered model vs. public transit, multi-use planning that is enclosed vs. open) all layered upon racial and socio-economic context of this particular place.
Part I: The story of Somalia’s decline from stability to chaos and the problems facing its people at home and abroad.
Part II: The ongoing civil war has caused serious damage to Somalia’s infrastructure and economy. Thousands of Somalis have either left as economic migrants or fled as refugees. Within Somali, more than a million people are internally displaced.
“Spain’s prime minister has called on Catalan separatist leaders to end their ‘escalation’ as several thousand people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest at Madrid’s attempts to stop a banned referendum on independence. ‘Stop this escalation of radicalism and disobedience once and for all.’ Catalonia’s president earlier accused the Spanish government of suspending the region’s autonomy after police intensified efforts to stop a vote on independence that has sparked one of the worst political crises since Spain’s return to democracy four decades ago. Spanish Guardia Civil officers raided a dozen Catalan regional government offices and arrested 14 senior officials on Wednesday as part of an operation to stop the referendum from taking place on 1 October.”
If you are looking for an example of devolution today, this is it. This situation has escalated as Spain and Catalonia’s governments cannot work together. The referendum was (according to the Spanish government) outlawed but keep an eye on Catalonia over the next few weeks.
Peter Bellerby is one of the last artisan globemakers on earth. But now, he’s teaching an entirely new generation of artists the secrets of crafting entire worlds by hand.
Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information–however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art. Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem. If anybody want to get me a Christmas present, you know that I love cartographic gifts. FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.
The map provides a level of detail previously unavailable. It is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities.
Questions to Ponder: What regions can you identify as a part of a trend? What possible factors have led to these patterns? What are the long-term implications of this data?