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Observations from the 2014 AP Human Geography Reading

June 11, 2014 // 4 Comments

Once again the AP Human Geography reading was a success. I still firmly believe that this group pf 500+ teachers and professors have GOT to be the most extraordinary and interesting people than any other group of readers. The stories that we all overhear while riding up the escalator for lunch are unbelievable and  inspires me to keep pushing to be a better teacher than I was yesterday. Never mind the 1125 free response questions that I graded- this is by far the best professional development that I can ever get. I am very thankful for a productive professional development night, and all of the other “professional development” nights outside of the convention center. After pondering the rubric that we used for grading and discussing it with my table, I decided to do some further research into the previous years and see what types of verbs that the FRQ test requests the students to answer. Some of my findings were interesting and provoked more thought while others were [...]

NEWS via BloombergBusinessWeek: Megadams Are Dismal Investments

March 22, 2014 // 0 Comments

Megadams Are Dismal Investments By Blake Schmidt March 13, 2014 Photograph by Taylor Weidman/Zuma Press Indigenous Munduruku men at the quarry site for Belo Monte It’s hard to overstate the massive proportions of Belo Monte. When completed, it will be the world’s third-largest dam. Set in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, it will funnel water through 18 turbines, each with the diameter of the Space Shuttle. When the last one is switched on in 2019, Belo Monte will have a capacity of 11,233 megawatts—enough to supply power to 40 percent of Brazil’s households. Construction crews, which began work in 2011, will have to dig up almost twice as much dirt as was removed to build China’s Three Gorges Dam, and truck in enough steel to build 16 Eiffel Towers, according to the dam’s developers. About 26,000 laborers toil in shifts around the clock. Massive is a word that also applies to the hydropower project’s price. Norte Energia, the consortium awarded a 35-year concession [...]

NEWS via Mashable: Mapmakers Debate How to Define Crimea

March 21, 2014 // 0 Comments

Mapmakers Debate How to Define Crimea A cartographer at work, circa 1930.IMAGE: VINTAGE IMAGES/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES BY COLIN DAILEDA1 DAY AGO Much of the world is watching how the high-stakes tug-of-war over Crimea will play out, but few groups of professionals are more invested than cartographers. Cartographers are tasked with mapping the political dimensions of the globe. That means when a piece of land switches ownership between countries, it’s their job to decide whether they want to make that change official. The latest debate for this small but influential club is centered on Crimea, the once-autonomous region of Ukraine that voted on March 16 to become a part of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to annex the peninsula, and it now must be approved by the Russian parliament. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian governmentannounced it was pulling out its troops. But Western nations including the United States, the U.K., and Germany, have not [...]

NEWS via CNN: Plugging China’s talent pool

March 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Plugging China’s talent pool By Zarina Banu for CNN March 20, 2014 — Updated 0603 GMT (1403 HKT) Many are leaving China for reasons like education, food and wealth security and air quality. STORY HIGHLIGHTS China sees 8.5 million mainly middle-class living abroad with less than 10% moving in Paper in China calls exodus “the world’s worst brain drain” Hong Kong (CNN) — “Culture is not the main reason why most Chinese people leave. This is a romantic view. Most people leave China because of practical reasons like education, food and wealth security and air quality.” This is the view of Li Chen, who moved to Hong Kong from the mainland two years ago. A combination of pragmatism and aspiration led the 32-year-old Masters of Journalism student to leave. He said when his wife was offered the chance to relocate to Hong Kong, the timing for the couple was just right. The move allowed Li to pursue his passion for photography and will earn him [...]

NEWS via CNN: Crimea-Economic fallout of a ‘yes’ vote

March 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

Crimea: Economic fallout of a ‘yes’ vote By Alanna Petroff and Mark Thompson  @CNNMoney March 15, 2014: 7:54 AM ET Crimea is voting on Sunday in a referendum to decide if the region should break from Ukraine and join Russia.  LONDON (CNNMoney) The Ukrainian region of Crimea votes Sunday on whether to join Russia, a move that could tip Europe back into a Cold War with its powerful eastern neighbor. The West has called the vote illegal, saying Russian military activity in Crimea violates Ukraine’s sovereignty and will influence the outcome of the referendum. U.S. and European leaders say Russia will pay a price for annexing Crimea, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of a potential “catastrophe.” Related: Live coverage of the crisis in Ukraine If, as expected, Crimeans choose Russia over Ukraine, the fallout could ultimately affect economic growth, trade, investment and energy supplies. Sanctions: Western powers may move as early as Monday [...]

NEWS via Christian Science Monitor: Why African-Americans are moving back to the South

March 16, 2014 // 0 Comments

After decades of moving north, thousands of blacks are returning to their Southern roots for economic and cultural reasons. By Carmen K. Sisson, Correspondent / March 16, 2014 Artist Kia Darceo left Milwaukee for Atlanta, which she calls ‘Black Mecca.’ This is the cover story in the Mar. 17 issue of The Christian Science MonitorWeekly. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff WEST POINT, MISS. When Charlie Cox told his friends he was leaving Chicago, no one tried to talk him out of it. After 35 years at General Motors, he was ready to retire. Ready to trade the cold and the crime and the frenetic pace of life for the rivers and fields of his youth. He had grown up in rural West Point, Miss., and he had moved north with his family when he was 9 years old, but somehow his heart had never quite followed. His spirit yearned for the South, and, as the years passed, the memories of his childhood burned brighter until he couldn’t stand it any longer. There was only one problem: [...]

NEWS via Newsweek: The Geography of Autism

March 15, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Geography of Autism By Rob Verger Filed: 3/14/14 at 2:56 PM  | Updated: 3/14/14 at 4:09 PM A new study hints at why autism clusters, but experts caution seeking an easy solutionEnrique De La Osa/Reuters Filed Under: Tech & Science, autism, Science, Studie Researchers have long know that autism is found in clusters. Certain communities and states have rates much higher than the rest of the country — a child born in California is several times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than a child in Alabama, for example. But the question why remains unanswered. The geographical nature of the disorder seems to imply some sort of local, environmental cause. And a new study suggests just that: it found a strong correlation between autism rates and male reproductive system malformations, which can be caused by environmental toxins. There is a complex array of factors that can influence autism rates, though: they seem to be affected by issues as diverse as income level, [...]
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