Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
O'Neill's view is that in this age of globalization, migration as we knew it (Irishmen coming to the US due to a potato famine and never returning home) has changed. It's easier to travel, speak on the phone or use electronic means.
NPR paraphrased him well saying that of Americans, people are less inclined to make judgments based on race or class – but also not particularly interested in learning about his background.
[Maybe that's perhaps another reason why Americans don't know geography.]
Monday, November 24, 2008
For one of the more depressing contrasts, compare the Omaha's Kountze Park in 1898 with the ghetto firing range that it's become. It reminds me of the decline of Fort Totten, DC.
Since the publishing of this classic post New Mexico has moved even closer to bilingualism (English and Spanish) while still not having an "official" languages law.
Published Friday May 19, 2006
The United States Senate voted recently to make English the official language of the
Twenty-six states and the Virgin Islands all have English (American version) as their official language. There has been controversy; however.
Some parts of the
recognizes both English and Cajun French Louisiana uses both in Hawaiian English and Hawaiian Hawaii
- Puerto Rico is officially English and Spanish but Spanish is the unofficial primary language.
- Guam has both English and Chamorro. Many young know little of Chamorro and Japanese is an unofficial language used extensively on
- American Samoa recognizes English and the native Samoan
- The Northern Mariana Islands is trilingual with English, Chamorro, and Carolinian
There are outliers with these facts too.
If English does become the official language of the
What type of American English do you speak? Find out with Yall Tock Funny Ya Hear
Want to find out the difference between American English with that from the motherland and Australia along with Cajun versus Fromage? Find out with Figjam
Friday, November 21, 2008
Read the original paper for more details, but for me the interesting thing is that the Russian race (like Russian culture, or the Russian state) is only marginally European. Of course, the Great Russian Die-Off will change the features of those Russians that remain in a generation or three.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I stumbled on a 1992 New York Times article in honor of Geography Awareness Week titled “Redoubling the Efforts at Teaching Geography.” It cited a 1988 Survey of Geographic Literacy stating that 25% of young Americans, 18 to 24 years old, could not find the Pacific Ocean on a map. This got me thinking: what has happened since? Thankfully, NG has continued the study in both 2002 and 2006. Catholicgauze happened to comment on the 2006 survey results, too.
It's interesting to see the trends and compare results over time of young Americans. I'm trying not to bombard you with statistics, so I picked out what I believe are interesting and balanced indicators.
Overall there has been little to no change since the 1988 study. Moreover, young Americans lag behind their counterparts in Europe. Simply stated, Americans need more geographical knowledge. How can this be accomplished? Well, I'm sure that could be up for debate. National Geographic has wonderful online tools and resources; however, if they have been implementing programs to combat geographic ignorance since 1988, perhaps the programs they have need to be revisited (or I suggest doing a case study on effectiveness at those schools/classrooms that use the NG material vs. the classrooms that do not).
Geography is not all about locations – only 29% in 2006 stated correctly that the U.S. is the largest export of goods and services measured by dollar value (48% incorrectly stated China) – and – only 18% knew that Mandarin was the most widely spoken language in the world (74% said English).
So, who did well on the 2002 and 2006 surveys?
- Those who had taken a geography course or completed more education.
- Those who travel internationally, speak more than one language and/or have contact with cultures outside of the U.S.
- Those that keep up with world events through the Internet and other media sources.
- Those whose families (as well as themselves) were not recent immigrants.
And finally, if you can't get enough: Test your knowledge with National Geographic's quiz!
Monday, November 17, 2008
The post was a Google Earth image of Pyongyang, North Korea's empty streets. Reader Scott, in the very first comment, pointed out each car plate in North Korea reflects the political class of the driver. Protestant fans of the Left Behind series pointed out that Kim Jong Il's car plate, 216, is their intrepreation of the Mark of the Beast.
From Sunday January 8, 2006
Glorious Leader Kim Il-Sung (with his son Kim Jong-il holding the position until he comes back from death) runs a clean and glorious country without fear of AIDS, pollution, or freedom for anyone.
The capital city of
Friday, November 14, 2008
Regular Catholicgauze blogging to resume late March 2009!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I am about to leave the comfort and safety of the United States of America for the deserts, villages, and cities of the Republic of Iraq. I go because my God-given gift of a geographical mind can help improve and safe the lives of Americans and Coalition troops, NGO volunteers, and Iraqis. I pray that my labor can produce rewards that will comfort those who need to be comforted.
I know that I do not go alone. Many from all over the world; from the farthest rural corners to the largest cities have and are coming to Iraq to work with those brave patriots who put their lives on the line to restore the greatest that once resided in the green valleys of Mesopotamia.
I know that the odds of death are present but they are small. However, if I am fall far from my home know that I died so others may live. Too many good people have already met this fate. They are the true heroes. I am not worried for my physical self, my family and I like all families have known too much death, and I know that one day I myself will die. No doubt about that. My soul I pray for constantly so that God may forgive me. I am unworthy of the gifts and love he has allowed me to have. My big worry is for those who I love. I love you. You know who you are. I will always be with you whether I come back from Iraq or not.
Know I prepare to go out. My flight is soon. I will do my best to keep in touch with you. Geography has played a role in many of the happiest moments of my life. Whether it be learning it, teaching it, exploring it with my family, or blogging about with all of you. Now is the time that I can use geography to help Iraq. Now is the time for me truly to preform. Now is the time for me to leave.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
TDAXP once told me a story of how a textbook of his said that the "Far East" is called such because if one were to travel east from America that is where one would end up. The same book proclaimed Emperor Constantine I was the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.
The terms "West" and "East" are based on interpretations of the development of civilization. The West has its foundation in Ancient Greece while the East at first was Asia, meaning usually Persia. The West saw itself based on logic and limited government while the East believed in their god-kings supremacy. As time progressed Europe and European-based cultures inherited the term the West. The term "Far East" originated out of the desire to differentiate classical Asia from China and Japan, which Europeans were late in learning about.
Previously, the increase in distance between objects in the universe, red shift, was explained as the big bang explosion still having force. But this study suggests that something is aiding the process. What this something is cannot be explained with current science. But it does suggest that our universe not only is not infant but only part of something bigger.
What exactly this bigger thing is is also unknown. Whether it be another completely different universe full of craziness or "nothingness" is completely guessable. One can state that it is heaven and have as much reasonableness as the guy saying it is a dark matter reserve-universe. The math that astronomers are going to have to use just to have educational guesses at what these pullers are will be beyond most computers' comprehension. Best of luck guys!
Some says that geography has no more blank spots in the map to fill. However, those who truly love exploration of the unknown merely have to look up into space for the next, but not final, frontier.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
At 11:11 am the Great War ended. Twenty million had died since 1914. It was suppose to be the War to End all Wars: never again, if you will.
This day is set aside to honor those who died in the war and all veterans in general. Let us remember them always in our souls and our heads.
Coming Anarchy links to a BBC interactive map containing videos about some of the larger battles.
Those who fought in the Great War ended the Classical Age of Europe and started the Modern era. Their struggle help make what Europe what it is today. Their sacrifice, along with those who fought against fascists, campaigned against the Communists, and supported human rights world wide are our heroes. Below are their depressingly wonderful works on the face of Europe.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Despite a few editorials out of Ukraine, Iraq, and Georgia, the world has been enthusiastic about Obama's victory. Everyone from the French, Germans, Japanese, and all the way to Tonga have been celebrating. However, Obama must now live to very high hopes. Uganda thinks it is Obama's priority while the militant Islamic Army of Iraq (not al Qaeda-related) expects Obama to live up to the hype and Zimbabwe is hoping Obama will not pressure an African nation to reform. America is riding high on the Obama wave but chances are high for disappointment. This should be one of President Obama's main fears.
With Russia moving missiles, Iran and Israel daring each other, and low level monsters all throughout the world: this is not a time for screw ups. Let us hope President Obama is up for it and makes the right calls.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Many attribute Prime Minister-elect John Key's success to his centering of the center-right's agenda. Key will keep the nuclear ban and will focus more on reforming the welfare system than the the standard right line of ending it or curbing it. Meanwhile there is hope on the right that Key will restore military alliances with America, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Meanwhile the center-left is hurting. The formerly ruling Labour Party lost seven seats and the small Progressive Party failed to gain any seats or votes. The left Greens; on the otherhand, gained two seats to get up to eight total.
The Maori Party, solely oriented for the native Maori people, managed to gain one seat to get up to five. The party seeks to extend Maori property rights into the sea and have special laws having Maori as in retirement age. The party hoped to play kingmaker for the ruling coalition but the center-right coalition, which platform seeks a colorblind approach to law, managed to win a majority outright.
Friday, November 07, 2008
According to this medical map anthrax has receded from the first world but still manages to run wild throughout the third world. The reason is because the disease is commonly spread through livestock. First world farmers can afford vaccines that stop the disease. However, lack of money and general dirty living in the third world allows for anthrax to thrive.
Another main reason I had to get the shot was because of weaponization. The spores that cause anthrax can live hundreds of years and are easily available if one knows where to look. It is a messy process that can easily effect the maker but a crude anthrax weapon can be made from household equipment. And a black market somewhere might have the weaponized version for sale for the right price.
Scary little tidbit, the island where the Soviet Union had their anthrax stockpile was in the Aral Sea and now is a peninsula. Fortunately American scientists managed to destroy the stockpile remains... after it was abandoned for a decade!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The techno-underwear is being marketed as a lover's tracker and even a personal safety device. Feminists are upset because it can act as a tether on wives, lovers, and girlfriends. Libertarians are mad because it can track people and possibly be abused. Those who like safety see it as a connect to the outside world when something bad like kidnapping occurs.
Two problems exists that should have prevented this from becoming news. First off, by the picture in the story it is clear that the thing is not really that subtle. It is not like one can simply slip it in boxers or anything unnoticed. Secondly, this is nothing new. Other pieces of clothing like GPS shoes exist. With the gear embedded inside, devices like these would be a more logical tracking device/chastity belt.
Oh well. For now Catholicgauze takes great joy in the fact that his shirts, ties, shoes, and boxers are not constantly in conversation via high frequency waves with satellites in space. Never know if one could get cancer in all the wrong places.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Political geography analysis to come on Thursday!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Today is a information era driven by the free access of information. Sure, a civil society needs horizontal controls and times of war call for information wars but this style of censorship is a slippery slope. One never knows when a "controversial subject" will be one that hurts the government's political image.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Taxi Fare Finder is a Google Maps Mash-Up designed to help solve the problem. The program takes taxi pricing information from many American cities along with Toronto and Vancouver, Canada and London, United Kingdom. It calculates initial fare, metered rate, surcharge, and tip to give an estimate of the cost.
Not perfect but a good tool for those on the go!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Nashi, the main Russian government funded youth group, wants to wish you a happy Halloween and tell you that it hates America, big time. The group channels their inner-crazy Ron Paul and Cynthia McKinney in a movie title the American Show. The movie claims the United States was behind World War I, World War II, the War on Terrorism, Rock and Roll, and the Mark of the Best from the Bible.
It appears that this video is being shown in conjunction with an upcoming Nashi-lead protest in front of the United States Embassy - Moscow on November 2. If so this mark a big turning point. Before Nashi propaganda has taken on NATO allies and Ukraine while only lightly attacking the United States. Now, it directly blames the United States for the above and more. This had to be approved by the top in Moscow. Whether this means Prime Minister Putin thinks he has a freer hand to attack the United States or President Dmitry Medvedev, once thought as weak, is really hard core is yet to be seen. Either way, Russia is upping its propaganda and chest beating.