This map provides an interesting look at Africa's natural resources, at the country level. (Problems arise, not infrequently, when resources are concentrated in a particular region within a country, but that is another story for a different map.) http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2016/10/mapping-africa-natural-resources-161020075811145.html
The journal Philosophy Now has named Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer the winner of the 2016 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity.
Singer was chosen for his work on altruism and "for embodying the idea of a practical philosopher who doesn’t only analyze ethical problems but who also strives to apply a reasoned ethical stance to the difficult decisions that face us all in our lives." (Students in my "Mission Possible: Global Issues, Leadership Choices" class occasionally read excerpts of Singer's work as it applies to decisions about poverty and foreign aid.) https://philosophynow.org/award
This interactive mapping app tracks the global trade in small arms and ammunition, for civilian and military use, from 1992-2012. Interesting to observe how trade patterns and volumes change over time. http://nisatapps.prio.org/armsglobe/index.php
Want to brush up on your world geography while helping address world hunger? FreeRice allows users to donate grains of rice by answering questions correctly. Visit world landmarks? http://freerice.com/#/world-landmarks/1346445. Prefer to practice your country identification or national capital knowledge? http://freerice.com/#/identify-countries-map/837 or http://freerice.com/#/world-capitals/13642
Both amusing and telling, this map of Europe was produced by allowing Google to autocomplete the phrase "Why is [name of country]...." https://jakubmarian.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/google-autocomplete-europe.jpg
NATO has been in the news more than usual lately. What is NATO? Who is NATO? Where is NATO working and what is it working on? What does NATO see as its security challenges? You can find information about all these and more at this interactive NATO map site: http://www.nato.int/nato-on-the-map/#viewer=gmaps
I am currently accepting spring semester registrations for "Mission Possible: Global Issues, Leadership Choices," my world affairs class/simulation for 6th-12th graders. If interested in learning more, please see http://www.learningoutsidethebox.net/spring-2017-classes.html
Cities started because that's where the food was. Over time, land prices made it too expensive to produce food in cities. National Geographic Emerging Explorer/MIT Media Lab project director Caleb Harper thinks technology can return food production to cities. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/urban-expeditions/austin/caleb-harper-innovation-in-urban-agriculture-important-because-of-climate-change and http://openag.media.mit.edu/about/
Look at this U.S. map, the last in a series from the American Enterprise Institute's Carpe Diem blog, carefully: the total economic output of the darker blue areas is the same as the total economic output of the lighter blue areas. http://2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33yj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/america-economy-in-half.png
Winnie the Pooh, who turned 90 this month, is one of Britain's most respected philosophers, according to a recent poll. Dr. Catherine McCall discusses how Pooh introduces complicated philosophical concepts. www.heraldscotland.com/news/14802316.Winnie_the_Pooh_s_wisdom__rivals_ancient_Greek_philosophers_/
This animation, courtesy of the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program, shows major earthquakes, eruptions, and SO2 emissions around the world from 1960-present. You can click on any seismic event to learn more about it. http://volcano.si.axismaps.io/
If you can't travel the world but you can get to the grocery store, National Geographic's Hidden Earth is a special edition magazine/softcover book featuring stunning photography and text about some of the world's most unusual places. I found it at the grocery store (in a rack with the tabloids at the checkout counter), but I expect Barnes & Noble and other magazine sellers would probably have it as well. I don't know how long it will be available, but it strikes me as a nice gift for students who like geography, photography, or travel.
This map, from the American Enterprise Institute's Carpe Diem blog, is similar to one I posted earlier this week, but this one pairs the economic output of major U.S. metropolitan areas to countries of similar economic size. (In other words, the Minneapolis metro area, for example, has an economy roughly the same size as Pakistan's.) 2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33yj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/cszmbudvyaarz5c.jpg
Ever thought about what it's like to live in a beseiged Syrian town? A Syrian mother in Madaya, Syria, has been in touch with ABC News for about a year. To protect her identity, ABC tells her story, from inside Madaya, in hand-drawn pictures. http://abcnews.go.com/International/deepdive/madaya-mom-mother-struggle-survival-syria-civil-war-42362213
Where to put an extra 2+ billion people by 2050? One intriguing possibility is where humans have chosen to live on occasion previously: underground. Rediscovered in the 1960s, Derinkuyu, in central Turkey, is one example of an ancient underground city, at one time housing more than 15,000 people and their animals across multiple levels. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/07/05/ancient-underground-city-discovered-beneath-a-house-in-anatolia-turkey-2/
To put the U.S. economy in perspective, the American Enterprise Institute's Carpe Diem blog assembled this map, showing how other nations' economies compare to the output of various U.S. states and regions. http://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/stateGDP.png
Would you pull the switch to redirect a runaway train heading towards five people (or ten? or forty?) if it meant killing one? This article on the "trolley problem" discusses how one of contemporary philosophy's most enduring ethical thought experiments is today finding new applications in neuroscience and engineering. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/10/trolley-problem-history-psychology-morality-driverless-cars/409732/
Peek inside China with this series of photos taken in various locations around China over the last month: http://avax.news/fa…/A_Look_at_Life_in_China_17-10-2015.html
One of my favorites is this aerial view of chillies drying in Xinjiang province: http://pix.avaxnews.com/avaxnews/00/bc/0002bc00.jpeg
Join National Geographic explorers for virtual field trips to learn about their work. Conservation biologist Adjany Costa will be talking about her work in Botswana's Okavango Delta on Oct. 26. Urban planner T.J. Culhane will be talking about his work in Cairo on Oct. 28. To register or to find out more, see http://nationalgeographic.org/education/programs/explorer-classroom/
A cartogram is essentially a map that's been weighted for a particular variable, in this case the number of electoral college votes a state has. [The colors indicate how strongly a state is leaning Democrat (blue) or Republican (red) in the race for president at this point in time.] For more on electoral cartograms, see news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/improved-election-map-cartograms/
Writers from Foreign Policy have put together "The 18 Essential Foreign-Policy Questions Clinton and Trump Need to Answer." Tough, thought-provoking questions for those interested in world affairs.
I am teaching "Mission Possible: Global Issues, Leadership Choices," my world affairs class/simulation for 7th-12th graders, by special arrangement this fall. If interested, please contact me.
Did you know there's a spot on earth so far from land and shipping lanes that the nearest humans are astronauts on the International Space Station? Read about Point Nemo. www.bbc.com/earth/story/20161004-the-place-furthest-from-land-is-known-as-point-nemo
Cristoforo Colombo may have been Spanish, not Italian, and may have deserved condemnation not a holiday, but at least the routes of his voyages are not disputed. This map shows all four of his trips from Spain to the Americas via the Canary Islands. media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/56/89956-004-9851B885.gif
John Searle's "Chinese room" thought experiment suggests that computers may never achieve what we think of as understanding. But philosopher-neuroscientist Sam Harris argues in this TED Talk that understanding may be beside the point when considering the ethics of advancing artificial intelligence.
This way cool weather app allows users to see temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation, and more anywhere in the world. https://www.ventusky.com/?p=34.5;-73.3;4&l=temperature
Have a 4th grader? Through its Every Kid in a Park program, the U.S. Department of the Interior offers all U.S. 4th graders (and their siblings under age 16 and up to three adults) a pass good for free admission to all U.S. national parks through Aug. 31, 2017! https://everykidinapark.gov/
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