Tag Archives: News Articles

News Brief: Pollution in India

13 Nov

The pollution problems in New Delhi have been featured in the news a lot in the recent weeks. Thick smog blanketed areas of northern India, exceeding 10 times the recommended safe limit. Low visibility from the pollution has been blamed for an 18-car-pileup about 30 miles from New Delhi. Breathing the air has been likened to smoking 50 cigarettes in one day. Cold temperatures and slow winds have been blamed for the dangerous rise in pollution. – National Geographic

 

Why Geography Matters More Than Ever (PBS)

4 May
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“Geography matters today more than ever, but only if we are looking at the right things,” writes teacher Chris Heffernan. World map mosaic by Luis Cristino da Silva in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

As students finish their comparing places project which has focused on comparing the physical and cultural (human) geography of two places, I thought I would share this interesting column I just read on the PBS Newshour website. Here is an interesting excerpts and the column itself. 

“Geography matters more now than ever because students need to know human geography. They need to understand the relationships that exist between cultures. They need to see not just the differences in cultures, but the similarities. Students need to know that the kid sitting in a school in Afghanistan today probably doesn’t speak the same language, practice the same religion or live in a home that looks anything like a student in the United States, but they have a lot of things in common. They both love their families, the both want to play and they both want to learn. When we focus on the similarities instead of the differences, it changes the picture.”

 

A Return to Bartering

6 Dec

Many Indian villages are returning to bartering amid a nationwide cash crisis. Hard currency is in short supply following the government’s surprise decision to scrap 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in an effort to curb corruption. The BBC visited a village in the state of West Bengal to meet farmers and laborers who are trying desperately to survive without cash in hand. This article makes me think about ancient history and how people traded. 

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Photo by Axel

If I Were President…

8 Nov

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Congratulations to Jinwon and Hyweon, who wrote submissions for the New York Times. Click HERE to read what they wrote. Great job! We are proud of you.

 

Archaeologists Uncover Another Branch of the Silk Road

29 Mar

Famous for facilitating an incredible exchange of culture and goods between the East and the West, the ancient Silk Road is thought to have meandered across long horizontal distances in mountain foothills and the lowlands of the Gobi Desert. But new archaeological evidence hidden in a lofty tomb reveals that it also ventured into the high altitudes of Tibet—a previously unknown arm of the trade route. Read this Scientific American article to learn more about this discovery. 

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SOURCE: “EARLIEST TEA AS EVIDENCE FOR ONE BRANCH OF THE SILK ROAD ACROSS THE TIBETAN PLATEAU,” BY HOUYUAN LU ET AL., IN SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, VOL. 6, ARTICLE NO. 18955; JANUARY 7, 2016; Map by Mapping Specialists

News: The country with the worst air pollution

23 Feb
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Image source: Greenpeace – screenshot from Washington Post article, Feb. 23. 2016

It’s a never-ending debate in Asia — whose air quality is worse, China’s or India’s? Read this article to find out the answer. This map is an example of a thematic map, a map that includes particular information about a place or region…in this case pollution in Asia.

Paris Attack

16 Nov

Please keep our French students in your thoughts. By now, I am sure you have heard about the attack on Paris. There have also been recent attacks in Egypt and in Beirut.  Images below show support and unity from around the world and were featured in the New York Times. Enjoy your rain day off and stay safe and dry.

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Breaking News: New Species of Ancient Human Discovered in South Africa

10 Sep

The timing of the end of our early humans unit coincides with the news of the discovery of ancient skeletons in Africa. This story is all over the news and social media. I have included some videos from the news and some articles with images.  Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa. The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa. The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.

Image source: OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Image source: OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.
Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Image source: National Geographic

Image source: National Geographic

Please comment and write about anything interesting you read or heard and/or one wondering or question you might have about this discovery. Here are some articles with further stories and images:

National Public Radio

National Geographic

BBC

HuffPost Tech UK

China Promises $46 Billion To Pave The Way For A Brand New Silk Road (NPR)

3 May
Source: Xinhua Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

Source: Xinhua
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that allowed the exchange of goods and ideas between Asia and Europe, including between the Roman Empire and China’s Han Dynasty, towards the end of the first century B.C. Now China wants to build a new network of roads, railways pipelines and shipping lanes connecting China to South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Europe. With this in mind, China’s President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan last month, promising $46 billion in infrastructure investment.

Whodunnit – King Tut’s mask is damaged

30 Jan

Tut. Tut. It has been revealed that workers at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum accidentally knocked the braided beard off the burial mask of King Tutankhamen, and the hasty glue job to repair the famous relic may have caused even more damage. Museum officials, however, are confident the mask can be properly repaired. Here is another story from National Public Radio (NPR).
A January 23, 2015, photo shows the botched repair to the mask. (Credit: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

A January 23, 2015, photo shows the botched repair to the mask. (Credit: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

 

2014 Nobel Prize Winners

10 Oct
Source: Getty Images (BBC)

Source: Getty Images (BBC)

The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize went to advocates for children’s rights with Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi of India sharing the award on Friday.
Yousafzai, a schoolgirl in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, became a worldwide symbol against abuses by the Taliban after she was shot in the head in 2012 by militants who stormed the bus she was riding with other students.  Yousafzai, now 17, later become an advocate for girls’ education and has appeared in some of the most high-profile forums, including an address at the United Nations last year.
Satyarthi, 60, has fought against child labor more nearly two decades and is credited with helping free tens of thousands of children from harsh work conditions and other forms of forced labor, including in the carpet industry and traveling circuses popular in India.

Read this really nice interview with Malala, who talks about her favorite books.

Find this book in our school and class library.

Find this book in our school and class library.

News: Cave Paintings in Indonesia Redraw Picture of Earliest Art

9 Oct

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Great timing! Here is a story that Mrs. Hall and Mr. Hoover shared with me. According to this National Geographic article, a “hand painted in an Indonesian cave dates to at least 39,900 years ago, making it among the oldest such images in the world, archaeologists reported Wednesday in a study that rewrites the history of art.The discovery on the island of Sulawesi vastly expands the geography of the first cave artists, who were long thought to have appeared in prehistoric Europe around that time.  This BBC article features a short video on the caves. Click on the map below to enlarge, and you will see where Sulawesi is located in Indonesia.

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History is Cool!

10 Sep
Source: G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Source: G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Here is a really cool article I saw on National Public Radio (NPR) about a ship that was lost more than 160 years ago. It was recently discovered by Canadian archaeologists. Click on the link to read the story.

How Egyptians Moved Massive Pyramid Stones

3 May
Drawing of a wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep, a semi-feudal ruler of an Ancient Egyptian province, 1880 BC. A person standing at the front of the sled is pouring water onto the sand.

Drawing of a wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep, a semi-feudal ruler of an Ancient Egyptian province, 1880 BC. A person standing at the front of the sled is pouring water onto the sand.

No, aliens did not build the pyramids!  The truth, researchers at the University of Amsterdam announced this week in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, may actually be quite simple. It has long been believed that Egyptians used wooden sleds to haul the stone, but until now it hasn’t been entirely understood how they overcame the problem of friction. It amounts to nothing more, scientists say, than a “clever trick.” Read this article to learn and learn more about this clever trick.

India Votes!

24 Apr
Check out this awesome Infographic on how India votes. A teacher shared it recently!  Enjoy your day off and see you tomorrow (if you are scheduled for a three-way conference).  Your student-led conference will now be on Wednesday, April 30th (same times as originally scheduled).

 

Two Cool Sites!

12 Apr
Students,  We are sharing two interesting links with you. While not related to our current unit or ancient history, we think you will find them interesting. Check them out!
IfItWereMyHome.com is your gateway to understanding life outside your home. Use our country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another. Start by selecting a region to compare on the map to the right, and begin your exploration.
With the Indian elections approaching, check out this very neat Infographic of how India will form its government. Click HERE. Have a good weekend!

 

April Birthdays, Vacation, & More!

27 Mar

Here’s the last message before our vacation. Have a safe and restful vacation, whether you are staying in Chennai or traveling.  Here is the list of students celebrating birthdays in April: Tarun (4/2), Min Jeong (4/11), Yeji (4/15), Pranav (4/23), Prahalad (4/28), and Arunveer (4/29). Happy birthday. Let us know if we have forgotten anyone.  Post a comment and let us know what your plans are for vacation.  There is no homework during the break, but we hope you find a good book or two to read.

Karthik shared this cool story about Egypt and two ancient statues that have recently be unveiled. Click HERE to see the photos and the story on CNN.  Thanks, Kartihik!

Differences between successful and unsuccessful people

27 Mar

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Here are the 16 differences between successful people and unsuccessful people that Andy Bailey and the postcard claim.  Click on the image and it will get bigger, so you can read it.  Read it! It applies to adults and young people. Mr Martin

Every Teen’s Nightmare: Teachers Who Can Turn Off Your Phone Remotely

21 Mar
Jung Yeon-Je—AFP/Getty Images

Jung Yeon-Je—AFP/Getty Images

South Korean educators no longer have to compete with smartphones for a student’s attention. What do educators in the world’s most wired country do when students just can’t put down their phones in class? They develop an app that has the power to remotely control all devices when on campus. Check out this article from Time Magazine.  What do you think of this story?  

 

Nelson Mandela – Rest in Peace (R.I.P.)

6 Dec

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Nelson Mandela died yesterday at 95 years of age. Watch the CNN Student News video to learn more about the life, legacy and accomplishments of this Nobel Peace Prize winner. Nelson Mandela was the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon. Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) party in the 1940s and would go on to lead protests against the ruling apartheid regime, which restricted the basic rights of South Africa’s nonwhite population and barred their participation in government. His resistance to such oppressive policies earned him nearly three decades in prison, during which he became an international symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. Upon his release in 1990, Mandela helped negotiate an end to the apartheid system, and four years later he won election as the first black president of South Africa. He retired from politics in 1999, but remained a global advocate for peace and social justice. Click here is to see a timeline of his life.
Here is another video and news story from the History Channel. Mandela inspired countless individuals. Here is a link to some of his most famous quotes and a few here:
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

How Ancient People Moved Mountains (NG)

12 Nov

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The temple of Angkor Wat, the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, and the famous statues on Easter Island were all built without the conveniences of modern technology. Ancient peoples didn’t have access to forklifts, hydraulic cranes, or flatbed trucks. So how did they build the temples and statues that we admire today?  This question is one of the first I have when I visit an amazing ancient ruin like the ones mentioned here. Read this new National Geographic article I just saw on Facebook to learn how some of these places might have been built. How were they built? 

Europe’s Oldest Natural Mummy Has Living Relatives

16 Oct
OTZI
NEW STORY ABOUT OTZI:  Last week, researchers announced that they have located at least 19 living descendants of a prehistoric iceman discovered along the Italy-Austria border in 1991. Known as Ötzi the Iceman, he is believed to have lived roughly 5,300 years ago before meeting a violent death. The news of Ötzi’s numerous living descendants is just the latest in a long series of discoveries scientists have made regarding the mummy. I think it’s pretty cool that we are still learning more about Otzi, after he was discovered over 20 years ago. Amazing!

Space archaeologist unlocks secrets of ancient civilizations (CNN)

2 Sep
(CNN) — In Egypt’s northern Delta, Sarah Parcak is on the hunt to unearth ancient settlements, pyramids and tombs lost in the sands of time.  Rather than digging through the dirt in a dusty trench, trowel in hand, the Egyptologist has turned her eyes to the stars.  Sarah Parcak is a space archaeologist who uses satellites, initially designed for use by the military, to identify potential sub-surface remains.  To read the rest of this article and watch the short video, click HERE.

Ostrich-Egg Globe May Be Oldest to Depict New World

22 Aug
I saw this Interesting article on the History Channel website.  According to the article, “Ostrich-Egg Globe May Be Oldest to Depict New World,” researchers believe the globe is dated 1504, and it’s the oldest yet to identify the New World (the Americas).  The article states: “Thomas Sander, editor of the Portolan, points out that the egg might have been made for an Italian noble family around the time of famed artist Leonardo da Vinci, when the nobility often kept ostriches in their back gardens as one more sign of their wealth.”  Finally, the Latin phrase Hic Sunt Dracones, translated as “Here be dragons” appears on the globe above the coast of Southeast Asia.  I thought this was a great article, especially since we are learning about maps and how maps have changed over time. Click on the link to read the entire article.
National Geographic Educationclick on this link to see a wide variety of maps. 

Gorgeous Glimpses of Calamity

20 Aug
Jan. 10, 2013: In this photo from NASA’s Aqua satellite, haze below the Himalayas blankets Northern India and Bangladesh, likely the result of fires, urban and industrial pollution, and a meteorological phenomenon called temperature inversion.

Jan. 10, 2013: In this photo from NASA’s Aqua satellite, haze below the Himalayas blankets Northern India and Bangladesh, likely the result of fires, urban and industrial pollution, and a meteorological phenomenon called temperature inversion.

In class we have been learning about geography, climate, vegetation and the five themes of geography. One of the themes is  human-environment interaction.  I read an interesting article on the New York Times website about the damage that humans are creating and the effects on our environment. The article has some difficult vocabulary, but the videos and images are very good.  Click on the hyper-link for the article, “Gorgeous Glimpses of Calamity,”  if you want to see some really interesting images and videos.    Mr. Martin