Saturday June 15, 2013
In the early nineteenth century, Napoleon III described the potential to build a canal along the San Juan River in Nicaragua which would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. While the project was abandoned by the French and the Americans, now the Chinese are attempting the effort two hundred years later. The Nicaraguan government has granted a private Chinese company, the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company, a fifty-year concession to plan, construct, and operate a Nicaragua Canal to complete against the Panama Canal. While there is no route yet planned, the canal would likely be twice the length of the Panama Canal as well as much wider for easier transit of very large ships. The new canal is likely to cost US $50 billion and would be the largest project in Latin American history.
Thursday June 13, 2013
In late 2011, the Pacific island country of Samoa decided to shift the International Date Line so that the country would share time zones with Australia and New Zealand instead of being about a day apart. December 30, 2011 was skipped as December 29 rolled into December 31 overnight. One entity which rejected the change was the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which traditionally observes their sabbath on Saturday (considering Saturday to be the seventh day). With the skipping of December 30, 2011, one day was lost. Thus, the church decreed that since a day was missing, each Sunday in Samoa would be the new weekly sabbath day. There have been many opinions expressed about this change within the church. As a geographer, I think about the dramatic global shift to the Gregorian calendar beginning in 1582 and even with that change of eleven days, Christianity and Judaism ultimately settled on keeping their sabbaths on Sunday and Saturday, respectively. I would think that for consistency within the Seventh-Day Adventist community around the globe, it would be easier to maintain a Saturday sabbath based on the decreed local day of the week for we know that there have been several calendar changes and the Saturday of today is certainly not the Saturday of several millennia ago.
Thursday June 13, 2013
The Ganges River basin is home to more than 400 million people in India and Bangladesh. It is also sacred to the Hindu, who consider it to be "Mother Ganges." Unfortunately, due to the high population density near the river, it has become one of the world's most polluted rivers. Learn about the Ganges River in this new article from geographer Amanda Briney.
Tuesday May 28, 2013
Indonesia is not often discussed in the Western media but it is the world's fourth most populated country, fourteenth largest country, the largest archipelago, and the largest Islamic nation. Learn more about this island nation in this overview of Indonesia. I also provide additional links to maps and geographical information about Indonesia here on my site.