Seeking a great basic overview of the geography and history of Crimea? Look no further than this brand-new article on Crimea from Amanda Briney.
Geographer Harm de Blij died last Tuesday, March 25, 2014, due to complications from cancer. Dr. de Blij was 78 years old and is one of the best-known geographers in the United States due to his work on television and as the author of the ubiquitous world regional geography textbook Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts. There is a memorial page to de Blij at the Michigan State University Geography Department website, where de Blij served as the John Hannah Professor of Geography for the last ten years. Here on my site you can find a biography of de Blij, an essay from a my meeting with de Blji in 1998, and a the text of an address by de Blij to the NCGE annual meeting.
Crimean voters overwhelmingly chose apparent secession from Ukraine and union with Russia in Sunday's referendum. As of late Sunday night, with half of the votes counted, election officials revealed that more 95% of Crimean voters selected leaving Ukraine to become part of Russia. Crimea's leader stated that he would apply to join Russia as early as Monday. The European Union, however, reiterated on Sunday that, "As stated by all 28 EU Heads of State or Government on 6 March 2014, the European Union considers the holding of the referendum on the future status of the territory of Ukraine as contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution and international law. The referendum is illegal and illegitimate and its outcome will not be recognised." The EU is expected to impose sanctions on Russia early this week.
Obviously, Ukraine is in the news a bit lately. While we expected that 2014 would include referenda on Scotland and Catalonia, the surprise referendum taking place on Sunday in Ukraine is major geographic news. Learn about the geography and history of Ukraine in this brand-new and fully up-to-date article by Amanda Briney.
The Great Salt Lake is a remnant of the ancient Lake Bonneville that existed during the last ice age which occurred from around 28,000 to 7,000 years ago. At its largest extent, Lake Bonneville was about 325 miles (523 km) wide and 135 miles (217 km) long and its deepest point was over 1,000 feet (304 m). Amanda Briney's latest article on The Great Salt Lake and ancient Lake Bonneville is a fascinating look at a major pluvial late and its modern remnant.
I am seeking one or two geography interns for the next few months to write articles here on Geography at About.com. Any undergraduate or graduate student in geography (or recent graduate) may apply. Students receiving academic credit will be given preference. The Geography at About.com interns will write one 600-750 word article about various topics in geography at least once a month from April through August 2014. Interns will be paid a small stipend per article and all articles will include the intern's byline. The internship may lead to a paid contributing writer position on this site. To apply, please send a me a cover email, resume, and writing sample to me at email@example.com. I look forward to your application!
A constant refrain every November and March is how much people hate Daylight Saving Time yet beyond a few thousand tweets, an occasional editorial, or a commentator on a news-talk show, no one seems to do anything about the "problem" of Daylight Saving Time. Do we just love to complain twice a year? Is there a conspiracy keeping elected officials from doing anything? Does anyone care? The expansion of Daylight Saving Time by four weeks in 2007 in the U.S. went against the prevailing dislike for DST yet it happened anyway. What do you think?
In just over a week, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will hold a referendum to ask voters whether to remain part of Ukraine or to join Russia. The current interim government of Ukraine holds that the referendum is illegal while Russia holds that they will welcome Crimea into Russia should the voters choose that option. Crimea was transferred from Russian control to Ukrainian control in 1954 by the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union fell and Ukraine gained independence in 1991, Crimea became part of independent Ukraine. Based on Ukraine's 2001 census, Crimea is composed primarily of 58.5% ethnic Russians, 24.4% ethnic Ukrainians, and 12.1% Crimean Tatars. The referendum on March 16 should prove to be interesting. The BBC has a thorough article on this topic. The Crimean flag, officially established in 1999, is shown to the right.
Update (9 March): Per the Kyiv Post, Crimean voters will have the opportunity to choose between two just options on the referendum: "Join Russia immediately or declare independence and then join Russia." There will be no option for citizens to choose to remain part of Ukraine.
Tim Draper, a wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist has begun collecting signatures on a proposal to divide the state of California into six separate states. He needs to collect over 800,000 signatures by mid-July to make the November 2014 state ballot. The six states would be named Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California, and South California and can be seen in this Google Map overlay, with demographic data about each potential state. Nonetheless, even if such a proposal passed voters in November, it would still require approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the measure would have to be approved by the President of the United States. Obviously, the state of Silicon Valley would have the nation's highest per capita income and the state of Central California would have the nation's lowest per capita income, behind Mississippi. A simple outline map with great demographic data can be found on the Legislative Analyst's Office website.
This new chart from xkcd.com is a chart of global time that is dynamic and changes based on the time of day you're looking at it. It helps one visualize the time zones of the world and where and when you might be able to connect with another part of the world. Many have such difficulty conceptualizing the time zones on our planet but this graphic is a great new way to visualize time on Earth. Another of my favorite time zone resources is WorldTimeBuddy - it's not geographic but it still helps me visualize time differences, albeit in a different way. What's your favorite time zone converter?