Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Human Geography: Chapter Twelve"

Conner Lewis

          Chinese consumers have more discretionary income to spend on entertainment, education and travel after years of robust economic growth. That additional income has created a bright outlook for companies that serve them. - Seattle Times

          The Chinese people and government wanted to see an increase in their economy and standards of living, but the manufacturing industry in China has recently started to shrink rapidly as the economy slows down its growth, so the Chinese people started to shift to a more service based industry similar to the US, then their economy started to get better as the began to be seen more as a market such as the US to which large companies could sell their products rather than just make them as the service industry in China grew.


I chose the Western United States for two reasons, the first is that it holds the largest agglomeration of the high tech industry, particularly electronics, in Silicon Valley near San Jose in the state of California, and second for the fact that there are other agglomerations of industries in areas such as Greeley Colorado, with its livestock and meat production, and if one includes services, Las Vegas could be seen as an agglomeration of the gambling industry.

I chose the northern United States because it is the location of the Rust Belt, or the old manufacturing center of the United States back in the 70s, with cities such as Detroit and Cincinnati. This would later end as industry would move to the Sun Belt for cheaper labor, leaving the Rust Belt to become impoverished in many cities. Cities such as Detroit featured agglomerations of industries, with Detroit being an agglomeration of the automobile industry in particular.

For my final map I chose South East Asia, because it is likely to and is already becoming a major industrial region in the world as more and more industry is outsourced from China to Southeast Asia due to the cheap labor and favorable taxes and land. This shift will also see a shift in how Southeast Asia looks in terms of industrial sectors, with more of the population moving from agriculture to manufacturing. I also chose this region because it houses one of the Four Tigers of Asia, Singapore, which has evolved from a city with almost exclusively primary industry to that of quinary industry, dealing with high end ideas and capital management now.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Human Geography: Chapter Eleven"

Conner Lewis

       CRISPR’s use is fundamentally changing how scientists approach genetic engineering. Instead of introducing genes, CRISPR allows scientists to dream up new ways of modifying the genome without the help of foreign genes. - Quartz

         Genetic engineers and corporations wanted a way to sidestep FDA regulations on GMOs which use DNA from organisms such as bacteria but this was the only way they knew how to introduce new genes into an organism so scientist Yinong Yang used a method (CRISPR) to modify rather than add new genes to a GMO, then they were able to get these foods past the FDA without being checked or regulated.

Before the introduction of commercial agriculture and plantations, most of the people in eastern Africa lived as subsistence farmers, like much of the rest of the periphery, however with the introduction of plantations areas near the Horn of Africa, and especially Ethiopia, where tribes such as those living on the Lower Omo River Valley, nearly all subsistence farmers are forced off of their land and have to either farm poor infertile soil or more likely work for poor wages on plantations owned by corporations in core countries.


Video/Slide 21:

Movie Paragraph:
          King Corn:
          In the movie King Corn, two friends, Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis, set out and buy one acre of land in Greene, Iowa in order to grow corn after learning how much of their daily intake is corn, even without them knowing it, as seen by the fact that most of their hair is made of corn. They go to examine the process of growing corn, and tracking where the corn goes after it is grown. They examine how corn is stored, the forms of technology used to grow it, from massive tractors to the genetic engineering of corn from a wild grass to the overgrown plant it is now, and how the government subsidizes corn so that its mass production can remain profitable for farmers, as the government policy is to grow as much crown as possible. It tracks how most corn is used as feed for livestock, rather than humans, because corn coming straight from the crop is tasteless, and unappealing to humans. It also examines how corn finds it way into much of our food and drinks in the form of high-fructose corn syrup, which is used to add sweetness to everything from food to drinks such as Coca Cola. This movie relates to agriculture, obviously, as it examines the process of growing food as well as how this food finds its way from the farm to our tables. It examines how food is used for other purposes other than feeding humans, and how even good food can be fed to livestock rather than humans due to the desire to have large amounts of meat in our culture.


Van Thunens Model is a model which displays how different crops and forms of agriculture are used based not on visible changes in climate, soil, or terrain, but rather on the position that land holds in relation to the nearest city. In the center is the city, surrounded by market gardening and dairying, followed by a region of forest. This is then followed by mass production fields making goods such as grain, which is followed by ranching and livestock on the outermost ring. After this is wilderness, or so Van Thunen thought, as after this he found it was too far from the nearest city to be profitable. He attempted to use this model to explain why agriculture occurs where it does relative to cities despite having similar natural conditions around it.

Extra Credit: