On Friday afternoon, the College of International Studies welcomed Dr. David Lopez-Carr to speak on the topic of population, health, and environment transitions in Latin America. Dr. Lopez-Carr is the director of the Human-Environment Dynamics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara and a professor of Geography, Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Lopez-Carr focused his presentation on the interactions between populations and the environment in Latin America.
Although Dr. Lopez-Carr is primarily a geographer, he amazed me with how many different aspects of research is involved in many of his studies. Instead of a study being solely land-focused, one must think in other scales involving population, human habits, etc. For example, one of the major points that he made was that less than 1% of the earth’s land masses are human-occupied. Furthermore, Dr. Ward made the argument that more than 75% of the earth’s land contributes to animal production. This entails growing the animals themselves (for human consumption) and growing crops to feed the animals (in order to grow them so that humans may consume them). According to Dr. Lopez-Carr, “available agricultural land is a diminishing and constraining resource”.
Dr. Lopez-Carr also compellingly commented that there is “no relationship between forest change and population change” in Latin America – partially due to the fact that big-scale farming processes now use more technology than human labor. There have been noted increases in re-forestation, though, and this has been largely due to climate change. Because climate change causes major shifts in weather patterns, areas that previously received little rain are now receiving higher levels of it, ultimately resulting in re-forestation.
A few of the broader statements that Dr. Lopez-Carr made stood out to me, as well. One of them being that we should be wary of binaries (that not all concepts are black and white – most things fall on a continuum). Additionally that we must not stop pursuing the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion. He also stated that the United States has an important role to play in what we’re displaying in terms of being environmental and sustainable, such as whether we use enhanced technologies or greener farming practices. A question that Dr. Lopez-Carr asked continues to echo in my mind: “How much do we care about economic growth versus a sustained environment for our grandchildren?”
También hay el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Aunque los otros dos museos que he referido apartenecen al gobierno de España, este museo de una colección privada también incluye obras importantes en el mundo del arte. Porque las obras están organizadas cronológicamente, este museo tiene un propio estilo que parece muy diferente comparado al Prado y al Reina Sofía. Después de mi visita al Thyssen-Bornemisza, es evidente que el arte es algo importante para incorporar en nuestras vidas diarias.
This past semester, I took an Honors Colloquium course at my university known as Honors Darwin: Selection in Thought, Religion, and Politics. The basis of the course is to understand evolutionary principles that were applied in biology and expand the scope of the analysis to sociocultural phenomenon such as Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential Elections. A fascinating course.
One of the important concepts we were studying and discussing was the concept of memes. Now, I know it’s easy to describe memes as the silly Facebook posts that everyone likes to circulate, but memes are much more academically complicated than that. They are, simply as Richard Dawkins coins, the new replicators that were analogous to genes in biological evolution.
I think it’s quite fascinating to utilize evolution as a tool of assessment regarding political events such as Brexit. In fact, my final essay was analyzing Brexit from that standpoint. To oversimplify things, I saw Brexit inevitable due to the historical tendencies of the UK to remove themselves from European affairs, even when they were inevitably drawn to it. Based on that tendency alone and using the evolutionary principles of variation, competition, and inheritance, the debate about the predictions was simply when Brexit was going to happen rather than if Brexit was gonna to occur.
Overall, the class provided some intriguing insights, and I would love if I can study more on that subject and expand the scope of the analysis to other world phenomena.
January – The World Health Organization announces an outbreak of the Zika virus.
February – North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space, violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.
March – Three coordinated bombings in Brussels, Belgium kill at least 32 and injure at least 250. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility for the attacks.
April – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes millions of confidential documents from the Panamanian corporate Mossack Fonseca that provides detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies, including the identities of shareholders and directors including noted personalities and heads of state.
May – EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes with 66 people on board over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo.
June – The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union.
July – The Philippines wins the arbitration case they filed regarding the legality of China’s “Nine-Dash Line” claim over the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
August – The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After the Olympics, the Brazilian Senate votes to impeach the President of Brazil.
September – The government of North Korea conducts its fifth and reportedly biggest nuclear test.
November – Donald Trump wins the 2016 US Presidential Elections
December – The Aleppo Offensive closes in.
A lot has happen.However, the best thing we can do is to continue making the world a better place, one small step at a time.
It’s easy to get stuck at the moment and realizing how horrible the future may hold at times. (Looking back at it, it sorta confirms with that belief .)
Even so, take a deep breath and take care. Continue enjoying today’s experiences and fight for tomorrow’s experiences. That’s all I have to say.
The title is somewhat misleading. I’ve had Korean BBQ before but never at an actual Korean BBQ restaurant. My first experience eating Korean BBQ was at a meeting with the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers chapter at my campus. I wasn’t even a member of the organization at that time to be honest, but a member of their executive board invited me to try out Korean BBQ. It was amazing, and it definitely got me excited to eat it again.
To give a brief overview of Korean BBQ, it significantly differs from traditional American BBQ in both the cuts of meat and the overall experience itself. The meats can be marinated or unwarranted depending on individual’s preferences. The most representative forms of meats are bulgogi, galbi, and samgyeopsal. Also, the participants grill the meat themselves, allowing them to customize the doneness of the meat. It’s also a good social experience, as many people will interact and converse while cooking the meat collectively. Also, did you know that the banchans are free including refills? I’m pretty sure Korean BBQ is so expensive because the sides are consumed so much because they add another dimension of flavor to the meats.
I went out with friends from my 2016 Holiday Head Start committee during finals week. Sounds crazy, but it was a pleasant break from all the studying and writing that I had to do this semester. We went to a place called Dong A in Moore. I highly encourage all to check out their spicy chicken and pork entrees!
Cuando pienso en museos de arte, las imágenes que imagino pertenecen a los maestros – las personas cuyas obras se pueden reconocer inmediatamente. También pienso en exposiciones bonitas y edificios hecho de materiales antiguos o caros (o los ambos). Nunca podría imaginar que estubiera cercana a tres museos como así, y que podría disfrutarlos por poco dinero o también gratis!
El primero museo de arte conocido que he visitado en Madrid era el Reina Sofía. Inmediatamente me quedé impresionada como este museo de arte contemporáneo podría incorporar un edificio clásico con las exposiciones modernas. Durante esta visita por primera vez he visto La Guernica de Picasso. Era un momento importante para mi, para ver esta obra (una sobre que he aprendido mucho en un clase de español de mi universidad en los EE.UU.) cara a cara. Desde esta obra y el propio museo realizó a mi manera como la historia repite.
Visitó el Museo del Prado por la primera vez en una visita con el Instituto Franklin. En la manera clásica, el Museo del Prado es un supermuseo; Hay un edificio increíblemente impresionante y dentro hay las obras impresionantes por artistas conocidos. Era increíble para ver muchas obras sobre que hemos discutido y aprendido en la clase de los Pintores. Para ver las obras mas conocidas de pintores españoles, y para saber sus influencias en el arte de todo el mundo, me mostró la influencia de España como un país. España es el desvalido de países europeos y artísticos.
Although my host mom had already been out running errands like she does every morning, that particular Wednesday she had come back home to drop some things off. I went out to greet her but I immediately started to cry. At
approximately 10 a.m. that morning (considering the fact that Spain’s time is 7 hours ahead of the U.S.) I had just found out that Donald Trump was elected as the U.S.’s next president.
I wore all black to school that day, and so did a few of the other students. During the half-hour break that we had between classes, a camera crew from a Madrid news station set up to capture our reactions. Maybe it’s because we knew firsthand what many European citizens think of Mr. Trump, or maybe it’s because we’ve witnessed some of the long-lasting effects of fascism while living in Spain, but many of us were either visibly or vocally distraught. I didn’t want to call myself an American that day, and I’m still afraid that strangers or acquaintances, upon hearing my American accent, will project the statements and/or opinions of the current President-elect onto me. Now, I can only hope for the success of this new government. The world is, now more than ever, monitoring its every move.
If you were to travel to any country in the world, the probability of you seeing it would be high – an occasional Starbucks, the omnipresent McDonald’s, ads for re-named American movies and dubbed TV shows, etc., etc. The reach that American-made products have (from pop culture to English slang) is unbelievable. Within my first few months in Spain, I’ve been led to objectively ask myself: is americanization a good thing or are the negative aspects more prominent?
Personally, I’m now more skeptical of my own country. Why does the U.S. feel inclined to maintain military bases in countless countries throughout the world, and why are there no other countries that try to force that sort of influence? Is it for security or is it for control? Is it to aid or is it to leverage? Are there any companies that place priority on preserving a country’s culture or are absolutely all businesses money-hungry – unashamed of a foreign organization’s influence on a native population? Could this be compared to the infiltration of large foreign corporations into the U.S. although they are fewer and farther between? While americanization is a complex issue, I’m glad that I know have the ability to recognize that it is a multifaceted benefit/problem.