Category Archives: Lectures

Week 4 Lecture

Topics discussed in this lecture included:

  • Protests in China and Japan over the Spratly Island dispute! And this whole conflict is going on because of national pride, and their location!
  • Japan doesn’t have a military, but they do have a self-defense force
  • Japanese manufacturing plants in China are shutting down!
  • Leon Panetta’s visiting China!
  • What states aren’t nation-states?
  • Know your world leaders!

Week 1 Lecture

Hello, Fall 2012! Your GEOG 1014 blog is back in action!

World Regions kicked off once again for a new set of students, and after a fun first class, here’s what information was covered in the second lesson:

  • Review of last class (syllabus stuff!)
  • We craft our Death Watch board
  • Hurricane Isaac floods New Orleans…but there are also typhoons slamming the eastern Asian coast!
  • Asaad acknowledges struggle to win Syria civil war – “We are fighting a regional and global war…” and it is!
  • A reputed leader of Gulf Cartel is captured in Mexico (yes, there is a huge war going on in Mexico between drug cartels)
  • Canadian troops need a nap…
  • What in the world is a region? (You need area, boundaries, and some shared characteristic!)
  • There are always exceptions in regions
  • “Where in the hell are we?” with regions and states!
  • The state – the building block of world regions! There are 195 or so of them.
  • Africa is divided into sovereign states, but Europeans drew the boundaries. They aren’t political boundaries, though.
  • America jumped on the state bandwagon early
  • When the USSR collapsed, 15 new states formed!
  • What is a nation, what’s a state, and what’s the difference between them?
  • Stuff’s going on in the South China Sea (Whose Rock is it Anyway?)

Week 11 Lectures

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • Boyer has a moustache!
  • North Korea might be shooting a rocket into space AND doing an underground nuclear explosions test!
  • Fighting in Syria has overlapped into Turkey – Article 5 can be invoked! It’s more justified than what happened in Libya
  • Saudi Arabia is willing to arm the Syrian opposition!
  • How to stay informed and smart about the news!
  • There was a ten-year-old who had a baby in South America? What?
  • You got’sta know the SCO!
  • Is Putin rebuilding the Soviet Union?
  • Russia and China have a joint space program
  • Cultural organizations – the Arab League, African Union
  • Different types of religion – ethnic (born into) and universalizing (spreading everywhere!)
  • There are two aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf
  • Instagram! It’s another .com bubble. D=
  • All about tulips! The first stock market bubble!

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • There was a standoff between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea
  • Japan is ready to shoot North Korea’s rocket
  • The cease fire in Syria is on! Will it last?
  • Sixth Summit of the Americas is going to happen in Colombia. But what is it? And why is the location important? (They’re talking about drug policy)
  • Colombia – the rising star of Latin America!
  • There is hope for Mexico!
  • The G-8 and G-20: what they are, what they do, and their history
  • The BRICS
  • The difference between BRICS, the G-8, G-20, and the other organizations!
  • CHINA RICH! It’s the powerhouse of East Asia! But not all of China is the same…
  • Soccer on the Tibetan Plateau!

Week 8 Lectures!

Boyer went to SxSW the week before, and we had Spring Break before that, but class resumed this week and free stuff was given out! It was a great welcome back this week for Spring 2012 World Regions students!

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • We’re having a double-header movie night on Wednesday!
  • How Americans are ignorant about what’s happening in Mexico – the Mexican population is divided about drug wars, but it’s still just a blip on the radar historically
  • What would happen if Mexico legalized everything? (Answer: The drug war would move to America)
  • Russia may back UN plan in Syria that everyone should cease fire
  • French school shooting linked to other shootings targeted toward minorities. Cultural friction rears its head in Europe!
  • North Korea plans to launch a satellite on a giant rocket, 30 days after they said they wouldn’t do rocket tests. They claim it’s a plaque. Whaaaat?
  • What should happen to Japan’s self-defense force? What direction should it go in?
  • More on international organizations: from trade pacts to trade blocks, the EU’s history
  • Italy is more divided than Germany!

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • We’re going to have class outside one day!
  • More on the EU: history, what it has become, and how it might be in trouble now, the difference between the EU and the eurozone, and why there’s talk of bringing back national currency to Euro-only countries
  • Is the eurozone crumbling?
  • Other trade blocks (APEC, ASEAN – the next EU?, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, FTAA, CAFTA)
  • The Pacific Ocean is going to be hot with regards to trade
  • The Internet is powerful now, but governments and corporations can use it too!
  • There was a military coux in Mali, but is this unexpected? (No)
  • Why you should invest in the Arctic

Week 4 Lectures!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Topics discussed included:

  • Exams are coming up
  • Iran’s going to make a nuclear announcement!
  • What is the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty)?
  • North Korea’s nuclear industry is like herpes – we don’t know what they have, and we don’t want to know!
  • Fidel Castro wanted to nuke all his people!
  • Nuclear powers – history, the present situation, and the future!
  • Let’s get rid of all the powerpoint slides!
  • More states! Will we ever finish this topic?
  • Nations without states
  • Is the USA a nation-state?
  • America is like the Honeybadger – we don’t care!

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • The EU is going to reduce their oil imports from Iran by a lot! Also, austerity measures for Greece
  • How India’s biggest issue is its wealth disparity
  • Too many males in China
  • State or not a state?
  • The Swiss Guard are badass pope ninjas!
  • Know your heads of state!

Spring Semester Begins

Now that the Fall 2011 semester is complete, it’s time to start this blog for the mayhem and awesomeness that is Spring 2012 World Regions at Virginia Tech! I skipped the first week of lectures since it was mainly an overview course mechanics. So! Here’s what happened in the second week!

Tuesday – Topics discussed included:

  • Death Watch candidate choices, anyone?
  • Megaupload was shut down… ACTA, and how America is the “world police”
  • Watch Nigeria!
  • Russia’s selling Syria fighter jets, and the world freaks out!
  • Turkey calls France racist, holds fire on genocide bill
  • Iran issues threats after EU sanctions. What happens if they close the Strait of Hormuz?
  • Where the heck are we? game
  • What a region is, and how you need borders, area, and something in common trait to have one

Thursday – Topics discussed included:

  • How it’s decided which drug cartel is most powerful in Mexico
  • More about regions! Which region are we in?
  • The building blocks of the region – the state! What the heck is it? (It isn’t the typical American definition of the word.)
  • Who drew the sovereign state lines in Africa? (Answer: Europeans!)
  • What’s the difference between states, nations, and nation-states?

Lecture: 11-14-2011

Topics for this lecture included:

  • Aung San Suu Kyi renews calls for the release of political prisoners in Burma!
  • Putin’s approval ratings are at an all-time low of 61%! But that’s still higher than any world leader at the moment!
  • Obama proposes Trans-Pacific Partnership at APEC in Hawaii and breaks the shirt rule! We then laugh at people in funny shirts!
  • Arab press predicts that regional war is possible over Syria
  • Arab League is doing something now – it suspended Syria!
  • Berlusconi steps down! Huzzah!
  • US military to be stationed in Australia – US is refocusing close to all the action in the Pacific.
  • Japan: the culture, earthquakes, why they’re rich even though they don’t have resources, and 6 major things to know about them: how they were the laggard of Asia, the Meiji Restoration, their time as an empire-builder, and how they are the most “western” eastern state.

We never got to the fifth or sixth points because we ran out of time.

Lecture: 10-10-2011

Topics for this lecture included:

  • Russia and China veto a “Team West” proposal to condemn violence in Syria – America is MAD!
  • Russian President Medvedev urges Syrian leader al-Assad to make reforms or step down
  • Russia seeks to expand trading diversity with China
  • Angela Merkel and French president Sarkozy meet to rescue banks from collapse
  • The difference between a recession and a depression – what is it?
  • Why Russia invaded Georgia in 2008
  • NATO: its history, what it is now, why Russia’s mad, and how its at its weakest point in its history up to this point

Lecture: 9-26-2011

Topics for this lecture included:

  • Saudi Arabia – women are now allowed to vote and run for office, but not drive
  • Natural disaster watch: the Phillipines prepares for Typhoon Nesat
  • Russia changes its constitution to allow two six-year terms for the President. Putin can run again!
  • China nominates Putin for its peace prize
  • The ISI! It’s like the CIA, only it’s in Pakistan and is more powerful!
  • A bunch of international relations are at an all time low: US/Pakistan, Israel/Turkey, Italy/everyone
  • The EU: how it came to be, what is is now, and how its unity is starting to pull apart

Lecture: 9-19-2011

Topics of this lecture included:

  • There’s a revolution going on in Yemen! 50-60 people were killed
  • Natural Disaster Watch: more earthquakes in Japan, earthquake in Nepal
  • Israeli embassies in Turkey and Egypt are under attack by locals
  • More news on Palestinian statehood! Meeting to begin Tuesday. The US is trying to get everyone to vote no.
  • BRAZIL GETTING RICH! BRAZIL GETTING POWERFUL! Brazil’s going to host the 2014 World Cup!
  • Angela Merkel of Germany loses voter support because Germany lends money to Greece and Italy. The taxpayers are not pleased.
  • Berlusconi is a general bastard
  • The BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) were introduced
  • International organizations and supranationalism – what are they? How do they affect sovereignty?