Sunday, December 19, 2004

Costa Rica rainforest at risk: ecotourism

Concern is mounting over the future of a pioneering eco-tourism development in Costa Rica - the Monteverde rainforest reserve in the country's north-western highlands.

Click here to read more.

For the section on the environment and related sociological terms and concepts, click here.

Economy and Personal Debt

WASHINGTON Dec 19, 2004 — Shoppers are racing from store to store this holiday season, with credit cards clutched tightly in hand and visions of future bills dancing in their heads. One-half of Americans say they worry about the money they owe, and many say they worry most of the time about their overall debts, an Associated Press poll found.

Click here to read more.

For the section on the economy and related sociological terms and concepts, click here.

Immigration and language differences


Paciano Pedro, a new immigrant from Mexico, has a severe language problem. Not only does he not speak English - he can barely speak Spanish." Click here to read more.

For related sociological terms and concepts, click here.

US energy proposal pushes toward center

By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The effort to craft a comprehensive national energy strategy got a significant nudge this week. After two year's work, the nonpartisan National Commission on Energy Policy, a panel funded by several foundations, issued what's likely to be an influential report addressing all aspects of energy policy: supply, national security, environmental impact, and diplomacy.

Click here to

Also click here to apply sociological concepts to this issue.

Israle and Palestine: Behind the barrier

By Nicole Gaouette | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

QALQILYA, WEST BANK – Yusif Josef Ramsi is still farming, if you can call it that. The West Bank farmer, never a major landowner, once tended his seven-acre plot of fig and olive trees with pride. Click here to read more...

Also click here to apply sociological concepts to this issue.

The former child soldiers of Mozambique's civil war offer insights into morality and human resiliency

The children of war

By Wray Herbert

Alfredo Betuel Macamo and Joaquim Fernando Quive live only a couple of hundred yards from each other, and they share a lot of history and culture. These two 23-year-old men grew up in the same primitive village near Malehice in the rural Mozambican province of Gaza, and both still live there today. It's a poor place, and neither Macamo nor Quive is doing that great financially. Macamo is struggling to raise three kids--6, 3, and a 4-month-old--by harvesting reeds on a riverbank. Quive does odd jobs when he can find them, though these days he doesn't work much at all. They both live in small reed huts with dirt floors and no running water.

Click here to read more and click here to apply sociological concepts to this issue.

Conflict in Congo

By David Lewis
GOMA, Congo (Reuters) - Fighting between rival army factions has ended days of relative calm in eastern Congo where the United Nations say at least 100,000 people displaced by recent clashes have yet to return home. Click here to read more... Also click here for potential links to apply sociological concepts to this subject.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


UNICEF is the United Nation's International Children's Emergency Fund. Their work is cited in the previous post "Global Poverty, Human Rights". The link below will take you to their website. There is a lot of very good information on their website referencing global poverty, the status of children in the world, children living in conflict nations, and related topics.

UNICEF Home Page

Global poverty, human rights

At risk: 1,000,000,000 of the world's children
One billion children are at risk today from war, poverty and hunger, failed by the world's governments

By Stephen Khan
10 December 2004

They are a billion strong. Diseased, malnourished, uneducated, they are a people on the run from wars that take the lives of their brothers and sisters. And they are all children - half the children on earth today. Click here to read more...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Global Economy: China and the EU

China and the European Union, meeting yesterday in the Hague, pledged to boost relations while signing more than a dozen cooperation agreements. To read more click here...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

China: International Trade

BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States yesterday announced anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese shrimp as high as 113 per cent, a move that will hurt both US consumers and Chinese shrimp farmers, China Daily reported Thursday.

This article highlights the dynamics of international economic relations and free trade issues. Read more by clicking here...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sociocultural Evolution: Neandertals Beaten by Rivals' Word Skills, Study Says

James Owen
for National Geographic News
November 24, 2004

Ever since evidence of Neandertals was discovered in Germany in 1856, the question of what happened to them has captured the popular imagination. Click here to read more...

Mexico: Development and Gender Equality

Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, (IPS) - Latin America and the Caribbean have up-to-date statistics on inflation, trade, GDP growth and other economic indicators. But there are few to no hard figures on violence against women, a problem that reportedly affects as many as four or five women out of 10 in the region. Click here to read more...

Sustainable Growth and International Economy: Trinidad Seeks an Alternative Economic Fuel

By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer

POINT LISAS, Trinidad and Tobago — Half a millennium ago, Spanish colonialists put this tiny Caribbean land on the international trade map by putting the indigenous Amerindians to work growing cocoa. Click here to read more...

Population and the Environment: Study Links Smog Increases to Urban U.S. Deaths

By Michael Conlon
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Increases in air pollution caused by cars, power plants and industry can be directly linked to higher death rates in U.S. cities, a study said on Tuesday. Click here to read more...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Information Literacy: Evaluating Internet Resources

This webpage put together by the fine folks at Illinois State University provides an excellent summation in a checklist style for how to evaluate internet resources when reading and conducting research for your classes or personal work. These guidelines should be followed at anytime you are gathering information, whether academic or personal. Click here to visit the site

Alexis DeTocqueville: Democracy in America

I came across this website as a link in the book homepage of one of my sociology courses. I have worked with colleagues in the community and on various projects related to civic involvement. DeTocqueville provides keen qualitative insight on democracy in the United States on what has been termed the "Bible of Democracy". DeTocqueville has been classified as a political scientist, social philosopher, sociologist, historian, and field researcher. Don't know about DeTocqueville? Maybe you could take a moment to get introduced to him and his work....Click here to visit the site

The Chronicle: Scholars Who Blog

I've decided to post this article specifically for those educators or like-minded individuals who are visiting this blog to consider the notion of blogs, blogging, and bloggers. In short, can we dare not to capture our scholarly, personal, and community histories? Enjoy...

Scholars Who Blog
The soapbox of the digital age draws a crowd of academics


Is this a revolution in academic discourse, or is it CB radio?

In one form or another, that question inevitably arises in conversations with scholars who have taken up the habit of writing Web logs, or "blogs." Some have started blogging in order to muse aloud about their research. Others want to polish their chops at opinion-writing for nonacademic audiences. Still others have more urgent and personal reasons. ("The black dogs of depression are snarling at my feet," reads the first entry of one scholar's blog.) Click here to read more...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Worldwide effects of sinking US dollar

By David R. Francis | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

The sinking US dollar in recent weeks has raised what is suddenly a top concern from Washington to Berlin and Beijing: Is America's currency undergoing a benign adjustment or a precipitous plunge? Click here to read more...

Africa's Environment

James Owen
for National Geographic News
November 18, 2004

Can central Africa's tropical forests, with their extraordinary wealth of wildlife, live alongside the logger's chainsaw? Click here to read more...

Monday, November 22, 2004

Philippines: APEC adopts trade plan for growing countries

By Ma. Theresa Torres, Reporter

THE Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has adopted the Philippines’ proposal to let developed countries assist developing countries in securing favorable trade terms. Click here to read more...

Mexico: Plight of the Migrant

By Anabelle Garay, Associated Press

ALTAR, Mexico -- Migrants make their way through the dusty streets of this northern Mexico town toting backpacks stuffed with a few belongings and carting jugs of water to sustain them on their upcoming treks into the Arizona desert. Click here to read more...

APEC Summit: Global Economy

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Pacific Rim leaders pledged Sunday to shore up global security and push ahead with the World Trade Organization's negotiations on lowering global trade barriers. Click here to read more...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Kentucky's Health Status

By Laura Ungar
The Courier-Journal

Men in Kentucky develop colorectal cancer and die from lung cancer at the highest rates in the nation — an indication to some doctors that our lifestyles are hurting and even killing us. Click here for more...

Economy: Market mergers

By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The planned acquisition of Sears, Roebuck and Co. by Kmart Holding Corp. highlights a changing retail environment that could soon eliminate the department store as we know it, analysts and consultants said on Friday. Read more

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Global Economy: Libya and US trade

For more on this article, click the title of this post

By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration has asked Congress to quickly lift a ban on U.S. Export-Import Bank loans in Libya and said "timing is critical" to help American companies invest in the oil-rich country, according to a letter released on Tuesday.

Mexico: Sights & Sounds: Maya Underworld

Click on the title to the post to view a recent article from National Geographic. Viewing this multimedia presentation will work best with a high speed internet connection.

Mexico: A Brief History of Chocolate in America

I came across this recently. It's quite interesting, and sheds some like on chocolate. No pun intended....Click the title of this post to read this brief chronology!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

What Wal-Mart Knows About Customers' Habits: Gathering and using data


Published: November 14, 2004

HURRICANE FRANCES was on its way, barreling across the Caribbean, threatening a direct hit on Florida's Atlantic coast. Residents made for higher ground, but far away, in Bentonville, Ark., executives at Wal-Mart Stores decided that the situation offered a great opportunity for one of their newest data-driven weapons, something that the company calls predictive technology.

Read more by clicking the title to this post.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Kentucky "Votes for Marriage", but has 3rd highest divorce rate

Click the title to this post to read the entire article...


Published: November 14, 2004

BOSTON — If blue states care less about moral values, why are divorce rates so low in the bluest of the blue states? It's a question that intrigues conservatives, as much as it emboldens liberals.

As researchers have noted, the areas of the country where divorce rates are highest are also frequently the areas where many conservative Christians live.

Kentucky, Mississippi and Arkansas, for example, voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage. But they had three of the highest divorce rates in 2003, based on figures from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Left wing rises to power - the Cold - World

The 2004 election may have shifted America's political agenda to the right, but another November election marked the leftist trends emerging in South America, that of Uruguay's Tabare Vaz-quez. A 64-year-old oncologist, and self pro-claimed socialist, Vazquez beat out rivals in Uruguay's traditional White National and Colorado parties, which have both lost favor during recent economic downturns.

Read more by clicking the title to this post.

Ivory Coast: Mass exodus

By Nick Tattersall and Peter Murphy
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - An exodus of foreigners from Ivory Coast showed no signs of easing on Saturday as West African leaders prepared to meet in Nigeria for emergency talks about a crisis which threatens the entire region.

For more on this article click the title of this post.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

China: Marriage and cultural change

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- From simply laying the bed rolls of a man and woman together to welcoming a bride home by hot air balloon, weddings in China have undergone great changes, a survey indicates. "

Nepal: Free Trade and Global Economy

The Rising Nepal: "Kathmandu, Nov 10: Only 50 days remains for quota system in readymade garments under the Multifibre Agreement (MFN) of World Trade Organization (WTO) and Nepalese garment entrepreneurs are worried about the future of the industry. "

South Korea: Free Trade

INCHON, South Korea: South Korea began construction on Thursday of a multi-billion dollar free trade zone, hoping to lure global businesses by cutting red tape and providing a site close to the booming China market.

Read more here:Daily Times - Site Edition

Czech Republic: EU Constitution

Read more here:
The Prague Post Online: "Vlastimil Kucera is not a typical Czech in one respect: He's quite familiar with the European constitution. "

Uganda: Human rights issues

Midnight's Children ( "Posted on Thursday, October 7, 2004. The following accounts are included in When the Sun Sets, We Start to Worry . . . , published in November 2003 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "

U.S.: Integrity of Voting

To steal elections is human nature. In 1948 a U.S. Senate seat was stolen, by simple ballot-box stuffing, for Lyndon Johnson; without it he would never have reached the presidency. John Kennedy only won the presidency in 1960 with the support of dead voters in Chicago. But now we approach a national election that is susceptible to theft in its very machinery—not just in Florida but almost anywhere.

Read more here:No Appeal (

Uganda: Human rights

International News Article | "UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The kidnapping and torture of children by a Uganda religious sect was high on the list of a new United Nations appeal on Thursday for the world's forgotten tragedies."

U.S.: Immigration

Politics News Article | "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush appears ready to spend some of his newly gained political capital on immigration reform but could run up against fierce opposition from conservatives in his own Republican Party, analysts said on Thursday. "

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Chile: Torture Commission Report

By Ignacio Badal
SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Chilean President Ricardo Lagos received a chilling report on Wednesday from a government commission that interviewed more than 30,000 victims to chronicle for the first time the systematic use of torture during Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship.

Read more at the following link: International News Article |

Colombia and Mexico: International Drug Trade

Despite the recent, much-talked-about captures of drug-trafficking kingpins, their organizations are far from being dismantled in this country. Colombian investigators affirm that their influence is increasing rapidly, to the point that they could be heading up the production, transportation, and distribution process that ends in the sale of drugs on the streets of the United States.

Read more at the following link:Overseas Security Advisory Council

Brazil: Amazon forests to disappear without foreign aid

CUIABA, Brazil (Reuters) -- The forests on Brazil's agricultural frontier will disappear without international financing to provide alternatives to slash-and-burn farming, the farm secretary of Brazil's leading soybean state said.

Read more at the following link:

Global economy

THE CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will not become reality next year as initially scheduled.
This is according to reports from the Trinidad Express, which quoted Prime Minister Arthur as saying that instead efforts will be made by CARICOM member states to establish a CARICOM Single Market by the end of next year and the Single Economy will be dealt with subsequently.

Read more at the following link:Advocate

China's Health

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Sixty percent of China's 1,832 counties, have joined a health education initiative for rural population, said deputy Health minister Gao Qiang here Wednesday.

Gao made the announcement at a 10 year anniversary seminar on the National Health Promotion Project for Chinese Farmers. The project aims to universalize health education among China's 900 million rural population who lack basic hygiene knowledge.

Read more at the following link:
:: Xinhuanet - English ::

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Reform of U.S. immigration laws to let more Mexican migrants work legally is a high priority for President Bush in his second term in office, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday.

Read more at the following link:
Politics News Article |

Global economy: Cuban US dollar ban takes effect

Cuba has ended circulation of the US dollar in an attempt to resist a tightening US blockade.
Dollar transactions that have been allowed for the last 11 years were replaced by convertible Cuban pesos, which are worthless outside Cuba.

Read more at the following link:
BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Cuban US dollar ban takes effect

Monday, November 08, 2004

Sociocultural evolution: The Oil We Eat

The secret of great wealth with no obvious source is some forgotten crime, forgotten because it was done neatly.—Balzac

The journalist’s rule says: follow the money. This rule, however, is not really axiomatic but derivative, in that money, as even our vice president will tell you, is really a way of tracking energy. We’ll follow the energy.

Read more at the following link: The Oil We Eat (

Saturday, November 06, 2004

War in Iraq: The Intelligence Chain

This is a very interesting piece of investigative journalism that documents the intelligence chain prior to the War in Iraq. Read it at the following link:

The Intelligence Chain

FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Defining Bush's "Mandate"

November 5, 2004

Winning 51 percent of the popular vote in Tuesday's election, Bush administration officials were quick to declare that the results constitute a "mandate" for Bush's second term. This interpretation of the election caught hold in the mainstream media-- a sign perhaps that White House spin was triumphing over the actual numbers recorded on Election Day.

Read more at the following link:
FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Defining Bush's "Mandate"

Global economy: 'Made in Bangladesh' no longer?

One of the world's poorest nations faces deep uncertainty about life after Jan. 1, when textile trade quotas end.
By Dan Morrison | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

DHAKA, BANGLADESH – The workers arrive early to this garment factory in the capital's northern suburbs, most by foot, some from homes miles away. They trickle through the entrances in groups of three and four, hundreds of women in saris or long, flowing kurtas, dozens of men wearing slacks and collared shirts.

Read more at the following link:
'Made in Bangladesh' no longer? |

Africa: Judging a village by its huts

By Abraham McLaughlin
The other day, in the desert of southern Chad, I met a man named Otto Honke. He’s lived in Africa for many years as a German aid-agency worker. As we drove in his Toyota Land Cruiser along potholed dirt roads, through a series of villages near the city of Mondou, we talked about village life in Africa.

Read more at the following link:
Christian Science Monitor Blog | Notebook: Africa Archive July, 2004: "Judging a village by its huts"

Africa: Life behind Joburg's walls

By Abraham McLaughlin
In many ways, the sprawling, wealthy suburbs of Johannesburg are a lot like American suburbs – packed with mega-malls, strip malls, movie theaters, highways, and white residents.

But one of the biggest differences is the walls.

Read more at the following link:
Christian Science Monitor Blog | Notebook: Africa

Lucky for some - part one: The mixed blessings of a lottery win

Each week we spend £90m on the national lottery and, in the 10 years since it began, 1,600 of us have hit the jackpot and become millionaires. Some winners have had their lives since portrayed as a horror story. What is it really like, Simon Hattenstone asks.
Read more at the following link:
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Lucky for some - part one: The mixed blessings of a lottery win

Friday, November 05, 2004

Globalization: Big Fish, Little Fish Battle Over the Amazon's Bounty


Published: October 26, 2004

SANTA MARIA DO TAPARÁ, Brazil - It was one of those days that the peasant fishermen on this tributary of the Amazon River dream about. With water levels falling rapidly at the peak of the dry season, a giant school of migrating pacú, a tasty game fish that fetches a good price at markets, was swimming right into the nets being cast from a dozen small canoes here.

Read more at the following link:The New York Times > International > Americas > Santa Maria do Tapar� Journal: Big Fish, Little Fish Battle Over the Amazon's Bounty

Culture and Capitalism: Wal-Mart owned store opens in Mexico despite protests

Associated Press

TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico - A Wal-Mart-owned discount store quietly opened its doors Thursday less than a mile from the ancient temples of Teotihuacan, despite months of protests claiming the sprawling complex was an insult to Mexican culture. Read more at this link: Wal-Mart-owned-store opens in Mexico despite protests -


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