Joining Forces to Revitalize Appalachia

The American natural gas boom and increased automation have dramatically changes the American economy in local economies. One especially hard-hit region is America’s coal country, resulting in steep increases in unemployment and hard times for many families. To re-invent and reinvigorate such economies, smart collaborations are needed between local, state, and national actors. The following clip highlights the impact of community colleges and non-profits on communities in coal-producing regions of West Virginia. Progress, however gradual, is being made towards the goal of economic diversification in order to render communities more resilient to future change.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/job-training-community-college-put-coal-miners-new-path/

‘The Thinker’ at the Cleveland Museum of Art: Symbol of Turbulent Times

In March of 1970, Rodin’s famous statue in Cleveland was forever damaged. A bomb exploded the statue’s feet, detonated by a still unknown assailant. Rather than repairing Rodin’s monument to intellection, the museum placed the Thinker on permanent display facing the Wade Lagoon. During the tumultuous years of the late sixties and early seventies, many groups around the country were engaging in acts of sabotage and domestic terrorism. While the identity of the culprit continues to be unknown, the statue remains a testament to an era in which war, race, class, and generations divided American society in violent ways.

http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2017/08/cleveland_museum_of_art_shared.html

Re-Appreciating the Midwest

New efforts are underway to renew scholarly and popular interest in a section of the country with immense historical, social, and political significance, but which is often overlooked– the Midwest. Regional magazines, publishing houses, and professional organizations are mentioned in the attached clip that shed light on the history and identity of the Midwest.

In this era of hyper-division along political and cultural lines within American society, it is possible that the Midwest is the keystone to bridging America’s chasms. Agricultural and industrial, conservative and liberal, diverse and homogeneous, Midwestern states have for decades dealt with polarizing economic, social, and political forces. Much remains to be studied in greater detail through a burgeoning Midwestern Studies specialization.

http://radio.wosu.org/post/history-culture-and-identity-midwest-0

Preserving and/or Transforming the Medina of Tunis

The architectural and cultural heritage of the Arab World can be explored in the old city (medina) of Tunis. Like few other ancient sites of North Africa, Tunis’s medina boasts a rare mix of Andalusian, Arabian, Roman, etc. styles. While the medina has withstood centuries of change due to colonialism, modernity, and hyper-globalization, much of its unique character remains in tact. The following PBS clip presents a view of the complexities of the medina, from the perspective of those living in, restoring, or altering this ancient space.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/new-generation-reviving-old-heart-tunis/

Tea, Opium, and Global Economics

How did it come to pass that the British, a cloudy island off continental Europe, become addicted to drinking a beverage made from an Asian bush? How did the Chinese monopoly over tea cultivation come to a crashing end? How did the sale of fabric, opium, and tea impact the trajectory of the global economic order? A riveting overview of these questions is presented in the following audio segment.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/tea-time/535590/

Largest Known Dinosaur Found in Argentina

The remains of a dinosaur the weight of a Boeing 737 has been found on a farm in South America. Patagotitan Mayorum is estimated to have weighed over 65 tons and lived largely in groupings rather than in isolation. This important find marks the discovery of the largest living land animal in the scientific record. That groups of such massive animals once roamed the earth should force a re-imagination of what the earth once was, is, and will be in the millennia to come.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2017/08/08/dinosaur-weighed-same-boeing-737-biggest-ever-found/546630001/

Campus Meditation Rooms: Meeting Students’ Needs

In the wake of the Nov. 2016 attack at Ohio State University that left 11 injured, positive steps are being taken to improve campus in a variety of ways. Safety remains of paramount importance. Some buildings have converted under-utilized space into silent/ meditation rooms for students to use for that purpose. Such initiatives reflect the university’s desire to reasonably accommodate the needs of its 60,000+ students, coming from every corner of Ohio, the U.S., and the globe.

https://ece.osu.edu/news/2017/06/new-esl-quiet-room-emphasizes-wellness-and-diversity

Alaska 3-27-1964: North America’s Most Powerful Earthquake

The strongest quake ever recorded in North America took the lives of more than 100 Americans, forever changing the landscape of Prince William Sound in the Alaskan Bay. The quake was so powerful that the resulting tsunami killed people as far away as California. Although unpredictable, scientists use geological data and historical knowledge of quakes to develop their prediction that the next “big one” will hit the Washington/Oregon coast within the next 50 years. State and local municipalities should be planning for this unavoidable event by rethinking building codes and developing evacuation routes in the event of major tsunamis.

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/26/539520353/looking-back-at-the-most-powerful-earthquake-ever-to-strike-north-america

Remembering Detective Novelist Chester Himes

A resident of Cleveland and former student of Ohio State University, the renowned writer of detective novels Chester Himes drew inspiration from his own biography. Having been expelled from OSU, Himes committed armed robbery in a Columbus home and was sentenced to prison at the Ohio Penitentiary. It was his years in prison that proved formative on his writing, later surfacing in a number of novels of powerful, often acerbic prose. Himes won numerous literary prizes for his work.

http://www.npr.org/2017/07/26/539487052/new-chester-himes-biography-reveals-a-life-as-wild-as-any-detective-story

Customers Expect Corporations to Share Values

As the economic force of Millennials continues to grow, companies are becoming more and more attuned to the preferences and attitudes that millennials bring to stores, restaurants, and dealerships. Principally among these attitudes is the expectation that the products shoppers purchase reflect the same values that the shopper holds: environmental-consciousness, workers’ rights, and fair trade practices.

B Corps, a classification system to which corporations can apply for membership, serves as an indication of these values to the value-conscious consumer. Featured in this clips is New Belgium Brewing in Colorado, which provides environmentally-minded perks to its workers, as well as compensations packages that enable workers to enjoy a relatively good quality of life. After all, a company’s workers should have the free time and finances to enjoy their own product, ensuring a healthy consumer market and thriving middle class.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/can-corporations-become-forces-good/