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The geography of homelessness | How air conditioning has decreased N.Y.'s political clout | Researchers track income inequality in Vancouver
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March 15, 2012
AAG SmartBrief
News for geographers
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Geography in Action
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Geography in Action
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The geography of homelessness
A map by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute reveals that Tampa, New Orleans, Fresno and Las Vegas have some of the highest rates of homelessness among the largest 100 metropolitan areas in the country. An analysis finds homelessness tends to be more prevalent in bigger metropolitan areas and in those that have higher housing values, writes Richard Florida, the institute's director. Also, homelessness actually has a negative correlation with crime, he notes.
CityLab (3/14) 
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How air conditioning has decreased N.Y.'s political clout
New York state is losing two of its congressional seats due to the results of the 2010 census, and the writer of this blog post attributes the change in part to the prevalence of air conditioning. After air conditioning became more widely available in the 1950s, states such as Florida, Texas and Georgia became more comfortable places to live, writes Clyde Haberman. Without air conditioning, "you couldn't have something like Las Vegas or the Valley of the Sun, with Phoenix at the heart and all the retirement communities in the surrounding area," says James Wiley, a Hofstra University geography professor.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/City Room blog (3/13) 
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Research, Education and Global Change
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Research, Education and Global Change
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Corporate farm plan could revolutionize India
The Indian government, in a bid to boost lagging agricultural output, is on the verge of approving a program that would unify the land of small farmers to create parcels large enough for commercial-scale production of wheat, corn and other crops in partnership with private companies. The program could revolutionize the country's agricultural sector, which employs about half its workforce.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/7) 
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Food prices are projected to soar in 2013
Computer modeling that has been accurately predicting food prices shows that investor speculation in commodity futures, combined with the conversion of crops into biofuels, will cause food prices to skyrocket in 2013, leading to widespread hunger, social unrest and death across the developing world. "Once people understand that markets are not always in equilibrium and that buying futures can affect real prices, we hope they will take action," said Yaneer Bar-Yam, president of the New England Complex Systems Institute.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/Green blog (3/7) 
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Mobile phones more prevalent than toilets in India
Less than half of homes in India have toilets, but about 53% of the country's residents have mobile phones, according to census data. The results of the census illustrate the complexities of a country where technology is catching on even as many people don't have basic amenities, analysts say.
BBC (3/14) 
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Technology and Applications
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Technology and Applications
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LiDAR helps transform the field of archaeology
The imaging abilities of LiDAR are dramatically changing the way archaeologists and anthropologists do their jobs. The technology can produce high-quality maps of terrains faster, and with more accuracy, than older tools. Being able to map areas more quickly means researchers can spend more time analyzing the terrain and using it to understand ancient peoples. "Each point that we have has a plus/minus range of 2.5cm -- roughly the size of a Rubik's Cube. So we can now use it to investigate not only ancient cities but the broader landscape, and connections between these features on the landscape," archaeologist Chris Fisher said.
Ars Technica/Science (3/11) 
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Association News
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AAG's MyCOE Rio+20 welcomes entries for geoportal showcase, competition
MyCOE Rio+20 is accepting innovative, community-based projects created by students that address sustainable development challenges using geography, mapping or GIS. Entries will be made available for public viewing, and select projects will be showcased during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development in June 2012 and will receive special recognition and prizes. Learn more at www.mycoe.org.
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AAG offers Department Leadership Workshop to promote diversity in geography
Geographers interested in improving their academic geography programs are invited to attend the AAG Department Leadership Workshop from June 13 to June 16 in Boulder, Colo. The workshop will focus on practices that help advisors, program coordinators, chairs and interested faculty develop, expand or plan for diversity initiatives. Individuals interested in assuming leadership positions are encouraged to attend. Learn more.
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I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
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