Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp may be in the Kingdom of Belgium, but its country is Flanders. The Flemish lion seems quite at home on the Grote Markt in front of the stadhuis, reminding everyone that the history of Flanders is so much longer and richer than the history of Belgium, which was created only in 1830. [2015]

Monday, August 31, 2015

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

After Katrina left New Orleans in ruins, much of its population was gone but not its hopes. Two years later, hope and hard work, combined with a little foresight and federal funds, put the city on the come-back trail. Many homes were rebuilt, but just a little higher so the next flood wouldn't have the same impact. [2007]

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Biloxi, Mississippi, USA

New Orleans may get all the attention on this 10th anniversary of hurricane Katrina, but devastation was just as complete in Biloxi, almost 100 miles away. What did we learn? That we ought to build more sturdy buildings? Or, that we ought to build farther away from the shoreline? [2005]

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gulfport, Mississippi, USA

Exactly ten years ago, it wasn't New Orleans but the Mississippi coast that got hit by the Katrina's most powerful "right front quadrant." Total devastation and 126 deaths in Harrison County were the results. Right through First Baptist Church you could see the Gulf of Mexico. What do you think: Did the congregation rebuild farther from the shoreline? [2005]

Friday, August 28, 2015

Pembina, Manitoba, Canada

There was a time when geography students were expected to recognize and name field crops. Rapeseed is what they would have called this one, but today it has been fine tuned into one of the world's great oil crops: canola. Here it is in its home province of Canada, having been developed at the University of Manitoba in the 1970s. [2012]

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico

The name of the pueblo tells you what's being manufactured here: tequila. The blue agave grows in the rich volcanic soils of Jalisco. When harvested, the piñas become the source of the sap that is distilled and bottled in factories like this. Tequila is a protected designation of origin (PDO) product which comes only from the area around the city of Tequila. [2007]

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Deep Creek, The Bahamas

Development has an economic side and a human side. The boys here are working on the human side. They are developing their minds by going to school, and their bodies by going for lunch. Their elders are developing the neighborhood in spurts and starts: Build until the money runs out, then wait until you have enough to continue. [2014]