Mr. Charles

Classroom Blogs

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5. The Hyperloop

This past summer Elon Musk, founder of Paypal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and Solar City (!) proposed a new method of transportation that operates like the vacuum tubes of a bank drive-through and goes 850 mph: the Hyperloop.


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4. The Internet and Equity

The internet is revolutionizing the way markets function.  This essay explores the idea that it may be increasing inequity (unequal distribution of wealth).  Questions to consider…

  • What is the most basic argument of this article?
  • What evidence does he use to support the argument?
  • Do you agree?

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3. Racial Population Map

While we are on the theme of maps, here is another amazing map that will help shape your understanding of the world.  This is an interactive population map of the US.  Every person in the country is represented by a colored dot, each color represents a race (see race color key).  Click “Add Map Labels” in the left hand corner and zoom in/out on the map to observe the demographics of metropolitan areas, including Lancaster.  Summarize your observations of at least 3 different regions, including Lancaster City/County, in your response (try to find where you live).

  • What do you find interesting?
  • How does the map shape your understanding of the world?

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2. 40 Maps that Explain the World

There is an unbelievable wealth of visual information here.  View and read carefully and you will learn more than you did in class all month (especially since we have barely had school in January).  Be sure to read the explanation beneath the map for more information/context.  Read them all, but choose three (3) that you find most interesting to reflect on in your response.  Consider the following for each of the three…

  • How does this map change your view of the world?

Data source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, World Bank. (David Whitmore, John Grimwade / National Geographic)

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1. Google buys Nest

Nest is a new company that makes smart home appliances (thermostats and fire alarms that know when you are home and can be controlled remotely through mobile devices).  Google just bought them for $3.2 Billion.  Some people worry that this will be an invasion of privacy (Google is in your home!).  Watch the video link from Nest’s website, then read the article on the buyout.  Questions to consider…

  1. Is this a scary invasion of privacy?
  2. Is this a positive step toward a simpler, more synchronized life where technology handles details for us?