Five for Friday: Five ways YOU can affect your surroundings

1. Keep the travel industry on its toes.

Did you know that the airlines, hoteliers and other business that make up the travel industry check blogs to see what you think of their services? It’s true, and recently some businesses are changing their practices in response to negative reviews that appear online. So, next time you travel, be sure to let people know if you have a great experience… or a horrible one.
Check out this CNN article for more information.


2. Keep ANYONE on their toes… or just make them angry.

delfinatee.jpgIn addition to blogging your opinions about your most recent vacation, you can also rate and review pretty much any business in your local community via websites like While some businesses become quite upset when they receive negative reviews from yelp users, Pizzaria Delfina in San Francisco has ‘taken back’ the insults and hurled them right back at their customers in a comedic use of irony.
More on Yelp and sites like it here.

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Foreclosure AND unemployment? Bummer.

When I wake up in the morning, my usual routine is this: shower, brush teeth, get dressed… all while listening to NPR. I like to listen to NPR in the morning because I don’t have to deal with commercials (like television) and it’s a pretty good source for coverage of current events. Lately though, all of the news seems to deal with how the world’s economy is tanking, and frankly, it is getting to be depressingly repetitive. Two of the big issues that come up time and time again are unemployment rates (which are at a 25 year high right now) and the home foreclosure trend.

empty lots.JPG

A sobering image of the tanking economy and foreclosure

Being a geographer I decided that, before reaching for the Prozac, maybe I should take a look at a few maps of these phenomena to see if maybe there was a relationship between the two. One would assume that as people lose their jobs that they would also lose the ability to pay for their homes. What I would expect is that the places in the country that show the highest rates of unemployment would also show the highest rates of foreclosures.

Keep reading to view the maps that I am comparing:

Continue reading “Foreclosure AND unemployment? Bummer.”