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Monday, October 30, 2006


Geography and Whisky
When starting this blog, I nearly called it Geography and a Wee Dram, as along with jazz, single malt whisky is one of my other passions...
Got a very nice booklet today from those nice people at Ardbeg. It introduces a new whisky called "Airigh Nam Beist" which sounds rather nice. Recently finished a rather nice bottle of Ardbeg "Still Young", and intend getting another bottle soon!
While up in Scotland at the SAGT Conference, I visited my favourite whisky bar: the Taychreggan Inn at West Ferry, Dundee and was made very welcome as always. This time, Mark the owner gave us a free dram of a new discovery: a peaty Speyside malt called BenRiach. Very nice it is too! The picture above, taken by John Vannet, shows Mark pouring a generous measure of Ardbeg: the greatest Islay malt, one of over 300 malts stocked at the Taychreggan.

Laphroaig also have another Geographical connection: visit the website and claim your free square foot of Islay - I have my plot...
On the plane on the way back from Edinburgh, I got stuck into the excellent "Peat, Smoke and Spirit" by Andrew Jefford all about the isle of ISLAY, which I plan on visiting as soon as possible.

Coming soon: the Geography of Whisky resource...

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SAGT 2006
Another great conference, well organised and attended and with some excellent seminars (and then there was mine...)
Had a marvellous reception at the Discovery Point, followed by a series of workshops and meetings with friends old and new...
I will post more on this in the weeks to come as time permits...
There is an illustrated blog on my website HERE.
There is also a new GOOGLE EARTH blog where you can see all the slides I used in my 2 SAGT presentations.

It was good to meet up with Ollie Bray once again. He has some wonderful ideas from his presentation: "50 Ideas in 50 Minutes" which are available at his site http://www.olliebray.com (he's offered to sell me my own name back...)
http://www.geographyataltitude.co.uk/
Resources from a trip to Denali.

Update
Ollie has now posted a Google Video of his entire presentation which lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Go HERE for all the details.

Rob Chambers has also posted his materials on his GEOBYTES site: click on Department on the left hand side then choose SAGT resources.

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Monday, October 23, 2006


Geography Teaching Today
A new website launched today. It's jointly produced by the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) and is funded by the Action Plan for Geography. The first website to be featured was a certain GeographyPages.

Geography and Peace and Quiet..

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/6075774.stm


Is the place where you live nice and quiet ? I live in a fairly tranquil area, but lots of places are suffering from the growing threat of noise pollution. Noel Jenkins is planning some resources on this topic.

Also to come soon here are all the details of my Google Earth presentation at the SAGT Conference.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Geography and Coffee

Black Gold Movie
A new movie which looks like being useful for Geographers... Looks at the coffee business. Can you spot the inequalities coming up ??

OK, apart from that it's half term finally. What a half term it's been - hectic and hassled at times, but now there's time to pause - for 5 minutes anyway...
Looking forward to heading up to Scotland again for the SAGT Conference.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Geography and Thinking Skills
Paul Williams, who teaches in Bangkok, Thailand, has started a weblog which contains ideas for teaching AS and A2 Geography. There are many sites which have ideas and resources for KS3 and 4 groups, but there haven't been many sites catering for the older student (and their teachers)
There are some very good ideas there already.

I have used the Hydrological Cycle Mexican wave sheet and some creative ideas by Ian Murray on teaching the Bid Rent Curve.

Check out the weblog by visiting it HERE, or better still, contribute some of your own ideas to Paul. Will they be as good as my Hjulstrom curve 'Sink or Swim' ? Probably...

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Geography and GGiP
Made the papers today (no, it wasn't the Court Report...)
Page 2 of the Lynn News, my local paper, has a report with the headline "KES teacher joins national campaign".
It's about the Give Geography its Place campaign, and has some good quotes:

"Geography is essential for an understanding of the world we live in today, and the one we are going to inhabit in the future..."

To find out more visit http://www.passion4geography.co.uk

The article is HERE

If you're a teacher or a student, sign the petition!
If you're a parent, sign the petition !
Get involved, and Give Geography its Place in the media.

Notice how I selflessly left out mentions of GeographyPages (this time anyway...)

Also the Teachers TV programme I was the consultant on is now featured on the Teachers TV website.
Check out TOP 10 on the Web for Geography.
There's one notable absence of course...

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Geography and Shiny New Things !
Now open the GEOGRAPHYPAGES bookshop.
A regular selection of Books and DVDs will appear here in the months to come. Please click and buy !

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Geography and the street where you live...

There is an interesting article in the Times today - link will not work unless you are using it fairly soon...
It suggests that you can tell whether a street is likely to be the residence of high or low class housing (and occupiers)
There is a list provided on the page, which suggests the most and least expensive street names. Interesting research - what are your views on this ?
Who lives in a house like this ? Geographers, it's over to you....

SAD BEGINNINGS, HAPPY ENDINGS

Least expensive street beginnings

Frederick
Midland
Smith
Arthur
Dryden
Commercial
Owen
Bruce
Clyde
Mary
Most expensive beginnings
Badgers
Copse
Firs
Highlands
Downs
Oaklands
Home
Kingswood
Ham
Golf
Least expensive endings
Street
Walk
Square
Path
Parade
Terrace
Place
Buildings
Court
Estate
Most expensive endings
Wood
Common
Chase
Orchard
End
Field
Hill
Lane
Corner
Mead
Thanks to Dan for the mention of this one...

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Geography and Clothing
Some cool new shirts with a World Map design are now in at the Womad Shop. I used to have one years ago: from Peter Gabriel's RealWorld records, but can't put my hand on it at the moment.
May have to get a replacement (£15 including postage and packing, and they also sell children's sizes) Womad are a good organisation to lend your support to.

Geography and Jazz (Cont.)
Also out at the moment is the new CD by 2 jazz greats: Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau - some more on this soon...
Geography and GeographyPages
And watch out for some national publicity relating to GeographyPages soon...

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Geography and Pixelated cities
A new city is being created at Pixel City (http://www.pixelcity.com)
I've taken an apartment in the city, and below is a view of my apartment block (the glass walled one in the centre of the view) and the interior of my apartment. Why not rent your own apartment and we could have some Geographical communities spring up in the city ?

Keep an eye out for me on the street outside of the apartment: my pixel name is Geo.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

timeline.jpg (JPEG Image, 650x591 pixels)

Just a test of the Justblogit tool to see if it works.
The image was sourced from one of my favourite aggregators: "Look at This"... and was originally from The Times online site.
It looks at how environments would recover if humans were to leave the earth.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Geography and Google Earth (Cont.)
Here are 2 more images which are being hosted here to facilitate their use in 2 weeks time at the SAGT Conference in Dundee. They are the first 2 slides of my presentation at the conference, which is on the theme of GOOGLE EARTH.Look forward to seeing some of you readers there in the audience - assuming I'm ready for you all!
Why not send me some of your Google Earth files. Read the posting on the SAGT Bulletin Board.

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Geography and Google Earth (Cont.)
Sniffing and sneezing away as I write this. It's a good job you can't get a virus from your computer - well not that kind anyway.
Anyway, this post contains a few things which I need to host on BLOGGER and FLICKR so that I can link to them from elsewhere (though you might find them useful anyway...)
Also, here is an image which I need to host here as an example of how to add images to Google Earth placemarks.
The image is of the favela of Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro and is one of hundreds of similar accumulations of housing and basic services. Marie Hart from Barnwell School in Stevenage sent me the image, and it is one of many which I shall shortly host on GeographyPages. Many thanks to Marie for sharing the images...
The poster at the top was made at FLAGRANT DISREGARD's Flickr Tools site, which I've mentioned before.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006


Geography and Google Earth
Click the link below to see a PhotoJam of the use of Google Earth in the classroom which I will use to start my presentation at the SAGT Conference in just over 2 weeks time. Photo Jam is an excellent piece of software which I use a lot. I'll be using Sigur Ros music with the presentation.
http://www.shockwave.com/rd/photojam4/?13634744/1160428165779_34


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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Geography and Fieldwork
A day of two halves today: rain in the morning, sunshine in the afternoon; Holkham sand dunes in the morning, Stiffkey salt marsh in the afternoon.
Yet more coach company incompetence left us running late all day... Thanks must go to a very patient driver whose day did not go according to plan, and also to the majority of students who appreciated that the day's work will affect their exam grade as the coastal fieldwork covers 1 third of the Coasts topic, and will also be featured on the Skills paper. Thanks also to Simon Woodhouse from Holt Hall for his tuition.
Thanks to Mr. Nunnerley for his organisation of the day and to Miss Muncaster, Miss Kennedy and Mr. Guinness for their participation.
Make sure that you get a full set of results by whatever means necessary. Full details on the write up are on 'the website'. (You know the one I mean...)
Below are some images taken with my digital camera: not the decent one as that died recently. Technology just doesn't seem to have staying power these days...
All that is needed now is some hard work put in to the write up and some research on the two landforms.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Geography and Footprints
From today we start eating the planet.
A fascinating and disturbing article on the BBC NEWS website explains that today is the day that we exceed the planet's capacity to provide for us without being damaged in the process.

A particular stark image is that shown below, which is produced by the New Economics Foundation, who have been responsible for some of the most innovative and interesting research in the last few years, including a report on CLONE TOWNS, which spawned a big page on the GeographyPages website as well as an addition to our L6 fieldtrip.


Perhaps it's time we turned off the computer, stopped blogging and 'went back to the garden'...

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Geography and Campaigning

One of the key issues of Geography is its focus on inequality and global issues, which means that Geography teachers have a certain responsibility to put across what might be slightly contentious views. One organisation which I have 'supported' in various ways over the years is Greenpeace, another is Amnesty International. Greenpeace have a new campaign which I shall mention later in this post.

One of my regular stop offs is HOUTLUST. This is a
n excellent weblog which contains the latest details on non-profit advertising and campaigning. A recent discovery was the new Greenpeace campaign targeting electronic waste, and Apple in particular. The site copies Apple's iTunes distinctive design with tabs to promote a campaign to reduce electronic waste.

I’d also like to flag up Tony Cassidy’s weblog which is currently hosting a powerpoint which Tony used in staff INSET last week to explore the idea of the 21st Century learner. There are lots of great ideas here for any Geographer, and Tony is one of a small band who are willing to share their resources freely.

Check out http://pilotgcseradicalgeography.blogspot.com

I used this in a lesson this week: the MINIATURE EARTH.

It is based on the idea that we reduce the earth to a community of just 100 people, and allows the exploration of themes such as inequality, distribution of population and religion.













And the answer to the Geographical poser is that the pictures were taken in the town around the abandoned shell of the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in the Ukraine.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006


Geography and Conferences
Three weeks today, I'll be at the University of Dundee presenting at the SAGT Conference.
Ollie Bray, who has his own eponymous site at http://www.olliebray.com has suggested that I tag posts on my blogs with SAGT06, so that they can be aggregated together into a Hitchhikr page. This is a BLOG aggregator: it collects posts made on blogs which contain the correct TAG.

My session is based around GOOGLE EARTH, and will give some great ideas for using Google Earth in lessons - some of them are even mine ! See you there! (maybe) - Update: the tag worked and my blog was added to the Hitchhikr page...

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Geography and Blogging
http://squattercity.blogspot.com/ - is one of many blogs I check for information. This one has an excellent recent post on measures by the Brazilian government to map favelas correctly - and suggests the reasons why they might want to do this... It is a great blog for AS / A2 Geographers as it links in to some excellent articles on LEDC city growth.

Also, over at Pruned, there is an article on how Greenland could market the water produced by its melting ice caps to those countries short of fresh water. This could transform the economy of the country. It's one of 7 suggestions in a current exhibition. Thought provoking stuff...

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Sunday, October 01, 2006





















A Geographical Poser 2
Here is another picture clue question.
What is this place ? An abandoned schoolroom, a city invaded by trees. Who lives in a place like this ? Geographers, it's over to you....



Geography and Climate Change (Cont.)
Getting some positive reviews about the film "an inconvenient truth". Will have to wait for it to come to a cinema near me - wouldn't like to travel too far to see it as I would generate greenhouse gases...

Geography on TV
Caught the first episode of the BBC's new GALAPAGOS series. Impressive photography, and some useful details on the chronology of the hot spot which formed the islands.

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