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Friday, June 29, 2007

How to embed mp3 files in a blog.
This is a response to a recent posting on the SLN Forum, which made me wonder how it could be done. A quick Google search led me to the Google Operating System weblog, which provided a solution.
I had a quick look at a few places for mp3 files relevant to Geography, and my first thought was to use one off Rob Chambers GeoBytes site.
So for a few days only, or until Rob tells me to get rid of the link ! This will connect through to the first one of Rob's Coastal podcasts: Energy at the Coast.
Your mp3 file could also be saved on a website, or a VLE or a Ning.

The code from the site was then added below to create (fingers crossed) a media player...

and, well flip me, it worked !

Change the external URL to the address of the particular file you want to play and that seems to work fine !
Another step forward !

Keep an eye out for the new podcasts shortly to appear on GeographyPages.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sky News has been using a new Google maps mash-up created by a consultancy called Puffbox to collate images and news stories related to the Sheffield Flood.
This blog post by someone involved even mentions the GEOGRAPHY word - and shows a pic of the map in use...Hundreds of pictures now on Flickr in various sets.
Also check out the website of THE STAR: the Sheffield paper also got loads of stories and pictures.

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If you are teaching about Sustainable Transport you might be interested in a new resource which was launched on 22nd June by an organisation called Foresight, which is linked to the Department for Trade and Industry, and the Office of Science and Innovation.The resource is called a CHANGE OF PLACE.
Click for an 18 page teacher guide on the project.
Also on the site is a series of resources:
  • a range of task sheets in PDF format
  • a selection of comic strip style activity tasks
  • some supporting powerpoint presentations
  • a board game to play
  • a selection of images
Very good for looking at the future for cities. Would be useful for GCSE and also some of new AS planning.

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Picture from http://www.swfc.co.uk

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One of many YouTube videos to feature the flooding...

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Originally uploaded by martinisok
This photo is one of hundreds of great user generated content to be found on Flickr!
Thanks to martinisok for this one: Rotherham Tescos - build right next to the river !

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I did an hour (and a bit - I ran out of time as usual) session today at the Faculty of Education at Homerton College, part of the University of Cambridge.
I was invited by Liz Taylor to speak to the ITT Mentors in a session to prepare for next year's cohort in the very nice new building that they have there. You can see a picture of the building here.
I was delivering a session that had been prepared by Rob Chambers, and I then (skilfully) blended in a few other bits and pieces and also made use of John Barlow's excellent guide to setting up a weblog.

If you were present and have found your way here , welcome !
Hope you enjoyed the introduction to terms such as "my favourite price" and "reclaiming your Sundays"

As I said, all the handouts and features can be found on Rob's website which is named below: IGEOG.

It was only after I'd finished that I found out that Rob normally has 2 hours to get through the material - no wonder I thought I rushed things a bit !
Thanks to Val Vannet for the slide above, and for the suggestions that you came up with for how you might use a blog.I recommend you take a look at these 2 excellent resources.
And if you start a blog - let me know !

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As usual, the Independent has the best front cover of any paper:Also on the news this morning was watching the crumbling dam wall of Ulley reservoir - my grandma lives just down the valley in Whiston, and have spent many an evening in the Royal Oak pub in the village drinking a nice pint of Sam Smiths.

Lots of pics of flooding in the Wicker arches in Sheffield, and also the Tesco's in Rotherham...

Also on the theme of water and mud, the first pictures from the G Team's trip to Glastonbury are now available at the PASSION4GEOGRAPHY site.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Check the various news channels for more on the flooding in the North of England

Sky news has various reports: channels around the 970s are all the regional news magazines.


Major Flooding in June 2007
The BBC have an article which links through to other useful materials for today...
Some schools were closed, as this BBC article mentions.

The BBC's Weather page has a graphic sequence showing the rain clouds in a great big swirl:Picture Copyright: BBC Weather

The Met Office has given a range of as many as 10 severe WEATHER WARNINGS.
SKY NEWS has video clips and other stories.

Also worth going to FLICKR, and searching and then clicking the MOST RECENT tab, for example, here's a set of pictures taken today already online:

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

RSS, Geography of Hope and living Off Grid (and that's just the start...)

Just been on another online excursion - perfect way to pass a Sunday evening...
All started with me updating my RSS feeds, and setting up a document for a training session I'm doing next week, and I ended up discovering the site relating to a forthcoming book by Chris Turner called GEOGRAPHY OF HOPE, the (apparently final design for the) cover of which is shown below:

This in turn led me to the OFF GRID site, which has a range of very useful resources for those teaching issues of Sustainability and dealing with the issues...

One particularly useful article for those doing Rural Urban relationships (an Edexcel A level topic for example) is an article on EXURBIA:

Defined as an area on the urban fringe of a town or city, with at least 20% of its workers commuting, it tends to have low-density housing.
A US study said there were 10.8 million people living in the exurbs of large metropolitan areas in 2000 – that’s 6% of their total population – and the numbers had increased by a third over the 1990s. But, with a land area of, on average, 14 acres per each home compared to 0.8 acres per home in the city, the acreage needed to accommodate all those escaping the city centre is growing at a much higher pace.

The best part is, there doesn’t tend to be a ‘typical’ type of exurban resident, despite a popular misconception that only white, middle-income homeowners live there.

From a 2006 study “Finding Exurbia: America’s Fast-Growing Communities at the Metropolitan Fringe” by Alan Berube, Audrey Singer, Jill H. Wilson, and William H. Frey:

“Despite their popularization by political analysts, media, and local growth activists, the “exurbs” do not abound nor fit a single, neat stereotype. Just 6 percent of large metro area residents live in an exurb, and these exurbs vary from affordable housing havens for middle-class families, to “favored quarters” for high-income residents, to the path of least resistance for new development.”

They also ask a potent question: what will happen as exurbia continues to expand?

“The real test for exurbia lies in how our nation accommodates future growth. Will exurbs remain exurbs or become the suburbs of tomorrow?”

A UK based example of the OFF GRID trend was featured in some Sunday supplements a couple of weeks ago, and I'm tempted by the book by Nick Rosen pictured below:

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Just ordered some Tour de France merchandise ready for the summer.
This year's T-shirt design features a very geographical logo - see below.
The Official site has a link to a shop, but I ordered mine from a UK based company.
UPDATE: Arrived and very nice too....


Good PsychoGeography column from Jura this week by Will Self.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Government have launched the 'definitive' Carbon Footprint calculator.
Click the pic or HERE to launch it....

Sim City for DS
Went out to the supermarket yesterday evening (dodging the rain in Hunstanton) and as well as some rather nice Scottish strawberries I also got Sim City for the Nintendo DS.My daugher got her pink Nintendo about 5 weeks ago after saving up for ages, and I was inspired by Ollie Bray, who has posted several times on his weblog about the value of educational games (I even have a GeoGames page on GeographyPages) So we came to a deal: I can borrow her DS to play the game, and she gets to play it too... Everyone's a winner.

It looks like I might have bought a good 'un. This game was apparently a major success in Japan when it was launched, and I read a 5 star review in the Independent this morning.

The twin screens on the DS are used to good effect here, as one is used for the city view and one is used for the general management. We are currently building the city of LYNNY.
I'll keep you posted on how I do.

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Thanks to Pete from Panoramic Earth for getting in touch about his website which features over 800 fast loading panoramic photos from locations around the world.
The one above is the Charles Bridge in Prague.

There is also a blog, which features regular updates on the travels of Peter Watts. I am very jealous as I have just been reading about his travels to Skye, and there are lots of panoramas on the island now. This makes a free alternative to some of the paid-for collections that are available..


Friday, June 22, 2007

Come and join the Ning !
Started a new NING for the new Edexcel Geog Specification planning for 2008 and beyond.
All Geographers welcome - join the discussion - add your files - save some time !

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The G Spot at Glastonbury
Right now, Dan Ellison and David Rayner are 'flying the flag' for Geography at Glastonbury !
David says:
"We are in the 'Green Futures' area, near to the infamous Stone Circle and Sacred Space. We have a 30 foot flag pole with 'G Spot' pennant flying proud...."
They'll be spreading the Passion 4 Geography word !

If you're at GLASTONBURY, visit the lads and say hello !

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

I was just catching up with Dancing Matt
Click the website logo below if you don't know who I mean, so you can find him - the videos are good starters for a Geography lesson.

Matt is dancing his way around the world. I suppose I should add his BLOG to Geo Blogs page.
The first picture by the way looks like the 'chock stone' near the Prekestolen in Rogaland in Norway, which I have stood on - fabulous place !

Anyway, on his journal, he talks about a tiny laptop he was given to try called a FLIPSTART.
This is a very small device which has some amazing features for its size and looks like great fun !
There is a very nicely designed website with animations which demonstrate the device's size.

You can see some pictures on Matt's blog via the link above, and he says some nice things about it:

It's adorable.

The thing has everything a real laptop has, does everything a real laptop does. It runs XP, Vista, has Bluetooth and wifi, touch pad, light-up keyboard, 30GB hard drive. The only thing it doesn't have is a DVD drive -- cause where would you put it? But there is very little left that I need to put onto or take off of a DVD. The world has moved on.

It sounds like a really useful device for the Geographer who does a lot of travelling, conferences, writing, idea generating, picture sorting etc. - like me in fact...

If the people at Flipstart are reading this post (well, I do have an RSS feed and may have put the tag in 3 times by accident...) I would be very happy to roadtest the machine in the UK education system and show the hundreds of people I meet in the average month...
Price is US$ 1,999 but don't know what UK pricing might be (or if it will be available)
Pic of Flipstart next to a Dr. Pepper can from a feature at GIZMODO.

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Just realised last post was the 250th on this blog.
Anyway, just to say got this book from Amazon.
Excellent resource for tourism studies:
Also check out Leo's BLOG - useful for tourism again.

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Hello to Mr. Kamrowski and his students in Wisconsin at the Geography of the World Blog http://geographyoftheworld.blogspot.com/
You're welcome to ask our students here in Norfolk, England any questions you have on our area.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just finished my KS3 pupil consultation and curriculum making exercise...

These are the titles....

Keep checking the blog for more details.

If anyone has any "really good stuff" on any of these topics which they can e-mail to me to save time that would be much appreciated.

Watch GEOGRAPHYPAGES to watch these titles develop....


Monday, June 18, 2007

Skyway by Erin Butler

Originally uploaded by Erin Butler
Just trying out a Flickr posting tool...
Love this picture - let's set off on a journey together...

Carbon Footprint Calculator

WWF-UK footprint calculator

Thanks to Tom Biebrach for the spot..

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Keep reading, or the hedgehog gets it... (He's scared of school by the way)

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Thanks to Rob Chambers for telling me about a fun new tool called VOKI.
Here's my first go...

Get a Voki now!

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Flickr Update
Flickr: one of my favourite websites has had an update...


University of Leeds: 21st Century Geography
More details are now available for this day, which I am attending in a couple of weeks time, and looking forward to it !

There will be four main sessions presented by active researchers in each field. Every session should be of interest in itself and will also be of relevance to various examination board syllabuses with material that you can use within the classroom.

1. Natural Hazards & Risk Perception: Snow Avalanches in Iceland
Dr Chris Keylock

The study of natural hazards is at the interface of physical and human geography and is an integral element in many of the A-level syllabuses. In this session we will start by looking at the scientific issues behind the initiation and dynamics of avalanches and strategies used for risk mitigation. In the second half we will consider the perception of avalanche risk and how this is mediated by social, economic, political and cultural factors. This will involve a practical introduction to the use of ethnographic methods in (human) geographic scholarship, which often give a more nuanced understanding of a phenomenon than is possible using a traditional questionnaire. Our example will be the catastrophic avalanches in Iceland during 1995 that claimed the lives of 34 people.

This session links to: Mass Movement Processes in AQA A and OCR A, Geomorphological Hazards, Cold Environments sections of AQA A; Human Environments and Glaciation in EdExcel A, Living With Hazardous Environments in EdExcel B, Natural Hazards and Human Responses as well as Cold Environments and Human Responses in OCR B, Management Strategies and Geomorphic Processes, as well as Climatic Hazards in WJEC.

2. Urban Regeneration
Dr Rachael Unsworth and Dr Paul Waley

Geographers have written copiously about the phenomenon called gentrification, or the smartening up of previously run-down inner city neighbourhoods. It all started with an entertaining but significant spat between Marxist geographers who believed that gentrification was essentially the result of landlords maximising the value of their properties and others who attributed gentrification primarily to the cultural tastes of the new middle class of urban professionals. The debate has moved on considerably since then, and discussion about gentrification is much better contextualised today. It does, however, remain central to the way in which many geographers understand urban change in the contemporary world.

In this session, after a brief introduction to gentrification and the debate about what it represents, we will look more specifically at the example of Leeds. We will explore together questions such as whether gentrification exists at all in Leeds and whether the new boom in city-centre living can be understood as a variant of gentrification.

This session links to: Urban deprivation in AQA A, Settlement Processes and Patterns in AQA A, Urban Change in the UK and the Wider World in the Last 30 Years AQA B, Settlement Patterns EdExcel A, Rural-urban interrelationships EdExcel A, Problem Solving Level 3 EdExcel A, Urban environments EdExcel B, Rural and urban settlement: pattern, process and change OCR A, Managing Urban Environments AQA A, Study Section B: Settlement Dynamics OCR B, Processes and Issues in Human Environments WJEC, Sustainable Development WJEC.

3. GIS without Tears
Dr Steve Carver and Professor Graham Clarke

Geographical Information Systems or GIS have been around for some time now, such that in many ways they are considered as a mature technology. Nonetheless, the study of GIS, its use and software has remained confined to higher education largely for reasons of cost. With the advent of the Internet there is now little reason for such a situation to persist as there are now many GIS tools, datasets, texts and exercises available online that are either free of charge or available at very modest cost. This puts the practical teaching of GIS well within the reach and budgets of secondary schools.

This workshop will introduce GIS and sources of free data/software that could be exploited to promote the teaching of this fascinating subject within secondary schools. After a joint talk by two leading exponents of GIS in both human education and physical geography, there will be an opportunity to explore and test drive some example software/datasets in the computing lab.

The practical session will focus on two similar online GIS teaching tools, one on nuclear waste disposal and the other on wilderness mapping, that have been developed in the university with the express aim of gently introducing students to the principles of GIS through these topical case studies without the need for specialist software, data or training. Sample texts suitable for secondary schools and a resource pack of links to data and software will be made available to take away.

This session links to: ICT skills in AQA A, Assessment Objectives (skills) in AQA A, Assessment Objectives AQA B (skills), Practical Skills and Techniques AQA B; Knowledge, understanding and skills EdExcel A, Knowledge, understanding and skills EdExcel B Researching Global Futures EdExcel B, Global Challenge EdExcel B, The Human Environment OCR A, Assessment Objectives OCR A, , Geographical Investigation OCR A, Assessment Objectives OCR B, Geographical Investigations 1 OCR B, Key Skills WJEC, Personal enquiry WJEC, Assessment objectives WJEC.

4. Scorched Earth or Green and Pleasant Land:
Policy Relevant Geographical Science for Water Management.

Professor Adrian McDonald

It takes about 25 years to develop new major water resources. The country has experienced more frequent rainfall deficits. These statements don't make happy bed-fellows! What is the government's thinking about decisions relating to water management? How are decisions arrived at and what is the role of geographical skills, in both science and socio-economics? In this final session we are trying to explore why geography matters and how it is relevant.

We will do this through 3 cases:
1. The water management issues relating to housing development in the SE of England.
2. The new bathing waters directive.
3. Modifications to agricultural management to improve water quality.

This session links to: Political Responses to Climate Change (AQA A, OCR B): Population Pressure and Resource Management (AQA A): Environmental Issues in City Management (AQA A):Coastal Problems (AQA A): Competition and Conflict over Resource Use (AQA B) Population and Resource Availability (AQA B, EdExcel A): Management of the Hydrological Cycle (EdExcel A, OCR B): Coastal Management Schemes (EdExcel A, EdExcel B, OCR A), The Management of Waste in Cities (EdExcel A, OCR A), Social, Economic and Political factors affecting agricultural land use (EdExcel A), Water Quality issues (EdExcel B), Over extraction for domestic, agricultural and industrial use (EdExcel B), Resource development in rural areas (EdExcel B), Agriculture and irrigation/hydrology (OCR A), Floodplain Management (OCR B) Freshwater supplies (OCR B, WJEC), Planning policy in rural areas (WJEC), Long term planning to reduce the impact of climate hazards (WJEC), Economic activity, environmental benefits and costs (WJEC)

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Paul Merton in China
Just caught up with my Sky plused programmes in this entertaining series. Some good geography hidden away amongst the travelogue, some funny lines and refreshingly honest 'grumpiness'...
Check out the FIVE.TV website for some clips.An interesting Guardian Blog Post and comments...
He visited SOCK TOWN.

I was particularly interested by THAMES TOWN.

Also just watching / listening to this as I meander through some online back alleys....

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Peter Gabriel's Summer Logo..
Like this logo - pity the Blickling tickets sold out so fast, and the Eden Project is a little too far..

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Burnham Deepdale
Here are some excellent images by Andrew Stacey of the venue for July's 2nd SLN Field Weekend.
An itinerary will be available shortly...
The website for the venue is HERE and gives some interesting information about the environmental sustainability of the venue...

Thanks to Andrew for the excellent images. See you in Fat Face !

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Climate Change Conference: Carrow Road

Spent the day on 8th of June at a Climate Change conference at the Top of the Terrace venue at Carrow Road: Norwich City’s football ground.
It was pouring with rain when we got there – that’s climate change for you…
The conference was organised in association with a number of groups, including the engineering firm MWH.
Into the venue, which was very pleasant, a long bar and lots of lights in the ceiling (which curiously stayed lit the whole time despite not really being needed…)
Collected a delegate pack – small amount of paper, and handed out in a hessian shopping bag. Also badged with the “Act on CO2” campaign (TV ads at the moment)
Some useful contents from Anglian Water and the Recycle Now campaign.
Outside, the stage for a George Michael concert was being prepared – my wife is going to it next week.
Anglian Water were present with a Waterwise display with ideas for reducing water use, and MWH distributed a CD of information / presentations rather than using paper.
Question: Which is more eco-friendly in the long term ?
Good to see a few familiar Geography faces present, including Katharine Hutchinson from Chesterton College, Cambridge.

There were a number of sessions: some speakers and some (jargon coming up) “break out” groups during the day…
Alice Baillie, who was 15 years old and a member of Youth Parliament for S. Norfolk was the chair and introduced the speakers and sessions.

Dr Bruce Tofield of UEA was first: he is involved in CRed – went through the changes and the possible actions that we could take. He stressed that a rise of 2 degrees Celsius was a key figure.

Professor David Balmforth and Charles Ainger gave an engineers’ perspective on climate change.

  • 2 million properties are at risk from flooding
  • £1 billion of damage, and £460 million spent on flood protection
  • 80 000 at risk of sewer flooding
  • Carbon emitted when spending money on infrastructure projects
  • Rainfall intensity predicted to rise by 40% by 2080
  • Interested in idea of sustainable transport – car sharing e.g. Glastonbury, 10 million empty seats on UK’s roads every day (nice image of empty car seats)

Suggested that the existing 3 R’s should have an added 4th which is ‘Reject’: buy less stuff !!

Also mentioned TRANSITION TOWNS and town in Devon that had ‘banned’ plastic bags.

Focussed on a number of areas where students could make a difference.
Unfortunately, this first session dragged on too long and the speakers over ran: not ideal when your audience includes 13 years olds. The slides also needed to be adapted to cut out figures and sources (we don’t need references to IPCC documents on each slide – put them at the end…) – perhaps could have a separate KS3 and KS4 event or focus ?

A break for drink and biscuits: gannets descending on the plates.

1. Personal Transport

David Sprunt: Norwich Area transport co-ordinator for Civitas.

Civitas is an EU funded scheme to encourage sustainable transport.

Sustainable transport…

Went through the nature of the change – focus on CO2 / sea level rise. Importance of economising on energy use and using efficient transport.
London Underground likely to experience flood events: flash flooding…
Train reliability an issue: puts people off using it.
Flying: local flights – Norwich Airport – gave some comparisons of how much CO2 was emitted by making certain journeys by different methods.
How did delegates travel to the conference – er, they were groups of students travelling from school: they came in a minibus…
Bus: better than individual cars…
Other issues to do with cars:
  • Way that you drive
  • Acceleration and braking
  • Gearing
  • Carrying stuff around in the boot
  • Tyre pressures
  • Type of car ? Fuel supply ?

Low emission zones in cities.
Buses and cars by Norfolk police are fuelled by bio-fuels (more on that later)
Differential pricing for tax and parking: 4x4 bans ?
Removing lorries from city centre - ensuring that lorries deliver to lots of places – consolidating the deliveries.
Orbital bus network
New interchange at the railway station to encourage integration of transport network – removing a barrier to the use of public transport that it is inconvenient
Bicycle storage facilities – somewhere safe to leave bikes having cycled in to work.
Buy a ticket before you get on the bus so that the bus is idling, and which also delays the journey e.g. Curitiba – also a scheme to text the code on the bus stop which tells you when the next bus will arrive at that bus stop.
Business use: Car sharing – can buy access to car – pooling – buy some time and pick it up from certain points
Park and Ride schemes in the city: encourage their use – problem of a scheme where rewards are based on consumption.
Travel Planning – schools involved in this: identifying different ways of getting to school.
Attleborough – Website to encourage car pooling – find places where people are travelling to and sharing the cost and taking
Individual travel action
UEA: suggesting to people alternative ways of how they might get to that location – perhaps in the workplace – some places perhaps charge
Real time information boards – Dundee was an example of this working very well – information on internet and by mobile phones, to warn people of delays so that plans could be changed.
Transport affects everything you do…
Parents – part of that change…

Then into groups to discuss some key questions:

  • What can we do to lesson or remove the impact on climate change ?
  • What could you do ?
  • What would you do ?

George Monbiot’s ‘Heat’: luxury coaches on motorways suggestion…

2. Homes, Energy and Waste

John Meredith of CABE not present: he was going to talk about homes and climate change.
One particular innovation which needs to happen is the use of meters which show how much energy is being used by particular appliances so that the impact of using particular equipment can be identified.

Then had an unfocussed teacher ‘discussion’, which turned into an anecdote swap rather than getting some ideas for innovative future actions: my colleague, who was a waste management consultant before she went into teaching was not impressed…

Then had LUNCH: rather nice food: apparently ‘locally sourced’ as well (see next session…) – nice meringue with fresh fruit…

3. Food Production

Tully Wakeman: East Anglia Farmers Link.

“How food impacts on climate change and how climate change impacts on food.”

Peak Oil issue: peaked in 54 out of 60 oil producing countries
Food a source of energy (converted solar energy), but sometimes more energy is used to transport the food than its actual calorific value.
Energy is used in its production and to ‘replace’ land…

1 calorie of food, takes 10 calories of oil/gas.

Use of energy
  • Agriculture – 25%
  • Home: storage and cooking – 25%
  • Transport and distribution and storing – 50%

Need to reduce the use of energy in food system - use local shops instead of supermarkets.
Tesco lorries cover 60 million miles a year.
We should eat food from the UK – and none of it flown.
Source locally – eat seasonal foods – have changing expectations of what we can get…
Demand driven system at the moment.
Packaging or no packaging ?
Key areas to identify:
  • Water problems: droughts, groundwater issues, and flooding caused by glacier melting.
  • Soil erosion and desertification
  • Switch to biofuels – maize in the USA / Mexico raised the price of tortillas
  • Building on good agricultural land.
  • Change in diet.
  • Food waste – see the
  • We eat 40% more calories than we need…
  • Local shops for local people
  • Packaging
  • Unprocessed food.

Droughts in Australia (1000 year drought)
Cows: methane – vegetarian diet ?
1 metre sea level rise – lose agricultural land to sea level rise – Fens / river estuaries traditionally the most fertile - could we make new land ?
Nitrate fertiliser: added to field to increase yields.
Movement of food: food miles

4. Tourism

Jason Borthwick:

Sustainable Tourism: Ecotourism Consultant

EDP: writes a column on the environment…
Ecotourism consultant – “diversification consultant” – help turn ideas into projects – could be businesses, farms, looking for alternatives…
Runs Burnham Deepdale bunkbarn…


Impacts of holidays (6 things to concentrate on…)

  • How far you travel ?
  • The way you travel ?
  • Where you stay ?
  • What you do ?
  • How you travel while on holiday ?
  • How do you treat your destination ?
  • Long Haul – USA , Japan
  • Short Haul – EU
  • Domestic – UK – car commonly used – jams and congestion to SW
Flights – put into the higher level atmosphere – low-cost airlines – Ryan Air recent discussions on profits and numbers of flights…
Green credentials of accommodation.
Towels – saving water…(or saving the hotel money ? )
Corporate responsibility
Consumer choice – has power to change - if people ask they might take notice

We left just before the end, and headed off back to King’s Lynn in the minibus. It had been a valuable experience for the students, and they had had a chance to feed in to the Government’s climate change bill…

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New Ollie stuff...
Just planning a session for the University of Cambridge in a few weeks time (stepping in for Rob Chambers) and some nice ideas here from Ollie Bray...

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Heavy Rain brings flooding to UK
It's been rather wet in the last few days, and the BBC has several reports of flooding.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Came across this concept lamp on my online meanderings this afternoon...

It's produced by Lasse Klein.

Exploring some ideas for PODCASTING, following Rob Chambers ' lead...

Also going to get my students doing some GeoSquishing, which was spotted by Miss Ellis, one of my online chums... Visit the website to find out what I mean by GeoSquishing. Click the banner below..

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday on Recycle Now Week is Garden Waste.
I am part of a trial scheme in Norfolk to have a large brown garden waste bin, and as I have a rather large garden it's generally full most weeks...

Went to a good climate change conference at Carrow Road in Norwich today, and they were setting up the ground for a George Michael concert as you can see below. My wife is actually going to the concert...
Will blog about the conference tomorrow....

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Send us a postcard...
To raise the profile of Geography and also have a bit of fun and interactivity, this summer the KS3 pupils (plus Year 10) and also the Year 6's who will be coming in on a taster day, will be asked to send us a postcard from their summer travels..
Anyone sending a postcard will have their names entered into a prize draw (to be drawn in the year assemblies) to win a Geo Goody Bag...
Also doing a Staff competition too for the most amusing card.
All cards will then be put on a large world map display in the geography area, and we will also use the places visited as the basis for a piece of mapwork in the first term, and perhaps an assessment as well.


Some new resources pointed out on SLN Forum from PLAN-ED's Learning Centre.
As well as the STOP DISASTERS game I've mentioned before there's a chance to make a virtual visit to a village in Africa called Nyalakot.


Thursday is paper day in RECYCLENOW week.

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KES Students investigating Climate Change
I'm off tomorrow with a small group of Year 9 students to Carrow Road in Norwich to a Climate Change Conference...
There will apparently be around 200 students there from various local schools, who will be participating in workshop sessions and lectures aimed at getting the student voice.
It's organised by DEFRA and other agencies.
Jason Borthwick from Earthly Ideas will be speaking, and I presume there will be people from the local CRed initiative.

I will filter some of these ideas in to the Young People's Geographies project that we are involved in.
Maybe see some of you there ?

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Andrew Marr's History of Britain...

Interesting these days that you have to have the name of the presenter before the name of the programme to pique interest...
Just watching this on BBC News website while doing a cover, and it's the 1950s - 60s.
Just introducing immigration from Commonwealth, apparently all 800 million people had free right of entry to the UK at the time.
Thousands from Caribbean arrived to find work as jobs were scarce at home, and inner city tensions. Lots of young men arriving without families. Watch it from around 28 minutes in, and take a look.
Race riots in Notting Hill in 1958 - and calls for immigration controls...
Some useful materials for AS/A2 Geographers.

Doing some investigations on this topic, and came across a source of news videos which will probably be useful to someone. It's called NEWSFILM ONLINE. Some useful clips...

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Wednesday in Recycle week is GLASS day...
Here are some interesting GLASS facts from the website:
  • The largest glass furnaces produce more than 400 tonnes – that's more than one million bottles and jars - each day! [source: www.ollierecycles.com]
  • Glass can be recycled again and again without losing its clarity or purity [source: www.britglass.co.uk ]
  • Milk bottles are reused an average of 13 times before recycling [source: Surrey County Council]
  • The UK has more than 50,000 bottle banks [source: www.britglass.co.uk ]
  • One bottle bank can hold up to 3,000 bottles before it needs to be emptied. [source: www.britglass.co.uk ]
  • We use around 2.4 million tonnes of container glass in the UK every year. [source: www.defra.gov.uk]
  • In 2005 we recycled approximately 1.2 million tonnes of used glass (known as ‘cullet’). [source: www.britglass.co.uk]
  • Making glass bottles and jars from recycled ones saves energy. The energy saving from recycling one bottle will:
    - Power a 100 watt light bulb for almost an hour
    - Power a computer for 20 minutes
    - Power a colour TV for 15 minutes
    - Power a washing machine for 10 minutes [source: www.britglass.co.uk ]
  • Probably the most important thing about recycling glass is the energy saving – when using recycled glass to make new containers, 315Kg of CO2 is saved for every tonne of recycled glass used. [source: "Glass Recycling - Life Cycle Carbon Dioxide Emissions. A Life Cycle Analysis Report". Prepared for British Glass by Enviros Consulting Ltd November 2003.]
Get those bottles recycled ! I do my bit by drinking lots of beer...

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No go on the logo ?

The logo for London Olympics 2012 was announced this week, and not everyone likes it...
The logo apparently cost £400 000 and is meant to be a dynamic symbol of the games.
There are already 40 000 names on an online petition to drop the logo, and some animated clips to launch it apparently caused seizures in some of the people who saw it.
You can see a video and animated versions of the logo HERE.
Also a chance to be creative...

For me, there is no obvious sense of place in the logo, which I think is important if it is meant to be representing what is good about LONDON as the venue for the games.
Consider the logo for the Winter Olympics in 2010The logo is a figure called an Inukshuk (different spellings exist) which is a stone figure made by the indigenous peoples of Canada. They are found in the landscape, and represent some place of importance. They are also identifiably Canadian...

Think of Sydney's logo: the swoosh of the Sydney Opera House, and figure with boomerangs. Identifiably Australian...

The logo was chosen from over 1600 submissions. The benefit of having a 'competition' for logo design is that you draw on thousands of creative people and don't necessarily pay them for their time. Winning is its own reward...

It remains to be seen whether the logo will fulfill its purpose: of galvanising people to get behind the games, and help raise a lot of public money.

Sebastian Coe was quoted as saying:

"We don't do bland. This is not a bland city. We weren't going to come to you with a dull or dry corporate logo that will appear on a polo shirt and we're all gardening in it, in a year's time. This is something that has got to live for the next five years."

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