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Sunday, February 25, 2007


Looking forward to the publication of this book by the late Roger Deakin, which comes out in June. It sounds like a fascinating read, and I very much enjoyed "Waterlog".

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I've think I've had a turn...
A cultural turn...
Have been teaching a lot of Human Geography 'A' level this year for the first time in a while, and also teaching the GCSE Pilot for the first time, and also been drawn into various other projects and general 'stuff', and have been getting very much into some of the themes of (whisper it...) HUMAN geography having always been very much a PHYSICAL geographer.

Have been exploring issues to do with urban-rural interrelationships, population characteristics and changes, housing, social history, consumerism, ideas of national identity and cultural diversity, landscape change, trade and more recently immigration. Some fascinating stuff here. Look forward to getting some of this into the new KS3 units that we'll teach.

For example, consider my weekend reading: the last chapter of Lynsey Hanley's "ESTATES" and the first of Philippe Legrain's "IMMIGRANTS" (plus some Julian May 'Boreal Moon Trilogy' for light relief), an interesting article by Joan Bakewell in THE INDEPENDENT on house prices, and a chapter by Peter Jackson from Routledge's "The Changing Geography of the United Kingdom" on Cultures of Difference.
I think I need to get out into the hills again !

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Friday, February 23, 2007

The BBC have launched a series of REVISION PODCASTS on the Geography site. I'll be encouraging my students to download these for their mp3 players.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


Free Copy of an Inconvenient Truth for each Secondary School in England.
Press Release

The powerful Al Gore film “An Inconvenient Truth” will form part of a pack on climate change sent to every secondary school in England, Environment Secretary David Miliband and Education Secretary Alan Johnson announced today.

The film documents former US Vice President Al Gore’s personal mission to highlight the issues surrounding global warming and inspire actions to prevent it.

Mr Miliband said:

“The debate over the science of climate change is well and truly over, as demonstrated by the publication of today’s report by the IPCC. Our energies should now be channelled into how we respond in an innovative and positive way in moving to a low carbon future.

“I was struck by the visual evidence the film provides, making clear that the changing climate is already having an impact on our world today, from Mount Kilimanjaro to the Himalayan mountains.

“As the film shows, there's no reason to feel helpless in the face of this challenge. Everyone can play a part along with government and business in making a positive contribution in helping to prevent climate change.”

Mr Johnson added:

“With rising sea temperatures, melting ice caps and frequent reminders about our own ‘carbon footprints’ we should all be thinking about what we can do to preserve the planet for future generations. Children are the key to changing society’s long term attitudes to the environment. Not only are they passionate about saving the planet but children also have a big influence over their own families lifestyles and behaviour. Al Gore’s film is a powerful message about the fragility of our planet and I’m delighted that we are able to make sure every secondary school in the country has a copy to stimulate children into discussing climate change and global warming in school classes.”

The DVD will go to 3,385 secondary schools in England. It will be part of a Sustainable Schools year of action to support all schools to become models of sustainable best practice. Other tools and support being produced include teacher resource packs, a pupil “detective kit”, guidance for bursars and governors and a new Teaching award.

Look forward to it....

Update: "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Oscar for Best Documentary Film at the Oscars on Sunday Night... But how could 'Cars' lose out to 'Happy Feet' ? Travesty !!

Also check out the documentary on some alternative views on Global Warming in early March !

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is going to be a VERY useful site for people needing to make a sketch of a scene.
It's a site called DUMPR which allows you do some creative thinks with FLICKR images in the same vein as BigHugeLabs.
For example, I took this picture of the Yours South Lynn village:

and this was the rather wonderful sketch that it produced for me:
Good eh ?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Back to work this week following half term.
Doing GLOBALISATION with Year 13.
BBC has just launched a useful section looking at the CAR INDUSTRY
What will happen when you slide the slider past 1975 on the diagram below to explore the GM and Toyota assembly plant locations ?Check out the BBC website for more details on this.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Posted about this earlier in the year, but it's now in the shops.
A story about chocolate in the usual Charlie and Lola style, looks at growing the beans and making chocolate and buying Fairtrade - complete with a lot of nice stickers, including lots of Fairtrade ones.
Go out and buy one or more. £2 from each sale goes to Comic Relief.

My son says "I think it's a new thing. I liked reading it. I like the stickers."

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Just doing a major sort out, and have finally found time to work through post-it notes I stuck inside a book months ago.
It's called "Prairyerth" and was written by William Least Heat-Moon.
It describes time spent in Chase County, Kansas and is described as a 'deep map'. It's a collection of quotes, documents, maps, impressions, history, memoir, natural history and of course GEOGRPAHY of the county.
One of the quotes caught my eye:

"The ideal geographer should be able to do two things: he should be able to read his newspaper with understanding, and he should be able to take his country walk - or maybe his town walk - with interest"
H.C Darby - lecture at the University of Liverpool (1946)

What do we think of this idea ?

Can I also recommend a nice little gift for someone: some sticky page markers from BOBSYOURUNCLE. I got mine from the shop at the Sainsbury Centre at UEA last week. They are perfect for those people who like to mark particular quotes in books so that they can find them again in the future for blogs, lessons etc. In fact, people just like me...And the good news is, I've finally finished off my reports... for now.

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Michael Hughes SOUVENIRS project.

Michael Hughes has created a rather great photography project.
The idea is demonstrated at his WEBSITE, and also at the collection of photos over at his FLICKR site.
I got in touch with Michael and he's given me permission to reproduce some of the images from the project to give you the basic idea.The basic idea is that you take an image on a postcard or a souvenir of a place like a model or a plate, hold it up, and take a photograph so that the souvenir is overlaid on the real place and takes its place in the view....
Here are some examples that I like.

This could be another way of looking at your local landscape, and actually getting out into it, and also perhaps seeing your home town from the perspective of a visitor.

Just listening to Joe Zawinul's BROWN STREET CD. Real 'World' music ! Swinging big band versions of classic 'Weather Report' tracks and more...

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Flags courtesy of ITA's
Flags of All Countries used with permission.

POLAND !
There has been an influx of Polish migrants into the UK since the country joined the EU.
An article in the Times this weekend suggested that there should now be more Polish Geography taught as well as more support for the Polish language.
I will start a new section on GeographyPages which has some POLAND resources. If anyone reading this has anything to contribute to my POLAND pages: vocabulary, images, statistics, insights, points of view, worksheets or whatever, please get in touch...

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The Young Geographer of the Year Competition has been launched at the new website of Geographical Magazine.
This year's competition has the theme "CAN RECYCLING SAVE THE WORLD ?"


This year's competition has some great prizes. Head HERE for more details, and also check out the free issue of DIGITAL GEOGRAPHICAL.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Geography can take you places....
A few years ago, in my 'A' level classes I had a student called James.
As I type this, he's a long way from KES. He's on board the RSS 'James Clark Ross' off the coast of Rothera base in Antarctica. He's taking part in a research expedition called ADELIE. This is aimed at exploring ocean currents around Antarctica and their effect on organisms called KRILL.
And here he is in Antarctica yesterday, walking towards the beach where there are (normally) lots of penguins.
Check out the weblink above for a photo diary of the trip to what can be a particularly EXTREME environment.

oh, and there's been no snow yet....

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Will it be a white Norfolk tomorrow ?
The BBC says:

Update: and the answer is NO...

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Thanks to poor timing of concerts and venues, I've once again been unable to see 'The Decemberists' on another brief UK visit. Instead, I'll have to content myself with listening to THIS ARCHIVED CONCERT. Check them out! Also some great Joel Didriksen images.
Fast-forward to 1:20.00 for 'Crane Wife 1 and 2' or check out 'The Island'

Or check out Radio 4's PLANET UNDER THREAT blog.

Another BRIC in the Wall ?

Came across this new acronym recently courtesy of Alan Kinder. It stands for the emerging economic powers of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The BBC WORLD SERVICE have had an INDIA RISING series this week, and there is an excellent accompanying website with a whole host of intriguing articles that can help you get a bit of a grip on this teeming sub-continent.
Many of India's 360 million people still live on less than 50p per day, so clearly not all of the population is sharing in the boom times...
Check out the INTERACTIVE TOUR of the Dharavi slum (bustee) - an example of slum improvement in action, and take a look at the cost !

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New Key Stage 3 Review
Get over to the QCA site, and take a look, and make sure you have your say !

Curriculum aims

Learning and undertaking activities in geography contribute to achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people to become:

  • successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

The importance of geography

The study of geography stimulates an interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places and helps make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies and societies are interconnected. It builds on pupils' own experiences to investigate at all scales from the personal to the global.

Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people's lives, for the present and future. Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Pupils learn to think spatially, using maps, visual images and new technologies, including geographical information systems, to obtain, present and analyse information. Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.

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Monday, February 05, 2007


Forces of Nature
The National Geographic have an excellent website for those of you investigating the hazards caused by nature.
Their ONE STOP RESEARCH site has a series of useful activities and resources aimed at a number of topics.
Today, Mr. Dolan made use of their HURRICANES section, which has useful animations and images, along with Val Vannet's "Hard Times for the Big Easy" powerpoint of course.
Recommended.

SOLUTION TO EARLIER POSER
The building illustrated a few posts back was the proposed Manchester Supercasino - Blackpool has lost out. Also check out Louis Theroux's Las Vegas program for more on casino life...

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Frank Zappa was right....
Don't you eat that YELLOW SNOW.