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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just watching this as I work....
A spot of Pat for you...

Will it snow tomorrow ??

And as a bit of a contrast...

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Changing Consumer Spending

A very useful report published to show how what we spend our money on has changed over the last 50 years.
There is a useful summary in this BBC NEWS report.

Image: Copyright ONS / BBC
There is a look at Consumer goods.
Also a report on how different families spend their money.

Click here to download a PDF summary of the report from the Office of National Statistics website.

Also worth noting that more people than ever are now in 'fuel poverty', and there are likely to be a lot of people having mortgage difficulties this year too..
It's a cheery time all round isn't it...

What do you think ? How has your household spending changed ?

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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Luckiest Nut in the World....

Thanks to Nicky B from SLN for the 'heads up'

Also a PDF download file (thanks to Lisa Rabbetts for this link..)

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Realised in the last few days that I've missed the chance to see Jean Michel Jarre in concert in the UK. Have been listening to his music for over 20 years, and never had the chance to see him live.
He's going to be in Birmingham in March performing Oxygene with the original equipment.
Except I'll be in a barn in Surrey with a load of geographers preparing for the GA Conference...
On reflection, I suppose I've got the better deal..
Will certainly save some cash on the rather high ticket prices...
I can play my free CD from the Daily Mail instead and drink some absinthe and it'll be almost like being there...


Make sure that you catch IN OUR TIME on Radio 4 on LISTEN AGAIN...
Download the PODCASTS while you can.
It's all about the history of the theory of PLATE TECTONICS.

America is getting further away from Europe. This is not a political statement but a geological fact. Just as the Pacific is getting smaller, the Red Sea bigger, the Himalayas are still going up and one day the Horn of Africa will be a large island. This is the theory of plate tectonics, a revolutionary idea in 20th century geology that saw the continents of Earth to be dancing to the music of deep time. A dance of incredible slowness, yet powerful enough to throw up the mountains and pour away the oceans.

Plate tectonics was a genuine scientific revolution. It made geologists and many more besides profoundly re-think what the Earth was, how it worked and how it related to all the things in it.


Richard Corfield, Visiting Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Open University

Joe Cann, Senior Fellow in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds

Lynne Frostick, Director of the Hull Environment Research Institute and Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Hull

Also an interesting BBC News article on McDonalds and the education that it gives you.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Old video on Hulme in Manchester... Powerful stuff. Thanks to Emma for the impetus to do a bit of exploration...

No Place Like Hulme (edit)

Add to My Profile | More Videos


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have a go at this....

Click on the image and be prepared to start straight away... No need to press return - spell the name correctly and the box will clear ready for the next one...

Do you really think I'm going to tell you how many I got ?

How big is your potato ??
My new favourite website...
Calibrate first, then place your potato against the screen and this will tell you how long it takes to cook.

Just done this with my daughter. We had a busy hour with a lot more birds than the last few years when we've done it. Entered my results online. Here they are:

It's not too late. Go to the RSPB SITE for more details and a check list. All you need is an hour during this weekend. Sit down with a cup of tea and a cookie and get spotting...
The RSPB is a major conservation charity. Why not become a member while you're at it.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Thanks to Pauline on SLN for pointing out a very useful FOOD MILES calculator to tell you the distance that food has travelled from countries, and then shows the journey on a GOOGLE MAP.

As well as telling you the distance the food has travelled, it also calculates the amount of CARBON that is used during the journey.

You can also sign up to support Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's CHICKEN OUT campaign...

I also like the VEGGIE TRUMPS game... As a vegetarian I can tell you it does indeed make you.... er... healthy.

Also try FREE RANGE REVIEW, which limits searches on suppliers to 35 miles from your home.

So a few useful links there for FOOD MILES type work...


Thursday, January 24, 2008

I like these cartoons.
Been adding them to a few of my blogs. Very kind of Dave to make them available for free - cheers Dave ! I owe you a pint...

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Knocked up a quick resource around the African Cup of Nations - over on my Slideshare page


New Bob - due in February... Very excited...


The Geography Pages pen for 2008

Those of you who've been to an event with me will know of the famous "GeographyPages Pens", which I've been handing out for around 4 years now...
Have got through around 500 of them...
Just ordered my latest batch from National Pen with an EU design.
Coming soon to an INSET near you.

Update on Friday: arrived already - great quality printing - let me know if you'd like one for £1.50 inc P&P

Printed with website information, blog information, e-mail address and my details...
Never forget the home of quality geography resources again...


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Image copyright BBC

BBC recycle the old jokes...

Yesterday, Dan Raven Ellison of the GGiP campaign appeared on the One Show, who were reporting on some bits of an OFSTED report, based on surveys from 2004... (?!) about geography teaching. They then went off on the time-worn stereotypes of geography teachers.

If you've been reading this blog you'll know that all the hundreds of posts have focussed on the topical and creative in geography and represent the way that I, and all the colleagues I know, teach.
You can watch the programme using BBC's iPlayer, and I would ask you to take the chance while you can to send a comment to the programme.

This was surprising given the fact that the One Show is generally full of geographical content (not that they'll credit us for it) and that earlier today I was watching a report by Adrian Chiles when he was on BBC Watchdog all about the Belle Tout lighthouse on Beachy Head and coastal erosion dating back years, it seems strange.
Lazy reporting, outdated comments, cheap gags at the expense of hardworking professionals. Perhaps the team could come into geography classrooms and show us how it should be done.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Climate Change Starter Images...
Pole not Dole...
One of my favourite sites: mentioned it before, is OSOCIO.
Via this website, I went to the FRAME 2wenty 4our BLOG.
This included the following ad campaign by CLIMATE FOCUS, which highlights the warming of the far North... Love the images...Credit:
Advertising Agency: Serviceplan, Munich, Germany
Creative Director: Christoph Everke
Art Director: Alexander Nagel
Copywriter: Cosimo Möller
Junior Copywriter: Janne Sachse
Graphics: Susanne Günther, Alexandra Sänger
Photographer: Bernd Ebsen c/o Karina Bednorz
Retouching: die Bildproduktion: Daan Reirink, Ralf Baumeister
Project Managers: Christiane Löschke, Stefanie Kandt
Production: Katy Pergelt
Published: November 2007


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Remember the company Acme in the roadrunner cartoons that provided all the gadgets for the coyote ? Here's a good geographical one....

Now there's acmeBlogCharts from Undaunted Media
They'll knock up a free animated pie chart for your blog, or other charts if you prefer. You give them the labels and the values and they do the rest...

Check out this bad boy (phrase copyright Simon R)

get Widget!


New DVD arrived today for department...
Some good clips for Ice and Atmosphere in A2...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Young Geographer of the Year Competition

The theme this year is "Explore your World"...

You need to explore this theme, and there are lots of different formats that the work can take.

Click the link to go the GEOGRAPHICAL MAGAZINE and find out more.

We want you to carry out a project that involves you exploring the world around you. The project must be completed somewhere in the UK, and must involve you getting out into the real world and making a geographical investigation – it could be a survey of your local streets or a study of a stretch of coastline. We want you to bring geography alive and show how it helps us to understand the world in which we live.

Your entry can take whatever form you think is most appropriate – be it a written report, a short video film, a photographic essay, an annotated map, an audio file or a mix of all of these. The important thing is that you get out of the classroom, away from your computer screen and into the outside world.

And what are the prizes ?


Senior Geographer (16–18 years)
WIN! Mountain explorers wanted! Journey into the unexplored. Win a place on a month-long expedition to the Himalayas this summer and discover a whole new world of adventure, courtesy of BSES Expeditions

Young Geographer (13–15 years)

Junior Geographer (12 and under)

WIN! Both the Young and Junior category winners will receive a mountain bike courtesy of Specialized

From the mean streets to demanding dirt trials, this bike will deliver utility and durability without missing a beat.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Edible landscapes...

This was in the Sunday Times at the weekend. Photographer Carl Warner has been making landscapes out of food. There is now a selection on the BBC WEBSITE.

I love them !


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Repeat of posting made on Cultcha and Pilot Geography blogs...

Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture for 2008.

There is a special event being held in Liverpool tonight to kick start the year.

Liverpool shares the distinction with Stavanger, a rather nice city in Norway I spent a couple of weeks in as a student... many years ago.

The BBC have produced a useful set of resources on the city, and a comparison between the 2 cities.

There has been lots of coverage in the local press: thanks to Stephen Schwab for the information on that link.

How is Liverpool likely to benefit ? Fits into the idea of rebranding the city too...

I am looking to do a project where students in Liverpool exchange information with students at my school relating to cultural aspects and the changing nature of the town / city where they live.

The Education Guardian published a very useful piece, with some good lesson ideas.

I am grateful to those colleagues who have already volunteered to help via the posting on the SLN Forum.

Thanks to those who have sent their memories of the city too. All this will feed into the creative works...


A good list of some of the events at this IC WALES article.
How about an audit of the events, and an exploration of the types of culture that are included.
More on the HERITAGE CITY status.

The BBC News site has lots of useful articles.

Check out the Liverpool08 site for a shop with lots of promotional stuff: clothing, books, DVDs etc.

Look at the banner headings on the site: which aspects of Culture have they chosen ?

The site also has a series of postcards, which can be sent electronically.
Look at the images on the postcards. Which aspects of the CULTURE of Liverpool have they selected for these cards ? Could you design some of your own for your own place ? Or for Liverpool ?

Update: the Liverpool Echo had a lot of coverage of the evening, but the front page also shows something that was mentioned in the BBC coverage yesterday morning - nowhere is perfect of course - remember that this aspect of geography relates to the image of a place that people have, and the factors that help create that image.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Sad news today about the death of Sir Edmund Hillary, who has died aged 88...

There have been a number of interesting stories in the papers in the last few days: the disappearance of Dawlish Warren beach, the Indian women who 'rent out' their wombs to wealthy foreigners, the launch of the Tata Nano in India...

A new version of the Model T Ford from 1908...

The first mass-produced cheap car (about £2,000 in today's terms), Henry Ford's "Tin Lizzie" revolutionised work and economics as much as transportation. Ford used assembly line techniques and standardisation of parts and tasks to create vast economies of scale in his River Rouge plant, the largest in the world – creating a method of manufacturing we we now call "Fordism". Famously available in "any colour, so long as it's black", this rugged machine put America on wheels. Some 15 million had been built, one every three minutes, by the time production ended in 1927.

Also well done to all 6th form teachers and staff at KES.

From today's LYNN NEWS.

Update: Some excellent materials on Everest in Saturday's Times...


Thursday, January 10, 2008

This posting made on SLN by Duncan Fuller.

I’m about to start compiling an article for the academic geography journal Progress in Human Goegraphy about the development of 'Public Geographies' and am on the lookout for examples of non-traditional forms of academic/teacher/geographer/human endeavour - anything interesting, wacky, engaging that you have produced, have been engaged in, with the public(s) – in journals, books, web-sites, brainwaves, activism, emails, chapters, radio, presentations, blogs, events, demonstrations, letters, participations, diaries, EVENTS, posters, videos, podcasts, engagements, television programmes, communities, wikis, reports, newsletters....

You get the idea - suggestions of good/interesting/bad links, references, and so on very welcome. No boundaries.

Get in touch if you've done anything of note...

duncan.fuller [ AT ] unn.ac.uk


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What puts the Great in Great Britain

Just a random Flickr discovery while exploring the keystones of English culture...
Nice image, and I now feel hungry...

Monday, January 07, 2008

World City - Doreen Massey

Just ordered this from Amazon.

It's for getting ready for the new A level courses from September and also putting together a fieldwork visit.
Also ordered David Warlick's CLASSROOM BLOGGING to read up on how to develop my pedagogy further. I feel I'm missing something here, but am hamstrung by lack of PC access for several of my groups...Also get yourself over to the Geographical Association website and download the Spring 2008 issue of GA Magazine - a great webwatch feature...

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This year, we have an extra day in the year...
It's the
29th of February and it's a Friday...
I plan to make it
G-Day in the school, and have a series of events in the school to publicise Geography.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how we can make this extra day extra geographical !

Also next year will come MAKE A DIFFERENCE MONDAY... for our KS3 pupils, to get them involved in informed action and citizenship links.

Each Monday we will showcase one way that the pupils can make a difference in an easy way, and introduce a sort of loyalty card which they can get stamped if they participate, and get prizes for the ones they take part in.

I have various books with lots of guidance on changing the world 9 to 5 etc., but if anyone knows of any particular projects or websites which the students can be guided towards to flesh out the timetable that would be good...


Thursday, January 03, 2008

2007 has been announced as the 2nd warmest on record in the UK.

The UK's top 10 warmest years on record (in order) are 2006, 2007, 2003, 2004, 2002, 2005, 1990, 1997, 1949 and 1999.

Sure it's just a coincidence...

Thanks to my Singapore correspondent Lesley for sending me this excellent picture of a drip tip leaf from her Christmas holiday...

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

BOOKR: a new tool for your Flickr pictures...


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Are you / were you a subscriber to this site ?

Ian Murray has announced today that you will have free access for as long as the site exists. This means free access to thousands of copyright free geographical images such as the one below.
You can also still subscribe by going to THIS PAGE - e-learning credits can be used

Image by Ian Murray from GeographyPhotos.com


Did you get a new flat screen TV in the sales ?
Where is your 'old' TV going to end up ?

This National Geographic magazine article might help you to find out...


Happy New Year to all my readers....

Here's one way to spend £1 million...