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Friday, May 30, 2008

Just flick-read through "We-Think" today and ordered it when I got home...

It looks like it has some great potential ideas relevant to my forthcoming projects...
Take a look and see what you think.
And I'll let you know how I get on with the next stage of my explorations...

Update: thanks to Ewan for getting in touch (see comments)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Immersive Tourism experience in Mexico
From the LA Times.
Discovered while researching the controversy over the filming of the new James Bond film, which was filmed in Chile, which stood in for Bolivia. More on that later. Here's a video of this tourist excursion: a simulated attempt to illegally enter the USA.

Click to VIEW (couldn't get EMBED code to work..)

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Working through a few projects today: feeling virtuous after a trip to the recycling centre with a car load of detritus from the loft.

A sample of what's occupying me today. They will be "coming soon" to the blog once completed...

1. Preparing some images for an ANIMOTO VIDEO for my planned contribution to TEACHMEET at the Scottish Learning Festival in September: Working Title is "Networks: does the net work ?"
2. Completing my final set of reports using the school's i2REPORT system.

3. Producing some tasks for a GIFTED AND TALENTED (controversial) day in July, which is being organised by my colleague Mr. Southgate. It is based on the theme of the ENIGMA machine: problem solving and code-breaking.
The Geography contribution will take place in one hour of the day:

Here's the context (with thanks to Noel Jenkins for his DUBAI movie which I shall be using as a starter...)

The activity will focus on designing a city which meets the concept of SUSTAINABILITY.

Starting with a look at the startling pace of change in Dubai, with developments such as the Burj-al-Arab, the Palm and the World islands, plus an indoor ski-resort in the desert, students will have to come up with a concept for their city, as well as outlining how they propose to deal with a series of challenges which their city will be faced with, in the style of the game: SIM CITY.

A briefing paper will be given to students in advance of the day, so that they can come prepared with some ideas having done some research.

4. Preparing some resources for a session on using ICT to support the FIELDWORK initiatives in the new 'A' level specifications.
Thanks to FLICKR User nugmeg66 for image under Creative Commons...

5. Started to work on a powerpoint for my contribution to the NORFOLK GEOGRAPHY CONFERENCE...

6. Collating departmental responses and adding to the portfolio of work towards our submission for the SECONDARY GEOGRAPHY QUALITY MARK

7. Sorting a few possible questions for a quiz I'm putting together for a local branch of the SOROPTIMISTS.

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Palm Centro
Thinking of getting one of these for communicating when on the move in my new job: keeping calendar of events, mobile blogging, writing notes and listening to music on train journeys. Anyone got one and can comment on how good they are. or otherwise ?


A 'virtual colleague' of mine visited the 'Bird's Nest' Olympic stadium at the weekend for an athletics meeting that was held in the stadium. Here are a few pictures that he sent me. Many thanks Alex.


Monday, May 26, 2008

New issue of "Geography" now available.
Visit the Geographical Assocation website.
It's on the issue of HAZARDS and RISK, which is a major feature of the AS topics in the new Edexcel 'AS'


Just thinking about my SAGT presentation and remembered the MEATRIX movie...

A product of Free Range Studios.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last year, Tony Cassidy produced a set of resources based around the Eurovision Song Contest.
He has done it again this year.
Go here to check out the resources.
This was my personal favourite song.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

GPS units replacing human guides ?

An interesting post on the wonderful BLDGBLOG.


Friday, May 23, 2008


If you have been involved in the CfBT Regional Subject Conferences as a delegate (and if not, why not ?), you will presumably have received an e-mail telling you of the next stage of the project which are some HOT SEAT WEB CASTS.

You will need to go to the new QCA site, and log in.

In each of the subject area's you will have an opportunity to
  • Watch a video clip of the National subject lead on relevant topics,
  • Read the topical statement
  • Write your own questions and comments to the NSL in the forum

The national subject lead will be online at least once a day to respond to your questions and discussions through the forum pages, and you can log in as many times as you like to review answers and add further questions throughout the live dates.

The Geography event runs from June the 9th to June the 20th...
See you there !

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


My copy of Joe Bennett's "Where Underpants Come From" arrived today. A nice opening chapter...

May's National Geographic Magazine was dedicated to CHINA too, and had some excellent articles.Go to the C section of the ARCHIVE to access the articles, and some of the images from the magazine.
Also a CONTENTS PAGE here...

CHINA BY NUMBERS article is useful too...

Also, while we're on books, can I recommend this one, which was recommended to me by a poet friend of mine (John Burnside is a poet and author...)
Lots of landscape-related imagery in this gripping book:

And the bowls season started for me yesterday with a victory in the cup. My 'block' won 28-14 thanks to some inspirational captaincy... ;)

Wonderful Photoshop trickeried image by Flickr user VROG in Bristol

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Rising prices...

Oil today reaching record price.
Food prices up...

Some resources for the rising cost of food and some related issues.

A BBC ARTICLE on the benefits to arable farmers who have been through a lean time in some cases.

Some graphics on the rises of certain foodstuffs (BBC)

The BBC again, this time with stories of 6 FAMILIES in different countries and how they are coping with the price increase.

The impact is already being seen, with consumers in Liberia switching from rice to pasta... What are we going to have to give up ? How will tastes have to change ?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just over a month to go to this course at Leeds University Geography Department...
9:00 - 9:30 Registration and Coffee Foyer,
Geography Main Building
9:30 - 9:45 Welcome & Introduction Lecture Theatre, Geography East
9:45 - 11:00
Choice of Seminars
What’s happening to the rainforests?
Dr Tim Baker

The geography of retail dynamics.
Prof Graham Clarke
Lecture Theatre, Geography East / TBC
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 12:45 Choice of Seminars The fate of urban public space?
Dr David Bell,
Dr Sara González,
Dr Robert Vanderbeck

Who says computers and water don’t mix?
Dr Steve Carver
Lecture Theatre, Geography East
GIS Lab,
Geography East
12:45 - 13:30 Buffet Lunch Foyer,
Geography Main building
13:30 - 15:00 The UK energy debate
Dr Frances Drake
Lecture Theatre & Computer Clusters
15:00 - 15:15 Tea/coffee break
15:15 - 16:15 Current challenges in the relationship between (physical) geography at school and at university: A need for a new perspective? Dr Chris Keylock
Lecture Theatre, Geography East
16:00 - 16:30 Closing Session -
where next?
Lecture Theatre, Geography East

See some of you there I hope...

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In a slightly recursive way, this blog post is a blog post about a blog post which features me and my blog posts... and also my new post...
Thanks to Ollie Bray for his kind words on his blog about my new job, and the "new vision"

On the Single Malt front, my bottle of Ardbeg Correyvreckan has been delayed, but I hope to get hold of it soon: perhaps in time for some celebratory drams. I'll bring the last bit up to the SLF, Ollie.

Just back from a quick trip down to Rochester and the Royal Naval Dockyards at Chatham, where I went with fellow "Pie Society" colleagues today. The weather was kind - thanks to "the Major" for driving the landship down...
Caught up with some nice ales from the NELSON BREWERY. I like the tagline: "England expects every man to drink our beer"...
Here's a few piccies from the day...

Update: Ardbeg arrived safely...

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Over to Norwich yesterday to see Irish band ALTAN. Hadn't seen them for over 10 years - always seemed to miss them when they came to the area. Fantastic musicians, and peerless voice of Mairead.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

More revision with Konnie

Some more Sky Learning Revision videos with Konnie Huq can be seen by following the link to SKY LEARNING.


This is a very interesting blog post and resource produced by Ollie Bray. It is related to the idea of CONNECTING SCHOOLS in the 21st Century. It suggests some interesting ways of connecting schools, and by extension departments, and teachers...

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Had e-mail from Laura at Sky Learning. I posted about the "6 Degrees could change the resources" in association with Richard Allaway (thanks for the pen by the way Rich...) and now they have some other revision resources...

Sky Learning has recently joined forces with former Blue Peter presenter and recent carrier of the Olympic Flame, Konnie Huq to provide some fun top tips on how to help cope with exams including suggested ways to help revise. Konnie has some great tips and advice from using acronyms, to singing along to revision notes or even setting up online study groups. Some of the tips really helped Konnie when she was learning so this is great, down to earth practical advice.

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It's official, so I can tell everyone now...
This was me at the Advanced Google Earth day put on by Jamie Buchanan Dunlop at the RGS-IBG yesterday. Thanks to Yvonne, my partner for the day ...

Any idea what's going on here ? Answer to come shortly...

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

First of all, this is the 600th post on this blog. Hello to those who are regular readers (about 40 odd on most days...)

A few interesting bits in the Times today...
A mention of a new Joe Bennett book. Read a few of his books before. This one traces his pants to China.
Also a good feature in the magazine on the village fighting back.
Has a nice mocked up village sign image on the cover.
Would be useful for some 'AS' Rural Urban work.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

A new tourist guide to the UK has been produced, and it includes some surprising (perhaps) descriptions of the country and its population.

BBC ARTICLE includes some extracts from the updated ROUGH GUIDE.

What image does this give of ENGLAND.

Some amusing
HAVE YOUR SAY comments already available.
Some of these pick up on CULTURAL ASPECTS of the UK

What do you think about these examples from the HAVE YOUR SAY section...
Which one would you MOST or LEAST agree with ?

1. Bacon butties, Sunday roast and chicken tikka massala

2. They missed out, uncouth, uncivil, uneducated, unmannered & prone to mindless street violence prefaced by the words "Wot you lookin at!!" I'd say that most of the world see's us like this, not the 'civilised islands of culture' that the BBC, and this Government like to portray as "This England" whilst happily lowering standards in all walks of life in the name of equality!

3. I think they have it pretty sussed, people buy all these trashy z list celeb mags why ill never know. they are a total waste of trees. People cant go out for a couple of drinks and act normally people just go out to get drunk because their lives are so sad and pathetic. Great britain certainly isnt great any longer

4. For all our overweight, binge-drinking, celebrity-obsessed TV addicts this is still the greatest country on earth. The people are second to none and sure we might not all agree on everything but they`re OUR people to fight with and nobody elses. And watch us all pull together in a crisis. What we have is unique in the world, heritage, history, the london taxi cab, the monarchy, the country pub, amazing countryside, bluebells, morris dancers, the list goes on. Be proud of who and what you are.

5. It describes a minority, the sort they love to parade on TV as though they are typical of society and if you're any different you're tragically old-fashioned.It doesn't describe the majority, who are still hard-working, decent, quiet people - you just don't hear about them, and they assist by not being natural attention-seekers.All nations have both types, it's not unique to England. This is just a cheap publicity stunt for the book. It won't make me feel ashamed to be English.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Just trialling this tool, which works from within Firefox.
Billed as "A personal research assistant. Inside your browser."


By Flickr user TZA (Creative Commons) - image credit Google and associated imaging partners

Also check out some remarkable images from FLICKR User AZMIL77

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A few pics from Sheff....
From last Friday's flying visit...


Monday, May 05, 2008

Teachers 'need better training'

Apparently we need 4 times the number of training days...
BBC NEWS article.

EarthBrowser Version 3 has been launched.
Update or download for just $19.95 (around a tenner at the current exchange rates)
Well worth it !
Check out Noel's review on DIGITAL GEOGRAPHY.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thanks to my virtual colleague Miss Ellis for introducing me to MapTube: another of UCL's Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis projects.
The most recent addition of note is the CREDIT CRUNCH MAP.
What is it that most concerns people about the Credit Crunch.
Local to me it seems that FUEL is the main concern, with Food Prices, once you get into King's Lynn itself...
Some more useful maps to explore too...


2 RGS-IBG 'events'...

Just catching up with the Monday night lecture that Robert MacFarlane gave at the Royal Geographical Society on the 14th of April relating to his wonderful book that I have blogged about before: "The Wild Places". I was unable to attend this particular lecture (it being my daughter's birthday), but this is the next best thing...

It's available to RGS-IBG members, and I would recommend that you listen to it.
It's full of humour and powerful images, and introduces a new way of exploring the landscape: "border crossings" as Dr. MacFarlane calls them....
It was also good to hear mentions of some of my favourite authors: Barry Lopez (probably my favourite writer if pushed...), Colin Thubron, William Least-Heat Moon, Roger Deakin, Thoreau and Bruce Chatwin, and mentions of some of my favourite places, such as Camasunary and Coruisk on Skye, the Burren's limestone, Bleaklow in the Peak District and the wild expanse of Rannoch Moor and other 'emptied' landscapes of Scotland, and also the more local wildness of the Norfolk coast.

Some new avenues that I shall explore too: E.M Forster, the idea of "bollockshire", the tramping of Stephen Graham.

I'm delighted to be going back to the Royal Geographical Society in June for a rather exciting reason.

Every year, the RGS-IBG confer the
Ordnance Survey Award for "excellence in geography teaching in secondary education" on two people, and this year, one of those people is me....

I heard that I'd been nominated in February, and that I would actually be one of the recipients of the award in April, but waited until the official announcements started to appear in RGS bulletins. Some very nice comments being made by my 'colleagues' on the SLN Forum. Thanks for all the kind words. I'll report on the event in June...

Well done to Louise Ellis, my fellow recipient of the award.

I hope through this blog that I have communicated some of the incredible variety of geographical connections that people can make in their everyday lives, and will shortly be moving this blog to a new home based on the conceit of "Living Geography"...

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Something to think about and aim for: what do we do for these "Lost Boys and Lost Girls" ?
I hope I can do something about this...
I hope I already have...

Thanks to Mr. W for the heads up...


Coming to the end of 'Real England' which I've blogged about several times before...
Good paragraph in final chapter...
"We need, perhaps, a new type of patriotism, benign and positive, based on place not race, geography not biology. One which seeks to make the best of what we are and what we have. A national mission to reclaim the land and the landscapes for all the people who live in them and care about them."

Also check out "Flood", starting at 8.05 tomorrow on ITV, continuing at 9pm on Monday...

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