Wednesday, 31 January 2007

The Ten o' Clock News does Climate Change...

Just seen on the Ten O'Clock News that they have linked up with the Met Office to monitor climate change over the coming year and see whether predictions that 2007 will be the warmest year ever are true...

They will be taking measurements and lots of photographs from the pagoda at Kew's Royal Botanic Gardens...

Second warmest January since records began!

Despite that cold spell we had last week, the Met Office have announced today that this January's average temperature is 5.9oC - the second warmest January since UK-wide records began in 1914. According to the BBC website yellow roses have been blooming in Tyneside....

Thinking about it, it was rather odd that I had to chuck a daddy long-legs outside when I got home from school this evening... Not what you expect in January!

And while we're on the subject of global warming and climate change...
One of the four parcels I received today contained some impressive posters for the Ice Edge competition I mentioned a while back. The idea is that teams of 2-4 students come up with an interesting and original idea to save the planet... And if your idea's the best, you win a trip to the Arctic! HOW GREAT WOULD THAT BE?!

Check out the competition's website: and get your thinking caps on!! The competition's stiff - there are twice as many teams registered now as when I first posted about the competition... But if I know you lot, your ideas will be up there with the best of them!! Come and see me if you want to know any more...

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Human Activity in Cold Environments - Yr13

Once we have looked at last week's test (!!) we will be starting to look (properly!) at human activity in cold environments tomorrow.

Tony Cassidy and Alan Parkinson (aka GeoBlogs) have been teaching the Pilot GCSE this year, and part of the course requires the study of an "Extreme Environment". Tony went for Antarctica, and Alan for Svalbard - both of them have been blogging for their students, and both blogs have some excellent links and resources (as well as other interesting geographical things) that will be useful to you...


As regular readers will know, I have been trying (largely - though not completely - unsuccessfully!) for some time to get students commenting on here...

A number of people - students and otherwise - have suggested that they would leave comments if they didn't have to have a Google account... This has been something I've thought lots about, but wanted to avoid allowing dodgy people to post dodgy things!

But... I have managed (I think!) to set things up so that anyone can leave a comment - Google account or not - but they still come to me first for moderation...

So, get commenting!! Try to leave your first name and year group, or initials, though, so I know who's who!

Monday, 29 January 2007

Winner - Where in the World?

Congratulations to Joe K in Yr7 who correctly identified the building as the Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland. Well done Joe!

Click here to find out more about the biggest church in Iceland...

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Visitors from six continents!

The title says it all really... Geogtastic has now had visitors from Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, and yesterday our first African visitor. We just need to get those South Pole penguins on board now!
So, keep reading, get other people reading, and LEAVE SOME COMMENTS!!

Friday, 26 January 2007

Fancy some sheep's feet for tea? Or perhaps fresh turtle hotpot?

...then get yourself off to Tesco! In Beijing!

Just days after fears about Tesco taking over Britain and putting local shops out of business, Tesco opened their first Chinese store this morning.

Click on the picture for the story from the BBC, or here to visit the new Beijing store!

What a lot of penguins!

Plenty of penguin activity on South Georgia today... According to other geography teacher fans of the webcam, there's been lots of other activity recently as well, though I seem to have missed it all....

Make the most of the penguins though... they'll be off soon as winter approaches...

A good day at school?

Although they have no school building, and the country has an average of 70 to pupils to each teacher, these children in Mozambique are lucky... Unlike 80 million children around the world, these children have the opportunity to go to primary school.
Find out more about why this is, and what you can do about it by clicking on the picture...

Wednesday, 24 January 2007


I doubt any Yr11s will be reading this now - they'll all be too busy swotting up on sustainable transport and watching BBC2 about airport expansions and whether or not we should give up flying...

However, if you are reading - good luck for tomorrow afternoon! And remember, that most important piece of advice - READ THE QUESTION! (And answer the question that is being asked...).

Welsh Geography Teacher + Visit to Zambia = ?

A fascinating geographical journey, that's what!

Tom Biebrach is a geography teacher at Pencoed Comprehensive School in Wales, and his school is linked to Kabundi High School in Chingola, Zambia.

Tom is in Zambia at the moment, visiting Kabundi, and is blogging about his experiences (including technical IT issues when he was doing a presentation in assembly... sounds familiar!).

My Yr8s will be hearing some of Tom's diary in the next few days, but it makes very interesting reading for everyone else as well... Pencoed Kabundi Link

Where in the World?

Unfortunately, the first of our Geogtastic competitions only made it into Hallmark today... The good news is that, as a result, the closing date has been extended to the end of Monday 29th January. Some of my form now know which country the building in the picture can be found, but haven't yet worked out the city or what the building is...

If you think you know, email or bring your entry to H5 before the end of school on Monday...

Trolley Spotting Part Two!

Back on the 6th January, I posted about Adele Prince's Trolley-Spotting project, which won the Yahoo Finds of the Year Award. (If you haven't seen it already, check it out here!). Anyway, it seems she has now discovered Geogtastic, and has left a comment with links to two more of her projects involving journeys... Definitely a closet geographer!

An Epic Journey
Meander Map Nottingham

I think I quite fancy having a go at a Meander Map!

Adele is also trying to get more funding for the Trolley Spotting project - so keep checking back for trolleys in other places!

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Packaging, packaging... and more packaging!

An interesting article on the front page of today's Independent - looking at the (in my opinion rather ridiculous!) amount of packaging waste generated by your average visit to the supermarket...

Reading the comments that have been sent in by Independent readers, it seems I'm not on my own!

Does toothpaste really need to be in a plastic tube AND a cardboard box? Are pizzas better for being packed in a polystyrene tray with a plastic wrapper and a cardboard box?

And although Sainsbury's sell some of their organic fruit and vegetables in compostable trays, the majority of this unneccessary packaging cannot be recycled.

The comments from the supermarkets are interesting as well... "We are committed to making sure packaging is not excessive." (Tesco)... "We already have a target to reduce our packaging..." (Sainsbury's)... "We plan to minimise packaging in the first instance and transfer the remaining packaging to biodegradable." (Waitrose). One reader had commented on the USB memory stick she'd bought from Staples - in a cardboard box, shrink-wrapped, in a plastic display case and a further plastic storage box. Staples declined to comment!

The good news is that the Environment Minister (Ben Bradshaw) and the Secretary of State for the Environment (David Miliband), as well as a number of other politicians, have expressed their concern and are backing the Independent's campaign...

So... what can we do about it?

The politicians suggest that we write to our local councils and the Trading Standards Authority and "shop the shops".

I once wrote to Marks and Spencer, returning some packaging to them that I couldn't recycle, and asking them to dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly manner... I never heard from them... I guess the packaging went to a landfill site...

Some people suggest unwrapping everything you buy in the supermarket, and leaving the packaging at the checkout - I've not been brave enough to do this yet!

Perhaps avoid buying products with unneccessary packaging? Then you end up (assuming you keep shopping in supermarkets) in the situation that I did the other day... Broccoli grown in Lincolnshire in a plastic, cling-film wrapped tray? Or broccoli grown in Kenya in a compostable wrapper? (Interestingly, it was the Kenyan broccoli, and not the Lincolnshire-grown, that was organic!)

So... packaging... food miles... organic... and then when you bring Fairtrade into the equation... What a complicated world we live in these days!!

Leave a comment and let us know about excessive packaging you've experienced... And more importantly, any great ideas you've got for dealing with the problem and getting the supermarkets to change their ways!

Monday, 22 January 2007

Every little helps? Or not?

I've just been watching an interesting item on the news about fears that Tesco are taking over...

Tesco is Britain's biggest retailer - taking more than £1 of every £8 spent on the high street, and apparently the Oxfordshire town of Bicester (population 30,000) has 6 Tesco stores!

But why is this story making the news? These stores have made things much more convenient for shoppers, we can buy anything and everything - nice and cheap, and they've created lots of jobs... Surely these are good things?? Or is there more to it...?

What do you think the effects of the growth of Tesco are? Who do you think might not be so keen on "Tescopoly"? Do YOU think Tesco's growth is a good thing? Why or why not?

Whilst I was looking for the news story, I also came across this site, which makes interesting reading!

A good healthy start to the day??

Not for children in the Shanxi Province of China - whose job it is to clean the soot and dirt away from the school gate before lessons start each morning...

The village of Gezhuotou, in China's "coal belt", is surrounded by coal-fired power stations - and everything and everyone in the village is "grubby", according to a news report from the BBC today. China has some of the worst air pollution in the world, and it is estimated that each year in China, 400,000 people die prematurely - from pollution-related diseases.

But, it's the middle of winter... More than a billion people to keep warm... What are the alternatives??

Click on the picture for the full story...

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Lenin in the Antarctic!

The picture shows Team N2i - who have made history by walking to the centre of Antarctica. Since they set off at the beginning of December, the three men from Gloucestershire, together with their Canadian guide, have trekked over 1000 miles, pulling heavy sledges, and without any mechanical assistance.

Although the Pole of Inaccessibility has been reached before, the team of Russian scientists who visited in 1958 used snow-tracked vehicles to get there.

Whilst the UK team wait to be collected, they plan to dig for the hut that the Russians are reputed to have built, on top of which stands a life-size bust of Lenin!

Click on the picture for the full story, or here for the team's website (if you don't like feet, don't click... you've been warned!!).

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Wild and Windy Weather!

Violent storms - with winds of upto 80mph - have caused chaos across Britain today (in case you hadn't noticed!).

The red areas on the map show where severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office. Click on the map to visit their website, where you can check out the latest forecast together with satellite images and pressure charts.

Whilst my hour-long journey home and collapsed garden fence are annoying and inconvenient, I was very lucky compared to many people.

According to the BBC, at least 7 people have been killed, and others injured. Thousands of people have been left without power, ports have been closed and roads blocked -
resulting in traffic chaos. The picture above will take you to the main story on the BBC website, where you can also find other photos and news clips of the weather.

And it's not going to get much better next week, it seems... According to Sian Lloyd, temperatures on Monday will be "bone-bitingly cold"... And we might even see some snow!

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Weird and wonderful!

The Zoological Society of London launched plans yesterday for the conservation of some of the world's weird and wonderful species. EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) plans to look after some of the more unusual creatures that are at risk of extinction.

The slender loris - shown in the picture - is one example... Click on the picture for the full story from the BBC. It's worth having a look at the links on at the right-hand side of the story for other information about climate change and its effects...

Thanks to Mrs K for letting me know about this story!

Dubble Dubble...

My Yr8 group were very lucky today to have the opportunity to talk via video link to Louise, who works for an organisation called Trading Visions whose aim is to increase awareness and understanding of Fairtrade. Louise has been to Ghana and stayed with some of the cocoa farmers there - she told us all about where chocolate comes from and how it is produced, and explained how Fairtrade helps these farmers, and then we had an opportunity to ask some questions (which we did very well!).
Clicking on the Fairtrade logo will take you to the website of the Fairtrade Foundation where you can find out lots about Fairtrade, how it works and the Fairtrade products you can buy (it's not just chocolate, you know!)

While we're looking at the logo... What do you think it shows? I've heard lots of very interesting suggestions and ideas when I've asked groups this in the past!

Louise also talked about Dubble and Divine chocolate - both of which are produced by the Day Chocolate Company. Yr8s tasted some Divine chocolate yesterday and it's sold in Sainsbury's and other supermarkets so you can try it for yourself... Dubble is sometimes available in supermarkets, but you can definitely buy it in Oxfam shops. The Co-Op also sell loads of Fairtrade products, including their own brand Fairtrade chocolate.

Click on the pictures below to find out more about Dubble and Divine, sign up to be a Dubble Agent, and watch out for events (and chocolate tasting opportunities!) in school during Fairtrade Fortnight - between 26th February and 11th March... If you have ideas for Fairtrade activities or would like to help out, email or come and see me in H5!

We'll weather the weather whatever the weather...

You can't have missed the many reports in the news in the last couple of weeks about the weird weather, and if you've been outside, you will probably have noticed the wind and rain...

Newsround have a project going on at the moment where they are asking people to send in photographs of the weather where they live...

So, get out there with your camera, and send them some pictures! More details here...

Whilst we're talking about the weather, you'll recall my post about the ice storms in the US the other day... Well, the picture shows another of the effects of this cold weather - click on the picture for the full story.

The BBC also has a story today about Britain being "braced for heavy storms"... Oh dear!

Monday, 15 January 2007

The Big Melt...

You might well have already seen that ITV News are running a series of features about Antarctica and global warming this week, with reports live from the Antarctic... I missed the first one this evening, but there is lots of information on the website - including video clips, a quiz, websites and an opportunity to email your questions about Antarctica and climate change (unfortunately it's to their Science Editor, rather than Geography Editor, but you can't win 'em all!).

Click on the picture to go to the site, and make sure you're watching tomorrow...

Incredible Icicles!

One of the BBC's "In Pictures" today has some amazing images of the ice storms that are currently causing power cuts and a range of other difficulties in the US.

What causes these ice storms? What conditions are needed for them to occur? What other effects do they have?


Mrs P found this interesting (if rather bizarre!) set of movies from the British Library today... Can you sort the fact from the fiction? Two of them are history ones, so that should keep H-Team happy!

While you're on the British Library site, check out the London: A Life in Maps exhibition they've got on at the moment.

In fact, while you're on the British Library site, have a good look round - there's loads of interesting stuff on there!

Where in the world?

This week's Hallmark will (hopefully!) feature the first of many geographical competitions... This one is very simple - all you have to do is to identify the building, city and country in the photograph.

SHS students and parents may enter, either by bringing your answer to H5, or by emailing Geogtastic before Friday 26th January.

Anyone and everyone else is welcome to email their suggestions but, for practical reasons, will not be eligible for prize-winning (sorry!).

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Want to know what the news is around the world?

Well, (apart from reading Geogtastic, obviously!) pay a visit to Newseum where there is an interactive map, allowing you to look at the front pages of 546 different newspapers around the world.

Let us know if you spot any geogtastic stories!

Fancy a trip to the Arctic? For free?!

Yes... really! I've just spotted this competition on Tony Cassidy's blog.

The idea behind Ice Edge is that you enter a team of 2-4 people (aged 13-17) and come up with an idea to save the planet! Simple!

There are loads of ideas on the website to get you started, together with all the details of how to enter, and you've got until 16th March to get your ideas in.

Even if you don't fancy entering the competition, it's worth having a look at the website as there is lots of good stuff about the Arctic and climate change.

Friday, 12 January 2007

Chinese men struggle to find wives...

According to China's State Population and Family Planning Commission, there will be 30 million more men of marriageable age than women in China by 2020, which could lead to "social instability".

This is one of a range of problems in China, blamed on the One Child Policy which was introduced by the Chinese government in 1980 to reduce the rapidly increasing population.

Click on the picture for the story from the BBC, where there is also an excellent "In Depth" guide looking at lots of other China stories...

Visit Old Harry by rickshaw! (Yr11 take note!)

Whilst looking for more information about the Bournemouth beach story, I came across a story about plans to introduce a rickshaw taxi service to Swanage in Dorset. Motorised rickshaws imported from India were introduced in Brighton in July last year, and now Purbeck District Council will be discussing extending the idea.

The tuk-tuks, which run on compressed natural gas and can travel at 35mph, are described as being a "fresh transport system" and according to Mark Self who is the managing director of the taxi company behind the plans says that the vehicles are "novel, environmentally-friendly and quick".

Sustainable transport Yr11??

Click on the picture for the full story from the BBC.

"Tourism suicide" for Bournemouth?

People in Bournemouth - one of Britain's top seaside resorts - have accused the local council of "tourism suicide" after £6 million was spent on coastal defences in the area.

Two million tonnes of shingle (stones, shells and flint) were dredged from Poole Harbour, and dumped on the famous golden sands at Bournemouth, in order to provide "a sturdier coastal defence" and protect coastal properties.

But businesses in the area are already suffering, according to owners of local surf shops and clubs - the shingle, apparently, has changed the shape of the waves so that they are no longer suitable for surfing.

Dr David Harlow, the council's coastal protection expert, claims that if the work had not been carried out, then 3000 properties and 100 cliff-top businesses would be at risk of falling into the sea.

The pictures show Bournemouth before and after... What do you think of the change? Worthwhile or a waste of money?

Barcode Yourself!

Apparently I am worth $4.38!

This is the site that Yr8 need for their homework... but is well worth the rest of you having a look as well.

How much would you be worth if you were the opposite gender? Older or younger? Or if you happened to be born in a different part of the world?

And how reliable are the statistics used for this site? Where have they come from and what do they mean?

Click on the picture to Barcode Yourself... Then leave a comment and let us know how much you're worth!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

They've [been] moved!

This is the webcam image from 22.14... Those penguin-movers have been out again, and it looks like they've been at the clouds as well!

(At least, it was 22.14 on my computer clock... Blogger is obviously in its own time zone!)

Those "penguin-movers" have been busy!

My Yr13 group seem to think that the penguins that appear on the beach in front of the South Georgia webcam have been put there, and are moved about every so often...

If they are correct (and I somehow doubt they are!), the penguin-moving people have been busy today!If, for some reason, you are not already addicted and visiting the webcam several times a day, click on the picture...

Wednesday, 10 January 2007


Tony Blair was accused yesterday of "muddle-headedness" as he told the world that he had no intention of giving up flying to far-flung holiday destinations, and he suggested that technology and science would get us out of the climate change mess we're in...

Quotes from Mr Blair's interview with Sky News included:

"It's like telling people you shouldn't drive anywhere"

"I'm not going to be in a situation of saying I'm not going to take holidays abroad or use air-travel. It's just not practical."

Yr11 had some interesting views on this today... Read the full story here and then let us know what you think! Should Tony and Cherie be spending their summers in Skeggie?! Or should they carry on jetting halfway round the world? (After all, an aeroplane a couple of times a year is nothing when there are all these factories in China pumping out nasty greenhouse gases!)

And speaking of greenhouse gases... The EU have announced new plans today to tackle climate change... Read all about them here... It's well worth having a look at the comments people have sent in as well - some interesting views!

The mysteries of Lake Vostok!

Nope... not the latest Harry Potter! Lake Vostok is a huge lake (big enough to provide London with enough water to last 5000 years!!) underneath the Antarctic ice. It has been "entombed" in ice for at least 15 million years, according to the Independent today, and it's in the news because scientists want to drill down through the ice to investigate the lake - which could be home to unknown life forms... Although scientists have known about Lake Vostok for some time now, drilling has been on hold because they worried that they would contaminate the lake. Now though (and in time for the International Polar Year), they think they have found a better method, and plan to go ahead with their work.

But why isn't the lake frozen?

How can things be living there if it's so cold and has no light?

And should the scientists be investigating (and risking irreversible damage to the lake and whatever might be in it)? Or should they leave well along?

The image shows the location of Lake Vostok... Click on it to link to the full story on the Independent website.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

1000 visits!

After just less than a month "live", Geogtastic has had its 1000th visit today!! (If you're wondering how I know this, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look at the map... visitors from 3 continents!)

It is great to know that so many people - geographers and nearly-geographers - are visiting and reading...

What would be even better is if more people (pupils especially!) were leaving comments... Answer some questions, ask some questions, or just tell us your thoughts and opinions!

Here's to the next 1000 visits!

More Montserrat activity...

According to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory's superb website, activity is continuing, and the island remains on the Alert Level 4 - the second highest. You can see what this means - both in vulcanology terms, and how it affects the general public, by clicking on Alert Level on the website.

The website has descriptions of recent activity, together with lots of very recent photographs. You can also look at photographs and details from previous eruptions and read more about the area, the observatory and its work.

The photograph shows pyroclastic flows entering Tyres Ghaut and Gages Valley, together with "vigorous ash venting". Click on the picture to go to the MVO website.

Thanks to my dad for pointing out this website... (Still not a webcam though - have you got it sorted yet Yr9?!)

Map projections...??

Find out why they're important... And further proof that Geography's not JUST colouring in!

Thanks to H-Team for sending me this!

Monday, 8 January 2007


It is not too long since I posted about the concerns over a lack of snow in many ski resorts.

The last few days, however, have seen heavy snowfall, and this - combined with strong winds - has resulted in avalanches in Colorado, USA, and in the Alps.

What locals described as a "massive avalanche" and one of the biggest avalanches they'd seen, pushed two cars off a mountain pass in the US state of Colorado and buried them with their occupants inside. Fortunately, all of them were rescued. Click on the picture for the story from CNN.

The story from the Alps is less happy - at least eight people, including two experienced French skiers, have been killed in a series of avalanches. The picture below, showing rescuers in the resort of Val d'Isere, will take you to the BBC news coverage.

Check out this site from the US National Park Service to find out more about avalanches and what causes them...

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Montserrat on high alert...

I've mentioned Earthweek before, but it is always good to be reminded of these things!

This week's edition tells of an ash plume from the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat, which has resulted in the island being put on high alert, and hundreds of people being evacuated.

It also reports of snakes in China being observed for unusual behaviour - which would be a sure sign of an earthquake on the way...

Sky goes green...

Thanks to Mrs K for pointing out that Sky News are running "Green Britain Week" starting tomorrow (Monday 8th Jan). They are aiming to create a "snapshot of climate change in the UK" and want your contributions in the form of videos and photographs to add to their "Green Britain" map.

There is also loads of stuff on their website, including video clips, games, a "How green are you?" calculator, tips about what you can do, and a look at how much energy is "leaked" from various British landmarks including Buckingham Palace.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Mt St Helen's

Noel Jenkins (the Somerset geography teacher behind the great work on Montserrat that my Yr9 group did on Friday and the Trading Trainers game that Yr9 played in the last unit of work) pointed out this fantastic site with panoramas of a variety of places, including one from the top of Mt St Helen's.

For those of you who are still upset that I wouldn't play you "Old St. Helen" again on Friday, you can download it here!

You can also see what's happening at Mt St Helen's and a number of other volcanoes around the world via these webcams... (There might not be much to see, depending on the time you visit... remember it is nighttime in some of theses places when it's daytime here!)

Another reason why Geography's great... (as if you needed any more!)

...if you know roughly where someone lives, but have lost their address, you can draw a sketch map on the envelope of your Christmas card to them...

That's what Peter O'Leary's former colleague did - and the Royal Mail managed to deliver the card in 9 days! Click on the picture for the BBC story.

Apparently, other people have sent mail just with an OS grid reference, and there is even a book by a woman who sent 130 letters with disguised addresses and puzzles for the postman on the envelopes... Of 130 letters, 120 of them reached their destinations!

The Royal Mail have a special warehouse for "undeliverable" mail, and 300 staff "leave no stone unturned" in their quest to get it to where it should be!

Trolley-spotting in Nottingham!

This morning I wrote about MyWalks - a project to get people engaging with their environment... Someone who's already doing that, by the looks of things, is Adele Prince - the London-based artist (and closet geographer, I think!) behind Trolley Spotting (thanks to Ollie Bray for highlighting this site).

Armed with a GPS and camera, Adele went trolley-spotting in Nottingham, London and Portsmouth, and has mapped the locations of the abandoned trolleys she spotted, as well as other interesting discarded objects.

What else could be mapped in this way? How about starting your own equivalent of the trolley-spotting project?!

Yr11 - Get reading!

I've just come across this page from the Guardian website which has loads of articles on travel, transport and the environment - lots here that will be useful preparation for the DME.

Chris Prettejohn has an excellent list of links on his website, including the websites of the Thames Gateway and BedZED. The Global Eye article is where Resources 1 and 2 came from, and is well worth a look. My group will be seeing some of these links in lessons in the next couple of weeks...

Also, don't forget about Unlimited Spurt!

Or, if you don't fancy reading, go here to listen to Pauline telling you about NET - Nottingham Express Transit System...

Did you know that German is spoken in Namibia?

Well, I didn't until I looked at Relation Browser - which allows you to explore the relationships and connections between different places...

Geography on Radio 4

This morning, I finally got round to listening to the bits I missed from the Today Programme from New Year's Day - some really interesting discussions and interviews on a wide range of topics... And fantastic to hear the word "geography" used so many times!

You can "Listen Again" to the programme here.

One of the things that the G-Team looked at was MyWalks - a project set up by Dr Duncan Fuller, a geographer at the University of Northumbria. Here is the description of the project from the website:

"'Mywalks' is about (re-)engaging with our immediate urban, day-to-day, city, country, local, taken-for-granted environments and geographies through the medium of photography and audiography.Why? For the simple reason that all too often we don’t – we autopilot on ipods, get into our cars and turn the stereo up, dash from place to place, focus on where we’re going, not where we are (and what is there). So mywalks is about paying more attention to the streets, places, and spaces we walk through..."

Visit the website, read all about it, and then open your eyes and get involved!!

There was also an article in The Times the other day about the MyWalks project.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

The end for the corner shop?

These two images show the stereotypical Asian corner shop in Britain...

But, according to the report I've just been watching on Newsnight, these shops are on the decline.... For every 5 Asian-run corner shops that close each year, only 3 open. And the majority of these new shops are run by Polish, Turkish or Somalian people, the report says.

What do you think are the reasons for these changes? Are these changes postive or negative? (And does the answer to that question depend on who you are?)

Looking for pictures on this story led me to The British Corner Shop! This might be a bit of a clue to part of a reason for the story...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

My sister has just sent me this article which is much more interesting than marking coursework (sorry Yr11!): Which tube line runs to Edinburgh?

The question about building Windsor Castle in the flightpath of Heathrow reminded me of a website I found yesterday while planning Yr9 lessons (and unfortunately I didn't save) - which asked "Why do so many volcanoes occur in densely populated areas?"

Monday, 1 January 2007

And MORE New Year Geography!

The front page of this morning's Independent looks at a warning from a "leading climate expert" that a combination of El Nino and global warming are set to make 2007 the world's hottest year yet...

Click here for the full story, including an explanation of El Nino and how it affects the climate.

Where are you guaranteed a White Christmas in the middle of summer?

In Antarctica, of course!

I found these fantastic pictures on the BBC website this morning...

Happy New Year!

It certainly was in Romania and Bulgaria... Click on the picture to find out why...

How will this affect Romanians and Bulgarians?
How will it affect the rest of the EU?

Less happy here... Where is it? What's happening (or not!)?