Sunday, 31 August 2008

Hurricane Gustav

The Mayor of New Orleans has ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city - including emergency services - in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Gustav, which he called "the storm of the century". The BBC has a video clip of the press conference, where Mr Nagin urged people to take the situation seriously, and warned them that if they did choose to be "stubborn" and ride out the storm, they would be on their own.

Hurricane Gustav has already wrought havoc in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba, and is forecast to hit the Gulf coast of the USA tomorrow.

The BBC has an In Pictures here and there is more information about Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna from the US National Hurricane Center.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Tinsley Towers are no more...

One of the many videos already on YouTube of the demolition of the towers which took place at 3am today... BBC story here...

Very sad...

Thursday, 21 August 2008


A little message for you if you received your GCSE results this morning...

I am very very pleased with you all and look forward to seeing lots of you in the new AS group in September! Good luck to those of you who are going off to do other things elsewhere... don't forget to keep coming back to visit Geogtastic!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Coasts may be "abandonded to sea"

That's according to Lord Smith, the new chairman of the Environment Agency, who says that coastal erosion is the most difficult issue that the Agency have to deal with, but that some parts of the coastline are so badly eroded that they are not worth protecting.

The picture shows part of the Holderness Coast (East Yorkshire), but large parts of Norfolk and Suffolk are under threat as well. Read the full article from the BBC here.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Google Maps Streetview

There's been a lot of talk of late about Google Streetview - mainly because Google and their Streetview cameras have arrived in the UK.

Streetview Camera in Birmingham (Image: Flickr user 'thornj')

The Streetview feature has been available for a number of US cities for a while now, the route of this year's Tour de France was 'done' in Streetview, and imagery is now available for some Japanese and Australian cities. From a geographical point-of-view, this has huge potential - but not everybody is happy...

If you haven't yet investigated Streetview, go to and click on the Streetview box in the top right corner of the map... If you then zoom in on the US, France, Australia or Japan, and click on one of the cameras, you will be able to explore in 3D!

Geogtastic GCSE

There is nothing much to look at yet, but those of you who are going into Year 10 or Year 11 in September will want to be keeping an eye on the new Geogtastic GCSE blog -

(And don't forget about Geogtastic6 for AS and A2 geographers!)

Saturday, 16 August 2008

A month without plastic... update...

Just catching up with Chris Jeavans' "Month without plastic" challenge... She's about halfway though now, and has come across a fair few difficulties - bin liners, toothbrushes and beer-can 'widgets' amongst them - but she is doing far better than I imagine I could do!

Have a read here... How do you think you'd do?

Friday, 15 August 2008

Strong tea for heroes!

It seems that I am a little behind on this one as it has been about since September last year, but I have just spotted Captain Scott's Strong Expedition Tea in Tesco...

5p from each box of tea purchased will go to the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) and be used to help to preserve Captain Scott's hut on Ross Island. More here...
Have you had any? Did you like it?

Blog Action Day

Blog Action Day 2008 is on October 15th - click here for more details... and if you have a blog, make sure you sign up!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The Man Who Cycled The World...

You might well remember me posting about Mark Beaumont's record-breaking round-the-world cycle... 18,000 miles in 194 days! Well, as well reading Val's epic blog which explored the geography of Mark's journey, you can now see the BBC documentaries - Monday 18th-Thursday 21st August, BBC1, 10.35pm.

You might also have seen a new Orange advert in the past week or so - featuring Mark... If you haven't, check it out here together with a short documentary about Mark and his journey.

And if you are a new Geogtastic visitor and don't know what I'm talking about, click on Mark Beaumont at the bottom of this post, or check out Mark's website.

Murphy's World Tour...

This news story amused me today... Murphy - a gnome from Gloucestershire - was stolen from his home seven months ago, but has returned today... together with an album full of photos of his world tour!

Ugly beautiful??

If, as I do, you make regular journeys up and down the M1, then these will be a familiar sight:

Image: Flickr user 'bits of rubble'

The Tinsley Towers' days are numbered, however. The 250ft high cooling towers are all that remains of the Blackburn Meadows Power Station which helped to power the famous Sheffield steel industry, and are the oldest of their type in the world.

The towers, nicknamed "Salt and Pepper" have been described as "important post-industrial icons"; "an imposing indicator to drivers, letting them know they've arrived in the North"; "living art" and "the most beautiful pieces of urban landscape I have ever seen" (more comments and pictures of the towers here), some locals have set up a campaign to save the towers and The One Show visited the towers as part of their Ugly Beautiful series last week...

It seems the the owners of the towers, EOn, disagree though - the demolition is set to go ahead in the early hours of Sunday 24th August, closing the M1 and bringing dozens of people to a special viewing area in the Meadowhall car park...

EOn have been given permission to build a £60 million biomass power plant on the site, which will provide enough renewable energy to supply 40,000 homes.

What do you think??

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Geography on TV

Hopefully you will have been watching Lost Land of the Jaguar - looking at the rainforests of Guyana... First programme was fantastic, I didn't see the second one but will watch it on iPlayer before it disappears, and the third one will be on next week... More here.

Tonight though, sees the start of a new series - Britain from Above... Unsurprisingly, this being the BBC, I have not seen or heard the G-word on the website or trailers, but it has the potential, nonetheless, to be a superb series... BBC1, 9pm.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Derbyshire Online Information Resource

Some of you may already know about this, but I didn't until recently - and it is well worth knowing about!

Derbyshire County Council have an Online Information Resource Database and if you have either a DCC library card OR a B-Line card, you can access various Oxford dictionaries and reference databases, Grove Art and Grove Music, Encyclopaedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopaedia, "Who's Who and Who was Who", and Infotrac Newspapers (an archive of national newspapers, journals and periodicals - including Geographical - back to 1985, and The Times Digital Archive back to 1785!)... Lots and lots of useful and interesting information - check it out now if you haven't already!

Flood Sim

Unfortunately I have not managed to get Flood Sim to load properly yet, but it looks interesting and I've heard good reports from various "virtual colleagues"... The game was developed by Norwich Union and PlayGen in order to raise awareness about flooding and get people to take action to protect themselves against flooding in the future.

Have a go and then leave a comment here to let us know how you got on!

Also have a look at Flood Resilient Home to find out what you could do to protect your home from flooding...

Mexico City...

I mentioned the other day about Dan Raven-Ellison's Urban Earth project, in which he is walking across - and photographing - three major world cities...

His journey across Mexico City is now complete, and some of the photographs and stories from the walk are on the Urban Earth blog... I particularly liked this picture:

Next week is London...

Monday, 4 August 2008

Tornado in France

Three people were killed, nine people injured, and serious damage caused in the town of Hautmont in northern France last night.

More from the BBC here.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

A month without plastic...

Regular readers will know that plastic packaging is a bit of a bugbear of mine, and I do make an effort to avoid it where I can... but I am not sure that I could manage this!

Christine Jeavans is attempting to live for a month without plastic - her rules will allow her to keep the plastic she already has, but she is not going to buy or accept anything containing or packaged in plastic... She is keeping a blog of her experiences here - it will be interesting to see how she gets on!

Could you do it??

Friday, 1 August 2008

Happy Yorkshire Day!

Image: Flickr user kosta.v