Thursday, 9 April 2009

A Visual Dictionary

Just discovered Shahi, which is a dictionary that comes up with definitions but also Flickr (or Google or Yahoo) images tagged with your search term... Fab!!

Monday, 6 April 2009


The screenshot below shows the earthquakes that have struck central Italy over the past day or so, courtesy of a new Google Maps mashup pointed out by Alan Parkinson (aka GeoBlogs):

Also interesting (and perhaps somewhat worrying) are news reports such as this one from the Times, suggesting that the earthquake was predicted, but warnings were ignored...

Latest reports suggest that the death toll is now nearing 150. There've been lots of updates to the coverage on the BBC website, and a Google News search will bring up lots of articles.

Earthquake in Italy and Chilean volcano

I was reminded when I switched the news on this morning of my A Level Geography teacher, who used to say that every time he taught plate tectonics, he could almost guarantee there'd be an earthquake or a volcanic eruption somewhere in the world. That's certainly seemed to be the case every time I've taught it, and just the other day I told Yr13 to watch the news over the holidays.

Sadly, the first news item I saw this morning was that an earthquake in Italy had killed at least 16 people. According to the BBC website, the death toll is now 27. The magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the medieval city of L'Aquila in the early hours of this morning, causing many of the city's 70,000 residents to run out into the streets in panic. The age of the buildings meant that many of them were unable to withstand the quake, and the narrow mountainous roads are making rescue attempts more difficult.

The Google Earth screenshot below shows the area, with the USGS earthquakes layer enabled.

More from the BBC here.

Also on the same news bulletin was that the Llaima volcano in Chile has been "spewing lava, ash and gas" overnight, causing many people from the surrounding area to be evacuated. As well as the danger from the eruption itself, melting snow is increasing the risk of mudslides, and volcanic ash has caused river levels in the area to increase. More here.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Mobile Phone Revision Quizzes...

I've been intending for a while to have a go at this, and decided this afternoon that it would be far more fun than cleaning the bathroom... This folder contains a GCSE Coasts Revision Quiz - ten simple multiple choice questions, in the form of .jpegs. The idea is that you download the pictures to your mobile, and then view them in slideshow mode on your phone... Geography revision, wherever, whenever!

How you get the pictures onto your phone will vary from phone to phone, and although I have got them to the right size so that they display properly on my phone, I am not sure whether or not they will work properly on other phones...

So, have a go at downloading them and then leave a comment telling me:

- how easy it was to get the quiz onto your phone
- whether it displays properly on your phone
- whether you think revision quizzes like this are a good idea
- any suggestions for improvements


Young Geographer of the Year

Not long until the closing date for the Young Geographer of the Year competition - the theme is Arctic Journey and the prizes are fantastic!

More details about what's involved here - closing date is Wednesday 15th April... get your skates on!!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Mt Redoubt

Although the alert level has been reduced, there's ongoing Mt Redoubt activity... And a fantastic panoramic image (view full size):

London Futures

An interesting set of images showing how climate change could affect London...

In the footsteps of Shackleton

In 1908, Ernest Shackleton and his team set off to explore the Antarctic "terra incognita"... Towards the end of last year, some of their descendants embarked on an expedition to retrace Shackleton's footsteps.

There is a nice arcticle and video clips from the BBC here and their expedition is the subject of this evening's Timewatch at 8.40pm on BBC2.