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New Poetry prize announced by Simon Armitage

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"I’ve always written poems about the area where I live, and my interests in things like the Antarctic and the Arctic and geography generally, all those subject matters are shaded now by the environmental situation." 


Simon Armitage is a geographer, and the Poet Laureate. He grew up near Huddersfield, where I studied for my degree.
His job carries a salary of £5000, and he has announced a new Poetry prize called the Laurel Prize for works on the theme of the environment and climate change.

He has a lot of geographical credentials.

He produced an excellent book around a visit to Iceland with Glyn Maxwell, following an early journey by W H Auden.He created some excellent radio programmes with a geographical theme, including one on the volcanic island of SurtseyHis book 'All Points North' explored conceptions of the north.He has produced two books describing long distance footpaths and his experiences of the Pennine Way and the SW Coastal Path.He recently published a poem …

New emojis for Africa

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An interesting Guardian article on a new set of emojis which has been produced for use in Africa.
Alternative representations of life on the continent.
For example, the standard food emojis don't feature African dishes.
Images were shared on Instagram.



These haven't been sanctioned as 'official' emojis but are available to download for use in apps such as WhatsApp when people communicate with each other.



It also references Emojination, which has helped to get new emojis such as the hijab approved and added to the list preloaded onto iPhones and similar devices.

TV and Film Map

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I have all the maps which have been made by this company. They work closely with the Ordnance Survey.

Their new map shows the location of Film and TV locations in the UK, along with other details of specific places. There are the locations of cinemas and other film related places as well.

I'm just back from the SAGT conference, of which more to come, and I've previously done a session on the use of the Scottish landscape by Pixar when they made the film 'Brave'. Another series made in the area around Stirling is Outlander, and I noticed quite a few souvenirs related to that area in the visitor centres that I went to.
A good Christmas gift for the geographer in your life.

The Lighthouse

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Over to Cambridge last night to watch this movie as part of the Cambridge Film Festival. It's a powerful vision of the descent into madness of two lighthouse keepers who find themselves staying beyond their allotted time: "to 4 weeks". The sound design and visuals are fantastic, and black and white is of course the best format for this sort of psychodrama. There are many themes explored with nods to Melville, The Ancient Mariner, mermaids and Prometheus and the theft of fire.

It's also very much about creating and then slowly dismantling a 'place': the rock containing the island, some buildings which need constant maintenance, a large coal pile, some buried whisky and a very persistent seagull.
Catch this when it comes out in the New Year and go for a deep dive which is actually worth it...

Surrey Geography Network Meetings

For those who are in Surrey or within easy reach, Brendan Conway has shared details of what looks like a very useful series of events in the next few months, and into 2020.
As you can see, there are some excellent speakers including the 'mighty' Simon Oakes and the GA's very own Alan Kinder.

Details for booking are at the bottom of the blogpost.

Surrey Geography Network meetings 2019-20

These are designed to help you to address current issues whilst at the same time networking with other geography leaders / teachers.
The meetings will take place at Notre Dame School KT11 1HA from 1.30 to 4.30. The dates, speakers and their topics are as follows​:

Tuesday 19th November: Enabling Data Skills in the Geography Curriculum, Dr Simon Oakes - former chief examiner, author and education consultant
The session will present some excellent ideas for embedding data skills into Geography lessons. It will draw on Simon's Royal Geographical Society funded project work as well as his ow…

Carbon City Zero Game

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Carbon City Zero is a new Kickstarter project which is developed by the people behind 10:10 Climate Action. It's a card game which explores the idea of carbon reduction.

Here's the description.

As a newly appointed city mayor you have been tasked with creating a carbon neutral city. It sounds easy, but you'll soon discover that your carbon budgets are hard to balance. Can you hit the zero carbon target before your rivals? The race to become the first zero carbon city is on... Carbon City Zero is a deck-building game for 2-4 players, in which players develop a sustainable city by building factories, managing people, lobbying government ministers, and raising public awareness. Each player starts with an identical Draw Deck (and a Carbon Level of 40), buying additional cards from a shared Marketplace to create a more sustainable city. Balancing the need to generate income with reducing carbon, players can follow numerous paths to victory, creating synergies between Government, …