Saturday, April 23, 2016

Locate that Landmark

Thanks to Rob Chambers for the link to this fun quiz.

Locate that Landmark would be useful for younger students to find well known places, which they could then investigate further.
Which of them are:
a) natural features
b) man-made
c) located in National Parks
d) World Heritage Sites
e) of specific Cultural interest
etc.

You could also do it as a competition, as speed is of the essence as well as accuracy.
On my first go on my phone I scored 10,750 on Level 1 - can you beat that?

Also useful for UK Geography introduction - UK is important in GCSE Geography under the new specifications. Those taking the UK Citizenship test also need to be aware of many of these places too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Geography

Earlier this week, I received a preview copy of the latest book by Danny Dorling and Carl Lee.
The book is called ‘Geography’.
Published by Profile books, this is the latest in a series of books which explore topics, in a similar (but completely different) style to the successful ‘Very Short Introduction’ series, and have previously explored ‘Politics’ and ‘Social Theory’ for example.
Geography is of course impossible to pin down easily in one small book, as it has an ambition which is ‘absurdly vast’, as Alastair Bonnett said in his own book on the subject, but Danny and Carl give it a good go.
The introduction sets the scene for the story to come, exploring the rapidly changing world which geographers try to explore, and tell the story of through their work. In my teaching, I am always looking for the compelling narrative that will draw learners in, and provide opportunities for them to reach their own informed conclusions.
The first chapter in the book: ‘Tradition’ explores the development of geographical thinking, and introduces some of the key ideas that lie behind the subject, and provide the distinctive nature of what it means to use a ‘geographical lens’ to examine the world. It takes the reader on interesting diversions to Damascus, DNA trails, the contested introduction of the term ‘Anthropocene’, Potosí, Sir Joseph Banks and the sad decline of British coal mining.


Geographical questions are never stand-alone. All the questions we ask lead to other questions. Often the answers are elusive. Geography is about joining up the dots that help make up the big picture. Connections are everywhere. The distinction between human and physical geography is often a false schism: they are intimately connected, the unifying factor being the energy that flows through all that we do, see and know.

The book is structured around a series of chapters exploring some key geographical ideas which, when connected, help to explain a lot of the world’s functioning.
Globalisation, Equality and Sustainability are these three big ideas, and there are plenty of brief vignettes to help illustrate each of them in the chapters that follow. These provide food for thought, and prompts for investigations with students (this would be a perfect summer reading book for those about to embark on a course of geographical study – perhaps Year 11s who are about to start one of the new ‘A’ level specifications in September).


There are some similarities in themes to Carl’s previous book ‘Everything is connected to everything else’, which was arguably even more ambitious and sprawling, and is available online here. (I recommend you check out the website if you haven't already seen it)

The book ends with a chapter called ‘Mapping the future’, which connects with one of the other strengths of geography. It is a subject which connects with the future, as well the past and present. It explores themes of environmental protection, global population growth and other challenges (and opportunities) facing the planet.

The book has a few black and white images but, as with all Danny Dorling’s books there are plenty of supporting web resources. These include links to large versions of the new maps that Ben Hennig has produced for the books, including one which is very useful for those exploring globalization as it shows the route of ships from Dalian in China to the ports of Europe.

There's also a section of useful weblinks, which I'm pleased to say gives a mention to this very blog.... and puts me in esteemed company too...

Thanks to Carl for sending me a copy in advance. It was a swift and enjoyable read, which opened up some nice avenues to explore further, and I’ve passed it on to my colleague to enjoy. Definitely one for the geography library for your department, or for your shelves at home.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

TV location map

This map, created by Tim Ritz has been doing the rounds of social media this weekend, and now been picked up by a few newspapers too, who are sharing the map which shows where a large number of TV series have been filmed.
This is an area that I haven't yet developed, but has been on my list of 'units to develop at some point' for some time.
It would be interesting to try to work out which programmes have been filmed close to where you live. I live close to the Norfolk coast and also Swaffham, so we have 'Alan Partridge' connections, and also the Stephen Fry series 'Kingdom'.
Ely Cathedral is also regularly used for filming, recently the new version of 'Macbeth' was filmed there and the Cathedral can be seen in the film's trailer.
Act as a location scout and work out a suitable location to film a number of key scenes in a new movie, and provide the context and some requirements - a good way to use StreetView imagery and mapping perhaps...

Image: Copyright Tim Ritz - you can buy copies of it in different sizes here too.

Good to see the Detectorists getting a mention too...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Lizard King

This is helping me through the marking tonight…

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

English Dialects - cultural geography of linguistics...

While driving home yesterday I was listening to an interview on BBC Radio Norfolk with one of the people behind the English Dialects app. They were explaining the way that it works, by listening to particular words and how they are pronounced, and also the emphasis on vowels, along with local dialect words. There are a few of these in the quiz, such as the choice of word for a 'splinter' of wood that might get stuck under your skin... is that called a spell where you're from?
There's a Telegraph article on the app here.

I had a go and submitted my answers and location - it was not too accurate, but then I've spent half my life in Yorkshire and (just over) half in Norfolk - which are two quite different dialects... and have a sort of neither one nor the other accent...
Interesting to try with students perhaps if you have airplay...

Monday, January 4, 2016

UK Blog Awards

Voting for these awards is now open, and you can apparently vote for my LivingGeography blog to win in the education category if you had a mind to…
Click the picture below to be taken to the voting page.
Voting is open from 4th to 26th January 2016 - thanks if you vote for me - I have no expectation of winning, but you've got to be in in to win it...

Some proper cultural geography...

Every now and again, we add some real cultural geography here amongst the melange of 'cultural' posts which have a connection with some of the broad ideas.
Sam Kinsley is a cultural geographer who works at the University of Exeter. I've got a good connection with this university through my previous work with Ian Cook's Follow the Things project, helping to create their education materials in a 'previous life', and ongoing support for the project.
Sam's blog has some interesting posts which would be of interest to teachers.
I was interested in the Bristol Festival of Ideas session featuring Bradley Garrett, Leo Hollis and Anna Minton - I drew on books by all three of them when writing urban chapters for a forthcoming 'A' level textbook.

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Christmas song for you...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Good Dinosaur

Out to the cinema last weekend to see the latest Pixar movie: The Good Dinosaur.

One thing which hit you straight away from the opening scenes, was the amazing animation of the landscape, and the part that the landscape and in particular the river, and flash flooding has in the story.
Details of the way that the film makers researched the landscape and how to portrait can be seen in this  article:
From Pixar Post
Apparently the USGS were also involved in ensuring the accuracy of the landscape and the way that it was portrayed. I enjoyed the movie.

Before the main feature, there was another short film called 'Sanjay's Super Team', which was an excellent comment on cultural globalisation.

Next film on the list, booked for over Christmas period is the new 'Star Wars'....

Wyoming is hoping to cash in by making the most of its link with 'The Good Dinosaur', and the Grand Tetons area in particular.
More on this to come over on my Geography and Film blog…. link to follow in the New Year….

Monday, December 14, 2015

A year in (streamed) music

Spotify has been allowing users to see the results of their year of streaming, and released the data on usage. My son and daughter use my Spotify too, but not to the same degree as I do. Here are a few of the results of the Year in Music feature... That's a lot of time spent at my iMac writing and listening to music...





Sunday, December 13, 2015

150 000 views

Thanks for visiting and reading.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pico Iyer on the meaning of home

I have a few Pico Iyer books. They are interesting and well-written explorations of movement, and the edges of the world, and the pull of home.
I enjoyed this Ted Talk where Pico starts with the simple question: "Where do you come from?"

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Free 'Doing Cultural Geography'

Follow this link for a PDF of 'Doing Cultural Geography', edited by Pamela Shurmer-Smith.