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9/1 - Disaster Prevention Day

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The 1st of September is Disaster Prevention Day in Japan.

It commemorates the Great Kanto earthquake that took place on that date in 1923


9/1 is Bosai (#DisasterPrevention) Day--visit the #BosaiDiversity site and better prepare yourself by discovering the many unique emergency needs of a diverse society. https://t.co/EMUl9rpaLi#ResilientJapan#LandOfDiversitypic.twitter.com/qCqymatg2C — The Gov't of Japan (@JapanGov) September 1, 2019
I've blogged previously about my Tokyo Bosai book, which was handed out to all households in the city. One of them decided to sell theirs on eBay.

Check out the Bosai Diversity website for a video and a set of cards of items which would be of particular value to particular people. 



Click on the cards and tags and assemble your own kit, and recognise the different needs should a disaster arise.

You can also share the kit you create with others...



Looking to see if I can find the cards as a PDF download rather than digital asset...

Norfolk - flat?

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There are a few quotes that are associated with Norfolk, the county where I have now lived for more than half my life, and one of them is from a character called Amanda in the Noel Coward play 'Private Lives' from 1930, who says it is "very flat".
Anyone who has cycled through Norfolk can testify that it is far from flat.

Back in 2011, I was the President of the Norfolk Geographical Association, and for my presidential talk (which was also used for after dinner speeches) I created a talk exploring the sense of place that Norfolk has and explored what it means to different people.


Very flat, Norfolk from GeoBlogs
Interestingly, the Royal Geographical Society's Discovering Britain project (which has created walks with accompanying information for many locations around the country) have a walk based around Sheringham which takes that very name: Very flat, Norfolk.

The walk was written by Daniel Evans, a Gap Year scholar of the Royal Geographical Society, who I met wit…

Tokyo - planning for disaster

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A nice piece on Atlas Obscura.

It describes a daily ritual which can be observed (or rather, heard) across Japan, at or around 5pm.

It's the shichouson bousai gyousei musen housou



It’s known as the ‘5pm Chime’ (五時のチャイム) or, more officially (and tellingly), the ‘Municipal Disaster Management Radio Communication Network’ (市町村防災行政無線). That should give you some clue as to what it is for, and why you’ve probably never really understood it. After all, if all you’ve ever heard is eerie chimes or music at dusk, that likely means you’ve not experienced any major disasters (a good thing!)

Officially then, the speaker network is part of a nationwide system set up around most villages, towns and cities to warn residents in the case of emergency – especially disaster warnings for tsunamis and informational broadcasts in response to earthquakes.

Some systems are also set up to broadcast announcements of severe weather, fire, suspicious persons, dangerous wildlife or simply just public announcem…

Ely

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Ely featured on this Open Country broadcast recently. Thanks to Helen Young for the tipoff.



Earlier this year, Helen Mark visited the Isle of Eels in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fens for its annual eel day festival. She joins the parade of eels through the streets and takes part in the World Eel Throwing Competition (which thankfully involves no real eels). She also learns about the life cycle of the eel and discovers how this extraordinary fish is intimately bound up with the history and culture of Ely. 

UN CC Accreditation - put your school on the map

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There seems to be a growing consensus now about the importance of teaching climate change in schools.
And from my personal perspective, and Steve Brace of the RGS agrees, it's perhaps the geographers who are best placed to do that within the curriculum.

However, all curriculum subjects could bring their own perspectives to the issue: the scientists exploring the atmosphere, mathematicians exploring the data behind changing temperatures, the English teachers studying appropriate books, and Historians exploring the Little Ice Age and the widespread impacts of previous changes in climate over a short time period.

You may also have other ideas of how your subject can support the teaching of climate change.

Are you on the map of climate change teachers yet?

It may be that the summer is the perfect time to go through the accreditation, or perhaps you prefer to wait until the new school year?
The accreditation involves a range of quizzes, following working through a series of modules on cl…

GA Presidents' blog

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I have spent much of the last four days researching the 1920s and the history of the Geographical Association for the next phase in my major project around my GA Presidency: the creation of a biography of all the presidents since 1893, and associated events. I've also been contacting lots of former Presidents and finding out a whole range of stories and connections to

Check out the project here.

I'm currently in 1927, and the most recent President to be added was Charles Close, who was Director General of the Ordnance Survey.



Research informed work on Climate Change - thanks to Saffron O' Neill

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You'll have noticed a Climate Change trend appearing in recent posts on the blog perhaps, following my starting work as a UN Accredited Climate Change teacher which has meant a lot of behind the scenes work to develop some new support options which will be made available to all schools in time.
This is a critical time for influencing public behaviours, and ensuring that students are aware of the realities of Climate Change, which is going to change the world they live in, and require certain changes in their lifestyle, purchasing, transport options and potentially far greater changes.

I've been following up various leads to new Climate Change resources, which are different to the norm.

Saffron O' Neillreplied to one of my requests for help with some research she is doing on how  people view Climate Change, and how it is represented in the media.
She developed some work about how people respond to climate change. The tweet I saw was this one...
Paper just accepted to Climatic …