Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Support Helen for SXSW

I've worked with Helen Leigh Steer for many years now.
She's the genius designer who puts together our Mission:Explore books, and I've also worked with her on the distance project with INTEL, and as the Geography author for the growing work of Do it Kits. There are other smaller projects we've worked on too...
Latterly, she's become a rising star of the maker education community, and created a number of kits which allow students to explore the Science of Music...
Helen has submitted a workshop proposal to SWSX Education event, and would appreciate your support. You'll need to create an account before voting up Helen's proposal I've just done this, and the whole process only took a couple of minutes... Thanks in advance...


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Iceman Movie

A new movie reimagining the last days of Ötzi is opening next week with its premiere.

I wrote a book about him a few years ago, called 'The Ice Man', which is still available to buy.
The film is described as follows: 

On August 8th at 9:30 pm the movie “Iceman” directed by Felix Randau will be presented to the world at the Locarno Festival. On the “Piazza Grande” the audience will follow closely the fictitious story about Ötzi’s last days and hours.

With Jürgen Vogel in the title role, the film speculates on what might have happened on the Tisenjoch some 5,300 years ago – when Ötzi the Iceman was murdered by an arrow striking him in the back. And above all, why? Director Felix Randau focuses in particular on bringing to life Ötzi’s last few days and the circumstances which could have led to his mysterious death.

Synopsis: 5,300 years ago in the Neolithic Age. An extended family is living peacefully beside a stream in the Öztal Alps. Their leader Kelab (Jürgen Vogel) has been charged with guarding the holy shrine.
Whilst Kelab is out hunting, his settlement is attacked and the entire tribe is murdered, including Kelab’s wife and son. The sacred shrine of the community is also taken away. Consumed by pain and anger, Kelab now has only one goal: revenge!
Kelab is now set on tracking down the perpetrators. During the course of his Odyssey through the mountains he is subjected to all the dangers of nature. A tragic error now makes him into the one that’s hunted. Finally Kelab has to confront not just those who murdered his family, but his own demons. Will he give way to his urge for revenge and thereby turn from victim to offender? Or will he succeed in breaking the eternal cycle of violence?


I hope that this makes it to the UK.
Here's the trailer:


The Great American Eclipse

I wonder whether anyone I know is heading to America to see this event...

A good swathe of the country will be heading to areas along a long strip of land stretching across the country, where they will be able to see a total eclipse on August the 21st...
It may well be the chance of a lifetime for many to see such an event.
There's a fantastic ESRI StoryMap made by Mike Zeiler of ESRI below, which tells you all you need to know about eclipses, and this one in particular...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

200 000 views

Thanks to everyone who's visited this blog over the years, and commented or sent me books to review, or inspired a post or two... I'll keep on blogging here as well as over on my main blog LivingGeography

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

This book has come into my social media feeds several times, and looks like it is worth exploring further... It's getting excellent reviews.
It has been written by Katherine Rundell, and is called "The Explorer". I will probably get a copy next week, and explore whether it has potential to feed into a unit on rainforests, also connected to the idea of survival, or as a reader.

It sounds like it connects with the books I've blogged about previously, and also written... 'Survivors" picture book, and my own "Extreme Survival"...

Here's the author talking about the inspiration for the story...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tra la laaaa!

OK, so I started off my summer holiday by going to the cinema with my son to see this film... and it's excellent...
Very inventive plotting and animation and I've got just one question #whomadeyourclothes
#followthethings

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Global reach of Premier League football teams

A Twitter interactive which promises to visualise the tweets which are sent by fans of different Premier League football teams (as they were when the visualisation was created). How global is your team, or compare two teams, or see which are the most popular. Change the scale and have a play. Useful for globalisation, or geography of sport type units. Made by Twitter.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy 30th Birthday to ERASMUS

Erasmus is 30 years old.

It's facilitated the meeting of millions of teachers and students from across Europe, and I've benefitted from it in many ways over the years. I first got involved with Erasmus through Karl Donert, the President of EuroGeo, and who has spent many years travelling Europe.
He asked me to take part in a project called digitalearth towards the end of my time with the Geographical Association. He was keen to get the GA to engage with this European network of teachers, and there was the first of a few opportunities to do that with this network. The digitalearth project has had a great legacy...

This took me to Salzburg, back in January 2011, for the first of many meetings and training courses. I found myself in a 3 day meeting with university professors, Headteachers and people with particular skillsets I'd not encountered before. It was a little scary, but also exciting, and we had some interesting cultural events as part of the meeting - a pattern that has been particularly important as my Erasmus participation has continued...


Image: Michaela Lindner-Fally

I've spent several months of my life since in various cities around Europe. I've worked at Salzburg University quite a few times, running courses with teachers from lots of different countries, learning from them as much as they learned from me.



Here's a picture from Simo Tolvanen, one of a large group of Finnish teachers I had the pleasure of working with at Z-GIS in Salzburg.
I've visited Stockholm - sailing there on a boat through the frozen Baltic and stopping in at Estonia en route. I've scaled snowy peaks, eaten fine foods, seen art and heard guggenmusic, baked in the heat of an Alentejan summer, swum in the Mediterranean, walked on a frozen lake, wandered unfamiliar cities in the early hours of the morning, and discovered a hidden bottle of Ardbeg whisky in the most unlikely of hotels. I've seen Romanian tower blocks, sung Finnish karaoke, navigated out of an underground car park in Ghent, and seen the Acropolis at sunset and two Olympics stadia...
I've been involved in 5 Erasmus Funded projects and a range of Erasmus funded courses... and several other failed bids for project funding...
I hope to be involved in a whole lot more adventures in the future....
My school is currently involved in an ERASMUS funded project called GI Learner 

I recommend you find out more about the scheme and try and get involved.. assuming UK partners will still be welcome after Brexit... 


In the upstairs room at Zum Eulenspiegel, Salzburg 

800th post

Just noticed this is the 800th post on this blog...
I've shared a whole range of cultural geography type stuff over the years. It's my take on that idea, which is quite broad. I hope you enjoy reading the ideas, and they've been helpful or interesting in some way.. I'll carry on the blog for a while yet I hope...

My latest reading is Brian Merchant's book on the development of the iPhone: the most successful consumer product of all time, and one which has become part of our daily life, and through which many access their culture, and determine their 'geography'...


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Teachmeet GeographyIcons

There has been a History edition of this event for a few years, and the Geographers have now decided that it may be a good format to adopt... Save the date, and follow the Twitter feed and hashtag for more information as time passes... Will be hosted at the University of Birmingham.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ice Flows Game - my current project

I've spent quite a bit of time over the last week or so working on a new resource to accompany the IceFlows Game which was developed by Anne Le Brocq of Exeter University.

Follow the Twitter feed @iceflowsgame to find out more...

The game is available online, and also as an app.

It is taking shape now, and should be completed by the end of the month and available for download.

The game models the processes going on in ice shelves and ice sheets, and there are plenty of associated resources that will form part of the pack, to help explore the implications of them melting away. With Larsen C close to breaking off to form a huge iceberg, this is an area that is likely to make the news in the coming days....

Why not take a look at the game in the next few weeks as an end of term activity

Update
Larsen C finally calved a huge iceberg yesterday, just as I was finishing the first draft of the resource pack.
There is a tool to measure just how big it actually is by comparing it to a map. Made by Christopher Möller, and can be viewed here. 
Here's the iceberg with Norfolk and Suffolk for scale - that's a big chunk of ice...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Meaningful Maps - exploring children's mapping

After the publication of the paper on VR in Education that I blogged about recently, there's a further project that we're involved with. In the last few weeks, students from several year groups have been involved with the Meaningful Maps project by drawing a map of a place that is important to them. These have been completed by some of my colleagues at Kings Ely Junior, and also King's Ely Acremont (thanks to Sarah Stevens for a big pile of maps)

The project is being organised by Stephen Scoffham, Peter Vujakovic and Paula Owens.
The website is now up and running, and it will develop as more maps come in during the pilot phase of the project which we are involved with.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer listening

The second album, out today, is by Public Service Broadcasting. It's a concept album (as all their albums are), and this time the focus is on the coal mining industry, particularly the Welsh one. It was recorded in the valleys, and there are several guests from Wales on the album. This is a very stylish production, with a real sensibility and sensitivity. The album notes explain decisions that were made about what to include, and what to leave out... Aberfan is respectfully left out, but noted in a list of colliery disasters which form part of the CD booklet, along with graphs of coal production. Social history is included in the form of extracts from publicity and recruitment films which talked of hundreds of years worth of coal left to mine... The mood darkens on 'All Out', and there is a wonderful romantic 'You+Me' before the album closes with the Beaufort Male Choir. A portion of the profits from sales will go to the South Wales Area Miners' Benevolent Fund.

You can stream it in the usual places or buy it from the usual places. There's a review here which gives you a real flavour of the strengths of the album. Superb music and landscape mingling....

Summer listening 2....

A couple of music posts coming up...

The first is this album, which is out soon, and has an awesome cover. It's a bit like early Fairport, psychedelia, folk-rock and wonderfully atmospheric... Check it out on early streaming (which won't be around forever if you're reading this blog post after early July 2017)