Sunday, December 10, 2017

#TheDarkisReading

This is starting in just over a week's time...
I shall be taking part.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

TMGeographyIcons

For the last couple of years, there has been a teacher-led CPD event called Teachmeet HistoryIcons. It was developed by a group of history teachers, and runs very successfully with some sponsorship and support from companies and individuals, which mean the event is free to delegates. The next event is taking place in March 2018.

A group of geography teachers has been working on developing a Geography-related event which, with the backing of our History colleagues has now been organised by a rather fine group of  teachers, with a similar logo, and which will be hosted by the lovely folks at the University of Birmingham.
It will take place in June 2018.

You can sign up to join the Waiting List for a ticket from the Eventbrite page.
Tickets are FREE, but SOLD OUT.

The event has a keynote from a teacher and an academic, although Teachmeets don't traditionally have a keynote, this one does... and for some reason the very lovely and generous Mrs. Humanities, who is on the organising team, asked me to do the teacher highlight talk, and I was delighted to say yes.... There have been some very kind comments on Twitter as a result of this news going out yesterday...






To follow the developments as the event gets closer, particularly any possibility of further tickets, you'd be best to follow @TMGeogIcons on Twitter.
And of course you can follow me. There has been a flurry of new followers over the last 24 hours.

I look forward to seeing some of you in June. I'm starting to think about how I can make my talk memorable, useful and profoundly geographical... I've got a few ideas...

Saturday, December 2, 2017

#125geotips to come...

As a member of the Geographical Association's Secondary Phase Committee for the last 13 years (with a short break while I worked for the GA), I've presented many times at the GA Conference since, and also been involved in national curriculum change discussions, awarding body consultations for new GCSEs, consultative groups, book reviewing and many other contributions to the work of the GA.
Follow us on Twitter too please @GA_SPC

This year we are tweeting out 125 Top Tips.
We've produced a series of Top Tips before, and you can access or download them all from our SPC page on the GA website.

Here's the Advent Calendar that I put together to get the project off to a good start too...
Keep following for the next 125 days, which are also a countdown (or count up) to the GA Conference in Sheffield.
2018 marks the 125th anniversary of the GA, hence the 125 tips

Follow us on #125geotips and please feel free to send us any suggestions of your own to get involved in the project please. We'll happily RT your own geographical toptips with the hashtag...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Whatever happened to me...

Although I'd never been to Newcastle when I was in my teens, I knew about it, and the areas that had been cleared for new development, and the working class life which was giving way to those who were 'improving their lives', the growth in home ownership, urban redevelopment and other issues.
This was via the lives of Bob and Terry, and Bob's fiancee Thelma, and Bob's sister Audrey.

I 'knew' about Newcastle via 'Whatever happened to the Likely Lads'...

These are some of the most memorable characters and episodes of TV comedy that have been broadcast. Remember Bob and Terry trying to avoid Brian Glover telling them the result of the England match, the Fancy Dress party and Bob in the dock for fighting.

Sad news from a few days ago with the death of Rodney Bewes.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lost ice and lost meaning

A New York Times article which has a relevance for the work I am doing on Polar regions at the moment, but also a tremendous resonance about the connection between people and ice.
I will be adding this to some articles from the 'Earth' magazine, which explore the changing lives of Inuit hunters, and the changing landscapes they now need to navigate.

“Inuit are people of the sea ice. If there is no more sea ice, how can we be people of the sea ice?”

Friday, November 17, 2017

Landscapes of Detectorists

Detectorists is one of the best things that has been on the telly over the last few years.
Now there is an opportunity to prepare a paper connected with it for the RGS-IBG Annual Conference in 2018.

The focus is on Landscapes, and there is no shortage of recent reading I've done that would connect with that, such as David Matless's book 'Landscape and Englishness' and recent work by Rebecca Solnit and Lauret Savoy.

I'm almost tempted to put something together as a contribution, but haven't much experience in academic conferences, other than the GTE.

The conference strand is described as follows by Innes Keighren:

Where “Detectorists” is distinct from most situation comedies is that much of the action takes place outdoors, in the fields and meadows where the programme’s protagonists pursue their hobby. Both aesthetically and thematically, landscape dominates “Detectorists”. Filmed on location in Framlingham, Suffolk—standing in for Essex, and the fictional town of Danebury—the visual palate of the programme enfolds a non-human supporting cast of insects, birds, plants, and trees, and variously echoes the landscape paintings of Thomas Gainsborough and George Shaw, and the cinematic vision of Peter Hall’s “Akenfield” (1974). 
Landscape is, also, the focus of the protagonists’ preoccupations; it is variously walked, surveyed, sensed, gazed upon, read, and dug. 
Landscape is where the programme’s characters seek solitude, find companionship, and navigate the sometimes dramatic intrusions from ‘the rude world’. 
Landscape reveals the past while concealing the prospect of future discovery.

ECM - new on Spotify

There are a few notable omissions from Spotify - some like Pink Floyd have been resolved, but Peter Gabriel and King Crimson are among the bands who I would like to see added.

Earlier this week, I heard that one of the major gaps in the catalogue had been filled with the release of the recordings on the ECM label. I've been collecting albums on this label since the early 1980s...
This means we now have access to the catalogue of artists such as Pat Metheny, Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett, Ale Moller and Lena Willemark, John Surman and a host of other musicians.

I now have plenty more musical inspiration to draw on....

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Icebreaker - a great book...

Currently devouring the latest book by Horatio Clare.
His last book 'Down to the Sea in Ships' was on the lives of sailors crewing container ships, and was excellent.
This book grabs you from the start, with tales of Finland, and the ice in the Bay of Bothnia. It's very nicely written, with beautiful descriptions of the icy seascapes and landscapes, mixed with the signs of climate change that are becoming increasingly apparent.

There's one obvious omission from the book: a decent map showing all the locations described so that you can get a sense for how they relate to each other, and the relative positions and distances involved.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Robot Unicorns - the perfect Christmas gift

New in at my fellow Mission:Explorer Helen's Do it Kits store is a new kit to allow you to make a robot unicorn - perfect for using a micro:bit which were distributed to UK students a year or so ago - I have one too - and these are used to control and move the finished unicorn.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Follow Leo Houlding's latest adventure...

“It’s 21st-century exploration, at the edge of impossible.”
An excellent article in The Financial Times on the latest expedition of Leo Houlding.
He is planning to conquer a peak called the Spectre.
A few years ago, I heard Leo speak at the GA Conference on a previous expedition to Antarctica, and the logistics of getting there and completing the climb.
My notes and some links from that 2015 lecture are here. 

He will be using Union Glacier as a base: a location which I have used many times before with students as a place to teach about.

The expedition website is here.
Good luck to Leo when he heads off next month...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Planetary boundaries

Interesting... the full paper isn't open access, but some ideas explored here...

Geddy Lee Interview

Rush are a band I've been listening to for over 35 years...
This is a powerful section from an interview which is being aired this week in the US...