Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Enjoying this album at the moment.... and some Storybook resources....

Also looking at a couple of useful sites relating to my forthcoming SAGT presentation.
Geography is very much a feature of a number of popular books.

STORYBOOK ENGLAND is a site in association with the tourist board ENJOY ENGLAND. It looks at the locations of several classic children's stories, the aim being to encourage people to visit the locations which featured in, or inspired, the stories. Some classic tales here including some personal favourites: The Dark is Rising and His Dark Materials in particular. A PDF map can be downloaded.

The Geographical Association recently made available a very comprehensive resource exploring the geographical context of STIG OF THE DUMP: a classic children's book, for use with Primary pupils aged 8-11. This is a superb resource with plenty of transferable ideas.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I do like to be beside the seaside...

...but it's 'typical' Bank Holiday weather again today: wet and very windy here in Norfolk...
Went over to Brancaster and Burnham Deepdale yesterday for a quick mooch, then it was back for food shopping with lots of fractious holidaymakers arguing over gravy...

SEA CHANGEThis is a campaign of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. (CABE)

Our aim is to use culture to make a difference to seaside resorts, contributing to sustainable, social and economic regeneration.

Our objectives are:

  1. to back investment plans from seaside resorts in culture, heritage and public space, which could act as a catalyst to support regeneration of the resort
  2. to boost confidence and pride in the local community
  3. to share learning between local authorities and other partners exploring ways to support seaside resorts via culture and heritage
  4. to ensure that our investment is matched by other partners so that we maximise the benefit of our funding
Also in today's TIMES was a full page ad suggesting that we could be seeing the end of the pier show as a result of government legislation related to gambling. This threatens the classic slot machines that are a feature of many resorts.

The SAVE OUR ARCADES campaign has been started.

Slot machines are certainly part of our culture. A separate post is needed on this topic, and if I get a few other jobs done later, will try to do that today...

Locally to me is Hunstanton, with Thomas' and other amusements, such as the Pier Amusement centre, where we go bowling occasionally...

Also reading Chapter 12 of Philippe Legrain's "Open World :/ The Truth about Globalisation"Chapter is called "Culture Clash", and has some fascinating things to say on Culture and Globalisation. More on this later too...

Also a few excellent passages on this in Joe Bennett's book I'm reading at the moment (see earlier blog post) - more on that to come later too...
One of the things that he mentions is the way that Winnie the Pooh has become a brand, and whether the workers sewing and printing a design of a non-carnivorous bear onto underpants ever stop and wonder what it is they are actually doing ?

And this brand, coincidentally enough was picked up in an Observer article on the decline of bee colonies in the UK, and the cultural significance of the bee, from Winnie the Pooh, to the more recent "Bee Movie", which is one of my son's DVDs of the moment.

And Culture has also been the subject of a series of trails for the BBCs "The Culture Show". As part of the new series, a rather intriguing (and also very useful) resource has been produced: a collection of images and text relating to culture: click a word and you will see a definition, click a still and watch a video. The trailer video can be viewed HERE.

Click the banner below to go to the page and explore:

Also a final quote, courtesy of Alan Johnson, when he was Education Secretary:

"Children have a dual role as consumers and influencers. Educating them about the impact of getting an extra pair of trainers for fashion's sake is as important as the pressure they put on their parents not to buy a gas-guzzling family car..."

Another ramble, but a few useful nuggets in here I hope...

Cultural TV

Sundays will not be the same again...
The best show on TV for the last 3 months: MAD MEN ended its first season last night.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Watch ALL THE SONGS thanks to the BBC.
Then check out Tony Cassidy's 2008 version of the follow up task...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Geography and the Media

Just sorting out some more details for my SAGT presentation, which is on GEOGRAPHY's relationship with the MEDIA, and features lectures by Iain Stewart and Mark Beaumont.

I am interested in using the SCEPTICS' TOOLKIT from PANICOLOGY, to explore the idea of stories in the media and how we should view them with caution...

Also want to explore the geographical aspects of MEMES:

Any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods and terms such as race, culture, and ethnicity. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a "culture" in a manner similar to the behavior of a virus. As a unit of cultural evolution, a meme in some ways resembles a gene. Richard Dawkins, in his book, The Selfish Gene, recounts how and why he coined the term meme to describe how one might extend Darwinian principles to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothing-fashions, and the technology of building arches.
(From WIKIPEDIA article...)

One current meme is to turn song lyrics into charts and graphs (and occasionally maps)
Like this one by Flickr user jebuz
and this one by tincanman uk

Check out the FLICKR SONG CHART POOL for plenty more of these....

Looking forward to the possible release (maybe this year !) of BIG BLUE BALL....
A few bits on Peter Gabriel's website.


Came across an interesting project called WEATHER PERMITTING which has been produced by Kathryn Yusoff and Jennifer Gabrys.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thanks to Ewan McIntosh for this

How many powerpoint presentations have you seen that might as well have been about this ?

I liked the first question too....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cultural Geography in the new Rough Guide

A new tourist guide to the UK has been produced, and it includes some surprising (perhaps) descriptions of the country and its population.

The BBC ARTICLE includes some extracts from the updated ROUGH GUIDE.

What image does this give of ENGLAND.

Some amusing HAVE YOUR SAY comments already available.
Some of these pick up on CULTURAL ASPECTS of the UK, which would be useful for Year 11s for next year (pay attention Year 10s)

What do you think about these examples from the HAVE YOUR SAY section...
Which one would you MOST or LEAST agree with ?

1. Bacon butties, Sunday roast and chicken tikka massala

2. They missed out, uncouth, uncivil, uneducated, unmannered & prone to mindless street violence prefaced by the words "Wot you lookin at!!" I'd say that most of the world see's us like this, not the 'civilised islands of culture' that the BBC, and this Government like to portray as "This England" whilst happily lowering standards in all walks of life in the name of equality!

3. I think they have it pretty sussed, people buy all these trashy z list celeb mags why ill never know. they are a total waste of trees. People cant go out for a couple of drinks and act normally people just go out to get drunk because their lives are so sad and pathetic. Great britain certainly isnt great any longer

4. For all our overweight, binge-drinking, celebrity-obsessed TV addicts this is still the greatest country on earth. The people are second to none and sure we might not all agree on everything but they`re OUR people to fight with and nobody elses. And watch us all pull together in a crisis. What we have is unique in the world, heritage, history, the london taxi cab, the monarchy, the country pub, amazing countryside, bluebells, morris dancers, the list goes on. Be proud of who and what you are.

5. It describes a minority, the sort they love to parade on TV as though they are typical of society and if you're any different you're tragically old-fashioned.It doesn't describe the majority, who are still hard-working, decent, quiet people - you just don't hear about them, and they assist by not being natural attention-seekers.All nations have both types, it's not unique to England. This is just a cheap publicity stunt for the book. It won't make me feel ashamed to be English.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Up to 100 000 people killed ?

By Flickr user TZA (Creative Commons) - image credit Google and associated imaging partners