Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm a teacher of Geography

My daughter was watching the Gene Wilder "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" the other morning...
The Golden Ticket winners have entered the factory, and spot the Oompa Loompas for the first time, and ask where they come from ? "Loompaland" says Willy Wonka...

Mrs. Teevee: Loompaland? There's no such place.
Willy Wonka: Excuse me, dear lady, but...
Mrs. Teevee: Mr. Wonka, I am a teacher of geography.
Willy Wonka: Oh, well, then you know all about it and what a terrible country it is. Nothing but desolate wastes and fierce beasts....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Agaetis Byrjun

...rumbling, pings, tjúúúú, palindromic strings, bjargvættur, the coughing brass intro, bamm bamm bamm, the crecendo, the flute, the simplicity, and it fades out. press play again....

10th Anniversary...

Climate Change projections


Part 1 of the outcomes from Flood Management 09 at the Barbican earlier this week...

Many of the speakers referred to the latest climate projections which had been released on the DEFRA website earlier that week, and had been reported in many of newspapers.

Hilary Benn introduces the projections as being very 'sobering'.



5 things that need doing:

1. to protect people from the immediate risks
2. to plan (e.g. motorway drainage, emergency plans) for the future - the adaptation report is currently being consulted on until September (one for 6th formers perhaps to get involved with
3. to work internationally on a climate agreement

Also refers to importance of Copenhagen 2009 - the website is well worth visiting - has plenty of useful resources for teachers and students


4. to play our part - reduction targets need to be met - working towards a LOW CARBON UK
5. supporting individuals e.g. through the Act on CO2 campaign.

The models can be seen by following the links from DEFRA site above.

A Met Office introduction to the projections here:


Delve into the projections page to find all sorts of maps, graphics and information on the likely changes between now and 2080 on a range of climate indicators.

Explore these with students...

Also head over to the UNEP Seal the Deal site.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Poppyland

Image Alan Parkinson

Poppies are a glorious temporary part of our landcape...

We have also attached additional cultural resonance to them with their association with remembrance day...

What other examples of these temporary landscape aspects can you identify, or your students record ?

Why not use the NORFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST's poppy field sighting record cards (link goes to PDF download - survey was carried out originally in 2006)

Poppies are the county flower of Norfolk, and there are certainly plenty in the fields around my village.

North Norfolk (particularly the area around Cromer and Overstrand) is known as 'poppyland' and there are many fields full of these flowers at the moment.

The local Eastern Daily Press reported that the particularly impressive blooms of poppies that can be seen at the moment are the result of changing farming practices...

Farmers growing rape in particular are keen to keep the growth of poppies to a minimum as the plants compete for the available soil moisture and nutrient.
A weedkiller was also taken off the market at the end of 2007, and it was apparently a windy spraying season which means that application would not have been as thorough as it would have been in more ideal conditions.

Interestingly, an article in the Times from last year suggested we may see fewer poppies in the future.

Also noticed fields full of poppies on the approach to Cambridge from the train yesterday evening.

‘Neath the blue of the sky in the green of the corn,
It is here that the regal red poppies are born!’
Clement Scott

Glastonbury

Image by Flickr user snarkypuss under Creative Commons

Tens of thousands of festival goers are converging on Glastonbury again this weekend, among them Dan Ellison and URBAN EARTH.

There has been some wonderful work done using the LATITUDE festival in Suffolk by a local Centre of Excellence school.

Also, on the Geography Teaching Today website is a unit based on GLASTONBURY. Plenty of resources for those wanting to use this as a context for teaching about sustainability, consumption, decision making etc...

Why not have a FESTIVAL SEASON in your KS3 curriculum...

The Daily Mail website has a very useful picture-laden item on Glastonbury.

There will obviously no doubt be plenty of FLICKR images and videos appearing, and this will be the first year that TWITTER will be big at Glastonbury too.

So should be able to create an IMMERSIVE experience for students to consider some questions about the geographical impact of these large temporary gatherings...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Taste Map of Britain

Interesting Daily Mail article on dietary tastes of UK regions.

Work by Andy Taylor from Nottingham University

Key findings:

  • The UK's favourite regional foods stem from the West Country. Nearly a third of people polled preferred foods traditional to the South West, particularly Cheddar Cheese and Devonshire Cream Teas.
  • Scots are the slowest eaters and contrary to folklore, prefer Yorkshire Pudding and Italian Ice Cream because of their mouth-melting properties, dispelling the myth that all Scots love foods like Haggis and Kippers.
  • People from the North East seek tastes that offer immediate satisfaction, borne from a history of hungry heavy industry workers demanding foods that offer immediate sustenance.
  • The Midlands is known to be the Balti centre of the UK, but the research proved that people from the area were predisposed to enjoy Asian food long before it arrived in the UK. The region's taste dialect is for soft, suckable foods that impact the front of the tongue, have a slightly sweet dimension and can be eaten with their hands like naan.
  • The South: A melting pot of people and cultures from all round the UK and abroad, the South/South East of England has the least defined taste dialect of all the regions. Foods such as jellied eels and Whitstable Oysters are still redolent of the area but no longer represent mainstream choices or underpin a regional palate.
  • Coffee is the earliest recalled taste memory for under eighteens. In all regions, people noted the importance of getting a ‘good' rather than ‘average' cup of coffee.

  • A quarter of Brits said that London was where they'd had their worst taste experience.

On Roads

Just ordered Joe Moran's new book. Really enjoyed his book "Queueing for Beginners"...
There is so much geography in this book (written by a cultural historian...)
Starts with a quote from Carl Andre.


Spotify

This has changed my musical habits.
Really enjoying these 2 albums at the moment, which I would never otherwise have heard:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Meet the British

Excellent BBC4 programme which is made up of 'promotional films' made by the Government in the last century...
Catch them for the next few days on iPLAYER- great stuff !

Monday, June 1, 2009

New CPD opportunity: possibly for Cultural Geography ?

Geography training has a new face: well, two new faces actually...

From 1st June 2009, a new geography CPD provider is available.

Launching today is a new CPD training opportunity for colleagues in the UK, and beyond...
GEOGRAPHY TRAINING joins together the Geographical Association's own Alan Parkinson, with International Baccalaureate specialist, and creator of Geography all the Way: Richard Allaway.
In addition to the existing face-to-face and online CPD opportunities available from the Geographical Association, we offer a tailored service, with training to match your needs, at a venue to suit you.
OK ad break over... back to the Cultural Geography...