Friday, August 31, 2007

Food: People as Consumers

There is a link here to a change in the countryside. Fields around the UK are filling up with oilseed, partly down to EU subsidies.

A local producer, in Cambridgeshire called Munn's sells the oil, and has been doing very well.

More to come on this soon...Also got a lot of posters and stickers today to help remind you all that the next 2 weeks are Organic Fortnight. Drank some Organic Ale last night - Badger Stinger, made with nettles handpicked in Dorset, and in association with River Cottage and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.
Ask me if you want a sticker !

Something for the weekend ?

Why not send us a postcard. It's been a disappointing response so far, and you should be in with a good chance in the prize draw !

Thanks also to Pip for his postcard from Svalbard ! Look forward to seeing the pictures and the rock Pip !

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teaching on Ice

One for Year 10s about to start the Pilot.
Read the posts on the TEACHING ON ICE WEBLOG which feature a Geography teacher who is preparing to spend time in the Polar regions.
Popped into school today, and we'd had a postcard from Svalbard. Will scan and add to the blog over the weekend if I get the chance, or early in the week if I don't.
Hope you're looking forward to the new school year !

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Commission for Racial Equality

Thanks to LittleMiss for finding this useful image, which is relevant to the topic of 'Britishness' and our cultural identity: something which both Year 10 AND 11 pupils need to start thinking about in advance of the new term.
Thought it was also a coincidence that a program I mentioned before has a direct link to my visit to Liverpool last week (was it really a week ago already ?)

Back to out for polar bears.

The Guardian has today published a useful report on their blog about life in the northernmost school in the world: LONGYEARBYEN SKOLE.

This will form one of our tasks when we get stuck into the Year 10 work.
What are the similarities and differences between this school and KES ?

Make sure that you READ THE REPORT.

Monday, August 27, 2007

One week left... send us a postcard.
Here's a strange one from FLICKR user hellochris
and here's a transport related image from today when I went to see the Wolferton Scarecrows...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Northern Lights: Movie

I mentioned this book earlier on in the year due to Noel Jenkins' lesson idea. Part of the book is set in an 'alternative' Svalbard.

Now you can see the trailer for the New Line movie coming shortly. Looks promising, but what will they leave out ?

New York Congestion Charge

New York is another city which is PROPOSING TO INTRODUCE the Congestion charge...

Image from BBC News, original source: New York City Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Caravan Gallery

It's a gallery in a caravan....
Came across the CARAVAN GALLERY postcards in the shop at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool.

They has produced a series of excellent postcards which feature a range of images of locations around the country and abroad. There's a good link to geography in that they offer an 'alternative' view of familiar places.

I will reproduce one card below for representational purposes only, but would encourage you to visit the GALLERIES page - there are loads of images: SELECT ONE FROM THE DROP DOWN BOX...
They ask their visitors to answer some questions, and the SURVEYS are interesting.

Led me to this site: I'M NOT A TOURIST I LIVE HERE....

Click on the CARAVAN GALLERY link from the ARTISTS page and you can see some great images which are great for the PILOT GCSE Geography unit on MY PLACE as well as CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY on 'Britishness'.

How about taking your own pictures and we can create our own POSTCARDS or ANIMOTOs

Another Place

Just back from a short break in Liverpool, and to see Anthony Gormley's "Another Place", which is very much recommended...

Also, for those of you using BLOGGER, you may not have noticed that there's now a VIDEO UPLOAD button - upload a video up to 100Mb in size...
May try it later...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007

2 weeks left....

Britain for beginners, originally uploaded by dr_loplop. send us a postcard - perhaps one to represent Britain ?
Like this image...

Also keep an eye on the NEOCOUNTER opposite and the different countries that visit the blog. We'll use some of this data for our GLOBALISATION work later in the year.

Wow it took even less time than I thought it would for someone to post "None of the above...." on the polling...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Time to try the bus ?

When was the last time you took the bus ?

I used to use the bus all the time as a teenager: only a few of my friends had a car: Pete's VW Beetle with its Monkees cassette permanently on the 8 track stands out. I used to live in South Yorkshire, where the bus service was heavily subsidised. A 3 mile trip into Rotherham cost just 2p, and 11 miles into Sheffield was just 4p (on the old 287 route)

There is a new campaign about to start in Norfolk to get us to use the bus again. Unfortunately, bus travel has a slightly negative image for some people.

There was a famous quote which was attributed to the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, although there's no evidence she actually said it...
"A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure."

The main page for the TRANSPORT AND STREETS department has a range of pages. These include details on the PARK AND RIDE schemes.
There's a new campaign now underway, which is being promoted in the press and even TV ads. It's called TIME TO TRY THE BUS.

This links through to TRAVELINE EAST ANGLIA page.

We've already explored some of the issues that put people off using the bus. How many of these issues are tackled by the scheme ?
You can also watch the TV AD HERE

and that Margaret Thatcher quote led me to WIKIQUOTE...
Try another one of here:
"A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country's flag."

What did she mean by that do you think ?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Poll

Blogger has now added a POLLING option, so have added one to the column on the right.
You have until the 7th of September to vote. You can vote for more than one option.

There seem to be some issues with POLLING at the moment though... Never seems to be working.

Blog Action Day

Blog Action Day is on October 15th.
The theme of the day is THE ENVIRONMENT.
Watch the video below for more details.
This blog has signed up for BLOG ACTION DAY. Make sure your blog is too.

Friday, August 17, 2007

You Tube

Worth looking at YouTube and doing a search for SVALBARD.
Some great videos to get a flavour for the physical geography of the archipelago.

Extreme Tourism

Svalbard again...
Managed to tape ITN news report of the Aleksey Maryshev and the ice collapse.

Once the tourists got home, they spoke to local papers.
Here's a report from the BUCKS FREE PRESS.

Another blog posting had a comment from John Thropp, who is General Manager of Stavanger Travel (I had a couple of weeks in Stavanger in the mid 80's and it's a fab place...) who stressed the dangerous nature of the place (a useful quote for us to use):

"Svalbard is no place to fool around
In a previous career, I sailed on research ships around Svalbard - this is no place to fool around, with very limited facilities. To put it in context, it is a 2 hour flight Rome to Oslo, another 2 hours north to Tromso, then nearly another 2 hours to Svalbard (and 1 more to the north pole).
Most of the few people that live there are on a 1-year tax-free contract - Longyearbyen literally is a LongYearTown!"

Two of the tourists were from Scotland and the Scotsman had a useful quote:
You will need to know the terms that are in BOLD for the exam...

"The ship was near to an ice shelf and a part of the glacier calved off. We understand that some of the smaller pieces of ice and water were washed on to the ship's deck and seven passengers were injured.

"None of them have life threatening injuries and two were more seriously injured than the others, but they are in a stable position and have been moved to Tromso.

Jan Tommervold, a deputy sheriff in Svalbard, said 18 people had been injured.

Glaciers naturally break apart as they slide downhill but many are shrinking more quickly than usual because of global warming, which is blamed by almost all scientists on emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.


The Arctic - and particularly the relatively accessible Svalbard Islands - are increasingly being dubbed the new playground for the rich as climate change tourism takes off.

Ironically, as global warming slowly destroys the fragile ecology of the region, so it takes the harsh edge off the environment and makes it increasingly attractive to holidaymakers. As glaciers melt into the Arctic Ocean, the ships are able to reach previously inaccessible areas.

With the temperature rising in the archipelago, some 300 miles north of Norway, cruise shi

ps are taking advantage of the longer summer period where the sea is freer of ice flows.

Luxury liners took around 20,000 passengers ashore to various sites around Svalbard in 1997, but that figure had doubled by 2004.

Ten years ago, there were 35,000 visitors a year to Spitsbergen, the largest island, but last year there were 70,000 - with the number of British tourists rising most sharply."

The same post attracted this amusing comment:

You'd be a good deal safer sticking to cool, Fox's Glacier Mints. They can last anything up to twenty minutes per individual sweetie and , sucking without crunching , are a good deal less hazardous. Oh, and they taste absolutely delicious.Try some today while you await more news of these foolhardy, money-to-burn tourists.
The logo is perhaps like the global warming cartoons which show the fate of polar bears as the ice continues to melt.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Schools should be car free zones...??

A report on the BBC NEWS website at the moment is saying that cars should be banned around schools.
Report it comes from can be downloaded from HERE. Called "Unfit for Purpose" it looks at link with childhood obesity and features an amusing photo of someone 'walking' their dog by sticking their arm out of the window of their 4x4 and driving alongside it...
Managed to find the image, from MSNBCWhat do you think about the idea of banning people from driving to school ? Add comment below KES pupils !
How would I get to school though ?

Don't forget the postcards...

Wherever you're going - don't forget to send us a postcard to the Geography Department.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Cultural Geography blog

Just to let you know about a new GeoBlog I've started as part of my investigations into Cultural Geography. This will be a topic that the Year 11 Geographers will be studying from January 2008, so you have a chance to read up in advance...
You'll find the new blog at

Monday, August 13, 2007

Climate Camp

More sustainable transport links...
Once you start looking you can't stop finding them...

Climate Camp has opened on the edge of Heathrow to protest against the expansion of the airport.The protesters are being called 'irresponsible' because they are diverting police resources following the recent terrorist actions.
Clearly they feel that climate change is a greater threat in the longer term.

Read this BBC NEWS article and other articles about the camp.
What do you think about the camp ? Are these just hippies ? Are they justified ? How would you feel if your holiday was delayed or affected by their actions ? What are the messages they are trying to get across ? Are they likely to make any difference ? Isn't 'direct action' just criminal action ?
Read BAA Heathrow's response (and download a Climate Change brochure in PDF)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Watery visitors

According to the map which tracks visitors to the blog, this is where one of them was yesterday when they visited...

Little Britain

One for the Cultural Geography section....

Nice image by Whipper_snapper

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Svalbard video

A quick search of YouTube throws up various tourist videos: this one is by adak576

Svalbard tourists hit by ice...

Svalbard has been in the news today - maybe some of you saw the story on the news.

Their tourist vessel: the "Alexey Maryshev" was hit by ice which had calved (or broken off) a glacier in Svalbard, and 18 people were injured.

A report on SKY NEWS website here, along with a brief video if you have the right plugin.

Apparently some of the tourists were seriously injured and taken to the hospital in Longyearbyen
In the Norwegian AFTENPOSTEN newspaper it was described as an 'avalanche'.

And don't forget during the holidays to check on the progress of Laurel - it's worth reading the final part of the COLD PHOTO blog which covers her final weeks in Siberia and her return to California. Look forward to hearing what she does next...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cultural Jamming

I recommend that you read this excellent posting on Tony Cassidy's weblog which looks at the way that some people take advertisements and alter them to create an alternative message.
The point that is being made is that we define ourselves by what we buy, and advertising is becoming so ubiquitous that we are in danger of not realising how much it affects us...

YouTube has a range of old ads - check out the prices on these Tesco ones - and how the nature of the ads has changed:

to this style at the moment...

And to finish, worth a mention to Sao Paulo, where all public ads have been removed. There's an excellent FLICKR slideshow produced by Tony deMarco HERE.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Nice transport for London images get us to consider cycling instead of other forms of transport...

Velib station

Velib station, originally uploaded by austinevan.

This is not only a useful image, but the information below is very useful too.
We will be exploring the VELIB scheme when we get back (which is thankfully still a month away...)
What do you think would happen if we tried this in King's Lynn ?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Send us that postcard !!

Send us a postcard...

Popped into school earlier this week - I had an excuse I'm not sad really - and there's a distinct lack of postcards in my pigeonhole. Send a card and you have a good chance of winning the prize draw !!

Cycling around the World

Cycling is one of the more environmentally friendly forms of transport...

But how would you fancy cycling around the world, all by yourself ??

Mark Beaumont from Dundee sets off from Paris on the 5th of August to attempt to cycle Solo around the world..
He is a former pupil of the school where one of my virtual colleagues teaches, and she was present at the press launch this week. We will be aiming to support the charity, and follow the journey once it gets underway. We will also try to add some comments to the blog that Mark will be keeping.
Here's the route that he's going to take.
Best wishes !

link to the Artemis World Cycle