Sunday, October 8, 2017

Island Story

Writer J D Taylor spent four months on a bike a few years ago, travelling around Britain and seeing it in a way that many other travel writers have failed to do. The value of cycling is that you see the world at a slower pace, and are actually in the environments you are travelling through.
The author has created a very useful blog to follow the journey, and includes a whole range of additional resources and ideas that underpin the journey including some additional writing.

You can follow the journey with images and text from each stage of the journey.
The book is fantastic to, and I've just been reading it.
A part of this journey was a search for the UK's identity as the Brexit vote approached.


This is excellent for older students exploring such ideas as Changing Places, and also the GCSE unit on UK in the 21st Century.

There is a New Statesmen article here by the author, which identifies some of the themes in the book, which is certainly political in its nature.
I was also interested to read on the blog about his next book, helped by a grant he has been awarded, which will also explore the idea of place:

Titled Where Are We Going?, the next book takes the form of eleven narratives about a specific place and the people I meet, through which I document the effects of forces shaping British politics, from health and social care to deindustrialisation, the ‘gig economy’, farming and rural poverty, to immigration, class, identity and housing. I’ve begun preparing the book this year...

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Monopoly Money...

Alexandra Sims has written in Time Out about the growing property values in London, and how they have risen.

In the 1930s, the makers of Monopoly placed 22 iconic London streets on their game board for wannabe property tycoons. Eighty years on, however, the price you’d pay in Monopoly money to own a slice of the capital hardly reflects the twenty-first-century reality.
Giving the game a 2017 reality check, London Fox Lettings has used data from Zoopla and the Government’s London Rents Map to show what you’d be paying IRL to rent and own property on the classic game’s streets. To give things an added flavour of authenticity they’ve even replaced the £200 you get for passing 'go', with the £27,531 average London salary, which is growing at a snail’s pace compared to rapidly rising house prices.

Here's the infographic....


What Would The Monopoly Board Look Like Today? – An infographic by the team at Splitrent

Allemansrätten

This is a beautiful film by Al Humphreys who has produced a range of videos and books related to the theme of exploration.

It explores the idea of access to land, which in some Scandinavian countries is a 'right' open to all men (and women). They have free access to land and can camp or walk across it.

“Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy" is the mantra here.

In the UK, there was recently an expansion of the right of access to include CROW land (Countryside Right of Way)

Allemansrätten from Alastair Humphreys on Vimeo.

Allemansrätten is the right, in much of Scandinavia, for every man and woman to roam the countryside.
But with rights must come responsibilities too.
Should there be an expansion of this type of rights in the UK?

I met Al quite a few years ago now, when he was keynoting the SAGT conference that I was also speaking at, up in Glasgow.

I took advantage of this some years ago, when camping in Norway for several weeks and travelling up the coast with a friend.
In Finland, which I've also visited they have a similar right.

The worry would be that people might be happy to accept their right, but not their responsibilities?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Richard Long exhibition

Heading to see this at the weekend - it's just 10 minutes from home... I've loved Richard's work for decades now, and seen all his recent exhibitions...

RICHARD LONG: EARTH SKY from NUA Film and Moving Image on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Time for Geography

Time for a new school year. Time for Geography.
There are plenty of high quality resources available here at the very nicely designed Time for Geography site.

Sign up and log in to help access a whole range of videos, many of which were shot over the summer holiday period, so they are right up to date, and written and presented by subject experts.

There are videos on Coasts, Rivers and Glaciation as well as Geog Topics, and some additional resources for those who register too. There are posters for display which can be ordered, plus additional resources and links, and a blog which is underway with some useful posts. Model answers are also provided for some relevant questions. This is a site which has been developed with the support of various organisations, and will continue to grow.

I shall be directing my Year 10s to this site as we start the new school year and GCSE teaching.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Reading Geography

"beyond the rigidity of a GCSE exam syllabus, geography is perhaps more than anything else about reading"

The University of Cambridge's Geographical Society (CUGS) has a magazine, and there's a great article in the latest Compass by Chloe Rixon which explores her thoughts on the importance of reading as a geographer....

Worth browsing the issues (on ISSUU) for other articles.

As Chloe says in her piece, reflecting on her interview when she mentioned Michael Palin as somebody she'd read...

What I didn’t realise then, and I think I’m only really starting to realise now, is that, disbanding the academic corset of particular intellectual rigour or qualification, most (every?) writer is in their own respect a geographer. They’re writing about the earth: translating it, interpreting it, constructing it. By extension and implication, therefore, reading too is geographical. Palin may not be a ‘serious’ geographer (whatever that is), nor may be Austen or Plato, but, like Foucault and Said, he is fundamentally writing about the earth (be it through the lens of travel-writing) and hence, reading his work is a geographical exercise.

As Robert MacFarlane has said, "every hour spent reading is an hour spent learning to write"

So keep reading...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

150 years of the Shipping Forecast

There have now been 150 years of the Shipping Forecast. I still catch it occasionally if leaving early to drive somewhere...
Here's a lovely animation of it.

Rio Grande

Songs about rivers? This is one of the best...
A new variation on the original from David Bedford / Mike Oldfield....

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