Saturday, 29 December 2007

Listen to the message

Get a Voki now!

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Santa continues

Sorry Missed these ones! North Pole

Sydney, Australia

Reindeer Lake, Canada

New York, USA

USA Florida – Kennedy Space Centre

Santa continues his world tour

Good use of Google Earth here by Santa.
Egypt, Pyramids

Rome, Italy



Monday, 24 December 2007

Tracking Santa’s journey

To see the rest see the NORAD site below.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Meowy Christmas

Try this song. click picture.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Scotland Is Not a Country

There are eight accepted criteria used to determine whether a country is an independent nation or not.
A country needs only fail on one of the eight criteria to not meet the definition of independent country status. Scotland does not meet all eight criteria; it fails on six of the eight criteria...
Read about them here.

Intertropical Convergence Zone

Near the equator, from about 5° north and 5° south, the northeast trade winds and southeast trade winds converge in a low pressure zone known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ. Solar heating in the region forces air to rise through convection which results in a plethora of precipitation. The ITCZ is a key component of the global circulation system. The location of the ITCZ varies throughout the year and while it remains near the equator, the ITCZ over land ventures farther north or south than the ITCZ over the oceans due to the variation in land temperatures. Read the rest here .

Winter Solstice

December 21-22 Solstice is Winter in Northern Hemisphere
The time around December 21 or 22 is a very important day for our planet and its relationship with the sun. December 21 is one of two solstices, days when the rays of the sun directly strike one of the two tropical latitude lines. In 2007 Saturday, December 22 winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere and summer begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
The earth spins around its axis, an imaginary line going right through the planet between the north and south poles. The axis is tilted somewhat off the plane of the earth's revolution around the sun. The tilt of the axis is 23.5 degrees; thanks to this tilt, we enjoy the four seasons. For several months of the year, one half of the earth receives more direct rays of the sun than the other half.
The earth's axis always points to the same point in the universe. When the axis points away from the sun from December to March (because of the relative location of the earth to the sun), the southern hemisphere enjoys the direct rays of the sun during their summer months. Alternatively, when the axis tilts towards the sun, as it does between June and September, it is summer in the northern hemisphere but winter in the southern hemisphere.
December 21 is called the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and simultaneously the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. On June 21 the solstices are reversed and summer begins in the northern hemisphere.
On December 21, there are 24 hours of daylight south of the Antarctic Circle (66.5° south of the equator) and 24 hours of darkness north of the Arctic Circle (66.5° north of the equator). The sun's rays are directly overhead along the Tropic of Capricorn (the latitude line at 23.5° south, passing through Brazil, South Africa, and Australia) on December 21.
Without the tilt of the earth's axis, we would have no seasons. The sun's rays would be directly overhead of the equator all year long. Only a slight change would occur as the earth makes its slightly elliptical orbit around the sun. The earth is furthest from the sun about July 3; this point is known as the aphelion and the earth is 94,555,000 miles away from the sun. The perihelion takes place about January 4 when the earth is a mere 91,445,000 miles from the sun.
When summer occurs in a hemisphere, it is due to that hemisphere receiving more direct rays of the sun than the opposite hemisphere where it is winter. In winter, the sun's energy hits the earth at oblique angles and is thus less concentrated.
During spring and autumn, the earth's axis is pointing sideways so both hemispheres have moderate weather and the rays of the sun are directly overhead the equator. Between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° latitude south) there really are no seasons as the sun is never very low in the sky so it stays warm and humid ("tropical") year-round. Only those people in the upper latitudes north and south of the tropics experience seasons.


The Chief Economist has told the BBC that biofuels are pushing up food prices. What id corn used for and why does this mean we pay more for stuff in the shops? Watch the video here to find out. Biofuels costs and benefits balance analyzed by UN
Read this here

US ice storm

A severe snow storm in the US has claimed two lives and caused chaos in central and north-eastern states. Watch the video here.

The storm, which has hit the state of Oklahoma hardest, has killed 22 people. The storm has shut down many schools, businesses, roads and airports. Emergency generators have been shipped into some of the worst-affected states to power nursing homes and sewage works. Read the rest here.

China’s problems continue

The world’s most populous country (1.3 billion people,) is expected to undergo a baby boom from next year. The force of tradition poses a great challenge to the one-child policy. The desire to have boys or more than one child is deep and still very strong, especially in rural areas.
This has resulted in a serious gender imbalance as couples abort female babies. China now has a ratio of about 119 baby boys to 100 girls. Read the rest here.

The winds of climate change

Across Bangladesh, more than 4,000 people died and 3.5 million were affected by the worst cyclone to hit the country in 15 years. Climatic instability brought on by rising global temperatures is making extreme weather events like Cyclone Sidr increasingly worse. Bangladesh is the most disaster-prone poor country in the world. The current predictions for the future of Bangladesh are bleak, with increased flooding in the south and the desertification of the north following a global rise in temperatures. Read the rest here

Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'

Scientists say northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years. "The ice is thinning faster than it is shrinking. Read the article here.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Simpsons Memory Game

Yeh OK go on and ask me what this has to do with Geography? End of term nearly upon us and I don't mind a few minutes of rubbish.

You are my sunshine.

Thanks to another Geography teacher blogger for highlighting this one. I love it and you might as well. Tell me in school but not in front of Mr Stewart!

Countries Info

Have a look at these if you have a spare 5 minutes.

No comment about West Xylophone again!

What is Christmas like for others around the world?

Try this site for some nonsense.

Santa Watch!

Try thr link above and play the games to see what Santa is up to.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Festive pets

Not sure if this will work! Click the link below.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Is it all rubbish?

Recycling and banning plastic bags are all very well, but they won't save the planet. Instead, we should fly less, go vegan and insulate the loft. Read this article and see if you agree with the author’s views or is this an extreme viewpoint?

China Again

Woman’s Hour looks at the effect of the policy on the lives of Chinese women, hearing from those for whom freedom from repeated pregnancy has brought benefits and from others who have been forced to undergo sterilisation or abortion. Listen to the podcast even although it is shocking in bits.
Link here

Kobe Earthquake 1995

Watch the video to show the effects of this earthquake

How a quarry can be improved....

Brilliant video showing how an area can be utilized after it’s industrial use has finished. Is this possible for all areas though?

Limestone features

Worth a look perhaps at a a later stage when we are studying these features.

Global Warning

Youtube warning to America. This is odd! I like it though. Does this say a bit about me?!!! Don't answer that one please.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Wanna buy a Rainforest?

Britain is backing an offer by the President of Guyana to preserve the country's entire 50 million acres of rainforest in return for sustainable development funds. Is this the way forward for some ELDCs to work in partnership with EMDCs like Britain? Read the rest here and see what you think.

Devastating Deforestation

This video shows the impact deforestation is having on the indigenous peoples of the rain forest in Papua.

Extreme weather in USA

At least 15 people have died in the US as an ice storm swept through several states east of the Rocky Mountains. Watch the video here. Perhaps the weather map showing the High pressure in the East is a clue why this is happening. What do you think? S4 can explain this before their exam on Friday.
At least 17 people were killed in the central United States as a freezing storm left much of Oklahoma and Missouri under a thick coating of ice, with more wintry weather on the way. At O’Hare International Airport, about 200 flights were cancelled, with others delayed by an average of 45 minutes. Read the rest here.

Santa does Geography

Santa’s song about climate change

No comments just sing along!

Little Emperor Syndrome and a question of Economics

More on China to read and evaluate for Adv Higher.

Link here

Can China Afford to Continue Its
One-Child Policy? - An intersting pdf file on this one. Quite long but a lot to think about. Link here.

Lifetime cost of bringing up child £186,000 - and rising

Is this article the reason why so many families in the EMDCs have smaller families these days? You are very expensive folks!

Link here.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Geo greeting 4 S4

Click the link below and then get back to work!
S4 message

Power of the Planet

Tomorrows programme looks good for Higher on Oceans. (9pm BBC 2 I think!) Travelling from Hawaii to the Amazon and Ethiopia and then on to the Mediterranean, Iain tells the story of the oceans – fierce waves, huge tidal bores, global currents and the future dangers of global warming. Very kind of him to put this on just when we are studying this section!Watch if you can and have a sneak preview by watching this video here. I want to go into these caves - NOW.

Anatomy of a rainforest

BBC News science correspondent David Shukman has been looking at the effects of deforestation on Borneo's rainforests. The tropical rainforests - running in a belt around the Equator from the Amazon, through Congo to South-East Asia - are not only a vast store of carbon, but also have a direct impact on global weather patterns.
The problem is that the "rainforests are worth more dead than alive"Read these articles here and here. Here is a good video as well which is great for S4. Click the diagram below.And this video of the understorey is useful too. This one shows the forest floor and explains why those trees grow so tall.

Armenian Earthquake Case Study

Another Case Study for S2 to look at if you don’t want to do San Francisco or Mt St Helens. This was a spectacular earthquake in Armenia which killed 45,00 people in 1988. Link here.

'The biggest environmental crime in history'

BP is being accused of abandoning its green policies by investing nearly £1.5bn to extract oil from the Canadian wilderness using methods which environmentalists say are damaging in the extreme. Producing crude oil from the tar sands found underneath forests in northern Alberta generates up to four times more carbon dioxide, the principal global warming gas, than conventional drilling. Is our demand for oil really worth this destruction and why is it being done at all? Read the rest here.

Wind energy to power UK by 2020

Currently just 2% of Britain's power comes from renewable energy sources but new proposals today will change all this as well as our coastline. This is a good article to read and evaluate for Adv Higher and for the rest of us lesser mortals we can just read and think about whether we agree with these or not. What are the pros and cons of offshore wind farming, compared to conventional energy sources? Up until now the turbines were built about three or four miles out to sea - but there are now plans to site them further offshore to reduce their visual impact. What about wildlife?
Offshore wind generation is generally wildlife-friendly, according to a Danish report published last year. There is a nice BBC summary here

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Pylon threat to mountain wilderness

Good Adv Higher Issue topic here on potential environmental destruction. Read it here. What do you think girls?

Population revision quiz

What do you know about the world?

Try this quiz - most of it is relevant to S grade and some to Higher or Int 2. It is a bit long but persevere if you can.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Chinas Population Change

Good page here on this topic for Higher later when revising or Adv Higher now. It shows how the population pyramid changes with an ageing population and the links discuss the implications of this for the country. Follow also the link on the page for further research.

Trade with Europe

Since the former European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) were granted independence, they have had special trade and aid agreements with the European Union (EU). These were designed to keep many of the close relationships they previously had - such as access to European markets for their agricultural products - and provide aid to help the transition to independence. These are about to change and there are many concerns in these countries that the new arrangements will be detrimental to the countries’ development. Read this BBC article here and see what you think.

Plastic Aint my Bag

A new campaign called “We Are What We Do” (WAWWD) want to make this the first plastic-free Christmas. I have posted before on the plastic bag menace in the world and this is the latest attempt. This article warns however that some of these bags are a bit of a con and some say that, to eliminate our reliance on plastic altogether, we would need to follow in the footsteps of Ireland. For the past five years, it has imposed a tax of 15 cents on all supermarket bags, reducing their use by 90 % and raising money for environmental projects. There’s no doubt Bags for Life are popular but are they really environmentally sound? Read this interesting article here. Make sure you look at both pages to get the full article

Choc tactics: Cocoa co-operatives

Much of Africa’s cocoa production is synonymous with child labour and poverty. This Ghanaian co-operative owns almost half of the Divine Chocolate company, and business is great. The UK is Europe's biggest consumer of chocolate. Its chocolate market is worth £3.6bn, and the majority of the beans we eat come from Ghana, the world's second-largest cocoa producer. Without Ghana's cocoa farmers, Britain's chocolate industry would be on its knees. This is a brilliant example of the Fair Trade we have been talking about in class with S4. Read it here.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Popup River Basin to make yourself!

Oh go on and try this - maybe during a wet day in the Xmas holidays when you have stuffed your face with chocolate and there is nothing good on the TV and you have lost your new ipod or fallen out with the rest of the family. It looks good and I want to see the results please.


This is added just in case the 95 powerpoints we have in school are not enough for you!!

Tundra Life

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System
This is an excellent, detailed summary of the way this pipeline was built and explains why it has to move at times as well as be located above the ground. We will be studying this in class after Xmas with S4.

Simpsons in Brazil

I hope S2 remember this one and here are a few questions for you to think about on the DVD. S4 could also watch this episode to revise the favelas of Brazil and the migrations experienced by these ELDC cities.

To Give or not to Give

Overseas Aid
Some interesting issues here about giving Aid and whether it is always a good thing or not. Take some time to read all the labels if you can - enlarge them!

River processes

Geography - River Erosion
Another to help with the Landscapes / Lithosphere units.

Landscapes starter

Geography - Weathering and Erosion
Another fantastic resource from this Geographer. Look at these slides S3 and this will be a great tool for the Landscapes unit you will be studying later in the year. Also a good bit of revision for S4 and even a reminder for S5, who are ready to start the lithosphere next week. Yes glaciation again I'm afraid!

Ocean Currents

This is a good summary folks by a fellow Geography teacher in the East of Scotland. Look through all the pages as your revision of this topic.