The Best News You Don’t Know – The New York Times

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african-schoolgirl

 

The world is winning the war on extreme poverty.

Source: The Best News You Don’t Know – The New York Times

Africa’s portable solar revolution is thwarting thieves | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

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solar-africa

More secure supplies of electricity are helping to spawn new industries in rural Africa by enabling reliable refrigeration and irrigation

Source: Africa’s portable solar revolution is thwarting thieves | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

Where Concorde once flew – DRC (Zaire) Development Disaster

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gbadolite

Fifty years on from Mobutu Sese Seko’s ascent to the presidency of Congo, David Smith explores what’s left of his personal Xanadu, Gbadolite

Source: Where Concorde once flew: the story of President Mobutu’s ‘African Versailles’ | Cities | The Guardian

Maternal deaths worldwide drop by half, yet shocking disparities remain | Science | The Guardian

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maternal-deaths

Study in Lancet shows a woman’s lifetime chance of dying from childbirth is one in 36 in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to one in 4,900 in richer countries

Source: Maternal deaths worldwide drop by half, yet shocking disparities remain | Science | The Guardian

Arctic sea ice cover set to be second lowest ever recorded, data suggests | Environment | The Guardian

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arctic-sea-ice

Satellite data shows ice was close to last year’s record low confirming a long-term downward trend towards ice-free Arctic summers

Source: Arctic sea ice cover set to be second lowest ever recorded, data suggests | Environment | The Guardian

elephants

From elephants and albatrosses to coral reefs, extinction is the bycatch of consumerism: we assert the right to consume, and ignore the consequences

Source: We’d never kill an albatross or gorilla: but we let others do it on our behalf | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

Dead albatrosses and plastic waste

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albatross-plastic-rubbish

I was appalled at the pictures taken of dead albatrosses in the Pacific and the amount of plastic they had within their stomach’s.  The pictures were taken by Chris Jordan on the Midway atoll.  It links with the Pacific

it is an indictment of the wasteful nature of modern society.  Surely it is not beneath the wit of man to invent a decomposable product which dissolves on contact with sea water or has a very limited shelf life.

I was led to the article by George Monbiot’s typically depressing news article about the death of large numbers of species.

As he says

‘Flying to Bratislava or Bermuda for a stag weekend, shopping trips to New York, driving our gas guzzlers 300 metres to school, buying jetskis, leaf blowers and patio heaters, furnishing our homes with rare wood, eating tuna, prawns and salmon without a thought as to how they were produced: these ephemeral satisfactions, to judge by the reactions when you question them, occupy a sacred and inviolable space. The wonders of the living world, by contrast, are dispensable.”

The Trash Vortex

The real size of countries

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How small is Iceland!

How small is Iceland!

This is an excellent post showing the difference between a variety of map projections.  We have a fairly distorted idea of the size of things when we compare places.  The UK is actually very small.  Africa is also significantly bigger when we compare it to Europe and the USA.

 

Look how big Africa is!

Look how big Africa is!

Time for an update

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Start with a Big Breakfast

Start with a Big Breakfast

I’m starting a new job in September so I need to revisit prettejohn.net and update it as it has definitely got rusty.

I’ll be adding sections on teaching WJEC as well as ECDL.

Why the picture of the Breakfast?  Because it’s the best way to start a day!

Bad news for Geography Teachers!

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One of my reasons for ensuring my students are focused on their map reading skills are that they’ll need to be prepared to use their AA Road Map when navigating in the car.  It seems that this argument is getting less and less relevant. I have to admit I really enjoy using the Sat Nav facility of my phone. I’ve just started to use Waze which is crowd sourced and great for analysing where the delays are. It has also reduced the pressure on marital issues that sometimes occur during those fraught moments around roundabouts!

Sat-navs and mobile apps ‘threaten map reading skills’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32545974

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