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ESSARP Conference 2013

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With Sugata Mitra, TED winner, at the ESSARP Conference 2013. Wonderful speaker on the global emancipation of computing technology into the hands of everyone.

Loved the idea of Grannies in the cloud and am already mentally signing up my parents.

He has found a new acolyte!

solar power world area required

Google Powered by Solar

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I’d love to install Solar Panels on our house but unfortunately we’re not south facing and there isn’t the clear view of the sky we would need to make it economically viable.  I see that Google has decided to generate power in the Mojave desert using solar energy.  Using the concept of the magnifying glass and ant but taken to extreme where temperatures in excess of 1000 degrees can be achieved.  I really like the map above as it gives an indication of the size of the earth that would need to be covered to generate solar power for the entire world.  What a fantastic revenue for sub saharan African countries which could also help them to develop in a sustainable fashion.  More info here

Ruses Mill Apple Map

Apple Map

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My father has an amazing ability to be an expert in all fields.  His latest line of expertise is that of orchard man and apple variety connoisseur (Cornish varieties a speciality).   This year has seen a bumper crop and has led to the first Ruses Mill scrumpy pressing.  When asked about the location of each tree in the orchard, a dusty soft back book was produced and inside the front cover a ‘detailed’ topological map produced…  See below.  Although it lacks a scale, compass and underlined title it serves its purpose perfectly.

Ruses Mill Apple Map

Ruses Mill Apple Map

So what about the varieties grown?

The Guardian article here is in line with his current thinking on all things apple related.

Puddle Thinking

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Puddle thinking appears to be an analogy for the way we think about the world?

It fits well with the idea that the human species is merely a temporary passenger on our planet.

We need the world. The world doesn’t need us…

Fits well with Gaia thinking too

Premier Leaguer Footballers

Which country do Premier League Football Players come from?

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They say that football is a world game nowadays.  Whether it’s the global reach of the fans from around the world watching the football on TV or the huge range of countries that the players come from then it can be surely called the global game.  A great map here shows the location of Premiership Footballers according to the team they play for.

Kenya leads the world on Cashless Transactions

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A really interesting article on the BBC news website which looks at the growing role of Mobile phones in many parts of Africa.  Kenyans are able to buy small items simply by sending text messages to the sellers.  In the video the journalist deposits 500 schillings and then buys samosas at the local shop using the technology.  You have to enter a Pin which provides some form of security.  Interestingly there are more people who own a phone than a bank account which makes the M-Pesa solution ideal for many Kenyans.

Why is it taking so long here?  It has been attempted and I suppose the Oyster travel card scheme is the most similar but how often is it used for a cashless transaction? The Daily Mail reckons it could be by 2012 we’ll be using phones as credit cards and we’ll have the true potential for a cashless society.  It seems as though the Kenyans are already there!

We Choose the Moon

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I’ve been thinking about the fact that we we sent people to the moon 40 years ago with technology that had less processing power than the average modern calculator.  Why has space travel stagnated?  Possibly because we’ve got enough problems and money that needs to be spent on sorting out the issues on Planet Earth. 

The image of Earth rise is apparently the most famous picture in history although I prefer the image that the Voyager 1 Spacecraft took called Pale Blue Dot to give an idea of how small we are in the universe.  I’ve alos found this page which has a great compilation of Images of Earth from Planetary Spacecraft from the Planetary Society. 

The website We Choose the Moon is a brilliant website celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing.

Brilliant Images

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The Big Picture from the Boston Globe never ceases to amaze and motivate me.  The aerial photography by Jason Hawkes is simply incredible,.  I love the one of the Flooded fields in Cheshire and the solar array in Nevada.

Tibet’s Great Prayer Festival

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Some fantastic pictures at the Big Picture page on the Boston Globe website.  This is a neverending source of amazing photography and I highly recommend you subscribe to the page via a feed reader such as Google Reader.

The pictures this time are about a prayer festival in Tibet. Tibet is often referred to as the ‘roof of the world’ as it is the highest region on earth with an average elevation of 4,900 metres.  It is technically part of China although the Tibetans for a long time have wanted to return it to being an independent Buddhist Kingdom with the Dalai Lama as head of state.

Google Earth 5.0

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It snowed heavily on Tuesday which is always great for Geographers.  We were concerned, however that baby PJ may make a sudden appearance but I got all excited about giving it a wintry geographical name such as Blizzard or Storm.  Snow White was also discussed but quickly dismissed.

Anyway it gave me the perfect opportunity to have a go on the new Google Earth.  You can now venture beneath the sea, fly to Mars and create tours so much more easily than the previous version.  You can even track large fish and whales and see the video footage.  Shipwrecks are also shown.  There is historical mapping which is brillinat for settlement studies.

Definetly worth a download!

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