Human Geography

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




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



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



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



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

Thirst for knowledge


Great pictures illustrating the thirst for knowledge in young people in many parts of the world

Reshared post from +Mazin Kalil

Using Twitter to make maps


This is a really interesting article about how Twitter can be used to make maps here. If a tweet is geotagged it can be used as a sort of choropleth map.  Love the city maps especially and it would be great to print them out for our walls in our apartment.

I’ve actually slowed up on Twitter use due to the amount of irrelevance I was beginning to see. Prefer Google+ now.

UK Internal Migration GCSE Geography Case Study


Iron Cove, near Padstow Cornwall

London Eye

A student emailed me with a request for a case study on internal migration in an MEDC. This got me thinking about the reasons people might leave beautiful Cornwall for busy London/South East.  There are a range of push and pull factors.


  • PUSH Factor = The reasons why people leave a place
  • PULL Factor = The reasons why people are attracted to a place

“Push” factors from Cornwall – Why People Leave

  • Only seasonal tourism jobs available – Think of all those lifeguards, restaurant workers, souvenir shops only open for 6 months of the year. Newquay’s population soars from 25,000 to as much as 100,000 between Easter and September
  • Low paid jobs – minimum wage and little overtime –  Average salary – £17,628 – Good if dated article here –  BBC 2005
  • House prices too high – Second home ownership is pushing up the price of homes in COrnwall – See this BBC article here
  • Fewer opportunities – Not the range of jobs available
  • Not as many services e.g. specialised hospitals, entertainment, sports facilities (Cornwall has no League football team! – The nearest is Plymouth Argyle)
  • Fairly isolated and lack of a motorway – Only the A30 which is only dual carriageway until Truro

“Pull” factors of South East/London – Why People are attracted to London

  • Well paid work – Average salary is £33,634 – See the graph here
  • Greater number of jobs and opportunities
  • Good communications – motorway links, airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, City)
  • Cultural / Social attractions (galleries, theatres, restaurants etc… especially in London)

Negative effects on Cornwall:

  • Less money in local economy
  • Brain drain of educated individuals
  • Services closed
  • Crime increase
  • Ageing population – Many young people leave 

Positive effects on Cornwall

  • More jobs for those left
  • Government assistance – cheaper for new businesses to set up in Cornwall

Negative effects on South East:

  • Overcrowding
  • Traffic congestion
  • Higher house prices

Hope this helps!  Any more suggestions are welcome!


How Big a Flood


Really like this new BBC website, How Big Really, which gives a sense of scale to the verbatim News Reports we both see and here on the news.  By entering your postcode you can get an idea of how big a natural disaster, environmental disaster, depths, etc,..  Worth checking out the How Many Really too



World Population Clocks

7 billion people

A world of 7 Billion People

The National Geographic have produced some excellent visual diagrams on world population here.  Make sure you check out the zoomable human face.


Although several population clocks already show us as being at 7 billion people many show us as still to reach this figure by the end of 2011.  A list of fairly decent population counters and clocks follows

A nice interactive map of Europe population can be seen here


Why Nuclear Power is still the solution



Radiation Dose Chart

Radiation Dose Chart

Having read George Monbiot’s excellent article in the Guardian and also been a keen follower of James Lovelock and his Gaia theory, both supporters of nuclear power, I’m keen that the argument for nuclear power should still be balanced and not skewed by the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant.  The fact that Fukushima was over 30 years old ,remained standing following the largest Japanese earthquake in recorded history, then was inundated by the tsunami which was 14 metres in height and only then had a relatively minimal release of radiation, shows that the fear of nuclear power is greater than the actual effects.

Obviously I wish I could afford  to buy, along with everyone else, solar panels, drive a Nissan Leaf, a ground heat pump and install a wind generator in my garden as a green solution but it’s still not a logical economical choice.  Bring on a regulated, modern nuclear power industry and build it in Cornwall to guarantee jobs for the future and get GAIA back to its human friendly state.

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