Geographical contexts to everyday situations explained

Rewind to May 1980, and the news was dominated by the eruption of a volcano in the Cascades Range in the far NW of the USA. Mt. St. Helens suprised everyone by erupting with a lateral blast: sideways rather than upwards... Ash, pyroclastic flows, mudslides and millions of felled trees.
In last night's first episode of the BBC's new Natural History of the UK, a sequence highlighted the extinct volcano which forms the foundations for Edinburgh Castle...
And today, on the BBC and USGS website ( comes news that Mt. St. Helens may be waking from 24 years of dormancy.
What would you do if you lived near a volcano ?
Why do people live near something which has the potential to kill them and destroy their property ?
What economic benefits can be gained from volcanoes ?
Have you ever seen an active volcano ?
What are the world's most well known volcanoes ?

Map Man is a current BBC series.
The 3rd episode looked at the 1933 'London Underground' map of Harry Beck: the world's most familiar map image ? 1 billion people use the tube every year. The map has no streets or landmarks, but why is it so successful as a map ?
How do you find travelling on the underground ?
What did you feel the first time you used it ?
Have you never used it ?

Get out there!

Geo Blogs

Another weather related post I'm afraid...
Hurricane Ivan is currently tearing up towards New Orleans and Mobile on the Gulf Coast..
What has that got to do with us ?
A few suggestions:
Oil price is likely to rise (oil platforms have had to be evacuated...)
On its way to the Gulf, Ivan trashed the Cayman Islands, which are home to many financial institutions..
Many holidaymakers from the UK were trapped in Jamaica for days (that reminds me of the joke: "My granny went to the Caribbean." "Jamaica ?" " No, it was her choice")

Geo Blogs

About me

  • I'm Alan Parkinson
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  • Geographer
    Teacher at King's Ely
    Mission:Explorer with Explorer HQ
    Chartered Geographer
    Hon. FRSGS
    Tivy Education Medal Winner 2013
    OS Award Winner 2008
    Multi-award winning author
    Consultant to the GA
    Primary Geography Champion
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