Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dan's NEW four-part series: 'The Best of Norfolk'

It's official! It's about a month now before I go to America for my 5 month Gap Scholarship around Alaska, Western USA and Canada. Despite the fact that I am very excited to be going on what will be a 'trip of a lifetime', I will be sad to leave such a wonderful and varied country, and even more sad to leave Norfolk; the county that has been my home for the last 18 years.

So, every Wednesday in August, join me to celebrate the aspects of Norfolk that I will miss the most. There'll be some obvious choices, and some not so obvious, but all are undoubtedly the things that I associate with Norfolk.

Join me then, tomorrow (Wednesday 1st August 2012), for the start of my latest Four-Part Series, 'The Best of Norfolk'. You can watch by viewing my blog, or my you tube channel 'TV Geog', and if you're a Facebook friend, then check my wall out tomorrow as well.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Geography with Dan: An 'Olympic Special' Feature

Today is a historic day for Great Britain, as the most popular international sporting event officially begins. The 2012 Olympics is finally here after years of planning, building and organisation and I must say I'm getting pretty excited about it all. Billions of pounds have been spent to make sure the next two weeks go off without a hitch, making it a safe and secure games, whilst ensuring it can be enjoyed and accessed by everyone.

It's not just a fantastic time for promoting Sport and Fitness, but I think, a brilliant moment to reflect on how important the Olympics are for Geography. Millions of people around the planet have travelled thousands of miles to join those living in the UK in order to share a sporting event that will leave a legacy not just for the athletes, but for everyone who has been a part of it.

The Olympic Torch Relay has put the 'United' into 'United Kingdom', because eventhough the games are concentrated in London, the relay has travelled across the country ensuring those in the highest and the remotest parts of this wonderful group of islands, are able to be part of it.

Now the day of the opening ceremony has arrived, seven years after the bid was won, the Olympic Symbol will most probably mean something different to the 7 billion people on the planet. For the athletes, it will mean a life long journey of hard work, commitment and dedication to their chosen sport. For those watching on TV sets all around the world, it will mean an opportunity to be inspired to get out and take part in a sport themselves.

For me, it means so many things, but I think the symbol in some ways represents what Geography is all about. A range of different cultures, traditions, peoples and communities from all around the world demonstrating unity and togetherness; 7 billion sharing and being part of Earth's biggest international event; a time to put conflicts and political arguments aside and enjoy what will be one year to remember.

So, when you're next watching the games either on the TV or, if you've been lucky to get a seat in the venue, take a moment to pause and reflect on the 'Geography of the Olympics'. And hopefully it will inspire you, not just to take up and continue a sport of your own, but to consider just how important Geography is in all our lives.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Virtually follow me...All Around America!

Well, not long now until I venture off to America. Remember you can read all about my experiences daily on this blog, and here's a little preview to my weekly video updates!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Geography is everywhere! And here's how!

It's the Summer Holidays; it must be, as the other day, I found that I was walking aimlessly around the local library. I don't usually have time for such things, unfortunately, but I must admit throughout my aimless 'browsing', I stumbled on a whole section of Geography books I hadn't previously seen. Not my fault either, as the label above the stand read "History"! Well, if you're a budding geography reader and like just picking a spine or two, then investigate other sections of the library. You never know, there could be hydrology in 'Crafts and Arts', geology in 'Poetry' and climatology in 'Psychology'.

It got me thinking though. Despite the fact that there is a clear section devoted to Geography, every subject has got, in varying degrees, an embellishment of Geography in them. I decided to prove this, so I went to random aisles and picked up three random books.

The first was a short little book by John H Arnold, called History: A Very Special Introduction. I didn't read all of it, but just a few pages; just enough to be satisfied that History had some connection and relevance to Geography. Indeed, it seems to! Arnold describes History to "begin and end with questions" and classifies the subject therefore as "a process". Well, Geography is very similar. Geographers come up with processes (like longshore drift, stoping, and isostatic adjustment) by asking questions: how, when, where and why? When their theories are accepted, peer geographers continue to delve deeper into the subject asking further questions: "so why does this happen here and not there?" or "is it sustainable?" Geography therefore could likewise be called a process, as Arnold believes History to be.

The next book I randomly selected was a  Philip Swindells work called Formal Ponds and Water Gardens. I was very pleased to stumble across some geographical references in his Introduction. Did you know that water gardens have had a very long and fascinating history? They developed "out of the need to bring irrigation to crops" in the "Middle and Far East" in "warm or mild climates". In other words, they developed originally to combat the particularly difficult climate that the Middle and Far East is well known for; climatology is a branch underneath the hierarchy that is Geography.

I decided to finish this rather unscientific study of the literary interconnections between Geography and the rest of the world with a look at Fiction. By no means a classic, but the book I randomly selected was Saki's A Shot in the Dark. In the first chapter, one of the characters buys a couple of paintings; "two views from Durham Cathedral". I had only been filming at Durham's Cathedral last week, so I instantly made the geographical link. Durham Cathedral was built around an incised meander, on a hill which, back in the day, provided good views of invasions in the surrounding area, and the river provided defence. It's not surprising therefore that the paintings came from Durham Cathedral and no surprise that one of the characters in the text bought two of them.

So, my little experiment has proven to some extent that Geography is literally everywhere; read between the lines in nearly any book, and you'll find some sort of Geographical references. It passed the time for me, anyway! Try it yourself!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


So, you've probably been wondering what had happened to me these last few months! Indeed, 'Geography with Dan' hasn't been updated for quite a while, but prepare...

Soon, in 44 days time in fact, I will be starting my Gap Year Scholarship to America. Travelling through Alaska, the Western Strip of USA and Canada, I will be investigating the melting of Permafrost, and also sight-seeing in some of the most famous cities of the world.

At present, I am really busy in getting things ready for this trip. I've purchased the boots already- they're great- and I'm currently typing on my brand spanking new laptop, which I shall be taking to the states with me to update this blog, (more on that in a sec!) I am yet to buy a camera and, probably most significantly, a pair of gloves and a jolly good ol' hat!

What's probably most exciting of all is the fact that throughout the 5 months, I will be updating this blog every night. So what can you expect from Geography With Dan from the 30th August 2012?

You can literally follow me everywhere I go. And please do email on daniel.evans994@yahoo.co.uk .
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