I made a New Year promise to include a regular slot in my blog for 2014, called my ‘monthly WARP’. This is based on an acronym where the ‘W’ stands for a web resource, the ‘A’ for an app, the ‘R’ for a reading resource, and the ‘P’ for a photograph or image.
My seventh WARP – for the month of July – consists of the following:
This site has been developed by LeDuc Media, and displays a variety of life expectancy data in an easily understandable format. Maps and statistics represent different causes of deaths across the world, and the section titled ‘world health rankings’ includes dynamic population pyramids, demographic summaries, and death rate data for all countries of the world. It is also possible in this section to compare data between two selected nations.
This app is a great tool that can support work in class and in the field. It is possible to pin locations on the Google map, and view not only their elevation in feet or metres, but also the longitude, latitude and address. By placing two pins on the map, it is possible to see the elevation profile and walking distance between these two points.
My selected book this month is “Krakatoa – The Day The World Exploded” by Simon Winchester. Published in 2003, this book chronicles the destruction of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa in 1883. Apart from the vivid descriptions and clear explanation of this catastrophic eruption, Winchester touches on a range of geographical topics – including Darwin and evolution, the creation of Morse code, the rubber trade and Alfred Wegener, the German explorer and father of geology.
“Krakatoa is a stark reminder of the truth of Will Durant’s famous aphorism ‘Civilisation exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice’ “ (page 301)
“The earth fashioned three of the five greatest volcanoes of historic time in this one gigantic factory. The largest the world has ever known was made there: Mount Toba, which erupted 74,000 years ago in what is now northern Sumatra. It had a Volcanic Explosivity Index, or VEI, of 8 – the highest on a scale that is now universally used to classify all eruptions (save for those which merely ooze lava, without exploding). Toba’s humongous explosion – the curious adjective is now officially used to describe giant volcanoes, the equivalent of the cyclonic sea-state that is these days termed phenomenal – left behind an immense lake, fifty miles long and fifteen wide, with the sheer caldera cliff rising 800 feet straight out of the water. The eruption left layers of dust eighteen inches thick on the ocean floor 1,500 miles away, and must have placed a severe crimp on the development of such Ur-humans as were struggling for existence in those times: it must have lowered the ambient temperature by many degrees, and made even more harsh a climate that was already in the midst of changing into yet another Ice Age.” (page 309 & 311)
More photos from my travels can be seen at: