Japan’s earthquake explained

On Friday 11 March 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale triggered a tsunami that devastated parts of coastal Japan. ‘Japan’s Tsunami: How It Happened’ investigates the science behind these twin geologic catastrophes – the earthquake and tsunami.

The programme follows Professor of Geological Sciences Roger Bilham, a seismologist at the University of Colorado, who arrived in Japan two days after the earthquake.


Fair Trade Coffee

Fair Trade Coffee Infographic from Simon Vieira on Vimeo.


Wikipedia: Fair trade coffee is coffee which is purchased directly from the growers for a higher price than standard coffee. Fair trade coffee is one of many fair trade certified products available around the world. The purpose of fair trade is to promote healthier working conditions and greater economic incentive for producers.

For more information on Fair Trade in Ireland visit Fair Trade Ireland.

Today is World Water Day

A few simple tools can help stop the spread of disease in the third world. Watch this video and see just how simple they could be.

This video is to celebrate World Water Day.

Visit World Water Day website for more information about Water

Diarrheal and respiratory infections kill over 3.5 million children under the age of five every year. Hand washing with soap is the most effective and an inexpensive way to prevent these deaths. It can save the lives of 1.2 million children every year.

The tippy tap is a low cost, low tech, low water, hands-free device to promote hand washing with soap.

Visit www.tippytap.org to find out more.

Build your own tippy tap instructions here.

Want to understand what’s happening at the nuclear reactor in Japan?

This is the explanation video about the events which have caused nuclear reactor problems in Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. These problems were caused by earthquake and following tsunami near to Sendai town in north-east of Tokyo.

This CNN video breaks down the problems afflicting the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Give the video three minutes of your time, and you will get a fairly comprehensive overview of what’s going wrong.

Source here.

Read this description of how nuclear energy is created at this blog post by Maggie Koerth-Baker at www.boingboing.net

Pipe Down – the story of the Corrib Gas Pipeline

Pipe Down is an hour long documentary that tells the story of a rural community in Co. Mayo in Ireland, who have been battling the oil giant Shell over their plans to put a dangerous raw gas pipeline through the community and complete construction of a gas processing terminal that is a threat to their delicate environment.

The documentary features interviews with Colin Joyce of Shell Ireland; Willie Corduff, a local farmer & one of the Rossport Five; Pat O’Donnell, a local fisherman; Gerry Coyle, a County Councillor for the area (Fine Gael); Eoin O’Leidhin & Diane Amber, activists with the Shell-to-Sea group; Terence Conway, a spokesperson for the Shell-to-Sea group; and Niall Harnett, who co-ordinates the solidarity camp in the area.

The video was made by Cian O. I found it on Vimeo, link here.

Pipe Down from Cian O on Vimeo.

* Winner – Best Feature Documentary – Waterford Film Festival 2009 *

Where are all the tweets?

…………or rather, Twitter and Population Density in one day.

Watch the animation below which shows the relationship between Twitter and Population Density over the 24 hours of 19th November 2010.

On the map:

  • The more red a place appears, the greater the population density.
  • Each transparent blue circle is a single tweet. The darker the blue, the greater the density of tweets.
  • Pay attention to Indonesia. Jakarta has as many dark blue dots as New York and San Francisco.
  • Pay heed to Africa. With the exception of a few cities, such as Lagos and Johannesburg, Africa remains the dark continent.

The map shows approx 530,000 tweets — and remember these are just tweets with geo-coordinates enabled.

Geo-tweets and population density from Chris McDowall on Vimeo.

Info source here.

Bog bodies

The Perfect Corpse…..learning secrets from the preserved remains of people buried long ago in peat bogs.

Today in class we were talking about why Ireland should preserve the peat bogs. Someone said we could learn a lot about our history from them because peat bogs preserve anything that falls into them due to the lack of oxygen in the peat. A number of human bodies have been found in peat bogs around the world.

Explore this article at NOVA / PBS.org here.

Meet the most famous bog body of them all – Tollund Man of Denmark – at this interactive page here.


And here is a quick video of Tollund Man

Footage of World’s Last Uncontacted Tribes

The Amazon jungle – seven million square kilometers, of which five and a half million square kilometers are covered by the rainforest and has a population density of 0.2 persons/km2 approx – very low indeed – with some tribes completely cut off from mankind.

Here we have the first aerial footage of an uncontacted tribe living in the Brazilian Amazon – a people living entirely apart from civilization as we know it. The short clip, filmed for the BBC show Human Planet, follows Jose Carlos Meirelles, who works on behalf of the Brazilian government to safeguard the country’s indigenous people. The livelihood of these indigenous peoples is constantly threatened by illegal mining and logging. And it’s Meirelles’s mission to protect this population by publicizing their existence. This footage was filmed at 1 KM distance with a long telephoto lens to minimize disturbance. To learn more about this and other uncontacted tribes, visit http://www.uncontactedtribes.org.