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Friday, 4 January 2013

1.   Describe the changes taking place at the edge of an HIC city you have studied (9)

The edge of a HIC city that I have studied is the Southside Reading area around junction 11 of the M4. In the past the area was mainly dominated by landfill sites and old gravel pits, the most significant building was the Courage Brewery.
The first major development was a new dual carriageway, which was built to relieve pressure from the A33 to Basingstoke.
The next development was the relocation of the Reading Football club from the hemmed in inner city location at Elm Park, to the brand new Madjeski Stadium in the outskirts of Reading. Next to the stadium there is also Reading Gate, which s an out-of-town shopping centre. Reading Gate includes many well-known shops such as B&Q, DIY Supercentre Comet and BHS.
Reading International Business Park was developed to cope with the rising demand in business space. Green Park is another business and science park; it is being developed over a 10 year period and will eventually accommodate a workforce of over 7000 people. When it is completed green Park will be one of the largest business parks in Britain.
Another project that has been approved is the Green Park Village. The Green Park Village is a new community to the west of the Green Park. The development includes 700 high quality energy efficient homes and a lake. It also includes a railway station and a primary school.
Reading Gateway is the space between the Stadium, Green Park and Reading International Business Park.  It is a mixed scheme of at least 850 homes, business space and a hotel on the existing sewage treatment works at Manor Farm Road.
Kennet Island is another housing project. It is located halfway between Reading Town Centre and the M4 motorway.  Part of the development is covered by an initiative set up by the government called “My Choice Homebuy”, this aims at giving first time buyers a chance to get on the property ladder.  Most of the land was previously used by Reading’s water treatment works.

2.   Explain the reasons for the changes you have identified in your answer above (9)
The decentralisation of residents and businesses to the rural urban fringe has been caused by many different factors.
Suburbanisation is the outward spread of the urban area, often at lower densities compared with the older parts of a town or city.
In 1901 the population of Reading was 73000, now it was population of around 160000. This growth has forced the town to change.  There were some sites which were in urgent need of regeneration, so the council devised its South-West Reading Development brief in 2000. These proposals include, improving accessibility and developing an orbital transport service.
Urban Sprawl is another cause, it is a result of Greenfield development, and Inner cities have been neglected because of the advantages of Greenfield development. These advantages are that Greenfield sites allow you to build bigger, companies are often free to build as big as they want Also parking is not an issue. Greenfield sites have loads of space dedicated towards parking. Parking lots mean an even bigger draw for possible consumers.
Liability is also not an issue as there are almost no environmental problems with Greenfield sites this means that there is less or no liability. Because of this lack of environmental liability banks are more likely to offer you a loan to develop Greenfield sites
Tax incentives are also a bonus; there are few tax incentives to develop Brownfield sites. In suburban areas the costs of water, energy construction labour and waste disposal are often less also environmental impact reports are not required prior to development.
 One of the reasons people move out of the city is that they do not feel satisfied with the inner city life; this is caused by different push factors. The housing is old, congested and relatively expensive. There are various forms of environmental pollution. Unused lad is costly.
There are also some pull factors that draw people towards the urban fringe. The Land is cheaper so the houses can be larger. Factories are more spacious and have parking facilities. Proximity to major roads allows for easier and quicker customer contact. 
There has also been an increase in out-of-town retailing, with large purpose built superstores. There is easy accessibility because the superstores are located next to major roads. There are also large free car parks to park your cars. On the other hand in the city centre there is congestion and expensive parking. These out-of-town shopping centres are also designed with leisure activities included so that there is something for all of the family.
Industrial estates, business parks and science parks will be attracted b the availability of labour nearby, better accessibility, cheaper land and the attractive setting.

Mega Cities

Answer the questions on Mega-cities from the market place activity.
What are mega cities (4 marks)
Megacity is a term used to describe a city which has a population over 10 million. In 190 there were only 4 megacities, in 2010 there were 24 and it is estimated that by 2015 there will be nearly 30 megacities, half of which in Asia.
Explain the factors that have led to emergence of megacities (9)
Cities need high population growth in the city and the surrounding areas (this supplies migrants to the city) to grow. The population boom in many countries only started a few decades ago, especially after the Second World War the population growth increased. Large rates of rural-urban migration among young adults plus increased natural increase due to advances in technology and health services. Better hygiene leads to a higher natural increase and an increase in life expectancy. City dwellers are able to specialise which increases the productivity. Cities are sited on trade routes which provide good communication, for example rivers roads and railways.
There is a reduced need for agricultural labour combined with the loss of farm land. Greater productivity in the agricultural sector means fewer workers are needed and greater opportunities in the city. Growing industrialisation poor farming methods and climate change all contribute to the loss of farm land, for example China looses 3-6 thousand sq km of agricultural land each year.
Similar specialised activities, like banking, will cluster together in cities this leads to a large pool of workers which leads to an increased efficiency. This creates a multiplier effect which is the idea of momentum, once a city gains success it leads to more success. There are more jobs so more people come which means there are more people who need goods and services, which creates more jobs, and the cycle goes on.
Economies of Scale show that there are advantages to be gained from one megacity instead of many smaller cities. In Megacities there are financial savings to be made from transport, communication between people and businesses will be easier. Better schools will be located in cities this means there is a better educated workforce in cities. These people increase the overall productivity of the city raising its GDP. The city dwellers now have a high level of education are rich and are diverse this leads to more cultural activity which can be a consumer good. This also leads to greater economic development, this also attracts migrants.
Megacities contribute a large proportion of the country’s economic activity for example Bangkok has around 10% of the population but contributes around 30% of the GDP for Thailand.

3.       Describe the problems associated with megacities (6)
Use your textbook, the geofile on megacities, our newspaper article and the link to the market place notes here. Make sure that you use the textbook pages 149-151 and the Geoactive
In Megacities there is a high competition for land which leads to land being expensive and unable to meet demand. This leads to s greater amount of high rise flates. These reduce the availability of green spaces and can diminish the quality of life for those living there. In LIC cities many of the rural to urban migrants are looking for cheap, low cost housing, this is why millions of people live in temporary shanty towns and squatter settlements. Slums can be built on hazard-prone land and lack basic services like health education sanitation and transport. This means that in Slums there is ill-health, low life expectancy and crime.
In Megacities congestion is an issue as walking or cycling to work is not really an option. Designing a transport system takes time and money. Public transport systems are much more space efficient than cars. However it is not easy to plan as megacities grow fast and in an unplanned way. London has tried to control the problem by introducing the Congestion Charge. In Sao Paulo they have found a solution, they have the most complex bus system in the world today. They have many bus lanes. Everywhere in the city is on a bus route. This means that the bus travels faster than cars.
A lot of energy and resources are used in cities. Many LICs and MICs are not connected to the national grid, or connected unsafely. Only 50% of people have piped portable water and these are the cities there the population is growing the fastest.
There is a social segregation which leads to an opportunity gap. Poorer city dwellers do not have access to the same opportunities and services. Large cities encourage criminal activity because it is easier to hide. Megacities have serious quality of life issues but as megacities keep on growing the positives must outweigh the negatives.

Comparing Suetonius and Tacitus- Incest
Suetonius is direct with his accusations and does not really show reference to any of his sources . he says “ NO one doubted that he wanted sexual relations with his own mother”. This does not actually stick to the stereotype fully because although it is still a immoral relationship it is the the upper class woman who is offering herself. “He included among his mistresses a certain prostitute who they say looked very like Agrippina”. This show the lengths Nero went to to simulate being with Agrippina. “ Whenever he rode in a litter with his mother, the stains on his clothes afterwards proved that he had indulged in incest with her”.
Tacitus however is almost the complete contrast to this. Tacitus cites his sources carefully.  He says “ the Author Cluvius writes that Agrippina took her desire to keep power to far as to offer herself more often to a drunken Nero, all dressed up and ready for incest” This is generally along the lines of the stereotype of the time. However Tactitus also offers another perspective to the story. He refers to Fabius Rusticus. “Fabius Rusticus writes that it was not Agrippina, but Nero, who was eager for incest”.  This is again not strictly following the stereotype. However he does later say that “ a number of authors agree with Cluvius and general opinion follows this view.

By the end of his life Alexander believed he was a god. Comment
AO1: 10 AO2:10 AO3:10                                                    
Alexander was brought up to believe that he was descended from Hercules, and hence Zeus, this was mainly due to his mother, Olympia.
He was then subjected his followers to a forced polykenysis which meant that they had to kiss him on the cheek because they were of a lower rank than him. This was regarded as a barbarian, Persian, custom.
In the East the idea of a ruler being divine was unknown. However it was acceptable to Egypt and to the Greeks. The Greeks would give honours if someone was superhuman or had completed superhuman tasks, like Hercules.  For the Greeks there was no sharp distinction between god and men.
When Alexander visited the Oracle of Ammon at Siwa he first had to cross the desert and face many dangers. According to Plutarch Alexander asked two questions to the Oracle, whether any of Phillip’s assassins escaped and more importantly whether he would conquer the entire world. Before this Alexander was called by the priests as the son of Ammon. The Fact that Alexander wanted to publish this statement of him being the son of Ammon shows that he wants to be portrayed as the son of a god.
Plutarch also suggests that that Alexander used his divine status for purely political motives. Alexander restored the exiles which overstepped his legal right as the leader of the Corinthian League. However this interference could be justified if he had higher status i.e. that of a god.
There is some evidence suggesting that Alexander was seeking recognition for his “divine status”. There are records of discussions both in Sparta and Athens about dive honours for the “Son of Ammon”.
Alexander was also faithful to Zeus. He was always brought up to believe that he was descended from Heracles, and hence Zeus, by his mother Olympia. This is shown as before the battle of Gaugamela he sacrificed to Zeus.
Plutarch was writing his biography in parallel to Julius Caesar, who was deified. This means he could adjust the facts to make the two lives more comparable. Plutarch was also a priest at Delphi so this would have influenced his opinions. Arrian is openly biased towards Alexander. They are both writing long after the events actually occurred. Both the sources are strongly against the Persians, when they call them “barbarians”, this would be important when talking about when Alexander adopted Persian customs and Persian Dress. The sources are also inaccurate as they are often quoted to have said that the Persian Army was one million when it was in fact only 60000. 

I'm back Guys

I'm Back

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The New Era Of Reading

Image all rights reserved ©
Books were first written during the Egyptian era, where they used papyrus, a form of battered bark. Since then there has been the most catastrophic change. Now the invention of the Amazon Kindle and the Ipad has meant the era of hard copy books is fading away. 

The Reasons For the Advancement: 
  • One device carrying all of the books is inviting for commuters or people who are travelling, a big big target for authors selling their books 
  • It increases the interactivity of the books as you can highlight and annotate and most importantly COLABORATE 
  • It makes lending easier as you can do it in the comfort of your home, or wherever you are as long you are connected to the internet. 
  • Easy syncing and no need to rummage through the book to find your page  
Effect on Industries: 
  • Education- Children will be able to highlight and make notes and make corrections easily
  • They could collaborate with their teachers 
  • They could carry less books, just one, thin device holding all of their  needed information for lessons
Googles Influence in the Market: 

One of the most important things i have learned when learning about this technology is copyright. Digitalising books creates a new type of pirating and copyright. Books can loose sales as many will become pirated and become posted on the web, available for download by anyone. However i have learned it is naive on any author not to make their books digitalised as it is becoming such a huge market, that the profits lost from copyright, will be insignificant compared to the profit gain. 

To sum up i believe that nothing can replace the pleasure of a hard copy of a book. It is like a portal of information and secrets that you do not get the sense of when reading the ipad or the Amazon Kindle. However i do believe it is an advancing market and will have many impacts on education, medicin and other forms of services. 

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Whilst everywhere is a buzz about the royal weeding I'm going to talk about Barcelona, those F**king cheating bas**rds.

Whenever you play against Barca, whenever you touch them they are on the floor crying like a baby”  Emmanuel Adebayor

Here is proof against Barcelona in the from of a video on Real Madrid's Official Site Video Proof

 I do not understand why everyone playing against them (Barcelona) in the Champions League ends with 10 men. Arsenal, Chelsea...Christiano Ronaldo

This diving is a joke/embarrassing. When Pedro watches that do you think he'll think, "What was I doing!?" Rugby players must laugh at football. If you ever see me go off on a stretcher then run back on to play, I give everyone on here the green light to him me with a two-footed tackle.”  Rio Ferdinand 

Dani Alves, you are a disgrace. Roll about on the floor just a bit more!” Rory Mcilroy

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Copyright images

These are images I am allowed to use. Click on the images to go to the authors original site.

Faisan - Jose A Gallego Poveda -

trapo - Israel Ortiz -

Defying Gravity!!!

Shanghai | Hazy Lujiazui - PuDong, Shanghai

Our Galactic Neighborhood


Monday, 25 April 2011

The Fighter is a 2010 biographical sports drama film directed by David O. Russell, and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams. The film centers on the life of professional boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). The film also stars Amy Adams as Micky's love interest, and Melissa Leo as Micky's and Dicky's mother. The Fighter is Russell and Wahlberg's third film collaboration, following Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.
Good film, should see it. Christian Bale's acting in this is top notch. Wouldn't go as far as saying that it's the new Rocky though. It is a true story.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


My favorite Remix At the Moment is

Download mp3 here

Remixes that were removed From Youtube
Hitler Downfall- Copyright Claim from Constantin Film-still available on Vimeo

Ebooks over the Past month

I picked ebooks as my slide in the JWT things to watch in 2011. I choose ebooks now for the same reason. Ebooks are completely change the way we think about books, and is revolutionising them. 

Lendle was recently shut down in March, after only being set up a month before. Lendle took advantage of the free service on the Amazon Kindle that allowed ebooks to be loaned for 14 days. Lendle allowed strangers to do just this. Find out more on how it works from their site here. The reason Amazon shut Lendle down was that it doesn't “serve the principal purpose of driving sales of products and services on the Amazon site.”
But there was a happily ever after as Amazon reinstated Lendle after only one day, although Amazon has made Lendle disable their book sync feature.


Orange Book Club App
The Orange Book Club App was released on Android,already available for Java,Symbian and Blackberry, BUT the iOS version did not comply with Apple's in-app purchases rules.
The app has over 23000 ebooks and audiobooks which you can buy and it all gets charged to your orange phone bill.
"Unlike many other ebook services on the market, ours allows you to purchase with a single click, making it easier than ever before to download your next must-read novel," says Orange's Stuart Jackson
Android users can get the App from the Android Market,Orange World or their site


Kobo Expansion
Recently Canadian e-reader giant announced,at the London Book Fair, that they would expand to selected European countries. The first 2 stores to launch are in Germany and Spain which are expected to launch next month. Further stores in France,Italy and the Netherlands opening soon after.These new stores will join the existing stores in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet is a 2011 superhero action-comedy film, based on the character of the same name that had originated in a 1930s radio program and has appeared in movie serials, a television series, comic books and other media. Directed by Michel Gondry, the film stars Seth Rogen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Evan Goldberg. Supporting actors include Jay Chou as Kato, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, and Tom Wilkinson.
This has everything I think makes a good film, action and lots of comedy. Plus it has Seth Rogen in it.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Top 10 movies of the 2000s

This List is according to IMDB, this is my first ever video using Sony Vegas Pro so It isn't that advanced.

No. 10 WALL-E


WALL-E, promoted with an interpunct as WALL·E, is a 2008 American computer-animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Andrew Stanton. The story follows a robot named WALL-E, who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. He eventually falls in love with another robot named EVE, and follows her into outer space on an adventure that changes the destiny of both his kind and humanity

Personally I hated this film but I know many people who absolutely loved it. For me, it just wasn't that engaging. But I guess that if it is good enough to come 10th then some people must like it.

No. 09 The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others (German: Das Leben der Anderen) is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his chief Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreyman, and Martina Gedeck as Dreyman's lover, a prominent actress named Christa-Maria Sieland.

It's a very interesting film different from the usual, but do I think that it is good enough to be in the Top Ten. No.

No. 08 Amelie

Amélie is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Its original French title is Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain meaning "The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain". Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation. The film was an international co-production between companies in France and Germany.

I have only watched this film in french and without subtitles. So my understanding of the film will be quite limitewd but I must say it's a bit messed up. A thing to note : this is the second foreign film on the list.

No. 07 Spirited Away

Spirited Away (千と千尋の神隠し Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi?, literally, The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro) is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy-adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film follows a sullen ten-year-old girl who is in the process of moving to a new neighborhood, and chronicles her adventures in a world of spirits and monsters

Well I am an anime fan myself and this is one of the best english animes I've seen. I would encourage any anime fan to see it if you haven't already.

Unrelated Note
I just want to take this moment to pay my respects to the Japanese people affected by the earthquake and tsunami, I encourage everyone to give what they can to help them.

No. 06 The Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the second film in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy that was preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and concluded with The Return of the King (2003).

So the first of the LOTR series on the list, and I can agree with that. The LOTR series is one of the few films which I can say the director and producers really tried. You can see this in the finished product.

No. 05 Memento

Memento is a 2000 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, adapted from his younger brother Jonathan's short story "Memento Mori". It stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia which renders his brain unable to store new memories. During the opening credits, which portrays the end of the story, it is shown that Leonard kills Teddy (Joe Pantoliano). The film suggests that this killing is in vengeance for the rape and murder of his wife (Jorja Fox) based on information provided by Natalie (Carrie-Anne Moss).

A film by Christopher Nolan, one of my favourite directors. This is a really good film and this should be an example to all directors of what a psychological thriller should be.

No. 04 The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a 2001 fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson based on the first volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–1955). Set in Middle-earth, the story tells of the Dark Lord Sauron, who is seeking the One Ring. The Ring has found its way to the young hobbit Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood). The fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance as Frodo and eight companions form the Fellowship of the Ring, and begin their journey to Mount Doom in the land of Mordor, the only place where the Ring can be destroyed.

I am a fan of all LOTR films and they are probably the best fantasy films ever.

No. 03 City Of God

City of God (Portuguese: Cidade de Deus) is a 2002 Brazilian crime film directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. All the characters existed in reality. The story is based on real events. It was adapted by Bráulio Mantovani from the 1997 novel of the same name written by Paulo Lins. It depicts the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro, between the end of the '60s and the beginning of the '80s, with the closure of the film depicting the war between the drug dealer Li'l Zé and criminal Knockout Ned. The tagline is "If you running the beast catches, if you stay the beast eats."

Personally I can say that I have NOT seen this film and I don't particularly want to. But I guess if it is good enough for No. 03 then it must be something good.

No. 02 The Lord Of the Rings: Return Of The King

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson that is based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the concluding film in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002).

I completely agree that this was the best of the whole series. I can't say anything else apart from; the last in the LOTR series.

NO. 01

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins. Christian Bale reprises the lead role. The film follows Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bale), District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Assistant D.A. Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and Police Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and their struggles and journey in combating the new rising threat of a criminal calling himself the "Joker" (Heath Ledger).

The Dark knight is probably the most EPIC film ever, apart from Inception. But the thing to note is that they are both directed by Christopher Nolan. I probably have the world record for seeing this film the most times. I do not know how many essays I have missed the deadline for because of this film. And I just want to say Heath Ledger, what an actor.

Something Taaj would be furious about
Avatar is actually ranked No. 42 on IMDB's list.

Interviews Coming Soon!

Monday, 7 March 2011

ACDC WAR Project

My project was on the "War of the Currents" I have a slide show prepared and here it is. I hope you'll enjoy it.
This was my first time using Prezi so it might not be that advanced.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Faster is a 2010 American action film directed by George Tillman Jr. It stars Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Moon Bloodgood, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Maggie Grace. It was released in the United States on November 24, 2010.
Good film filled with action but I don't like some aspects of the story which were a bit unrealistic