Saturday, April 07, 2007,10:40 AM
Northern Migration
I think I told some of you that I'm moving today. Where to? Well to begin with I live within walking distance of IJC. But the family has grown (so have I..hiaks) so we are going to move to a bigger place near Singapore American School. Just about 2km away from IJC and on good days I guess I can walk home.

Why move within Woodlands the backwaters of Singapore you may ask? I could choose to move to somewhere more happening near town but it will mean living with the traffic jams, long car rides home or for me who can't seem to pass my driving test loads of taxi rides. So if you link that to Geography, I guess proximity to work is important to me as it reduces travelling time as well as transportation costs. Besides that, my parents live in JB which makes Woodlands really near their place and I can either visit them every weekend or they can come over for a visit anytime they want ( provided there is no massive jam at the Causeway caused by the err...really slow security checks). So again my little migration within Woodlands is made with a lot of factors in mind.

Since we are talking about Woodlands, let me tell you what I love about this place.For your information, I have lived in all parts of Singapore except the South.

I spent the first 6 years of my life in Kampung Soo Poo which was located opposite the the former Kallang Gasworks and near the demolished Kallang Stadium. We were staying relatively near to Kallang River too and during the monsoon season the water levels rose and the whole Kampung will be flooded to about waist deep.My earliest memory of my Kamoung house was the sight of dead chickens floating in the murky waters as well as excretion of all shapes and sizes floating aimlessly. Would you believe it that I was one of the lucky few of my generation to know what it is like to relieve yourself in an outhouse. Basically it was a tiny hut with a hole in the floor and you squat to do your business over a large oval shape container. Each evening the nightsoil man will come to clear the filled to the brim container and replace it with an empty one. Yuck! Never again man. Plenty of fond memories of the Kampung house but maybe I'll reserve it for a later entry.

When the government proposed the Kallang River Clean-up in the early 80s, our family moved to a cosy 3 room flat at Jurong East street 32. I stayed there with granny, grandpa, and 2 aunts for about 8 years. By then, dad and mum had migrated to JB and grandpa insisted I had a Singapore education. We moved to the flat on National Day 1982.The flat was cosy although I did remember we did had to adjust slowly to living in a high rise building and since the block of flat faced the expressway and then Bulim cemetary it was initially scary to hear strong winds howling at night.

When grandpa passed away in 1988, we moved as it held too much memories of him and it was a way to let grandma cope with his sudden passing.We moved to a 5 room flat at Jurong West St 73 in 1990 which was near Jalan Bahar. The place was initially called 'tempat jin bertendang' as it was so far away from civilisation. I didn't quite enjoy the 8-9 years we spent there. I was schooling at Fairfield Methodist Sec and then ACJC and I had to get up at the crack of dawn just to barely make it on time to school. When we moved there, Boon Lay MRT didn't even function and it took me more than 1.5 hours to get anyway in Singapore. Even Jurong Point was not interesting then. It only had the old wing and few shops catered to what I needed.

It was only when I moved to Woodlands in 1999 that the new wings was completed and they had what I think the first Banquet Outlet. Cheh! A conspiracy just to irritate me.The next move was to Jumbo flat at Woodlands Street 41. Very nice place and I was glad that it only took 30 minutes to get to town and the place was so conveniently located to shops, markets and most stuff I need can be found in Causeway Point. I didn't stay for long there.

When I got married in early 2001, we moved to Woodlands Dr 50 near 888 Plaza. I love my current place.It is so conveniently located to shops and is walking distance to school. It faces the park so I literally have lunch and dinner by the park. Although I love this place, our family is growing and I need space for MIL, the maid, the 2 boys and hobby rooms for myself and the hubster which is why we made a decision to move before inertia sets in.

After living in so many places in Singapore, I realised that each new town has its unique characteristics and they come with advantages and disadvantages. Take for example Jurong West. I found it way too ulu (remote) for my liking and pollution levels were high and I recalled having asthma attacks every other week when I was staying there. It was also a rather dead place and well Jurong Point wasn't the most happening place to hang out. There were also too many foreign workers hanging out at the interchange for my liking and I always avoided the place after nightfall. The value of the flats in Jurong West extension was also low as there was an oversupply fo new flats there plus living within minutes of Tuas Industrial area wasn't exactly one's idea of dream home. I practically lived nearer to Choa Chu Kang Cemetary compared to school when I was there. Never again man....

Did I tell you how much I love Woodlands?

The big open spaces, the huge houses, the proximity to JB and well my favourite school in here. Hehe...what's not to like? Although I wish we have Ngee Ann City instead of Causeway Point.

Ok guys...wish me luck the movers are here.


posted by GeoGenius
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Friday, April 06, 2007,8:17 AM
Geo Round Up

Let us recap what we did for the Week of 2-5th April 2007.

JC1 H2 Lecture
For lecture I went through the continental drift theory, the evidences for the theory as well as development of plate tectonics theory. I ended the lecture at the different types of plate boundaries. Next week, we will focus on divergent and convergent plate boundaries and the features and processes occuring at the different types of boundaries.

I know that I went through the content very quickly. But it was to ensure that you all are aware of the demands of the subject and how much independent and additional readings you have to do in order to fully grasp the concepts and the related examples. Please read the mankiller readings particularly reading no. 1-5. There will be a test in Week 5.

You were also instructed to purchase copies of the DRQ bank for lithospheric processes and to finish questions 1-5. Your tutors will go through the answers with you next week.

JC 1 H2 Tutorial (0724A)

Tutorial 1-I went through with you the fundamentals of answering DRQs and how to process data. We will continue next week.

Tutorial 2- We did group work on aspects of population characteristics. One group has already presented their skit and I went through factors that affect population sizes and characteristics. Please ensure that you are ready for the other skit presentations and the debate next week.

For some population Geography games visit this link. The site has games on population simulator and a family game where you can invent your own family and decide on the number of children you intend to have based on several determining factors.

JC 1 H1 Lecture
No lectures due to Good Friday Holiday. Test is scheduled on Week 5.

JC1 H1 Tutorial ( Tuesdays 1.40-3.10pm N1-5)
We had our first tutorial this week. Didn't know there were so many Man U, Liverpool and Arsenal fans in the group as well as music and Sudoku lovers. :) We went through the rest of the data response lecture and I set you work to complete Question 1-5 of the DRQ bank.

JC 2 H2 Tutorials
We missed one tutorial because of Good Friday Holiday. We covered aspects of Urban Geography tutorials and how to answer DRQs as well as went through our block test scripts this week.

JC 2 H1 Tutorials ( Mondays and Thursdays)
For the first tutorial, we covered aspects of river studies.

For the second tutorial, I returned you the block test scripts as well as the first supplementary assignment on lithospheric processes. I also went through answers demanded for the 2nd supplementary assignment on globalization of economic activity.The deadline for both the essay and the supplementary assignment is this coming Monday 9th April 2007. No extensions given.

Geography News Around the World

Another tsunami developed over the Solomon Islands as a result of earthquakes near the Solomon Islands

April 3, 2007

Earthquake Triggers Tsunami Wave in Solomon Islands

HONIARA (SOLOMON ISLANDS) - YESTERDAY'S massive earthquake was caused by a sudden slippage where the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates crash together near the Solomon Islands, according to the National Earthquake Information Centre of the US Geological Survey.
'It is not surprising for it to generate a tsunami,' said Mr Rafael Abreu, a geologist at the centre. The centre said on its website that the original earthquake was followed by severe aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.7 and 6.4 within 1 1/2 hours.

Mid-ocean earthquakes of magnitude 8 can generate tsunamis that cause catastrophic damage close to the epicentre, and the shallow depth made it more likely that the quake lifted the ocean floor to create the wave.

But generally, a tsunami from an earthquake of that magnitude is not powerful enough to inflict damage thousands of kilometres away.
In the case of the Solomon Islands earthquake, the sea floor was shallower to the north and deeper to the south.

'Our simulation model indicates to us the beam of energy of the tsunami was going to be directed to the south,' said Mr Victor Sardina, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii.

That spared the islands to the north, and the wave's energy had largely dissipated before reaching Australia and New Zealand.
Yesterday's shallow temblor or a 'tsunami earthquake' was similar to the one which hit Java last year.

'A classic example of this kind of quake was the Java quake in July last year - that was a classic slow quake, or tsunami earthquake,' said Mr Barry Hirshorn, a geophysicist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
The Java tsunami killed 650 people and left more than 100,000 homeless.


April 6, 2007

Global warming threatens natural wonders
By ARTHUR MAX - Associated Press Writer

An environmental group said Thursday some of the world's greatest natural treasures are threatened with destruction because of global warming - from the Great Barrier Reef to the Amazon rain forests and the unique ecosystem of the Mexican desert.

On the sidelines of a climate change conference in Brussels, the World Wide Fund for Nature issued a list of 10 regions suffering serious damage from global warming, and where it has projects to limit further damage or help people adapt to new conditions.
"What we are talking about are the faces of the impacts of climate change," said Lara Hansen, WWF's chief scientist on climate issues.

The group said coral reefs around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the MesoAmerican Reef off Belize, begin to lose their color and die with a rise in ocean waters of just 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also threatened by the increasing ferocity of tropical storms, another effect of global warming.

Environmentalists project the temperature of the Amazon River could rise by 3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit within 50 years, turning between up to 60 percent of the rain forest into a dry savanna.

In the Bering Sea, warmer winters are leading to the earlier breakup of spring ice and driving salmon stocks closer to the North Pole, disrupting the Arctic ecosystem. Melting ice is also diluting sea water and affecting nutrients for small organisms on which fish feed.

In the Valdivian rain forest in Chile and Argentina, the Alerce tree - which can live for 3,000 years - is threatened by forest fires and declining rainfall. Melting glaciers mean groundwater in the region will also become more scarce.

The Chihuahua Desert straddling the U.S.-Mexican border is suffering from drought and intensive farming and overgrazing. North America's largest desert, the Chihuahua has 3,500 unique plant species, including an array of cactus and yucca, that could be at risk.

Many of the regions at risk were singled out in a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an authoritative body of 2,500 scientists. The report, which is undergoing governmental review at the five-day conference in Brussels, projects specific consequences for each degree of rising global temperatures, which the IPCC agrees is largely caused by human activity.

Some damage at the 10 areas listed by WWF is irreversible, such as shrinking glaciers, Hansen said. Certain types of coral reefs, however, can recover.

The WWF listing also said:

-Six of seven species of Caribbean turtles are endangered as rising sea levels swamp nesting beaches and feeding grounds.

-Some Himalayan glaciers are receding by 33 to 49 feet per year, causing floods now and threatening summer drought in the future.

-Glaciers in the Tibetan plateau that feed China's Yangtze river are also shrinking, adding to water flows now but threatening shortages of water, food and electricity to 450 million people as they reach a critical point.

-The Bay of Bengal is rising and increasingly violent rainstorms in India could inundate coastal islands, destroy mangrove forests and affect India's Sunderbans, home to the largest wild population of Bengal tigers and to 1 million people.

-Scientists predict East African coastal forests and the offshore ecosystem will also be vulnerable to more frequent and intense storms that will damage agriculture, shoreline mangroves and coral reefs.

What do you think will be the effects of rising temperatures on our very own islands state? Do look out for more news around the world soon or even better add your own link through the chat box!

See you all next week. Have a great weekend.



posted by GeoGenius
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Thursday, April 05, 2007,7:04 PM
Geography's Alive
I have decided to revive this long abandoned blog. Do swing by often to get updates on my lectures and tutorials as well as my latest take on issues related to the environment and all stuff Geographical.

I teach both JC1s and JC2s H1 and H2 so there is probably a whole array of stuff to be downloaded and digested. If you get confused, just digest whatever that seems familiar to what we are doing in class.

Have fun!


posted by GeoGenius
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