Geo-Photos: Post-Pandemic Participation?

Are we finally out of the Pandemic? We started the semester forced to wearing the masks again, and ended without them. What a relief — Even in the online classes! That was a good thing for my Second Eight-Weeks course, which began began just after Spring Break this semester. We were allowed to be mask-less when we returned from the break … so lucky us.  A good way to “get back to normal” is to take some GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOS and share them with friends. “Look — I can travel now …”.

Here are the photo contest entries from the 2nd8weeks Spring 2022. Click on any to start the full-sized image slide show.

Not-wearing masks was a hard habit to break for many people. Especially those who gain so much from bureaucratic lock downs.

Take a deep breath of fresh air, and please make comments below.


Student Posters at PURC 2022

I had four students participate in the Pembroke Undergraduate Research Conference this year.

It was a good educational experience for everyone. Students stood next to their posters, and explained their research projects to passerby visitors and guests.

Poster session presentations are like an “elevator pitch“.  One has to keep the listener interested, but tell the whole story, all in only about a minute.  I think that they all did great. If you want to view their abstracts see the PURC website linked here:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have a look at their posters below. Click on any to see in larger detail.

From Jackie:

Jackie has also produced a descriptive video for her research. Please view the YouTube link here. There is also a video movie of her presentation linked on YouTube here.

From Erica:

From Seth:

From Abigail:

Please comment below!

Posted in Climatology, CULTURE, EDUCATION, HISTORY, Meteorology, Popular Culture

Meteorology and Myth Part 12 — Red Sky at Night

Meteorology and Myth Part 12 — Red Sky at Night. Now I have a full dozen educational posters to share! This topic comes up when I teach about the “Middle Latitude Cyclones”.  Click the poster for the full size poster image.

Once again, all content here is FAIR USE for Education.

One item that I always talk about but did not make it to the poster, was the reason why … it always rains right after you wash your car.

The answer is part of my lecture, on mid-latitude cyclones and their fronts.

Before I go … does anyone remember that “new wave” band  “The Fixx” who had a hit song on MTV called “Red Sky at Night”?

I don’t think any of it was Meteorology.

Posted in Climatology, CULTURE, EDUCATION, HISTORY, Meteorology, NORTH AMERICA, Poster Session

Meteorology and Myth – Part 11 “The Weather Maker”

This is to be Chapter 11 of “Meteorology and Myth”. All material is “FAIR USE” for education. Please click on the poster to see all of the details.

Cloud seeding is complicated science. My poster does not even mention some of the other methods of weather modification– fog dispersal, hail suppression and hurricane modification.

Interested? Let us collaborate!


Posted in Climatology, CULTURE, EDUCATION, Meteorology


One of my favorite climate regions is the “Mediterranean” climate region.  I always tell my students that the Mediterranean climate is the PERFECT grape growing environment, and it is associated with the world’s great wine producing regions. When you drink wine, you are drinking the rain and soil from the region the grapes were grown! Then I always have to catch myself — because I realize most of my students are not 21 years old yet (the legal drinking age here), and you have to be 21 to drink wine. So my students — they’ve never tasted alcohol before — so they would not know what I was talking about. Buying fine wine — NEVER!

Anyways, please enjoy enjoy my next poster in my Meteorology and Myth series. One again, all material is FAIR USE for Geographic Education. Oh, and you better click on the poster to see it full size.

Aren’t you glad that I didn’t talk about the Koppen climate classification system here! (The Koppen type for Mediterranean would be Csa or Csb.) If you want to learn more about the Mediterranean climate, please see the videos from one of my favorite YouTuber creators — GIODIODE.

There are still opportunities for student research on the Geography of Wine.  How will wine growing regions be influenced by a warming, changing climate? Should we become hysterical, scream at the sky, and claim that “Global Warming means that there will be no more wine!” …

No. However, as certain wine growing regions slowly warm, there should be some adaptation to a warmer climate. Different grape varieties may be grown, if climates shift poleward..

Mitigation is not only possible … it should be properly planned for. There was a very good TED-Talks on this subject. I will share the video below.

Climate is very important, but Geology also is a very important part of Terroir. Geologic parent material can make a big difference in the quality of the wine. Two neighboring vineyards, growing the same variety of grapes, and with the same climate, can produce wines with a completely different taste. One vineyard may produce a wine valued at $1,000 per bottle, and its neighbor produces wine worth only $10 per bottle. This can be explained by the parent material (rocks) the soil is derived from.

I will also share this very good video from the USGS “The Science of Good Taste”.

Why not have a nice glass of your favorite regional terroir tonight?



Posted in ASIA STUDIES, Climatology, CULTURE, EDUCATION, HISTORY, Meteorology, Poster Session

Meteorology & Myth Part 9 – Feng Shui Questions and Answers … and More Questions.

Meteorology & Myth Part 9 – Feng Shui Questions and Answers … and More questions.

I was talking to Old Man Wang down at the Panda Gardens Chinese Buffet, and he was telling me about the Chinese science of “Feng Shui”.  Mr. Wang was saying that everything around us (and also including us) has a Qi (pronounced “chi”) … or some type of magnetic energy running through us and everything. If one understands how to use this Qi, you can be happier, healthier, and a better architect.  You can be a good environmental engineer by creating your dwellings and other built structures to be in harmony with nature. Well I got to thinking about it, and and I thought that there might be another “Meteorology and Myth” lesson in there for my students. Things like Earth-Sun relationships, sun angle, etc. are important in the proper environmental design of buildings.

So I’ve created another educational poster. You better click it to see full size.

What I mainly need now is a good student to continue this research.

As always — all the graphics and other information are from the public domain, and are FAIR USE for Geographic Education. Contact me for references, links and citations.

Darn it … I’m hungry again. Might as well order some more Moo Goo Gai Pan.

Posted in ASIA STUDIES, CULTURE, Music, Popular Culture

Christmas Eve at the train station

“Christmas Eve at the train station”

I will share this song and music video as my little “Christmas card” this year!

A song by Japanese singer-songwriter Tatsuro Yamashita was used by a Japanese bullet train company for their holiday advertisements in the late 1980s and early 90s.

YouTube user OH IN has put together several of these commercials, and provides us with Mr. Yamashita’s full song “Christmas Eve” here.

The commercials show families and several young couples getting together for the holidays. However, the bullet trains are not actually shown very much.

I like the first commercial the best. It looks like something right out of one of those rom-coms my wife always watches on the LifeTime Network. See time 56 seconds in the video above: The young man does not realize it yet, but he is about to have a very Merry Christmas.

The message is that the Japan Rail train company makes it all possible. Holiday travel can be exciting, as well as chaotic. Hopes and romance are in the air. Couples are reunited … all thanks to the JR Line.

They only show the train briefly at the end of each commercial. This reminds me a lot of commercials that do not really show you the product. I can remember the Zen-like commercials for the Infiniti (Japanese car), where they never actually showed the automobile anywhere in the commercial … but yes … I digress.

I think that this Christmas song very much has a 1980s feel to it. You get a good look at Japan in the late 1980s in the commercials. I may have actually been there in an alternative life timeline. The 80s/90s era was the heyday for Mr. Yamashita-san and his “City-Pop” music. All of his albums are great, and are worth checking out.

Although the music video above is sung in Japanese, I think that the warmth of the music, and Tat’s singing make it enjoyable for anyone — in any language. If you want, the words in English are linked here.

If you want to hear him sing the English-version of this 1988 song, it is linked on another YouTube video below.

.Enjoy … at least until the Tech-Grinches at YouTube cancels Christmas again!




Welcome to our Virtual Poster Session! My graduate students and I will share their research projects via a gallery of posters. In a normal year (not pandemic), my graduate course would be a face-to-face lecture in the classroom. Usually, during the last week of classes I would invite the university community to my classroom for a special Q & A session. Students would stand next to the posters, then tell visitors what they researched over the term. This was always beneficial for the student. They would gain the confidence of making a “professional” conference-type presentation. Under live questioning, they would demonstrate their command of their topic, and also learn to “think-on-their-feet”. This experience is meant to be a stepping-stone to greater academic research and presentation.

Light refreshments would also be served (Drink boxes and Little Debbie snacks usually).

A poster is a simplified version of a full research project. Interaction between student presenter and audience member is important. In order to truly appreciate a poster, one really does need to interact with the presenter. Although our session could not be live, or in-person this year, my students have pre-recorded a short video to accompany each poster.

Let me share with you the posters, and a YouTube* video for each. Please have a soft drink, a snack, then (virtually) stop by and visit each of my students. Each project abstract is in the YouTube video descriptions.

*** Click on each poster image in order to zoom to full size.








I have also encouraged my students to participate at the university’s Gradual School Symposium, to be held during Spring Semester 2022. Each of these posters is ready for the symposium now, but we could also tweak or refine them for presentation at a regional conference (for example, the NC Academy of Science). These posters could be tailor-made or fine-tuned for a particular audience (NC Geographical Society for example).

If my readers have any comments, observations, questions or words of support please make them in the comments below.

*YouTube video playlist linked here.



GEOGRAPHY OF ASIA WEBINAR 2021: Please join me and my students by watching this YouTube playlist. Here are the titles to be shown …

Zel — “Filipino Perspectives on LGBTQ+ Rights”

David — “Palm Oil in Indonesia: The High Cost of an Explosive Commodity”

Alec — “Importance of the Spratly Islands to China”

Gerald — “China’s Qing Empire: The Rise and Fall”

Sarah — “China’s Social Credit System”

Tyra — “A Nation Divided: A Further Look into the Conflict of Hindus and Muslims in India”

Seth — “Japanese Traditional Music and Instrumentation”

Grayson – “China’s Uyghur Muslims and The Ongoing Cultural Repression within China”

Gabriel – “China’s One Child Policy”

Student posters may also be viewed in this gallery. Click on an image to see the full-size poster slides.

Please leave a comment, observation or question!