Monthly Archives: March 2009

Timing the world

Forty years ago, historian E P Thompson suggested that the ‘invention’ of clock time facilitated the Industrial Revolution – a ‘horological revolution’ where the mass production of mechanical clocks allowed time to be turned into a regulated commodity instead of the earlier seasonal, sunrise-sunset regimes. A new book by geographers Paul Glennie and Nigel Thrift […]

The impact of NAFTA on Mexico

Fifteen years after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed, the New York Times once again has a great article for NUIM Geography students. Lots of students from many classes in our department will find interesting insights in the article. There’s the case of declining Mexican exports to the US, partly because of […]

St Patrick’s Day goes global

St Patrick’s Day has, again, been celebrated around the world, from the neon green Chicago river to the parade in Sydney, Australia to the week-long festival in Montserrat. However, the prize for the shortest parade goes to Ballinafad in Sligo, with a parade route of 200 metres.

Remittances economies

This map in the New York Times gives a snapshot of global migration in 2007. One of the options on the map allows you to show money sent home as a percentage of national GDP i.e. ‘remittances economies’. Looks like Moldova is the remittances economy, with money sent home equalling almost 30% of GDP. However, […]

Losing your head in Tir Connell

Sudden death in Donegal, or anywhere else in Ulster, has not been unusual down the years. And the sudden execution/assassination/murder of Englishmen continues to happen. Richard Bartlett’s beheading in Donegal c.1603 may be one of the earliest examples of violent resistance to British colonial intrusions into Ulster. It was reported by a contemporary as follows: […]

Land reform in Venezuela?

The Irish Times has a report on the seizure of land from Irish company Smurfit Kappa by the Venezuelan government. This is part of a broader land reform and nationalisation campaign in Venezuela, led by President Hugo Chavez.

Land grabs

Many of our undergraduate students, not least those in 1st year, are familiar with the food crisis which emerged in 2008 and continues into this year. A fundamental part of the story is the transformation in how food is produced, who does the producing, who benefits, and where those benefits go. Also important are the […]

An inspiring talk at TED

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). […]


Check out this link to a video of author Iain Sinclair. Sinclair’s work is often described as psychogeography – the term comes from the work of French Situationists such as Guy Debord, and it refers to people moving away from their daily and predictable routines, and becoming differently aware of their environment. Another version is […]

Maps, geography & the economic slump

Maps are back! Maybe there was a time when mapping was dull but not anymore. With innovations such as GIS software and even mapping software on mobile phones, all sorts of people can do cool things with maps. A notable example is the The New York Times, which seems to have found some great cartographers. […]