Category Archives: Energy

Episode Sixteen: The Final Hour (April 6, 2012)

The fabulous studio in which we recorded the second half of SPF Edinburgh

The Final Show is upon us, already! To mark the occasion, we made sure it was a good one, talking about renewable energy, science fiction films, and some memories of our SPF experiences.

SPF Memories & Renewable Energy Elegy

By: Henry Hawkins
Being his final show ever, Henry got a little carried away on the show today, giving a summary of all the shows he’d done with SPF Ottawa & SPF Edinburgh, and some of his best memories throughout the years. He then talked a little about renewable heat in Scotland, and why the government’s target for 2020 is likely to fail.

Motherhood in the Alien Films
By: Jake Barber
Jake presented an analysis of motherhood in the Alien films, largely looking at the representation of Ripley and the aliens, taking on the metaphors of the ‘bitch’ and the ‘mother’. This segued into a long conversation about some other films – some of which we had seen

Memories of SPF
By: Ben Garlick
Ben took the opportunity to go on a slightly divergent ramble about his experiences with the show, and what we’ve managed to accomplish over the last 6 months of being on the air.

Listen [1:00:00]


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Filed under Energy, Movies, Space

Episode Twelve: Fracking Latour (March 9, 2012)

A diagram of the natural gas fracking technique

Today on the show we were down a man, as Jake had to take the week off. Henry and Ben made up for his absence, presenting a feature on hydraulic fracturing, and a two-part feature on Bruno Latour and ANT.

Bruno Latour & Actor Network Theory
By: Ben Garlick
Ben presented a two-part feature on Latour and ANT, talking about why Latour is so awesome, of course.

Natural Gas Hydraulic Fracturing
By: Henry Hawkins
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has expanded huge growth in recent years, as it has opened up massive reserves of natural gas previously inaccessible. It hasn’t been without controversy – in the US, waste water from fracking has been exempted from regulation, despite the use of hundreds of hazardous, even carcinogenic chemicals. Many homes near fracking wells have been found to have methane contamination, with some people being able to light their tap water on fire. Henry talked about some of these issues on the show today.

Listen [1:00:00]

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Filed under Energy, Meta-Geography

Episode Eleven: The Mash-Up (March 2, 2012)

The Evolution of Life

Today on the show we had a special episode; we weren’t able to record in the studio, so we recorded all of our parts separately, stuck them together, and saw what happened. Much absurdity ensued, of course! Ben presented a feature on relevance in geographic research, Henry talked about wind farm opposition in the news, and Jake did a feature on life and non-life.

Wind Farm Opposition in the News
By: Henry Hawkins
Recently, Prime Minister Cameron was sent a letter signed by over 100 conservative MPs, opposing the future development of wind turbines. Many other stories of opposition to wind farms developments have been making news recently, and today Henry took a look at the future significance of this opposition, and what it means for Scotland.

Relevance in Geographic Research
By: Ben Garlick
Is relevance in geographic research based on current affairs, wider research, usefulness in the real world, or by popularity? There are a number of ways this topic can be addressed, and Ben considered a few of those ways.

Life & Non-Life
By: Jake Barber
Jake considered the boundaries of life and non-life – how does one consider where life begins and ends, how did it evolve, and how do we measure the fundamental requirements to being considered alive?

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Filed under Animals, Energy, Meta-Geography

Episode Nine: Sleepless on the Sea of Tranquility (February 17, 2012)

A map of Middle Earth

Today on the show we heard about the GDP of Middle Earth, wind farm developments and NIMBYs, and had a special feature from Jake on the Moon.

The GDP of Middle Earth
By: Ben Garlick
How do the economies of Rohan, Mordor, and Gondor fit in to typical classifications of GDP? Ben gives it some serious consideration, as well as a discussion of why GDP isn’t such a valuable tool for measuring economic power, growth, or stability.

Wind Power Developments and NIMBYs

By: Henry Hawkins
Why do wind farms provoke so much hostility? Henry discusses some of the typical reasons for local opposition to proposed wind farm developments, from the role of developers, the tradition of decide-announce-defend, and the myth of NIMBYs.

And Then We Hurried Back: A Special Feature on the History of Moon Exploration

By: Jake Barber
Today on the show Jake presented a special feature on the history of moon exploration, piecing together a soundscape with clips from Carl Sagan, the moon landing, and many more. It is the first in a series of special features on space from Jake.

Listen [1:00:19)

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Filed under Economics, Energy, Space

Episode Three: A Very Special Musical Guest (November 14, 2011)

Turbines at the Black Law Wind Farm

Today on the show we had two very special guests: Helen Whale and Jack McCarthy, from the Department of Geography to perform a couple of songs. First they performed an original song called Bumblebee, then a cover of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song.

We also had a special game of Countdown with Jack and Helen, and a couple of features from Henry and Ben.

The Black Law Wind Farm
By: Henry Hawkins
Last week Henry went on a field trip to the Black Law wind farm just outside Forth in Lanarkshire. He talked about the trip, and some fun facts about wind turbines (they are about 22 stories high! the base is made from 550 tonnes of concrete), and discussed some of the practicalities of wind farm power production.

Colonial Medicine in India
By: Ben Garlick
This morning Ben looked at the relationship between local knowledge of medicine and Western concepts of science in India. Through the lens of colonialism, he discussed how the perspectives clashed over the years, and the British goal of ordering, understanding, and conquering representations of the body through medicine.

Listen [1:00:56]

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Filed under Culture, Energy, Health