Monday, February 28, 2011

The Atlas of the Real World

Today we have discovered a new way of representing different facts on world maps. It´s a project called The Atlas of the Real World. The authors represent the countries of the world not by their real size, but by their demographic importance on different subjects. Here you have some examples related to tourism. 





This interesting book is called The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the way we live, by Daniel Dorling, Mark Newnan and Anna Bartford and it was published byThames and Hudson. 

You can also find these maps on Worldmapper. Every map includes a short explanation and they are very useful to understand many world facts: 

Finally, here is the link to all the world maps about tourist: 

Presentation about tourism

This is the Powerpoint presentation we have used to study tourism. You can review the main world tourist destinations, the most visited countries, the countries that earn more money with tourism and the positive and negative impacts tourism has. 

28th of February

Today at the begining of the class, we have prepared our costumes for P.E and Paqui and Kelly have become angry because we have spoken. After that we have talked about tourism, and we have seen a PowerPoint presentation about the most visited places in Europe, then we have read the page number 52, then Paqui has explain us the impact of tourist activities, and we have done the exercises 29 to 33 in the class, and Kelly has spoken with some people about their projects.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Today in Social Sciences the first thing we have done has been to check the chart about the different means of transport.
We have to write about uses, infrastructures, advantages and disadvantages.
A curious thing for me has been that all the class was discussing and thinking in the advantages and disadvantages.
I think it will be usefull and I have included the chart. I someone didn't correct it now she/he can do it:

For small amount of freight and people.
Short distances.
Highways and road tolls
Cheaper than other means of transport.
Price depends on the variation of oil price.
Traffic congestions.
Freight and people in short, médium and long distance.
Rail tracks
Competitive prices.
No traffic congestions
Inflexibility (passangers have to adapt to lines)
Strict timetable
Big cuantity of freight
Ports and shipyards.
Open spaces for containers.
Big capacity to carry big amount of freight.
Cheap price
Depending on the weather
Risk of accidents
Passangers in long distance travels.
Very expensive and light weight goods
Airports (runways, terminals, hangars)
Fast. Security ( the safest mean of transport)
Expensive price.
Air pollution and acoustic pollution near the airports and flight routes.

After that we have read about tourism . This is a very interesting point because tourism is a very important activity in Spain.

Tourism is: The economic activity that consist in organazing trips and stays  for the people in their leisure time.
Tourism appeared in the 19th century but did not become massive until the 2nd middle of the 20th century.
Tourism appeared in Spain in the 60s.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Challenge number 9

Trains are this week´s topic. As we have studied, trains have important advantages over other means of transport. This week´s challenge includes some questions about history and some others about current trains. 


What was the first railway passenger line in the world? When did it start working?


What was the first railway passenger line in Spain?When did it start working?


What is track/ rail gauge? What is the difference between the Spanish gauge and the European gauge?


What is the longest railway line in the world? How many kilometres does this line have? What cities does this line connect?


What is Maglev? How it works? 


What train holds the record of maximum speed in service? What cities does this train connect?


What is the highest railway line in the world? At what altitude do trains circulate in this line?

Remember to write your own answers. Don´t copy and paste!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Different means of transport: advantages and disadvantages

Here you have some help to do Friday´s homework. The following links include useful information to complete the chart about the different means of transport, their advantages and their disadvantages. 

Wednesday, 23rd February 2011

View more presentations from papefons

Today in Social Sciencies, Ana Margarita has came to the class. We have checked the exercisers about trade. The first exercise consisted in say what is the relationship between the number of workers in the tertiary sector and the development of a country. The relationship is: THE MORE DEVELOPED A COUNTRY IS, THE MORE WORKERS WILL WORK IN THE TERTIARY SECTOR. The second exercise was the definition of trade. Trade is the economic activity that consists of exchanging products for money or other products ( barter). In other exercise we have explained the difference between wholesale and retail trade. In WHOLESALE TRADE, big amounts of products are exchanged. Wholesalers buy big amounts of products to the producers and they sell them to other traders or enterprises. In RETAIL TRADE, products are sold in small quantity in shops, markets, supermarkets...We have explained also, the difference between exports and imports, EXPORTS are the sales of a country to other countries and IMPORTS are the purchases of products of other countries. In the last exercise we have explained the difference between Trade Balance and the Balance of Payments. Ana Margarita has asked us some questions about the things that we learnt last day, to do a rewiev. Afterwards, we have continued with the power point about the means of transports and we have seen the infrastructures of every mean of transport. Talking about the infrastructures of the planes,Paqui has told us, that the most serious accident of plane was caused by don´t clean the runway, so, when the plain took off, it crashed with a piece of another plain and it produced a big explosion. All the people died. Paqui has said us that, the big companies such as IBERIA are safer. Then we have read on the book the last part of transport and it was about the Transport Revolution in 19th century. Speed increased and the duration and cost os trips reduced. More people could travel and international relations and trade increased.

Every mean of transport needs different infrastructures and has adevantages and disadvantages. Paqui has said to us that we have to do a chart about the different uses, infrastructures, advantages and disadvantages of the ground and maritime transport for homework. We have started to do it in the class but the bell has rang. At the end os the lesson I have asked to Paqui some questions about the project of the Secondary or Tertiary sector.
Here I include a link about the plane accidents:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday 21-February- 2011

Today Kelly has been with us.
Today in social sciences we have started checking the exercises from 18 to 21, that asked about things of the industries of Spain.

Then we have started to study the Transport; an activity from the tertiary sector. It consists of used means of transport (vehicles) to take people or goods from one place to a different one.

While we were reading the book, Paqui has shown us a powerpoint with the different means of transport and the infrastructures needed for every type of transport. It can be of three ways:
Ground transport( in which we divided into road transport; cars, buses and trucks that circulate through roads and highways, and railway

transport, trains and tramways), maritime ships; ships sail through oceans and seas; and air freight transport; planes and helicopters fly across the sky.
We also have seen that the main routes of planes are between the developed countries, They leave out many routes to the developing countries.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, 18th February

View more presentations from papefons.
Today in social sciences journal Paqui has collected all the maps that people don´t pass it and she also has explained that we can send her the project of industry or terciary sector if we need any help.
Silvia has read the differences between the developed and developing countries, Paqui has explained this differences and she has learnt us new words and a sentence,for example: tarifts(arranceles), GATT(general agreement on tarrifs and trade), NAFTA(north free trade agreement), whatever happens (pase lo que pase)
Then we have seen the power point which is the principal of this journal, are photograhs that explain the trade in the world, this photographs explain the inland and exterior trade, the most important oil exportant and oil important countries(in this list is Spain),the balance of payments, world trade forms(Enrique doesn´t like this slide!but Paqui like.
Finally Paqui has give us some excercises from the page 56 is for monday and we have a nice weekend!!!

Challenge number 8


Trade is the topic of this week’s challenge. You will have to research Spain’s commercial relations with other countries and answer the following questions:
Who are Spain’s major trade partners? What five countries receive the highest percentage of Spain’s exports? From what five countries does Spain import the most products?
What products does Spain export to other countries? What products does Spain import?
What are Spain’s commercial relations with the USA? What kind of products does Spain export to the USA? What kind of products does Spain import from the USA? Does Spain have a deficit or surplus trade balance with the USA?
Economy and politics are closely linked many times. Why is Spanish official policy so generous towards countries such as Equatorial GuineaLibya or Saudi Arabia? What commercial interests does Spain have in these countries?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The WTO and free trade in some cartoons

Here you have some cartoons about the role of the WTO in international trade relations. Free trade has benefited the most developed countries and the multinational corporations, but it hasn´t been so good for developing countries and for many workers in the world. 

And the last cartoon reflects another blatant reality: the European free market is closed for the poorer. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday, 16th of February

Today Ana Margarita has been with us. We have continued with the unit, we have seen trades, types of trades, like wholesale trade, retail trade, etc. We have also talk about BOP (balance of payments) that consists on the economic exchanges of a country with another ones, WTO (World Trade Organization) to reduce tariffs and GATT (General Agrements on Tariffs and Trade). We have talk about Mercadona, the difference between when we buy in a market and when the market buy the products.We have learned also that before the invention of money people trade with animals, vegetables or other products. I think that trade was very important in the past, but now is important too, because many people live for this trades. Paqui has said us to read a page for homework.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Trade balance

On this short video you will  understand  better how the trade balance works and the differences between the trade balances of the most and the least developed countries in the world. 

And here you have a link to a webpage where you can see the Spanish trade balance in the last two years. It is obviously negative. This means that the country has spent more money buying products than the money it has earned selling its products to other countries. This is called deficit:

Monday, 14th of February

Today in Social Sciences, we have eaten breakfast in the classroom because we were on a speech and first Paqui has given us the Africa's map back and some people have to repeat them. Today Kelly has been with us. Then we have started checking the 3 exercises from homework about the present situation of the secondary sector in Spain and the main regions which are Catalonia, Madrid, the Basque country and the Valencian Community. After, Paqui while she has shown us a powerpoint of graphics and percentages , she has explained that Spain is one of the most industrialized countries in the world, the main industrial regions in Spain, the importance, etc. Then we have started reading point 2: The tertiary sector , that includes the activities that consist of rendering services to the people and we have started with one activity: Trade. It consists of exchanging products for money or other products and we have seen two types depending on the quantity of products exchanged: Wholesale trade that is comercio al por mayor and Retail trade; al Retall . Depending on the place where products are exchanged we can see: Inland trade and Exterior trade , that includes Exports ( when we sell to other countries) and Imports ( when we buy it from outside). We have copied a scheme on our notebooks about this. Paqui and Kelly have looked for: cementerios nucleares but they haven't found (Now Paqui knows: nuclear waste dump). Suddenly, a teacher has brought some Saint Valentine's cards to some people. Finally, no one wanted to do the journal and Paqui has told me to do it.
SORRY FOR THE DELAY! I couldn't do it before.

Take action! (if you want)

As you might remember, we studied the thousand of millions of € that escape to the control of the governments every year. Different international organizations have started a campaign to end tax haven secrecy. You can send an e-mail to the G-20 leaders to ask them to take action and stop tax havens´ secrecy

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday, 11th February

Today in social sciences we have corrected the exercises from 11 to 14 of the page 56.
Then Paqui has showed us some graphics about the renewable energies in Spain has and in other countries. Then we have read the page about the industry in Spain. Then Paqui has showed some graphics too about all these things. For example in Germany there is less amount of fields where we produce with renewable energy but they produce more amount of renewable enegy and Spain have more fields were produce renewable energy but we produce less amount of time.We have been commenting on outsourced companies and the Playfair Compaign. . At the beggining of the class Paqui was very angry with us because she said that we always come late! and because some of us don't stop taking and don't pay attention, even if she ask us to be silent!At the end of the class she has given us for homework exercises from 14 to 17. I couldn't write the journal before because I was in extracurricular class. Sorry!!
Have a happy weekend!

Challenge number 7

This week you will have to research on the Spanish production of energy. The questions refer to different renewable energy sources. They are not very difficult: 


What is the autonomous community that concentrates more wind farms? 


What has been the record of production of electricity coming from wind power?


What´s this? Where is this facility located?


There is a peculiar solar farm in Manzanares and another one is being built in Fuente el  Fresno. What kind of solar farms are these? How do they work?


Where is located the only wave energy plant in Spain?


What is the Zèfir Test Station? Where will it be located?


What are the European Union objectives of renewable energy production for 2010?

Cheer up! Be more active!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some more information about outsourcing

Checking the labels of our clothes, we´ve discovered today that many of the textiles sold in Spain have been produced in other countries. Many companies have outsourced their factories to places such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, China, Turkey, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan or Mexico. Here you have some cartoons that show the reality of globalization in industry: 

The first cartoon shows how the theory of capitalism can affect to the same people who are its main supporters: 

This cartoon plays with a very know quote in the USA: it used to be "What´s good for General Motors (the car company) is good for America".

This one shows the dilemma of many Mexican workers: 

The executive of this cartoon justifies outsourcing as a good thing for American citizens: 

This one shows the reality of many companies of the developed countries: their workers live in other countries. 

And the last one is focused on consumers. 

Source of all the images:

The truth is that the high consumption levels of the most developed countries are only possible because many of the goods we enjoy come from countries where the working conditions and the rights of workers are not respected. If you´re interested in this topic, you can watch the following video about working conditions on the sweatshops in Bangladesh: 

And if you want to take action, this is the link to the Playfair 2012 Campaign. This is an international campaign  whose purpose is to put pressure on the sport companies that produce sportwear in outsourced factories in Asia. You can send an e-mail to the major companies and ask them to respect the rights of their workers: 

You can also play the game "Unfair factory" and learn how´s a workday in the sweatshops: 

Wednesday 09/02/2011

At the beginning of the class I have gone for the remote control of the projector. Later, when I have come back, Paqui was telling things about Sudan ,the African country divided in two parts.
Paqui said that Sudan is going to beacame two different countries, there are big differences between the north part (desert, very few water…) and the south part (very green, lots of rain...).
Later Paqui has collected Africa´s maps.
Afterwards we have read “Main world industrialized regions” in the book. The main industrialized regions in the world are:
• Europe
• U.S.A.
• Japan
• China

We  have also compared where our clothes have been made. Because this morning we have seen information about industrialized countries. Industrialized developing countries where the price is lower.

Then we have seen the PowerPoint about industry and we have started seeing the PowerPoint about The secondary sector in Spain.
We have seen the main energy resource in Spain. Yolanda R. has said she uses coal in her house.
In Spain we are privilege because we have a lot of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar energy…
Later Paqui has given exercise for homework (9 to 14 from the review).
The bell has rung and Paqui has told me to write the journal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Maquiladoras of Tijuana

In class, I talked about my experiences visiting the places where the maquiladora workers live in Tijuana, Mexico. Neverthless, I want to write about it on the blog as well.

In the summer of 2008, I visited and volunteered the border zone between the United States and Mexico. I was volunteering and building schools there, but we also took advantage of the experience to learn about topics of migration and immigration and about the maquiladoras.

A group of women activists from the organization Colectivo Chilpancingo (Pro Justicia Ambiental) showed us around and explained the reality of the maquilas. This group of women, fight for the rights of the workers and for the enviromental conditions in the place where they live. These women showed us one area of shanty towns located at the bottom of a hill. On the top of the hill is the maquila, where many of the shanty town residents work.

In these two photos you can see the maquila and the shanty town.

The women explained, that when it rains this electronics maquila took advantage of the situation to release the toxic chemicals from the factory. The problem is that this toxic water comes running down the hill contaminating the water and the neighborhood where these people live. The residents of the shanty have no rights and the police do not stop the situation because of corruption and bribes. The police protect the interests of the maquilas.

This is the hill which leads to the shanty town.

And here you can see the contaminated water and shanty where the maquila workers live.

If you want to know more about this situation or want to help you can visit Colectivo Chilpancingo (Pro Justicia Ambiental)'s website at

You can also watch this documentary called "Maquilopolis". This was made with the help from the women who I met. It's very interesting and it's mostly in Spanish. This way you can share it with your family and friends.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some films about industrial reconversion / deindustrialization

Here you have the trailers of some good films that reflect the hard reality of deindustrialization in the United Kingdom and Spain: 


This film shows the story of a group of unemployed who lost their job in a steel factory of Sheffield, in the north of England. They look for different options, trying to survive. One of them has the idea of preparing a stript tease and he tries to convince his mates to join him. 


This film tells the story of a colliery brass band that will disappear after the closure of the coal mine where its members have been working for many years. The miners prepare their participation in a music band contest at the same time they have to face the reality of unemployment, depression and the loss of their normal life. The film was inspired in the real story of the struggle of the Grimethorpe miners against the closure of their mine. 


The background of the story of this dancing boy is also reconversion: the 1984-1985 miners´ strike in the United Kingdom. Margaret Thatcher´s government defeated the miners, many mines were closed and the unions lost the main part of their power. 


This Spanish film tells the story of a group of unemployed who were fired during the shipyard reconversion of the 80's and 90´s in Spain. The film shows the different ways of facing unemployment. 

Monday, 7th of February

Today Paqui has said the marks of the exams, they were all good, but some people could improve it. Before that Paqui has explained the industrial reconversion and delocalization, then she has written some words for the glossary, then she has written in the blackboard some interesting things about this topic, after Kelly has explained some interesting things about the first town in Mexico before USA, it was unfair, the people live near the factories and the water was contaminated, it was very heavy to see people living in that conditions, and Kelly has said that she has seen some kids swimming in the contaminated waters, i think that the owners of the factories are very intelligent moving to the poorest towns in the world, they earn more money but they some times kill people with the air or with the contaminated waters, some times they didn´t kill them but they coast them irreparable problems and they children inhereditate them, this is unfair to the people who coudn´t protects from the companies and they are withought anything.
Like I said before today, Kelly has been with us.
Paqui has remaind that for wednesday we have to give her the political maps of Africa.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday, 4th February

Hello everyone!
As you know, today we have done the exam of unit 3: The primary sector.
At first, when Paqui has arrived to the class, she was a bit angry, because many people of the class didn't take the books out of the table.
She has told us that people who passed the project of agriculture and stockbreeding, only had to do the last two exercises from the exam.
They were about fishing, about CAP, and there was another exercise in which we could choose between two options to do a summary.
In my opinion it was easy and short, because as Paqui says, if we study it's always easy.
When people has finished the exam, Paqui has given us a political map of Africa, and we have to give it to her on Wednesday.
That's all we have done today, I think I don't forget anything, but if I have, please tell me. Thanks! I hope that today's exam was easy for you.

Challenge number 6

This week´s questions will be focused on industry and some of the concepts we´ll study next week.

Question 1

Taking into account world industrial output, what are the three largest industrial manufacturers (countries)? What have been the recent changes in this list? What is the expected evolution of this list?

Question 2

What are maquiladoras? What´s the origin of this word? Where are they located? What do they produce? What are their main problems?

Come on, participate!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday 2nd of February

This is picture of mass production that I find in the Internet of coke.

Today in Social Sciences Carmen and Yolanda Rubio have to paid 10 cents each one because they have speaked in Spanish. At thebeginning of the class, we have asked to Paqui some questions about the exam.

After we have checked ht exercises of the pg 56:
Yolanda Abad, Enrique, Bea Yuste and Ana have checked the exercises 7,  8, 9 and 10.

After this, Diego has read the industrial concentrations of the pg 46 (there are two: horizontal concentration and vertical concentration) and Paqui has explained us this section with his powerpoint presentation. Then, Yolanda has read the factors of industrial location that are: proximity to the raw materials and supply of energy, the industries are near the markets and near the means of communicaction or near technological parks. 

At the end Paqui has remember us to study for the exam.