Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Rebranding Manchester (Condensed notes)

Manchester is town in the North-West of the United Kingdom

Why did it need to be rebranded?

Manchester suffered an economic collapse in the 1980s because the textile industry declined. It had a poor image and a declining economy. Derelict industrial land and poor housing seemed to be increasing. This was a recipe for declination.

What were the stimuli used to regenerate?

 1) Music and television...
      The BBC moved several of its operations there [more jobs, money and some tourists            came to see these operations]
       Tv series such as Coronation Street and Shameless were based there [Indirectly increased tourism]
      Bands such as 'Take That' were based there

2) Sport and culture...
     The national cycling centre is based there
      The 2002 Commonwealth games were based there

What made rebranding a success?

1. Music and television really helped advertise the place and drew people to Manchester
2. Infrastructure was improved e.g. a Metrolink tram system was put in place
3. Affordable housing was build to attract young people

What issues have bee arisen through rebranding?

1. Properties are now too expensive even the ones that were originally affordable
2. Crime has increased in the area as have the number young people
3.  Police are not as strong as they were once and the number of people trained to be police have dropped
4. People complain about safety on night transport

Monday, 28 December 2009

Income Elasticity of demand

Income elasticity of demand = YED

What is income elasticity of demand?

It is the responsiveness/sensitivity of demand to income.

How do economists calculate income elasticity of demand?

Income elasticity of demand = Percentage change in quantity demanded
                                                        Percentage change in income

How do you interpret income elasticity of demand values?

If YED has a negative value (i.e. less than zero)...

The good is an inferior good. Demand decreases as income increases. It is a negative correlation. For example ASDA's Smart Price notebooks.

If YED is between 0 and 1...

The good is a necessity - it is income inelastic. Demand will increase if income increases, although demand will increase by a smaller percentage than what income will increase by. For example, If income rises by 10% then demand for lets say apples will increase by less than 10%.It has a positive correlation.

If YED is greater than 1...

This good is a luxury, a normal good. Demand will increase as income increases. The good is income elastic. However this time if income increases by 10% the demand for lets say TVs will increase by more than 10%.

Want to test yourself?

Try out this quiz - beware contains other elasticities too!


Linking texts?...

When linking texts for an English exam: one must be aware of the 6 ways to do this.

1. Pragmatics - the context and time factor involved with each piece; which pieces are in the context and    which are different?

2. Lexis- the semantic fields, difficulty of vocabulary and types of word used the most - are they similar in that way or do the texts differ when it comes to words?

3. Grammar- Look at the grammatical cohesion of the pieces, do they have grammatical devices like antithetical parallelism or synonymous parallelism? Or maybe more sophisticated devices like Chiasmus. What are the sentence structure and why? What is the most popular word class and why? So for example if one text contain more abstract nouns and one contain more concrete nouns is it because one is aimed at a more intellectual audience?

4. Phonology- If you read the pieces aloud what kinds of sounds would you hear? Would one be more aggressive because it has more plosive consonants whereas the other may sound different because it is full of sibilance  and does this fit in with their contents?

5. Discourse structure - What is structure of the piece? Look at the paragraphs? Is it in chronological order? How are they similar and how do they differ?

6. Graphology- What is appearance of the text? Typography? Use of images? How is it suited to its audience?

Those are the 6 major linguistic frameworks!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Consumer Surplus

This is a short explanation of consumer surplus. I hope this helps make things simpler

In any given product there will be demand no matter what the price. I realise the magnitude of the demand may vary but the point is if, for example we are looking at the demand for exercise machines - whether the price is £400 or £4 there will always be someone ready to buy it (the amount of people who want to buy it will vary with the price).

We can see a similar situation in reality whether it is Primark or Harrods there is still a demand just the amount of it varies.

Now you must be wondering how does consumer surplus fit into this but it does. The market equilibrium for exercise machines may be £100 so the vast majority of supply will sell them for £100. If we imagine that all suppliers sold them for £100 then the consumers who were already ready to pay to pay over £100 will be gaining an advantage. It is almost like a profit they are making.

Subsequently, consumer surplus is defined as the value that consumers gain from consuming a good or service over and above the price paid.

We can see this clearly in a diagram:

The orange bit shows the consumer surplus - the consumers who are benefitting from the current market equilibrium price.

However, this is not all your need to know! You must know how to valuate consumer surplus. This is done through simple maths...calculating area of a triangle.

The formula for the area of a triangle is 0.5 X Base X height...

So in the diagram above the quantity OP1 is equal to the base which in this case is 100. The next bit is to identify the height and this is the difference between the market equilibrium price and the price where the demand is lowest. In this case it is the from £50 to £100 so the height is 50 (100-50).

The we multiply 50 by 100 by 0.5 and we get a consumer surplus of 2500.

That is how simple it is....

However, in exams the may frighten you by shifting the demand curve and saying what is the new consumer surplus. So remember the same principles apply you are looking at the price where there is demand is lowest and the new equilibrium price!

In economics consumers always just feel price changes.

What I have learnt when doing questions is that I miss read the questions so you have to be careful as to whether the question says what is the difference in the consumer surplus and what is the consumer surplus.

I hope this helps :)

God As A Creator - Quiz questions and answers

First you have a go at some of these...
  1. What is meant by the term “Judeo-Christian tradition”?
  2. Which word, beginning with T describes God as being “beyond” or “other”?
  3. Which word beginning with I describes God as being “here with us now”?
  4. “The human brain is like a computer is an a - - - - - -. (If you’re stuck on this question look at question 10 for a clue.)
  5. Omnibenevolent means - - l l - - - - -
  6. Omniscient means - - l k - - - - - -
  7. Omnipotent means - - l p - - - - - - -
  8. In Genesis we get a picture of God as c - - - - - - -
  9. All that god makes is - - - -
  10. We use an analogy when we say that God is like a c r - - - - m - n


  1. The tradition and beliefs that originate from the Bible; either the Old Testaments (Jewish tradition) or New Testament (Christian tradition).
  2. Transcendent
  3. Imminent 
  4. Analogy 
  5. All-Loving
  6. All-knowing
  7. All-powerful
  8. Creator
  9. Good
  10. Craftsman 

Using weather instruments - fieldwork techniques

In this post I am going to list 13 instruments used in meteorology. In the case of flooding we will use these instruments as well as other methods and instruments such as using a GIS map or studying land-use. Images can be found below.
  1. Stevenson screen: It is an instrument designed to shield meteorological instruments against precipitation and heat radiation. As well as at the same time allowing air to circulate freely around the device. 
  2. Anemometer: This is a device used to measure wind speed and direction.
  3. Soil Thermometer: This measures the temperature of the soil.
  4. Digital thermometer: This takes more precise and accurate readings (to 0.1°) than analogue thermometers.
  5. Maximum-Minumum thermometer: For a given period they will give you the range of temperatures e.g. 5-15°. 
  6. Rain Gauges: After 24 hours of being outdoor the device is collected and the amount of water is measured.
  7. Barometer: It measures pressure and there are three types; aneroid (needle), water and mercury. The most popular are aneroid.
  8. Ventimeter: Another device used to measure wind but it more accessible as it is more cheaper. However, it does not work in low wind conditions.
  9. Beaufort scale: This is qualitative data based on individual subjective descriptions. A great way to understand this is to watch this 24 sec video: .
  10. Campbell- Stokes Sunshine recorder: It is used to record sunshine hours.
  11. Light-meter: Meteorologists measure heat radiation from a light reader. However, the light-meter will record reflected light as well as incident light.
  12. Wet and Dry hygrometer: It consists of two thermometer look-like devices and reading are taken of both of them. According to the magnitude of the difference between them we can see how humid a place is. However, it is not suitable for microclimate measurements.
  13. Whirling Psychrometer: This device is whirled above the head (rather like a football rattle) for 1 minute and readings of the two thermometers are taken.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Indirect Taxation

I have a video explaining indirect taxation :


This is a short post to complement my youtube video on the word class 'conjunctions'; also known as connectives.

So why should one be aware of these and utilise them?

Connectives are important because they allow you to make longer and more complex sentences. It helps the readers/listener understand how your two points connect together. They are also particularly important in professional environments because they show you are well-read and have more knowledge.

So in a nutshell conjunctions the help you elongate a sentence by adding clauses and phrases. However, this is done four different ways hence there are four different types of connectives.
  1. Additive- This is in essence the most simplest type. This adds details to your sentence which are not necessary for the reader/listener to know even though you may want them to know it. Examples of this include 'and'  'also'.
  2. Temporal - This is another way to prolong your sentence but is done by adding details which are time-related. Examples of these include 'after' 'then'
  3. Adversative - This is extremely important when balancing points and relating two opposing points. So for example if you are describing impacts of a heatwave you cannot just say it was good because it brought plenty of tourists in. People died. You need a word to replace that full stop to show how they connect. Examples include 'however' 'but'
  4. Casual- This is another way in which we relate two sentences. However, this time it is done through explanation. Examples include 'because' 'therefore'

Watch my youtube video for more help on it!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Religion and Science

Some questions answered...
First you have a go at some of these questions...

  1. What is the difference between Young Earth Creationists and Creationists who subscribe to the "Old Earth Theory of origins"?
  2. It seems curious that among Creationists it is the Young Earth view which now prevails. How do you account for the fact that almost half of all Americans, according to the Gallup Poll, believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old?
  3. Why does Dawkins claim that Emmanuel College ( is "deliberately and wantonly misleading its pupils"? Do you agree with him?
  4. Creationists are disturbed by the notion that people are descended from apes. If you were trying to reassure them that it is entirely possible to believe both that people are "made in the image and likeness of God" and that we are descended from apes, what would you say to them?
  5. What is methodological naturalism?
  6. Why must scientists, by the very nature of what they do, not refer to God, or to any supernatural source, to explain natural phenomena?
  7. Does this mean that scientists cannot believe in God? Explain your answer.
  8. Why does Behe's bacterial flagellum argument not work in term of scientific evidence?
  9. Why do people believe literally in Genesis find Darwinism a threat to their faith?
  10. What is meant by the term "God of the gaps"?
  1. Young Earth Creationists are those who take the Bible literally and discount  scientific evidence whereas Old Earth Creationists take the Bible more metaphorically. For example, they say a "day" in Genesis means a period of time not 24 hours.They can believe in the Creation Story as well accept the fossil records. They say that yes there are scientific laws but God can break them if He wants (through miracles).
  2. As science makes more discoveries the God of the gaps appears to be disappearing and a lot of people are starting to believe there is no God. However, many Christians find this disturbing and have started to take the Bible literally.  So now in America especially the Evangelical areas, almost half of the people believe the Earth is less than 10,00 years old. This belief originates from the Bible.
  3. Dawkins makes that claim because he feels that teaching creationism in  science lessons is deceiving. This is because creationism has no evidence as such (except for the Bible) which proves it and it has not gone through the scientific testing process. Therefore, to teach it as a scientific discipline is incorrect. I agree with this because science works through a process called methodological naturalism ( and this means that science will never face or turn in the direction towards the supernatural. Thus, I conclude that Creationism which points towards the supernatural should not be taught in science lessons; perhaps R.S lessons.
  4. I would say that God can work through science. There is nothing to stop one believing that we have come on Earth through evolution and God was the original trigger of evolution. At the end God was striving to create higher life which is made in his image i.e. us, and this could be done through evolution. 
  5. Methodological is the process by which science works. It looks to the natural world for answers and will never look towards or towards something like the supernatural as its existence cannot be proved or measured. Also, it is not part of the natural world.
  6. Suggesting a supernatural source is a 'scientific dead end', since it is simply not possible to verify by experiment the existence of such a 'supernatural source'.
  7. No, in fact they can but they must not mix up the two disciplines and keep they scientific work away from there personal beliefs in God. It is like having two different hats; you wont wear both of them together at any one given moment you wear them separately - the same way you keep religion and science different.
  8. It is all fine and well saying just look at how intricate this bacterium is but scientists cannot go further than that because how are they supposed to prove that God's hand was behind its complexity. Also, Rusty Entrekin observes that methodological naturalism encourages scientists 'to exclude anything but naturalistic explanation from science'.
  9. It is a threat for them because the Bible says that God created the world in 6 days and humans were created superior to animals. Man was given dominion of the natural world. Now, evolution is suggesting that in fact animals like apes are our ancestors and God didn't create us - it was natural process called natural selection. So slowly all the evidence from the Bible is being disproved with evidence which Christians don't have to respond to these challenges. There Darwinism is threatening their faith.
  10. The term "God of the gaps" means that for everything that science cannot explain i.e. the gaps in science is explained by God. This God is only used to explain what science cannot explain! 

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009

The Cost-Benefit Analysis Process

This is how I remember the economic calculation of cost-benfot analysis.

Firstly you examine the task been given to you so it might be that the government has limited funds and needs to decided whether it is worth investing in a project like the Olympics.

So they set two sections out - long term and short term effects. They people conducting the process must now try to think of all the possible impacts and outcomes of the Olympics and put them in a category - 'Short-term advantage' 'Short-term disadvantage' 'Long-term advantage' and 'Long- term disadvantage'.

Once this is done they must now valuate each outcome; for example if the an impact is increased tourism they must calculate exactly how much monetary value this has on the economy.

Then all the advantage values are added and divided by the sum of the disadvantage values.

The number given will firstly show whether the project involved will make a profit or a loss (indicated by the sign of the value (e.g. -60 or +60). The size of the value can be compared to the sizeof the values from other projects and the larger (and positive) the value the more economically fruitful it will be. That is the project you must choose.

So why exactly is this important?

Well if we never weighed up and made decision the government would be making some potentially terrible decisions. The government has limited funds and can't increase them very easily so for example increasing taxes would create a big controversy. If they made bad decisions then slowly they would see they are running out of revenue and would not be able to function any more.

A good example which is very closely related to us can be seen on youtube:

Although there are many flaws with this system:

  1. Firstly it is difficult to put a value on non-monetary effects particularly when they are to do with the future (long-term) e.g. increased pollution in the future.
  2. Very lengthy process - it is opportunity cost for the people completing the process.
  3. A lot of the time externalities are missed out and how would you put a value on that?
  4. If you were to put tax how would you know whether that was an advantage or disadvantage; who will be prioritised more the rich or the poor?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

(AS Geography Case Study) Boscastle 2004 Flash Flood

With a 1 in 400 probability of occurring, Boscastle's 2004 flash flood is considered an extreme weather event. A flash flood is is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas - washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins.

This youtube link provides us with a clear image of what the flood was like:

Location: Boscastle, a small village in Cornwall, South West of England.

Photo source:

Water stores: There are two rivers which flow into Boscastle and they are the River Jordan and the River Valency.

Date: 16th August 2004

Probability: 1 in 400 but Boscastle is a village which regularly floods, more recently there was one in 2007.

What Happened:
  1. 184mm of rain fell in 24 hours - most of it in a five hour period on 16th August.
  2. Peak intensify of rainfall was over 300mm per hour (which is big!)
  3. An estimated 2 million tonnes of water flowed through Boscastle that day.

  1. Weather + climate- A depression formed in the Atlantic shortly before the flood with the remains of Hurricane Alex which slowed down on the land making the rainfall more immense. The storm was localised (this meant it stayed in one place and surrounding areas received a mere 3mm of water) because there was a trough situated right on top on Boscastle.
  2. Winds - A convergence of the prevailing South-Westerly winds and the path of the depression cause a vertical uplift of air. This lead to the creation of cumulonimbus clouds and more rainfall.
  3. Topography/relief - Boscastle is at the bottom of a steep hill so like a funnel it attracts more overland flow.
  1. Land use - The upper part of the village has been developing (urbanisation!) Also, hedges have been removed to make fields bigger.
  2. Lack of any flood control system - in the form of either raised banks around the river channel or emergency drainage ditches to catch overflowed water.
  3. The sewer & drainage systems- Boscastle had old sewage systems which had a small capacity. This encouraged surface runoff.

Hydrograph and brute facts...

(Image by Komilla Chadha

  • The lag time of the flood is 4.5-5 hours (This is a short lag time)
  • The peak discharge is 48 cummecs
  • The peak rainfall is 55mm

  1. 58 proporties flooded and 4 were swept away by the flood
  2. Fortunately no-one died but there was one injury - a broken thumb!
  3. 32 cars were swept away and never to be seen again
  4. A range of infrastructure was badly damaged
  5. Sewer pipes were blocked and washed away so raw sewage contaminated flood water which caused a severe health risk.
  6. Four footbridges along the Valency were washed away.
  7. Long term disruptions and a major re-building project needed to take place.
  8. Long-term stress and anxiety to people traumatised by the incident.
  1. Damage to buildings and services was £2 million.
  2. Rescue operation including helicopters, police, fire service was costly.
  3. Loss of tourism a major source of income to the village of Boscastle.
  1. Damage was caused to local wildlife habitats.
  2. There was costal pollution as debris and fuel from cars flowed out into the sea.

4 Hard engineering defences systems were used; costing £4.6 million

  1. The environmental agency made a decision to lay a large relief culvert that would carry excess rainwater. It is twice the size of the old one.
  2. The River Valency is being widened and lowered from the lower bridge to the car park, so that it has a bigger capacity and can carry more water.
  3. The height of the car park is being raised using stone removed from from the river bed. Also barriers are being made for the car park so that if it floods it takes much longer for the cars to be swept away.
  4. There are plans to demolish the lower bridge near the harbour and replace it with a higher bridge further downstream. This will give the river more capacity and help to reduce flooding.
  1. The Environmental Agency : Builds, maintains and inspects flood defence for rivers (including Valency and Jordan).They monitor water levels and flows. They issue warnings, forecasts and implement major incident plans.
  2. The local authority : They deal withs some flooded culverts and roads. Also, they support police in arranging evacuation and providing rest centres. They also arrange emergency accommodation and medical care.
  3. Police: The co-ordinate the emergency response in major floods and helps rescue lives and properties,
  4. Firefighters : Rescue people trapped by floodwater and can pump water our of some buildings.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Subsidies (AS Level Economics)

  • A subsidy is opposite to a tax. It is money given by the government to encourage the consumption and production of certain goods.
  • This works something like this : (i) Producers are given money to help them cover costs -> (ii) Costs decrease for producers -> (iii) This increases supply of the good -> (iv) This will decrease the price of the good ->(v) This will increase demand/consumption of the good.
  • Subsidies can also be given to stabilise price, cut down domestic costs of production so that imports are reduced.
A subsidy diagram:

(Diagram produced by Komilla Chadha)
Click on the diagram to enlarge it!

So this diagram shows a subsidy.
  1. It shows that price has decreased
  2. It shows the quantity has increased
  3. The red arrow shows the subsidy per unit
  4. To get the full subsidy given by the government we multiply subsidy per unit by quantity so the blue rectangle [p1p2(purple dot)(point vertically above purple dot)] is the total subsidy in this image.
  5. The orange square within the total cost of the subsidy is what amount of the subsidy the producer keeps.
  6. The yellow part of the subsidy is what effect the subsidy has had on consumers.
  7. The amount producers and consumers feel all depend on the elasticity of the good.
This is video by an amazing economics teacher explaining subsidies:

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Price Elasticity of Demand (AS-level)

Price elasticity of demand = PED

What is price elasticity of demand?
It is the responsiveness/sensitivity of demand to a change in price.

How do economists calculate price elasticity of demand?

PED = % Change in Quantity Demanded
% Change in Price

How do we interpret price elasticity of demand values?

Price elasticity of demand values are always negative because the show that price and demand have an inverse relationship.

If PED is < -1 :

If PED is smaller than minus one then this implies that the demand is elastic. For example, if the price of a good rose by 10% the quantity demanded would decrease by more than 10%. Airline tickets are a good example because they are elastic.

If PED is between 0 and -1 :

This means that the demand is inelastic. For example if the price of a good increased by 10% then the quantity demand would decrease by less then 10%. A good example of this is food as they have relatively inelastic demand.

If PED = -1 :

Then this means the demand is unitary elastic. This is the rarest out of all the elasticities. It means that if a price of the good rises by 10% the quantity demanded will decrease by 10%

To understand the graphical representation of PED please click here.

Test yourself (Answers found at the bottom)

1. If price increases from 10 to 12 pence and the price elasticity of demand is -0.5. The quantity demanded was 500 units. What will it be now?

a) 550 units
b) 500 units
c) 450 units
d) 490 units

2.If price elasticity of demand is unit then a fall in price:

a) Reduces revenues
b) Increases revenues
c)Leaves revenues unchanged
d) Reduces costs


1. c) This means that any given percentage fall in price leads to an increase in quantity demanded that is half as much; a 20% price increase will reduce the quantity demanded by 10%. This means the quantity demanded will be 450 units.

2. c) This means the percentage change in quantity demanded equals the percentage change in price so price changes will not alter the revenue.

A great video to help you with this:

Also why not check out some further notes in pdf style (not I have not created this file) :