The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

If I’m honest, I’m excited to see ‘The Hunger Games’; I’ve not read any of the books, but it looks like it’ll be a really great film.

However, I think the reason I’m excited is because I love Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale (and the film adaptation), and in my opinion, The Hunger Games is essentially a mash-up between that and Stephen King’s The Running Man. I’m actually really surprised I haven’t read any reviews/online articles saying this, but then again, I haven’t really read much about the film apart from the standard hype and a couple of interviews with the cast, so maybe critics have been saying this and I’ve just not being listening.

Okay, so I just Googled it and critics have been saying this, but I’m not really sure whether it should be a criticism of The Hunger Games or not. After all, the concept of Battle Royale is deep enough to really make you think, but the novel and film aren’t exactly child-friendly, so it’s good to see the themes of survival, human instinct versus morality, etc. duplicated in a novel and movie aimed at a younger audience. Aside from it’s cult status as a film, I’m also unsure as to how many people are aware of Battle Royale, so it’s also good to see the same ideas put across through a more mainstream platform.

But then again, the purist inside me is screaming in outrage at the sheer cheek of basically copying someone else’s literary work. I’m the kind of person that gets annoyed if an actor doesn’t quite look the way described, or if a film adaptation of a book deviates from the original plot in any way, so I’m pretty torn between being excited and wanting to boycott the whole thing out of a silly sense of loyalty to Battle Royale and The Running Man. I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve actually read the books and seen the film, and I can’t deny ‘The Hunger Games’ looks like a great movie; I just hope I can resist railing against it purely because of my allegiance to the things it looks to have taken inspiration from.

Written by Esther Scott

My first thought when viewing this picture was of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’; the second, when looking closer, was how interesting the idea of a Pig is when defined as a “beast that has no regard for law, justice, or the rights of people”. Before viewing this picture, I’d never considered the word to be used as slang for the police because of any other reason than mere debasement - is it an ironic slur, then?
- Esther

flyguymo:

Emory Douglas 

My first thought when viewing this picture was of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’; the second, when looking closer, was how interesting the idea of a Pig is when defined as a “beast that has no regard for law, justice, or the rights of people”. Before viewing this picture, I’d never considered the word to be used as slang for the police because of any other reason than mere debasement - is it an ironic slur, then?

- Esther

flyguymo:

Emory Douglas 

(via blackcontemporaryart)

cutfromadiffcloth:

Arise Magazine Fashion Week Lagos 2012

PhunkAfrique - Nigeria

Photo Credit:Kola Oshalusi/Insigna Media

Gorgeous, my favourites are probably the second and third dresses.

- Esther

banksystreetart:

New Banksy piece!

A new (or merely newly noticed?) piece by Banksy, an artist as anonymous as the blank piece of paper that is folded to create an origami crane.

banksystreetart:

New Banksy piece!

A new (or merely newly noticed?) piece by Banksy, an artist as anonymous as the blank piece of paper that is folded to create an origami crane.

Fighting a losing battle: the AIDS epidemic.
- By Alex Rowe.
AIDS is a global problem that not only effects the African continent, but has also become a large problem in Europe. This is something that is discussed by Robin Gorna in her podcast as part of the BBC’s ‘fourthought’ series. It seems as if modern society believes that AIDS has gone away. Many feel as if this is a problem that has been resolved and therefore merits no further discussion. This is not the case.
Robin spends time talking about a close friend of hers, Sarah, that sadly died from HIV. Robin claims is wasn’t just the AIDS and TB that took her friends life, but also something that won’t appear on her death certificate: Stigma.
Sarah’s silence regarding her illness meant that she didn’t get treatment until six months after her diagnosis - an issue that cost her her life. Embarrassment is preventing people from speaking out, creating a stigma of silence that is beginning to prevent people talking about AIDS and HIV. Robin claims this is now being seen at the highest levels, with governments cutting back spending meaning that money is no longer flowing to the places that need it most.
Thirty years after the AIDS epidemic started we are still discussing the same issues, with no motivation towards real change. We are currently at a ‘tipping point’ with AIDS and HIV. The price of treatment has radically been reduced and we have learnt a lot more about prevention and treatment of the disease. If we, and the governments, put our minds and money in the right places, we can end this epidemic as we now have the solutions to deal with it.
The reality of this, however, is that AIDS makes people feel very uncomfortable. The squeamishness associated with the disease comes from the fact that you cannot talk about AIDS without talking about sex. Moreover as the disease often effects the liminal sections of our society (for example drug users, homosexuals and sex workers), this adds more to the stigma associated with the illness. All of this breeds feelings of prejudice such as racism and homophobia.
This has lead to ‘AIDS fatigue’ setting in. The red ribbon has become last year’s fashion as investment has slowed and priorities have changed. Robin claims that it was shame that prevented Sarah from speaking out and it is shame that has stopped people speaking truthfully about the disease.
We have the resources. But it’s time that we started talking about AIDS again.
Listen to the podcast at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fourthought#playepisode1
(also check out some of the other podcasts, they are really thought-provoking and a great resource)
Find out more about HIV and AIDS at:
www.wordaidsday.org
www.nhs.uk/Conditions/HIV/Pages/Introduction.aspx
www.advert.org/aids.htm

Fighting a losing battle: the AIDS epidemic.

- By Alex Rowe.

AIDS is a global problem that not only effects the African continent, but has also become a large problem in Europe. This is something that is discussed by Robin Gorna in her podcast as part of the BBC’s ‘fourthought’ series. It seems as if modern society believes that AIDS has gone away. Many feel as if this is a problem that has been resolved and therefore merits no further discussion. This is not the case.

Robin spends time talking about a close friend of hers, Sarah, that sadly died from HIV. Robin claims is wasn’t just the AIDS and TB that took her friends life, but also something that won’t appear on her death certificate: Stigma.

Sarah’s silence regarding her illness meant that she didn’t get treatment until six months after her diagnosis - an issue that cost her her life. Embarrassment is preventing people from speaking out, creating a stigma of silence that is beginning to prevent people talking about AIDS and HIV. Robin claims this is now being seen at the highest levels, with governments cutting back spending meaning that money is no longer flowing to the places that need it most.

Thirty years after the AIDS epidemic started we are still discussing the same issues, with no motivation towards real change. We are currently at a ‘tipping point’ with AIDS and HIV. The price of treatment has radically been reduced and we have learnt a lot more about prevention and treatment of the disease. If we, and the governments, put our minds and money in the right places, we can end this epidemic as we now have the solutions to deal with it.

The reality of this, however, is that AIDS makes people feel very uncomfortable. The squeamishness associated with the disease comes from the fact that you cannot talk about AIDS without talking about sex. Moreover as the disease often effects the liminal sections of our society (for example drug users, homosexuals and sex workers), this adds more to the stigma associated with the illness. All of this breeds feelings of prejudice such as racism and homophobia.

This has lead to ‘AIDS fatigue’ setting in. The red ribbon has become last year’s fashion as investment has slowed and priorities have changed. Robin claims that it was shame that prevented Sarah from speaking out and it is shame that has stopped people speaking truthfully about the disease.

We have the resources. But it’s time that we started talking about AIDS again.

Listen to the podcast at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fourthought#playepisode1

(also check out some of the other podcasts, they are really thought-provoking and a great resource)

Find out more about HIV and AIDS at:

www.wordaidsday.org

www.nhs.uk/Conditions/HIV/Pages/Introduction.aspx

www.advert.org/aids.htm

Happy St Patrick’s Day!
somewhereintheworldtoday:

Happy St Patrick’s Day, Wear a Shamrock and dance an Irish jig for good old St Paddy!
St. Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland and March 17th is his his feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have celebrated this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years, and it has grown in popularity and enthusiasm with each passing year, not just in Ireland, but anywhere where there is a large Irish ex-pat community.
More on St Patrick’s Day by Somewhere in the world today…
Picture: Today’s my Guinness / St. Patrick’s day event, Failte, March 17, Tuesday by Puamelia on flickr

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

somewhereintheworldtoday:

Happy St Patrick’s Day, Wear a Shamrock and dance an Irish jig for good old St Paddy!

St. Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland and March 17th is his his feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have celebrated this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years, and it has grown in popularity and enthusiasm with each passing year, not just in Ireland, but anywhere where there is a large Irish ex-pat community.

More on St Patrick’s Day by Somewhere in the world today…

Picture: Today’s my Guinness / St. Patrick’s day event, Failte, March 17, Tuesday by Puamelia on flickr

A fantastic writer and an even more brilliant wit!
historical-nonfiction:

In 1936, after his first wife had left him, Evelyn Waugh sent a letter to her cousin Laura Herbert, asking whether “you could bear the idea of marrying me.”
“I can’t advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you,” he wrote, “but think how nice it would be for me. I am restless & moody and misanthropic & lazy & have no money except what I earn and if I got ill you would starve. In fact it’s a lousy proposition. On the other hand I think I could do a Grant and reform & become quite strict about not getting drunk and I am pretty sure I should be faithful. Also there is always a fair chance that there will be another bigger economic crash in which case if you had married a nobleman with a great house you might find yourself starving, while I am very clever and could probably earn a living of some sort somewhere.”
He added, “All these are very small advantages compared with the awfulness of my character. I have always tried to be nice to you and you may have got it into your head that I am nice really, but that is all rot. It is only to you & for you. I am jealous & impatient — but there is no point in going into a whole list of my vices. You are a critical girl and I’ve no doubt that you know them all and a great many I don’t know myself.”
They were wed the following spring.

A fantastic writer and an even more brilliant wit!

historical-nonfiction:

In 1936, after his first wife had left him, Evelyn Waugh sent a letter to her cousin Laura Herbert, asking whether “you could bear the idea of marrying me.”

“I can’t advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you,” he wrote, “but think how nice it would be for me. I am restless & moody and misanthropic & lazy & have no money except what I earn and if I got ill you would starve. In fact it’s a lousy proposition. On the other hand I think I could do a Grant and reform & become quite strict about not getting drunk and I am pretty sure I should be faithful. Also there is always a fair chance that there will be another bigger economic crash in which case if you had married a nobleman with a great house you might find yourself starving, while I am very clever and could probably earn a living of some sort somewhere.”

He added, “All these are very small advantages compared with the awfulness of my character. I have always tried to be nice to you and you may have got it into your head that I am nice really, but that is all rot. It is only to you & for you. I am jealous & impatient — but there is no point in going into a whole list of my vices. You are a critical girl and I’ve no doubt that you know them all and a great many I don’t know myself.”

They were wed the following spring.

Mean Girls: The 48 Hour

A couple of weeks ago, the University of Birmingham drama group ‘Watch This’ presented a 48 hour stage production of the film Mean Girls. A 48 hour production is exactly as it sounds; the cast, director, lighting team and anyone else involved have just 48 hours to put together and learn the show for a one-night-only extravaganza. And what a show it was!

Firstly, the casting was fantastic; Bekah Lucking played a perfect Cady Heron, and Lucy Lee’s Regina was magnificently disagreeable. Ally Perpick and Clarey Dodkins were also flawless as Gretchen ‘We should totally just stab Caesar!!’ Wieners and Karen ‘If you’re from Africa, why are you white?’ Smith; Ally had desperate Gretchen down to a tee, and Clarey’s continual vacant expressions were a source of hilarity every time you looked in her direction. In addition, the ‘supporting cast’ (said in quotation marks, as supporting is a huge understatement – after all, what would Mean Girls be without Glen Coco?) were absolutely brilliant, with Joe Belham truly stealing the show as The Narrator.

Did I mention the narrator was also Nigel Thornberry?

That question sums up the entire production – full of quirks, quips and laughs, the Watch This production of Mean Girls absolutely stormed what a 48 hour production is all about. What’s more, the audience loved it, as much of the play was about being involved; from joining in with the Jingle Bell Rock, to quoting along with the show every time you heard ‘Zing!’ (‘She doesn’t even go here!’), the audience basked in every second of the show.

Overall, Mean Girls: The 48 Hour did justice and more to a film that defined many 90s kids early teenage years. The production was great fun to watch and clearly even more fun to produce, and I would certainly recommend anyone to watch, or get involved in, the next 48 hour show (the ideas thrown around for which have included Star Wars, so will not be one to be missed!).

10/10

Written by Esther Scott.

School Report 2012 News Day

 - By Alex Rowe

The School Report News Day, a project run by the BBC, gives youngsters around the UK between the ages of 11 and 16 a chance to ‘make the news’. Over 1000 schools participated in the project this year which sees budding media professionals turn their hand to developing television, radio and newspaper reports in preparation for live broadcast on the 15th March 2012.

From 2 p.m. yesterday there was seven hours of live coverage where over 30,000 pupils from across the country took centre stage, showing the country the sort of news stories that are important to the youth of today.

One report that I particularly enjoyed was about children’s radio. Students from Little Ilford School in London were given the task to investigate why children, young people and young adults (in the 15-24 age group) felt disengaged with this form of traditional media. By scrolling through the various radio stations available on a typical radio, the pupils found little in the way of child orientation therefore they felt disconnected from what they were listening too. Moreover this idea was confirmed by Paul Smith, the director of radio standards for the BBC, who explained that there has been a severe cut in youth programming over the past couple of years. This is something that the children at Little Ilford School wanted to change. Possible, and achievable, solutions included:

  • Choosing relevant presenters who were known to children; presenters that understand the wants and needs of children.
  • Higher proportion of chat shows so that children can get involved. This could stretch to ‘agony aunts’ whereby children could call up if they needed help with a problem.
  • Incorporating radio into social media. This has become a huge part of contemporary children’s lives so it is important that traditional media finds a way to engage with new media in a way that is exciting and engaging.
  • Convenience. Many households now rarely have or use a radio. Connecting radio to the Internet would be a quick and easy way for young people to access the content.

I think this is an absolutely fantastic project and I wish that I had been given a similar opportunity whilst I was at secondary school. This is not only a fun and engaging project but it also helps the children’s personal and professional development.

When I was fifteen I probably didn’t know, and didn’t care, about current affairs, particularly politics. The School Report News Day encourages the children to actively engage in the biggest contemporary debates of our age. Engaging young people with the news may result in greater understanding and a greater appreciation for Uk institutions (for example engaging in political debate may result in a higher turnout in subsequent elections). Moreover the project also brings the voices and stories of children to a wider audience whereby they can feel a greater sense of involvement in society. Lastly working to tight deadlines and industry regulations will develop their employability skills.

Take a look for yourself, it’s surprising just how knowledgeable the youth of today really are. They are growing up in a media culture that they can now engage with.

Listen the Little Ilford Radio report for yourself at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport/17369641

Learn more about the project and watch yesterdays highlights at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport/

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Similarly, does this ladder lead to anywhere?
darksilenceinsuburbia:

Sebastian Reiser.
All images © Sebastian Reiser

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Similarly, does this ladder lead to anywhere?

darksilenceinsuburbia:

Sebastian Reiser.

All images © Sebastian Reiser