Music, Mud & Madness!

Reading Festival 2011 was one of the most amazing and famous events in the UK this year catering to students from all around the world who share the love of music.

The music performances featured artists including My Chemical Romance, Thirty Seconds To Mars, The Strokes, The Pulp, Elbow and Muse as headliners over a three day span from 25 to 28 August.

Festival goer, Faye Carpenter, 21, insurance advisor said, “Reading festival has become a bit of a tradition since me and my friends first went to see radiohead in 2009. This time, we saw The Strokes, Two Door Cinema Club, Nero, Bombay Bicycle Club and The Offspring. Also probably some other people but I was too drunk to remember. By far though, Jimmy Eat World and Madness were the highlights for me and I would definitely go again.

The festival is an opportunity for young people to gather together and establish a sense of community. Youth from all of over England and international music lovers come together by sleeping in tents, sitting in chairs, playing in the mud and voicing their crazy banter. For some this is also the first time experience of freedom to do whatever you want or feel and no one judges you.  It’s a wonderful time of appreciating the greatest art form created, music.

Located on Richfield Avenue in Reading, performances were held on various stages as well as other small marquees. Kicking off the weekend, The Architects took the stage followed by Bring Me The Horizon, Rise Against, The Offspring and Thirty Seconds To Mars on the main stage. Then Miles Kane, The Naked And Famous and Noah And The Whale blew away the crowd in the NME/1st stage tent.

For the second day, The Joy Formidable woke up the arena with festive tunes. Meanwhile in the NME/1st stage, Crystal Castles, Glassjaw and The Kills got the crowd hype as loads of energy flowed inside the tent. Surprising enough, Street Dogs were very intense by getting boys into mosh pits, circle pits, walls of death. The night concluded with The Pulp and The Strokes rocking away on the main stage.

The last day Taking Back Sunday, Frank Turner, Cage The Elephant, Panic! At The Disco, Interpol were  epic throughout the last hours of the festival. There was even a session for Nirvana playing live in 1992. From the lock up stage, Flogging Molly and the Descendents played festive songs getting the audience to dance crazy happy. Lastly, Muse gave a spectacular performance to end the festival.


Festival goer, William Holmes, 19, currently a student at Plymouth University said, “Muse was probably the best band of the festival in terms of live performance, however my highlight was My Chemical Romance (MCR), this was because I knew Muse would be amazing but was uncertain if MCR would pull it off, combined with the fact that a lot of the people at the festival and in the crowd did not even like them made it a much more exciting show. I’ve tried to go to Reading every year however this is only my third time, so yes I love it and would go again. Reading is different to most other festivals because most of the audience is between 16-22 which is nice as most people are the same age as you, it is also because of this age group that the festival seems ‘more hardcore’, as oppose to say Glastonbury, where the age range is huge. If I compare Reading and Glastonbury, Reading is more hardcore, more people jump around- go into pits etc, people piss in the crowd, beer is chucked at people etc etc, were as Glastonbury is a lot more relaxed. There is more ‘banter’ at Reading- i.e Alan & Steve or The Big Roar which echoes around the camp sites. I chose reading because of this but also the line up. The final point I’d like to make around reading is it kind of has certian ‘epicness’ in its heritage that makes it a little special, for example the alternative tent showing Nirvana live in 1992.”

Reading festival has a lasting presence on students after all the mud. The effects of the festival stay with you for some time. It’s not like Download for rockers, Sonisphere for metal heads, Bestival for families or Glastonbury, a mix of everyone. Reading portrays music over cleanliness, however, eventually there comes a time when clean clothes, warm showers and beds are missed. After all, the cultural event brings all kinds together but soon enough it’s time to join the real world again.

All photos taken by Niya Sinckler.

Digital Age Replaces Books.

Amazon is promoting a portable library, Kindle as a solution to the future of books.

Consumers are buying their new libraries digitally which can hold up to 3,500 books in one compact electronic device.

Photo from Google.

Publishing assistant, Anjana Menon, 22, said, “ I think it’s great for space constraints since I have over 70 books. There are books I wouldn’t read again so the Kindle is far better but if I like a book, I would have it in paperback and a Kindle version. I love gadgets and technology, I can’t resist the digital takeover. If you resist the digital takeover, publishing will go the music industry way! The music industry is in shambles!”

Through advertisement on the London Underground and South West Trains, Amazon’s Kindle has caught the public’s attention. According to the London Evening Standard, if you prefer strong narratives this product is for you. It costs about 112 GBP and 152 GBP for 3G. Instead of cherishing those old all-time favorite books, you can speed through the electronic pages which resemble print on paper.

Photo from Google.

Recent graduate, Andrea Louise Zander, 23 said, “I have a collection of books in my house, my own library. This is interesting as the Kindle appears to be useful and easier to read on the tube in those crowded spaces. Also it’s environmentally friendly. Yet, it’s sad how everything has become digital. With books there are so many memories and even smells. That is if the books you want are available.”

However, most well-known novels are not available on this digital device. These include Philip Larkin’s Poems, Ulysses, Samuel Beckett and even anthology of English verses.

Student, Luis Newby, 20 said, “It’s a shame since there will be no physical element which is normally nice to have. And what happens if your Kindle runs out of batteries? You won’t be able to read. In the end, it’s always cool to see how far and how many pages left you have to read in a book. It’s an essential element for reading to see what you’ve understood and accomplished.”

Kindle is changing the definition of books. As this product is new, there are many things to expect. However, don’t judge a book by its cover. Amazon reported that the company aims to provide every book, ever written in every language whether in print or out of print.

Emerging Film Student

There’s a rise in undergraduate student film making. Many students want to pursue film careers as they are inspired by the films shown in theatres today.

Backdrop

Teresa Correia is a 20-year old fanatical film student from Madeira, Portugal, majoring as a film studies student at Kingston University London. She has this passion for film which allows her to enter a whole different world. It’s also an escape from reality which lets someone detach themselves from their own life for a moment.

Teresa began her film making dream at age 16 after watching the film, Ed Wood directed by Tim Burton.  Soon Teresa realized she wanted to be a part of the film making process which led to her first action in pursuing a filmmaking career by applying for a film studies course at Kingston University London. This was when she noticed film shifting from a hobby to something more serious. Ms Correia said, “Tim Burton is my favorite film maker. I admire him most because he uses elements of German Expressionism in his films. There is always an intriguing and mysterious atmosphere in his films as well as a peculiar and unique character that generally does not fit in society. He combines elements of horror with romance and sweetness.” This can be seen in Burton’s films, Edward Scissorshands (1990) and The Corpse Bride (2005).

 

Inspiration

Teresa’s passion for film making comes from her love for combining art and storytelling. Teresa said, “I love art and I think film making is the best art form. Every film is a new and unique experience and I enjoy the non-conventional camera movements and shots that are particularly linked to the theme of the film.”

Following her motivation to make films, Teresa’s inspiration came from watching films with non-conventional features that still fit into Hollywood. She began focusing on providing meaningful messages that could possibly change the way people see the world by making people reflect on their own lives.

Ed Wood produced by Tim Burton is another film that inspires Teresa in her emerging career. Teresa said, “It is about the worst director in history which is ironic. I like it particularly because it has an important message – even though Ed Wood was a terrible director, he didn’t give up and kept trying to gain respect in the industry. Essentially, he loved film above everything. The classic black and white footage adds a mood and atmosphere to the film as well.”

Teresa understands what it’s like to try without stopping, and believes is what separates those who want to be successful from those who will settle.

Future Prospects

In the future, Teresa has her eyes on being director in a strong group, making films such as dramas, thrillers, action/adventure, romances and crime/mystery, using themes that raise questions about life and identity. Teresa said, “Often, I create a character that does not follow the normal patterns of society; for instance, I like the idea of having a gifted person or socially awkward character. Sometimes I play with time, having two story settings in different times in the film. Then the two characters in the different stories are often connected, I also introduce war or general history backgrounds to create a foreground.”

Working in Hollywood is on every film maker’s agenda. Teresa enjoys the several styles of film but she must be able to create something new in her films, what would that be? Teresa said, “For me, it would be something between French new wave, German expressionism or Hollywood Cinema.”

Becoming a director is quite limited; and Teresa aims to position herself to learn multiple roles, whether working as an editor or cinematographer on a film. Being a good director comes from having a passion for film, artistic quality, the boldness of creation and innovation, no longer can emerging film prodigies be one trick ponies, a view which is very much shared by Teresa herself.

 

Work

Last year, Teresa made a short film about a Muslim girl who pursued her dream of traveling to London for the first time to study. While there, she found herself in an unknown place, full of unfamiliar people. Then she starts to regret ever coming. The girl faces themes of racism, homesickness and sadness in the film.

Currently working on a few projects, Teresa recently wrote and submitted her own short screenplay for The British Short Screenplay Competition. Her short screenplay is about a romance between a Jewish/Polish woman and a German soldier inside Auschwitz concentration camp and their romance is on the line when they decide to run away because the soldier realizes his love is sick; with the penalty of prisoner sickness being sent to the gas chamber. The woman disguises herself as a Schutzstaffel (SS) staff member and together they plan to escape. As they both attempt to steal an SS car they are caught by security and the soldier’s superior commander demands him to kill her. This is a historical drama conveying German expressionism from the 1950s era.

Teresa will soon be working on a new short film about the Freemasons as a secret society. With several undergraduate students aiming to be successful in the film industry, using the opportunities and equipment available at university are almost fundamental, to go the extra mile, more is needed, one element we’ve found at ES is the student’s ability to create and build relationships with industry and like minded students from universities across geographical locations – off their own back. With the film industry looking as tough as ever, it is going to take some real emerging film makers to break through and lead the way for other film makers who will be coming behind them.

 

Grazia Photoshop

 

Fashion magazine, Grazia admitted to editing the Duchess of Cambridge with Photoshop after the Press Complaints Commission discovered a Barbie version of the fashionable beauty.

On the cover of Grazia, Kate Middleton was transformed into slim beauty around her waistline and arms.

 

 

Photo from the Telegraph.

Women around the world gave their opinions regarding Photoshop images for magazines, billboards and television.

Nan Austin from Barbados said, “If it’s being used in advertising, everyone is going to put their best foot forward. I don’t have a problem with Photoshop unless it goes to an extreme. Magazines should get rid of the anorexic mentality.”

Editing is tolerated unless it creates a false sense and is noted by taking away natural beauty. However, Grazia refused the allegations reporting that the company did not alter the image. After some time, the publication revealed that the image had been manipulated.

After the investigation, the Press Complaints Commission said in a statement: “The magazine explained how the image had been altered to remove the arm of Prince William so that the duchess could be featured on the cover alone. This involved mirroring one of the Duchess’s arms and an inadvertent result of the change was the slimming of her waist.”

When that statement went public, Grazia told their subscribers the image was only changed for that feature cover’s presentation not for beautifying the Kate Middleton. These moments can often mislead the public and damage fashion reputations. 

Amanda Samantha from New York said, “No one has flawless skin or bodies. I think women should be presented as they actually are.”

Alice Byrne from London said, “No one can look that perfect. When I see models in magazines, I don’t get jealous of how perfect they are but photoshopping doesn’t really bother me that much.”

Time and time again, top models are airbrushed and presented to the public as perfect crafts. Then women in society feel the need to emulate that ideal by thinking this is how I need to look to be accepted and beautiful. This is how the extreme diets and exercise begin as people see Photoshop images everyday.

Electronic tattoos

Engineers and scientists have discovered an “electronic tattoo” that bonds to human skin by tracking muscle activity, heart rate and other vital body signs which could transform health, technology and science to benefit society.

Tattoo artists and consumers should be aware that these super slim devices are light, without external wires yet require an insignificant amount of power for tattoos.

Photo by Niya Sinckler.

This could perhaps be a breakthroughs in patient monitoring and provide new opportunities for fitness and gaming industries. This device is linked to progress technology and biology. The electronic patches are placed on skin like temporary tattoos with circuits that bend, wrinkle and stretch without breaking for 24 hours.

The material science and engineering at the University of Illinois, John Rogers said, “Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is invisible to the user. It’s a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology. An electronic skin will help solve these problems and allow monitoring to be simpler, more reliable and uninterrupted,” from the BBC.

 Sensor in a tattoo
Photo from the BBC.

Researchers believe that the devices measure electrical activity produced by leg muscles and the heart. Also it is evident that the results were consistent and similar to the usual tattoo methods. This technology is new and to be used for clinical uses but eventually could replace conventional hospital monitoring ways making patients’ doctors redundant.

The product Mc10 was established by Ben Schlatka, vice-president of business development at the Cambridge based company to enhance studies regarding heart rate, hydration and respiration. The health devices are merging their way into the fitness industry as they will work with Reebok according to the NY Post.

An engineering professor Todd Coleman, who helped to lead the project team said that it doesn’t require conductive gel, tape, skin penetrating pins or bulky wires, which can be uncomfortable for the user and limit coupling efficiency. Mr Coleman said, “This could be an important conceptual advance in wearable electronics, to achieve something that is almost unnoticeable to the wearer. The technology can connect you to the physical world and the cyberworld in a very natural way that feels very comfortable,” from New Electronics.

However there are others who disagree. Diane Cunningham, 22, London sales advisor said, “I got my first tattoo at 18. I had someone personally do a tattoo that I had customized myself. It makes it more personal as it’s an art form that tattoo artists are very good at. I think advancing technology would undermine that talent in some way. It’s almost like getting an art piece as a poster instead of wanting the original painting.  There are probably perks to electronic tattoos but it’s not something that I would be interested in since with electronic gadgets, there are always limitations and glitches. Something could always go wrong so I think it’s a bit more risky.”

From experiments, researchers found that when placed on the throat, the devices detected distinct muscle movement for simple words including “up,” “down,” “left” and right” which were related to control of a simple computer game with a high accuracy rating.

Tottenham Riots

About 400 to 500 protesters demonstrated against the police by looting, destroying patrol cars, spray painting buildings, smashing shop windows and burning double-decker buses from dusk till dawn in North London.

Tottenham residents rebelled against the police for gunning down and slaying Mark Duggan, 29 last Thursday night during an apparent gunfight.

Photo from The Guardian.

Local resident Eugene Austin, 90,  said, “It was over the place. It has everyone upset. It’s not over yet. I hope they don’t kill me.” The neighbourhood has a reputation for problems in the past but for the most part it is usually a comfortable environment. However when things began to kick off, extreme violence and criminality escalated throughout the streets.

The former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: “While the first priority is to restore peace, to ensure the safety of everyone now and in the future it is also necessary to have a serious discussion about why this has happened. I am concerned that there is growing social dislocation in London and a threat that the police will be forced into escalating conflict with some London communities. We do not want to go back to the 1980s.”

There haven’t been demonstrations this severe since the Brixton Riots 1981 in South London. Moving up to North London, the people demanded justice from the Metropolitan Police for their behaviour. It’s interesting how each newspaper reports the horrific event from different viewpoints. The Telegraph, a moderate conservative broadsheet spoke about the police as though they were the most important people involved. Although the incident is clearly about a man and his grieving family who suffered injustice. The community was shocked by the violent disorder. A similar incident occurred in Paris in 2007 when a boy was killed on his moped after colliding with a police car. It’s unfortunate that police brutality isn’t given the same attention as a public individual committing a criminal act.

These sorts of disturbances are often overlooked when the police are involved. Isn’t it obvious that the residents felt the confrontation necessary to send a message. The fact the police have not been protecting and serving but displaying their badges and taking advantage of situations to benefit themselves. The Independent  said that houses were burnt, items stolen from stores, twenty-six officers were injured, forty-two people were arrested.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson and David Lammy Labour MP agreed that there was no regard for public safety during these “scenes of violence and destruction. ” At times, there are people who want a peaceful protest and have good intentions while others assemble and completely miss the purpose of the demonstration ruining the meaning of the act. The community was upset yet some fear their lives.

According to the BBC, a Downing Street spokesman called the rioting “utterly unacceptable”. Although there are disagreements towards the social destruction, the government should realize the catalyst for this acts including the economy and constant reforms by the Tory Party who portray an hypocritical stance towards such events by ordering police support yet they have laid off a quarter of the staff.

The London Fire Brigade received 264 emergency 999 calls from 9.30pm on Saturday night up until 4:30am this morning. Several fire-fighters stepped up to the plate to secure the area by putting out fires. Apparently, the fire-fighters were allegedly threatened while trying to save lives by protesters.

The demonstration debris is still being cleaned up after riots went violent over the tragic death from their disloyal police support and will probably spread to other areas of London.

Size Zero

The media has a huge impact on society and culture regarding image and beauty to youth around the world.

Recently, Calvin Klein has been linked to influencing youth to turn to eating disorders with their seductive advertisement billboards and magazine photos.

Photo from Calvin Klein.

There is an obsession to be skinny in order to be accepted into society. Many women have felt the need to become anorexic, bulimic and take on compulsive overeating after failing to accept their own bodies. The youth today have so many social pressures which contribute to the individual worrying about how they would like to be viewed by the public. Instead of blaming the media influence, women should know that they are beautiful in their own way to at least one other person in the world. Somebody’s gonna love you.

From a young age, girls begin to recognize that looks are important during social situations. Programs tend to depict the normal stereotypes of average Joes as bland, fat people as lazy, with no friends and skinny people living superficial lavish lifestyles. They tend to be popular, sexy, attractive and powerful figures. At times, it can be difficult to find your way if the media constantly reinforces these messages to young individuals. Then to be a model, people think you need to meet certain specifications to be like the billboards, television, magazines and newspapers they encounter each day. Even skeletal models at London Fashion Week were a disappointment portrayed by the media felt Samantha Cameron.

Although the media is ridiculed for their advertisement marketing, the youth should that they determine whether they develop eating disorders. It starts with one accepting their own self-image and choosing the right role models to emulate. From society and culture, young women and men should be content and work with what shapes and sizes they have as The Economist conveys depending on eating habits. It’s always those typical people who fall into the societal groups  such as dancers, doctors, seniors and university students striving to impress their parents from all the pressure.

The BBC illustrates that media coverage misleads youth as “models and other society influences are, in our experience, rarely a contributory factor to the development of eating and weight difficulties in young children.” These influences in culture through music, fashion and film strongly impact the health and lifestyle of youth around the world.