9/28/2014

[WW] Children of a Revolution - Hong Kong

This post is too important to wait until Wednesday. It'll be categorized under World Wednesday for reference-sake.

For those who have no clue what I'm referring to, this is a good article to read: Hong Kong Protests: What You Need To Know.
I want to direct everyone to my best friend's post about this event on his blog here.
Also, for those interested in following live the events as they unfold, I recommend this Reddit thread here.

***NOTE: I am not currently in Hong Kong right now, so I'm only getting my information from online media sources. I encourage everyone to follow various news sources to obtain information.

Photo credit to Tyrone Siu/Reuters

For those who don't know what's going on in Hong Kong right now...tensions have been rising between China and Hong Kong (not that it's a new thing, it's been so since 1997). The recent protests stem from the Chinese government's move to introduce political reform to Hong Kong. Previously, I wrote a post about the Civil Referendum regarding voting for the Chief Executive (here) and briefly mentioned the "White Skin Book", which is how the Chinese government aims to interpret and implement legal reform. These events have all led to the pro-democracy protests known today as Occupy Central (by now, we can even say it's Occupy Hong Kong).

Everyone remembers 6/4 or the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Although these events were set in China, Hong Kong looked to this event as a beacon of hope for democracy throughout the nation. The wounds from then are still fresh.

How are the protests happening right now in Hong Kong going to be any different?

As of up to the minute news (as I'm struggling to find words), the Hong Kong police have been throwing tear gas at protestors, adults and children alike, to deter them from crowding various districts of Hong Kong. A friend of mine reported seeing terrified children witnessing violence from the police.

University and high school children have left their homes and their schools to join in this protest. The city is in total chaos. MTR station entrances are barricaded.

Despite all of this, I am receiving reports that Occupy Central protestors remain non-violent. There are no broken store-front windows and no torched cars. The situation right now involves blocked traffic and barricaded areas. Yet, protestors are using umbrellas and masks to protect themselves from the tear gas and brute force used on them by the police. What madness is this?!


Me in front of the High Court before the lawyers' march in June 2014.
When I took part in the lawyers' march against the "White Skin Paper", I knew that this was only a glimpse of what the citizens of Hong Kong had lingering in their mind. I knew that Occupy Central was looming and that the government was fearing violence on the streets due to violent protests that happened over a dispute over land and housing projects, but one could never imagine the magnitude of support and fight that these protestors have.

I am so proud that the people of Hong Kong, especially young students, are taking the time to educate themselves and stand up for what they believe is right. Their courage is admirable and I wish them nothing but the best.

This is not a conflict that will be solved anytime soon, but it is comforting to believe that there are people willing to stand up to the Chinese government and demand their rights to democracy.

To those in Hong Kong as this is happening, please stay safe.
If you are a part of these protests, definitely stay safe. Stay strong. Stay vigilant. I support you.


9/25/2014

[TT] Out of the Ordinary University Courses

Here's an interesting Thought Thursday topic for the week! This suggestion was submitted by a lovely reader. whom I've referenced in Facebook just in case he doesn't want to be named here (hey, I can edit this, so let me know).

This topic stems from an article found on Stylist UK, an online subscription magazine. Link to the article entitled "Ten Unusual University Courses" here. A similar article can be found here on The Telegraph here.


These are apparently actual courses that are offered in Universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. If you have actually heard first hand testimony of anyone in these classes, please feel free to give me a shout.

Here is the list in accordance to the article and my personal thoughts:

1. New Jersey's Rutgers University's "Politicizing Beyonce" course:
Photo credit to TheOrlandoScene.com

This course gives Beyonce fans a way to analyze her videos and lyrics for credit.

I can see this actually being a legitimate course topic based on the media sensationalizing Beyonce or perhaps this could be a motivational course taken to boost student morale?!
My favourite quote that I must add here regarding Beyonce is: "You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce."
Maybe this course will actually teach me how to utilize my time like Beyonce.



2. University of California at Berkeley's "Simpsons and Philosophy" course.

Photo credit to Lardlad.com
This is cited as a rigorous two-unit course, which pairs Simpsons with the philosophies of Nietzsche, Plato and more.

Okay I can understand this one, especially in relation to media and political propaganda, since the Simpsons often touches on cultural events. Another incredible possibility is film/animation and symbolism.





3. Staffordshire University's "David Beckham" course (BA in Sports, Media and Culture).
Photo credit to Creativeboysclub.com

This course focuses on the rise of stardom that is David Beckham. Topics include the hairstyles that he chooses and his marriage with Victoria Beckham.

This course is similar to the Beyonce class, but more understandable since it's setting prospective professional sports players of life in the spotlight. Quite honestly, I'd probably buy the textbook just for the pictures.






4. University of Baltimore's "Zombie Studies" course.


The course description includes activities like writing horror scripts and analyzing existing zombies in media.

This sounds like a very scary course. For a person who can never stomach/watch a horror movie/film/television show, I doubt you'll find me anywhere near the room that this class is being held. I had to condition myself not to find the Left 4 Dead franchise scary!







5. Occidental College's "The Phallus Course".
Photo credit to Onetribewellness.com

Don't shoot me for the picture. I was on campus and didn't feel comfortable typing phallus into Google Image.

Offered by the department of critical theory and social justice, this course discusses "feminist and queer takings-on of the phallus." Topics include "the relation between the phallus and the penis and the relation of the phallus and fetishism."

Okay, so this is a private liberal arts college that sets its own regulations and course content, which is why I'm sure this course can and does exist. I'm actually quite interested in what type of discussions stem from this course


6. George Washington University's "Fat Studies" course.

Photo credit to Myrecipes.com
This course explores "concepts of fatness and obesity through the realm of film, literature, anthropology and history, throwing the cultural baggage of overweight people firmly into the spotlight".

Wow, no, this is not okay. I love how this course comes from a place that aims to educate people not to discriminate against overweight individuals, but how is this even allowed?!

Perhaps this course should re-evaluate its curriculum and re-brand itself to focus on eating disorders or health studies.





7. University of California's "Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular 'Logic'" course.
Photo credit to TheNYPost.com

So from the sounds of the description from the article, this sounds like a frustration venting class.

I personally think that this could be tacked on to a media related course in legal studies. It definitely frustrates me that people do not understand the difference between how the law works and entertainment. I'll never say no to this type of education!




8. University of South California's "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame".

Photo credit to GirlTalkHQ.com
From the sounds of it, this course applies sociological issues and theories to Lady Gaga. Why they would choose Lady Gaga remains to be seen,

Any class that requires us to analyze lyrics and watch music videos is fine by me. My only concern is that it seems quite difficult to analyze the meaning and reasons behind Gaga's actions without first consulting the great artist herself. What qualifications do these professors have for the issues discussed about her to be deemed as true?


9. Durham University's "Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion" course.


Offered as a part of the Bachelor program of Education studies, this course consists of a series of 22 lectures and 11 seminars, in which they look at JK Rowling's novels to reflect on prejudice and citizenship in modern society.

Not as exciting as learning magic. This course seems like a one-series based English class. Rightfully so, however, that this course be taught in the UK.




10. Reed College of Portland and University of California's "Underwater Basket Weaving" course.

Photo credit to ScoutingMagazine.org
A glorified crafting class or a seemingly useful survival skill, this class involves learning how to weave baskets by soaking them in water.

For those who think their element is water, this seems like a fun thing to do. What's funny about this entire thing is that the phrase "underwater basket weaving" is now a way of saying a course is worthless. Maybe it seems a little far-fetched to deem a university credit, but it's definitely not a bad skill to have.




So tell me, would you like to enroll in any of these classes? Why or why not?


9/12/2014

Suggestions Suggestions Read All About It

Hello dearest readers!

I have added a suggestion box at the bottom of the right hand bar.
I hope to hear some suggestions for blog topics that people would like me to cover.

                 >>>

As "suggestion" entails, however, your topic may not be touched upon.
As this is my personal blog, the issues on this blog must be screened by me and will only be made available online if I feel it reflects personal views and does not cause harm to me.

Thank you to those who have already suggested topics to me personally and through Facebook.

I hope to continue to post about issues that pertain to not only myself but to you all as well. Thank you for allowing me to do that.

9/11/2014

[TT] If They Look, They WILL Find You

At the orientation day for my courses, I was reminded that going into school for my chosen career meant that I was now a representation of said career and, as such, I should reflect on my internet activity.

Image courtesy of Occupy.com


Employers as well as teachers are also people who have access to the internet and a few keystrokes could render some information on anyone. I have heard that many teachers and employers search on social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, to evaluate their potential students and employees.

Of course, the natural reaction is to either A) not be present in social media networks, and B) limit visibility of profiles to protect privacy. To which I ask, should we really be judged on what we do on the internet? I don't mean by what's done on the internet at work because that's a regulatory issue. The concern I have is that there are countless people (that I know) who can have a "good time" (that would be deemed by a teacher or employer at a range of risqué to incredible indecent) and it would have no direct impact/effect on their work. Just because there is a picture of you drunk or someone is holding a joint, does not mean that you can't buckle down and complete tasks set out by your authorities. Have we not been taught that one should never judge a book by its cover?

Not only is it a concern about the fact that employers and teachers have the ability to search online for people's information, but it is impossible to predict what goes through the employer or the teacher's mind when they come across your information. We all hold the freedom of expression and speech and yet we must live in constant fear that someone will misinterpret your internet activity and recreational behaviour as a sign that you are suddenly "not worthy".

This issue seems to be another advantage (or disadvantage) of the accessibility of the internet. Tell me, how do you feel about employers and teachers "looking up" potential employees and students?

9/05/2014

[FF] Getting My Life Together for School

Hey everyone!
I really have no excuse to not be updating three bloody times a week but I've been settling into my new place near school and my blog has been incredibly neglected.
I'm back today with another Favourites Friday, so let's go straight into it:

I'M CURRENTLY IN LOVE WITH...

1. Ricky Gervais & the people who illustrated and wrote this version of Noah's Ark
Please be sure to check out other Ricky Gervais stand-up pieces because he. is. HILARIOUS.


2. theSkimm
This is a email subscription service that sends news bits daily to your inbox. I admit to be one of the people to use Twitter to keep myself informed about the world around me (and then I Google to look up further information, you judgmental pricks), so adding theSkimm to my daily life is like a cherry on the cake.
The selling point of theSkimm is that it aims to put the news and political issues into layman's terms. The only downside to the newsletter format is that the headings sometimes distract me from the issue it tries to report.
Here's a sample excerpt:

Excerpt credit of Riggs Partners

 
3. Kanebo Kate Slim Gel Pencil Eyeliner (Bk-1)
My lovely friend Joyce (visit her personal blog by clicking on her name) gifted me her favourite eyeliner a while ago and I've only recently started adding it to my daily make-up routine. I. AM. HOOKED. I love that the application is smooth with no tugging. Overlap of the formula doesn't result in the removing of colour. It is incredibly build-able and the wand is firm and thin enough to control the thickness of your line. Thanks again Joyce!


4. Sajedene's Twitch Stream
I recently became a subscriber of Sajedene Twitch channel, also known as DotaCinema's SunsFan's girlfriend, after having been a follower for years. After subscribing to her, I instantly felt recognized and even won a Dragon's Ascension Set for Dragon Knight from a giveaway someone was hosting. It felt nice to be able to support someone who streams games regularly, considering I do rely on streams to get me through the week. Be sure to check out Sajedene's stream when you get the chance. I also enjoy and regularly watch/follow:

AdmiralBulldog's Twitch
Sheever's Twitch
Reave's Twitch
DeFrancoGames' Twitch


Sajedene, Reaves, and DeFrancoGames also stream a variety of games, so do not fret if you don't enjoy watching people play Dota 2.

5. The girl I met at the bus loop on Wednesday
I have found that the people at my school are pretty approachable, which really surprised me when I ended up starting a conversation with a girl when she realized that the bus wasn't going to appear at the stop we were waiting at.
She was wearing a SailorMoon tee and I wondered what she may have to say about the remake (SailorMoon Crystal). We ended up chatting on the bus about this and that and it was pretty enjoyable. It surprised me that something as simple as a love for SailorMoon could bring two complete strangers together. I was both fascinated and grateful.
I just wish I had gotten her name.

[well...it would be pretty creepy to have a picture of her here for reference, wouldn't it?]


So readers, what have you been loving lately?