Old news report

Strathclyde Police began their anti-violence campaign across Scotland yesterday by targeting weapon carriers to crack down on knife crime.

 

Strathclyde Police has enforcing a yearlong anti-violence campaign, over the next four weeks police will litter the streets targeting weapon carriers. They will be stopping those who look like they could be potentially dangerous.

 

The crackdown follows earlier periods of enforcement in July, September,

November and December 2011, which led on from the nationwide knife amnesty in May and June 2010, when an all-time high of 12, 600 weapons were handed in to the police.

To date 1,110 knives and 918 other weapons have been found by officers.

That is just across Scotland. The violence has reached a high and the police now have to intervene and take more action. Police state they have taken over “2,000 knives and other weapons off the streets of our communities.

 

Police will be using intelligence and the latest technology to sniff out those who are ignoring the law and continue to endanger others by carrying weapons.

Chief Inspector Alex McGuire, Safer Scotland Co-ordination Unit, said: In the weeks ahead, officers the length and breadth of Scotland will be actively searching for knife and weapons carriers.

 

During the next month, forces will be carrying out a whole raft of operations to target hot spot areas, including intelligence-led searches in areas which are known to have problems with violence or disorder.”

 

Police have been using hand-held metal detectors, Kevlar gloves and Ferroguard poles. These are all items that have been used previously.

 

The decision to launch a four-week crackdown was after a debate on how to tackle the rise in knife crime.

 

Committee Convener Frank McAveety said: “This debate today was always wider than criminal justice. It is about tackling knife crime on many levels – early intervention, education in schools, crime prevention.”

 

Police and the community are encouraging people to come forward and do their part.

Superintendent Val McIntyre, Deputy Divisional Commander, for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Division, said:

“I would urge any person who knows of anyone carrying a knife to report this to the police or anonymously through Crimestoppers and I would also urge those intending to carry a weapon to think again and consider the consequences.”

 

Red bins will be placed across Renfrewshire and Inverclyde tomorrow to encourage the public to hand in weapons and stop the violence.

 

Possible Debris spotting from Missing Plane

 

Amsa image

 

Reports of debris being spotted in the Indian Ocean have been linked to Malaysian Aircraft Boeing 777 that went missing on the 8th March.
Ships from Norway have joined with Australian, U.S and New Zealand planes to search the area 1500 miles from Perth. The images were spotted on satellite and are believed to be of a ‘reasonable size’.
Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has stated that the debris shown up on the satellite is a ‘credible lead.’ Many sightings have been reported since the plane went missing but none have been of any relation.
The plane was on flight from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. It is believed that at 19 minutes after one a.m the co-pilot had radioed ‘All right. Good night.’ Two minutes later the plane went offline.
There is many speculations and conspiracies as to the disappearance of the plane.
Aviation experts claim that the plane was intentionally diverted to a well thought out plan. There have been theories off hijacking, bombs and suicide. However, there is yet to be confirmation.

My addiction

Today my blog is about what of my favourite things ever. Pokémon. I still remember my sixth Christmas and unwrapping a green nintendo colour and a small box containing Pokémon Blue. This was the start of my decline from reality.

At five years old I was hooked. Like some sort of electronic drug for children that had taken over the globe. I was introduced to the world of Pokémon by Professor Oak. I remember I choose Squirtle as my first Pokémon. He was my best friend in the Pokémon world, a small blue pixelated water turtle. I will add that throughout childhood I did venture outside with the friends I had managed to convince I was normal.

Since then my Pokémon addiction began. Pokémon Blue was just the start. When Gameboy advanced was released it was a whole new experience, better images, more Pokémon games, everything that would give me the potential to take me to the brink of becoming a social  outcast. Thankfully, I met others like me that was far down the route of gaming heroin.

More Pokémon were being introduced, the games were becoming more advanced, you could choose your own gender! Life was grand.

However, when I turned 12 and took the big yet unavoidable adventure to highschool me and Pokémon separated ways. Trivial stuff like life got in the way. I always missed Pokémon but I was now a teenager and too old for Pokémon. I had to become interested in new things.

However, an epiphany happened in college. I was talking to my class mates as I usually on dreary Monday mornings. We were being nostalgic at the age of 18. Then I brought up that I used to love Pokémon and then he turned around and said the sentence that changed my life, ‘I still play it.’ Many other people agreed. I was awestruck and also immensely happy.

A few of my other friends had stated that they stilled played Pokémon as well. I rushed out bought a Nintendo 3DS and bought Pokémon Heartgold and my affair began all over again.

Now I am trying to catch all the Pokémon in the latest game X, which is by far the most advanced Pokémon has been. The characters are in 3D you can buy different outfits change their hairstyles, eyecolour. Also, there is roughly over 700 different types of Pokémon including the new type, fairy. Which most Pokémon are pre-exsisiting from the original game such as Marril and Jigglypuff.

The starter Pokémon are the original grass, fire and water which makes up Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie

One fact that had everybody buzzing out their pikachu was mega evolution. When Pokémon can evolve one stage further in battle if the player has the mage evolution stone. This also included the three starter Pokémon from the original game and the player can recieve one throughout the game.

Pokémon X and Y is amazing and I suggest everybody plays at least once to feel like a kid on crack again

The backlash of Blackfish: Is it all a lie?

The world has been outraged by the horrifying documentary of Killer Whale abuse in SeaWorld, Blackfish. It has been no secret that SeaWorld has claimed the whole documentary is a lie and that it is very one-sided.

Marilee Menard, former director of the Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks and Aquariums, has have hit back by saying that Blackfish:

“ignores the essence of parks and aquariums — their dedication to wildlife research, conservation, education and rescue of stranded marine mammals.

Aquariums fund studies on the diets, reproduction and immune systems of marine mammals as well as evaluate contaminants affecting certain species to help understand and improve animals’ health in the wild. 

Marine parks have explored technologies to protect wild animals from fishing gear that cause many deaths each year. Also, animals in human care are surrogates for studies of wild, endangered species that would be impossible to complete without disturbing their vulnerable wild counterparts.”

This does sound like an intellectual answer with valid points. However, I think it comes down to the good vs the bad, so to speak. The first point made is that marine mammals are studied to help improve the life of animals in the wild. Fair enough. However, orcas are being taken away from their families, put in a foreign environment and forced to perform. Is this a case of the end justify the mean?

The next point made is that ‘marine parks have explored technologies to protect wild animals from fishing gear that cause many deaths each year’. When killer whales are fished from the ocean for captivity many whales die due to the flash bombs and stress of the whole event.

I’m not saying that there aren’t any advantages to killer whales in captivity. However, they are very few or far between. More often than not they advantages seem to benefit humans instead of the animals.

Also this article, which can you find here : CNN, uses images which I find quite misleading for example: A photo of Halle Berry, because obviously if a celebrity thinks it’s okay then it is.

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Here is an image of Keiko, the killer whale who played ‘Free Willy’ being released. The caption explains how Keiko wasn’t ready to be independent and spent most of his time with fishermen and children, then stating he died in 2002 ‘most likely from pneumonia’ indicating that this orca would be better in captivity.

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Here is an image of a killer whale who was found ‘starving’ in the ocean and was moved to Loro Parque to perform in captivity where she was fed and well looked after. However, what they fail to mention is that Loro Parque is the worst kept aquarium of all the aquariums. When the whales were originally moved from SeaWorld to this aquarium   nothing was ready and the whales constantly has problems. Not to mention that trainer, Alexis Martinez, was killed by a killer whale at this park.

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It is obvious Blackfish is very one-sided. However,  I feel that for all the ‘examinations’ they do on these animals to help get a better understanding of how they operate in the wild is a little back-handed.

Yes, killer whales have died when they’ve been released from captivity into the wild but after a while these whales are no longer dependent and have had their freedom stripped away then told to go hunt for themselves so their death is inevitable in most cases.

I personally believe that no matter what facts are thrown at me I won’t ever agree to killer whales in captivity.

Top 10 bizarre headlines

My weakness is stupidity and everything bizarre. I love it. Everything from Jeremy Kyle to someone falling over right in front of me. However, since I’m studying journalism it might be a good idea to put a journalistic spin on it. After recalling some of my favourite bizarre headlines and googling others I decided to blog about them. I hope you, like me, while find this thoroughly entertaining. Personally, whether some of these are intentional or not they’re brilliantly bizarre.

10. He ain’t nothing but a hound dog.image 

9. Also tsunamis may involve water damage image

8. For all you 25 year old teenagers, keep up the chastity. It’s working image

7. This isn’t stupid. This is the opposite of stupid. Well done sir image

6. she must have left the kitchen to complain image

5. lions and tigers and … Flying bugs? Oh dear image

4. ‘Do you even lift?’ Fluffy Schwarzenegger image

3. This one day this man will never forget or the rest of the world image

2. Maybe she tried to ‘get some nuts’ image

1. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Oh, it’s from Ann Summer’s new range image

Nation – Terry Pratchett

Terry_Pratchett_Nation

“No more words. We know them all, all the words that should not be said. But you have made my world more perfect.”

This is a quote from one of my favourite books ever – I sound like such a fan girl. I read this book  when I was about 15 and has been in the top 10 ever since. Terry Pratchett – Nation.

This is such a beautiful book – I hate sounding so hipster but it is. The book begins with young boy Mau returning to his village after living on ‘Boy Island’ where the boys of his nation become men. Soon after his home, village and nation are wiped out by a tsunami. Mau has to rebuild his nation from nothing now that he is a man. However, he is not alone. Educated young English rose Daphne, who has been raised on social etiquette and good manners, or ‘Trouser Man’ has been washed up on Mau’s island and together they rebuild his nation, learning about each other and using the past to help create a new future.

Mau is guided by his history of the Nation and the voices of the ‘Grandfathers’ who will not go peacefully. Daphne has to learn the ways of the village while teaching Mau her own lifestyle to what seems like an uncivilized boy. 

Throughout this enchanting story we watch as two young people are forced to grow together and adapt to a lifestyle they never thought they would have to face.

Pratchett wittily demonstrates his ability to create a past, present and future for this world he has created. The novel will make you feel devastated and elated at the same time as you mourn for a past that will never be again and rejoice for a future that’s so promising. 

The book takes the youngsters through many challenging events such as; learning each other’s language, coping with the other villagers, such as Ataba the priest of the nation who is set in his ways of religion and refuses to adapt, escaping the God of death Locaha, and Daphne being kidnapped by mutineers. 

This quote sums up the book and I would high recommend that everyone reads this book, it’s a great, however, slightly different, coming of age book. Although, as ironic as this sounds, this book is for all ages.

“They didn’t know why these things were funny. Sometimes you laugh because you’ve got no more room for crying. Sometimes you laugh because table manners on a beach are funny. And sometimes you laugh because you’re alive, when you really shouldn’t be.”

imageI’m currently reading books that aren’t paranormal/fantasy/romance, so the reform is well on the way. However, I’m still halfway through reading said books so here is a review on the current paranormal/fantasy/romance series that I’m engrossed in. The Fever series by Kate Marie Moning. Which is also rumoured to be turned into a film after DreamWorks bought the film rights.

This series revolves around young and pretty Southern-belle MacKayla (Mac) when her world is ripped apart after her sister is murdered in Dublin, Ireland. The novel begins with Mac’s world being turned upside down when she goes to Ireland to find her sister’s killer and bring them to justice. However, when arriving in Dublin she discovers the existence of Fae, the war between the Seelie and Unseelie, and how she is stuck in the middle of this twisted reality. Mac finds out she is not who she’s always believed she is and discovers many things about herself she would never have imagined. She is aided by the dark, handsome and dangerous Jerricho Barrons, who has more mystery surrounding him than Justin Bieber’s prostitute number.

I am currently on the fourth book of this series and was kind of reluctant to review it due to the fact it came out in 2006. I asked one of my friends if they thought that was okay and he said he had reviewed a film that came out last month. There’s a wee bit of a difference between a month and 8 years but I’ll take what I can get. However, the series is ongoing.

This book really captivated me at the beginning, I was drawn into the mystery of Mac’s sister’s killer and because of the blurb I knew there would be paranormal business involved. Moning begins the book with Mac narrating events from the past, giving the reader a little insight into what is going to happen before being plunged into present tense. However, I’m four books in and I can stay I’m no closer to unravelling this mystery than to understanding why Jedward presented Ireland in Eurovision. There has been some things that have been cleared up but more twists appear. That’s what I love and hate about this book. THERE’S SO MANY TWISTS. I suppose this keeps the reader interested, determined to clear the shroud of mystery.

I thoroughly enjoy the plot, it’s a strong mix of fast and slow paced. With the Fae becoming less mysterious and more of an annoyance throughout the novel, at least the minor ones. The Fae in this story are inventive and fascinating, ranging from V’lane, the Seelie Prince that Mac has christened ‘death-by-sex faery’ and the ‘Gray Man’ the ridiculously ugly Fae who uses a glamour of a beautiful man and steals the beauty of woman until they are almost as ugly as him.  The change of Macis gradual but amazing: the happy ‘rainbow girl’ and into the girl who ‘despises pink and loves red and black’.  You see the character shape throughout the dark events unfolding in this novel. However, if you expect a fast-paced romance, as I was, you will be disappointed. Mac fluctuates between Barrons and V’lane. She never commits to one or really open up to or get involved with any.

The romance is slow and gradual but it does build tension. My  for books is when  the protagonist and their obvious love interest get together to quickly and ruin the tension and the build up. The Fever series can not be accused of that. The series really is unique in the paranormal/fantasy category. Which is extremely hard to do now. I’ve read a few books that is essentially the same plot with different names and species.

I definitely recommend this series due to the rapport between Mac and Barrons, the childish arguments and the obvious tension building. Yet, Mac’s obvious reluctance to trust him and Barrons mystery keeps the story going. Moning, did write the Highlander series before the Fever series and although there are links between characters and subtle references you would not have to read the Highlander series to understand Fever. If you like crime/fantasy/romance books that will last a while the Fever series is definitely for you.

Stupid is as stupid does

We’ve been told to blog about things outside our comfort zone and to be honest one of the things I wouldn’t be comfortable blogging about is my own stupidity.

I like to think of myself as a smart educated being but then I say something and everyone wonders if I’m the missing link.

So here’s my top five quotes of upper stupidity from 2013-2014. Enjoy and as a disclaimer I did make it through highschool and get into university.

1. When me and my friends Stuart braved the cold, scottish weather to the cash machine to check my bank balance I said:

‘That could have went one way or another and to be honest it kinda of went in between.’

At the start of university, surrounded by fellow students that I would spend the next four years with and potential friends we were asked what type of stories we liked in journalism. While educated and clever answers begin to be told I got more and more nervous and when it got to my turn I said:

‘I really like my brothers my dad kind of stories.’

Then sat down and watched as all my potential friends distanced themselves from the weird inbred girl.

3. When a scottish DJ called George Bowie was performing at a local nightclub I turned to everyone said:

‘Hmm, I don’t really know that George Bowie the only thing I’ve seen him in is the labyrinth.’

4. When telling my aunt about my latest love life, or lack of one, I told her about a boy I met and when she asked me about him I said:

‘I think he’s rich. He’s had laser eye surgery.’

5. When me and my friends were alking about random stuff I said:

‘I don’t like masochists. I find it really awkward when they touch you.’

I meant massages.

So basically this is why on a daily basis I can be ridiculed. You may or may not find this interesting. Some people do some people don’t but this is my very boring, occasionally awkward life

White Sphere captures Orcas for tourism

imageI’m posting this from my phone because I still haven’t fixed my laptop! It was my New Years resolution. Anyhoo, this is another post about Killer Whales in captivity. It’s just Inhumane and selfish.

Two wild killer whales have been captured by Russian hunters to be taken to Sochi for the Sochi Winter Olympics. In a cheap and cruel attempt to bring in tourism. The company White Sphere has organised this.

The whales are being removed from their homes to a tiny concrete box where it is possible for the whales to develop psychosis!

These whales are used to swimming up to 100 miles a day and being surrounded by their families. Killer whales like other dolphins have a great sense of family. They learn their behaviour from their family, learn languages and also develop a personality based on their family.

These whales are being moved to essentially a tiny jail cell where they will have no emotional stimulation and kept in tight spaces building their frustration with no release.

Please sign this petition and help save these poor animals!

https://www.causes.com/actions/1764056-a-petition-to-thomas-bach-international-olympic-committee-sochi-olympic-organising-committee

So I have almost, kinda branched out from my sci-fi/paranormal cocoon. The novel I’m writing about is sci-fi but it is not the usual evident tension between a female protagonist and the dangerous good-looking (insert mythical something) type of novel. However, it is topical as the film based on the book is out this year. I will try my hardest to review the book without revealing any major storylines in the film. So here is my detailed, but in a minimalistic way, review.

Divergent by Veronica Roth is a novel that compelled me from start to finish. I became submerged in her haunting world where society is split into five factions; Dauntless, which the members are fearless, cloaked in black and excellent fighters. Candor, whose members always tell the truth, no matter how harsh it can be. Amity, dressed in yellows and reds and forever happy and peaceful. Erudite, the intellectuals of this warped society and finally Abnegation, the definition of selflessness, dressed in drab gray, never curious and anything that could be associated with cosmetics shunned. Basically, the factions are self-explanatory. Abnegation is where the protagonist enters, Beatrice Prior, who is later known as Tris.

Basically, everyone in this gothic type society is split into one of these five factions based on an aptitude test they have on Choosing Day, an exam that determines you personality, this is when the storyline develops as Tris reveals an aptitude test for not one but three factions, Dauntless, Erudite and Abnegation. This makes her Divergent and therefore a threat to society. Tris shocks her family and herself by deciding to live in the faction Dauntless.

Throughout the novel you see that the fearless faction has many flaws in its society, or else there wouldn’t really be a story, and Tris is caught in the middle, the Dauntless faction celebrates suicide, abuses their initiates and makes their deepest fears a reality. Of course, no good novel is worth its literature salt unless there is the side-kicks and the miniature villain that isn’t necessarily into the major evil behind everything but terrorise the protagonist enough that you wish they were a real person so you could punch them in the face. Tris’ friends, Will, Christina and Al, are there to try to and help each other survive throughout the initiation while jealous Peter makes it his living goal to annihilate any chance they have of placing in the top ten. The top ten is a score board for the initiates placing them in order of their rank, if they make it into the top ten then they have earned their place in Dauntless. However, if they fall short they are cast out to the Factionless, a section of this society filled with homeless and starving people who belong to no faction, hence the name.

Of course, the love interest. (I’m not saying that a good book needs a love interest, I’m just saying that personally for me it makes a little bit more interesting). Four, named after only having four fears. However, this is not a typical girl meets boy novel, there are many themes that overshadow romance so therefor Four is not your typical boy. He is one of the mentors for the initiates, he is dangerous but also haunted, which you later find out why but I won’t tell you because if I did I may as well name this post Spoiler!

Four subtly helps Tris through her initiatiation while dealing with his own demons and this is when it’s all gone Pete Tong. The other faction’s are beginning to cast out Abnegation, the leaders and politicians of the society, with the hunting party being controlled by Erudite.

This is when the novel’s storyline becomes clear, a war breaks out and Tris must decide on whether to stick with her new but damaged faction or help her family in Abnegation and also fight against the antagonist of this novel, Jeanine Matthews, the leader or Erudite.

This novel is definitely in my top ten. I loved the way the society has been portrayed, it appears as though the individuals are managed and ruled by their factions but you can see the bigger picture, the strings being pulled. The strength of the character Tris pulled me in and almost demanded respect. There is no doubt that Veronica Roth is an excellent writer, developing this alternate reality where betrayal is everywhere and love and trust is something earned not given.

I highly recommend that you read the book, I’m slightly biased but I believe that the book is always better than the film as you get to know the character better, hear their inner thoughts. However, it isn’t fair for me to judge before the film has even been released but basically my point is if you like alternative society/paranormal/romance/awesome books then definitely read this book!!