The Big Hoot Trail 2015

From the 20th of July- 27th September (2015) the city centre of Birmingham and surrounding areas will be filled with large picturesque owl statues. The Big Hoot Trail arouses awareness of the city’s culture as well as raising money for the  Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The statue designs were created by local artists and have been sponsored by local businesses, after the ‘exhibition’ the owls will be auctioned off for the Children’s Hospital. 

The Big Hoot Trail 2015As you can see each individual owl has its own unique design with there being a grand total of 89 to spot on your journey around Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and Bourneville, there’s even a surprise owl at the entrance of Twycross Zoo.

The Big Hoot Trailbig hoot trail 2015I managed to see around 40 owls with plenty more to go!

If like me you love owls then it makes a great day out 🙂

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Back to University: Stationery Haul

As you may know I’ll be going into my third and final year of university come October, as a stationery enthusiast ive already brought all the items I’ll need including cute notebooks, gel pens and a quirky desk organiser and all the items from this post will have came from WhSmith both in store and online.

Notepads

As you can tell I don’t go for plain notebooks or refill books! I do try to have matching sets though which has almost happened here minus the Aztec print book which was on the 3 for 2 offer! The notebooks are all hardback without dividers and range from A4 to A5.

1) A4 Aztec Tribal Print Book: Around £4.99 on the 3 for 2 offer.

Aztec Print Notebook

2/3) A5 Pink and Purple Polka Dot Notebooks: I brought these online for £2.39 each and they’ll be a similar price in store, ive always loved polka dots and being purple is my favourite colour it has instantly became a favourite of mine. The pink and orange book also stands out so will look great in lectures. 

Purple Polka Dot Notebook

4) A4 Blue Polka Dots Book: I picked this up in store for £2.99 to finish off my notebook collection as I have a notebook now to coincide with each separate module. I much prefer the smaller polka dots but it still beats having a plain book to write in and the sky blue is a nice touch!

Blue Polka Dot Notebook

5) A5 Chunky Face Friends Notebook: This notebook was too cute to resist and comes from the ‘Face Friends’ range but I just call it my monster notebooks! The book was £5.99 which is a bit pricey but it was on the 3 for 2 offer and is quite a chunky book which I plan to safe for my dissertation notes so I feel more motivated to work on it!

A5 Chunky Face Friends Notebook

6) A4 Face Friends Notebook: Again as part of the 3 for 2 offer I picked up this cute notebook for around £4.99 to match my A5, the pattern is quite cute and will offer a ‘fun’ factor to my notes. I believe having books you enjoy looking at and writing in will increase motivation and as this is my third and final year it’s important that I stay motivated and do the best I can.

Gel Pens

7) 30 Pack of Gel Pens: Another motivational technique im going to employ is having colourful notes, I managed to spot a large pack of colourful and glittery gel pens for £4.99 in store which is the stores own brand and was such a great price as I will find them really useful and they’ll come in handy for planning my dissertation.

Empty Dinosaur Organiser

8) Dinosaur Organiser: I couldn’t resist picking up this little organiser that stores notes, it can have the important ones clipped to it’s mouth and it even holds pens! This little beauty cost a mere £2.99 and was on the 4 for 3 offer so why not go shopping with your friends and put your stationery together to save money! Or just pick up 4 things for yourself 🙂

The 4 for 3 offer included the dinosaur organiser, a hippo organiser, staplers, rulers and erasers.

Dinosaur Organiser

I hope you enjoyed my haul post so why not share your stationery links with me or even drop a comment and tell me what you plan on buying for school/college/university? 🙂

Also check out my Dissertation Preparation post if you too are going into your third year of university. 🙂 

https://chasingtheimpossibleblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/dissertation-preparation/

Visiting Lanzarote’s Rancho Texas Park

Rancho TexasRancho Texas Park situated in Puerto Del Carmen is a large zoo and water resort which certainly didn’t disappoint! With it’s home to many animals some which we hadn’t seen in person before (raccoons and armadillos) there was plenty to see and do including three shows which featured sea lions, parrots and birds of prey which swoop over your head! 

Armed with a map of the zoo you are free to walk around and see any animals you like at your own pace, first up we saw sleepy raccoons which were still cute and farm like animals such as baby pigs and goats etc… before moving on to much larger and exciting creatures.

RaccoonsThe park has a strong Western theme throughout and which including the décor, pathways and even the home of the animals, the small animal above had little teepee tents which they actually used so that was an interesting sight to see! It also holds a western night which includes BBQ and dancing but we didn’t go to this. Even the parrot show had a western theme and including tiny waggons being pulled by a parrot whilst another parrot stood inside and one parrot knew how to play dead when a toy gun was pointed at him.

Sea lion Unfortunately we didn’t manage to catch the full sea lion show due to them not wanting to play the games! But we did manage to see Brutos the large sea lion above who people could have photo’s with, although we didn’t get to see the full show it was still amazing to see how the sea lions interacted with their trainers. Luckily for us the Birds of Prey show went smoothly and included bald eagles, vultures, hawks and other birds which were showcasing different skills such as how to find food, change course and how they catch prey (shown with a decoy toy), it was a surreal experience as they fly right above you and you can feel the breeze from their wings, people even ducked and dodged as the birds got so close.

Bald EagleThe park had a large water park area which wasn’t just for small children, water slides and a large pool for adults, we didn’t use this feature due to the leaflet only showing the children’s area but if you ever visit remember to take your swimwear! The trip was a great day out and one of the last excursions we did in our two weeks, it’s a great place to visit for all ages not just children.

swimming turtleCrocodile Aligator*Photos taken on a Kodak AZ521 Bridge Camera 

The Slender Man Murders

Cult horror figure Slender Man who has featured as fan art and within horror games is the latest video game targeted for violent influences; two 12-year-old girls from Wisconsin USA are up for a murder trial after attempting to murder a classmate to ‘please the Slender Man’. The victim also 12 was stabbed 19 times after being lured to a secluded woodland area, she survived due to crawling to the roadside for help.

The Slender Man is a horror icon with a tall and slim appearance and blank face who is believed to stalk and prey on his victims which are mainly children, of course he is a fictional character but these girls believed he was real and wished to go live with him… Of course mental health issues could play a role in this but if they are found to have sane minds then they could face up to 65 years in prison.

Slender Man GameThe girls first became obsessed  with the character after reading about him on the site ‘Creepypasta Wiki’, it’s hard to understand how the girls even came across this site yet alone being allowed to access it, parents cant monitor everything their child looks at but if their personalities changed then it’s obvious something has caused this. The girls told the courts they had thought of different ways to murder the poor victim which all involved luring her somewhere secluded just like in the games.

It is evident that games of this nature are not intended for young individuals that do not understand the difference between reality and fantasy, it shouldn’t be the game itself blamed for this tragic disaster as it clearly isn’t age appropriate but more should be done to censor games which contain strong horror and violence, and by this I mean making it less accessible, if the girls hadn’t been able to get hold of this information then they wouldn’t have committed the violent attack.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10873464/Two-12-year-old-girls-charged-with-trying-to-murder-friend-to-please-Internet-demon.html

*images from Google

Disney Goes Live Action

Beauty & The BeastAfter the incredible success of Maleficent comes the news that Beauty and the Beast is also set for the live action format, Bill Condon director of Breaking Dawn (Twilight) is said to have signed up for the project. Also up for the live action reinvention is Cinderella (2015) directed by Kenneth Branagh and staring Lily James (Wrath of the Titans)  Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau as well as The Little Mermaid.

CinderellaBeauty and the Beast is such a stunning animation so I personally don’t feel the need for it to become a live action feature, ive also seen theatrical versions of it such as a fully musical based one and a more dramatic piece without the musical factor and both were thrilling in their own ways, they weren’t trying to replicate the classic Disney version.  A postmodern version of the classic fairy tale has already been presented in the form of Beastly staring former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens.

Maleficent may have been a big success but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all future live action films will be, Disney may just be seeing dollar signs when it comes to the concepts of this and I hope that the production is actually well thought out, it’s great for classic Disney to continue to be recognised by newer generations but re-developing the stories aren’t necessary.

Maleficent

*images from Google

Top 5 Disney Villains

Disney VillainsWith the soon to be release of Maleficent (May 28th) I thought I’d celebrate with a post dedicated to my top 5 favourite villains! It’s no surprise that Disney and Pixar has a wide range of villains to choose from so it wasn’t an easy choice, maybe your choices will be different so leave a comment with your top 5!

Gaston Beauty and the Beast5) Gaston- Beauty and the Beast

Kicking off at number 5 is Gaston, the arrogant anti-protagonist from Beauty and the Beast, on his failed quest to marry Belle we see his true colours. His manipulation and evil plans to have Belles father locked away in an asylum is one of many reasons why he is unlikeable, he sees Belle as a ‘trophy’ wife and tries to harm the beast so naturally he has to be villain no.5!   

Hades Hercules4) Hades- Hercules

God of the Underworld Hades from Hercules has always been a favourite of mine, Pain and Panic also contribute to this due to not being fully committed to the evil plans. Hades isn’t a very good villain, how can he be when his brother is Zeus right? but his jealous behaviour and unleashing of the Titan’s showcases some great monsters for Hercules to defeat in his quest to be re-united with his father.

Lotso Huggin Bear3) Lotso- Toy Story 3

This cute little villain that smells of strawberries contributed to the brilliant but incredibly heart breaking Toy Story 3, Lotso wasn’t always bad mind you which is why I think he makes a great villain, it’s the betrayal from his owner that made Lotso turn bad. Another reason he makes my list is because he is a cute pink bear, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Disney Store bear which still has the strawberry scent! It just goes to show not all bad guys look scary.

Scar Lion King2) Scar- The Lion King 

One of the saddest moments it Disney has to be when Mufasa dies, so it’s only natural that Scar scores high in the list. Again like Hercules jealousy plays a part in this story. Be Prepared has to be one of the best villain songs within Disney and is one of my favourites from The Lion King which is why Scar takes the number 2 spot, it also helps that he is scary and distinctively looks different to the other lions with their golden manes.

Maleficent1) Maleficent- Sleeping Beauty

It comes to no surprise that my all time favourite villain is Maleficent, her scary appearance and wickedness contributes to many factors that makes her a powerful villain, her cunning plans and evil minions are what make her wickedly evil. Although her minions aren’t as clever as she’d like she still proves that she doesn’t need them in order to get what she wants. Also the fact that she turns into a large dragon is quite terrifying when you’re a child. 

 

*images from Google

Peaches Geldof Death Revealed

Peaches Geldof familyThe death of Peaches Geldof shocked the world on April 7th when it was revealed that she had died, she leaves behind children Astala Dylan Willow and Phaedra Bloom Forever and husband Thomas Cohen. The child of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates echoed the death of her mother when it was revealed today that heroin was found in her blood, an overdose also killed her mother in 2000.

Peaches has previously overdosed in 2008 and told the world how her ‘wild child’ ways were over when she settled down and had children, it’s such a shame that the star who was rumoured to be a new judge on Australia’s Next Top Model had turned back to the drug, now like she did her children will grow up without their mother.

Bob Geldof wants Thomas to remain close to the family so that the children will grow up knowing about their mother, the S.C.U.M singer has reportedly changed his name to Thomas Geldof Cohen to honour Peaches’ memory. It just goes to show that such a deadly addiction can haunt a family. It is not known why the traces of Heroin could not be found in her Kent home by the police or sniffer dogs and why  Peaches had turned back to the drug.

Peaches Geldof with Thomas Cohen

*images from Google

Josie Cunningham: Abortion for Fame

Josie CunninghamDespicable mother Josie Cunningham who sparked outrage when she received a £4800 boob job for free continues to kick up drama wherever she goes. The mom who was set to sue the NHS over her boob job which apparently made her unhappy because her glamour model career didn’t go to plan also received another free Botox operation to  sort out her condition hyperhidrosis which causes excessive sweating.

The latest scandal to reach the news is that the mother of two who is now pregnant with her third child (father unknown) wishes to have an abortion just to go on the reality TV show Big Brother, she claims producers approached her before the pregnancy but because of her condition they don’t wish to continue the contract. After the modelling career failed Josie turned to the escort life for ‘easy money’ she is unaware if the father is a client who paid her £1000 for sex or whether or not it was a casual fling with a friend.  Maybe instead of chasing fame and free operations off the NHS she should focus on the children she already has.

This new scandal has caused outrage for so many reasons:

  • She’s already claiming to have free dental treatment whilst she’s pregnant
  • She’s glamorising abortions 
  • She’s a fame hungry mess
  • She should focus on her own children

Josie Cunningham PregnantMany people who have suffered the loss of a child will be affected by this vile act, for those who cant have children for medical reasons will not want to know that someone out there who has the opportunity to give the gift of life will give it all up just to try and become famous. Fame isn’t everything so maybe Josie should get that into her head before deciding to abort a life, abortion is a hard decision and shouldn’t be considered for vanity reasons.

If she goes ahead with the abortion and does land on Big Brother does she really think the viewers will back her and launch her into stardom? The glamour model career didn’t exactly go to plan so why would anyone want to see her become famous for all the wrong reasons. She gives Britain a bad name and people should stop feeding the troll.

*images from Google

Check ‘Em Tuesday Campaign Controversy

check em tuesday coverPage 3 as we all know features topless models for unnecessary purposes, boobs aren’t news and shouldn’t be featured in a ‘family’ paper, a while ago now I signed the petition to have the Page 3 content removed as well as 161, 823 more people so I am quite disgusted and concerned as to why David Dinsmore has decided to use sexualised women to promote Breast Cancer awareness.

Check ‘Em Tuesday will now run every Tuesday to remind women to check theirselves for any signs of Breast Cancer, using a popular newspaper is a great way to promote cancer awareness but using sexualised images is not the right way to go about it! Coppafeel the charity working with The Sun feel it’s the best way to alert people of the dangers rather than aimed at sufferers.

I have nothing against the charity and hope it succeeds before I am seen as being against cancer awareness, I just feel that it seems like The Sun has used a tactical move, they know about the vast amount of support for no more Page 3, even MP’s want it gone, so promoting a deadly disease to keep the content in place is a disgusting move.

check em tuesdayThe above image has been used to ‘promote’ the campaign, had you not seen it before would you be aware it’s promoting breast cancer awareness? Breast Cancer is a serious condition and I personally feel that The Sun isn’t taking it very seriously, it’s nice that they want to promote it but they are going the wrong way about it.

Go CommandoGo Commando is the male equivalent of Check ‘Em Tuesday but there was a very large difference between the promotion of both campaigns, Page 3 models were given front page and a large spread in the paper, Go Commando used ordinary men and only had a small feature in the paper, the majority of the space on those pages was covered with advertisements. What does that tell you?

Cancer is deadly serious no matter what gender, age or ethnicity you are, yet The Sun seems to think that female models in their early 20’s is the way to promote it and older white males (with one exception of a 24 year old) will attract readers. In the article it has the cancer stories of the men who have suffered, and again Coppafeel features to the side of the story but to promote the symptoms of breast cancer rather than having a male guide on cancer symptoms.

If you don’t agree with Page 3 and think it is outdated then why not sign the petition? or follow the campaign on Twitter @NoMorePage3

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-dinsmore-take-the-bare-boobs-out-of-the-sun-nomorepage3

 

*images from Google

Miss Representation (2011)

Miss Representation is a documentary from 2011 exploring the media pressures put on young women in America, it more so talks about the limited political power that is given to women and how female power is under-represented in media influences. The documentary was quite a shock to how sexist the media actually is, it showcases women as being natural enemies to each other and generally bitchy behaviour, come on now women do get on with each other.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom narrates throughout the documentary the fears she has of her little girl growing up in the male dominated environment, if they aren’t subjecting women sexually they are undermining their intelligence. A wide range of shocking statistics are also used throughput to showcase how oblivious we may be to what is actually going on in front of our very eyes on a daily basis.

Shock Statistics

“Studies prove exposures to sexually explicit video games and music videos is linked to men’s acceptance of rape myths and sexual harassment”

“1 in 6 women are survivors of rape or attempted rape”

“It is estimated that out of the 8 million people with an eating disorder 7 of those million are women.”

“In 2011, only 11% of protagonists in films were female.”

“Women hold only 5% of clout positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing, and advertising”

Media influences may seem ineffective but they do shape how a society thinks, females are constantly sexualised which makes it seem that we are objects, in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto men can beat up female prostitutes and get their money back after ‘using their services’ it shows a complete lack of respect towards women and like this behaviour is acceptable and possibly even funny.

It may not be featured in the Documentary due to it being 2 years later but  Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines is a primary example of how women are being overly sexualised constantly in the media. The models in the video are dancing around topless (explicit version) and the lyrics over exert sexual intentions and rape, the blurred line wipes out the answer no making it seem like the females are available and this is not acceptable, glorifying rape in popular culture formats will make it more accessible for audiences, women should not be portrayed as sex objects or even used just to boost a songs video hits.

Blurred LinesWith women’s small contribution to media services it means that the patriarchal society will continue to grow, males will continue to undermine a females persona and focus more on her looks, with the over exposure of slim models and celebrities and shaming those who gain weight then it will make it seem like your looks are the most important factor of life.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom illustrates that when auditioning for roles she was advised not to mention her educational achievements due to it being potentially intimidating, what’s wrong with having a degree? Women aren’t dumb which is constantly a media stereotype e.g.’dumb blondes’ but it seems that if you do have good educational traits then you are an outcast and you should focus more on your looks rather than studying. A good example of this is Mean Girls, this isn’t mentioned in the documentary btw, it’s a film that everybody has either heard of or seen, when Cady remotely shows any intelligence she is instantly looked at like she is a freak by the ‘Plastics’ but then you slowly see her consumed by the beauty obsession and bitchy personality.

If more female power was allowed in the media then changes could be made, young girls wouldn’t feel self conscious about their looks at such a young age and the ever growing increase in depression and eating disorders wouldn’t be such a high risk. Everyday females aren’t like those constantly showcased in music video’s, Miley Cyrus may walk around in next to nothing and twerk but it doesn’t mean that every girl wants to act like this.

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - ShowMore statistics and information for the documentary can be found on it’s official site, it can also be viewed on Netflix (UK)

http://film.missrepresentation.org/statistics

*images from google