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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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 

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

Toddlers & Tiaras

Toddlers and Tiaras is a programme following the lives of young children who compete in beauty pageants across America. Along the way tantrums are brewed as well as the child’s need to win and to be the best, its more so about winning than having fun.

It seems it is unacceptable to be a runner up and the stakes are high when each girl is subjected to a makeover that makes them appear to be a replica of Barbie.

One little girl Kayla who is 3 years said that the other girls were ugly and another girl Desiree who was 10 years old had ordered ‘flippers’ which was a false set of teeth similar to dentures because her teeth were slightly crooked, she also made to put in contact lenses which she didn’t seem happy with, it just proves that every part of you has to be manipulated in order to look perfect.pageant+girlBeauty pageants for children are quite controversial, some see it as harmless fun and others see it as children being sexualised and forced to grow up too fast in a vanity culture. Personally I find it strange to see a child covered in fake tan, make up and with false nails as it appears to take away their innocence but as these pageants aren’t common in the UK this could be why.  Im not sure young girls should be showing off swimwear and wiggling their hips so maybe the age group should be capped for that or just left to the adult pageants maybe as it does appear to sexualise them especially when theyare pulling poses and blowing kisses.

It would be much better if it wasn’t such a strong competition with pressure added to the girls and more so as a fun competition to be apart of, when a child starts getting upset and not wanting to do something they aren’t comfortable with e.g. having false lashes put on, then it should be time to reconsider that decision.

“Tori Hensley from Lampasas County, Texas, was  seen combining Mountain Dew, Sweet Tea  and Pixie Stix and administering it to her daughter Alexa in a sippy cup.  ‘I want cup,’ the youngster  demanded. Mrs Hensley also explained that her toddler  starts out every morning with a large cup of coffee topped with powdered cream,  which has been a daily ritual since she  was just nine months old.”

It’s taking it too far when a child is given caffeine at such an early age especially when it could potentially cause diabetes when the child is older and lead to a caffeine addiction, it should be a high priority to look after children’s teeth until they are old enough to care for them theirselves, the high amount of sugar will be leading to problems early on.

pixie stix

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2337447/A-caffeine-addiction-TWO-Toddlers-Tiaras-mom-sparks-outcry-giving-child-soda-tea-Pixie-Stix-breakfast-cocktail.html

*images from Google

Sexualisation Of Females In The Music Industry

“In sociological terms, sexiness can be articulated on the basis of cultural values that are relatively dominant in a community at a given time and place”(2012) At present sexy in terms of cultural value is determined by the patriarchal society which sexualises women through the male
gaze.

Women, it seems, are queuing up to pander to male sexual fantasies, Levy and Walter argue, as can be seen in the case of the Girls Go Wild phenomenon, the mainstreaming of pornography as in pole-dancing classes for fitness, and the transformation of the ‘Playboy’ brand from pornography to consumer goods.  Take Britney Spears for example in her song ‘Hit me baby one more time’ she is dressed as a school girl made to look innocent with plaited hair, is this not playing directly to the male stereotype fantasy of school girls? would she have not achieved fame without playing to this fantasy?

Britney Spears“It’s the women who are driving this. It’s all changed. Once glamour modelling might have been about some fat sinister guy with a cigar tricking young girls into taking their clothes off, but now women are queuing up to do it.” (Phil Hilton, former editor of NUTS, cited in Walter, 2010: 20) Again this suggests women are empowering their selves but is glamour modelling not just playing into the hands of patriarchal society, males are clearly the audience for this.It is stated by Lady Gaga that “Every artist plays on sex. It’s just the context….I’m a free woman, so I play on sex freely” (Lester 88). It is in quite a few videos by Lady Gaga that she plays on sex, for instance in Poker Face she frequently references bisexual urges, as she states as an artist she can freely use sexually references if needed as it isn’t taboo in this culture to do so but is their need to play on sex for almost all her videos? In Bad Romance she dresses provocatively and is sexualised in a manner in front of a male audience, in Love Game she references ‘disco stick’ as a phallic symbol.

More female artists are sexualising their selves for the purpose of the male gaze, in California Girls by Katy Perry she is shown to be naked with only clouds covering her modesty, in the image below she is clearly pulling a suggestive face for the male audience, but with young teenagers that could be fans isn’t this setting a bad example as a role model? Her first hit ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it’ is again another male fantasy so why are female artists subjecting their selves too this?

katy-perry-california-gurls-03It seems that the media is subjective to sexualising females be it in films, television or music videos, is their need for so much of it to be exposed to us daily, young people could come across inappropriate music videos by accident and feel that its okay to expose yourself as it’ll either make boys like you or make you popular. young people don’t understand yet the pressures which are being thrust from the media to look good and have the perfect body image. Do we really want children to only be subjected to role models that represent sex and nudity.

In the video P.I.M.P by 50 Cent women are shown to wear next to nothing (depending on which version you see) with what appears to be dog collars around their necks which shows how much lower they are than men, this is degrading to women and gives a representation of them being just objects to men so why are so many stars playing out to the male fantasy?  

*images sourced from Google