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Britains Got Talent…But The Judges Don’t

4 May

I’m really glad to Briatins got Talent have brought  Michael Macintyre onto the panel to help pull in some viewers. Especially as David Hasselhoff doesn’t understand what’s happening half the time and Amanda Holden can’t even move her face. Amanda has always irritated me when trying to judge a talent show but now that she has this belief that she is the new Simon Cowell, she’s become a new level of annoying. The main reasons for saying this are:

1: Her obsession with using Simon’s famous pre “yes” wink.

2: Her attempts to be harsh when the other judges have enjoyed a performance, which always fails due to her not wanting to risk the audiences booing at her.

3: Her long dramatic pauses before saying “it’s three yes’s”, which do not work because no-one cares enough about what she thinks to be worried if they’re through without her approval.

Of course it is a blessing to be rid of Piers Morgan…this goes without saying. I also wasn’t at all surprised to see that Simon Cowell had given up the game as he was definately going soft last year and he appears to lack interest in these talent shows nowadays.

I hope that they remove Amanda Holden next year and bring in someone who can provide some entertainment, like…Karl Pilkington!? HA, I would definately watch that.

Is Cheryl losing the envy factor?

1 Apr

I’ve just been reading the Daily Mail and seen that Cheryl Cole has “got her curves back”…I disagree. She doesn’t look

A previous skinny Cheryl

“curvy” at all, athough she doesn’t look quite as skeletol as before so that is good to see. Looking at photographs of Cheryl used to make me so jealous of her beautiful face and hair and her sexy body, but now when I look at her I just see a very unhappy and very fake woman. I used to ignore the fake hair, eyelashes, nails and tan because I thought it made her look so attractive. Now I think she is quite plain looking I’, starting to find her a little annoying.

I hated that she was always crying in the X Factor and acting like she cared so much about the contestants sob stories.

cheryl and mini cheryl

I think how obsessed she became with Cher Loyd really irritated me because it seamed a little self indulgent to become so giddy over a person who is basically a miniature version of yourself. Cheryl did her best with Cher’s styling to help her become a mini Cheryl aswell, which was a bit freeky. I’m so glad to see that nothing has come of Cher Loyd because if it did I think we would have another “whip my hair back and forth” popping up in the charts.

Don’t get me wrong, I still know that Cheryl Cole is very pretty, I would never deny that! And she’s incredibly photogenic but she’s ruining all her best attributes!

 I believe that tattos are ugly at the best of times, let alone when they are huge pictures sprawled across a

why scribble on something she’s worked so hard to improve?

thigh. Her legs were one of her best aspects until she got that thing. Her bum was probably her second best natural attribute, but oh no she scribbled on that too and I don’t even know what that blotch is supposed to be! She also has a tattoo on the back of her neck, her lower back and her hand, all of which are places which are becoming known as “slag tags”, meaning that very chavvy people tend to get them. I wouldn’t call them slag tags, and I’m sure she got them before they retained the negative connotations, but I still think they are very detrimental to her attractiveness.

Maybe I jsut get bored easily and I am officially bored of seeing Cheryl on the TV. She needs to start making good music, mentoring good pop stars, and stop crying, then maybe I’ll regain some respect. 

Go Ape for iPads!

1 Apr

gorillas are amazed by the ipad

I just saw a story in The Sun saying that Gorillas in a zoo in Hythe, Kent, have been given iPads, in an attmept to test their intelligence by seeing whether they have the ability to work the technology. The gorilla boffins have been amazed to discover that the apes have been able to turn the ipads on and off! However, no other developments have been reported, suggesting to me that the gorillas don’t really have a clue what these contraptions do and thank goodness for that! I would be a little scared if they had sat down and started enjoying a game of Tetris!

Some gorillas didn't quite understand

Jamie’s dream school…except for the students

31 Mar

I have really enjoyed watching Jamie’s Dream School on channel 4. The programme has been running on Wednesday nights for the past 5 weeks and every week it provides me with new amusement. The pupils may be incredibly irritating to watch, and seeing the teachers stuggle does make me a little angry that these people are getting given opportunities they don’t seam to appreciate, but the entertainment is undeniable. The pupils are all post secondary school but have very few, if any GCSE’s, and Jamie is aiming to get them interested in education and ultimately create a better life for them. His Dream school has been named as such, due to his faculty of individuals you would think to be unattainable, from Rolph Harris to Cherie Blair.  

Jamie Oliver teaches catering, which is bound to be successful, not only because it is a subject they can actively participate in, but because the pupils were obviously aware they would be part of a school run by Jamie, so must have some interest in him!

Robert Winston teaches science and does an incredibly good job at it! I am not very interested in science but I would love to join in his lessons. He has eased the pupils into more and more participatory tasks, the first being to disect a frog, the second being to disect a pig (in which some girls had to dramatically run out because they were “going to be sick”), and more recently he asked male pupils to produce sperm samples for their lesson in reproduction. Not only does this get the pupils involved but you can see how chuffed the lads are when Robert starts telling them that they have created enough sperm to fertilise every woman in Britain. As soon as their given a compliment like this, they will take an interest in the next thing that the teacher has to say.

alastair campbell on why politics matters, it didn’t take long for a debate to begin, although perhaps not the type he was after.

Daley Thompson takes them for P.E. which seams to be the most popular subject, possibly because it allows the pupils to get out some of their pent up anger?

Mary Beard tries to teach the pupils Latin, which I can understand their uninterest in, she attempted to make them see the relavence that Latin has to their lives by translating the tatoos on David Beckham’s arms. Call my ignorant, but this use would still not convince me that it is a worthwhile subject, as I honestly don’t care what David Beckham has written on his arms.

Rolph harris’s art classes have been shown a few times in the programme, probably because he is more natural infront of a camera, than the other teachers, and also because he has been getting a very positive response from the pupils. This isn’t surprising, art is a subject that a large number of people can enjoy because it allows you to express yourself and it’s hard to say who is “good” or “bad” at it, because it is so subjective. Most of these pupils seem to need a way of expressing themselves without becoming aggressive, and they clearly do not take criticism very well!

David Starkey is quite hilarious to watch when he tries to teach the pupils history. It was made very clear in the first episode that he has very few communication skills, making him totally ineffective at teaching the pupils. However, he managed, with the help of Jamie and the head teacher, to improve the pupils’ opinion of him by giving them a few compliments…Noticing any themes yet?

I assumed the students would  love Cherie Blair’s lesson on “Human Rights” due to their obsession with people “respecting” them. Indeed, they did enjoy her lesson, they loved getting a chance to talk about their rights and their personal experiences at not being given their rights. The students all seem to believe that the world is against them and they have been held back by others, as opposed to themself.

After a shakey start and having to speak to each pupil individually, Andrew Motion does a surprisingly good job at teaching the students poetry. I say it’s surprising because of his very calm and slow way of speaking, which would even make me lose patience, let alone one of these students!

Simon Callow also gets off to a shakey start in his attempts to teach theatre. But when he gets the boys on in the round house and onto the stage to perform a fight scene in Romeo and Juliet, some real talent is shown and Simon finally sees his hard work paying off.

Jazzie B teaches the students about music and automatically gains their attention due to his ability to speak to them in their “language”, which is similar to that of Ali G. He also bring break dancers into the lessons, making the lessons seam “cool”.

Alvin Hall has the prolifically difficult task of teaching Maths. He does this by basing almost all of their lessons on how to get rich. This is the most affective way he could have chosen to teach the subject because they all seam to want to be as rich as their role models…the almighty rappers.

The students appear to have picked up their values from the rappers who constantly rap about “respect” and I think their parents must have allowed their belief that they deserve respect, even when they don’t give it out themselves.

I know all the students aren’t the same and I’m speaking in quite a derogatory tone but I don’t think I’m alone in my opinion. The students are holding themselves back with their agressive and defensive attitudes but are continuously blaming people around them. They all seem to be becoming better behaved as the weeks go on- although this is probably due to the editors making Jamie look like a miracle worker- and I am really enjoying watching if and how the efforts prevail. Good luck to Jamie and the teachers, I think they deserve an award for their hard work and patience!

living life to tweet it

29 Mar

Growing up in the 21st century, you know that you need to use social media in order to get the most from your social life. Social media keeps you in the loop. 

Whilst my friends and I have been at seperate universities, living very seperate lives, we have been able to keep in touch very frequently but with very little effort. It has been so useful to be able to email all my closest friends at once and keep a stream of conversation going, even when we are incredibly busy with our work. 

There are a lot of ways that a student can be hindered by not using social media. Doing a Communication based subject means I have to do a large amount of group work and Facebook has been of the utmost importance for these times. Facebook has allowed me to contact other people on my course quickly and I have often created private groups on Facebook and invited those involved in the group projects to allow us to post ideas, links, documents, pictures etc, as we find them.

In a way, though, social media almost allows you to work as a group, without meeting as a group. It makes it easier to work seperately and put your ideas together through the use of the internet, rather than working together the whole time. This could be seen as a negative but I still think it has been fantastic…perhaps because I hate group work! 

Recently I have opened a Twitter account, in an attempt to keep up with the news as it happens. I’ve been amazed to see how often some people tweet! I know it is much easier for an iphone owner, to tweet, than it is for someone who relies on their computer, but I wonder whether some people do things just so that they can tweet about it?

My housemate made me laugh, she locked herself out of the house in the middle of the night and the first thing she did, was update her status, “I’m locked out the house and everyone’s asleep!” It amazed me that she was stuck on a scary road where several drug dealers and muggers live and the first thing she wanted to do with her phone, was let the world know what had happened, rather than ring someone in the house.

Any time something like that happens it just reminds me of the film Wall-E and makes me wonder how long it’ll be until we do float around staring at a computer screen, living our life through the internet! I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see things get that bad, but I can definately see myself nagging at my future children to take their eyes off their damn computer!

Katie:Still a beautiful face

29 Mar

I very rarely cry at television documentaries, but when I watch “Katie: My Beautiful Face” on channel 4, it really hit me hard.

Katie Piper was a stunning television presenter/model enjoying a vibrant social life clubbing several times a week, until the age of 24 when an ex boyfriend changed her life forever.

Katie met Daniel Lynch (or Danny as Katie calls him) on Facebook and they dated for two intensive weeks. Danny became very possessive over Katie and his sporadic moods started to scare Katie. Little did she know that Danny had a history of violent behaviour, including throwing boiling water in a man’s face.

One night, his intensity came to a head when he booked them a hotel room to stay in together. When Katie did not agree to sex with him, he violently raped herbefore holding her captive for eight hellish hours. He smashed her head, beat her, threatened to slash her face with a razor and said he would hang her with a belt. Later he claimed to have been high on steroids. They drove back to Katie’s flat where, to her relief, he agreed to let her out of the car but told her if she told anyone, he would kill her.

They spent the weekend apart and Katie did not tell anyone what happened, not even the doctors who had to glue her head wound. He contacted her continuously, and on Monday he started insisting that she go to the internet cafe to check the emails he’d sent her, after hours of refusal, Katie gave in and left her apartment to check her emails.

CCTV shows Katie leave her apartment whilst still on the phone to Danny.

‘I saw a man in a hooded top walking towards me,’ she says. ‘He was carrying a cup. I assumed he was a beggar so I reached into my bag for some change. He came up close, like he was going to speak, and threw liquid from the cup at my face. The pain was indescribable, but for a split second I remember thinking, “How rude to throw coffee when I was trying to help him.” I could feel my skin and clothes burning off me.’

All Katie’s facial skin and fat was burned off on one side of her face, her left eye was no longer working and her throat was badly burnt. Katie was put into an induced coma and all the skin from her face was removed and replaced with skin from her back.

Diane, her mother, gave up her job in order to care for Katie full-time. She massages Katie’s face four times a day to keep her skin supple. This sounds like a relaxing procedure, but I found it extremely hard to watch as Katie’s parents stretched the skin around her face and chest, as Katie lay there looking extremely uncomfortable.

Katie also has to wear plastic masks in the day to flatten her scars and a balaclava masks at night to help stretch the skin. To begin with, she had to be fed with a tube directly into her stomach before having several surgical interventions to widen her oesophagus.

The psychological damage was even more upsetting to see. She could not shower for months, due to her fear of the feeling of liquid on her body. She also was too scared to leave the house, making her life seam pointless.

When Katie is shown receiving a phonecall and discovering that Danny has finally been found guilty, she is overwhelmed with happiness…and so was I! Later in the programme, they discover that he has been given a life sentence, with a minimum of 16 years, which still does not seem enough in my eyes. But Katie still has nightmares and fears Lynch’s release. When he obtained a phone illegally in jail he used it to post a message on the internet saying how much he missed her. She has now closed all of her social networking accounts.

Since the documentary was aired, Katie has given messages on the channel 4 website, thanking all those who have sent her supportive messages. “When you have support you can get through anything and to have such wonderful public support really is such an amazing feeling and I am very grateful…At the weekend, after the documentary was shown on Channel 4, I went out for dinner and also went shopping. Lots of people approached me and congratulated me and I felt proud and held my head high while out and about in public. I couldn’t feel like this without all this support, so thank you everybody for giving me my confidence back“.

Katie’s second documentary “Katie:My Beautiful Friends”, shows Katie’s new found confidence since the first documentary was aired. She is starting up a new charity The Katie Piper Foundation, to raise money for a specialist rehabilitation centre for people with facial disfigurements.

I genuinly still think that Katie Piper looks beautiful and her story moves me, even just thinking about it, I hope she has a more fullfilling life than she ever could have had before, because she truly deserves it.

“I realise my life before was so superficial” Katie said in a Daily Mail interview, “I used to refuse to go out if I had a spot on my face. Now I wish a spot was all I had to worry about. There are people who point and stare. One man even knocked my sun hat off and laughed at me. Those times hurt, but I won’t let them get me down. I’d like to be able to have a husband and family one day. I can’t live a life of regret.”

He’s at it again

4 Mar

After being so disappointed with the first, I should have avoided watching the second episode of Heston’s Mission Impossible on Tuesday night, but intrigue got the better of me. Alas I was not surprised to find he was back to his old tricks, trying to force unrealistic changes onto a company who’s main priority is not the food it sells. Heston used all his tried and tested techniques to make management of Cineworld come across as being evil, mostly because they are profit driven. Of course, Heston would never sell the food he makes at high prices, no, I’m sure all the food at his restaraunt is cheap as hell, and I’m sure he hasn’t been getting paid an absolute mint for making these programmes either…hypocrite.

 I totally agree that Cineworld food is a total rip off and the profits they make on popcorn is a sign that they do mark up prices far more than the need to but Heston’s techniques to battle that were all wrong. Not only did Heston conjure up far too many different variations of snack that would confuse the staff and customers, but he was creating things that only he knew how to make, such as hot dogs made with ketchup and mustard inside with an edible napkin.

It also made me angry to see him patronising the staff just like he had in alder hay, simply because they couldn’t remember all the flavours he had created, or produce the snacks quickly enough when customers asked for them. If he seriously wanted his inventions to work in the cinemas, he would need to have a lot more patience and the ability to train up the staff to sell his silly ideas.

He was ranting on about calories in popcorn too which wound me up. People don’t go to the cinema for a nutritious meal, they go to enjoy a film and pig out on junk food. Rather than spraying fish stink all over the cinema to help “improve customers’ experience of films”, high sugar levels in food can release endorphins in the audience, giving them a more pleasurable experience.

Also, why did he keep going on about bringing the magic back to cinemas? Cinemas used to be an “exciting and magical experience” because they were new and people didn’t understand how they worked, but now they’re old and we know how they work, no amount of curry flavoured popcorn is going to solve that. I will admit I really liked the idea of candy floss in the cinema…but banana flavour?! He had to go and ruin it.

The cineworld manager said he might continue the special hotdogs and the popcorn icecream, but I doubt either will work as they would still have to cater to people who don’t like ketchup and mustard in their hotdogs, and they already have ben and jerrys ice cream which offers a wider range of more interesting flavours.

Sorry Heston, I believe that was another epic fail, but keep trying cause it’s all good promotion for your restaraunt and that’s all that matters ay?